How To Connect An External Microphone To A Smartphone

How To Connect An External Microphone To A Smartphone

External microphones are better in quality than your smartphone’s internal mic. Thus you will record your vocals more naturally if you use an external microphone. Unfortunately connecting an external microphone to a smartphone is no easy task these days.

Some of you might say that you can simply use a USB mic with your android device through a USB to 3.5 mm adapter. It’s been relatively easy to utilize an external microphone with your Android smartphone.

You only had to plug one into your headphone port. But now, that the 3.5mm jack is on the road to extinction, what are your alternatives if you want to use an external microphone using your Android phone?

There are basically four ways to connect your smartphone to an external mic:

  • Bluetooth
  • TRRS jack
  • TRRS wireless connection
  • Phone Charging port

Let’s cover each of them below.

Connecting Via Bluetooth

Bluetooth technology has been there on mobile devices since 2001 and has improved considerably since then. Now, Bluetooth is available on every smartphone.

Bluetooth is a simple wireless communication protocol designed to transfer data and signals across short distances through short-wavelength UHF radio waves (2.400 to 2.485 GHz). Bluetooth mics function like any other wireless system: with a transmitter (part of the mic) and a recipient (present in your mobile as part of a chip).

You can easily connect your external Bluetooth mic to a smartphone using the steps below:

  • Switch Bluetooth microphone on
  • Open your phone’s Bluetooth options and make sure the phone can be detected
  • If the devices are within range, the microphone should appear as a device on screen
  • To connect the smartphone, click on the microphone under the Bluetooth device list

XLR-Bluetooth Adapter

If you are looking to connect a professional-level microphone to your smartphone, it will most likely only have an XLR out. That means you need an adapter to convert the XLR signals into Bluetooth form so that they can be wirelessly emitted to your smartphone, which can then pick up the signal and record/play it as you require.

Now, most XLR to Bluetooth adapters will not provide phantom power to your mic, so it’s better to use Passive dynamic mics for this method.

To connect your XLR mic to your smartphone, simply plug in the Bluetooth adapter, switch on the mic and then follow the exact same steps that you followed for connecting a Bluetooth mic in the previous section.

Connecting Directly Via TRRS Headphone Jack

TRRS jack
TRRS Headphone Jack

What Are TS And TRRS, And Where Are They Used?

These letters relate to the many types of connectors or plugs transmitting audio signals between devices. You are at the ultimate end of every few headphones or earbuds you have ever had, and when you’re going to listen to something on the cables, you connect to your phone, speakers, or computers.

A TS plug has a tip (T), a sleeve (S), and no rings. It is mainly used with unmatched mono-signals or signals generated from an audio channel since it only has two contact points. TS connectors are often used to attach a guitar to an amp interface or audio interface.

A TRS plug consists of one tip (T), one ring, and one sleeve (S), and the two black bands around it may be identified. TRS plugs contain three stereo or balanced signaling connections. The tip is the correct audio output, and the right audio output is transmitted through the ring.

The TRS connector can be used exclusively for either the input or the audio stereo, not both. For these reasons, it is often used to distinguish between audio and microphone input for headphones utilizing this type of connector, equipped with two pink and green colors.

A TRRS plug has one tip (T), two rings (RR), and one sleeve (S); its three black belts identify it. The connector contains four connections that transfer the audio, microphone, and video signals for stereo.

This type of connector is widely used with the help of both stereo audio and microphone on cellphones, camcorders, tablet devices, and other similar smart gadgets with an integrated jack.

Why Is It Good To Know That?

Understanding TS, TRS, and TRRS plug functions and differences are the stages to understand how effectively you operate with other types of sockets. Most of us assume all audio jacks are the same and that with any jack, you can use any audio plug. This can, however, impair the quality of the sound and even harm your device.

Here are some TS, TRS, and TRRS plug compatibility guidelines:

TRS substitution with TS: It is not advised to use the TS cable on a TRS socket since the audio channel is usually grounded with the other ring on the TRS connector. As so, one audio track is lost, and the audio output is decreased.

Replace TS with TRS. You will still receive an unbalanced signal if you attempt using a balanced TRS plug for unbalanced input and output of the movement.

TRRS substitute: Typically, a TRRS plug can be used instead of a TRS plug, but as an additional ring has not supplemented the socket, it will only maintain the audio signal rather than the mobile.

Connecting your Mic to your smartphone

Most smartphones have a TRRS jack, meant for headphones, not mics. However, you can use a headset splitter to adapt your TS or TRS mic connector to work with the TRRS jack on your smartphone.


TRRS mics let you bypass all the shenanigans of TRRS splitters and adapters and directly connect your mic to the smartphone using its TRRS jack


Another option to use is the XLR-TRRS jack. Just like XLR-Bluetooth adapters, there are XLR-TRRS adapters also available in the market, which let you connect your professional studio mic to your smartphone using the TRRS port.

Wireless TRRS Connection

As long as you have a wireless adapter that you can connect to your smartphone using the TRRS jack, its possible to connect almost any microphone wirelessly to your smartphone.

USB microphone

Connecting Via Charger Port

Many new smartphones do not have the traditional 3.5mm jack for headphones. As a result, more and more devices linked directly via a smartphone charging connection are being launched.

Apple uses the Lightning connector for its iPhone users. Android phones use the Type-C connector for charging the device. There are mics and adapters that can connect to both Type-C and lightning ports.

Smartphone Audio Software For External Microphones

You don’t really need any additional software for external mics. Smartphones will typically activate the microphone for sound recording as soon as a proper connection is made, whichever method it is made with.

Any recording software on your phone will simply use this input because the smartphone will guide it to use this as the primary source of audio input instead of its internal mic.

Tips To Use Your Smartphone Internal Mic More Effectively

You always have a powerful video and audio recorder nearby with a smartphone in your pocket. Audio capture on your phone may let you save an interview, make an impromptu podcast, log readings worth semesters, and enhance your home films considerably. 

Bad sound quality can undermine your efforts in all these circumstances. You’ll miss words and phrases when you try to transcribe an interview. If you are in a crowd, you might get annoyed with insufficient volume or invasive background sounds.

Know Your Internal Mics Location

First of all, know where the mics of your device are. They are generally found on the bottom and through the cameras of the device. Next, ensure that the inputs are not obstructed by cases, fingers, or other paraphernalia. Remember to point them to your sound source when they’re clear.

Mind The Placement Of Your Smartphone

Be careful about the area where you record. Proper configuration may decrease interference noises such as wind noise or background jabbing. You don’t always have time to fix the region in which you want to record, but if you attempt to enhance the noises, you want to catch and dampen those you do.

Even something as easy as coming closer to your subject may make your audio a lot better than it would be remotely. Do not try to record by sitting in the 20th row when you are listening to a public speech — position yourself and your phone as close as you can to the front of the room.

Special Audio-Only Apps

Because of your phone’s hardware constraints, a specialist recording software can only accomplish things up to a certain extent. This is why the default camera app on your phone captures the sound and any other filmmaking app for video footage. However, some audio-only applications provide great sound quality choices and configurations that you may change.

On iOS, you may capture great audio using the built-in Voice Memo app and further improve it—not within the app itself. Go to Settings > Voice Memos > Audio Quality and adjust the quality to lossless rather than lossless.

For greater customization, Voice Record Pro includes a home screen (iOS, free, or $7 for an ad-free edition). To enhance your last recording fidelity, browse the gain control to keep distortion to a minimum or raise the sampling rate, bit rate, and encoding quality.

The Voice Recorder & Audio Editors are also worth mentioning (iOS only, accessible, or $5 for an extra audio-free version). It doesn’t provide you with the same output format control as Voice Record Pro, but you can use it easily and manage many records quite well. You also receive audio via the app…if you pay the upgrade charge of $5.

Another good alternative is the Recforge II, which combines human control and automated settings (Android only, accessible, and $3 ad-free version for longer recordings). By taping the menu button (three lines) on the top left and entering the Settings, you may adjust the recording format and bitrate with this program. This will also allow you to determine if the program should capture all or only one of your phone microphones. The software itself can manage the gain settings automatically. You cannot take clips longer than three minutes if you decide to make your free version. However, you have to pick them up for the upgrade.

Selecting A Good External Microphone.


You have to select one that works with your phone first. That implies it must have a Lightning connector, and it needs a USB-C port to function with most recent iPhones if you wish to operate with an up-to-date iPhone.

Check Price

While the cost of a microphone is typically a decent quality predictor, a few more elements are also important. Besides checking the price tag of a possible buy, examine your frequency response (the range of sounds he can hear) and your sample rate (the fidelity of the captured audio).


If you are recording a speaker’s voice, you should be looking for a directional microphone, which is also called a shotgun mic. This sort of recorder may be pointed towards an audio source to pick up a good pocket.

If you’re going to record sounds in a conference or a choir, the directional Mic is not required. Instead, you can use an omnidirectional mic.


So we have been able to link external micros to cellphones in several ways. Some of these techniques are clean and easy, difficult for others, and need in-line equipment and adapters. For more information read our guides on how to connect an external mic to a Chromebook, and how to connect an external microphone with an iPad Pro. To summarize what we learnt in the article, here are the four ways that we mentioned.

Bluetooth Mic

Turn on and link the Bluetooth microphone transmitter in your smartphone settings.

TRRS Wired

If the microphone is in keeping with the CTIA standard, attach the male TRRS connection to the microphone’s headphone port.

Wireless TRRS

If a 1/8″ TRRS (CTIA) connection is provided to the wireless mic receiver, put the wireless system up and connect the recipient directly to the smartphone.

USB-C and Lightning Connector

Attach the appropriate connection to the charging port of the smartphone for these microphones.

XLR: XLR (And Other Connection Type Microphones)

The XLR microphones are connected with cellphones in many ways.

Make sure you have the proper adjustments and the correct power supply and analog to digital converters if necessary.

Wrap Up

You need to get a headset or an external mic if your smartphone doesn’t have a built-in microphone. An outside microphone is a great way to get high-quality audio without a headset’s visual distraction.

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