Can you use a lavalier mic with an iPhone?

What is a Lavalier Microphone?

A lavalier microphone, also referred to as a lapel mic or lav mic, is a small microphone that can be easily attached to a person’s clothing or body. The name “lavalier” comes from the French word for “pendant” or “necklace”, referring to the way the mic hangs around the neck. Lavalier mics are commonly used in television, theater, public speaking, and other situations where a hands-free mic is needed.

Some key benefits of lavalier microphones include:

  • Small and lightweight – easy to attach and conceal
  • Allow hands-free use for presentations, acting, etc
  • Provide clear sound pickup even when speaker moves around
  • Less obtrusive than handheld or headset mics
  • Affordable price compared to other mic options

Lavalier mics are ideal for podcasting, video interviews, lectures, theater, houses of worship, and other applications where consistent, high-quality audio pickup is needed while allowing freedom of movement. Their small size makes them easy to position optimally while keeping them hidden from view. While they may pick up some rustling noise, lavalier mics provide an excellent combination of audio quality, mobility, and subtlety.

Can You Use a Lavalier Mic with an iPhone?

Yes, it is possible to use a lavalier microphone with an iPhone with the proper adapters and cables. iPhones have changed over the years, with older models featuring a standard 3.5mm headphone jack while newer iPhones since the iPhone 7 rely solely on the Lightning port for audio output.

For iPhones with a headphone jack like the iPhone 6s and earlier, you can directly connect a 3.5mm lavalier microphone into the headphone port. Simply plug the lavalier mic directly into the iPhone’s headphone jack and you are ready to record audio.

For iPhone models without a headphone jack like the iPhone 7 and later, you will need a Lightning to 3.5mm headphone jack adapter to allow connecting a 3.5mm lavalier microphone. Apple and third-party adapters are available for this purpose. With the adapter plugged into the iPhone’s Lightning port, you can then connect the lavalier mic into the adapter.

There are also lavalier microphone models available with direct Lightning connectivity built-in without needing an adapter. These Lightning lavalier mics plug directly into the iPhone’s charging port. Overall, with the proper cabling, lavalier microphones can work with any iPhone model.

Required Adapters and Cables

To use a lavalier microphone with an iPhone, you will need the proper adapters and cables:

For newer iPhones without a headphone jack (iPhone models 7 and newer), you will need a Lightning to 3.5mm adapter to connect a lavalier mic to the Lightning port.

You will also need a 3.5mm TRS to TRRS adapter. Lavalier mics use a TRS (Tip, Ring, Sleeve) connector while iPhones expect a TRRS (Tip, Ring, Ring, Sleeve) connection for microphones, so this adapter converts between the two.

Finally, you need a lavalier microphone cable that goes from the lavalier mic to a 3.5mm TRS connector. Many lavalier mics like the Saramonics LavMicro U1A come with the appropriate cable built-in.

With these three adapters and cables, you can connect most any wired lavalier microphone to an iPhone.

Connecting a Lavalier to an iPhone

Connecting a lavalier microphone to an iPhone is a straightforward process. There are two main options for connecting the lavalier mic:

1. Using the charging port:

Many lavalier microphones designed for iPhone use, like the RØDE Lavalier GO, come with a Lightning connector that plugs directly into the charging port on the bottom of the iPhone. This gives the lavalier microphone direct access to the iPhone’s audio inputs.

Simply insert the Lightning connector into the charging port and the lavalier mic will be connected and ready to use. This is a plug-and-play method requiring no additional adapters or cables.

2. Using the headphone jack:

For lavalier mics without a Lightning connector, you can connect using the iPhone’s headphone jack. This requires a TRS to TRRS adapter like the RØDE SC4. Connect one end of the adapter to the lavalier microphone and plug the other end into the iPhone’s headphone jack.

This analog connection converts the lavalier mic’s signal for compatibility with the iPhone’s headphone input. Make sure the adapter matches the wiring configuration of your particular lavalier mic.

While the charging port method is more direct, the headphone jack gives flexibility for using different lavalier mics. Just be sure to get the proper adapter to connect your mic to the iPhone.

Setting up the iPhone Audio

To enable your iPhone to record audio through an external lavalier microphone, you need to change some settings. First, open the Settings app and go to General > Accessibility. Here, enable “External Microphone” which allows the iPhone to receive input from mics connected through the charging port or Lightning adapter (source).

Next, launch the Camera app and go to Video mode. Tap the mic icon and make sure the “External Microphone” option is selected. This routes audio recording to your connected lavalier mic instead of the built-in iPhone mics. Note that some third party camera apps like Filmic Pro have their own external mic settings that also need to be enabled.

The default iPhone Camera app provides basic audio recording capabilities with an external mic. But advanced users may want to use a third party app like FiLMiC Pro or Cinema FV-5 to access professional controls like gain adjustment, compression, and monitoring while recording audio through a lavalier mic.

Lavalier Mic Placement

Proper microphone placement is crucial for getting the best sound quality when using a lavalier mic with an iPhone. The ideal position is in the middle of the chest, around the sternum area. This provides a balance of voice proximity and natural tone.

Placing the mic too high up on the neck or face can affect the frequency response and sound too bassy. Putting it too low near the stomach may result in muffled audio. The sternum area right around the middle of the chest helps avoid these issues.

It’s also important to watch out for rustling from clothing and jewelry. Lavalier mics pick up every little sound, so try to position it where fabric won’t rub against it. Clip it on securely so it doesn’t sway and tap on buttons or chains. Move hair away from the mic as well. With proper placement that minimizes noise, the lavalier will capture clean, clear audio for phones, cameras, and other mobile devices.

Testing and Troubleshooting

Once you have everything connected, it’s important to test your lavalier mic and troubleshoot any issues before recording. Here are some tips for testing and troubleshooting your lavalier with an iPhone:

Make some test recordings with a voice recording app and play them back to check the audio quality and volume level. Speak at your normal loudness from the same distance you’ll be recording from. If the volume is too low, you may need to adjust the mic gain in your recording app or move the mic closer to your mouth.

If you hear crackling noises or clipping, the signal is too loud. Try moving the mic further from your mouth or reducing the gain. Any rustling from clothes rubbing on the mic can also be reduced by securing the mic in a different position.

Check that the mic is firmly connected at both ends of the cable. A loose connection can cause cutting in and out. Run the cable neatly without kinks which could short the wiring.

Test the mic in different positions to find the optimal placement. Generally a lavalier will sound best 4-6 inches below your mouth. Point the mic up towards your mouth slightly to focus on your voice.

If you encounter issues like a mic not turning on or not being detected, try replacing the battery, checking the cables, adapters and connections, and updating your apps and iPhone software.

Consult your mic’s manual for audio tips and run tests before any important recordings to troubleshoot any problems with your specific lavalier and setup.

Lavalier Mic Accessories

Lavalier microphones typically come with basic accessories like a mic clip and a small windscreen. However, there are additional accessories that can improve the functionality and concealment of the lavalier mic:

Mic clips securely attach the lavalier mic to clothing. The standard clip can be prone to rusting and breaking. Upgrading to a sturdier mic clip made of steel or plastic ensures a reliable connection (

Larger windscreens and “dead cats” provide more effective wind noise reduction outdoors. Foam or fur windscreens slip over the mic capsule to block gusts of air (

Mic ties and adapters allow you to securely attach the mic and wires to clothing. Small clips, magnets, or elastic bands keep the wires neat, tight, and out of view.

Concealers and skin-tone covers hide the mic and blend into skin or clothing. They prevent the lavalier from being visible on camera or distracting the wearer.

Best Lavalier Mics for iPhone

When choosing a lavalier microphone for iPhone use, there are a few top options to consider depending on your budget and audio quality needs.

For a budget-friendly wired lavalier, the Movo LV20 ( is a good choice at around $30. It comes with a TRS adapter to connect directly to an iPhone’s headphone jack and provides decent audio quality.

In the mid-range, the Rode SmartLav+ ( retails for around $80 and is known for delivering crisp, broadcast-quality sound. As an Apple MFi certified mic, it plugs right into an iPhone’s lightning port.

For a high-end wireless microphone system, the Rode Wireless Go II ( is an excellent pro-level option at around $200. It’s compact, easy to clip on, and designed specifically for mobile devices like iPhones.

Ultimately, the Rode SmartLav+ or Wireless Go II would be the best lavalier mic choices for recording professional audio directly on an iPhone. The Movo LV20 is great for casual users on a budget.

Using a Lavalier Mic with an iPhone

Using a lavalier microphone with an iPhone has several advantages over the built-in iPhone microphone. Lavalier mics are small clip-on microphones that can be easily attached to clothing near the mouth. This allows for improved sound quality by getting the microphone closer to the sound source. Some key benefits of using a lavalier mic with an iPhone include:

Better audio quality – Lavalier mics provide clearer audio by reducing background noise. The mic’s proximity to the mouth results in a stronger vocal signal compared to the iPhone’s built-in mic (Source).

More versatility – Lavalier mics allow you to move freely while recording audio or video. The mic can clip onto clothing so you don’t have to hold the iPhone close to your face (Source).

Discreet option – The small size of lavalier mics allows them to be easily hidden on clothing. This gives a more professional look compared to having to hold an iPhone (Source).

Some potential downsides to using a lavalier mic with an iPhone include having to sync and monitor another device, shorter battery life for wireless models, and monitoring audio levels. However, the sound quality improvements generally make lavalier mics worthwhile for iPhone video recording and other audio applications.

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