Audio Interfaces for iPad – 4 of the Best

Audio Interfaces For iPad

Here are four of the best audio interfaces for iPad currently available

With every day, it seems the iPad has more to recommend it as a platform for recording, and the growing number of audio interfaces for iPad and their diversity are ample illustration of this.

With just about every major audio interface brand now offering at least one compatible device, it seems that Apple’s tablet is quickly becoming the first choice for mobile musicians.

If you’re  aiming to exploit your iPad for musical purposes, you’ll need to know which audio interfaces for iPad are the best for your needs. Here are four great choices. (* Please note that all of the below require the Apple Camera Connection Kit to connect to iPad)

Focusrite iTrack Solo

Focusrite iTrack Solo – £99.00

Focusrite has become more widely known in recent years for its range of excellent audio interfaces than the premium outboard on which it built its name. This is for very good reasons. Providing superb audio quality and preamps in affordable devices, they set a new standard for others to follow.

The iTrack Solo is the first device solely pitched as an audio interface for iPad from Focusrite. Providing a high quality microphone preamp with phantom power, with a great guitar inputs, into a compact USB unit at under £100, it ticks every box. As another nice touch, it’s also compatible with Mac and PC.

Roland Duo-Capture EX Audio Interface

Roland Duo Capture EX – £105

Roland interfaces have always enjoyed a reputation as being ultra reliable, and ultra compatible. The Duo Capture EX upholds this reputation whilst providing the first unit to be compatible with iPad.

Built to Roland’s exacting standards, this robust interface provides two microphone inputs via XLR combi jacks, derived from the flagship VS range of recording equipment. These can also be switched to guitar level or line level. MIDI input and output is also provided.

The unit can be powered via USB, external PSU or even two AA batteries, making it one of the most flexible audio interfaces for iPad around.

Audio Interfaces For iPad - Scarlett 18i20 in our Online Store

Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 – £349

Focusrite’s latest interface demonstrates that the UK prod audio brand is taking the iPad format very seriously indeed. This 19” rack-mountable USB interface offers 8-analogue inputs via XLR combi jacks, which can set to either microphone preamps (Focusrite’s award winning preamps), line level, or in the case of the two inputs on the front, instrument level, too. If you thought that it wouldn’t be possible to use an iPad in involved, multi-channel recording situations, think again…

With additional ADAT connectivity, the 18i20 has, you guessed it, 18 inputs and 20 outputs in total (via a preamp unit such as the Octopre), and MIDI I/O to boot. This is packaged into a unit with excellent digital audio quality, and compatibility with Mac, PC and iPad.

In the grand scheme of audio interfaces for iPad, the Scarlett 18i20 is a great option for those who want to record a band, drum kit or just about anything else with multiple microphones.

Roland Studio Capture

Roland Studio Capture – £609

If eight analogue inputs are not enough, then remarkably, there are still audio interfaces for iPad available. Notably, the brand new Roland Studio Capture fits this particular requirement, with a compliment of 16 analogue inputs. This comprises 12 XLR combo jacks, which can be either microphone preamps (derived from Roland’s VS series, no less) or line inputs, with input channels 1-4 also switchable to a Hi-Z instrument input. Ten outputs are also equipped, including two balanced XLR outputs.

One the new, innovative features to appear on Roland interfaces is ‘Auto-Sens’ capability, which automatically sets input levels to avoid clipping. In a first for a unit of this size,  front-panel metering on every input and output is also featured.

Audio Interfaces for iPad - Studio Capture

With compatibility with Mac, PC and iPad, and Roland’s legendary ‘bomb-proof’ reputation, the Studio Capture offers studio power in a portable box.

If you thought that the iPad was little more than a musical ‘sketchpad’, then think again. Great things are on their way. It you’re an Android user, don’t worry- interfaces like the IK Multimedia HD-A now offer Android compatibility!


  1. Hey, I have an iPad 4th gen, and a Roland Quad Capture. I failed to connect them up, and when I look at link, they only listed duo capture ex as the iOS-supported audio interfaces. So I am puzzled; how come it is that they say that, but you say that Studio Capture, which is simply an upgraded version of Quad Capture, can be run by an iPad? Bottom line is, if there is a way of connecting a Studio Capture to an iPad, so should be one for Quad Capture. I want to learn it. (I already tried camera connection kit, albeit a fake one, with a powered usb hub and didn’t work)

    • Hi

      Thanks for your query. Whilst the Studio Capture and Quad Capture are part of the same family, their spec is very different. Even if they are built with the same components (which I couldn’t say with any degree of certainty), the Studio Capture has different firmware (the tiny bit of software loaded onto the device itself), which is key to enabling its compatibility with iOS.

      The bottom line is that if Roland say it won’t work with your iPad, then it wont. Sorry!


      • Thanks for your reply. The strange thing is, I purchased an iPad 4 and a Quad Capture with the thoughts of using them together, and while Quad Capture is supposed to be the superior one to Duo Capture EX, it doesn’t have adapter option or battery option like Duo Capture EX does, PLUS lacks the iPad support. Seems really strange… Should I sell Quad and get a Duo EX?

        • Hi again,

          Yeah- the Quad Capture is actually quite a bit older than the Duo Capture EX. It’s only really in the last 12-months or so that brands have started to include iPad compatibility as standard. Some interfaces were compatible anyway, as they were fully compliant with CoreAudio as I understand it, but sadly not the Quad capture.

          Should you sell it? Well, that all depends on how much you need iPad compatibility, and how little you need the extra SPDIF inputs, I guess. The Quad IS a nicer interface in lots of ways, but if yopu need iPad compatibility, there’s no getting past the fact that it won’t work…

          Hope this helps,


  2. Hi,
    I have the Quad Capture unit and my question is how can I power it with external power adapter, without PC.
    I’d like to use it like a headphone amp some times and not turn ON my PC.


    • Sam Butterworth says:

      Hi Max. Unfortunately the Quad Capture can’t be used without connecting the USB cable to it as there is no external power supply input on the unit. Other Roland interfaces such as the Duo Capture EX do allow this though.