iRig PreHD Digital Microphone Interface REVIEW Powerful iOS Microphone Interface

Unboxing/Setup

Companies are well aware that their packaging can drastically impact their sales. As you navigate down the aisles of any retail establishment, look at how similar the boxes are and then look for the outlying beacons. They may choose to use uncanny colors, vivid stark contrasting color combinations or perhaps weird box shapes. When I find a company that focuses on the consumer experience as much as the product itself, I tend to become a brand fan. This may be the reason that I enjoy evaluating the packaging nearly as much as the products. The iRig Pre HD packaging proved to be visually appealing, using a fun color combination. The packaging makeup/shape was not that interesting, arriving in a 6 3/8 inches wide by 6 3/8 inches tall by 2 1/8 inches thick retail package. However, the clean white front and back panels were beautifully accented by red side, upper and lower panels. iRig intelligently used their cover to display a clear glossy image fo the iRig Pre HD device and further detailed the scope with a silver microphone. The bold title was clearly present and you could easily determine what the device was designed to do based on the cover panel alone “Digital Microphone Interface for iPhone, iPad, Mac/PC.” Rotating the packaging ninety degrees clockwise, iRig provided three multicolored App thumbnails for included software: Mic Room, Mic Pack for VocalLive iOS, Pro Bundle for iRig Recorder iOS. Additionally, the device will work with other apps like GarageBand. The opposite face provided four icons representing compatibility with XLR microphones, 24bit/96kHZ Hih-Resolution, Headphone/Line out, precision gain control. They also attempted to provide a brief glimpse at the packaging contents, but this seemed to be a wasted section of real estate. Personally, I would have liked the icons spread out and the contents detailed on the back. The small side picture of the contents that was located on the side panel was a higher resolution, higher-quality picture, than that displayed along the bottom left of the back panel.

Testing

I started my review by trying to pair a Fifine Professional Cardioid Studio Microphone with the iRig PreHD. I found that the microphone came with its own XLR to USB-A/3.5mm output and would not work with the iRig kit. So, I turned to Amazon and purchased a ten-foot XLR male to XLR female cable for $7. I waited forty-eight hours and when the package arrived, returned to testing the product. The iRig Pre HD had brand new batteries, I plugged in the XLR cable into the microphone and into the iRig, I turned on the 48V phantom power, connected a pair of Tribit XFree Tune headphones via 3.5mm cable into the 3.5mm port on the Pre HD device and then turned to garage band. The manual detailed the gain wheel and that you should tune the wheel to a level that allows the bottom LED to alternate between green and orange. When the LED alternated between blue and green, the instruction manual recommended that I increase the gain and if it flashed red at all, it recommended decreasing the gain. No matter what I tried, I could not get the Fifine microphone to work with the iRig. I plugged the branded Fifine microphone cable back into the microphone and plugged it into my USB port on my desktop and microphone input slot. The Fifine microphone worked well with Audacity proving that it did not work with the iRig Pre HD. I do not know if the kit simply did not provide enough phantom power or if something within the microphone caused a compatibility issue. To resolve the issue, I turned to my good friend Toby. We took the iRig to his house and tested numerous microphones. We found that out of the four we tried, we had 100% success with the iRig. The Fifine worked with his professional input station but he could not get it to work with a variety of his cables. Together we felt it was an issue with the microphone and not the iRig.

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