How to Use a Lightning Port for External Audio

The Lightning Port on iOS devices can be used to send audio into the Switcher app. This allows you to use high quality audio in your productions with the help of a few hardware devices.

In this article:

How to Determine if Your Device Has a Lightning Port

The Lightning port is the small oval-shaped port on the bottom edge of your device that you use to charge the device. If you have a lightning port you will charge your device with the cable displayed below.

Note: If your device does not have a Lightning port, you will need to follow these instructions for using a USB-C port. TALK WORKS iPhone Charger Lightning Cable 10ft Long Heavy Duty  Cord MFI Certified for Apple iPhone 13, 12, 11 Pro/Max/Mini, XR, XS/Max, X,  8, 7, 6, 5, SE, iPad, AirPods, Watch -

Required Interfaces, Cables, and/or Adapters

  • Mobile Interface: A mobile interface is an audio interface designed specifically for mobile devices that converts an external audio signal into a signal that your Apple device can recognize.

  • 1/8" (3.5mm) TRRS cable and Lightning to 3.5mm Headphone Jack Adapter: You can use Apple's Lightning to Headphone adapter to connect audio via a 3.5mm TRRS cable. this will be limited to mono audio only.

  • USB: You can use an Apple USB3 Camera Adapter to connect a USB audio source such as a USB mixer or interface.

Connecting an External Microphone

To connect an external microphone you'll need a mobile interface such as a Saramonic SmartRig or IK Media iRig.


  • Connect one end of the XLR cable to the microphone.

  • Connect the other end of the XLR cable to the interface's input jack.

  • Connect the interface's output cable to the lightning port on your iOS device.

  • Your main switching device will now recognize the interface and microphone as the main audio signal for your videos.

Connecting a USB Mixer

If your mixer is a USB mixer you can connect it directly to the iPad using an Apple USB3 Camera Adapter . This is the recommended way to connect any USB mixer. It has an added benefit of being able to charge your device while using external audio.


  • Connect the external audio devices like microphones and laptops into your mixer.

  • Connect the mixer's USB output into your iOS device using the USB input on your USB3 Camera Adapter.

Connecting an Analog Mixer

You can also connect analog mixers to your iOS device using an Interface. An analog mixer is a device that passes the signal through an electrical current as opposed to digital data.


  • Connect the external audio devices like microphones and laptops into your mixer.

  • Connect the mixer's output into the interfaces input.

    • Most mixers have a section labeled "main outputs" that are either 1/4" outputs, XLR outputs, or sometimes both. Depending on which mixer you have, you will need the appropriate cable to hook into your preamp.

  • Connect the interfaces output into the Apple device's Lightning port.

Using a Mono Signal on a Stereo Mixer

Many mixers have both left and right audio outputs for stereo, but many preamps are not stereo. By default, plug your output cable into the left output of the mixer. Some mixers default to mono if nothing is plugged into the right output. Be mindful that if you have a microphone or other audio signal that is panned to the right and you are only using the left output, you will not hear that signal on your video.

Keyword(s): lightning, port, audio, usb, analog, external, microphone, XLR, cable

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