When it comes to recording audio to your mobile device, the overwhelming number of portable interfaces out there is just staggering and it’s pretty easy to get lost in all the spec sheets when trying to determine the best mobile recording solution for your needs.
For those type of situations, it’s important that the interface you’ll be using is compact, yet uncompromising in terms of audio quality. Most of all, it’s paramount to have a device that allows you to record audio with the use of XLR-based microphones while providing a low signal to noise ratio. That being said, let’s find out whether the IK Multimedia iRig Pre HD Adapter could fit the bill and be a feasible solution when capturing high-quality audio to your phone or computer on the go.
First and foremost, here are some of the device’s specifications. The IK iRig Pre HD Adapter accepts an XLR input and houses a studio-quality microphone preamp, capable of recording audio at 24-bit/96KHz resolution. Despite the Pre HD’s plastic construction, the unit is sturdy enough to handle most recording environments. As for the size, it’s no bigger than a generic power supply brick, making it easy to carry the adapter wherever you need to go.
On the front of the device, you will find two LED indicator lights. The top light indicates whether or not the 48V Phantom Power function is enabled, in addition to notifying the user if the unit’s battery is low. The lower light, on the other hand, gives information about the status of the input signal, allowing you to check if your audio gain is too high or too low depending on the color of the light.
Furthermore, the iRig Pre HD sports an integrated headphone amplifier with a switchable pre-/post-device monitor setting, which allows you to monitor with zero latency and hear the processed signal from your device. On the back of the unit, you will find a cover that houses two AA batteries required to run the adapter. On the left-hand side, there is a switch that enables the built-in phantom power alongside a small wheel to adjust gain.
It’s also worth noting that the iRig Pre HD works with any iOS device by using the micro-USB to lighting cable included in the box. IK also has their own simplistic recording app for iOS (iRig Recorder) that can be used as an alternative if you don’t already have another application in mind. If you want to use the adapter with a Mac or PC, you can do so by utilizing the micro-USB to Type A USB cable, which also comes with the kit.
Regarding audio quality, the iRig Pre HD Adapter performed surprisingly well in the tests conducted by Curtis Judd, producing clean audio with little to none self-noise mainly due to the amazing pre-amps available on board. In fact, as Judd states, the iRig Pre HD beats out the Saramonic SmartRig+, which is another great XLR to mobile device adapter highly demanded by professionals.
Long story short, for its more than reasonable price of $79, the IK’s iRig Pre HD adapter could certainly be an excellent purchase for your portable audio setup while working in the studio or on the go. So, if you’re currently on the market for a device that can record high-quality microphones from an XLR source, all while being compact and versatile, look no further as the iRig Pre HD adapter has got you covered.