IK Multimedia’s iRig Mic Cast 2 offers a slim feature set, focusing instead on simplicity and portability. For a budget microphone to extend your phone with, it does have some clever additions, and an app that allows easy export to Dropbox, OneDrive etc. Quick and simple magnetic mounting means a minimum of fuss when connecting to your phone, and a choice of front or back receivers gives good sound coverage. With a combination of a headphone out and the in-app monitoring, this would be ideal for podcasting or recording interviews. For anything more complicated or professional, the Cast 2 is limited by a lack of gain control and doesn’t compare to a more advanced setup with an audio interface and microphone.
Offering a marked improvement over your in-built phone microphone, the Cast 2 offers a more responsive, directional microphone. Toggling between the front and rear microphones allows you to control the room spread and control the ambience. Background noise from outside the window is apparent, but the microphones are more focused than your phone’s in-built mic. For its price and use case, the sound quality is an upgrade to your phone, easily used for song demos and quick sketches.
Weighing in at a mere 21g, the Cast 2 is built to be lightweight, not durable. Happily, the headphone lead is detachable and there’s no chance of a proprietary cable breaking. As you’ll typically be keeping it with your phone, it should tolerate a bit of wear and tear in your pocket or bag. For such a cheap, lightweight device, it’s perhaps unfair to expect the Cast 2 to withstand serious abuse, but it should survive regular wear and tear.
The low cost of the Cast 2 will appeal to many, and there’s not much competition at this price range for a portable microphone. With such a small investment, the Cast 2 offers good value for money if ease and portability are your prime concerns. For a little bit more, IK also offers the iRig Mic Cast HD, a more fully featured version with the same small footprint. It offers a gain control, direct monitoring button, and a higher quality digital signal (24-bit, 96kHz).
For hobbyists looking for a portable upgrade to their phone’s microphone, the Cast 2 is a cheap, accessible option. It’s lightweight and simple to use, so can be a quick way to record audio at home, for projects that don’t require a full studio setup. With the ability to export to WAV for tweaking in a DAW, the iRig Mic Cast 2 could offer musicians the chance to easily record demos on the go. If more features, gain controls, or higher quality audio are needed, users should consider the iRig Cast HD as an alternative.