Rode iXY stereo microphone

Looking to record better audio from an iOS device? The Rode iXY captures broadcast-quality sound, be it music or voice.

Lexy Savvides
Lexy Savvides Principal Video Producer

Lexy is an on-air presenter and award-winning producer who covers consumer tech, including the latest smartphones, wearables and emerging trends like assistive robotics. She's won two Gold Telly Awards for her video series Beta Test. Prior to her career at CNET, she was a magazine editor, radio announcer and DJ. Lexy is based in San Francisco.

First impressions

Portable audio recorders can be cumbersome tools to carry around, so Australian audio manufacturer Rode has come up with a novel solution. The iXY acts as a portable stereo microphone that connects to iOS devices (be that iPhone or iPad) to capture audio at up to 24-bit/96kHz.

Two 1/2-inch cardioid condenser capsules sit at the top of the device, at a right-angle alignment for optimum audio capture. The mic is optimised for all sorts of audio, from live recordings to spoken word, and can even be used by SLR filmmakers as an on-camera mic. Use a hotshoe attachment to mount an iPhone on top of an SLR and record better-quality sound than what is available from the camera's internal mic. Plus, the iXY also supports live monitoring.

Unfortunately, the iXY uses Apple's older 30-pin connector, rather than the newer Lightning port supported on models like the iPhone 5. Rode only cites support for the iPhone 4, 4S and iPads using the older dock connector. Rode is also releasing a dedicated app that gives control over levels, sampling rate selection, EQ effects and sharing options. The full version of the app costs AU$6.49, but a free version with a more limited feature set is also available.

Bundled with the iXY will be a foam windshield and protective casing. The iXY is currently available for pre-order on Rode's website for US$199, though the initial allocation has been sold.

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