Tech News on G4

iRig Mic Studio digital pocket-sized studio quality mic

Aug 12, 2015

By Greg Gazin - Apple Gazin' - G4 Canada

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iRig Mic StudioIK Multimedia, known for the iRIG series of hand-held and portable microphones for artists and podcasters has added yet another flavour to its line with iRig Mic Studio. It's a large-diaphragm, digital desktop condenser mic designed for iOS and Android as well as for Mac and PC. It features an ultra-compact form-factor, smaller than their other handhelds that can actually sit in the palm of your hand.

What's impressive, for it's size, is it packs a hefty 1-inch diameter condenser, back electret capsule into an ultra-compact enclosure. It's digital, so it has a built-in 24-bit audiophile-grade A/D converter offering 44.1/48kHz sample rates and a built-in low-noise, high-definition preamp all powered from whatever device you're connected to. It has the capacity and sensitivity to capture a wide range of sounds from something that's loud and proud to a soft whisper, making it very useful in a wide range of applications, including professional and broadcast quality recordings.

iRig Mic StudioOn Board Mic Controls
On the front of the mic is a gain control knob that you'd likely need your thumb to adjust and a multi-colour LED that acts as your sound level indicator. There's also a headphone volume control to adjust the output from the 3.5mm headphone port located at the rear.  IK has also opted once again as they have done with the iRig Mic HD, to include a micro-USB port on the mic's underside instead of having a built-in mic cord giving you the flexibility to connect to different devices and not worry about having to trash your mic should the cable become frayed.
What's unique for this model is it comes with an ultra-sturdy low-profile portable desktop tripod stand, which you thread the mic into and it's fully adjustable to position your mic just right.

IK Companion Apps

And like most IK Multimedia offerings, it does come with software, albeit mostly lite versions with in app upgrades available. Selections include: iRig Recorder for various platforms, VocaLive effects processor and multi-track recording app and a sing-along style app, EZ Voice for iOS and Android. It also includes the new Mic Room, a mic modeling app for iOS that can transform your mic in twenty different models including the standard Shure SM58, or and AKG C12 condenser or even an old-time classic late night radio foam capsule mic and more.

iRig Mic StudioIn The Box

In the box you do get a few extra goodies in addition to the mic and tripod stand. Yet get three cables; Micro-USB to Lightning for iOS devices; micro-USB to micro-USB OTG for Android (requires an Android 5 or Samsung Professional Audio device); and micro-USB to USB for Mac and PC.  If you have an older style 30-pin device you'll have to buy the optional micro-USB to 30-pin cable.  You also get a mic clamp, as well as a protective storage bag.

Verdict
 
I'm fairly impressed with the iRig Mic Studio and it really does fit in your palm. I'm equally amazed at the recording quality and apps like Mic Room, which can help create and recreate sound, even though there are other mics that offer a higher - up to a 192kHz-sampling rate. But to be fair, they are substantially larger, making the iRig Mic Studio ideal to carry around. Beyond sound, the quality extends the entire unit even the collapsible metal mini-tripod desktop stand.

iRig Mic StudioThe onboard controls are also a bonus. It is important to note that iRig Mic Studio is designed to flourish and outperform expectations within the IK sound ecosystem; ie: with apps previously mentioned and even other AudioBus compliant apps like GarageBand. With that said, in some applications like GarageBand, I did encounter some latency while monitoring via the built-in headphone jack. Furthermore, with apps, like Soundforge's Audacity for Mac or Call Recorder for Skype by Ecamm, the latter I often use for podcast interviews, I was unable to get the monitoring feature to function at all. I suspect that unlike other mics where the feature appears to be a hardware pass-thru; the iRig Mic Studio requires specific hardware and software interoperability to perform that function at the highest level. Besides that minor detail the iRig Mic Studio does truly perform as advertised.

iRig Mic Studio comes in silver or black and retails for $179.99 US.  It's available directly from IK Multimedia, Amazon.com and Shop.CA.

Rating: 4.5 / 5

Greg Gazin can be reached at  gadgetguy "at" telus "dot" net , GadgetGreg.com , or on Twitter @GadgetGreg

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