With the Røde iXLR I want to test to what extent professional audio recordings can be created with the iPhone or an iPad for film, TV or videos. This in my capacity as sound expert and exclusively for Filmpuls.
In my third test I have again chosen a candidate from the manufacturer Røde. Not because I’m getting anything in return from anyone, but because it’s imposing. Røde specializes in software (apps) and microphones for the iPhone. That’s why I expect better results here than if I would test any unknown manufacturer from a banana republic. But sure: whoever has a secret tip for me and knows the ultimate, still unknown mic, tell us in the comments.
As always, the article ends with the original audio files from the test and the already familiar infographic for readers who are in a hurry and want to skip the details and learnings.
Røde iXLR: Practice test for iPhone and iPad
For those who do not want to do without their favorite microphones, but want to record via smartphone / tablet, such a part as the Røde iXLR is exactly the right choice. As the name suggests, it combines XLR and TRRS.
So now you can connect your Sure SM7B and Neumann U67 directly to your iPhones and iPads via Røde iXLR. Sounds like blasphemy, I know. But don’t worry, there’s no law in the world that says you can’t. Just take a deep breath and hit the record button!
Test-Ergebnis: Røde iXLR
- Combines XLR and TRRS
- With headphone input
- Case is easy to transport
- reproduces rooms well in terms of sound
- perfect for Off as well as ADR-/Foley-Sessions
- Plastic housing of the iXLR looks cheap
- Volume control functioned only limited
- App: only free LE version, Pro version is chargeable
- Bit depth of the Røde app is 24 and cannot be changed in the LE version
The plastic case of the Røde iXLR seems a bit ragged. Something more solid would literally add weight to the device. However, it is reliable in use and it has a headphone input. So you don’t need an additional headphone input in hardware form (SC6 adapter). The plugs also snap audibly into the socket and do not wobble, but sit tight.
At Light + Byte, I did the test on various Sennheiser and Røde microphones in shotgun format.
Since XLR is still the standard in the transmission of analog mono signals, I would also like to use this part for music and voice recordings. For example, connect a Shure SM57 to it to record electric guitars. Unfortunately I didn’t have the mentioned Alphamiks from Shure, AKG or Neumann at hand.
Note: The volume control, which is located on the Røde iXLR housing, controls the volume to the headphones, but does not affect the input signal. This must be configured as usual in the app itself.
The Røde iXLR case is of course very easy to transport. Therefore it is perfectly suitable as part of a mobile equipment (like all the equipment presented here, by the way). The same volume control can also be used as a trigger to start or stop a recording. However, this feature didn’t really want to work.
Sound Files: Røde iXLR
All sound samples have not been post-processed in any way. All files were uploaded directly to Soundcloud as original .wav files.
Røde iXLR, test configuration: Røde NTG2 via iXLR on iPhone X with Røde LE app. Voice recording in a reverberant room. The level in this example is at the maximum, but almost too much of a good thing. A little less level would have done the trick. Original recording format: *.wav
Røde iXLR, test configuration: Sennheiser MKE600 via iXLR on iPhone X and Røde LE app. Voice recording in the same reverberant room, but with a bit less level. Original recording format: *.wav
Despite the plastic construction of the case, the iXLR does its job very well. The voice recordings from the audio examples are from a larger room, with bare walls and floors, and are therefore very reverberant. However, the sound of the room was super. My voice definitely comes across as extremely detailed and across the spectrum.
Rating Microphone Test Røde iXLR
If I had to record an off-voice or record an ADR/Foley session, the Røde iXLR would be my first choice. Sure, the reverberant room used in the examples would be far from optimal. But if the location and the choice of voices are right, then go for it with your favourite microphones.
In the next, sixth, article, I test the last of a total of four mics along with their software / apps. A compilation of all tested microphones can be found in the last, seventh part of the article series on iPhone sound recording, which also deals with file sharing (backups!) and presents my personal conclusion to the test series.
The series of articles on sound recording with iPhone and tablets
All about sound recording with iPhone and tablets:
- Sound recording with iPhone or iPad: the ultimate guide
- Microphones for iPhone and tablets: The best apps for you in a practical test
- Røde SmartLav+ Microphone: Test for iPhone and iPad
- Røde VideoMicro in the expert test
- Røde iXLR for iPhone: Practical test (this article)
- Zoom iQ6: Microphone for iPhone in test
- The best microphones for recording sound with your iPhone or iPad
Do you have any input? We’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments section!
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