iRig HD review by IK Multimedia

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Ease of Use: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.3 (4 votes)
IK Multimedia: iRig HD

Sound — 9
I used the iRig HD for recording bass and guitar with the new AmpliTube Studio app on my iPhone 4s. I tested this device hooked up to the iPhone's 30 Pin charging port, and monitored with a pair of Carvin monitor headphones from my iPhone's headphone jack. The preamp gain control is extremely helpful in getting the best results. Of course, as a mobile interface there isn't a lot to say about the sound except that it doesn't stand in the way of it. The signal was very clear and transparent. The only thing this device does to the sound is lets you control the level of the input to tweak it just right. If you have a small home studio or use emulated amps or effects on your computer, you've probably experienced latency, that annoying delay between what you play and what you hear. With the iRig HD, I experienced absolutely no latency or weird line noise. And with an interface this small, I didn't have to worry about finding a place for it on my desk.

Overall Impression — 9
There are two things about the iRig HD that make it worthwhile the fact that you can connect it to the 30 Pin Apple connector, and the fact that it has an actual preamp gain to control the levels of your audio source. It is a must have for anyone doing any recording on their iPhone, iPad or iPod. And honestly, if you own an Apple device and you're a musician then why wouldn't you use your Apple device? How many people carry around a practice amp when traveling, or are continually looking for a good amp for practice in a small apartment? The iRig HD has you covered, while also being cost effective and taking up virtually no space.

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Reliability & Durability — 9
The iRig HD is simple and solid, which translates into tough and durable. The only control is the preamp gain dial. The included cables are solid and look like they could survive some abuse. Since they're not permanently attached, it wouldn't be too hard to replace any of the cables should you ever have to. For simple practice purposes this device does not require any additional App Store purchases for emulation, as it is compatible with IK Multimedia's free apps such as AmpliTube FREE and AmpliTube Fender FREE, but there are a lot of cool extras available with the paid version of AmpliTube including a huge selection of in-app purchases if you want more options.

Ease of Use — 9
The iRig HD is an upgrade from the original iRig with some key upgrades. It includes an instrument-level 1/4" Hi-Z input jack like the original iRig, but in addition has a built-in high-definition preamp with gain control. As an additional upgrade from the original iRig, there are cables included for connection to Lightning, 30 Pin and USB ports instead of a fixed 3/8" connector. You can now connect to iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad or Mac without any additional accessories. The iRig HD also uses a very small power draw which it pulls from the iPhone, iPad, iPod or Mac you connect it to. The iRig HD is a very straightforward interface. I began using it for practice and recording straight out of the box. The preamp gain control lets you set the input levels exactly where you need them for instruments with lower or higher output. While it is designed for guitars and bass, in a pinch you can use it with an XLR to 1/4" cable to run a vocal mic to record scratch vocals. I used it with AmpliTube on my iPhone 4s and AmpliTube immediately recognized the iRig HD and there were no problems working with it as an interface. I also tested it with UG's own UGFX amp and effect modeling app without any difficulties.

17 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Me too, just bought i rig HD tried to connect to my i pad and it said not supported, so back it goes to Amazon, I'll stick to playing along to my itunes stuff through my amp,was worth a try I suppose.
    After much anticipation, I finally got my iRig HD. Plugged it all up & ……nothing. Zippo. Nada. I did get a clean signal output. Watched the input/output level dance up and down as they should. Saw the tuner working in action. BUT, the guitar signal was sanitary clean. Tried all the stomp boxes. Clean, no effect from the stomp boxes. Turned the gain & volume on the faux Marshall to 10. What did I get?? Clean…..clean…clean. Basically, either this is a defective iRig HD, or it’s a scam of the highest order. I am anxiously awaiting a response from a direct query to IkMultimedia. An online search for “iRig HD Problems” results in umpteen RAVE reviews about the product, but no complaints. Interestingly you will find several complaints on the iRig HD product page reviews. Right there in the App Store product page reviews. What the hell? Anyone else having this problem? Bueller, Bueller? Reply
    I bought the original Irig, and after reading thru this, I will never buy another Ik multimedia product. They are both complete shit. It's shouldn't be this complicated to plug a frickin guitar into an ipad.
    I invested too heavily in IK products (iRig + Amplitube Bound + iRig Blueboard etc) to the stage at the time know that the products are s h i t ... I feel cheated. False marketing! Both the iPad 3, iPhone 5 as in the problem is the same! Terrible noise / hiss. Say they have to turn off the Bluetooth / wifi... C o c k !!! I invested $500 bucks in iRig Blueboard to know that I can not use because Bluetooth interfere with noise?
    Mine is in the mail, and going back in the mail before I open it. I'll stick with the original, if I use one at all. Eddie V.
    I recently got the original iRig and it works fine stand alone, but makes more noise than my amps! Even that I could live with for many things but the feedback and bleed problems with using the headphone jack into GarageBand make it useless. I was thinking of upgrading to the HD, but if it is not compatible with iPad gen2 it won't work for me... Sad... Keni
    I bought the irig hd, but im having lots of problems with latency, even in the ultralow setting it seems to me that it has 20-30 ms of latency, but sometimes is less, sometimes improves when changing the amp model. im frustrated and dissapointed.
    My irig hd does not work I get the message this USB device not supported am at present trying to resolve the issue with ik multimedia but so far there is no solution and I don't have a mac nor a friend with an ipad to see if it is the device or my ipad,or another music app setting causing the problem
    I also have the problem connecting my iRig HD to my iPad gen 2. I Get the Message The connected device is not supported. It works with my iPhone 4S and 5S. Any solution?
    When i first time connected my iRig HD to iphone 4s - i had the same problem: "This accessory is not supported on this iphone" message. I noticed bad connection 30-pin cable connection to iRig. When i fixed it (some re-connections) - it started working! Remember: first connect 30-pin cable to iRig, then connect to iphone. Hope this helps.
    It's my understanding that it's not supposed to connect via USB but through the headphone jack that is found on the Mac, iPhone, and iPad
    No, that is not the case. The whole idea behind the $100 HD version of the iRig, is that it's digital in, direct through the docking connector. Unlike the original iRig, the HD has no connection for audio out. All monitoring is done through the headphone jack on the iDevice.
    That's true but the apogee jam doesn't include lightning connector and is more expensive
    The Apogee JAM has been doing the same thing as this for nearly 2 years!
    I've had nothing but problems with iRig HD on an iPad Air 2 with iOS 8.3. I'm returning it. Noisy. Brittle tone. Transients. Sometimes doesn't work at all. Unresponsive IK support.
    I've had the Apogee Jam since last year but only really started using it over the past week. I use it together with JamUp Pro and I'm totally shocked at how good it is. The sounds I get are every bit as good as my Roland VG99 or Yamaha THR10. I'm amazed at the quality of the amp and FX simulations using JamUp. Have no issues with the Apogee. Haven't tried the iRig HD so I don't know how it compares.