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Hand on: iRig Mic Field

iRig Mic is your answer to crappy concert videos on your phone

iRig Mic Field captures dynamic sound in a compact design perfect for turning iPhones into a superb live audio recorder.

Whether it’s Beyonce in an amphitheater or a local rapper at a bar, fans have become amateur concert broadcasters thanks to video recording features in phones. But while manufacturers are busily improving cameras for future phones, audio recording has not seen the same attention.

We’re left with gorgeous, high definition video — with audio that sounds like it was recorded in the middle of a storm.

The box-shaped iRig Mic Field, with its sleek feel and nighttime black color, aims to change that and help your struggle recordings. It’s a phone attachment that produces stereo-quality audio for your camera phone videos, and it comes with a pouch if carrying it in your pocket is too cumbersome. We tested it out, along with the separately sold wind blocker, to isolate the high and low notes.

Pocket-size power

The iRig Mic Field offers a low-noise/high-definition pre-amp in its microphone to filter out distortion; the wind protector does wonders for improving the quality of audio recordings too. A slider on the side of the mic adjusts the volume, and a light changes to indicate the level. Blue is low, green means medium, and red means you’re about to hear everything — including noisy wind rushing over the recording surface and distortion from everyone and everything nearby.

The device is super compact and able to fit in your pocket better than the iPhone 6 it’s fitted for. We found it easy to carry and quick to pop on and off when the mood strikes.

Digital Trends took the iRig Mic Field, its accompanying windshield, and an iPhone 6 on a variety of sound tests around New York City, including a recent concert by funk group Tuxedo at Le Possion Rouge in Manhattan. Bring the noise!

Concert (Music)

Less than three feet from the stage, the iPhone was plagued by the typical distortion from being in such close proximity to massive speakers blaring out bass. Once the wind-blocker was placed on, the entire video changed, however. What had been a chaotic jumbling of sounds with moments of clarity was turned into a subdued, jazzy affair.

The combination of windshield and mic, at the right volume, was able to produce stunningly clear audio no matter your proximity to the stage.

Subway

New York City trains are notorious for instantly transforming into dance concerts, offering evidence in sexual harassment cases, and serving as a literal underground market for sugary treats. So capturing video in this environment is clearly essential.

Without the mic, the maddening sounds of the train clanking against the tracks is highly apparent, even when the train was barely moving. With the mic and the windshield, not only are the tracks barely audible but the mic picks up a conversation from two people a few seats over.

Street

Over 50 million people visit New York City and this melting pot usually results in a smattering of noises. The iRig Mic’s windshield eliminates the grumble of busses, a constant fixture on New York City streets, improving many cell phone videos of the city.

Conclusions

IK Media also provides an iRig Recorder app for audio recording, helpful for journalists in the field dealing with unpredictable noises. The complete package, with the wind visor included, is available on IK Media’s website for $79.99.

If you’re going to spend an entire concert staring through your phone so you don’t miss the moment, the iRig Mic Field will make sure you don’t drown the sound.

Highs

  • Incredible clarity of bass within 3 feet of sound
  • External volume control nob gives added control over clarity
  • Windblocker impressively eliminates almost all static

Lows

  • Slick plastic feel easily slips out of fingers if not careful
  • Only compatible with iPhones