Best Guitar Equipment Header Image
Best Audio Interfaces For iPad

Top 3 Best Audio Interfaces For iPad (September 2021)

The Best Audio Interfaces For iPad - 2021

The best audio interfaces for iPads offer fantastic opportunities to record high quality audio from several sources with minimal latency.

Audio interfaces for iPads range from large 'rack' styled devices through to pocket sized incredibly compact and durable audio interfaces. Some come with full colour LED/LCD displays for input and output levels, others offer portability by being powered by batteries.

Whether you're looking to record a keyboard, guitar or vocals, the best way to setup your recording station is to plug into your iPad and make tracks via an audio interface. Low and zero latency models are considered to be the best audio interface options on the market.

Check out our other review if you're looking for 8 channel audio interfaces specifically.

Audio Interface For iPad Connection Types

Audio interfaces for iPads come with all sorts of connection types allowing you to connect to your iPad via USB, thunderbolt & firewire to name a few. USB is the most popular and widely used mainly because it comes in many different forms ranging from Type-A, 2.0, & Micro USB through to the latest Type-C connections. Thunderbolt connections are the fastest. You'll find these are used on some of the more modern and high end audio interfaces available on the market.

Interested in small audio interfaces?

Audio Interface For iPad Price Range

The price of top quality audio interfaces has fallen dramatically in recent years. This is great news if you're looking to get hold of a device that will give you a fantastic sound without costing the earth. This is because many brands have taken their previous generation audio interface models and repackaged them. Usually with some modern nuances to create a budget model of their current range. Don't be put off by this, these audio interfaces for iPads are still great value. They might not have all the latest bells and whistles but they get the job done. Which means you don't need to pay substantial amounts of money for them.

Depending on what you want to achieve, you'll priorities different features when finding the best audio interfaces for iPads for your situation. If space is an issue you'll look for a small to medium sized interface that provides you a great experience and end result while not taking up a large portion of your limited space. If you're in need of a portable audio interface then you'll probably rule out any rack mountable models. Instead you'll be looking for small battery powered options.

Audio Interface For iPad - Inputs & Outputs

Audio interfaces for iPads come with a range of inputs and outputs. Some will have line inputs, mic preamps, headphone outputs, mic inputs & many other inputs and outputs. Make sure the model you consider has what you need. If you're kitting out a home studio then you'll be looking for the best audio interface which features (such as phantom power) the inputs and outputs you need at an affordable price range.

Some of the best audio interfaces for iPads come with software as part of the package. Pro tools is a popular editing software that we've seen offered as part of audio interface packages in the past. Purchasing an audio interface that comes with a reputable editing software is a great way to justify paying more for your audio interface because you're saving money elsewhere.

What is an Audio Interface For iPads

In essence an audio interface allows you to take audio signals and pump them in and out of your iPad. The decision on which one is right for you simply comes down to a combination of your budget and how you like to work. Simplistic models exist that simply convert analog audio signals to digital audio signals on the way to your iPad. This is because your iPad will have software such as pro tools that is able to understand digital audio signals. Allowing you to layer, manipulate and refine the sound and then pump out to a speaker or amplifier. The audio interface will convert your digital audio signals back to analog signals on the way out of your iPad. This way the speaker is able to play the sound for you to hear. These types of audio interfaces are known as AD/DA (Analog to Digital/Digital to Analog) converters

Whatever type of audio interface you're looking for we've tried to find the audio interfaces with the best features. While still being considered a great audio interface for iPads.

iZotope Spire Studio Image

iZotope Spire Studio

  • ✔ Very unique design
  • ✔ Record, edit, mix and share tracks from your phone
  • ✔ Professional microphone with award winning sound processing technology
  • ✔ Compatible with Android, iOS and iPad

The iZotope Spire Studio is an audio interface designed with the traveling musician in mind.

iZotope Spire Studio - Read Review See The Latest Price On Amazon Now

The Spire Studio is a top-of-the-line, premium desktop interface designed for creating amazing sounding recordings with the utmost fidelity. You can record, edit, and share your music with low-latency performance, thanks to the latest USB technology in iZotope's compact interface. The iZotope Spire Studio is a mobile recording setup that combines the functionality of a portable audio interface with the processing power of a full-featured DAW. Spire Studio's transformer-based audio path offers you a broad range of analog and digital recording and monitoring options.

This is a smaller interface that fits in a backpack, but it offers the same sound quality as many larger, more expensive interfaces. It also offers the ability to create up to eight channels of audio. The Spire Studio is a great entry-level interface that provides you with all the necessary tools for recording great-sounding tracks. It has two XLR or balanced TRS inputs for your microphones, as well as two XLR/TRS combo inputs that support both mic and line level signals. You can also add your own headphones for monitoring with dedicated input controls.

The iZotope Spire Studio is the most complete audio recording solution available for audio enthusiasts, podcasters, musicians, and composers. It is a USB-powered audio interface with two condenser microphones that create natural-sounding, studio-quality recordings. It is an uncomplicated powerhouse designed to get the best quality from your microphones, instruments, and other gear.

The Spire Studio from iZotope is a new breed of audio interface, designed for musicians who want high-quality audio, intuitive operation, portability and a stunning, eye-catching design. It can be used with a wide variety of recording and DAW (digital audio workstation) platforms, including Pro Tools, Logic Pro, Studio One, Reason and Ableton Live. The Spire Studio is compatible with most Mac and PC software. A fantastic looking device with all the performance needed for most home and portable recording studios.


Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 Audio Interface Image

Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 with Pro Tools

  • ✔ Class-leading conversion and sample rates
  • ✔ Focusrite iOS Control app
  • ✔ Two headphones output
  • ✔ Eight natural-sounding Scarlett mic preamps

This interface will take your growing studio to the next level.

Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 Audio Interface - Read Review See The Latest Price On Amazon Now

Another rack-mount choice in the mid-level category is the 18i20, which is the older brother of the Solo. Loaded with tons of features and I/O possibilities, this rack-mount is a solid choice for any mid-level studio setup. Not to mention, this interface will take your growing studio to the next level with its amazing sound quality and expansion options. The price seems to be very right with this rack-mount, it offers nearly all the same features and possibilities of competing rack-mounts but at half the cost.

Focusrite’s Scarlett audio interfaces are now a well established range, and using the same mic preamp design as the FireWire Saffire range, it’s a given that the front end is going to be at least as good as any at this price.

The 18i20 has 18 inputs and 20 outputs, and is effectively a Saffire Pro 40 with USB rather than FireWire. Though there are a few notable differences. Such as word clock only being on the 18i20 and no optical S/PDIF option for the 18i20. Although it may not appear to be a big step up from the Scarlett 18i6, they’re worlds apart in terms of physical connectivity.

At 3kg, the 18i20 is a hefty unit. Although the Scarlett series’ red livery has been carried through to the case. The black front panel is a far more serious and professional-looking affair. It all feels very solid. While we prefer the rubberised black mic preamp knobs to the shiny silver monitor and headphone knobs. It’s obviously not a deal breaker.

Like many current audio interfaces, the 18i20 tackles the ‘studio hub’ role successfully, bringing together input, output, software monitoring and hardware monitoring. Having two separately configurable headphone feeds, for example, is very useful. As are the physical Mute and Dim buttons and additional software monitoring options (including mono).

Two front-mounted mic/line/instrument inputs are joined by six rear-mounted mic/line inputs (all on combo connectors). All eight mic preamps feature individual front panel gain knobs, along with 48V phantom power switched on/off in two banks of four. Inputs 1 and 2 get manual switchover for high impedance instrument input and a 10dB pad switch.

There are ten analogue outputs on balanced TRS jacks, the first two of which are labelled ‘Monitor’. The front panel also has two dedicated headphone outputs with individual level controls. The other ten inputs and outputs are digital, with stereo S/PDIF via RCA and eight further channels on ADAT lightpipe. The latter can also handle S/PDIF or four channels of SMUX at 96kHz.

Lastly, there’s MIDI In/Out, word clock out and a mains input socket. The 18i20 can also run as a signal mixer in standalone mode. Display-wise, the front panel hosts eight 5-part LED input meters as well as USB Active and clock Locked indicators.

The combo inputs automatically switch between mic and line sources based on plug type, and the 60dB of gain handles low-level signals well. The input LEDs do the job, although there’s no option to switch them to output monitoring. One minor issue: in some circumstances, the monitor mute and level can be a bit slow to respond. Focusrite say it’s a software problem that’ll be fixed soon in an update.

Phantom power can only be turned throughout inputs 1-4 and 5-8 at a time. No on an as needed. so if only input 3 needs phantom power you must push the phantom power 1-4 button engaging it for all 4 inputs. Don’t worry as this will NOT damage or affect the other inputs using dynamic mics and will only hurt older ribbon mics.

Comes with more than enough software to start and point you to more if you’re new and feel the need to build up a plugin collection. It has everything you need and nothing you don’t. Cannot be beat for the price. Metal construction, beautiful red brushed aluminum on the top, it’s a shame to rack mount it. Knobs and buttons are heavy and confident as well as the solid click when inserting cables. It has some weight to it too. I’m blown away by the ability and features of this amp! No regrets and now I see why this audio interface for mac is so popular!


Roland OctaCapture USB 2.0 Audio Interface Image

Roland OctaCapture Audio Interface

  • ✔ The brand has a proven track record
  • ✔ The product has a near-perfect customer review rating
  • ✔ A large number of inputs/outputs
  • ✔ Impressive technical specifications

The most affordable audio interface that we’ve featured on the list

Roland OctaCapture USB 2.0 Audio Interface - Read Review See The Latest Price On Amazon Now

The Octa-Capture by the Roland Corporation is the most affordable audio interface that we’ve featured on the list.

It’s compatible with both Mac and PC, and can be used with the majority of DAWs, making it versatile for your setup.

It features eight premium-quality preamps, which boast the same internal components as their V-Studio 700 and M-400 V-Mixer mixing desks.

It has 8 XLR/TRS combination inputs, which allow users to plug in a combination of 1/4″ jacks and XLRs, ideal for live band recording sessions and to record instruments such as drums, where you may need microphones and DI capability.

Regarding the technical details, it records at a maximum of 96kHz sample rate, has a frequency response from 20Hz to 40 kHz, and delivers extremely low roundtrip latency with the help of Roland’s proprietary vs streaming technology.

Overall, when taking into account that the audio interface has incredibly customer reviews and even comes with a 1-year manufacturers warranty, it definitely holds it’s own on this article being a product to beat.

Compatibility
  • Mac & PC
  • Supports all major DAWs

 

Features
  • Incredibly reputable company ‘Roland’
  • Durable aluminum chassis which is rack-mountable
  • Eight premium microphone preamps
  • Ultra-low latency driver
  • Includes software
    • Cakewalk Sonar X1 LE
  • Requires power adapter
  • Warranty: 1-year manufacturers warranty

 

Technical Specs
  • USB 2.0
  • MIDI input/output
  • 4 XLR/TRS combination inputs (on the front)
  • 4 XLR/TRS combination inputs (on the back)
  • 8 TRS outputs (on the back)
  • Supports all major DAWs
  • 24-bit/96 kHz resolution
  • 20 Hz – 40 kHz Frequency Response
  • 48v Phantom Power

 

Pros
  • The brand has a proven track record
  • The product has a near-perfect customer review rating
  • A large number of inputs/outputs
  • Impressive technical specifications

Best Guitar Equipment

Affiliate Disclosure

bestguitarequipment.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for website owners to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, and any other website that may be affiliated with Amazon Service LLC Associates Program.

© WWW.BESTGUITAREQUIPMENT.COM | THE BEST MUSICAL HARDWARE REVIEWS IN TOWN | ALL RIGHTS RESERVED​