The new Sennheiser ClipMic Digital is a lav for iOS that combines a high-quality Sennheiser microphone with the ease of use of your iPhone.
Sennheiser is a renowned manufacturer of microphones in the industry, with their AVX wireless mic system already a part of the arsenal of many shooters. Their new ClipMic Digital is a lavalier microphone that plugs right into your iOS device via the Apple Lightning connector, using your iPhone or iPad as both a recorder and preamp.
The Sennheiser ClipMic Digital system consists of the tried and trusted Sennheiser ME 2 lavalier capsule and an analogue-to-digital converter from Apogee, a manufacturer with a big name in the world of converters and audio interfaces. The system is hardwired, meaning it is one piece all the way from the microphone capsule to the Lightning connector – you can’t just unplug the microphone for use with your favourite wireless transmitter, for example.
The free Apogee MetaRecorder app for iOS allows you to record 24-bit, 96kHz WAV or CAF files, as well as link up to four recording iPhones and control them from a master device. It even offers Apple Watch support.
Now to discuss the big elephant in the room. Although it is handy that the ClipMic Digital lav for iOS can work via the Lightning connector, the lack of a dedicated headphone jack in more modern iPhones means that it is not possible to monitor sound. While there are Lightning splitters such as this solution from Belkin, this device is designed to be able to use headphones while simultaneously charging your iOS device, so there is no indication that you could in fact monitor audio through one Lightning port while the Sennheiser ClipMic Digital is connected to the other. Also, by the time you add a splitter like this, you would be complicating what should be a sleek and simple solution. Of course, you could use the wireless Earpods or other Bluetooth headphones, but latency will probably render this solution useless but for the most simple of sound checks. So, for now it seems that this lav for iOS is best paired with the somewhat older iPhones with both a Lightning port and a headphone jack.
If you are a smartphone filmmaker, journalist or Vlogger, or if you are a DSLR/mirrorless shooter and suddenly need a third audio track — and you have a slightly older iOS device — then the Sennheiser ClipMic Digital lav for iOS could be a small, practical yet very high-quality solution to have in your arsenal.
The ClipMic Digital is available now for $199/€191. For more information, visit the product page.
Do you use your smartphone for any kind of audio-related uses in your productions? Could the Sennheiser ClipMic Digital lav microphone be for you? Let us know in the comments below.