If we have to choose one word to describe the IK Multimedia iRig Pro audio interface, it would be: versatility. Indeed, it offers a considerable amount of features which make it a very appealing audio interface for Mac, Iphone and iPad. This might be surprising, considering its size. Coming with an extensive amount of sources dedicated to XLR microphones, guitars, basses, keyboards, MIDI sources and controllers, this device is multifunctional. Our IK Multimedia iRig Pro Review will describe what makes this product so great for when you need to record musical ideas on the go.
IK multimedia is a brand that has been around for years in the music and audio market. Hence, we weren’t surprised to see how qualitative this product was. Offering additional free and useful software specifically designed for this audio interface, the whole package you will get is rather complete. In our opinion, the iRig Pro is especially well suited for home studio usage. Additionally, at this price tag, and with the specifications it has, this audio interface can be used at the same time for amateur and professional recording.
Pros & Cons
IK Multimedia iRig Pro Review
We doubt that a more straightforward interface than the iRig Pro exists. This is a great thing mainly because it makes the product accessible to anyone. Therefore, this product can be recommended to beginners who are searching for an audio interface that functions in a similar way to a plug and play MIDI device. Moreover, through the helpful software that is included you will be able to play virtual instruments or directly change sound parameters. Performance-wise, this audio interface offers a great value at this price range. The quality of the A/D conversion is crystal clear and that is the case for the majority of instruments you plug into your interface.
We didn’t perceive any noticeable buzz, distortion during our recording tests. Indeed, most of the vocals, guitars and drums on this audio interface were very well translated by the transparent preamps. More specifically, vocals are clean and clear, whereas acoustic guitars will shine through the mix with this audio interface. Whilst bit rate depth is limited to 24 bits, this should be more than sufficient for most mix-downs. Sound quality is preserved through the entire range of the transmitted signal. A very useful input gain control knob will also let you instantly adjust the right input volume.
“The quality of the A/D conversion is crystal clear and that is the case for the majority of instruments you plug into your interface.”
Connectivity & Design
Reliability entails at the same time connectivity but also quality of manufacturing. As we have said earlier, connectivity with this device is quite satisfactory. Indeed, the iRig Pro is an audio interface which encompasses at the same time a 1/4“ Jack, an XLR input, MIDI, iOS device 13 pin connector with a new lightning connector. Phantom power, a feature which is not always present on audio interfaces has made the cut here. To power condenser microphones , this feature is quintessential.
As if that was not enough, this audio interface also includes a standard USB connection which permits connectivity to your computer (the interface is compatible with Windows and OS X, but necessitates the installation of a 3rd party driver for the former). Portability today is essential with musicians often touring, and not always present in the studio. The advantage of this audio interface is that it so compact that it can fit into your pocket. This makes the iRig Pro a highly suggested item for traveling purposes. Its compactness will let you record music anywhere. For us, ergonomy also corresponds to accessibility. The facility of setting up this device, makes it so much more enjoyable to use.
“Phantom power, a feature which is not always present on audio interfaces has made the cut here”
If the IRig Pro in itself is a great audio interface, in addition, there is a very complete selection of downloads and softwares which are included with the purchase of this product. In fact, IK Multimedia is a brand that has distinguished itself in the competition of VST/AU Plugins. Therefore, the featured softwares here are highly qualitative. For starters, the AmpliTube software is a fantastic guitar and bass tone studio for both Mac and Pc that can either work as a standalone application or as a plug-in within your DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). Here, there are 4 exclusive gear models which are provided (Metal W and Metal 150 amps, Wharmonator and X-Flanger stomp effects).
Moreover, the Sample Tank, sound and groove workstation is really top-notch quality. It includes more than 100 instruments and patterns hailing from all regions around the world. The version which is offered heres comes with 48 additional sounds which supplement the 20 sounds which are originally included. Another software which is provided is the iGrand Piano which is a concert-quality piano app, which comes with 40 true sounding, stereo, multisample pianos. The fidelity with which these piano sounds are incorporated into this software is truly astonishing. Finally, the VolcaLive app is an app which allows you to practice perform and record vocals like a professional on your iPhone and iPad. This application is very complete and features a large variety of effects (up to 12 effects and 4-track recorder).
“There is a very complete selection of downloads and softwares which are included with the purchase of this product.”
How Does It Compare?
The Apogee JAM 96k seems to be the best audio interface competitor for the IK Multimedia iRig Pro. Indeed, it shares lots of features in terms of ergonomy and specifications. The main positive aspects of the JAM 96k which have been expressed by users is that it is easy to use and fast to set up. Moreover, this audio interface is very light and portable but appears to be sturdy at the same time. Similarly to the iRig Pro, the Jam 96k offers a very high quality standard for its price range. In that sense, the interface is convenient for musicians who want to make studio-quality recordings directly on their computer from their electric guitar, electric bass or other acoustic instrument.
It is worth mentioning, that this device is a modernized version of the original Apogee JAM. Newly implemented features include a USB, 30-pin and a lightning cables to allow direct recording with iOS devices, as well as increasing the sound quality of the recording up to 24-bit/96 kHz. A transparent and crystal clear sound will meet any music producer’s requirements. To modify the gain, an elegant wheel has been provided. Another visually pleasing detail is the multicolor LED meter. While this product doesn’t have any specific downsides, some users have noticed a slight amount of latency on occasions.
The IK Multimedia iRig PRe HD shares obviously similar features with the iRig Pro since it is the same brand. What is really appreciable with this audio interface is its pre-amp for microphones. The latter does an admirable work, delivering a flat and wide response. Sound wise, the pristine rendering is also made possible through the 24-bit bit rate and the 96 kHz A/D converters. Quality in terms of sound is also perceived through the fact that the interface produces only occasionally very low interferences or pop.
Similarly to the iRig Pro, the iRig Pre HD offers full +48V phantom power which makes it suited for the widest range of condenser microphones. Overall, the audio interface is very versatile as it is perfect for recording instruments, sound for media, video, speech, interviews. As the two devices above it also has a gain control knob. The downfall with this interface is that many users have noticed that the input is very sensitive. In that regard, it is important to not forget to turn the output down from its source. However, we are disappointed that no software is provided with this interface. You need to go out to the App Store or the Play Store to download a dedicated software.
In sum, IK Multimedia’s iRig Pro is a very qualitative audio interface. With this device, what you will appreciate the most is the simplicity to get started and the overall straightforwardness. This IK Multimedia Irig Pro review has demonstrated how correct of a value this product has for its price. The quality of the preamps is amazing and the A/D conversion is crystal clear. Both the apogee JAM 96K and the IK multimedia iRig Pre HD prove to be fierce competitors. Nonetheless, for beginners and even people who are looking for an efficient, compact and portable audio interface, this product is a must have piece of gear.