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Iphone X External Microphone (and Iphone 7 / 7 Plus / 8 / 8 Plus)

So I wanted more freedom to shoot videos more organically with my iPhone.  I had a very old iPhone and was due for an upgrade and figured I would just go for it on the new iPhone X.  Everything I found suggested there were some slightly better still and video camera features, even though the hardware is essentially the same between iPhone X and iPhone 8 Plus.  But I don’t like the huge size of the 8 Plus.

So I ordered up a very well-reviewed mini directional mic to stick on the phone and figured I would be off and running, the Rode VideoMic Me Directional Microphone for Smart Phones.  Until I was sitting in the Verizon store getting my new phone only to realize it doesn’t have a headphone / mic jack anymore…just the lightning jack. That’s it. (I told you I hadn’t upgraded in a while…I now know there hasn’t been a headphone jack since the 6…)

                   Rode VideoMic Me

I quickly realized that the microphone that was on its way to me would not work as intended.  The problem is that mics designed for the phones with headphone jacks, rely on the jack itself to physically connect the mic to the phone and keep it from falling off.  It is easy enough to get some wire adapters to connect the mic jack to the lightning jack, but then you don’t have anything to hold the mic on to the phone.

I did a little research and found that a gentleman named A.J. Sarsfield had come up with a work around to get it to work.  It involved sort of clipping the mic on to the phone and then possibly using rubber bands.  However, that did not work with my Otterbox Commuter case which I love.  I didn’t want to be taking off my Otterbox every time…

I kept researching, and I couldn’t find much in the way of external mics for the Iphone X / 8 / 8 plus.  Or at least ones that were less than $150 (and I wanted much less than that).  My only conclusion is that the manufacturers have not really caught up to the lack of headphone jack yet.

So I found another highly rated directional mic for about the same price as the Rode VideoMic Me, the Comica CVM-VSO8 Condenser Directional Shotgun Microphone.  It looked like it might have a little more of an ability to clip on to my phone / Otterbox setup.  But sure enough when that one came, I wasn’t comfortable with that one either.  I was worried I was bending the actual jack, and it still wasn’t staying on well.

 

                  Comica CVM-VSO8

After literally hours of research and two Amazon returns, I finally found the solution in the combination of the Saramonic Mini Smartmic Directional for Smartphones + the Movo Lightning Cable Dongle Adapter Clip + the Lightning to 3.5mm Headphone Jack Adapter.

The new phones typically come with the lightning to 3.5mm adapter, but only one of them.  I wanted to have a dedicated adapter for my setup so I was never caught without it.

Then the Movo Lightning Dongle Adapter Clip allows the adapter jack to be held firmly in place AND face the correct direction to pick up sound.

Then the Saramonic mic, with its ability to swivel and adjust where the mic is pointed (something Rode and Comica couldn’t do), you can get a simple mic that is structurally attached to the phone AND pointed in the correct direction.  Total cost of this set up is less than $50, and really only $30 if you don’t need an extra lightning to headphone jack adapter.

Here is a picture of the final setup.