iRig HD Review
In 2010 the iPad was released and soon afterward we started getting quality amp sims on our tablets and phones and we found ourselves in need of audio interfaces for our portable devices. They couldn't be audio interfaces like we knew them, though - the biggest perk of recording on your portable devices is that you're moving around, so small and light is the name of the game - and companies started offering interfaces that were just as portable as the devices we were using them with.
IK Multimedia entered the fray with their iRig device. It was a small cylindrical connector that you plugged your guitar and headphones into, and then plugged the iRig into your phone's headphone port. It was incredibly light and very portable. The size of the whole device, cord included, was tiny and not at all a risk of getting tangled on itself.
It wasn't without its problems, though. For one thing, it plugged into the headphone port, which is a bit of a risk since it's not that secure of a connection, but it was also a bit noisy. While we gained small size and portability, we sacrificed audio fidelity and the result was recordings that were a bit scratchy at parts.
Not that we minded at the time. Phones and tablets were largely being used as scratch pads, practice tools, perhaps rough demo recorders, but we've moved past that now with full-blown DAWs for tablets and 8 track recorders for phones. We are no longer content to just record demos. We want to record high quality material through devices that can go anywhere we can.
IK Multimedia understood this and came out with the iRig HD. It's slightly bigger than the original iRig and comes with a few different cords to connect your old 30-pin iPhone (which is what I use), a Lightning cable for the new iPhone, and also a USB cable for your Mac. The 30 pin connector is a great deal more secure than using your headphone jack which made me feel more confident in the device.
It no longer features a headphone port, but since it also stopped taking up your phone/tablet's headphone jack, that's irrelevant - just plug your headphones into your phone/tablet. It also features a light on the device that lets you know it's plugged in and working.
While the size of the device has gone up slightly, we've gained a ton more audio fidelity. Recordings sound professional, without the scratches or a low-fidelity sound and the result of this is a happier player who is focusing on their tone and music and not on the distractions of extraneous noise.
The iRig HD costs $99.99, which may make some buyer baulk a bit, but it is a high quality device that is aimed at making professional-level recordings and is worth the money and saving up for.
Should you buy it? It depends. If you record with your portable devices or want to bridge the gap to your computer, then absolutely you should. If you're convinced you don't need the audio fidelity that the iRig HD offers, the previous iRig (non-HD) is still available for about $40.00, but I think it's wise to really think about what you would like to do in the future, rather than what you're doing right now. If there's even a chance that you'll want to record something that is more than a demo, the iRig deserves serious consideration.
For more information, click HERE.
This post is brought to you by God Box FX! Like I've said before on the Fifth Fret, I only advertise what I like and when I first laid eyes on their Tesla pedal, I was half-way sold (as a big fan of Nikola Tesla), but it was when I stepped on it that I was fully sold. Not only did I contact them offering advertising space, but I flat out told them that they probably weren't going to get this pedal back as I have become smitten with every part of it. They're a young company, offering some seriously stellar boxes with amazing tones, all as boutique as you want. They're actually built down the road a ways from me, so it's even more local than usual. Check them out, folks. They have some great stuff!