IRig HD X Review
Our Verdict and Review Summary
All of the iRig interfaces sell portability and iPhone/iPad compatibility (to pair with the AmpliTube software). But the HD X is also just a really crystal clear interface that records clean tracks, quickly. If you only need a single i/o, the HD X will get you the sound quality you're looking for and save you some money compared to larger interfaces.
The iRig HD X should be considered if you're looking primarily for portability and single input/output recording. The Hi-Z TS input allows for a single instrument in and out, which you can see easily from the guitar and amp icon. So you can use just headphones, your amp, the AmpliTube software, or any combination of the three. This makes it a device that's most helpful for practicing when you have to stay quiet, on the road, or quickly recording ideas on a mobile device.
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Sound features and recording
If you compare the HD X to something like the Focusrite Scarlett Solo, the Solo has 2x the sampling rate at 192kHz versus 96kHz in the HD X. The higher this rate, the more accurate your analog/digital conversion will be, which gives you a more cleaner recording. But for a portable device, 96kHz is fine and enough to produce some clean-sounding tracks. The rest of your gear will always have more to say about the finished product.
Functionality and flexibility
Again, it's very important to point out: The HD X only has one input and output.
If you need more, this is not the device for you. But it does provide some flexibility for single instrument monitoring, since you can run the signal through to a physical amplifier.
So just to review, you can use any of the following:
- AmpliTube software
- Your own guitar amp
I would probably recommend this device for those interested in the software, and not necessarily for just monitoring or recording a traditional rig. You should also keep in mind that the primary attraction of this device is its physical size and compatibility with a mobile phone or tablet. If that's not what you're thinking, then something like the Focusrite Scarlett will be a better fit.
However, if you're into the software and the mobile setup, the iRig HD X (and other iRig interfaces, for that matter) can add some value since it's typically bundled with the latest version of the AmpliTube software.
Wrap Up and Questions
The HD X is a fairly simple piece of technology. But the audio quality is solid for such a small device, so I'm happy with the asking price. I'd also say the price is on par for similar interfaces, perhaps even above average value if you count the software. Here's my final checklist for a green light to buy:
- You want to use AmpliTube
- You want to use a phone or tablet
- You only need to record one channel at a time
- You want something you can move around with a lot
That's the criteria, but you've got to decide if it's something that will work for you. So if you have questions about my iRig HD X review, feel free to drop them in the comments section below. I'll jump in and help out as much as I can.
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