Tascam iU2 review

A do-it-all interface for iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch - and computers, too...

  • £149
  • €178
  • $199
What you get is a stylish slimline plastic box about 12cm square

MusicRadar Verdict

A comprehensive portable I/O device for both Apple's iOS and computers - someone needed to invent this, Tascam has, and it's done a brilliant job.

Pros

  • +

    iOS and computer connectivity. Onboard converters. Some good monitoring options.

Cons

  • -

    Not much, but we hope Tascam brings out a carrying case for it.

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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.

In Use

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.

Trevor Curwen has played guitar for several decades – he's also mimed it on the UK's Top of the Pops. Much of his working life, though, has been spent behind the mixing desk, during which time he has built up a solid collection of the guitars, amps and pedals needed to cover just about any studio session. He writes pedal reviews for Guitarist and has contributed to Total Guitar, MusicRadar and Future Music among others.