Mic W i266 for iPhone / iPad / iPod Touch
Being a musician, Im always looking for a way for a portable way to record live music, take notes, or capture some unique sound I may want to add into a song at a later time. I’m a stickler for quality, and even when I use my iPhone camera to video record, in many instances the internal microphone just isn’t good enough. Apple has made vast improvements on the iPhone 4S, and what used to be acceptable alternatives to the iPhone 3GS are now inferior to the internal Mic. I’m sure you’ve seen external Mics before. Most are quite small, some are thumb tack shaped, some look like a fat pill. The one thing they all have in common, is they lack in quality to the internal iPhone 4S.
No one has come out with a better, portable headphone port mic… Until now.
After searching for years, and with Blue Mic’s seeming to be dropping the ball on the Mikey for the iPhone 4 series, I found a company called Mic W, and reached out them, explaining my needs, and that I would love to review a Mic. The good people at Mic W sent me out the i266.
The i266 is a cardioid broadcasting microphone, designed specifically for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. This cardioid mic has high sensitivity, and Mic W recommends using it for high quality sound recording, specifically for broadcasting, live radio interviews, and other live applications.
It comes in a clear plastic box with with foam and informational print surrounding the mic. My exact initial impression was “Wow. That’s bigger then I expected.” That’s what she said.
Since every external mic I’ve used is fairly small, I expected more of the same, but with the i266, there is no comparison. This mic is beautifully designed. You can tell the design team wanted something sleek, and industrial, to match the iPhone 4, and they achieved this. It’s made from metal, not plastic, and has real weight to it. Not making it too heavy to carry, but just enough to know you have something solid in your hand. This Mic is PURE class.
I started testing the mic. First I recorded normal speaking into the iPhone, using it’s internal mic, then repeated the test using the i266. Right away, you notice a difference. Where the internal iPhone mic may be slightly better with canceling out room and background noise, the i266 records a richer, more professional sound.
You do get a better sound speaking into the top of the i266, as apposed to the side of the mic (which has holes in it) but this mic is highly sensitive, so getting too close causes distortion. I found keeping the mic about 8 to 12 inches from my face, speaking at a normal level worked best.
Knowing this was a broadcast mic with such high sensitivity, I already knew the answer to this next test, but for the sake of science, and being as thorough as I could be, I tested the mic recording a live band in very high volume. This is not the mic for that, as it distorts horribly, but I knew that, and they don’t advertise the mic for use in that way. I had to try it though. I was that kid when mom said “Don’t touch that pot, it’s hot” the first thing I would do, was touch the pot.
This is only my initial impression, and testing. This is something I need to use much more, field test this, and do another review later down the line.
I have 3 minor complaints…
1) You need to put the iPhone into airplane mode to achieve the best sounding recordings. As with every other mic I’ve tried, you get a periodic static on your recordings if you don’t do this. Audio, or video, if using this mic, use Airplane mode for sure. I was hoping Apple had fixed this, but not yet.
2) I always keep my phone in a case, but to use this microphone, I need to remove the case as the mic’s circumference is large at the base, and will not fit into the headphone jack. This could have been resolved if they had added a small spacer as many companies are doing now, for this very reason. BUT, I did find that an adapter does work, and Mic W sells a kit with an external wire.
3) The mic can’t be bent and repositioned. There is no hinge on this mic, so once it’s plugged in, it points straight up, and that’s it. Now, for interviewing or speaking, this is fine, but if I wanted to use this mic for video recording, I have to keep in mind, the mic’s best position is now facing to the side, and not facing the subject I’m recording. Again, this is solved with an adapter wire, but then I need to clip or mount the mic facing front.
All minor complaints, as the recording quality on this is suburb, and the recording quality outshines the negatives. I would highly recommend this Mic to anyone who needs or wishes to capture broadcast quality audio on their iPhone. Right now, I’d be hard pressed to find a headphone port mic that offers better quality, although, Mic W does have a couple other, higher end models. I can only imaging how great those sound.
Keep an eye on Mic W, they are a major player in the portable audio, with some of the very best design, build quality, and sound quality I’ve come across so far. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
I will be adding a Youtube video on this Mic, and comparison audio in the future.
You can check out and purchase the i266 from Mic W by following this link… http://www.mic-w.com/