Provides: iDevice instrument connection
Minimum Requirements: iDevice and instrument app
If you desire to use your iDevice as a mobile guitar rig, you now have more choices than just AmpliTube and the iRig. Griffin has their own cable, called the GuitarConnect cable, that may prove to be a better product than IK Multimedia’s iRig at a cheaper price.
The GuitarConnect cable is a simple product. On one end you have a standard iDevice headphone-style cable. On the other end there’s a 1/4 inch connector and a headphone extension cable. The 1/4 inch connector is perfect for a guitar, bass or other instrument, and the headphone cable makes it easy to plug in your headphones. This works out well since you’ll likely be using this set up for practicing, so having the audio out (headphone port) next to the guitar makes sense. If you’re using this to connect to speakers or something else, this may be a bit clunky.
While the GuitarConnect’s purpose is very similar to the iRig, it’s designed very differently. The iRig is a very short adapter and requires the user to have a guitar cable. The GuitarConnect cable has a 1/4 inch cable built in, so that’s one less thing you’ll need. It sounds insignificant, but it’s actually very convenient. One less cable is one less thing to forget if you’re on the go.
What I really like about the GuitarConnect cable is that it doesn’t pull at my iPhone like the iRig does. The design here makes it much easier to use since you don’t have to worry about your iPhone twisting around while you’re trying to jam. There’s just one plug that connects to your iDevice, but there is a fair amount of cable between your iDevice and where the headphones and instrument connect to the cable. This reduces the amount of strain placed on your iDevice and makes it easier for you to use it. How so? Well, there isn’t a large adapter hanging right next to your iDevice, so it’s less likely to pull it around.
I didn’t notice any difference in audio quality between the iRig and GuitarConnect cables. I was half assuming the large adapter portion of the iRig did something fancy to maintain audio quality, but I’m beginning to doubt that. The GuitarConnect cable is very simple, and doesn’t appear to need to be any more complex since its audio quality is right where you’d expect it to be for an adapter that uses the headphone port. Sure, the dock connector would give you a cleaner, higher quality signal, but that would also cost much more to make.
There’s really only one downside to the GuitarConnect cable, though I doubt it will bother most users. Griffin has chosen to place the headphone connection on the instrument side of the cable. This means it will be easier to connect your headphones when you’re jamming by yourself, but may be slightly more difficult to connect it to an audio system. Honestly, it seems like such a minor detail that I’m almost embarrassed to mention it.
The GuitarConnect cable is easily the best choice available when it comes to methods to connect your guitar to your iDevice. It’s both simple and effective. Audio quality is great and the product couldn’t be more straight forward. It’s also priced very nicely. It’s easy to recommend the GuitarConnect cable over the iRig; it’s just a better product.