IK Multimedia has announced the arrival of the iRig USB – a new USB-C guitar unit that takes its best-selling analog guitar interface into the digital realm.
One of the reasons the original iRigs have sold by the bucketload is that they’ve been accessibly priced, with the current iRig 2 coming in at a (just about) sub-$50 price point.
As you might expect for a digital device, the iRig USB doesn’t quite match that economy, but still makes it in at $69.99, which we sense will prove pretty attractive for anyone looking for a simple AD/DA conversion solution for their guitar signal.
The enclosure format will look familiar to anyone who saw the recent iRig HD X and this essentially boils down the format to a more entry-level package.
As such, for your $70, you get 24-bit resolution, a choice of 44.1 and 48kHz sampling rates, a dynamic range of 90dB, plus a selection of I/O (including USB-C connection, headphones output and a quarter-inch line-out for connection to a guitar amp or pedalboard).
As with the HD X, you get that handy dial, which here only has one function: to control the gain. There’s also an LED signal indicator and FX/Thru slider switch.
In terms of the competition, there’s quite a bit out there, but IK has pretty much dominated the market since it first spotted the potential of the smartphone-friendly do-it-all budget interface back in 2010.
The main competitors then, come from its own stable of existing iRig products.
Indeed, the iRig USB is not by any means the first or only USB-enabled unit in the range – just among the current, guitar-centric part of its line-up, it joins the ranks of the iRig HD 2, iRig HD X and iRig Stomp I/O.
Those are all more expensive products (the nearest in price being the $99.99 iRig HD 2), with higher quality sample rates (96kHz) and dynamic range.
The iRig USB is therefore sandwiched between the traditional analog connection and the likes of the higher-end HD X.
On paper, we’d be tempted to spend the extra 60 bucks, and grab the HD X – the extra functionality and recording quality seems worth it to us.
Nonetheless, there will be a huge segment of players who won’t care that much about the difference between 48 and 96 kHZ and just want to get their guitar into their smartphone, tablet or computer quickly and easily.
In that sense, the iRig USB will no doubt shift just as quickly as its predecessors.
For more information, head to IK Multimedia.