Apple’s mobile hardware offers some serious audio performance and a whole mess of apps to take advantage of it. But what it doesn’t have is the ability to connect inputs and get high-quality sound. Basic mics will work via the built-in jack, but if you want really good sound and more flexibility, you need to connect external hardware. Previous accessories worked with the Apple Dock Connector.
I expect we’ll shortly see new hardware with the Lightning Connector built in – the whole thing seems like an opportunity for third-party vendors to sell more accessories. But in the meantime, here’s the latest from Sonoma WireWorks. One of our favorite audio adapters in fact works so long as you use Apple’s Lightning-to-30-pin adapter cable, and we’ve got pictures from Sonoma along with official word as proof.
(Previously, more on this issue: iPhone 5: Audio Accessories Compatible; Some Require Adapters [IK, Line 6 Official Word])
The important thing about this interface is that its connection to your Apple gizmo is digital, using the digital connection on the device rather than going through the analog headset jack. (That analog connection is fine for things like headsets, but might be disappointing for creative audio work.)
While it’s called “GuitarJack,” the interface works with instruments and mics as well as guitar and bass. You get a 1/4″ instrument, and 1/8″ connections for stereo mic/line input and stereo line output.
Specs: input level control with 60 dB gain + 12 dB pad, Lo-Z and Hi-Z modes for working with guitars and the like, and full iOS app compatibility. Made in the USA.
More pictures of the combination, plus the original hardware (sadly, showing what you can’t do – connect directly to the iPhone). The accessory works with iPad as well as iPhone.