At CES this week RØDE announced a new product to their lineup, the iPhone-compatible iXY microphone. This miniature stereo microphone snaps into your iPhone's docking port and using RØDE's Rec app lets you capture high quality audio directly to your device.
Every year we see innovative tools emerge for a wide array of media professionals. The RØDE iXY has very clear applications across several disciplines. Many of the press images show the recorder sitting in a hot shoe mount atop a DSLR. While a handy concept for run-and-gun shoots or recording on-the-street interviews, we wish there was XLR compatibility to support professional level production. That being said, the device captures HD quality audio with a resolution of 25-Bits / 96kHz (the highest quality of any iPhone microphone available)—extremely impressive for a device that fits easily in the palm of your hand. With a sturdy carrying case that would be equally comfortable in your jacket pocket or a backpack, the iXY has enormous promise for recording lectures, concerts, interviews and seems like an exceptional tool for traveling journalists.
The quality of audio captured by the iXY is quite impressive, definitely a viable replacement for a separate device in the field. The RØDE Rec software also packs some great features including various types of compression, live input monitoring and a non-linear editing functionality. The most useful feature might be the ability to output in several of the most common formats and directly publish to Soundcloud, Dropbox or upload directly to an ftp—extremely handy if you are trying to get info back to HQ on the fly.
Several accessories are said to be in the pipeline, and an iPhone 5 upgrade is in the works. In the meantime Apple's Lightning to 30-pin adapter works like a charm. The iXY will sell for $199 from the RØDE store and ships in January 2013, the RØDE Rec app is available at the App Store.
Images by Greg Stefano