Available from: GAK
The iKlip A/V is IK Multimedia’s newest accessory which aims to bundle professional audio recording and a sturdy mount into one convenient package.
Although IK Multimedia focuses mainly on recording accessories aimed primarily at iOS and Android devices, the company has now started to branch into new areas. The iKlip A/V is one such gem, offering up a solid smartphone mount with which to record video and audio. In the box you get plenty of pieces which need to be put together, including a handy grip which can be extended to fit most mobile devices.
The handle houses the controls for the iKlip A/V, which includes gain and phantom power controls. An XLR connector on the top of the handle enables you to connect an external microphone for improved recording quality. Build quality is very good, with metal in all the right places and strong plastics that could tolerate the abuse of a days shooting. Once assembled, it actually looks like a surprisingly professional piece of gear. There’s even an additional mount on the handle for attaching wireless microphone packs; useful if you’re using a lavalier microphone on a presenter. It’s worth noting that the iKlip A/V also comes with a standard camera mount, meaning there’s no reason why you couldn’t also use with an SLR if you wanted to get really serious.
So what sets this apart from the plethora of other smartphone grips currently on the market? In a nutshell, its the preamp and improved audio quality. Both mobile devices and SLRs have reached a point where they’re now very capable of recording excellent video… but the audio tends to leave something to be desired. The iKlip A/V alleviates this issue by bundling a solid preamp into the grip, taking the audio processing away from the device. IK Multimedia provides a recorder application for capturing audio but the truth is, any third party version which supports external microphones should also do the trick. This includes camera applications, though many of them are notorious for crashing unexpectedly.
In testing, we found the process to be pretty straightforward. The easiest way of doing things seemed to be running an audio recording app in the background while we used the camera. Both streams could then be combined later in post-production, using video editing software. Unfortunately, the headphone jack doesn’t play audio back while you’re recording, which is a bit of a bummer. For critical listening applications, this could be a bit of a problem. We found the quality of the preamp to be good, far eclipsing what you get with built in audio. Ergonomically, the weight is very evenly distributed from arm to handle, making it feel great to hold.
While the £149.00 asking price might be a lot to swallow, the iKlip A/V proved to be an excellent accessory in testing that helped elevate our recordings in a substantial way. Whether you record on a mobile device or even an SLR, the substantial boost to audio quality makes this a handy purchase for more professional scenarios.