Record to Any Android App with an XLR Microphone

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Want to record to an Android app with something a little better than your phone’s built in microphone? Do you want to use an XLR microphone that rejects more background noise and focuses on the sounds that you want recorded?


Unfortunately, most Android devices don’t come with an XLR jack for you to plug in your professional XLR microphone. Most Android devices do, however, have a TRRS jack.
TRRS is a 4-contact version of the common 3.5mm stereo headphone jack. The extra contact allows a microphone input to be included. Do you want to use an XLR microphone that rejects more background noise and focuses on the sounds that you want recorded?

One of the simplest ways to record to any Android app using an XLR microphone is to use an XLR to TRRS adapter. Personally, I prefer an adapter that also has a jack for me to plug in a pair of headphones as well. You can purchase these adapters on Ebay or Amazon, but http://www.kvconnection.com/ has a fantastic selection with great explanations.

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Devices used in the following tests:

The first clip was recorded directly to the SoundCloud app through it’s recording interface:

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Here is the result:

 

Next I recorded using the Audio Evolution Mobile App:

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Here are the results:

In conclusion, the TRRS adapter is a great way to record to a wide selection of Android apps while using a high-quality XLR microphone. The previously mentioned method of recording via a USB interface would also work for getting audio from an XLR microphone into your Android device, but it only works with one, very simple app. The TRRS adapter allows the XLR microphone to be used universally as the primary microphone for the entire device. If you are looking for a simple way to universally record to most Android apps with an XLR microphone, look no further than the simple, but effective TRRS to XLR adapter.

10 thoughts on “Record to Any Android App with an XLR Microphone

  1. Dave Trimble

    “Rooted”… what an aggravating word.

    Is it possible to record using an external mic on an unrooted Nexus 7?

    Reply
    1. Rob Robideau Post author

      Dave, It is NOT possible to record to a Nexus 7 via a TRRS adapter as mentioned in this article. The Nexus 7 audio jack does not support the microphone input. This is a hardware limitation and is not affected by rooting your device.

      BTW, I happen to think that “rooted” is a wonderful word that has opened up a lot of doors for what my devices are able to do. I do, however, understand that you are frustrated that you don’t have the exact same device configuration that I am testing with. If you have an extra couple hundred dollars, feel free to ship me an extra, stock Nexus 7 to do the tests on for you. :-)

      Reply
    1. Rob Robideau Post author

      Jeff, I tried to record via an XLR dynamic mic(Heil PR-40) into the TRRS jack on my Samsung Galaxy S3, but the sound was VERY faint. I need to get an adapter first, but I will try it again later with an amplifier between the Microphone and the TRRS jack to see how it turns out.

      Reply
      1. Graham

        I am having the same problem with a very faint recording using an XLR microphone through a commercial converter to my Samsung S2. I’ve tried the same set up with my Motorola Xoom and it works perfectly.

        Cheers
        Graham

        Reply
  2. Ed Janus

    This is a wonderful service but may I ask a question: I want to record using an external mic to my Android Gingerbread phone. Do you know what apps or app will allow this? I had a phone before with a higher level operation system by (don’t ask) got a different phone. the app I had been using, Easy Voice, which worked wonderfully before, now will not record except with a high hiss. Can you help? Thanks, ed Janus

    Reply
  3. Abishek

    So does your Samsung Galaxy take any external mic with a 3.5mm adapter? Because iPhones don’t, you need another 3.5mm to 3.5mm adapter.

    Reply
  4. Jeff ang

    Hi, does it work if I’m using the XLR adapter with my phantom power mic to plug into my S4 phone? I got a Audio Technica phantom power mic which I still haven’t figure how to use… please help… thank you!

    Reply

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