IK Multimedia has made a name for itself as one of the go-to manufacturers of mobile device compatible audio equipment and software. For the most part, these are higher-end products aimed at musicians looking to record tracks or apply effects during performances. The iRig Voice, however, is aimed at and priced for girls (and boys) who just wanna have fun, as it were.
This is immediately evidenced by the iRig Voice’s design. It’s available in the colors of the iPhone 5c—yellow, green, pink, white, and blue—so it’s likely not the kind of microphone you’ll want to take onstage…unless maybe you’re in a Japanese idol band.
Considering the market is mainly at-home karaoke fans, it seems almost superfluous to provide the specs, but here they are:
- Microphone Type: condenser electret
- Polar Pattern: unidirectional/cardioid
- Frequency Response: 100 Hz – 15 kHz, -3dB
- Maximum Sound Pressure (set for high sound pressure): 105 dB
- Distortion: 3% THD at 105 dB, 1 kHz
If you’re not sure what any of that means, what it boils down to is that the sound isn’t quite up to IK Multimedia standards, but is still much better than what you’d expect to get from a $40.00 microphone.
Connection is simple enough; plug the the iRig Voice’s 1/8″ stereo jack into your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch’s headphone port and turn on the mic. The iRig Voice features a headphone-through port, so you can plug your headphones into the jack for private listening, or even run it out to an external amplifier for an evening of karaoke (or neighbor annoying).
Of course, you’re going to need a compatible app for all of this to work, and although the iRig Voice works with a host of apps, the one you’re going to want is EZ Voice. This is IK’s own app, but remember that they’re pretty much audio app specialists at this point, and from a technical standpoint, EZ Voice doesn’t disappoint…once you pay to unlock all the effects, anyway. The free version comes only with reverb, and reverb is the least fun. You can buy additional effects individually for $0.99, or you can unlock the full package for $4.99, which includes autotune, morph, choir, EQ, filter, level, chorus, and delay.
If you’re not sure what to do with these, again, you need not worry; EZ Voice also provides presets to help you achieve specific performance sounds—like Arena—and fun special effects—such as Space Alien.
Suddenly, here’s a mic and audio kit to help you out with your podcasts and radio plays…do people still record radio plays?
Unfortunately, the app isn’t the easiest to use. Although the layout is clean, there are no tutorials to help you get started; if something’s not working right, you’re pretty much on your own. This isn’t a problem for long, but the process of getting the songs from iTunes to the app, recording, discarding, recording again, and saving to SoundCloud and email will prove cumbersome at the start. I’m surprised there’s no option to save the file on iCloud or DropBox, but perhaps that can come later.
Considering the mic and full app purchase will run you only $45.00, it’s easy to recommend the iRig Voice as a fun party accessory or a gift for the children in your life who still haven’t stopped singing “Royals.” (And really, why should they?)
The mic is durable and fun to use, and the app provides a lot of impressive features…just make sure you’ve got at least one person in the room who already knows how to use it, and hope that your family and friends’ inner idol is Billy, not American.
Buy the IK Multimedia iRig Voice
Provides: Vocal input for iOS devices
Developer: IK Multimedia
Minimum Requirements: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, newer Mac models and Android devices with 1/8″ audio input
Price: $39.99 (plus $4.99 for full EZ Voice app functionality)