The Best Equipment To Record A Podcast With An iPhone
#1 - An iPhone, obviously! The more up-to-date your iPhone is, the better. As we all know the latest models have superb audio and video quality, and this will serve you well when recording a podcast from your iPhone.
#2 - An external microphone. Although iPhone quality is impressive, if you’re going to be regularly recording from your mobile, you may want to consider investing in an external microphone.
- Studio-quality audio. An external microphone will wildly improve your podcast audio quality, meaning your final recording will sound leagues better.
- Portable. External microphones are compact and portable, so you can take them everywhere.
- Easy to use. External microphones are extremely easy to use, plugging straight into your iPhone via a lightning connector.
#3 - A podcast recording app. Although it’s possible to go old-school by using the ‘Voice Memos’ app, luckily for us, there are many podcast-specific apps available on the App Store. We’ll be outlining the best options in this article.
Best Microphones for your iPhone
A microphone for your iPhone is a sensible and long-term investment. This single piece of equipment will transform your audio quality and infinitely benefit your podcast recording.
N.B. All of the following mics are lightning port compatible (iPhone 5 and above).
These external mics plug directly into your iPhone’s lightning port, just like a charger - super simple, super effective!
Connectivity: Mounted via lightning, ‘plug and play’.
Portability: Extremely compact, pocket-friendly, and durable.
Adjustability/Mic Specs: ‘Multi-directional’, the microphone tilts, flips, and rotates so you can capture the best audio possible, and you can capture multiple audio sources.
- Windshield to protect your recording from interference.
- ShurePlus MOTIV Audio and ShurePlus MOTIV Video apps, free to download on the App Store. You can customize the performance and set up of your microphone and recording professional-level audio and video.
Things to consider:
- Most phone/tablet cases will need to be removed in order to connect the mic.
- There is considerable latency, which may impact your audio quality.
Connectivity: Mounted via lightning
Portability: Small enough to fit in your pocket!
Adjustability/Mic Specs: Two unidirectional mics in an X/Y configuration. You can adjust the mic angle from 90 degrees (for focussed recording) to 120 degrees for immersive wide-angle audio capture
- Headphone jack, which doubles as a line output, allows you to monitor your audio whilst recording
- Extended lightning connector & removable spacer means the mic is compatible with most iPhone cases
- Zoom Handy Recorder App, allows you to monitor your levels, specify your recording preferences, and record your audio
Wireless Lavalier Microphones
Lavalier mics clip straight onto your shirt. These are a good option if you’re worried about your or your guests’ mic technique. They’re also far more subtle, and less likely to intimidate guests who might suffer from stage-fright.
Connectivity: Lightning cable
Portability: Lightweight and compact
- Omnidirectional microphone which clips onto your shirt
- Powered by your iPhone, so no need to charge or use external batteries
Portability: Small enough to bring with you
- Omnidirectional microphone
- 60 meter range
- Battery powered, USB charging
- Real-time monitoring and adjustment of levels
Best Podcast Recording Apps for iOS
The day we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived! Our new app brings Riverside.fm’s widely acclaimed platform straight to your iPhone. It is the first high-quality recording platform that supports iOS devices with studio-quality recording capability!
High-quality recordings independent of your internet connection.
- Each participant is locally recorded in full HD. This means a weak or intermittent internet connection will not negatively impact your audiovisual quality. Each of you will look and sound your best in your final recording.
- Audio is saved in WAV format. These are a lossless file format, which preserves the highest audio quality.
- Video can be up to 4k. 4k means the highest & clearest resolution for your video podcast.
Note: the only limitation is your equipment - in this case, your iPhone.
Separate audio and video tracks in full HD.
- Unlike many other applications, with Riverside.fm each participant’s recording is saved as a separate track on your Riverside dashboard. This means your post-production editing capacity is unlimited.
Progressive upload means no risk of data loss. Just like our browser-based app, the iOS app progressively uploads each participant’s audiovisual tracks to the cloud server during your recording session.
- This means even if your internet cuts out or your iPhone malfunctions, you’re not vulnerable to losing your whole recording.
- You can monitor the status of your recordings and uploads during and after your session.
Note: Currently the iOS app must be in the foreground for the recording upload to be completed, so ensure your guests keep their app open even after your session ends. We’re working behind the scenes to increase functionality so your upload can be completed in the background - watch this space!
- Riverside lets you record with up to 7 guests at one time.
Optimized Guest Experience.
- Intuitive interface which is extremely user-friendly.
- No need to make an account, just download the app and join your session.
Livestream your podcast.
- Riverside.fm is optimized for several different streaming platforms, meaning you can livestream your recording session easily.
The Riverside.fm app currently only supports guest flow - with more functionality coming soon...watch this space!
- Join an existing studio/recording
- Participate in the conversation
- Record and upload your iPhone camera feed
But you cannot (yet):
- Create a recording studio
- Initiate a recording
- Control and monitor the studio and session settings
2. Podbean Podcast App
Beyond its recording capabilities, Podbean is also a podcast hosting service. This means you can upload your podcast episodes directly to their platform, as well as others such as iTunes or Google Play.
- The friendly and intuitive interface means Podbean is suitable for all users.
Add music to your recording.
- Podbean comes pre-loaded with various music tracks that you can add straight into your recording, but you can also add your own music or tracks if you’d prefer to add a personal touch.
Audio optimizing settings.
- Podbean automatically removes silences from your recording without distortion, saving you the hassle.
- The volume boost function normalizes volume levels making shows easier to listen to.
Live-cast your podcast.
- You can livestream your recording straight from the Podbean app.
Remote recording with up to 5 co-hosts and guests.
- Using the livestream function, you can record your podcast with up to 5 remote guests.
Easy podcast publication.
- Podbean is an ‘all-in-one’ platform, meaning you can record, (minimally) edit, and publish your podcast straight through their app.
Free to use.
- Although you need to pay extra for more bandwidth and storage.
- Podbean saves your recording in MP3 and M4a format. These are compressed - ‘lossy’ - file formats that sacrifice audio quality in favor of compact file size, meaning your overall podcast recording quality will suffer.
- Podbean does not locally record each participant, meaning your podcast is at the mercy of your internet connection. Any glitches or dropped signals will be reflecting in your final recording.
- If you do want local recordings, you’ll need to ask each participant to record themselves using either external hardware or software such as Quicktime, save their recording, and then upload their individual files.
Cannot record video.
- You cannot currently record video using the Podbean app, so if you want to record your participants during your session, you’ll have to set up and record a simultaneous Skype or Zoom call.
Minimal editing capacity
- Although they advertise editing capability, the in-built tools are fairly limited. You can only ‘top & tail’ your recording - meaning you can choose where it starts and ends. You can also create a fade-in or fade-out effect. However, for more advanced editing or serious interventions, you’ll need to use additional specialist software.
- No separate tracks. Your editing capabilities are also curtailed by the fact that Podbean gives you a single track recording of your podcast, meaning you’re stuck with moments where participants talk over one-another, for example.
Your guests need to make an account.
- To join your livecast and download the app, your guest needs to make an account with Podbean.
3. Spreaker Studio App
Spreaker is a one-stop shop for podcast hosting, creation, distribution and monetization.
- You can record, (minimally) edit and publish your podcast all in one place
Livestream your podcast.
- You can livestream your podcast recording straight from the Spreaker Studio app.
- Auto-duck and mic controls help you regulate and monitor your vocal and audio levels.
- When enabled, auto-ducking automatically lowers music volumes when you start speaking into your mic.
Analyze your podcast stats.
- The Spreaker app lets you monitor and analyse how your podcast is performing so you can optimise community and listener engagement.
- Spreaker saves your recordings as MP3 files. This is a compressed - ‘lossy’ - file format which compromises quality for compact size, resulting in sub-par audio.
It’s not possible to record with remote guests.
- In a COVID-19 world, remote recording is the new normal. Unfortunately, Spreaker does not have the in-built capacity to facilitate remote podcast recording.
- To record with a guest who is not in the same location as you, you have to integrate Skype - not only will each of you need a separate Skype account, but this will make your recording vulnerable to internet Interference
- Skype does not locally record each participant, which means your recording is likely to be negatively impacted by weak or dodgy internet connection.
Minimal editing capacity.
- The Spreaker editing tools are extremely limited. You cannot edit your recording other than trimming and cropping its length.
Limited storage space with the free plan.
- If you’re a prolific podcaster, it’s likely you’ll need more storage - the basic subscription starts at $6 / month.
Spotify’s free app for iOS which lets you create, record and distribute your podcast from your phone.
- As an all-inclusive service. You can record, upload and publish your episodes straight from their app to all major platforms.
- Monitor your podcast’s engagement and performance using Anchor’s insights and stats.
Jazz up your podcast with different audio.
- Anchor lets you add different types of audio to your episode such as voice messages, music, transitions, and general recordings.
Turn voice-notes into a podcast.
- Using the ‘Voice Messages’ function, you can have direct, private conversations through voice notes, and then either party can publish the audio to an episode!
- This means if you’re unable to record in real-time, you can still include your dream guest.
User-friendly and intuitive interface.
- Anchor divides your recordings into ‘building blocks’ of audio segments. These make it extremely easy to build and order your episode - simply drag and arrange in your desired order.
Remote recording with up to 4 guests.
- Using the ‘Record With Friends’ function, you can record with up to 4 remote guests at one time.
- Note - record with friends is not compatible with external microphones when used with the mobile app - so even if you wanted to, you cannot use an external mic.
Free to use!
- Free to use for everyone, making it extremely budget-friendly.
No video recording.
- You can’t currently record or publish a video podcast using the Anchor app. Even if you’ve already recorded a video podcast, you can only upload the file and Anchor will automatically convert it to audio-only format.
- The Anchor app records in M4A format instead of MP3 or even WAV - these are both compressed - ‘lossy’ - file formats, which compromise audio quality for the sake of file size.
Risk of data loss.
- Your recording is only processed and uploaded to your library once you have finished recording meaning there is a high risk of losing your material.
- The ‘Record with Friends’ function is dependent on a really stable WiFi connection- which, unfortunately, not many of us have. This means your recording is likely to be affected by glitches, interference, or lag.
Minimal Editing Capability.
- Anchor does not record each participant individually, so you’ve only got a single audio track to play with. This minimizes your post-production capabilities.
- The in-built tools are fairly limited. You cannot make edits to individual tracks. All you can do is arrange and order separate clips - note: this requires you to record each segment individually
Maximum File Size.
- Although Anchor offers unlimited free hosting - so you can upload as many files as you like - the individual file size is capped at 250 MB. This rules out bigger file (and optimised audio) formats such as WAV.
- As we all know, live streamed podcasts are extremely popular and offer an opportunity for live interaction and engagement. Unfortunately, you cannot currently live stream your podcast using Anchor.
You cannot have more than one podcast associated with your account.
- This might be a problem if you’re bursting with ideas or are a jack-of-all-trades who wants to try their hand at more than just one podcast show.
Cannot mute yourself during remote recordings.
- You cannot mute yourself during a ‘Record with Friends’ call. This means that if someone has some unexpected ambient noise, this will interfere with your whole recording.