Is it possible to change the microphone sensitivity (input volume) on the iPad?

If so, how?

2 Answers 2


What you can do with the built-in microphone is limited. You should investigate purchasing a third-party microphone, or better yet an audio interface with a microphone preamplifier, into which you plug a microphone. This will cost money but give you much more control.

Look for products from Tascam, Apogee, Line 6, IK Multimedia, and Griffin.


Yes, it is possible to change the microphone sensitivity system wide on the iPad 2 and above, but only for external mics, as far as I know.

To adjust the audio input level you need two things:

  • Apple's $5,- GarageBand (I don't know about free apps that can adjust the mic level)
  • An external microphone: either attached to the the mini jack (headphone connector, like Apple's own white earbuds) or attached to the Apple 30-pins or Lightning connector using the USB adapter of the camera connection kit or the Lightning-to-USB adapter cable.

In the voice recording section of GarageBand, select the button with the audio plug. With a supported device you should see the audio-input level slider and other extra settings like a monitor switch. The microphone input level adjusted in GarageBand, works system wide.

Depending of the amount of current you USB-mic needs, it could be that the iPad cannot deliver sufficient energy to power the mic. In that case you can use the Griffin iMic, or a powered USB hub. My Samson C01U works perfectly without any additional power requirements.

  • 2
    "The microphone input level adjusted in GarageBand, works system wide." That's bizarre, but I tested it and it's true. So there's no other way to adjust input level from within the Camera/video app, for instance?
    – endolith
    Jan 19, 2016 at 16:20
  • Yes, there are other free apps that can adjust it. Voice Record Pro by Dayana Networks is one. Confirmed that adjusting the level in there adjusts it system-wide, though it's a clunky way to do it. So there's at least one, but probably others that are better.
    – endolith
    Jan 19, 2016 at 17:18

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