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Zoom iQ5 Mid-Side Stereo Microphone for iOS
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- Refer the user manual below for troubleshooting
- Works with free Handy Recorder App as well as video camera
- Built in compressor, EQ and reverb
- Allows 90, 120, and Mid-Side recording
- Available in black or white
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Zoom iQ5 Professional Stereo Microphone for iOS
Top reviews from the United States
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When I was finished, I transferred the video to the computer. On playback, the picture was upside down. If you connect the iq5 to the iphone as the manual depicts(landscape), the L and R on the front of the mic ball are oriented correctly but your finished video will be upside down. To have a right-side-up video, the iq5 must he placed so that the L and R are reversed and upside down. The ball is adjustable, but not enough to remedy this issue. The easy fix is to use the "Zoom Handy Recorder" app. In the menu, there is a L-R swap. The device kept the swapped setting even after I rebooted the iphone.
The audio playback had great stereo sound...not a perfectly flat curve as far as I could tell, but very good. Toward the beginning, the sound was distorted, coinciding with the flashing LED when I was recording. Later in playback, the distortion was completely eliminated because I had turned down the gain during recording. The acid test for me would be recording at a loud concert. BTW, the auto setting on the gain control has a "concert" setting(accessible through the app) which might be good for concerts.
So,the iq5 is great so far. Again, can't wait to try it out at a concert! It would be nice to have a small, pocketable case for the it. The build quality is good, but the unit might break if carried around in a pants pocket unprotected.
Update 4/27/2014: Tried the iq5 at a club a couple of nights ago. It exceeded expectations. The live band's music was clean, tight and loud. The next day I transferred the video to my computer and you tube. Sounded great on computer but the real surprise was watching/listening in the home theater. Using you tube, (direct from computer would probably have been even better) the audio visual presentation was great....almost like being back in the club. Great full range sound and imaging.
Updated 8/10/2016: Still love this mic! I've used it at numerous concerts up close. Fantastic - near DVD quality sound![...]
The native app seems to be inconsistent in selecting an AAC bitrate when using the iQ5 microphone. I am seeing
200kbps AAC stereo often in my videos which actually sounds quite good. But the iOS9 native photo/video app still ignores the
audio settings you select in the Zoom app.
Note that this indeed works fine with the CableJive lightning extender which is a MUST if you have a case on your iPhone.
I still love this microphone even though the native iOS video app won't record PCM audio with it.
UPDATE 02/09/15: I confirmed with Zoom Technical Support that this device is NOT FULLY COMPATIBLE with iOS 8's native photo/video app.
I discovered that, while I was able to record uncompressed PCM/WAV audio in videos using the native iOS 7 photo/video app, this is NOT supported with Zoom iQ5 using the iOS 8 native photo/video app.
If you have iOS 8, you will find that no matter what settings you specify in Zoom iQ5, you will always get STEREO AAC 128kbps sound when using the iOS 8 native photo/video app.
While is is indeed better than the mono AAC 64kbps native to the iPhone, it is nowhere near the audio quality you'll get from PCM/WAV audio.
Workaround: Use a 3rd party video capture app (e.g. MoviePro or FilmicPro) with iOS 8and you'll be back in business recording iPhone videos with uncompressed PCM/WAV sound.
I've also found that using a 3rd party app won't require you to go into Airplane Mode to avoid recording nasty buzzing sounds from the iPhone cell connection.
Just be aware this product doesn't "just work" with the native iOS photo/video app as implied in all the Zoom marketing materials.
Original review follows:
This little device provides vastly improved audio over the standard iPhone internal microphone.
Delivers crisp stereo audio with a lot of flexibility. Works with the native video app as well as all the 3rd party video apps I tried.
Includes some preset Gain settings for quiet recordings as well as the loudest concert. Can take a full volume concert without distorting and it sounds just like being there. Good frequency range response. I also have the Zoom Q3HD and this performs just as well from an audio perspective.
The Zoom Q3HD lacks in the HD video quality department, so when combined with the iPhone's superior HD, this is a real winner.
This uses "Mid-Side" stereo recording technology which has the great advantage of enabling you to select between 90 degree and 120 degree audio stereo fields for your videos, and when used just for WAV audio recording (using the free Zoom Handy Recorder App), you can specify your desired stereo width from 90 degrees to 135 degrees after you've recorded. Very cool.
The user manual is sparse and doesn't provide much guidance on when to use the AutoGain presets.
Through trial and error I have determined that the following works great for me:
- Concert Mode: For anything LOUD (like a concert)
- Solo Mode: For everyday usage --- the best all-around generic setting for me
- Meeting Mode: For spoken word recordings
Like the Q3HD, this is very sensitive to wind which makes it frustrating to use it outdoors on a breezy day.
However, a simple and cost-effective solution is to purchase the following product from Amazon which fits on the Zoom iQ5 perfectly:
---Shure A58WS-BLK Foam Windscreen for All Shure Ball Type Microphones
- Very small form factor makes it handy to carry it around whenever you need it
- Cool aesthetically pleasing design
- Excellent audio quality
- Easy to use
- Adjustable stereo field width due to Mid-Side recording technology
- Provides 3 AutoGain settings which should work for just about any situation
- Provides ability to manually set your gain via an analog knob, along with enabling a limiter
- Rotating mic can be positioned for audio and video use (very clever solution)
- L-R assignment can be reversed to enable your choice of landscape video capture orientations
- Works with any iOS device that uses a Lightning connector
- Free iOS App available for audio recording and tweaking your settings
- Records audio in stereo WAV (16-bit, 44.1KHz) or AAC (160kbps) -- your choice
- Audio files can be shared via emailing or via integrated SoundCloud upload
- Integrated stereo audio jack for audio monitoring and playback on headphones
- Includes mini-USB port to enable iPhone charging while recording
- Overall build could be more durable; while the mic housing is a tough metal ball, the rest of the unit is plastic - not flimsy at all, but this will likely break if not kept in a protective carrying case
- Does not come with a carrying case to protect it from breakage
- Tight fit means it is not compatible with iPhone cases -- you will need your iPhone to be naked in order to use this device (or at minimum, the bottom of the iPhone must be completely naked) -- will not work with a Lightning extender adapter
- Definitely needs a windscreen for outdoor use; fortunately there is a cheap and effective solution as previously mentioned
- No low-pass filter as available on Q3HD
The pros outweigh the cons.
With this device, you can now have excellent audio to match the excellent HD video of your iOS device.
It makes a big difference in the quality of your recordings.
Top reviews from other countries
No charging cable although there is a slot for it.
Sound quality is just OK for close up. Not much improvement from built in mic and yes I used their app not just any app!
I tried to record 3 ft from the TV just for testing. It was worse than the phone built in. I checked my setting they were correctly set as per instruction!
Mic plugged in for monitoring was very clear which earned the two stars!
Can't play back unless you unplug the device completely. I don't like the idea of unplugging and re plugging it can't be good on the iPhone or iPad plug. This is one of the reasons I returned it.
If you treat it like it's made of paperthin glass than you'll be alright and it does the job well, the build quality makes it feel like an extremely cheap product.
My issue is that the connector isn't long enough to work with a case. This means I don't use it as often as I'd like to. I know that other models have a longer connector and don't understand why that isn't a universal feature. I have a LifeProof case on my iPhone 6S and there's only one extension I've been able to find that fits, which goes for $25. Irritating to say the least, were the connector longer I could at least use a different case.