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External Microphones?

Discussion in 'Android Accessories' started by maikii, Jul 26, 2013.

  1. maikii

    maikii Lurker
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    There are some external stereo microphones for IOS that plug into the headphone jack rather than the dock connector. For instance, the IK Multimedia iRig MIC Cast.

    They claim that they work on Android as well.

    Well, they may work, but do they provide better sound quality than the internal phone microphone, turning it into a decent digital recorder for music, for example? (with the right software, of course).

    My question isn't really whether those microphones are better quality than the internal microphones, as I assume they are. But does the headphone jack on Android phones (mine is the Galaxy S4) really provide the input capability for better quality sound, including in stereo?

    Of course that jack can transfer sound in both directions, headset and microphone, as it is a phone. For output, the phone provides quality stereo music output to headphones, as modern phones are also music players. However, the microphones on phone stereo headsets are generally low quality monaural microphones only suitable for phone calls, usually not better than the internal microphone, might be worse.

    So the question is--is the input function of that jack capable of providing quality stereo input, if one has a quality stereo microphone attached? (No matter how good quality the microphone is, if that jack really cannot transmit that quality sound, but reduces it to a very low resolution and frequency-reduced monaural sound, no point at all in attaching such a microphone.

    Anyone know about the input capabilities of the headphone jacks on Android phones. (If it varies from phone to phone, then how about mine, the Galaxy S4?)

    Thanks in advance for your input.
     

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  2. jonbanjo

    jonbanjo Well-Known Member
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    The only info I've found suggests Android uses a TRRS jack (like a stereo jack but with an extra connection for a mono input). Mono in itself does not mean low quality, it just means you only have one channel. I'm not sure that the Android's sound cards would be up to much though?

    I could be wrong but I rather suspect that if you really do want good quality audio recording from a portable device, you would be better off investing in a personal recorder such as a Zoom H2 or H4. Other makes include Edirol, Tacam, Alesis, etc.
     
  3. jonbanjo

    jonbanjo Well-Known Member
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    Going back to Android recording possibilities, another can be to use usb. For the fun of it, I've just ran a midi I wrote some years ago through a mixer and onto my Acer tablet using USB Audio Recorder Pro. The resulting (converted to mp3 via Audacity - the Android file was a wav) recording is here
     

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