A few days ago, our son Thom told me a soldering iron would be arriving at our house via UPS. "A soldering iron?" I probably replied. He said he had a project he wanted to do--assembling some small external iPhone microphone kits--and we needed the soldering iron for that.
So, today was the weekend, and Thom came over, and we spent part of the afternoon and early evening assembling the mics. I was enthusiastic because I (and many, many others) have started playing around with different ways of recording sound on the iPhone for radio story production. One of the big issues, though, is controlling distortion in loud environments. This microphone--it's called a bootlegMIC and was designed by Open Music Labs--plugs into the phone's headphone jack. Essentially, it's an attenuator--it uses a resistor to reduce the audio signal the phone's built-in mic has to handle and thus avoid distortion.
Thom made one, and it seemed to work fine. I built mine, with his assistance (the last time I handled a soldering iron=maybe never). Thom built a third mic (above) for a friend. In the picture, he's holding the jack end of the device; the microphone is at top.