May 15, 2019

Audio Input using the iPhone XS Max

There is a sneaky way to connect an audio cable to the iPhone XS Max to record incoming audio. Think of it making your own Mix Tape on your iPhone XS Max.

Example

You want to connect your iPhone XS Max to a sound system and record sound.

The best way to do this is to use a cable splitter that has a connector for audio input. You basically need a TRRS connector, these are visually identified by three black marks on the Audio-In end:

i Phone Splitter

This cable is more commonly found using the "old" apple headphones that had a microphone connected to it.

Using the TRRS Connector, you can plug in any 3.5 mm cable. Now you can easily bring external audio into your iPhone XS Max.

Setting up The Connector

First purchase a TRRS Splitter, you can find them on Amazon or eBay. I would highly recommend eBay since it cost less that $3 with free shipping. (Just make sure that it ships from the USA.)

You will need the Lighting to audio-In cable adapter from Apple. (I wouldn't recommend getting a "third party" since they may not work for this particular situation.) You can get these from any Apple store for about $10.

Connect the Lighting to the iPhone XS Max and then the TRRS splitter end to the 3.5mm slot. Now connect your audio to the right slitter. (I would recommend clearly labeling the splitter)

Three Things I have Learned

  • The incoming audio doesn't always get recognized by the iPhone XS Max. I have found that I needed to start the audio and then connect the cable to the iPhone XS Max.
  • Your original source of audio shouldn't be too loud. Apparently, the audio input is very sensitive.
  • I found using the Apple Voice Memo to be a good recorder. I tried some other iOS recorders and found that they were too complex to use or would have involved spending money and no guarantee that I would get better performance.
  • Another option that I am considering - using GarageBand to record the input audio. I have read some good reviews on using it and it has lots of good configurations.

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