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on January 14, 2012
I am a recording engineer in Miami. Ever since I saw the iM2 announcement on DVICE, I have been looking forward to getting my hands on one! A TEAC product. I have always had good luck with TEAC products.

That luck has run out...sort of.

The PCMRecorder, and the iM2 stereo mic intended to be used with the app, both seem like beta versions. (i.e. not ready to be sold)

The iM2 does NOT work with Garage Band. The iM2 does work with Twisted Wave...but only in an environment that has other AirPlay devices. The iM2 shows up as an AirPlay device in Twisted Wave.

Do not even think about playing back a recording while the iM2 is connected to an iOS device. It will not happen. The iM2 must be unplugged from a device before attempting playback.

The Limiter and Input Level indicators are on the BOTTOM of the device. Not the best location for them.

The iM2 came in a box that had a "Made for iPhone 4S" label on it. I will believe it when I see it. As soon as the iM2 was connected to my iPhone 4S, the 4S lost cellular signal and spent five minutes "Searching" for a signal. It only stopped searching whenIi removed the iM2. Then it immediately found a signal. That is just plain bad news. Airplane Mode looks like a good idea, if you are willing to miss calls.

The iM2 is powered by the device it is connected to. Not thrilled about that, but the iM2 draws less current than I expected it to. A definite plus.

After getting past the numerous limitations, idiosyncrasies, etc...I was finally able to record audio. I was determined that my money was not going to be wasted.

The PCMRecorder app feels minimal and obligatory. The app only uses the upper left corner of the screen on an iPad. This leaves lots of wasted screen real estate that could have been used to add functionality to improve the app. The app is NOT intuitive. It takes a bit of patience to get used to it.

Bottom line, PCMRecorder is great for adjusting the stereo input levels. Would be much better if the app had additional ways to export audio files. At present, it only supports SoundCloud. SoundCloud is nice, but the app should support AudioCopy at the very least.

I was able to achieve the best consistent results using this technique:

1. Use PCMRecorder to adjust the input levels
2. Use StudioMini XL (with the Stereo Recording switched ON!) to record
3. Use iTunes File Sharing, e-mail or a web browser to export the audio

After all is said and done, the audio quality is good. (Much better than built-in mono mic on iOS devices) But concerts sound like they were recorded in a room. I will tinker with using another app later to improve the sound.

Both the app and the iM2 could be better, but for the $73 I paid, I can live with it. It just has an awkward learning curve and the app is NOT user friendly. The hardware also has limitations. Would be great if it had it's own internal rechargeable battery.

Maybe version 2.0 will be an improvement?
1010 comments96 of 108 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 24, 2013
Lots of mixed reviews for this product and the Tascam PCM Recorder Software so I thought I would set a few things straight. I am right now playing a CD I created using the IM2 and the Tascam PCM Recorder software that was recorded on my iPhone 4 with IOS 6.1.2 (so, yes, the software works fine with the most current IOS as of this writing). I recorded the Pink Floyd Immersion disc 6. It sounds great! The phone went into lock mode and it did not interrupt the recording. The sound is almost as good as the original CD.

I have the xShot iPhone case that is a hard shell case that adds the capability to connect to a standard tripod or monopod, or the xShot camera extender. If you use a case you need an extension cable or the IM2 will not fit as it has to either be snug with the iPhone or on an extension cable. I bought a generic extension cable from the Cellphoneshop.com but it did not fit in the narrow opening of the case. After much research I bought the Cablejive dock xtender cable available here through Amazon. Make sure you get the "premium" version with 2-tier shielding (read some reviews where lack of shielding the audio seemed to be a problem with cheap extender cables, resulting in humming). Either way, if you use a case you will need a slim fit cable, so don't waste money like I did at the Cellphoneshop.

I connected my phone to a mini tripod and "connected" the IM2 to the phone using Scotch Adhesive Putty that is typically used for mounting posters to walls, that you can buy at any office supply store. The putty holds it firmly in place and allows proper orientation so you can record video with the mic properly oriented on the long end of the phone verus out of the 30 pin connector side which would have it sideways for video. The putty comes off the iPhone and the IM2 cleanly and leaves no sticky residue. I also considered using velcro which I may use for other appications. You can buy velcro at any office supply store, it comes with both sides necessary for holding in place on adhesive stickers. I prefer the putty because you can remove it with no sticky residue.

I had a problem getting the Tascam app set to stereo. I had to remove the xtender cable and reinsert it twice before the app recognized it and allowed me to switch to stereo. That's annoying, but no deal breaker for me. I had to turn up the level switch on the side of the IM2 all the way by turning it downward (yes, that is counterintuitive, you would think turning it up would turn it up), as well as turn up the input level setting within the app all the way. I also turned off the limiter switch on the side of the IM2. These settings seem typical for this unit and something l learned reading many reviews.

My initial recording was okay, but not as high a quality as I hoped, so I turned on the EQ To Input button in the PCM Recorder settings and turned the EQ high and low all the way up. That brought in more highs and lows and resulted in a great quality recording. I will adjust the bass down a bit as I think it was just a touch bassy; so now my high EQ is at 12dB and low is at 9dB. Okay, you have to play with some settings to get the sound right for you.

Keep in mind when you record you have to hit the record button twice in the PCM Recorder app. Once puts in a hold mode and twice starts the recording. I think that confuses people too...doesn't really make sense to have to hit record twice to get it to work, but you do. It will show "mono" until the second time you hit the record button, even after you have set the unit to "stereo" but it will then switch to stereo and record in stereo; yes still confusing, but once you get past the non-user friendly aspects of the product you can achieve recording that far exceeds the internal mic (IMO).

Also note that the lock button on the screen is for locking down after you start recording so you don't accidentally hit stop. However, if you hit the lock button before you start recording it will lock you out of recording.

Another issue people seem to be having is saving the file to their computer when they sync their iPhone. Some have suggested that you can only use the Soundcloud option to access the files. This is incorrect. in iTunes you simply select your phone, choose Aps, and make the PCM Recorder software available for File sharing. Unfortunately even after saving the file to your computer you still need to go back to the App on the iPhone to delete the original file (if you are looking to keep your iPhone clean of files after you have downloaded them to your computer in order to save space on the iPhone).

Anyway, much of this information is available in the Tascam PCM Recorder software User Guide, which is available as a free PDF on the Tascam web site. I think a lot of folks either didn't know the User Guide is there or they just didn't read it. Anyway, the unit is not the easiest to use so I recommend getting the User Guide; it's only 10 simple pages.

Regarding MoviePro, which I plan on purchasing for iPhone because it has zoom controls and supports the IM2, I have a feeling, like the previous reviewer indicates, the volume of the recording there may be low, unless they have an option to increase the input limits in the software like the PCM Recorder app does. My main use the IM2 is audio recording so even if the audio is a little low in the rare cases I use this for video recording, I will live with that. Perhaps I will repost after I play with MoviePro, but for now I wanted to dispell some of the bad reviews because this unit is a steal right now for the ~$29 it is going for; get one before they discontinue it and replace with the next version for ~$100 (if that is the plan)! The audio levels using the PCM Recorder App seemed near identical to the original CD levels, once I turned up the level switch all the way, turned the input level in the app up all the way, and set the EQ settings up all the way.
66 comments53 of 58 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 8, 2012
I am a musician as well as a big fan of live music in general. I've been trying to find a simple, portable way to get video recordings with quality audio. Typically, high volume levels in live music environments cause the built-in microphones on smartphones and camcorders to overload, clip the signal, and distort the sound. I've always liked the video functionality of my iPhone (short of the audio performance obviously) so I decided to give the Tascam iM2 a try. Here's what I've found out so far:

-Physical Elements: The iM2 seems well constructed and as sturdy as you would expect from a little gadget like this. It's tiny, lightweight, and goes unnoticed in your pocket when detached from the phone. It should be understood that the mic should only be attached when in use. It is clearly not designed to be "installed". In fact, it will interfere with your iPhone's connectivity when attached. Just put it on when you're going to use it and save the wireless activity for afterwards. Also, the mic's jack connects confidently enough but understand that you will need to remove your case unless you have a thin or flexible one. I actually got a rubbery silicone case that can be pushed aside to accommodate the mic. The volume knob and limiter switch are teeny-tiny but functional.

-App Compatibility: I have only tried a few apps with this device but every one of them has recognized and utilized the iM2 as the audio input. I have successfully used "Video Camera+", "Voice Memos", "Tascam's PCM Recorder", & "GarageBand". Tascam's app is a very simple audio recorder (similar to "Voice Memos") but works just fine. I read complaints about only being able to export to SoundCloud but this is not the case. All you have to do is use iTunes when your phone is connected and go to iPhone > Apps and scroll down to the bottom. You'll see your recordings right there under "Documents" when "PCM Recorder" is selected and they can be dragged over to your Library. I also heard about issues with live audio monitoring through headphones. You have to make sure you use headphones that are NOT equipped with an in-line mic. The iPhone will prioritize that microphone over the iM2 and won't send the audio out of the headphone jack. I use my Sony studio cans and have been allowed to live monitor in "PCM Recorder" as well as "GarageBand".

-Audio Performance: I don't have to tell you that the sound quality is better than your device's built-in, miniscule, mono microphone. Of course a stereo condenser sounds better! It sounds a LOT better. You will receive a clear, crisp, and transparent signal feeding directly into your iPhone with no middleman. I've found myself having a lot of fun just repositioning it all over different rooms and hearing the differences. The crazy portability makes this experimentation a lot more feasible than dragging a mic, cable, interface, and laptop all over your house. I look forward to hearing people create fully produced songs with nothing but their phone and this mic! The challenge I did find however, with my application of recording live performances, was getting the input level correct. Because the video app has no level meter, I kind of had to guess and check results a lot because the signal certainly will clip if you have the iM2 turned up too much during a concert. I've found it easiest just to set the levels pretty low with the limiter on and end up with a low-volume audio track. Then I just put the file in iMovie and hit "normalize volume" under audio adjustments, for the whole video. This works great, just turns everything back up to where it should be in the file but with no distortion or clipping because I recorded at an appropriate level. I've now got a pretty easy way to record and process live performances with really good sound.

There are a couple of features that I would really like to see on this device (maybe they'll show up on the iM3). This is one of the very first microphones of this type for iOS devices and I imagine they'll get better and better in the next few years. I agree with others who say a line-in would be a nice addition. More than that however, I would go 5 stars all the way if there was a level meter on the front. Even a single clipping light would help but a 3-segment, green-yellow-red, level meter would make it a nearly perfect product in my opinion. Overall, this is a really great audio accessory for your phone and a solid value at <$100.
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on November 13, 2012
I won't repeat prior reviews' details except to say that I haven't had a problem with mine. What I wanted to report was that I tested the iM2 using Apple's accessory adapter with TwistedWave audio app on the new iPhone 5 and it works. When I originally asked Tascam if it worked, they simply said that they did not test it since they did not have an iPhone 5. I asked them if they considered talking to Apple to review specs and they did not reply. Losers. Anyway, I took a risk in buying the new iPhone but it panned out and I can use the iM2 again. I hope this helps you.
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on January 11, 2012
TASCAM picked the ball where BLUE microphones left off, and they really did a good job.

THE GOOD: Beyond the great good looks on this microphone you'll find outstanding digital audio quality that shows across many recording apps. I have tried it with the native TASCAM PCMRecorder you can download for free at the iTunes store. I also have tried it with the iSayWhat? app, iAudition, iPhone 4's built in recording app and even the new Blue's FiRe app with amazing results. The independently movable condenser microphones are awesome for a truly stereo experience and the input volume control is very handy and feels good in your hand.

THE BAD: As some other reviewers have said, some iPhone cases won't allow you to insert your TASCAM iM2 all the way through which could result in a loose connection, so if you have a thick case I recommend you to get the thinest you can find. Mine works just fine.

THE UGLY: Once the TASCAM iM2 is inserted into your iPhone, the earphones jack will be disabled for which you won't be able to monitor your recording in real time. Big hassle if you are a singer or voice over talent and really need to monitor what's getting into your recording. Hopefully future models will address this issue and turn the TASCAM iM2 into an even more powerful recording machine.

Over all, highly recommended.
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on December 31, 2011
I've been looking for a high quality microphone for my iPhone 4s and it has finally arrived!
Works great and I am using it with the FiRe version 2 app.
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on January 17, 2012
I do my fair share of Garageband recording and have the mobile app as well. For my computer, I have a dedicated mic which suits my needs just fine, but for my mobile devices, their built-in microphones can be a bit disappointing at times.

I ordered the TASCAM iM2 Stereo to fill in that gap between quality recordings in my mobile devices and so far I am very pleased with my purchase.

It looks a tad bit flimsy (build quality) and one might feel that it could snap in half any moment, but it actually is a pretty sturdy little fellow. In any case, once you hear its recording quality and compare it with the default one, I am sure you will be smiling.

Firstly, what I noticed in the sound quality was that apart from clarity, I could now "hear the room". To explain what I mean, the mic picks up the acoustics of the environment you are in and its actually cool to be able to hear what environment you are recording in. Also, the mic records in stere compared to the default mic which is in mono, so when you are listening to your recording via headphones, you will get a much more richer texture to your sound.

I haven't been able to test out the limiter (its a switch on the side that you can turn on/off) but the next time I'm at a concert, I will definitely do it and will report back here. For now, I tried recording strumming my guitar as loud as i could as near to the mic as possible and the recording was smooth, no jarring etc.

On the other side, there is a kind of a volume knob with 'level' printed next to it, but I haven't figured out what its for! Its definitely not the mic level because it records the same at both extremes. (Maybe mine is faulty?)

Now they claim the mic is 180 degrees. I think they should have clarified that it is on hinges and can be panned MANUALLY around 180 degrees. There is a marking on the round cylinder like head and whichever direction the marking is facing, that means the mic is facing that direction.

Lastly, I'd like to add that I carry this mic everywhere (i just slip it inside my jeans and forget about it) and I've already sat on it multiple times, dropped it, and thank god it hasn't broken yet. It doesn't feel all that big once in your pocket, and paired with the iPhone4s, which records in 1080p video, you have found it's soulmate.

Please let me know if I've made any mistakes.

Thanks for reading.

Cheers.

edit: I forgot to mention that since the mic takes the entire iPhone port, there is a mini USB port on the mic which facilitates charging of the iPhone. I wish it were MicroUSB since I have the plug, but I guess Mini USBs cables are not that hard to come by.
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on March 30, 2012
I saw a lot of negative reviews of this thing and I just wanted to set the record straight.

First off, the quality of the recording is far greater than the iPhone's internal mics. This should be a no brainer, but if you're serious about recording content onto your phone, you need this. I use it to record my band at practice and at gigs, and it's super convenient. You can easily set the input level so that it doesn't over load the mic. The mics can pivot so that you can direct them at the source, and it records in stereo, which is very cool for play back.

Uploading: this has been something that I've really had to dig to figure out. First off, you can easily pull a file off your phone into iTunes. 3 steps: plug in phone/open itunes. Go to the apps on your phone, and choose PCM app. scroll down, and you'll see your files...simply drag and drop to desktop.

It also has integration with sound cloud, but I must admit it's a bit cloogi. you can connect your page and upload files right off the phone, but in my experience it takes a long time, and rarely actually works... this might be a network issue though. Good for us though, as I can record and then "instantly" upload content for the other band members and our fans to listen to.

This thing weighs maybe 2 oz. at best, it does feel a bit rinky dink, but as long as you protect it as you would protect your phone, you'll have no problems.

This is in no way comparable to recordings from a multi-track, or a soundboard. But like most of us, you probably don't have access to either of those, and if you want a quality recording of a performance, this thing sure as hell does the trick.

If you'd like to hear a sample, you can check out my band's page I saw a lot of negative reviews of this thing and I just wanted to set the record straight.

First off, the quality of the recording is far greater than the iPhone's internal mics. This should be a no brainer, but if you're serious about recording content onto your phone, you need this. I use it to record my band at practice and at gigs, and it's super convenient. You can easily set the input level so that it doesn't over load the mic. The mics can picot so that you can direct them at the source, and it records in stereo, which is very cool for play back.

Uploading: this has been something that I've really had to dig to figure out. First off, you can easily pull a file off your phone into iTunes. 3 steps: plug in phone/open itunes. Go to the apps on your phone, and choose PCM app. scroll down, and you'll see your files...simply drag and drop to desktop.

It also has integration with sound cloud, but I must admit it's a bit cloogi. you can connect your page and upload files right off the phone, but in my experience it takes a long time, and rarely actually works... this might be a network issue though. Good for us though, as I can record and then "instantly" upload content for the other band members and our fans to listen to.

This thing weighs maybe 2 oz. at best, it does feel a bit rinky dink, but as long as you protect it as you would protect your phone, you'll have no problems.

This is in no way comparable to recordings from a multi-track, or a soundboard. But like most of us, you probably don't have access to either of those, and if you want a quality recording of a performance, this thing sure as heel does the trick.

[..]
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on November 15, 2013
Purchased from B&H. Uploaded Tascam's app into iPhone 4S and... nothing. Returned unit. Went to store again and asked seller to help me try with another unit from the rack. No luck with that one either. He thinks it may be that it's not set to work with iOS 7 yet. Will look for another model/brand.
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on January 3, 2013
The iM2 worked flawlessly the first time I plugged it in using FiRe 2 (by audiofile). Contrary to what many have said you /can/ listen to playback. Per the instructions, if you plugin your headphones (ones with NO microphone) /after/ you plugin the iM2, you can hit Play after the recording and listen to it just fine.

A few issues.
1) Their free app is worthless, don't bother. Spend the extra few bucks and get FiRe 2 - Field Recorder. I have no relation to the company but their app is fantastic and works flawlessly with the iM2.

2) You can't listen through the headphones while you record. Not a huge deal. As noted, you can hit Play after and listen to what was just recorded.

Getting the output files to your computer is listed as being a pain by some. That might be true using PCMRecorder but FiRe supports Dropbox so you can have them on your computer seconds after recording.

As far as quality I've only done a few recordings but they are significantly better than the internal mic.

I'm using an iPhone 4S.
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