DIY LAV Mic – iPhone Earbuds

YouTube member LeftCoastInternetTV has a helpful tip about using the microphone on your hands free iPhone earbuds as a LAV mic. He goes to the extreme to actually cut off the headphone buds to minimize the footprint of the little microphone. I've seen several people covering small events with their rigged up iPhone, and this is a clever little tip from having to deal with dual audio in post. Since this is all based on hands free audio headsets, there's no reason this little tip won't work amongst all the android users out there too. It's not perfect at all, but perhaps a better audio recording app with manual levels could make things even better. [Thanks LeftCoast_TV]

Of course if you're willing to shell out a bit more cash, there's already plenty of iPhone adapters that will allow you to input standard 1/8" jack microphones like the Owle Bubo iPhone Microphone Adapter, or 1/4" jacks like the Peterson Musical Instrument Adapter Cable

13 thoughts on “DIY LAV Mic – iPhone Earbuds

  1. Nancy C.

    Thanks so much for this hack! I've been looking for a cheap alternative that I can use to record lectures when students are absent. This solution occurred to me, but I wasn't brave enough to try it. Thanks agin!

  2. Emm

    Post author

    @Joe Rodriguez - Bluetooth has a very short distance, and one small hiccup can put a major dent in your whole project. If you want to use the iPhone as a recorder, I would plug a microphone directly. I think you can find extension cables or just put it into your subjects pocket.

  3. Joe Rodriguez

    I thought it was a great idea Emm. Question, could we use any Bluetooth mic for video recording? I'm assuming we would need another video recording app. I read about the Freedom mic by Scotsche (I think that's how you spell it), which would be a great solution, however it has pretty bad reviews.

    How about a longer cable? Would an extension work or do we need to purchase/find a long iPhone headphones with mic/remote.

  4. Conrad Chu

    Another option is just using the iPhone itself upside down and in the pocket. We needed to shoot wide (50mm) with no lav mic visible, and we did some testing on the iPhone 4 mic and discovered it was amazingly clear!

    Check it out:

  5. Murad

    I don't see a reason to ruin perfectly normal headphones. WHY NOT keep the earbuds cable on? Just glue that pin to the "mic" and "hide" earbuds inside your shirt.

    This thing doesn't even deserve to be called DIY.

  6. Emm

    Post author

    @Max - The point being that you cannot plug a basic LAV into the iPhone or iPod without spending money on an adapter. The headset piece works without an adapter. I would rather use a Zoom H1 + any LAV mic, but if you're covering events with an iPhone (yes people do this), then this tip is useful to prevent sync in post. In fact you can edit with iMovie on the iPhone and upload same day (great for VBloggers). If you're not shooting video with an iPhone, then of course this is totally useless information.

  7. Chris Gallimore

    In fact. I mis-understood the application. I don't think I'd ever record audio like this though. No point.

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