Tascam IM2 microphone – a kind of review

I’ve been trying to do more out and about recording of late – both of playing and capturing the sounds around me – and although I’ve got my trusty Zoom H4n, I tend not to take out with me much. The reason for this is it’s a little bulky to just slip into bags and I get worried about breaking too! It also looks quite conspicuous when you’re walking around with it.

To this end, I decided to get hold of the new Tascam IM2 mic for iOS devices. It’s a small stereo mic that plugs directly into the 30pin connector of your iphone/ipad/ipod. I thought this would be the perfect thing to carry around with me to capture things. Which it is. But I also found it had it’s shortcomings too.

Soundwise it is a great microphone. I loved it’s tonal quality and found it’s stereo seperation wonderful. I didn’t have a chance to try it out with any instrumentation but I’ve no doubt it would perform excellently there too. The fact it allows me to capture sounds so easily and integrate them with all of the audio apps I use is amazing. Composing suddenly becomes much quicker and immediate, as does having the ability to store and edit and organise at your fingertips at any time.

Sadly, i didn’t hang on to it. I found that the handling noise for the situations i intended to use the phone in were so great it made the recordings unusable. Now some of this could come from the fact I use a protective case around my iphone – a Switch Easy Nude polycarbonate shell – and it may be this that makes most of the noise that the microphone picks up. The size of the iphone doesn’t help here either as it really doesn’t give you much to hold steady too when recording so one always finds that you slip it around in your hand.

If I was too use it solely with it resting on something or clamped up, where i wouldn’t need to touch it, it would have been a keeper. You should definitely give it a try if you think that applies to you. And they’re pretty cheap too.

Here are some rough recordings for you. First the IM2 outside

then the Zoom H4n outside at the same time

Here’s an example of the handling noise of the Tascam – I’m not doing more more other than trying to position it in my hands

And finally, here’s an example of the handling noise of the Zoom H4n. I’m deliberately scratching, scraping and tapping at the device here to see what noise the mic captures.

(you’ll also notice that the Zoom produces much louder recordings)

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