The Best iPad Audio Interfaces

iPad Audio Interfaces

Originally published on Feb. 18, 2016 and updated on .

The iPad continues to be the go-to mobile device for audio recording and music production. But to fully realize its potential, you'll need a compatible good quality audio interface.

This is where we come in with our list of the Best Audio Interfaces for the iPad - updated for 2017, featuring top rated units that complement the iPad's portability, intuitiveness and reliability. We've separated the interfaces into those that work directly with the iPad's lightning connection and those USB interfaces that need to use Apple's Lightning to USB Adaptor which you buy separately.

Contents

Gearank Sources Street Price
Lightning Compatible
IK Multimedia iRig Pro 86 225+ $100
Focusrite iTrack Solo 85 50+ $120
Shure MVi 88 20+ $129
Apogee Jam 96K 88 225+ $129
Focusrite iTrack Dock 85 125+ $150
Compatible USB Interfaces
Steinberg UR22 MK2 90 225+ $130
Yamaha AG03 92 90+ $150
Audient ID4 95 60+ $199
Audient ID14 97 175+ $299
RME Babyface Pro 93 90+ $749
Editor's Pick
Behringer U-Phoria UMC204HD 89 175+ $80

Best iPad Audio Interfaces - Lightning Compatible

Below are the top audio interfaces for iPad that come with lightning connectivity. They allow for convenient out-of-the-box use, and save you some money by not having to buy Apple's Adapters.

IK Multimedia iRig Pro

86
GEARANK

86 out of 100. Incorporating 225+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$100
IK Multimedia iRig Pro

IK Multimedia is known for iRig, a line of pocket-sized audio interfaces that simplified recording for many musicians. The iRig Pro secured for them a spot on this list with its combination of portability, flexibility and practicality. It owes its portability to its bus powered circuit, only requiring a 9V battery if you need 48V phantom power. For flexibility, the iRig Pro is equipped with a combo jack that lets you connect microphones, guitars, other instruments and line-level sources. The conveniently placed gain knob and LED indicator simplifies adjustments and setups. This unit comes bundled with three cables, a lightning cable for connecting to iOS devices, a USB cable for connecting to Mac and PC, and a MIDI cable.

Specifications:

  • A/D Resolution: 24-bit/96kHz
  • Connectors: Lightning, USB
  • Simultaneous Channels: 1
  • Inputs: 1 x XLR / 1/4" Combo (Line/Hi-Z Level)
  • MIDI: 2.5mm to MIDI (Input Only)
  • Power: Bus powered by iOS (9V battery needed for phantom power)
  • Can charge IOS unit: No
  • Phantom Power: 48V (requires 9V battery)
  • Bundled Software: AmpliTube Metal (Mac), T-RackS CS Classic (Mac), and SampleTank 3 SE (Mac), AmpliTube Free (iOS), SampleTank Free (iOS), and iGrand Piano Free (iOS) and more after registering the product online.

The market response for the iRig Pro is overwhelmingly favorable, with its practicality and mobility being its most commended traits. Its intuitive design, compact size and flexible combo XLR input makes it a great all-in-one recording partner that can be carried anywhere much like the iPad. While most commendations were written by guitar players, it also impressed many podcasters, vocalists, keyboardists and many more.

There were a few who found the plastic casing and gain knob to be a bit flimsy, and they recommend handling the unit with extra care.

The IK Multimedia iRig Pro is ideal for those put mobility and portability as their top priority.

Focusrite iTrack Solo Lightning

85
GEARANK

85 out of 100. Incorporating 50+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$120
Focusrite iTrack Solo USB Audio Interface

The Focusrite iTrack Solo Lightning is an iPad and iOS compatible audio interface that comes in mini-rack form factor. It's main selling point is its Focusrite mic preamps, which features the same quality as found on their more expensive models. Only this one is meant for the entry-level market, with its compact profile, streamlined features, and affordable price tag. As the label implies, this version comes bundled with a lightning cable, which means that it will connect with the latest iPads out-of-the-box, in addition to connecting to Macs and PCs (via USB).

Specifications:

  • A/D Resolution: 24-bit/96kHz
  • Connectors: Lightning, USB
  • Simultaneous Channels: 2
  • Inputs:1 x XLR, 1 x 1/4" Instrument input
  • Outputs: 1 x RCA Monitor Outs, 1 x 1/4" Headphones
  • Power: USB
  • Can charge IOS unit: No
  • Phantom Power: Yes
  • Bundled Software: Ableton Live Lite 8, Novation's Bass Station, Focusrite Scarlett Plug-in Suite, 1GB Loopmasters Samples.

For its price, this audio interface does everything it is supposed to do, and it does it well - as attested to by many users. Most of its positive reviews come from users who do vocal/speech related recordings. It's solid build and intuitive design also got a lot of thumbs up.

There were a few who encountered clipping issues when recording guitars and other pickup-equipped instruments. Experienced users noted that gain adjustments can be a bit tricky at first, but should be a non-issue once you got the settings dialed in just right.

All in all, the Focusrite iTrack Solo Lightning is a worthy yet affordable audio interface that is highly recommended.

Shure MVi

89
GEARANK

89 out of 100. Incorporating 20+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$129
Shure MVi

Shure's entry into this list is the MVi, a compact audio interface that works well with different sound sources. It owes its versatility to its switchable recording mode, which lets you fine tune its Class A preamp for use with singing, acoustic instruments, speech and loud instruments. The 5th mode tunes the MVi to a basic flat setting, in case you want to go the warts and all approach. This interesting ability makes it easier for beginners to get good sounding recordings. The built-in DSP also lets you dial in dynamic and EQ settings to your preference, in case you want more control over the sound. Finally, all these features are packed well inside a solid but compact profile, making the MVi a true grab-and-go recording interface that matches the portability and flexibility of the iPad.

Specifications:

  • A/D Resolution: 24-bit/48kHz
  • Connectors: Lightning (Micro-USB to Lightning)
  • Simultaneous Channels: 1
  • Inputs: 1 x XLR-1/4" Combo (Line/Hi-Z Level)
  • Outputs: 1 x 1/8" Headphones
  • Power: Bus Powered (by IOS or USB)
  • Can charge IOS unit: No
  • Phantom Power: 16V (when using iPad power), 48V when using standard USB power

The market has mostly good things to say about the Shure MVi, with many praising its ease of use, sound quality and rugged all metal chassis. The MVi's form factor were also well received by many users, they commend it for being eye catching and portable. Satisfied users include singers, guitar players, podcasters, professional voice actors and more.

Note that the bundled Mini-USB to Lightning cable is not the same as standard USB to Lightning cables. This means that replacing the cable can be a bit of a hassle, thankfully there are specialized mini-USB to lightning cables available online which you can find with a bit of searching. Just make sure that you don't lose the cable and you won't have to deal with this minor issue.

If you want nothing but the best rated audio interface that can readily be used with your iPad, then Shure MVi is for you.

Apogee Jam 96K

88
GEARANK

88 out of 100. Incorporating 225+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$129
Apogee JAM 96K Guitar Audio Interface for iPad / Mac / iOS

Instead of being an all-in-one solution, the Apogee Jam 96k is a compact audio interface designed for guitarists and bassists. It converts your guitar signal to 24-bit/96kHz digital audio that can be sent to your iPad and other iOS devices. And since its preamp circuit is especially tuned for instruments, it provides the right amount of headroom and dynamic range that other multi-purposes interfaces may lack. Other features include built-in limiter for preventing signal clipping, discrete gain knob and LED monitoring. Aside from the mentioned features, the Apogee Jam 96K offers nothing extra, making it streamlined, compact and affordable. And since its from Apogee, sound quality and compatibility with Apple devices are already a given.

Specifications:

  • A/D Resolution: 24-bit/96kHz
  • Connectors: Lightning and USB
  • Simultaneous Channels: 1
  • Inputs: 1 x 1/4" Instrument
  • Power: Bus Powered by iOS or USB
  • Can charge IOS unit: No

Most reviewers agree that the Apogee Jam 96K sounds really good and clear. This clarity helped many guitarists achieve professional quality guitar recordings from their iPads. The simplicity that it brings was also mentioned multiple times, resulting in improved productivity.

The proprietary lightning cable that comes with the Apogee Jam 96K prompted a few users to deduct points in their reviews. The unit's plastic exterior and small gain knob also got a few users concerned.

If you're looking for a high-quality and portable way of interfacing guitar/bass straight to your iPad, then the Apogee Jam 96K is your best pick.

Focusrite iTrack Dock

85
GEARANK

85 out of 100. Incorporating 125+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$150
Focusrite iTrack Dock iPad USB Audio Interface

The iTrack Dock is an audio interface that is specifically designed for the iPad. It has a form factor that allows Apple tablets to securely dock in place, while providing mic/instrument inputs and monitoring outputs. The manufacturer lists the iPad, iPad Air and iPad Mini as compatible tablets. Note that some users were able to connect the dock to the bigger iPad Pro via an extension lightning cable, but Focusrite does not officially recommend this method. As expected, the iTrack Dock's best asset is its two Focusrite preamps, allowing for studio quality recording right on your iPad.

Specifications:

  • A/D Resolution: 24-bit/96kHz
  • Connectors: Lightning
  • Compatibility: iPad, iPad Air, iPad Mini
  • Simultaneous Channels: 2
  • Inputs: 2 x XLR, 1 x 1/4" Hi-Z, 2 x 1/4" Line in
  • Outputs: 2 x 1/4" Monitor Out, 1 x 1/4" Headphones
  • MIDI: USB
  • Power: 12V DC Power Supply
  • Can charge IOS unit: Yes
  • Phantom Power: Yes

What makes the iTrack Dock especially appealing is its ability to charge the iPad while being used, solving the battery drain problem that plagues most audio interfaces. This is the reason why we, and many reviewers consider this as the most practical tabletop audio interface for those that use the iPad as their core music production tool.

Since it doesn't run on battery, the iTrack Dock needs to be plugged to a power outlet, which limits its mobility. However this is a reasonable compromise considering the form factor is meant for desktop use.

All things considered, the Focusrite iTrack Dock is easily the best suited audio interface if you're looking to put serious time into recording and production with your iPad.

Best iPad Compatible USB Audio Interfaces

These are top rated USB Audio interfaces that can work with the iPad via Apple's Lightning to USB adapter, or Camera Connection Kit. These interfaces work with the iPad because they are USB audio Class Compliant which means they don't need proprietary drivers. The standard USB adaptors won't be able to charge your iOS device and generally won't supply enough power to these interfaces so they will need their own power supply.

Steinberg UR22 MK2

90
GEARANK

90 out of 100. Incorporating 225+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$130
Steinberg UR22 MK2 USB Audio Interface for iPad, Mac and PC

With Steinberg's expertise in DAW software development, it is not surprising to find that their audio interfaces are highly regarded. They join this list with the UR22 MK2, a 2-channel audio interface with hardware and DAW compatibility being its strong point. To connect with the iPad, it comes equipped with a CC (Class Compliant) mode and an additional USB mini socket to draw power from (since it cannot draw power from the iPad). All you need is Apple's Lightning to USB adapter and you can capture audio through its 24-bit/192kHz A/D resolution, and two Yamaha D-Pre mic preamps - right on your iPad. Other essential features include "Loopback" for streaming performances live while recording, MIDI in/out and zero-latency hardware monitoring.

Specifications:

  • A/D Resolution: 24-bit/192kHz
  • Connectors: USB (Requires Lightning to USB Adapter)
  • Simultaneous Channels: 2
  • Inputs: 2 x XLR-1/4" Combo (Mic/Line, 1 input switchable to Hi-Z/Instrument)
  • Outputs: 2 x 1/4" Line Out, 1 x 1/4" Headphones
  • MIDI: In/Out
  • Power: Bus Powered (USB)
  • Phantom Power: 48V
  • Bundled Software: Cubasis LE (iOS), Cubase AI (Mac/PC)

Reviews for the UR22 MK2 are consistent with reviews of the first - with many commenting that they are very happy with its professional quality sound without the hefty price tag.

Note that like most USB interfaces under iOS the Steinberg UR22 MK2 will require a 5V USB power adaptor to be connected.

If you're looking for an affordable multiplatform audio interface that works well with the iPad, then definitely get the Steinberg UR22 MK2.

Yamaha AG03

92
GEARANK

92 out of 100. Incorporating 90+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$150
Yamaha AG03 3-Channel Mixer Audio Interface for iPad / Mac / PC

There's no denying Yamaha's reputation for quality and value for money, and the iPad-compatible AG03 is a great example. Far from being just another audio interface, this one comes with mixer-like functionality and multi-platform compatibility. The first channel features Yamaha's popular D-Pre mic preamp, while the second channel lets you switch between Hi-Z instruments or line level sound sources. It also comes with impressive control options including a dedicated fader for channel 1. Other features include built-in DSP effects (reverb, compression, filtering) and Loopback, which lets you broadcast via realtime online streaming platforms. Note that since the iPad cannot provide enough power for the Yamaha AG03, you'll need a USB 5V power adapter to get it running. Alternatively, you can connect the extra USB slot to a power bank for mobile use.

Specifications:

  • A/D Resolution: 24-bit/192kHz
  • Connectors: USB (Requires Lightning to USB Adapter)
  • Simultaneous Channels: 2
  • Inputs: 1 x XLR-1/4" Combo, 1 x 1/4" Hi-Z, 2 x 1/4" Line Input
  • Outputs: 2 x 1/4", 1 x Stereo RCA, 2 x 1/4" Headset
  • Features: 3-Channel Mixer Controls and i/o, DSP (EQ, Filtering, Reverb), Loopback
  • Power: Bus Powered (Requires USB Power Hub)
  • Phantom Power: 48V (Channel 1)
  • Bundled Software: Cubase AI (Mac/PC), Cubasis LE

This is a great choice if you want a compact mixer / audio interface combo, and reviewers agree. Reviews show that it simplifies recording, podcasting and music production setups, and that it is useful in various situations, including video streaming, podcasting, recording, and more. Many also commended the Yamaha AG03's clarity and zero latency operation.

There were a few who wished for extra features, but there were no notable complaints raised.

If you are in the market for a multiplatform audio interface that doubles as a mixer, the Yamaha AG03 is highly recommended.

Audient ID4

95
GEARANK

95 out of 100. Incorporating 60+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$199
Audient ID4 USB Audio Interface 2-in/2-out

Thanks to Audient, you can have a premium portable audio interface for under $200. The ID4 packs their class A mic preamp and JFET DI circuit into a compact and lightweight metal enclosure. It is designed to be class compliant, so it works with the iPad and other iOS devices, just as it does with Mac and Windows based computers. Since this unit is bus powered, you'll need a powered USB Hub to get it working with the iPad. Thankfully, this slight inconvenience is minor compared to the benefits of utilizing Audient quality recordings on the go. Other features include zero-latency monitoring, mix and pan controls, 2 separate headphone outputs, and a console like interface.

Specifications:

  • A/D Resolution: 24-bit/96kHz
  • Connectors: USB (Requires Lightning to USB Adapter)
  • Simultaneous Channels: 2
  • Inputs: 1 x XLR-1/4" Combo (Mic/Line), 1 x 1/4" DI (Instrument)
  • Outputs: 2 x 1/4" Monitor, 1 x 1/4" Headphones, 1 x 1/8" Headphones
  • MIDI: USB
  • Power: Requires USB Power Hub or Power Bank
  • Phantom Power: 48V (Channel 1)

The Audient ID4 continues to get acclaim from users with different experience levels, including musicians, voice over artists, home studio owners and many more. Most reviewers not only praise its performance, but go as far as recommending it for small home studios, or for those who do onsite mobile recording. The sound quality received the most commendation, followed by ease of use and portability.

There were a few users who had qualms about the ID4 resetting its headphone output settings when turned off, but still praised the unit for its solid build and transparent sound.

Overall, the Audient ID4 is the ideal portable audio interface for those who want to take advantage of the iPad's mobility, without compromising sound quality.

Audient ID14

97
GEARANK

97 out of 100. Incorporating 175+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$299
Audient ID14 USB Audio Interface 10-in/4-out

Audient is widely known for the quality of their mic preamps, and two of these are found in the Audient ID14, a top rated audio interface that works well with the iPad. These sought-after preamps are paired with Burr Brown AD-DA converters, which ensure that sound quality does not degrade as it converts from analog to digital and vice versa. Also complementing the mic preamps is a dedicated JFET DI instrument input, for high quality instrument capture. It also helps that the ID14 looks as premium as it sounds, with console-style monitor control with polarity, cut, talkback, cue mix, and other controls. The Audient ID14 also makes room for future expansion, thanks to its 8-channel ADAT input, which gives you up to 10 channels to work with.

Specifications:

  • A/D Resolution: 24-bit/96kHz
  • Connectors: USB (Requires Lightning to USB Adapter)
  • Simultaneous Channels: 2 (Up to 10 via ADAT)
  • Inputs: 2 x XLR/TRS Combo, 1 x 1/4" DI (Instrument), 1 x ADAT/S/SDPIF
  • Outputs: 2 x 1/4", 1 x 1/4" Headphones
  • MIDI: USB
  • Power: Requires AC Power Supply or Powered USB Hub
  • Phantom Power: 48V (When using AC Power Supply)

If there was one word to capture how most reviewers feel, it would be "amazing". Almost everyone agree that the ID14 improved the quality of their iPad recordings, so much so that many used them in their final mixes. Multi-platform compatibility was also commended along with its overall premium build.

There were a few who initially had software related issues when using Windows/Mac, but were resolved through driver or firmware update.

If you have the budget and want nothing less than the best rated audio interface with the capacity to expand via ADAT, then get the Audient ID14 ASAP.

RME Babyface Pro

93
GEARANK

93 out of 100. Incorporating 90+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$749

German manufacturer RME enters this list with its class compliant portable audio interface, the Babyface Pro. This unit comes with many interesting features that easily set it apart from the competition, most notable of which is its extended range of 76dB, which increments in 1dB steps. This extra gain allow for improved clarity and compatibility with low level microphones. Another noteworthy feature is the redesigned XLR socket, which saves space and better secures connection. Of course the ADAT toslink connection, which allows the addition of 8 input/ouput channels via an ADAT audio interface is a key feature those who might want to expand beyond the 4 input channels initially on offer. Other features include 2 mic preamps, hi-Z (instrument) and lo-Z (line) inputs and MIDI input/output. All of these features are packed inside a compact yet solid aluminum housing that's equally at home in portable and home studio applications.
Specifications:

  • A/D Resolution: 24-bit/192kHz
  • Connectors: USB (Requires Lightning to USB Adapter)
  • Simultaneous Channels: 4 (Up to 12 via ADAT)
  • Inputs: 2 x XLR, 2 x 1/4", 1 x ADAT toslink
  • Outputs: 2 x XLR, 1 x 1/4" Headphones, 1 x ADAT toslink
  • MIDI: In/Out via Breakout Cable
  • Power: DC Power Supply or USB Bus Powered
  • Bundled Software: TotalMix FX
  • Phantom Power: Yes

The market response to the RME Babyface Pro is overwhelmingly positive, which is quite impressive considering its premium price tag. It is commended mostly for its excellent headroom and clarity. And while many bought the RME for portable use with their iPads, it has been reported to be equally viable in home studios, especially with it premium look and space saving size.

The price tag is on the higher end for the average home studio enthusiast and mobile producer, but those who have bought the Babyface Pro found the premium cost justifiable. Having to use proprietary breakout cables were frowned upon by a few users, but they do understand that this is a necessary compromise to make the unit smaller and lighter.

Get the RME Babyface Pro if budget is not an issue, and you want a premium quality audio interface.

Editor's Pick

If you're looking to test the waters before taking a full dive at iPad recording, you'll want to look at this affordable audio interface.

Behringer U-Phoria UMC204HD

89
GEARANK

89 out of 100. Incorporating 175+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$80
Behringer U-Phoria UMC204HD

Whatever music gear you're looking for, there's a good chance that Behringer has an affordable alternative. The U-Phoria UMC204HD is a great example, a highly rated audio interface that gives you more bang for your buck, without compromising features. For the price, it gives you quite a lot to work with, including two MIDAS designed mic preamps with optional 48V phantom power, switchable line/instrument inputs and even MIDI connectivity. These features should be enough for most home studio tasks, while extras like the switchable input pad and double insert jacks makes for even more flexibility. Note that you'll need a Lightning to USB adapter along with a powered USB hub to make it work with the iPad. Thankfully, the Behringer UMC204HD is very affordable, so you'll have enough change to get these two accessories. Since using a powered USB hub or battery also charges you're iPad, its cost is easily justifiable.

Specifications:

  • A/D Resolution: 24-bit/192kHz
  • Connectors: USB (Requires Lightning to USB Adapter)
  • Simultaneous Channels: 2
  • Inputs: 2 x XLR / TRS (switchable Hi-Z) Combo , 2 x 1/4" Insert
  • Outputs: 2 x Stereo, 2 x 1/4", 1 x 1/4" Headphones
  • MIDI: Input/Output
  • Power: USB Bus Powered
  • Phantom Power: Yes

While many use it for guitars, there are plenty of good reports of this interface working with different types of mics and instruments. Almost everyone agrees that it gives you the most features per buck and that it is good enough for most recording purposes.

While not iPad related, it should be noted that there are reports of driver issues with Windows and Mac systems, thankfully many solved them by updating the drivers. There were also a few users who had to update the firmware to make it work with the iPad. The current production line should ship with updated firmware so this should be a non-issue for brand new units, unless a major iOS update has been released.

If you are looking for a budget recording interface that you can use with your iPad then do check out the Behringer U-Phoria UMC204HD.

What to Look for in an iPad Audio Interface

  • Lightning Compatible Audio Interfaces

    While many USB audio interfaces can work with the iPad via Class Compliant mode, they require certain accessories to work and is a bit complicated to setup. Thankfully, there are interfaces built to work directly that connect directly with the iPad, complete with Apple's proprietary Lightning Connectors. They are the best choice if you want to avoid the complications of having to buy adapters. Note that older iPads use older 30-pin connectors, so be sure to check whether the interface you're buying support these otherwise you could be stuck buying needing to use the Lightning to 30-pin Adapter .

  • Class Compliant USB Audio Interfaces

    These are audio interfaces that utilize industry standard USB drivers to work, and as such they work seamlessly with multiple operating systems, including iOS. While being able to switch between your iPad and your computer is a good thing, they will require you to buy an Apple USB Camera Adapter to connect to the lightning interface on you iPad. The main accessory people use is the Apple's Lightning to USB Camera Adapter or the Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit (for older 30 pin devices). More recently the Lightning to USB 3.0 Camera Adapter has become available and although it's a bit pricier it does allow you to charge you're iPad while connected to USB which isn't possible with the other two. Note that USB interfaces generally won't be able to draw enough power via these USB adaptors to operate so see the following section on power consumption.

  • Power Consumption

    The iPad is designed to limit the amount of power supplied to external devices, and while this can preserve battery life it also presents challenges for the said external devices. This is the reason why most audio interfaces made specifically for the iPad required their own power, a few are even capable of charging your iPad, making them ideal for long recording sessions. Those interfaces that are 'bus powered ' have to contend with the iPad's limited power so they tend to be small one channel interfaces and features like phantom power are scaled down, if not totally turned off. That said they are the most convenient and portable options you find.

    When it comes to compatible USB interfaces connected through a lightning adaptor, you will generally need a another supply of power. Interfaces that are USB bus powered will usually not get enough 'bus power' via the lightning adaptor to function. This is where interfaces that can use their own power supply come in handy. The solution for interfaces that can only be USB 'bus powered' is to use a powered USB hub and although this works it does add another box and cable to your setup which can reduce the portability and convenience of the setup. Check out the video below on how to connect bus powered interfaces with the iPad:

  • Input Compatibility

    If you're planning to record vocals and other instruments, you'll want one that comes with both 1/4" and XLR inputs. Note that electric guitars, basses and other instruments require a higher impedance than line level inputs even though they use the same 1/4" connection. So look out for connections or switches labelled 'Instrument' or 'Hi-Z' to see if an interface can handle these properly. A workaround for this is to use a DI Box before going into the audio interface. Another important consideration is 48V phantom power capability, which is the standard when you're planning to use condenser microphones. Some interfaces also provide ADAT connections to allow you to add up to 8 extra tracks via a separate ADAT audio interface.

  • Mic Preamp Quality

    Thankfully, many of today's affordable audio interfaces come with the same mic preamps as their expensive counterparts. This means that even in the entry level market, you are getting really good sound quality. If you're looking for tried and tested preamps, brands like Focusrite, Audient, Yamaha and more have iPad friendly interfaces that provide top notch sound recording, worthy of being included in the final mix.

Methodology

We first updated our database of Lightning compatible iPad audio interfaces and decided to broaden our scope to include iPad compatible class compliant USB devices. We ended up with adding/updating more than 30 audio interfaces into our database, and tallied over 5300 sources. All these data were fed to the Gearank algorithm to give us the scores that we used to identify the best audio interfaces that are worth recommending. For more information about this process see How Gearank Works. Finally, we divided the list into Lightning Compatible and iPad Compatible USB sections, and sorted the top rated ones by price.

Comments

I'm noticing there arn't any

I'm noticing there arn't any two-channel bus powered interfaces on this list. Are there any out there? I'm at the end of my wits looking for one.

It might be the case that IOS

It might be the case that IOS does't provide enough power for a good two-channel microphone interface via the connection. A few years ago they reduced the power available to USB devices via the adaptor and they don't publicly specify how much power is available for lightning / 30 pin connector.

The only IOS bus powered interface on this list is the Shure MVi which is mono. The best option to get stereo may be to go for something that can be battery powered like the Roland Duo-Capture EX.

Yes, I tend to agree. The

Yes, I tend to agree. The iPad just doesn't have enough "juice" for bus-powering a stereo interface. Personally, I'd be too worried to rely solely on bus power during a recording. I always feel better knowing that I'm plugged into the "wall." If I needed to record something in the field where there were no electrical outlets I would probably use something like a portable "Zoom" recorder or something like that.

meanwhile there is a 'bus

Meanwhile there is a 'bus powered' apple usb camera adapter you can use in connection with audio interfaces. I do this. Works well.

I'd like to find out is if

I'd like to find out is if these audio devices allow song cueing for DJs. Many iPad DJ apps allow you to cue up / listen to song on the headphones separately from the main - but unfortunately it seems like lot of the good iOS compatible audio hardware doesn't support this feature.

(Mainly just need an audio interface without silly turntables on them)

Audio interfaces with three

Audio interfaces with three or more output channels should be compatible with cue mixing. Three because you need two channels for stereo output, and one (or two for stereo) for the headphones. This should work if the DJ app lets you send the cue and main audio to separate output channels.

The Behringer U-Phoria UMC204HD has four output channels and is very affordable. You can also look at our multi-channel audio interface guide for more options.

Post a Comment or Question

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Comments

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <b> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.