With the various aftermarket lenses that have become available for the iPhone recently, it's easy to forget that the smartphone is capable of recording not only video, but also audio. Should you not want to be limited by its single bottom-mounted condenser mic, however, what choices are there? Well, you can play reporter and get a handheld condenser, or as of this Monday, you can now pick up TASCAM's iM2 Stereo Microphone for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.
As its full name implies, the iM2 produces a stereo signal, via two condenser mics - each one can be independently swiveled 180 degrees. It plugs into the iDevice's dock connector, taking its power from the device's battery. A USB input gives users the option of powering the phone/mic via a cable-attached computer, or using TASCAM's optional power adapter.
Because the iM2 has its own preamp (instead of just relying on the iPhone's), it can handle noise levels up to 125 decibels without distortion. It also features an audio limiter, to keep from overmodulating when subjected to sudden loud sounds. Additionally, users can manually ride their audio input levels, via a side-mounted thumbwheel control.
The iM2 Stereo Microphone is available now, for US$79. Serious iPhone shooters who don't mind parting with almost twice as much more money might also want to check out the similar-but-fancier Fostex AR-4i audio interface for iPhone 4.