Here, we will explain how to use the external mic on iPhone. So, those who have issues with connecting the microphone to the iPhone can find this article to be very useful.
Identifying the audio connectors of your iPhone
Your iPhone might have up to two options when it comes to connecting an external mic to it.
● For iPhone 5 to iPhone SE
You can use both the headphone socket and the lightning socket to connect an audio input device (mic).
● For iPhone 7 and newer models
You can connect an audio input device only to its lightning socket.
Before iPhone 7 release, the headphone socket functioned as an input and output gateway. It was designed to receive and send audio signals. As per that feature, you can either connect your earbuds to it or even an external microphone.
But if you use an iPhone that has a headphone socket, it doesn’t accept any 3.5mm mic jack. In fact, 3.5mm jacks had a particular issue. Well, iPhone’s headphone socket doesn’t work with anything except for TRRS jacks. The issue is that some microphones come with TRS jacks but not the TRRS jacks. So, the obvious result is that the respective iPhone will not identify the mics with TRS sockets. However, the good thing is that most modern-day microphones come with TRRS jacks instead of TRS.
The main difference between TRS and TRRS jacks is the metal conductors found on the jacks. Well, TRS jacks have three metal conductor rings, and TRRS has four of them.
The term TRS means the Tip Ring Sleeve. The TRRS is the abbreviation for Tip Ring Ring Sleeve.
How to use external mic on iPhone for the purpose of recording a video
No matter what sort of microphone jack you might have, you can connect it to your iPhone. If the iPhone is not compatible with a particular jack type, you can use an adapter. Also, you might need the assistance of an extension cable.
There are several types of adapters for the purpose of connecting mic to iPhone. Mentioned below are those adapters you can use to connect a microphone to an iPhone with no hassle.
- 3.5mm to 3.5mm TRRS adapter: RODE SC4
- 3.5mm TRRS to lightning adapter: Apple headphone adapter
- XLR to 3.5mm TRS cable: MOBOREST XLR to 3.5mm Mic Cable
- XLR to 3.5mm TRRS cable: Sennheiser KA 600i Cable
- 3.5mm TRRS extension cable (8 ft): DuKabel
- 3.5mm TRS extension cable (10 ft): UGREEN
Well, you don’t have to buy all those connectors. Instead, you will need one connector only. Also, in some cases, you may not need any of those. In that case, you can get an extension cable and place the mic away from the iPhone.
For iPhone SE or 6S:
For instance, suppose that you have an iPhone SE or an iPhone 6S device. In that case, you can plug the microphone using a 3.5mm jack to the device’s headphone socket easily. On the other hand, do you have a microphone that comes with a digital lighting connector? You can plug that into any iPhone as long as it is newer than iPhone 5. Let’s get to the point once again; can you connect an external mic to an iPhone 7 (or newer)? Yes, you can. Those who wonder how to use the external mic on iPhone 7 or newer should use an Apple headphone adapter.
For iPhone 7 & Newer Models:
As you already know, in iPhone 7 and newer models, you don’t see a headphone socket. It has a lighting socket only. It is obvious that those 3.5mm round jacks don’t fit into the lighting sockets even by the shape. But if you use an adapter, that’s possible.
Apple doesn’t ship their iPhones with lighting adapters anymore for free. If you want that, you should purchase it. With that adapter, you can connect a headphone or an external mic with your iPhone’s lightning socket. However, the mic of the headphone must come with a TRRS jack.
Did you buy an iPhone during the time Apple shipped it along with the adapter? If so, just check the package. If you don’t see it there, the best approach is to buy it from Apple’s official website. It is a better approach compared to purchasing accessories from a third-party, unknown vendor.
Even if you have an Apple headphone adapter, you should use a TRRS jack to plug it in. Also, if your mic comes with a TRS jack, you should go for a TRS to TRRS adapter.
Table of Types of Adapter For You
You may go through the table below in order to check the type of adapter you require. In the first row, you can see the microphone’s connector type. In the second, the iPhone socket is displayed. When it comes to the third column, you see the adapters.
|Type of the connector||Type of the socket||Type of the adapter||Suitable adapters|
|TRS Mic Jack||Headphones||TRS to TRRS||RODE SC4|
|TRS Mic Jack||Lightning||TRS to TRRS and TRRS to Lightning||RODE SC4|
Apple Headphone adapter
|TRRS Mic||Headphone||Not applicable|
|TRRS Mic||Lightning||TRRS to lightning||Apple Headphone adapter|
|Lightning connector||Lightning||Not applicable|
|XLR||Headphone||XLR to TRS and TRS to TRRS||MOBOREST XLR to 3.5mm Mic Cable|
|XLR||Lighting||XLR to TRS, TRS to TRRS, and TRRS to Lightning||MOBOREST XLR to 3.5mm Mic Cable|
Apple Headphone adapter
How to connect microphone to iPhone with examples
To make things easier for you, let’s take a look at some examples of connecting mic to iPhone.
As you may know, you can connect microphone to iPhone regardless of its brand and model. If you have the correct adapter or adapters, you can get it done. It is true even with the professional XLR mics.
How to use external mic on iPhone
Here are the steps you should use to connect a microphone to iPhone.
● Connect it to the headphone socket
Are you going to plug a TRS mic into the headphone socket of the iPhone? If so, first plug the mic’s jack into a TRS to TRRS adapter first. Then, you can plug the same into the headphone socket of the iPhone you are using.
● Connect it to the lightning socket
Do you want to plug a TRS mic into the lightning socket of your iPhone? If so, you should first plug the mic’s jack into TRS to TRRS adapter. After that, you should connect the same adapter to another adapter (lightning to 3.5mm headphone jack adapter). You can then plug it into the lightning connector of the iPhone.
A microphone that comes with a 3.5mm TRRS connector
Here’s how to connect a 3.5mm mic to a TRRS connector.
● Connecting it to the headphone socket
Do you want to plug a TRRS mic into your iPhone’s headphone socket? If so, you don’t have to use an adapter as you can plug it straightaway. You can easily plug the jack of the mic into your iPhone’s dedicated headphone socket.
● Connecting it to the lightning socket
Now, what if you want to plug a TRS jack into the lightning socket? Well, first, you should plug the mics jack to “Lightning to 3.5mm Headphone Jack Adapter”. After that, you should plug the same adapter into the lightning socket of your iPhone.
A microphone that comes with an XLR jack
Let’s learn how to use the external mic on iPhone with an XLR jack now.
● Connect microphone to iPhone through the headphone socket
Is your intention to plug the XLR mic into the headphone socket of your iPhone? If so, you may need to get one or two adapters. You can use an extension cable to connect the 3.5mm jack to the respective device’s socket. But some cables need TRS to TRRS adapter as well.
● Connect using the lightning socket
If you plug an XLR mic into the lightning socket, you should get up to two adapters. Some cables can do the job with a “Lightning to 3.5mm headphone jack adapter” with ease. You can simply plug the adapter into the iPhone’s lightning port. But there are some other cables that require the inclusion of a TRS to TRRS adapter.
What if your iPhone’s external mic doesn’t work?
There is no shortage of questions on external mics that don’t work on iPhones. Interestingly, the majority of these questions are related to iPhone 8, iPhone X, and iPhone 11. There are many solutions related to address this matter. Some individuals say that the issue is pertaining to the cables. However, in many cases, the issue is related to the adapters you use. If you buy a cheap adapter from an unknown vendor, you are likely to experience some issues. So, when connecting the mic to iPhone, be sure to use genuine adapters.
The truth is that the majority of the headphone adapters are one-way. They let you listen to the audio but not record them.
In fact, a headphone jack adapter from Apple is considered to be one of the most affordable accessories. However, these adapters work perfectly for Apple accessories. When the adapter functions properly, it can even function as a bi-directional accessory which is very handy. That is exactly why it is always suggested to go for official items.
Well, that’s how you should be connecting the mic to iPhone. If there is something wrong with the external microphone, the culprit could be the adapter you are using. As long as you buy a genuine adapter from the Apple store, you will be able to enjoy it.
FAQ on How to Connect Microphone to iPhone
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions for your knowledge.
Is it possible to connect an external mic with your iPhone? Yes. Connecting mic to iPhone is possible with pretty much any model. The older models (like iPhone 7 and older) supported a 3.5mm TRRS microphone jack. With iPhone 5 and onwards, you can connect a lightning connector or an adapter to accomplish this task.
How to connect USB microphone to iPhone? Some individuals wonder how to connect a USB microphone to iPhone. Well, in this case, you will have to use a "USB to Lightning" adapter. Then, you can plug the same into the iPhone with ease. If you choose to go with an Apple product, the cost will be slightly higher. On the other hand, you can go for a cheaper device as well if you perform an online search.
How to record external audio on your iPhone? It is possible to plug a mic using a TRRS jack to the headphone jack. However, this is possible if the iPhone is older than iPhone 7. If you use iPhone 7 or newer, you should get a lightning connector along with the microphone. If not, you can use an Apple Lightning headphone adapter.
How to record external audio using iPhone? You can feed audio to the iPhone using an external microphone. To do that, use the lightning socket and the headphone adapter. Also, use an audio recording app to record the audio.
So, that’s about connecting mic to iPhone. If you have further questions on how to use the external mic on iPhone, please let us know.