If your main switching device does not have a headphone jack, you can route audio into the device using the Lightning port.
This article outlines:
- How to determine if your device has a Lightning port
- Required preamp, cables, and/or adapters
- How to connect an external microphone
- How to connect an external audio mixer
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. Compatible devices and Lightning port locations are shown in the diagram below.
If your device does not have a Lightning port, you'll need to follow these instructions for using a USB-C port.
Required Preamp, Cables, and/or Adapters
- Preamp: A preamp is an audio device 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: In order to plug your preamp into the Lightning port of your Apple device, you will need a 1/8" (3.5mm) TRRS cable plus the Lightning adapter. Some preamps include the cable or have one built-in, while others may only have an output jack. There are several preamps that will work, but we recommend the Saramonic SmartRig II, which also has a built-in 1/8" (3.5mm) TRRS cable. OR USB to Lightning Cable. If your preamp has a USB output on it, you can use a USB to Lightning cable to plug into your device's Lightning port. Saramonic also makes a preamp with a Lightning cable built-in.
- XLR or 1/4" TS/TRS cable: You will need either an XLR or 1/4" TS/TRS cable to connect an external microphone or mixer to the preamp. The type of cable you need will be determined by the available outputs of the mixer or microphone.
How to Connect an External Microphone
- Connect one end of the XLR cable to the microphone and the other end to the preamp's input jack.
- Then connect either the 1/8" (3.5mm) TRRS cable and Lighting adapter OR USB to Lightning cable to the preamp's output jack. Connect the other end of the cable to the Apple device's Lightning port.
- Your main switching device will now recognize the preamp and connected microphone as the main audio signal for your videos.
How to Connect an External Audio Mixer
- Connect external audio devices like microphones and laptops into your mixer.
- Connect your mixer's output into the preamp's 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 preamp's output into the Apple device's Lightning port using either the 1/8" (3.5mm) cable and Lightning adapter or USB to Lightning cable.
Note: 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.