Sound quality is quite the hot topic in digital music these days, from Dr. Dre’s Beats headphones to Neil Young’s upcoming high-quality Pono music format. From the looks of things, music fans are (finally?) getting a little more picky about how their music sounds.
The recording end of the equation is getting the same treatment, with the emergence of the first microphone capable of recording 24-bit 96 KHz audio — that’s better than CD quality, let alone MP3 — to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.
This first-of-its-kind microphone for iOS is called the RØDE iXY.
In order for it to work, iOS users will need two things: the mic itself, and the RØDE Rec recording app (or the free light version). With that hardware and app running on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you’ll be able to capture stereo sound (thus “XY,” to represent the two axes the mics are facing) at better than CD quality. Whatever you do after that is your business, but at least you know you’ll be starting with the best (or at least highest-resolution) sound that an iOS device can record.
For audio recordists, podcasters, people in bands, and extreme PhotoBlabbers, this set-up could be remarkably appealing. You can buy a foam windscreen, control the gain level, and even attach the whole iPhone-with-mic to the top of a camera to capture high-quality sound to go with your videos.
Meanwhile, the app can upload stuff straight to FTP or SoundCloud. It’s hard to imagine what could be missing from this thing.
If only the consumer electronics industry would get to work on a module like this, 24-bit audio would get even more real on the iPhone.
Now for the bad news: This microphone costs $200, which could be as much as you paid for the thing you’re attaching it to. If you’re feeling lucky, enter this contest to win one for free.