IK Multimedia StealthPlug review

IK's mini audio interface stacks up well for guitarists on the move

  • £79

MusicRadar Verdict

It's easy to see the attraction of StealthPlug. There´s nothing else quite like it.


  • +

    A complete start-up package. Very low latency. AmpliTube 2 is almost worth the price alone. Great for laptop users.


  • -

    It’s never going to yield the sound quality of a more expensive soundcard. Stereo jack output only. Host has to be closed for latency to be adjusted. Slightly flimsy lead.

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The StealthPlug is small and portable. Very portable. It´s simply a 1/4¨ jack-to-USB lead with a small audio interface in the middle (16-bit/44.1kHz or 48kHz performance is possible), so it´ll easily fit into a guitar case. A single output can be sent to your monitors or computer speakers, so you can record on your laptop any time you have your guitar with you. What´s more, you could take your laptop to a gig and run the StealthPlug´s output into your guitar amp, though it wouldn't be a good idea to use such a short, flimsy lead week in, week out in a live situation.

The best thing about StealthPlug, though, is that it enables you to create complete tracks right away. This is because it comes with a rather splendid suite of software. No corners have been cut here: you get the full version of Tracktion 2 -- which is one of the finest DAWs on the market -- while SampleTank 2 SE and T-RackS EQ are also present. These items alone are more than most would expect to receive, but there´s more to come in the shape of AmpliTube 2 Live (which runs both standalone and as a plug-in).

Stompbox effects

Currently, AmpliTube 2 Live is available exclusively with the StealthPlug, and it features three amp (two guitar, one bass) and four cabinet simulations. The two guitar amps are emulations of the classic Marshall and Fender setups, and these will certainly cover most guitarists´ needs. It doesn´t stop there, though, as you can use the ten ‘stompbox´ effects to further fine-tune your tones, and there´s also a loop playback feature that´s great for creative jamming. All of which makes StealthPlug a very tempting proposition for beginners who just want to buy one product that enables them to ‘do it all´.

It´s true that you won´t be able to make the best quality recordings with it, but at just £79, it represents excellent value for money. Ready to rock! As we´ve already suggested, StealthPlug´s portability means that it would certainly be useful if you frequently record on the go, but the real winners are those who play guitar but have yet to take their first steps into computer recording. For them, this is possibly the best solution on the market right now.

Music Radar Team

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