Looking for a way to connect an XLR microphone to your iPad? In this article, we’re going to show the three best ways to make it happen.

Quick Answer: USB audio mixers and USB audio interfaces are our favorite ways to connect an XLR mix to an iPad. Both give you the flexibility to connect other audio sources to an iPad. An XLR to USB cable is a basic, budget-friendly solution, but you can’t use it with condenser mics.

Apple USB Adapters for iPad

Apple Multi-Port Adapter

For all of these methods, you’ll need to use an adapter for your iPad. The adapter you need will vary depending on the model of iPad that you have.

  • Apple iPad Camera Adapter
    If your iPad has a lightning port at the bottom, you’ll need a lightning to USB adapter. Apple calls this the iPad camera adapter. Most standard iPads will require this adapter.

    iPad Camera Adapter Pricing: https://currentprice.io/lightning_usb
  • Apple Multiport USB-C Adapter
    If you have an iPad Pro, you’ll need an adapter that goes from USB-C to USB. Apple calls this adapter the multiport USB-C adapter. They also offer a straight USB-C to USB adapter.

    Apple Multiport USB-C Adapter Pricing: https://currentprice.io/multiport

XLR to USB Cable to iPad

XLR to USB Cable

The first and most basic way to connect an XLR mic to an iPad is an XLR to USB cable. There is only really one step required to get going.

  1. Connect the microphone to the iPad
    Simply plug the XLR end of the cable into the microphone and the USB end into your iPad adapter.

This solution will only work with a dynamic microphone like the Shure SM58. It won’t work with a condenser microphone as the XLR to USB cable doesn’t supply the required 48v phantom power. 

USB Audio Mixer To iPad

An audio mixer with a USB audio output is one of our favorite ways to connect an XLR microphone to an iPad. It’s easy to set up too.

  1. Connect the USB mixer to your iPad
    Use a USB cable to connect your mixer’s USB audio in/out to the iPad adapter.
  2. Plug the microphone into the mixer

The USB connection works both ways, so you can set up monitoring through the mixer. If your mixer has phantom power, you can use condenser microphones with this setup too.

USB Audio Interface to iPad

A USB audio interface will help you connect an XLR microphone to your iPad, but there is one downside to using one. USB audio interfaces are designed to receive power from a computer over the USB cable. Unfortunately, the iPad doesn’t supply the amount of power required.

Some interfaces have their own power supply, which you can connect to an outlet, but most rely on getting their power from USB. Fortunately, there is a way around this using a powered USB hub.

  1. Connect the powered USB hub to the iPad
    Don’t forget to plug the USB hub into the wall too.
     
  2. Connect the USB audio interface to the powered hub
    The hub will supply power to the audio interface and connect it to the iPad.
  3. Plug the microphone into the USB audio interface
    XLR to XLR.

This solution also allows monitoring and the use of condenser mics if the interface has the ability to provide phantom power.

Connect XLR Mic To iPad Pricing

Connect XLR Mic To iPad Topics

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 0:10 – Apple USB Adapters
  • 1:00 – XLR To USB Cable
  • 2:07 – USB Audio Mixer
  • 3:06 – USB Audio Interface
  • 5:16 – Comparisons
  • 6:03 – Final Thoughts