MicW i825 / i855 micro lavalier mic for iOS test results

UPDATE:

This clip is recorded with the MicW i855

And this one is from the Audio Technica Atr3350 with the 4pole-3pole adapter cable from Diffcase

 


MicW.

A quick recap:

I was very excited when I read the press release about the Mic W i825 Omni directional Lavalier and i855 Cardiod Lavalier mics. I ordered one of each to try out in hopeful anticipation – particularly as I was so very impressed with the i436, i456 and i266 Mics. (see blog post here) These aluminium body microphones are very robust, beautifully machined and have a great frequency response.

  

I hate to admit this but I was a bit dissapointed when I tested the i855. The mic comes in the same hard plastic case as the kit for the i436 etc but the build quality of the mic itself is nothing like its iSeries counterparts- its based on the MicW L825-Omni Lavalier Mic( L855-Cardioid Lavalier Mic ).

The cable (though Im sure it is reinforced) seems very light and brittle – you automatically handle it delicately. The four pole plug for the iPhone and the mic enclosure are both hard rubber with peculiar slidable grips (not pictured) that can be moved along the cable to make it rigid. Its very discreet and initially I though this might end up being an advantage however the real dissapointment for me was when I tested the setup with FilmicPro and a GLIF. I was expecting to get great audio – good enough for a budget MoJo kit to pick up broadcastable interviews but with an incredible small accessory pack. The test was very dissapointing – the frequency range is very mid-high with virtually no bass response. It makes male voices sound very “tinny” and unnatural. If your not intending to use your footage for broadcast the i825/i855 might be a viable solution but the response from an audio engineer I spoke to about the results was quite disparaging. I decided to test an alternative – mainly because I genuinely needed a solution. For a simple test I tried the Audio Technica ATR3350 (€35 from Thomann.de) and the Glif. For a mic that costs less than a fifth of the i855 the ATR3350 performed incredibly well – I have a concern about the battery (LR44) in relation to lifespan and also availability but other than that its robust with a 6meter cable, compared to 1.6 meter on the i855. However in order to use the ATR3350 with the iPhone you need to have a 4pole to 3pole converter cable. Im using one supplied by Diffcase.com($27)  The ONLY limitation of this is that you cannot monitor the audio while its being recorded which is a BIGGY in my opinion. To be fair the MicW does come with an adapter that allows you to connect both the i855 and a set of headphones to the iPhone. I’ll post a sample audio recording from each later today

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About vjmentor
Innovation Lead, RTÉ | VJ & MoJo (Mobile Journalism) Trainer -Circom Regional | Photographer | HDSLR shooter| Views are strictly personal, not those of my employer.

3 Responses to MicW i825 / i855 micro lavalier mic for iOS test results

  1. liz Hannaford says:

    Thanks for this useful analysis. I teach radio journalism at the University of Salford and I’m keen to get my students to experiment with their smartphones (as well as standard Marantz etc equipment). I’m interested to know if you ever reached a definitive decision on the best (omni) mic to use with an iPhone/iPad? Liz

    • vjmentor says:

      Hi Liz. I would recommend the iRig Pre as a starting point, you can use this with any XLR mic and it’s only €39 well worth it. We use the iRig mic, and the MicW i266 for stand alone applications but the iRig Pre ( or the Tascam iXZ it’s direct competitor) offer most versatility. Best Wishes, Glen

  2. Colin Berg says:

    Good review, I almost bought the MicW but I am glad I read this. Thanks.

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