The Best Clip on Microphones for Smartphones, Cameras & Computers

Using a clip on microphone can dramatically improve the quality of any video because 9 times out of 10, it will provide higher quality audio than the built in microphone in your phone, tablet, computer or camera that you’re recording video with. Clip on microphones work by providing an omni-directional microphone (often protected by a windscreen) which is close to your voice, and is connected to your recording device with a cable of various lengths.

Best Clip on Microphone for iPhones & Android Phones or iPads, or Cameras

Clip on microphones plug into your phone’s headphone jack (or your computer’s headphone port, or your camera’s 3.5 inch microphone port) and clip on to your shirt or jacket. We recommend avoiding the cheapest clip on mics because they are generally poor quality. So instead, here are some of the top reviewed clip on mics for phones:

Good: DurbPro 15 Foot Long Clip on Omni-directional Lapel Microphone for Smartphones

Best iPhone and Android Clip on Microphone

DurbPro offers an affordable clip on microphone for iPhone/Android/iPad with a 15 foot long cable. It’s well reviewed and will capture good quality audio when you record video on your phone or tablet device. On one end of the cable is a lapel microphone which you can clip to a shirt or tie, and on the other end is a normal 1/8th inch jack which will plug into your phone’s headphone jack.

It also comes with a carrying pouch (handy for a microphone with a 15 foot long cable!) and two fuzzy windshields which can be used to cut down wind noise when you’re recording outside.

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Better: Stony-Edge Lav-Mobile Condenser Lavalier/Lapel Microphone for iPhone & Android Smartphones

How to connect Galaxy S6 to TV

The Stony-Edge Lav-Mobile microphone (that’s a bit of a mouthful to say!) is a great quality clip on microphone that works with your smartphone to capture crisp and clean audio. It comes with an 8 foot long black cable, a carrying pouch and a foam windscreen which for use outdoors to cut down on wind noise. It also comes with a velcro cord strap so you can keep the cable coiled when you’re not using it. This model has gotten great reviews from hundreds of users.

Best: Shure MVL Omnidirectional Condenser Lavalier Microphone

How to connect Galaxy S6 to TV

Shure is an internationally recognized brand that makes high quality microphones for all sort sof uses, both professional and consumer. Their MVL clip on microphone works with your smartphone to capture exceptional sound quality. The cable plugs into your headphone jack on one end and has a genuine Shure microphone at the other end, along with a detachable clip to fasten to your shirt, jacket or tie. It also comes with a carrying pouch and a foam windscreen. One thing that sets this microphone apart from some of its competitors is that it has an especially good signal-to-noise ratio which means that your voice will be captured as you speak but background sounds (like wind, air conditioning, etc) will be much quieter than they would be on comparable microphones.

Bonus: MXL MM160 Lavalier Microphone for Smartphones and Tablets

How to connect Galaxy S6 to TV

This MXL clip on mic offers a unique feature that sets it apart from many of the other clip microphones for sale: it has an extra port which you can plug your headphones into. How does this work? Say you want to be able to record a friend talking on your smartphone or camera and you want to be able to monitor their voice levels at the same time. Most clip-on microphones don’t allow you to do this since they use your camera or phone’s headphone jack to plug in to. But this mic allows you to plug your own headphones directly into its additional port so you can record and listen at the same time. Not everyone will need this feature which is why we are putting it on this list as a bonus item, but for those that do, it’s extremely handy to have this option. The MXL MM160 is very well reviewed and delivers great quality audio.

Frequently asked questions about clip on microphones:

Do clip on mics use batteries? How are they powered?

While some clip-on microphones use batteries, the ones we’ve linked to in this article are instead powered by your phone or other type of device (tablet, video camera, etc). This uses a small amount of the your camera’s power but keeps the size and weight of the microphone small and light so we think it’s generally a good trade-off. The amount of power these draw is very small compared to the size of your phone’s battery capacity.

Where should I clip on my microphone on a person’s body?

Ideally you want to clip on the microphone no further than about ten inches away from their mouth. The further away you clip it from their mouth, the weaker the sound quality will be and the more background noise you will pick up in your audio recording. If you clip the microphone too close to their mouth, you may get over an modulated recording that sounds distorted. Common lavalier mounting techniques include: clipping the microphone to a person’s shirt collar if they are wearing a non-collared shirt like a t-shirt, clipping the lav relatively high up on a man’s tie.

A frequent mistake that inexperienced lavalier mic users make is failing to hide the cable underneath the speaker’s shirt. Often it can seem awkward to ask them to thread the cable through their shirt or underneath it, but it looks super amateurish to have a big black cable dangling in the middle of your shot if you’re filming an interview. Of course, if you’re only using the lavalier for sound purposes and you won’t be filming the person speaking, then it’s fine not to hide the cable. In cases when you do need to hide the cable, we’ve found that the easiest way to do it is to ask the person to drop the end with the plug down the front of their shirt and hold on to the microphone. Once you clip the mic to their collar and then you’re free to plug the microphone in to your recording device, like an iPhone or other type of camera.

Is a clip on microphone the same thing as a lavalier or lapel microphone?

Yes! These are all different names for the same thing. Sometimes a clip on mics are called lavalier microphones or lapel microphones.


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The Longest Lightning Charging, Sync Cables for iPhones & iPads

Long Lightning cables can be extremely useful when you need to charge your iPhone or iPad but the port you’re plugging it into is far away– for instance a computer underneath a desk or a wall outlet that’s not directly next to your couch. Even though the Lightning cable that originally came with your iPhone or iPad is only about three feet long, there are third party manufacturers that make MFI certified Lightning cables that are much longer.

Here are some of the longest lighting cables available:

Syncwire – iPhone Charger Lightning Cable – 6.5 ft

Here’s a six and a half foot Lightning cable. That’s more than double the length of the standard Apple Lightning cable that ships with iPads, iPhones and iPod Touches. This Lightning charging and data cable also comes in several different colors including black, silver, gold, rose gold and space gray, matching all of Apple’s various different iPhone colors. It also comes in white if you want to match the original iPhone charging cable or iPad charging cable that came with your Apple device originally.

10 Foot Long USB C to Lightning Cable

Apple is transitioning all of their new products to use the new USB-C charging and syncing cables, which is annoying for those of us who have years of USB-A charging bricks from previous iPhones and iPads. But if you’re ready to make the switch, this pack of USB-C to Lightning cables comes with two 10 foot cables and two charging bricks.

Swaggwood Colorful 10 ft Lightning Charging Cables

Who says the longest iPhone charging cables have only come in boring colors? It turns out, there are many super long Lightning cables that come in all sorts of colors, including these 10 foot long Lighting cables that come in a pack of three colors: purple, pink, and yellow.

Apple MFi Certified Lightning to USB Cable 10ft/3m iPhone Charger Cord

Here’s another one of the longest Lighning USB charging cables available. It measures 10 feet in length and comes in black, white and red color options. Like all of the other long Lightning cables featured in this article, this charging cable works with all current iPhone models as well as iPad Pro, iPad Air, iPad Mini and iPad Nano/iPad Touch (5th generation) devices.

Anker Powerline+ II 10 Foot Braided Nylon Lightning Cable

Some people prefer to buy braided cables when available because they can be more durable in some circumstances where a charging cable can be subjected to a lot of stress. This long Lightning to USB charging cable is protected by braided nylon from one end to the end. It also comes with a convenient velcro cable tie so you won’t make a mess of your extra long Lightning cable when you’re not using it. This iPhone/iPad charging cable is 10 feet long and comes in a variety of other colors as well.

6 Ft Glowing Lightning Charging Cable

Do you want to make the experience of charging your iPhone to be more like the experience of going to a nightclub? Well, boy, have we got a solution for you. Here’s a long Lightning cable for iPhone and iPad that glows while it’s charging. It makes your iPhone easy to find in the dark and also makes it clear at a glance whether or not it’s fully plugged in. Charging your cell phone or iPad will never be boring again.

Need an even longer USB to Lightning charging cable? A USB extension cable might work for what your needs: you simply plug your Lightning cable into it, and plug that into your computer or power brick.

Looking for a short lighting cable instead of a long one? Check out our list of the best short lighting cables for iPhones and iPads.

The Best Short Lightning Cables for iPhones & iPads

Short USB to Lightning cables (or Lightning to USB cables depending on how you look at it) are very useful, particularly when you’re plugging in portable iPhone charger battery packs and you don’t want to use a ridiculously long 3 foot Lightning cable. Thankfully there are several short Lightning to USB cables and cords that can help charge your iPhones and iPads without a long cable.

Here are some of the best short Lightning cables:

Zeskit Lightning to USB Cable Charging and Syncing for iPhone iPad and iPod
Short iPhone Lighting USB Cables

Here’s a 4 inch (10cm) short Lightning to USB cable that’s ideal to use when you plug your iPhone into a portable charging battery pack. It comes in white and both the Lighting and the USB ports are at right angles, meaning you can twist the cable and plug it into both your iPhone and a battery pack and then stack the two on top of each other with the iPhone sitting on top of the battery.

AmazonBasics Apple Certified Lightning to USB Cable
Short iPhone Lighting USB Cables

Here’s another 4 inch (10 centimeter) short Lightning cable, and this one is more traditional, without right angle plugs like the last item in this list.

It’s available in both black and white and is so short it doesn’t even need to be coiled to keep the excess cable neat.

Lightning to USB Short Keychain Cable for Apple iPhone 6 Plus / 6 / 5s / 5c / 5, iPad Air 2 / iPad Air/ iPod touch/ Nano
Short iPhone Lighting USB Cables

If you’re looking for a very short Lightning cable, it’s hard to get shorter than this Lightning USB keychain stick. The iZapp Lightning to USB keychain can be taken anywhere on your set of keys and comes in six different colors. It measures about 2.7 inches long (6 cm) and is made of flexible rubber. Plus since it’s a keychain stick you can attach it to your keys and never have to worry about losing it.

EZOPower Short 8-Pin Lightning to USB Charge & Sync Lockable Cable
Short iPhone Lighting USB Cables

Here’s another one of the shortest Apple Lightning cables available. When extended it reaches 4 inches in length but it folds and locks into a closed loop for easy transport. It comes in white and can easily be clasped around a keychain to go anywhere in your pocket or be looped around another cord or cable. This can be especially handy if you’re prone to lose small objects.

CS88 USB Lightning Charger Portable Travel Cable for iPhone, iPad/Mini/Air, iPod NanoShort iPhone Lighting USB Cables

This is the smallest Lightning cable available: it folds into a black oval about 2 inches long. When it’s fully extended, the Lightning to USB cable is 3 inches long and is flexible to plug in to charge your iPhone or iPad at virtually any angle.

Factors to consider when choosing a short Lighting cable

Length – This one is obvious, but there’s quite a difference between a 1 foot Lightning cable and a 3 foot Lightning cable (which is the normal charging cable length that Apple ships with its devices). What you need will dictate what you’ll get.

Flexibility – Not every short Lightning cable is super flexible. Some of them are but others don’t twist and bend nearly as much. Consider how flexible you will need your short iPhone or iPad charging cable to be.

Color – Short Lightning cables come in all colors so you’ve got a choice to make here. You aren’t just restricted to black or white.

How easy is it to lose? Since you’re looking for a short Lightning charging cable, any cable you might be considering will probably be small. If you’re the sort of person that easily loses small things you may want to consider a cable that hooks on to your keychain, like a few of the models listed in this article do. That way it’s very difficult to lose your iPhone charging cable… well, unless you frequently lose your keys too!

Looking for a long lightning cable? Check out our related article: The Longest Lightning Charging, Sync Cables for iPhones & iPads.

Apple iPad Pencil Charging Cable (Lightning Male to Female Cable)

The Apple Pencil works great with the iPad pro, but to charge it you need to plug the pencil directly into the Lightning port on the iPad itself, which is both awkward and looks pretty silly. Plus, depending on what type of environment you’re in, charging your Apple Pencil at such an unnatural angle can also cause a problem if something brushes up against the Apple Pencil it could snap off, damaging both the iPad Pro and your stylus. Apple hasn’t provided a solution to this odd charging problem but luckily, there are now some third party iPad Pencil charging cables so you can plug your Apple Pencil into the iPad and not feel (and look) totally dumb doing it. You can use this as an Apple Pencil charging cable, and you can also use it as a Lightning cable extender, depending on the length of the Lightning charging cable you choose.

Here are several different length Apple iPad Pencil charging cables, ranging from short Lightning cables to long Lightning cables:

Short Apple iPad Pencil Charging Cable

This very short 3.5 inch Lightning cable dongle will plug into your iPad’s Lightning port on one end and your iPad’s Apple Pencil on the other to charge it. This Apple Pencil charging cord is flexible and comes in white, matching your iPad’s other cables, like the USB charging cable that Apple makes. Using a charging cable like this one helps save you from having your Apple Pencil plugged into your iPad at an uncomfortable angle that might snap off and damage the pencil or the iPad’s Lightning port or both.

The Medium Length Apple iPad Pencil charging cable
Apple Pencil Charging Cable

Here’s another male to female Lightning cable to charge your Apple Pencil or other Lightning port accessory. This Apple Pencil charging cable measures 1 foot in length and can help you prevent accidental snap off damage to your Apple Pencil while it’s charging.

TechMatte Apple Pencil Lightning Cable Charging Adapter for iPad Pro Female to Female Connector (.75 Inches)
Apple Pencil Charging Adapter

If you’ve got an iPad Pro that you use with your Apple Pencil, then you already have a Lightning charging cable that came with it to charge your tablet, right? Well if so then you can use this female to female adapter to turn that 3 foot long iPad charging cable into a Lightning cable. This is a pretty clever and inexpensive product that lets you use the cable you already have as a charging cable. One nice thing about this Apple Pencil charging cord adapter accessory is that it saves you from having to carry around two cables with you (one iPad charging cable and one Pencil charging cable).

The Long Apple iPad Pencil charging cable
Apple Pencil Charging Cable

Need an even longer Apple Pencil charging cable? Well, here’s a 3 foot long charging cable for your Apple Pencil. Like the other models, this one comes in white and matches your iPad’s normal charging cable. Its length also allows you to separate the pencil from the iPad by several feet, which could be especially handy if you use your iPad pro on an iPad Pro stand.

Charging Dock Station for Apple Pencil
Apple Pencil Charging Dock

Here’s an Apple Pencil charging dock that allows you to put a Lightning charging cable (not included) into the base of it. Note that you’ll need to supply your own Apple Pencil Lightning charging cable: we’d recommend picking this 3.3 foot long one. Comes in white, which goes well with your white Apple accessories.

Apple Pencil Direct Charging Stand with 6 Ft Cable
Apple Pencil Charging Cable

Here’s an Apple Pencil charging stand that includes a generously-long 6 foot USB cable to plug into your computer or a USB wall charger. It comes in white, matching your Apple Pencil, as well as black, gold and rose gold. This Apple Pencil charging stand also includes a handy indentation to stick the pencil cap in when you’re charging it.

Frequently asked questions about Apple Pencil charging cables

Are these “official” Lightning cables made by Apple?

No, for some strange reason, Apple does not make an official Lightning charging cable for its Apple Pencil themselves. These products are made by third party vendors that make accessories for iPads, like cases, charging docks, iPad stands, etc.

How can I see the remaining battery life of my Apple Pencil?

You can check your Apple Pencil’s battery life on your iPad Pro by accessing the Notification Center (in the lock screen of your iPad).

Can I get a replacement Apple Pencil cap if I lose mine?

Yes! There are a number of replacement Apple Pencil caps available on Amazon, including some that have little keeper cords that prevent them from getting lost.

Are there any Apple Pencil alternatives that don’t require charging?
Yes, there are some iPad styluses on the market that do not require charging. You can check out our reviews for iPad Styluses and Apple Pencil alternatives to see the best ones.