While we've been seeing a host of input interfaces for iOS devices, very few have had the same sort of comprehensive connectivity seen on standard USB/MIDI audio interfaces, but Tascam's new iU2 looks set to change all that.
What you get is a stylish slimline plastic box about 12cm square that connects to your device's dock via a cable neatly stowed in its base. It can also connect to a computer via a supplied USB cable and has MIDI connections for synths.
"Quality sound with low noise and distortion is the order of the day"
Other connections include a dedicated guitar input plus stereo mic/line input via a pair of jacks or included XLR conversion cables, with phantom power available for condensers via USB (connect a USB recharger for use with iOS). On top of that, you get headphone and line outputs for monitoring and an S/PDIF digital output.
Operation is as simple as it comes. Selector switches on the unit's base select inputs, while two large knobs set the input levels alongside separate knobs for headphone and line output. A monitor mix knob lets you set the balance between the input sound and computer playback for zero-latency recording.
Quality sound with low noise and distortion is the order of the day, with the iU2's onboard mic preamp and A/D converter delivering improved performance over those built into the iPhone and iPad.