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Is The Line 6 Sonic Port The Best IOS Interface?
Connect A Guitar or Bass to Your IOS Device
Modern technology has made it possible to create studio quality music from your home. I use several devices to connect my guitars and bass to my iPad and my Mac Mini. You can find several interfaces on the market but some are better than others.
The Line 6 Sonic Port audio interface is a quality interface that comes with really nice software. In this lens, I will discuss exactly what you get with the Sonic Port as well as how it compares with other devices that are currently available.
Images courtesy of Amazon
Line 6 Sonic Port IOS Interface
Why Should You Consider This Guitar Interface?
I am a big fan of Line 6 products. I have owned everything from a Line 6 112 amp with floorboard to the POD's and they are always rugged, quality products. The Sonic Port is no different - a tiny device with tons of powerful options. Here are some of the things that make this interface so awesome:
- 24-bit quality
- standard 1/4" guitar input and 1/8" headphone
- access to over 10,000 different presets using the free Line 6 Mobile POD app
- works with all IOS CoreAudio apps including GarageBand (which I love)
- has a 1/8" stereo line input so you can run CD players and other devices through it
- works with the Jammit app which is an awesome way to learn songs note for note while actually listening to the original tracks
- has 30 pin cable and the new Lightning cable so it will work with any IOS device
I think the biggest selling point for me is the size and options. You can put it in your pocket, connect just about anything to it and out-of-the-box have access to tons of tweakable, quality effects from the Mobile POD software.
Feature Comparison Of Top IOS Guitar Interfaces
What's The Same?
Let's start by listing what every interface shares in common:
24-bit quality audio with 110db dynamic range
Digital connector (meaning - does not connect through headphone jack - THIS IS IMPORTANT!)
Powered by IOS device
Less than $100
Works with Garageband
Now, most importantly, the differences by model:
Line 6 Sonic Port
- Only compared interface with a headphone connector
- 1/8" stereo line input to connect virtually anything
- Thousands of effects with free software
Line 6 Mobile In
- Cheapest interface
- Device connects directly without cables
- Has manual level contol on the device
- Works with Mac Computers
IK Multimedia iRig HD
- Exclusive Amplitube Gear models and free Amplitube Metal download included
- Preamp gain control
- Works with Mac Computers
Which Guitar Interface Do You Own?
Line 6 Sonic Port IOS Interface In Action - Sonic Port Demonstration
How Does It Compare to the iRig?
Line 6 Sonic Port vs iRig HD
This is the toughest decision I had to make between the interfaces.
BUT I still choose the Sonic Port.
However, the best advice I can give you when it comes to choosing between these two devices is based on YOUR PERSONAL NEED.
If you need to connect to a Mac as well as IOS devices, the iRig HD is the way to go.
Outside of that, the reason I chose the Sonic Port over the iRig HD is because of the software.
I prefer the Line 6 POD software over the Amplitube software. Also, I can still use the Amplitube software with my Sonic Port BUT the iRig HD cannot use the Line 6 POD software.
Either of these devices are a fantastic choice.
How Close Is the Apogee?
Line 6 Sonic Port vs Apogee Jam
The Apogee Jam is actually quite nice. It has a small form factor and offers comparable audio quality to the Sonic Port.
For me, the Sonic Port still wins.
While it does the trick for getting my guitar/bass into my iPad, it doesn't offer an 1/8" line input or a direct headphone input.
It does, however, have a level knob which I wish was on the Sonic Port.
Mobile In Is No Comparison!
Line 6 Sonic Port vs Mobile In
This is a really easy choice for me - the Sonic Port wins!
Oh, you want to know why - ok :)
While the Mobile In includes comparable audio quality and can use the POD software, it has some glaring deficiencies for what I require from a great interface.
First, it connects directly to the port/digital connector of the i-device. I use a protective case on all of my devices and as a result, the Mobile In can't plugin to the port WITHOUT REMOVING THE PROTECTIVE CASE - not happening!
The Mobile In also uses a 1/8" connector with a special 1/8 to 1/4 cable (which is included). I want to use my normal guitar cable.
So, while it might cost half as much as every other interface, it doesn't make the grade for me.
Choosing A Guitar Interface
There are a few key considerations to make when it comes to picking the right interface.
I have owned tons of devices that let you connect a guitar to a computer or mobile device but I have found (usually the hard way) that certain features are more important than others.
#1 Feature - Digital Connection vs. Analog
DO NOT purchase an interface that connects through the headphone jack. You can never get the kind of sound quality that comes from a digital connection.
#2 Feature - No Direct Connection of Interface To Device
Make sure that you always pick an interface that uses a cable to connect to your iPad or whatever you are using. Direct connections do not account for things like where your device is kept, protective cases, holders, etc.
#3 Feature - Works with the Software You Use
Make extra extra sure that the interface will work with the software you like. For instance, the POD software only works with Line 6 devices - so this narrows down your options if you want to use the Line 6 stuff.