Mic to iPod touch, 4g?

I know the 3.5mm jack on the bottom of my iPod touch is for headphones, but I wonder if it could be used for a mic line in.

Anyone ever tried?

What does this have to do with Audacity, you ask? I normally use Audacity and a USB mic on a boom to record into my laptop when filming my ghetto short films. This is - as you might imagine - cumbersome. I’m hoping that I can use Audacity or some other mobile recorder in the above fashion, since even a crummy mic with a 3.5 jack beats the pants offa the shotgun mic on my camera.

Relevant (ish).


The connector has 3 rings . This is an external mic …

only two of these four connectors will be required for the (mono) mic.

Thank you; good to know it can work that way. Last night, I went to Stage Sound and asked if they had such a connector, but they said Radio Shack carries it (in case anyone stumbles upon this post later and wonders). I guess it’s popular for recording guitar, but should work well for micing sound for film as well. We’ll see. Inexpensive experiment, at least.

Alas, no Audacity for iPod, it seems, but I found a free app called Sound Box that can “see” the external mic.


Before we go over the edge. Guitars have a much more powerful signal than microphones. I’d be fascinated if they got both to work.

Neither one is stereo.

There is no “Mic Line-In.” Mic-In is delicate, low-level, easily overloaded, and mono. Line-In is powerful, high volume and stereo. The connections on Macs tend to be Stereo Line-In. That’s the connection with the two black arrows and circle. The audio connections on many Windows laptop machines are Mic-In, low level and mono.

There’s no shortage of postings complaining about distortion when they plug their stereo sound mixer into their Windows laptop. Some work, but that’s not normal.

And don’t fall in live with local miking the talent. It doesn’t always sound right. The grownups still do this.



@Koz - I’d still boom, but have it go into the iPod instead of my laptop. We’re not talking high-quality productions here, but I can still tell a fantastic difference between booming with a Blue Snowball on the end of a broom handle into Audacity via USB and what the shotgun mic picks up. I just don’t know if a mic with a 3.5mm connection would be worth much by comparison, but it’s pretty much no cost to try.

Blue Snowball isn’t a shotgun microphone and will pick up a huge amount of background noise. And it’s USB, so it won’t plug into the Touch.

There is one other difference between a computer Mic-In and a larger sound mixer. The computer connection also supplies battery voltage to run the microphone.

This is the simple version. I wonder if the Touch does this…



I see what they did. It’s really a Mic-In and expecting a tiny, delicate signal. What many high level adapters do is include an attenuator to reduce the volume of the show signal to one acceptable to the Touch.

I think it’s still only mono – which should be OK for what you’re doing.

I wonder who’s making a cheap shotgun…


@Koz - No, my Snowball went into a PC via USB; I’m trying to avoid lugging a computer from shoot to shoot. I have a cheapy 3.5’’ mic that I’ll try for the whole mic-in to iPod setup. Even mono should be fine for the quality of what I’m doing. Still should beat the heck outta sound from the shotgun mic on the camera itself. It’s not that it’s cheap - there’s just too much going on between the camera and the sound source, so it picks up ambient noise, etc. Doesn’t sound terrible until compared to boomed audio - even with a ghetto setup such as the Snowball or - possibly - a 3.5’’ mic into an iPod.

Thanks for the info; I didn’t know the dif between mic-in and line-in.