iXY microphone reviews:
“One glance, and you know what this is - plug it into your iPhone (or iPad or iPod Touch), and record in stereo. No cables. No external power supply. Plus, excellent quality mic capsules, and it even has its own built-in A/D converter! Simple, easy, and useful. I wanted one just from seeing this ad and imagining all the problems the iXY could solve for me.
One of the smartest things RØDE did was to design an iOS app to use with the iXY (the app will also record from the iPhone's built-in mic). The free RØDE Rec LE app can track in stereo at 24-bit, 96 kHz resolution, but the $5.99 non-LE version adds editing, extended sharing options, EQ, and compression (courtesy of the folks at iZotope [Tape Op #89, #82, #76, #65]). The metering during recording is fantastic, with a stereo bar graph across the top and a waveform image that scrolls, just like in a DAW. Tap on the mic icon to the left of the file time, and you can adjust the analog input level while watching the meters. After tracking, rotate the iPhone sideways and you enter edit mode, where you can chop up files and add fades. This could be handy while travelling or under time- crunches. How do you get the audio out of your device? It's easy, with one-touch publishing to SoundCloud, Dropbox, email (if the file's small enough), FTP, and iTunes File Sharing.
It's pretty awesome to have a quality company like RØDE design and build a mic/converter like this for use with Apple iOS devices. In the past, we've had to suffer through tech companies creating accessories like this that were always lacking in build and sound quality. Before now, I never considered using my iPhone to record a show or anything beyond a simple voice memo or a roughed-out musical idea. Now I will be carrying the iXY (in the included protective zip case) with me everywhere I go.”
- Larry Crane, Tape Op
“Build quality for the twin mic housing is durable but lightweight (just under 40g)...
The iPhone 5 and adaptor worked perfectly and proved much more secure than anticipated.
The stereo picture was very pleasing, the capsule matching and positioning well judged: the imagining - for example, from a pheasant rising and flying off a hillside - was very realistic. When tested with louder sounds - trains and traffic approaching and receding - it was pleasing to find that there was no significant drop in centre image due to sound hitting both capsules off-axis - the unpleasant 'pinched' centre image that some X-Y stereo mics suffer from.
Another bonus is the lack of handling noise, which I had expected to be worse, and which is always difficult to get rid of in post.
RØDE has recently developed a reputation for making the right tools for the job at a good price, and these two well-thought out packages won't disappoint. The iXY improves audio on the iPhone beyond what most people thought was possible.”
- Nigel Jopson, Resolution Magazine
“With the advent of iThings and apps came the expectation that pretty much anything you could run on them or plug into them would be cheap and cheerful. But to make the best possible use of their 24-bit, 96kHz recording capabilities, you need a good microphone, which is where the RØDE iXY comes in.
Built in Australia, the all-metal iXY comprises a pair of cardioid capacitor capsules in an X/Y configuration with 24-bit on-board A/D conversion, and is claimed to be the first professional-quality iOS stereo mic.
For normal speech recording and sources such as acoustic guitar, the background noise is acceptably low, so there should be no problem recording band rehersals or other loud sources.
The iXY sounds good, works as it should do, and as an alternative to buying a separate flash recorder, it makes a lot of sense.
- Paul White, Sound on Sound
“When I heard about the RØDE iXY, I was quite intrigued, yet pretty sure the product would adhere to the company’s reputation with the very first 24-bit/96kHz stereo microphone for iOS devices. As soon as I received the iXY, my first thought was that this is one sexy piece of hardware. It has a solid build and physically feels top-notch.
Developed solely for use with the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, its main advantages are the small size, portability, and sonic quality. It is the first device ever made for an iOS product capable of 24-bit/96kHz audio recordings.
The layout of the app is very simple and easy to use. The app is the brain behind the microphone, allowing you to use the microphone in a stereo or mono configuration. In a field recording, you may want to capture the master shot and the environmental audio, but in a one-on-one interview, say, the mono feature will serve you better as you would have more of a directional recording without unwanted environmental sounds.
In the new world of social media where everything is nearly instantaneous, the iXY delivers professional quality instantly. And again, I usually avoid referencing price points in reviews, but in this instance, it bears noting that the cost of this set-up is quite reasonable considering the quality and flexibility, coming in at just under the $200 mark.
Whether it’s to record song ideas, capture a one-on-one interview, or even create any type of foley or sound effects on-the-fly, the iXY is a cool little powerhouse device, and I’m sure you’ll be impressed.”
- Paul Lau, Canadian Musician
“Immediately out of the box its clear that Rode has brought the proverbial gun to a knife fight. The iXY is unquestionably one of the most professional looking iThings to plug in to the 30 pin dock of an iOS device.
The Rode iXY features twin stereo capsules in a clever X/Y stereo configuration and is housed in a rather attractive silver alloy casing. Machined allen-head screws complete with Rode’s trademark gold pickup area dot and a built-in power on indicator light fill out the look. Construction is in fact so robust that in hand it feels almost as if Rode constructed the iXY out of a solid block of aluminum. The 30 pin connector fits rather tightly into the base of your iOS device leaving little concern for getting dislodged. Along with the iXY unit comes twin foam wind screens as well as a compact hard zipped carrying case. Rode also provides a recording app – RØDE Rec – for download in the iTunes store.
I tested the iXY with a variety of sound sources from spoken voice to acoustic guitar as well as a rather loud metal concert. The iXY seemed to handle all with relative ease and had more than enough headroom to preserve the original recording without clipping or phasing issues. The noise floor was reasonably low for a field recording microphone with minimal background noise when recording in quieter settings such as acoustic guitar. However, as expected, the Rode did prefer to be as close to the source as possible especially when dealing with soft spoken tracks. Overall the iXY gives any high quality field recording array some solid competition from the standpoint of preserving the original source.
When it comes high quality field recording for iOS devices Rode brings their A-Game with the iXY. They’ve managed to package high quality hardware with a clever and complete recording application that in our opinion negates the need to carry around a separate field recording device.”
- Travis North, The Modern Vocalist
“RØDE has a knack for over-delivering. iXY is a case in point.
While for some manufacturers the iDevices are just another
opportunity to graft a few bucks from the general public with adjunct
plastic bits ’n’ bobs. RØDE has really bought into the design story of
Apple’s devices and designed an accessory that would even satisfy
Jonny Ives’ aesthetic sensibilities.
iXY turns your iPad (1st to 3rd gen), iPhone 4 or 4S, and 4th gen
iPod Touch into a 24-bit/96k-capable stereo microphone/recorder
with the help of the RØDE REC app. Unfortunately RØDE was shocked
by the same Lightning connector update as every other accessory
maker. So while we may see an iPhone 5 compatible version in the
future, this one is not. But no matter, there’s plenty of out of contract
iPhone 4’s floating about.
Up top, iXY has two 1/2-inch cardioid capsules in a 90-degree, nearcoincident
stereo setup, onboard preamp and A/D converter, all
packaged into a svelte metal unit that slips right into a 30-pin slot. It’s
When you plug iXY in, and boot RØDE REC, you can choose any
sample rate from 8-96k. And as well as stereo recording, can use
either mic in mono if you’re doing some voiceover work on the fly, or
even sum the stereo pair to mono.
The real magic is in the RØDE REC app, which slaps DAW functionality
into a phone-sized touchscreen. After you’re done recording, flip
the phone on its side and with your finger, you can fade in/out, adjust
the curve of the fades, pinch to zoom, adjust region lengths, change
gain or normalise a selection, slice or create a region, move it, copy it,
do just about anything with it.
Once your track is manipulated into place, you can fill out metadata
for AIFF, WAVE, Broadcast WAVE, CAF, Ogg Vorbis, iXML, Radio
Traffic and Soundcloud. Use some compression, expansion and EQ,
adjust playback speed, and share it straight to Soundcloud, link to
Dropbox, FTP it, email it, share it via iTunes, or even access it via
a web browser.
The manipulation doesn’t stop there, one of the most useful features
of RØDE REC is the ability to import ‘bumpers’ into the app via iTunes
file sharing. Handy if you’re live podcasting and need to get your show
online asap. Just add your pre-recorded show intro and it’s ready
to go. You can also use the bumpers feature to add iXY recordings
together in the app.
The combo of iXY and RØDE REC is far more formidable than a
phone ‘accessory’ and an app should be. Not to mention it comes in a
miniature moulded, zip-up case you can carabiner to your key chain,
and a custom windsock. RØDE’s on a winner with these two.
- Mark Davie, Audio Technology Magazine