Last Updated on 01/11/2013 by Chris Gampat
At CES 2013 Røde Microphones has announced a new product clearly targeted towards users of HDSLRs looking for a compact option for field recording. It is capable of 24-Bit/96K recording quality, and it’s called the iXY Stereo Microphone and it’s got some great features in my opinion, but also a few setbacks.
Rode has created a really cool option for those of us that use DSLRs for video work but don’t necessarily want to carry a ton of extra equipment. The iXY will plug directly into the dock connector of your favorite iOS device. At present, the iPhone 5 or newer iPads with the Lightning connector will not work with the iXY, though Røde has another version in the works to address that.
Here’s what Røde has to say:
The RØDE iXY is the ultimate recording microphone for iPhone® or iPad.
With up to 24-bit/96k* recording and on-board high-fidelity A/D conversion, your iXY recordings are rich, smooth and accurate.
At the heart of the iXY is a matched pair of ½” cardioid condenser capsules, fixed in a perfect 90 degree ‘near-coincident’ alignment.
This results in immersive and true-to-life stereo recordings, captured in incredibly high detail.
The iXY is supplied with a foam windshield for outdoor recording as well as a reinforced protective zip case to ensure your iXY is available whenever you need it.
For more information and to hear audio samples visit www.ixymic.com.
The iXY is compatible with iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPad (3rd generation), iPad 2 & iPad.
Introducing RØDE iXY stereo microphone for iPhone and iPad from RØDE Microphones on Vimeo.
Feature-wise the iXY is going to provide a significantly higher sound quality than what comes straight off your iPhone while still remaining very compact. I could see this being very handy mounted on top of my trusty 5DmkII bodies. To fully utilize the iXY mic it is recommended that you will need to use the RØDE Rec or RØDE Rec LE app to get 24/96 quality. The other neat thing is that because it goes through the dock connector, that leaves your headphone port free to use for monitoring while recording. The preliminary sound samples on Røde’s website sound pretty good so far, but I would need to hear more and do my own tests as well to formulate a full opinion on the mic.
Unfortunately, all is not perfect with this attachment and I can spot a couple of warts worth mentioning. Mainly, this is a brand new product being designed for now outdated iOS devices, naturally this is not a problem for the scores of people that still use the iPhone 4/4s, but for those of us that have new devices we will have to wait. If you happen to have a mix of devices with the 30-Pin Dock Connector and the new Lightning Connector you can purchase one now and pay an additional $99 once the Lightning Connector version once it is available (as long as you register the product within 30 days of purchase). Once they do produce the Lightning Connector version I am not sure how they will address headphone monitoring as the iPhone 5 has the headphone port on the bottom of the device, though I am sure they will think of something. The only other downside I can think of is that there is no way to attach additional microphones externally, so this kind of setup can’t completely replace something like the Zoom H4n for audio recording with multiple microphones.
Overall I think this is a neat attachment for the iPhone, and it really shows you the power of these mobile devices that we all carry around in our pockets. I hope to get my hands on one at some point so I can do a review for you guys.
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