The iRig Mic Lav gives you great audio without the hassle

When it comes to getting great audio recordings, the days of hauling around a giant bag of equipment are over. IK Multimedia's iRig Lav Mic is compact, and made to be used on the go. Whether you're podcasting, doing interviews or recording for personal use, having access to better audio is never a bad idea. With easy setup and use, this mic should definitely be on your list if you do much recording.

We've got all the details you want, about the sound quality you've been craving.

iRig Mic Lav recording Cthulu

If you don't have access to the LG V10 and all it's microphones, you might be considering purchasing a mic for recording on the go. The iRig Mic Lav is here for you in that case. It's a small Lav mic that is held in a semi hard protective pouch when you aren't using it, and plugs easily into your phone's audio jack. That means that setting up for audio is as easy as plugging in, opening your audio recording app of choice, clipping the lavalier mic to your lapel, and pressing record. Considering that not so long ago you'd need a small bag of equipment in order to do interviews at conventions, this is wonderfully easy. That means that you don't need to be an expert either, and you won't be left floundering.

In terms of specs, the iRig Mic Lav is certainly professional quality. The omnidirectional condenser capsule lets you capture audio in 30Hz-16kHz frequency range (at -3db), and includes a foam pop filter to help cut down on outside noise in the environment, along with a sturdy clip to attach it to a collar or lapel and over 5 feet of cord. One of the handiest features with this mic is the on board monitoring feature. You can choose to hook up a second iRig Mic Lav, or monitor your recording with a pair of earbuds. While on board monitoring can be a bit strange at first, once you get used to it, it's an invaluable tool. This way you can make sure you only need to record once, since you won't have to play back each session to ensure the quality of the recording.

When it comes to the quality of audio you are recording, this mic really is no joke. In the sound clip above, you can hear a serious difference between the onboard mic and the iRig Mic Lav. The biggest difference is probably volume, the Mic Lav gives us a much larger sound than just using the mic on your phone, even though my actual tone never changed. Depending on where you clip the mic, you will get some serious changes in quality, and finding the sweet spot can be a bit difficult. That's because this mic is hot, and even when placed on your lapel you can get a much larger sound than anticipated. However place it too far away, and you'll get a much more muffled, less impressive result. There is a drawback with this mic too, It seems like it won't let you record through an audio app while also recording video. This means that for the time being, you're only able to record audio using the iRig Mic Lav. While the hardware for this mic is definitely on point, seeing some more software support would be fantastic, especially if you were hoping to film from your phone while picking up audio with the iRig Mic Lav.

IK Multimedia offers an app available on the Google Play Store called iRig Recorder. You can pick up the free version, which gives you access to the base software, or shell out $7.99 to get access to all the bells and whistles when it comes to features. With the free version you can record, share and see the waveform on each recording, however editing anything will require the full app. In the settings for the iRig Recorder app, you've also got access to several options to make recording easier. You'll get In Level, and Out Level at the top of the screen, along with sliders to adjust the db level for In and Out. This can certainly help with the mic being a bit hot, even when positioned at a reasonable distance. You can also toggle Input Monitoring, Auto Recording, Background Audio, and an Audio Input Optimizer on and off. The sound clip above is using the default db levels, and you can tell that it almost blows the sound out, so some tweaking to find the levels you want is certainly a good idea.

iRig recorder screenshots

Overall the iRig Mic Lav is a solid purchase for anyone who plans on doing recording from their smartphone. Compact, and easy to setup this is a great addition to your kit if you plan on recording on the go, or in high noise, high traffic areas.

Buy a iRig Mic Lav from IK Multimedia {.cta .shop.nofollow} Buy a iRig Mic Lav from Amazon (opens in new tab)

Jen is a staff writer who spends her time researching the products you didn't know you needed. She's also a fantasy novelist and has a serious Civ VI addiction. You can follow her on Twitter.

19 Comments
  • I certainly hope this doesn't capture audio in the gigahertz frequency range..... Nobody would hear it! I myself use an iRig Mic Cast. Works pretty well, though a lav mic would probably offer better ambient noise cancellation. That said, the audio sample you use isn't the best way to showcase this. Even on my phone speaker, I noticed the audio was distorted (recording level too high). It also was quite boomy, which leads me to think the mic was too close Posted via the Android Central App
  • Fixed the frequencies. We type GHz so often it's almost muscle memory. I have a pair of these, and yeah they do an excellent job picking up the "right" sounds once you realize they are super hot mics.
  • Typos happen (hey, IK Multimedia kindly corrected me when I called their guitar amp-modelling software "Amplitude" when writing about the Mic Cast!) I've been a fan of their products for quite a few years now, and it's great to see them start expanding into stuff that works with Android too Posted via the Android Central App
  • I hope 2016 is the year we drop the i[product name] naming scheme. I know it won't be though. So dumb. Posted via the Android Central App
  • In all fairness, IK Multimedia started using the iRig name a few years ago when the category consisted only of its guitar interface adapter for iOS devices. The product line eventually started gaining products that supported Android, but they likely won't change the iRig branding because it's what people know Other than that, there aren't many brand new products coming out with the name iWhatever (especially if it works on devices other than an iPhone or iPad). Posted via the Android Central App
  • In the sample it's louder but sounds more muffled. I recently bought a Sony Lav to use with my video camera but sadly i found that it doesn't work unless I get a phantom power supply. I haven't yet found one of those that's portable enough to use on the go.
  • The phone audio sounds better than the irig sample.
  • Seriously. I don't know if she was too close to the irig thing, but the 5x audio is much better, IMO. Strange demo.
  • I think it was either clipped too close to the audio source or maybe the gain was too high? I'm not sure if it's the fact that it was clipping or if the mic genuinely loses the high end range of human voice intelligibility, but I'd rather work with the 5x recording and compress it than the higher volume iRig recording. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I concur Posted via the Android Central App
  • If the Mic is too close to the source, it will clip if there's no way to adjust gain. You just need to listen and adjust the distance depending on how loud a person is. The foam reduces breath pops and wind noise, but not background noise. Since the Mic is omnidirectional, proximity is your means of reducing unwanted sound sources. I prefer a cardioid capsule (directional) for most situations. For wireless, I like the higher end Senheiser mics, but for range it's hard to beat the Shure mics with their dual outboard antennas on the receiver. Posted via the Android Central App
  • In the audio clip it sounds like the iRig Mic Lav uptake distorts and/or hits the dynamic ceiling (it clips). Edit: Others have noticed. @Jen, the suggestion would be to re-record to the appropriate level, and, if possible, to the same level for both mics, otherwise the result is not comparable. Furthermore, I believe that the in-phone mic is tuned for the voice Hz band, so this is where the comparison will sjow the least difference between the built-in mic and any other mic.
  • Great writeup, Alex.
    Looking forward to AC's CES coverage.
  • Lol. Not even close.
  • it's great..look it up..heard of a place called youtube?
  • Today I learned what a "lav" mic is. I would have thought it was for recording bathroom (lavatory) sounds.
  • Is it just me or did the part of the recording on the phone mic sound better?
  • Just for the record, there is a mistake in this sentence: "If you don't have access to the LG V10 and all it's microphones..." Should be "its" microphones. "It's" is always and only an abbreviation for "it is", there is no such thing as a possessive "it's".
  • Disappointed with the iRig Lav sound quality vs. just the phone. WAY too muffled. I don't know if that's what it sounds like or if that is just a setup issue with Jen's recording. I have used the built-in mic on my Moto G and HiQ MP3 Recorder at work for over a year now, and was hoping for something like this.