iPod Accessory Reviews: microphones
Belkin TuneTalk Stereo Microphone for the iPod Video and 2nd Generation Nano
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Review posted March, 2007 by Jacob Spindel, Chief iPod Correspondent
If you can’t afford your own recording studio (or just need to record the audio from a lecture or presentation), you might want to find a way to record audio directly to your iPod. You can’t connect earlier recording products to the remote connector port on a fifth-generation iPod, since... there isn’t one. As a new generation of iPod recording accessories (based mostly on the Dock connector) begins to emerge, Belkin is filling in the high-end of the consumer market with the new TuneTalk Stereo. If your goal is the highest level of recording quality you can achieve with an iPod add-on, the TuneTalk is likely to suit your needs.
The TuneTalk connects to the Dock port of any fifth generation iPod and is approximately the same width and thickness as the iPod itself. It adds just under an inch to the total height of your iPod, so it is compact and convenient if you want to carry a recorder with you without having to carry another large device separately. The TuneTalk isn't compatible with the 1st generation iPod nano, shuffles and previous generations of iPods, though it is compatible with the 2nd generation iPod nano. The face of the device features two stereo microphones, which I must are somewhat odd-looking, along with a record button on the left side of the TuneTalk. Between the microphones and the record button, a small red LED blinks to indicate when the device has connected to your iPod and how much sound it is detecting while it is recording. The bottom of the TuneTalk has a switch for turning automatic gain on or off, as well as a 3.5 mm line-in input if you want to use an external microphone system instead of the built-in pair, and a mini-B 5-pin USB connector.
Wait, a USB connector? Yes, you can really sync and charge your iPod without removing the TuneTalk! Although you obviously won’t be able to use any other Dock-connector peripherals with your iPod while the TuneTalk is connected, you can use a standard type of USB device cable (one is included) to connect the TuneTalk to your computer, and your iPod will charge and sync as efficiently and reliably as it always has. This is a useful feature and indicates an impressive amount of attention to detail.
The TuneTalk is available in one color only: black. Although I found that it didn’t “clash” with my white iPod, people who are extremely style-conscious may want to take lack of color choices into account.