If you’ve ever shot video on your iPhone 4 (and we hope you have – it’s great for it!), then you’ll know how great it can look, tap to focus, in-video zooming, and a 720p HD camera make for a really great set of moving images, and the only real let down is in the sound. Whilst Apple might have upped the game in terms of smartphone camera quality, they appear yo have neglected the microphone which is average at best. There’s a solution though: the Fostex AR-4i.
Fostex have been making all sorts of audio-related goodness for years now, ranging from top-end digital mixing desks to classic 8″ reel-to-reel tape recorders, and now they’ve turned their hand to conquering the iPhone by creating an audio interface. Less a box for multiple wires, more a mount for your iPhone with a couple of space-age looking microphones attached, the AR-4i certainly looks the part and its specs certainly suggest that it’ll do the job, too.
Sporting a total of three stereo microphone inputs (allowing you to position the two included plug-in, cardoid microphones either horizontally or vertically), with an input gain thumb wheel, as well as a headphones out put (again with a thumb wheel for volume control) and an LED input gain display, this device packs a lot of tech into a very small unit that cradles your iPhone and allows for a slightly steadier shot. It’s the kind of stuff you’d see professional film crews pack into two or three flight cases, albeit on a very miniature level.
All in all, it looks like Fostex have set out to improve video recording for anyone who’s serious about shooting on their iPhone, and at a snip under $150.00 (available from amazon.com now), it’s slightly cheaper than some of the alternatives on the market. We’re going to get our hands on one as soon as we can.