Review: iRig HD 2 From IK Multimedia
Any great media setup has great music. It is even better when you are the one making that music. With that being said, I am happy to introduce the iRig HD 2 from IK Multimedia. I have worked with IK Multimedia in the past with the iRig UA and was excited to give another one of their products a once over.
The iRig HD 2 is a digital interface used to connect your guitar to an iPhone, iPod, iPad, Mac, or PC. Unlike the iRig UA this little guy is not compatable with Android. I personally am not a fan of iOS so that is somewhat disappointing but understandable given Apple’s dominance over super low latency audio processing. My test device was a somewhat beat up iPhone 5C. Not the latest and greatest by any means, but it still had no problems running the included AmpliTube software. I also tested the iRig HD 2 out on my Windows 10 based PC and my Linux based laptop. I am happy to report that while the AmpliTube software does not run on Linux, the iRig HD 2 is recognized as a USB sound card. I was able to use my favorite open source Linux DAW with the iRig HD 2 to record a dry track and apply various effects later. As this is an off-book use of the device I can’t guarantee this will work with your particular setup.
I won’t go into great detail about the AmpliTube iOS app as it is just about identical to Android version I have already reviewed here. The only real difference is the ability to record what you are playing directly onto your mobile device. From what I have seen online there also appears to be a dedicated iPad interface that offers much more control which was one of my major gipes about the AmpliTube Android app. The PC version of the software has quite a few other tricks up it’s sleave however. Included is a whole mess of amp sims, cabinet sims, mic sims, effects and other niceties. You can even change cabinet rooms. The is a built in 8 channel DAW as well a Looper, Tuner, and an a host of other virtual knobs and sliders to fiddle with. It is quite the recording suite, and really makes it easy to get a good recording even if you are a beginner.
The iRig HD 2 is a rather unimposing little black box with a soft-touch almost rubberized finish. It is only as big as a external battery pack and extremely lightweight. It includes a small clip on the back to attach it to a microphone stand. The iRig HD 2 comes with a headphone jack out, a 1/4″ guitar input, a 1/4″ output jack to go to your amp, a Micro USB port to connect to your iOS or Computer, a headphone volume wheel, a gain wheel for the built in pre-amp, and a switch that enables the amp output to either pass a dry track through or benefit from the amp modeling. It is worth noting that this device is compatable with the new iPhone 7 and can connect through the included Micro USB to lightning cable… no headphone jack required!
The iRig HD 2 is another great addition to IK Multimedia’s iRig lineup. With it’s 24-bit/96kHz output it sounds great! The software is pretty great and the amp and cab sims while not the best I have heard are still damn good. I would highly recommend this device for any bedroom guitar players who want to record their playing and don’t want to drop a ton of money on an interface. I would feel perfectly fine tossing an iPhone and the iRig HD 2 into my gig bag and going direct in lieu of hauling an amp along to a small gig. What do you think? Let us know below.