How to Connect Your VideoMic NTG to iOS Devices, Including iPhones and iPads
The VideoMic NTG is a hugely versatile microphone. Not only is it right at home on-camera or on a boom pole, it’s also light and compact enough to use with a smartphone or tablet for run and gun filmmaking, vlogging, or even taking video calls.
The microphones in smartphones aren’t designed for high-quality audio recording and will give you average sound at best. Using an on-camera shotgun like the VideoMic NTG is the easiest way to significantly improve audio quality for any device.
Connecting the VideoMic NTG to iOS devices, including iPhones, iPads and iPods, is super easy. Below we’ll take a look at how to do it, what products you need and the awesome features this gives you access to.
How to Connect Your VideoMic NTG to iOS Devices
There are two ways to connect a VideoMic NTG to an iPhone, iPad or iPod.
First, you can use the 3.5mm output, just like you would with a DSLR camera. The VideoMic NTG even has an auto-sensing output that detects if you are connected to a camera or mobile device and switches the type of output between TRS and TRRS so you don’t need to mess around with switching cables. If your iOS device has a Lightning connector, you will need to use an Apple-certified 3.5mm to Lightning adaptor to plug your VideoMic NTG in.
The second option is to use the USB-C output. We highly recommend using this method if you want to make the most of all the features the VideoMic NTG has to offer. Note that you can only use the USB-C output if your iOS device has a Lightning connector (or a USB-C input, in the case of the iPad Pro).
To use the USB-C output to connect to a Lightning-equipped iOS device, you will need the RØDE SC15 cable. This is a Lightning Accessory Cable specifically designed for plugging MFi-certified USB-C microphones into iOS devices. At 300mm long, it’s perfect for use with the VideoMic NTG and even features a junction box that fits perfectly into the VideoMic NTG's shock mount cable management slots. You will also need to make sure that your VideoMic NTG has the latest firmware installed, which you can download here.
If you’re using an iPad Pro, which has a USB-C input, you will need to use the RØDE SC16 USB-C to USB-C cable.
What is MFi?
MFi simply stands for “Made For iPhone/iPad/iPod”. It’s an official accreditation from Apple indicating that a third-party device is a certified accessory for iPod, iPhone, or iPad. Both the SC15 and VideoMic NTG are MFi-certified products, so you can be assured they will interact seamlessly with any of your iOS devices.
Benefits of Using The USB-C Output
One of the most ingenious features of the VideoMic NTG is the USB-C output, which allows it to be used as a fully-featured USB microphone, as well as charging the internal battery.
Plugging your mic into your iOS device via USB gives you access to a host of features you can’t use with the 3.5mm output, unleashing its full potential. These include:
Headphone monitoring – Using the USB-C output frees up the 3.5mm output so you can plug your headphones in and monitor your audio while recording. You can even control the headphone volume using the variable gain control, which has more than enough output on tap for any type of headphone, even ones with very high impedance.
Two-way audio transmission – The USB-C output allows for two-way audio transmission between the microphone and your device, meaning you can use it with any video conferencing app like Zoom or Skype and your caller will be able to hear you and you will be able to hear them in your headphones.
Access to the safety channel – The safety channel is a handy feature on the VideoMic NTG that outputs a second track of audio recorded 20dB lower than the original track in case your sound source gets very loud all of the sudden and your audio distorts. This is a complete lifesaver in post-production. However, these are stereo recordings that cannot be transferred using a standard 3.5mm to Lightning adaptor, which will sum your audio into a single track. This is not an issue with the USB-C output.
High-quality audio output – Using the USB-C output utilises the VideoMic NTG’s high-quality internal 24-bit/48kHz digital audio converter for superior sound quality for your smartphone.