Wish you had a phone with dual mic inputs and headphone monitoring?

(Image credit: RODE)

Australian audio specialist RODE has come up with the AI-Micro, an ultra-neat dual-input adaptor with a headphone socket, that can plug into your phone or computer via “universal” USB output – it comes with USB-A, USB-C and Lightning connectors.

Perfect for vloggers, podcasters, interviewers and content creators who use phones or laptops, the AI-Micro adds professional audio capabilities that can elevate even the most ordinary recording setups.

The AI-Micro itself is a little black box with two 3.5mm mic inputs and a 3.5mm headphone output for monitoring audio as you record. RODE says it can auto-sense microphone inputs, whether they are TRS or TRRS types, and you can use two mics for dual channel recording. Take a look at RODE's video:

For example, you could plug in two lavalier mics for an interview; one for you, one for the interviewee. Alternatively, you can configure input 1 for a single TRS stereo mic – either way, you also get live audio monitoring with zero latency (lag), according to RODE.

‘TRS’ stands for ’tip, ring, sleeve’. They have two black rings on the plug and they carry just one signal – either audio in or audio out.

‘TRRS’ stands for ’tip, ring, ring, sleeve. These have three black rings and can carry both audio in and audio out signals – for example, for headphones/headsets that also have mics.

What’s clever about the AI-Micro is that it can auto-sense these types and adapt automatically – no physical adaptor is needed.

What connector does your phone have? It doesn't matter – the AI-Micro has them all (famous last words). (Image credit: RODE)

Have you got a TRRS mic or a TRS mic? It doesn't matter – the AI-Micro will figure it out. (Image credit: RODE)

You won’t need to find a spare attachment point on your rig for the AI-Micro – it weighs just 20g and can dangle quite happily from your camera phone.

The other key use for the AI-Micro is likely to be desktop vlogging or from a laptop out in the field. Unfortunately, don’t support USB audio in/out signals in the same way, so you’ll need to connect a mic in the normal way, or via a plug-in XLR or digital audio interface adaptor.

The RODE AI-Micro is available now and costs $79 / AU$130.

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Rod Lawton

Rod is an independent photography journalist and editor, and a long-standing Digital Camera World contributor, having previously worked as DCW's Group Reviews editor. Before that he has been technique editor on N-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar, as well as contributing to many other publications. He has been writing about photography technique, photo editing and digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. He has used and reviewed practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium format cameras, together with lenses, tripods, gimbals, light meters, camera bags and more. Rod has his own camera gear blog at fotovolo.com but also writes about photo-editing applications and techniques at lifeafterphotoshop.com