The iRig HD was a simple affair.
You plugged in a guitar at one end and set its level with an input gain control, while a cable at the other end took your signal to a computer or iOS device.
As it had no headphone socket, you had to monitor direct from the connected device, but Apple's decision to delete a dedicated headphone jack from its new iPhone 7 has been a catalyst for a rethink.
Now, this new version adds two analogue outputs: one for headphones, with a level control; the other to connect to an amp or PA with a switchable choice of sending the sound either unprocessed or as processed through the amp sims on your connected device, making it possible to use phone-, tablet- or laptop-based effects in a live situation.
With 24-bit/96kHz operation, the iRig HD 2 sounds good and nothing is lost because it ports a digital version of your guitar sound to its high-tech destination, while offering accurate monitoring through the headphone output.
On our iPad, we're able to play through amp sims (including AmpliTube 4) and record into GarageBand. Likewise, on our Mac it's easy to record into Logic and play through standalone versions of AmpliTube and NI's Guitar Rig.