How to Turn AirPods into a Wireless Microphone for iPhone Videos

Looking for better sound on your next iPhone video project using one of Apple’s Bluetooth earbuds? You’ll first need this workaround.

If you own a pair of AirPods or AirPods Pro, you may come up with the bright idea to use them as a wireless microphone when you record selfie videos on your iPhone. The problem is you can’t do that using the iPhone’s native camera app. Apple didn’t build its app to support Bluetooth microphones.
(Strange, but true.)

Perhaps the visual of wearing little white sticks in your ears while shooting selfie videos originally seemed silly to Apple’s designers. But the pandemic has changed countless norms over the past year.

So many of us have been living our lives recently glued to our computer screens wearing geeky headsets, bulky headphones or slick little earbuds. If you don’t have a Borg-like audio device attached to your face, you clearly haven’t been assimilated into our new norm of daily video communications.

I Can’t Hear You
Recently, I produced a video with a colleague who needed to record an on-camera introduction using his iPhone. I suggested that he use his AirPods as his microphone so he could easily step back into his shot, unhindered by cables.

As I coached him from afar using the Microsoft Teams app, everything sounded fine. But when I listened to his test recording file, the AirPods clearly weren’t capturing his voice track. The iPhone’s onboard microphone was doing the work instead.

Third-Party App to the Rescue
Of course, we weren’t the first ones to uncover this problem. After doing some online research, I discovered that a variety of people have been complaining about this incompatibility for years.

The good news is there are two popular workaround solutions. Both involve downloading a video recording app to your iPhone that does allow you to use a Bluetooth microphone, including AirPods and AirPods Pro.

Both of these apps are primarily designed to give you a massive increase in control over your iPhone’s camera settings for video shoots, but they also provide the additional Bluetooth audio support for AirPods or AirPods Pro.

Problem solved.

What’s That in your Ear?
Even before the pandemic, I saw so many folks running around the streets of New York City with little wireless earphones protruding from their heads. That laid the foundation for an acceptable new look in public. And that metamorphosis has now been truly cemented. (We’ve stared at each other over the past year on countless video conferences wearing any number of audio devices.)

It’s ironic that once upon a time, hiding your microphone while recording an on-camera video was considered a sign of professionalism. Now, most anything growing out of your ears is acceptable.

And if you want to put your AirPods to work for your next iPhone video recording, just don’t forget you’ll also need to spend a few bucks for a third-party app to secure the connection.