Saturday, May 10, 2014

iOS Compatible Audio Interfaces

Using an external audio interface with iPhone/iPad can give you the best sound quality. But of course, external interface or dock station should have its own AD/DA converters better than built-in iPhone/iPad. This is especially important for recording or mastering process.

To work with iPhone/iPad external audio interface should be recognized by Apple's Core Audio without need for a driver. If the interface works on a Mac without needing a driver, it will most likely work with iPad/iPhone.

The following interfaces reported by users or taken from other publications as compatible iPhone/iPad. Before choosing a specific interface carefully read its description and user reviews.

Click the interfaces Name to visit the manufacturer's product page.

Name In/Out Notes
Akai EIE 4/4 44.1k x 16 bit only, Akai EIE Pro not compatible
In: 4x 1/4"-XLR/TRS; Out: 4x 1/4", 4x 1/4" Inserts, 1x 1/4" phones, USB Hub, MIDI

Alesis iO Dock 2/2 30-pin iPad dock, No AD/DA
In: 2x 1/4"-XLR/TRS; Out: 2x 1/4" TRS, 1x 1/4" phones, MIDI

Alesis iO Dock II 2/2 30-pin/Lightning iPad dock
In: 2x 1/4"-XLR/TRS; Out: 2x 1/4" TRS, 1x 1/4" phones, MIDI

Alesis iO Mix 4/2 30-pin iPad dock, Mixer, No AD/DA
In: 4x 1/4"-XLR/TRS; Out: 2x 1/4" TRS, 1x 1/4" phones, Stereo mix of all inputs

Alesis iO4 4/2 -
In: 4x 1/4" TRS, XLR, 4x 1/4" Insert; Out: 2x 1/4" TS, 1x 1/4" phones, MIDI

Antelope Orion 32/32 1U rack size
In: 4x D-SUB25; Out: 4x D-SUB25, MADI, ADAT, S/PDIF
DAC: TI PCM4104, ADC: TI PCM4202

Antelope Zen Studio 38/32 DSP effects, portable
In: 12x 1/4"-XLR/TRS, 1x D-SUB25 (8); Out: 1x D-SUB25, 1x 1/4" TRS, 2x 1/4" phones; 2x ADAT, 1x S/PDIF
Sound On Sound review
Sonicscoop - Research & Development: Antelope Audio Zen Studio

Apogee MiC 1/0 30-pin/Lightning (model 96k) cable connect
In: Built-in microphone; Out: No, USB powered

Apogee Jam 1/0 30-pin/Lightning/USB cable connect
In: 1x 1/4" TRS; Out: No, USB powered

Apogee Jam 96k 1/0 30-pin/Lightning/USB cable connect
In: 1x 1/4" TRS; Out: No, USB powered

Apogee One for iPad & Mac 2/2 30-pin/Lightning cable connect
In: 1x 1/4" TRS, 1x XLR, Built-in mic; Out: 3.5mm (1/8") phones, Charges iOS device

Apogee Duet for iPad & Mac 2/4 -
In: 2x 1/4"-XLR/TRS; Out: 2x 1/4" TRS, 1x 1/4" phones, USB MIDI
DAC/ADC: CL CS4272, DAC: ESS Sabre32
PC Magazine review

Apogee Quartet 4/8 -
In: 4x 1/4"-XLR/TRS, 2x ADAT; Out: 6x 1/4" TRS, 1x 1/4" phones, USB MIDI, Charges iOS device
DAC: ESS Sabre32
AskAudio review
Sound On Sound review

ART Dual Tube Pre 2/2 -
In: 2x 1/4"-XLR/TRS, 2x 1/4" Insert; Out: 2x 1/4" TRS, 1x 1/4" phones, S/PDIF (coax)

ART USB Dual Pre 2/2 Battery/USB/external powered
In: 2x 1/4"-XLR/TRS; Out: 2x 1/4" TRS, 1x 3.5mm (1/8") phones

Avid Fast Track Solo 2/2 30-pin cable connect (need Lightning adapter)
In: 1x XLR, 1x 1/4" TS; Out: 2x RCA, 1x 1/4" phones

Avid Fast Track Duo 2/2 30-pin cable connect (need Lightning adapter)
In: 2x 1/4"-XLR/TRS, 2x 1/4" TRS; Out: 2x 1/4" TRS, 1x 1/4" phones

Behringer UCA202 2/2 USB powered
In: 2x RCA; Out: 2x RCA, 1x 3.5mm (1/8") phones, S/PDIF (optic) output
DAC/ADC: TI PCM2902

Behringer iSTUDIO iS202 2/2 30-pin iPad dock, Battery/external powered
In: 2x 1/4"-XLR/TRS, 2x RCA (aux); Out: 2x 1/4" TRS, 1x 3.5mm (1/8") phones, MIDI

Behringer Digital Mixer x32 40/16 Complete digital mixing console
In: XLR; Out: XLR

Cymatic Audio LR-16 16/2 16 Track Recorder
In: 16x 1/4" TRS; Out: 1x 1/4" stereo

Echo 2 2/2 USB/external powered
In: 2x 1/4" TRS; Out: 2x 1/4" TRS, 1x 3.5mm (1/8") phones
DAC/ADC: AKM AK4621, OPAMP: JRC NJM2114

Edirol UA-25EX 2/2 -
In: 2x 1/4"-XLR/TRS; Out: 2x 1/4" TRS, 2x RCA, 1x 1/4" phones, S/PDIF (optic), MIDI

Fender SLIDE 1/2 USB powered
In: 1x 1/4" TS; Out: 1x 3.5mm (1/8") phones

Focusrite iTrack Solo 2/2 USB powered
In: 1x XLR, 1x 1/4" TS, Out 2x RCA, 1x 1/4" phones

Focusrite iTrack Dock 2/2 Lightning iPad dock
In: 2x XLR, 1/4" TRS; Out: 2x 1/4" TRS, USB midi

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 2/2 -
In: 2x 1/4"-XLR/TRS; Out: 2x 1/4" TRS, 1x 1/4" phones
DAC/ADC: CL CS4272, OPAMP: JRC NJM2122
MusicRadar review
HIFI ZINE detailed review

Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 2/4 -
In: 2x 1/4"-XLR/TRS; Out: 2x 1/4" TRS, 4x RCA, 1x 1/4" phones, MIDI
DAC/ADC: CL CS4272, DAC: AKM AK4384, OPAMP: JRC NJM4565, JRC NJM2122
Focusrite Scarlett inside

Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 6/6 -
In: 2x 1/4"-XLR/TRS, 2x 1/4" TRS; Out: 4x 1/4" TRS, 2x 1/4" phones, S/PDIF (coax), MIDI
DAC/ADC: CL CS4272

Focusrite Scarlett 8i6 8/6 -
In: 2x 1/4"-XLR/TRS, 2x 1/4" TRS; Out: 4x 1/4" TRS, 1x 1/4" phones, S/PDIF (coax), MIDI
DAC/ADC: CL CS4272
MusicTech review

Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 18/8 -
In: 4x 1/4"-XLR/TRS, 4x 1/4" TRS; Out: 6x 1/4" TRS, 2x 1/4" phones, S/PDIF (coax), ADAT, MIDI
DAC/ADC: CL CS4272
PC Magazine review

Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 18/20 1U rack size
In: 8x 1/4"-XLR/TRS; Out: 10x 1/4" TRS, 2x 1/4" phones, S/PDIF (coax), ADAT, MIDI
DAC/ADC: CL CS4272
Pro Tools Expert review

Griffin Studio Connect 2/2 30-pin iPad dock, No AD/DA
In: 1x 1/4", 1x 3.5mm (1/8") stereo; Out: 2x RCA, 1x 3.5mm (1/8") phones, MIDI

IK Multimedia iRig PRO 1/0 30-pin/Lightning/USB cable connect
In: 1x 1/4"-XLR/TS; Out: No; MIDI

IK Multimedia iRig HD 1/0 30-pin/Lightning/USB cable connect
In: 1x 1/4" TS; Out: No

IK Multimedia iRig PRE 1/2 4 pole 3.5mm plug adapter, No AD/DA
In: 1x XLR; Out: 1x 3.5mm (1/8") phones; MIDI

Lexicon Omega 4/2 -
In: 4x 1/4" TRS, 2x XLR, 2x 1/4" Insert; Out: 2x 1/4" TRS, 1x 1/4" phones, S/PDIF, MIDI
Sound On Sound review

Line 6 Sonic Port 2/2 30-pin/Lightning cable connect
In: 1x 1/4" TS, 1x 3.5mm (1/8") stereo line; Out: 1x 1/4" stereo line, 1x 3.5mm (1/8") phones, Device powered

Lynx Aurora 16 16/16 1U rack size, Need LT-USB card
In: 1x DB-25 analog, 1x DB-25 AES; Out: 1x DB-25 analog, 1x DB-25 AES
DAC: CL CS4398, ADC: CL CS5381

M-Audio Fast Track 2/2 -
In: 1x XLR, 1x 1/4" TRS; Out: 2x RCA

M-Audio Fast Track Pro 2/4 -
In: 2x 1/4"-XLR/TRS, 2x 1/4" TRS, 4x RCA, 2x 1/4" Insert, S/PDIF (coax), MIDI
DAC: AKM AK4381, ADC: AKM AK5381

Mackie DL806, DL1608 8,16/2 30-pin/Lightning iPad dock
In: 8/16x XLR; Out: 2x XLR, 4/6x 1/4" Aux sends, 1x 1/4" phones

miniDSP USBStreamer B 2/2,8 USB to ADAT/Toslink interface, USB powered
In: 1x Optical; Out: 1x Optical Toslink/ADAT

NI Traktor Audio 2 0/4 USB/external powered
In: No; Out: 2x 3.5mm (1/8") line, phones

Phonic Firefly 808 Universal 8/8 1U rack size
In: 8x XLR, 1/4" TRS; Out: 8x 1/4" TRS, 1x 1/4" phones, AES, S/PDIF (coax), ADAT, MIDI

PreSonus AudioBox 22VSL 2/2 -
In: 2x 1/4"-XLR/TRS; Out: 2x 1/4" TRS, 1x 1/4" phones, MIDI

PreSonus AudioBox 44VSL 4/4 -
In: 4x 1/4"-XLR/TRS; Out: 6x 1/4" TRS, 1x 1/4" phones, MIDI

PreSonus AudioBox 1818VSL 18/18 1U rack size
In: 10x 1/4"-XLR/TRS; Out: 10x 1/4" TRS, 1x 1/4" phones, S/PDIF, ADAT, MIDI

RME Babyface 10/12 -
In: 2x XLR, 1x 1/4" TRS; Out: 2x XLR, 2x 1/4" stereo, ADAT, S/PDIF, MIDI
DAC: TI PCM4104, ADC: AKM AK5385
Sound On Sound review
MusicRadar review

RME Fireface UCX 18/18 -
In: 2x 1/4"-XLR/TRS, 6x 1/4" TRS; Out: 6x 1/4" TRS, 1x 1/4" phones, S/PDIF, ADAT, MIDI

RME Fireface UFX 30/30 1U rack size
In: 8x 1/4" TRS, 4x 1/4"-XLR/TRS; Out: 2x XLR, 6x 1/4" TRS, 2x 1/4" phones, 1x AES/EBU, 2x ADAT, MIDI
DAC: TI PCM4104, ADC: CL CS5368

RME OctaMic XTC 24/20 1U rack size
In: 8x 1/4"-XLR/TRS; Out: 2x 1/4" TS; 4x AES/EBU, 1x ADAT, 1x MADI, MIDI
Sound On Sound review

Roland Duo-Capture Ex 2/2 Battery/USB/external powered
In: 2x 1/4"-XLR/TRS; Out: 2x 1/4", 1x 1/4" phones, MIDI

Roland Duo-Capture mk2 2/2 USB powered
In: 1x 1/4" TRS mono, 1x 3.5mm (1/8") stereo line in; Out: 1x 3.5mm (1/8") stereo line out, 1x 1/4" stereo (phones)

Sonoma GuitarJack Model 2 2/2 30-pin iPad/iPhone socket
In: 1x 1/4" mono, 1x 3.5mm (1/8") stereo; Out: 1x 3.5mm (1/8") stereo

Sonoma GuitarJack Model 2 USB 2/2 USB connection, device powered
In: 1x 1/4" mono, 1x 3.5mm (1/8") stereo; Out: 1x 3.5mm (1/8") stereo

Sonible ml:1 0/2 USB powered
In: No; Out: 2x XLR, 1x AES/EBU (S/PDIF)

Sound Devices MixPre-D 2/2 Battery/external powered
In: 2x XLR; Out: 2x XLR, AES, 1x 3.5mm (1/8") stereo line out, 1x 1/4" phones

Steinberg UR44 6/4 DSP (amps, revb, filter)
In: 4x 1/4"-XLR/TRS, 2x 1/4" TRS; Out: 4x 1/4" TRS, 2x 1/4" phones, MIDI
MusicTech review
MusicRadar review

Steinberg UR28M 6/8 DSP (amps, revb, filter)
In: 2x 1/4"-XLR/TRS, 2x 1/4" TRS, S/PDIF (coax); Out: 6x 1/4" TRS, S/PDIF (coax), 2x 1/4" phones
DAC: Wolfson WM8728, ADC: TI PCM1803, ADC: AKM AK5359

Steinberg UR824 24/24 1U rack size, DSP (amps, revb, filter)
In: 8x 1/4"-XLR/TRS, 2x 1/4" TRS; Out: 8x 1/4" TRS, 2x 1/4" phones, S/PDIF (optic), 2x ADAT

Tascam iXZ 1/2 4 pole 3.5mm plug adapter, No AD/DA
In: 1x 1/4"-XLR; Out: 1x 3.5mm (1/8") stereo, Mic input powered by batteries

Tascam iU2 2/2 30-pin cable connect, USB powered
In: 2x 1/4" TRS, XLR (cable); Out: 2x RCA, 1x 1/4" phones, S/PDIF (coax), MIDI (cable)

Tascam US-800 8/6 -
In: 6x 1/4"-XLR/TRS, S/PDIF (coax); Out: 2x RCA, S/PDIF (coax) 1x 1/4", 1x 1/8" phones
DAC: AKM AK4384, ADC: AKM AK5359

Zoom H6 6/2 Portable recorder, Battery/USB/External
In: 4x 1/4"-XLR/TRS, 1x 3.5mm (1/8") stereo; Out: 2x 3.5mm (1/8") phones, line
Sound On Sound review
Audiofanzine review




3 comments:

  1. As it happens, the first audio interface I tried from my junk pile was an Audigy 2 NX, and it works more or less fine connected via USB to iOS 7 phones and pads. I had some occasional issues changing the bit rate and the sample rate, but it does support 16 / 24 -bit 44.1 / 48 / 96KHz which surprised me for something so old (circa 2001/2003?). I was going to write a blog post about it, but not never did, just like every other blog post started and never published. But some of the details may be useful here, so:

    IN
    Mic in (3.5mm mono), Line in (3.5mm stereo), Optical (3.5mm to TOSLink), USB

    OUT
    Side/Phones (3.5mm stereo), SPDIF (coax), Optical (3.5mm to TOSLink), stereo Sub, Read and Front (3.5mm)

    Notes/Errata
    - I hacked the firmware to add EMU DSP effects such as compression a LONG time ago. Worked fine. Probably not possible today being a dead card with no (?) driver support ad Windows XP.
    - Note the Optical in. That means that you can record the optical output from Macbook Pros- noise free.
    - Note the Optical OUT. On an older Mac (2007 MBP), I can record Optical OUT from the NX to its Line/TOS IN. Modern MBPs dropped this functionality quite a few years ago- don't remember when.
    - SPDIF OUT does not appear to be compatible with Focusrite 18i8 SPDIF IN.

    Some links.
    http://support.creative.com/kb/ShowArticle.aspx?sid=2620
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_Blaster_Audigy#Sound_Blaster_Audigy_2_NX

    Hope thats useful- delete if TMI :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the addition of this list! Hope this helps to everyone to choose the right audio interface for their iOS devices.

      Delete
  2. Behringer iStudio (iS202)
    Recording Dock for iPad, with 2 XLR/TRS Inputs, Composite Video Output, USB to PC, Aux in (with ground), 2 TRS outputs for your powered monitors. Standard MIDI I/O and USB-to-host connectors. iPad2 fits right in to the 30pin connector, and my lightening adapter works fine for the iPad4.

    ReplyDelete