Iklip Grip and Irig Mic Studio, 2 Very Cool Tools!
When we find a company whose products seem uniformly clever and useful, we truly become fans. IK Multimedia is turning out to be one of those companies. We reviewed the iRig Mic Lav from this company, and when we road tested it, we realized just how easy, clever and user-friendly it was. It performed literally, flawlessly.
Following that, we received the iKlip Grip, a unique, multi purpose Selfie Stick, and the iRig Mic Studio, a portable studio microphone. Here are reviews of both:
The iRig iKlip Grip:
In our opinion, few products are close to perfect but the iRig IKlip Grip is one of them.
The Iklip Grip is the ultimate in selfie sticks, with a number of interesting additions. It is multi-sectional. It can be used as both a fairly long selfie stick, and as a tripod (the lowest portion of the grip folds out into three legs allowing you to set your phone on it, and put yourself and a group into the picture, powered by a bluetooth-enabled remote control). It will accommodate smart phones with or without a case with screen sizes from 3.5″ to 6″, and features also a standard mounting system for connecting small mobile video cameras like GoPro®, compact digital cameras and stand-mount audio field recorders.
The iKlip Grip extends to 17.5″ and the pivoting ball-joint attachment provides a full 90° angle adjustment plus 360° rotation capabilities of the device. This allows you to position your phone or camera just the way you want it. iKlip Grip is so easy to use, so versatile, we were wowed!
It is flawless, once you figure out the assembly instructions which aren’t well defined only in a visual instruction booklet (a text version and a video would have been helpful). Assembly should have been easy, but we found two things you should be aware of: First, the slotted piece of plastic where the pivot ball should go that holds the grip (you can just about see it in the photo above) doesn’t automatically fit. You have to put your pinkie into the bottom of that piece, and grip the lowest portion of the plastic, then thewhole bottom will come out and off, allowing the pivot ball to be dropped in, threaded end first, and then you replace the piece that you removed. Then the grip part can easily be screwed to the top.
Bluetooth shutter remote control: This makes taking your photos a snap (no pun intended). However, there’s a trick to assembling this piece as well. The second point of assembly deals with putting the batteries into the remote. You have to do this correctly or the cover won’t close and the remote won’t work. When putting batteries into the remote, contact with the battery is made via compression, which means that unless you press down hard on top of the battery and slide the plate in straight, it won’t slide in and fit. One side or the other will end up not seating properly. It took us a while to get this to fit — it should have taken seconds.
However, once you get the the iKlip Grip assembled and the bluetooth is paired (that was easy and fast), you need only put your phone in it’s adjustable grip, pivot it to the right position,set your camera app, and use the remote to take your pictures. We found that it worked flawlessly. The solid construction, held our phone securely, tripod was sturdy and very useful, especially for group photos and for videos. If you remove the grip portion you can use it with standard cameras. It is cost-effective and great for travel because disassembles. We love it!
The iRig Mic Studio:
We adored the iRig Lavalier Microphone and were excited to test the iRig Mic Studio. This is a larger but still portable, large-diaphragm digital desk microphone for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, PC and Android that fits in the palm of your hand, but delivers professional sound recording on the go. It is meant for musicians, vocalists, home producers, podcasters, broadcasters, voice-over artists and more. The idea of a studio quality microphone in a small size is delightful.
For those who need to know the specs: The iRig Mic Studio features a large 1” diameter back electret condenser capsule, a 24-bit audiophile-grade A/D converter (with 44.1/48 kHz sample rate) and a built-in low-noise high-definition preamp. These, combined with its 133dB SPL rating, allow for optimal recording at any sound pressure level — it can capture everything from the subtle and nuanced dynamics of the human voice to the full-on bombast of an amplified electric guitar, and everything in between.
For those who don’t really care about the technical specs but want to be able to record good quality sound away from the desktop, we can say that it’s a good looking microphone that delivers true quality sound in a portable package. The controls include a gain control knob and a multicolor LED level indicator. It also includes a headphone output with its own level control for onboard monitoring directly from an iRig Mic Studio app. We also liked the included, portable tabletop tripod stand. You couldn’t get this much flexibility out of most portable microphones.
Rather than worry about batteries, the unit receives power and delivers its signal over the USB cable and with the app on your phone you simply plug the microphone into either the usb connector on android or the apple connector. It also makes it easy to get much longer cables because the signal has already been amplified at the microphone, therefore noise from long microphone cables is not an issue. So when recording your next podcast, this may be the microphone for you, allowing hands free production without the clothing rustle you would get if you were using a lavaliere microphone.
While the microphone is portable, it’s a bit heavy to put in a pocket or tote, but it’s a great compact microphone. The main issue was with the apps that work with the microphone. They are a bit immature. The only way to review something you have recorded is via the monitor output on the microphone (note: this is the old-style headphone connector with one band, not two, so if the headphone or earbuds have a microphone on them, they will not work). This is anti-intuitive, one would expect to be able to playback the audio on the speaker on the phone as an option. In our tests with two android smart phones (a Samsung Note 4 and a Samsung S7 Edge) we downloaded the suggested VocaLive, an effects processor and multi-track recording app (also compatible with iRig are EZ Voice for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch and EZ Voice for Android, and iRig Recorder for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch and iRig Recorder for Android). The second non-intuitive feature is that recorded audio is “virtual” until you share it. The program does not store the audio so that you can work on it until you hit the share button and tell it to email it or send it as a text message or save it as a file. They really should have stored the audio field to an easily find-able location in storage like programs such as Smart Voice Recorder Does.
Despite the rudimentary apps for this microphone, we found it an excellent addition to our audio equipment tools as it makes doing a podcast simple withe excellent quality.
For more information and to check out lots of other nifty items from IK Multimedia, visit their web site http://www.ikmultimedia.com/