New iRig audio gadgets for iPhone-toting podcasters and YouTubers

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IRig stream podcasting setup
The new iRig gear makes podcasting portable.
Photo: IK Multimedia

A new batch of iRig accessories from IK Multimedia should make life easier for podcasters and YouTubers who produce on their iPads or iPhones. The gear looks pretty sweet, and — if my experience is anything to go by — it should be well-built, and sound great, too.

Let’s take a look at the new IK Multimedia gadgets.

There are three new iRig microphones, and a new gadget called the iRig Stream. For details on all of them, check out IK Multimedia’s blog post. Today we’ll check out the most interesting-looking mic — the iRig Mic Cast HD — and the iRig Stream.

The iRig Stream

Getting audio into your iPhone or iPad is straightforward, but you need the right dongles. The iRig Stream is a very specialized dongle. It plugs into the Lightning or USB-C port of your device, and then you plug your audio gear into the iRig Stream. The gadget packs two RCA plugs for this purpose — the same kind of plugs on the back of your stereo.

The iRig Stream is small, and sounds very handy.
Small, and very handy.
Photo: IK Multimedia

If you want to use big, fancy XLR-connected microphones, these need to be fed to a separate mixer first. On the other hand, the inputs are line-level, so you can hook up keyboards, drum machines, and anything else.

There is also a small jack socket on the side to plug in a headset: that is, headphones with a built-in mic.

The unit is really set up for making audio for social media. A “Loopback” function lets you take any music that is playing on your iPhone or iPad, and send it back to your recording app. That’s good for soundtracks, and it overcomes a significant iOS limitation. In fact, depending on how it is implemented, you may even be able to use this to record a Skype conversation on your iPhone.

The iRig Stream will cost $99.

The iRig Mic Cast HD

The other new product I like is the iRig Mic Cast HD. This little external mic sticks onto your iPhone or iPad, and lets you record great audio on top of your videos. If you connect any compatible microphone to an iOS device, the video app will switch over to use it automatically.

iRig Mic Cast HD is a snap-on, high-quality mic.
A snap-on high-quality mic.
Photo: IK Multimedia

The Mic Cast HD brings some excellent extra features. For instance, it can record from both front and back. So, if you use iOS 13 and a fancy video app that can record from both cameras simultaneously, adding Mic Cast HD could give you the perfect setup for one-on-one interviews, with consistent sound for both sides.

The mic snaps onto the iPhone using magnets, and connects via cable. Mic Cast HD comes with USB-C, Lightning and micro-USB cables, as well as a windscreen. Finally, the gadget gives you a headphone jack for listening in. You can either monitor the audio coming directly from the mic, or after it has been processed by any apps you’re using.

The iRig Mic Cast HD will cost $99.

New iRig audio gadgets

Both these devices are available for preorder. I’m very interested in the little iRig Stream. If it can record incoming Skype and FaceTime calls, it’s a complete game-changer for mobile podcasting.