Portable Microphones for Singers and Guitarists Who Quickly Want to Record an Idea

Shannon Lauren Callihan

Top Portable Microphones for Singers and Guitarists Who Want to Quickly Record an Idea

All songwriters and musicians will have “striking moments” of inspiration, and usually be in a spot where they either can’t record until they get home, or don’t have the easiest situation to be able to record the melody or lyrics they have inside their heads – while the ideas are still fresh. There is literally nothing worse than having a hit song or guitar riff in your head, and then finally get home hours later to have forgotten the melody or the lyrics!!! In an attempt to alleviate these horrible situations moving forward, we’d love to share with you our favorite portable microphones that are affordable, super simple to set up, can be used with just about anything, or to be very specific – your iPhone, Android, tablet or laptop computer – and won’t dilute your creative spark! Here is our list of top portable microphones to quickly record an idea with.


iRig Mic Studio

IK Multimedia’s iRig Mic Studio $149 US

Don’t let the low price tag fool you, the iRig Mic Studio is one of the most sensitive mics out on the market, and was designed to work with your iPhone, Android, Mac and PC. Yes, the best situation to use this large-diaphragm condenser mic would be in a closed studio environment, like a bedroom, but as long as the iRig Mic Studio has a solid place to sit, it’s ready to record in high-quality, 24-bit/up-to-48kHz audio. So whether you are solo and recording a guitar melody with your vocals, or you’re out at the park interviewing another musician for your podcast or YouTube vlog, the iRig Mic Studio will connect to whatever phone you’re using, and will work with any app or DAW that will accept an audio input. The iRig Mic Studio also has a monitoring output – a 1/8 inch headphone output, so you can monitor while you are recording. The iRig Mic Studio also includes a tripod tabletop stand, plus a mic clamp for use with a standard mic stand, and a carrying pouch.



iRig Mic 2 Handheld USB/iOS Condenser MicrophoneIK Multimedia iRig Mic HD 2 Handheld iOS/USB Microphone $99 US

The IK Multimedia iRig Mic HD 2 offers high-definition 24-bit recording with up to 96kHz sampling rate in a convenient, portable, handheld design. The iRig Mic HD 2 has a built-in headphone output and volume control for capturing vocals and music, broadcasting, podcasting, live streaming, and more. The headphone output is great for monitoring in all types of recording situations.  Recording is quick and easy, thanks to the iRig Mic HD 2’s simple plug-and-play operation. And thanks to the inclusion of Lightning and USB cables, as well as a mic clip, travel pouch, and tabletop tripod, this microphone is ready for all travel and desktop recording situations – so you’re ready to record whenever inspiration strikes!




iRig Mic Cast HDIK Multimedia iRig Mic Cast HD iOS Microphone $99 US

Are you strictly an iPhone or iPad user, we understand…once you go Mac, you never go back! The IK Multimedia iRig Mic Cast HD is the easy way to inject full 24-bit/96kHz audio into your iOS device. Tailor-made for on-the-go music demos and interviews, this streamlined tool mounts directly to your device magnetically for stand-mounted or handheld operation. And when you’re finished, you can slip it easily into your jeans pocket. You also get switchable front, rear, and bi-directional patterns, enabling you to orient sound pickup towards front – and rear-facing cameras on the fly. What’s more, its headphone output lets you monitor either direct or processed signal, while adjustable input gain makes it sound great in any situation. The iRig Mic Cast HD includes a windscreen for outdoor use, along with Lightning, USB-C, and Micro-USB cables.

Samson Go Mic - USBSamson Go Mic Portable USB Condenser Microphone $49 US

Definitely not our first choice, but fits a small budget and will work in a pinch – the Samson’s Go Mic is a super-handy USB microphone that’s perfect for recording quickly from your laptop or desktop computer. The Samson Go Mic features a special compact design that can clip to your laptop or sit upright on your desk. There’s a built-in headphone output, so you can listen as you record audio. Plus, it has two different polar pickup patterns to meet a range of recording needs. Available in black or white, there is a USB cable and zipper case included with the Samson Go Mic.


Hooke Verse 3D recording mic systemHooke Audio’s Hooke Verse 3D Microphone System $159

Need a wireless setup for recording that works with all of your iOS or Android device? The Hooke Verse is a portable, wireless mic system that allows you to record binaural audio for your vocals and guitar without any extra fancy equipment. The wireless headphones/microphones connect via Bluetooth (although they have a USB cable that converts to 1/8” if needed). You can wear the Verse, monitor while you are recording using the headphones, and use your own head as the binaural centerpiece to make your very own 3D audio recordings. The Hooke Verse microphone system is compatible with iPhone, Android, GoPro, DSLR camera and Mac/PC.

Sony PCM 90 Handheld Recorder

Sony PCM-D10 Portable Audio Recorder

Have a bit more of a budget and need pro audio recording on demand, with the ability to record your vocals and guitar, and then throw the whole system in your pocket? The Sony PCM-D10 Portable Audio Recorder is great for recording vocals, ambient soundscapes, guitars, studio sessions, acoustic / electric instruments and interviews. The Sony PCM-D10 audio recorder records in 24-bit/192kHz AD/DA for maximum sound quality. Flexible internal microphones enable three different recording configurations, or you can use your favorite pair of external mics via the PCM-D10’s XLR/TRS combo jacks. $499 US


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