Smartphones are excellent for recording quality video, but they are still lacking when it comes to sound. Shure, the microphone company, has a few solutions to make the audio recording better on the iPhone, and we've been testing out the MV88 stereo condenser microphone to see just how much better it can be.
The $150 MV88 plugs into the iPhone via the phone's Lightning jack and provides true stereo recording. You can angle the microphone's head to target your subject, and you can record with or without the included foam windscreen. It's all controlled via Shure's app, which lets you export recordings to email or Dropbox and change the polar patterns and stereo width of the recording.
We tested the MV88 in a variety of scenarios, including live video recording, in a studio, and outdoors. It certainly records true stereo separation, with both left and right channels distinguishable. Unfortunately, it's not great for live video, as we had to put the phone in airplane mode to avoid cellular interference with the microphone. Based on our experience, it's worth the investment if you are a musician and want a dead simple way to record better scratch tracks while on the go.
You can hear a sample audio clip we recorded using the MV88 here: Shure MV88 sample audio
- Uses Lightning connector
- Records true stereo
- Compact size
- Phone has to be in airplane mode to avoid interference
- App is limited
Update, 4:00PM, May 2nd, 2016: An earlier version of this article said it was not possible to monitor audio while recording. That is incorrect and we have updated the article with the correct information.