Audio Interfaces for iPad – 4 of the Best

Audio Interfaces for iPad – 4 of the Best

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 illustrations 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.

Behringer U-Phoria UM2

Behringer U-Phoria UM2

Behringer has become more widely known in recent years for its range of excellent audio interfaces. 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 Behringer U-Phoria UM2 offers a high-quality microphone preamp with phantom power, as well as a great instrument input. The compact USB unit can slip into your pocket to be taken anywhere and at well under £100 it ticks every box. As another nice touch, it’s also compatible with Mac and PC.

ZOOM U-22

Zoom U-22

Zoom is more traditionally known for its work in the field of guitar pedals and effects, although it has a sort of double life too. See, as well as its prominence in the guitar world, it has also grown in stature in the world of video production. Its superb H-series units are well respected audio capture devices, used extensively in videography on account of their unique features.

With the Zoom U-22, the company has applied that knowledge of audio capture to a superb little interface designed to work with both laptop and desktop computers, but also – hence its inclusion – with Apple’s tablet devices.

As a cost-effective way to get into recording onto an iPad, it’s pretty peerless. For not very much money at all, you’re getting a full-size XLR input, and the ability to monitor via headphones. All from a unit roughly the size of an ice hockey puck. It requires you to use a camera connection kit, but these leads and adapters can be obtained pretty cheaply.

PreSonus Audiobox iOne

PreSonus Audiobox iOne

Another big name in the world of audio interfaces, PreSonus is hugely respected in the music industry for its larger-scale studio equipment. It has a reputation for excellent sound quality, craftsmanship and flexibility.

Now that same level of quality is available for iPad users. While its suitability as the main audio interface in a home studio isn’t in doubt, we particularly liked the idea of using the PreSonus Audiobox iOne as a portable unit. You have your main interface set up in your studio, which doesn’t move, and the Audiobox iOne is carried around with your tablet ready for use at the drop of a hat.

IRIG2

IK Multimedia iRig2

Despite its leftfield appearance, the IK Multimedia iRig 2 was actually one of the first devices on the market which allowed guitarists to plug their instruments into their iPads. Or rather, its predecessor was. This newer version improves on the sound quality reaching your device, meaning tones from apps like Amplitube sound pristine.

About The Author

Chris Corfield

Journalist, PR and multimedia specialist. Write professionally on subjects ranging from musical instruments to industrial technology.

6 Comments

  1. fatihalt

    Hey, I have an iPad 4th gen, and a Roland Quad Capture. I failed to connect them up, and when I look at http://www.roland.com/support 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)

    • Joe

      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!

      Joe

      • fatihalt

        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?

        • Joe

          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,

          Joe

  2. Max

    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.

    Thanks
    Max

    • Sam Butterworth

      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.