A Hands-On Review of the Griffin StudioConnect

The Griffin StudioConnect is one of many available audio and MIDI interfaces for iPads that use the Apple 30-pin connector. I own an iPad 2 and found that the StudioConnect made a much more solid connection with its tethered cable than the Behringer iStudio’s docking station model. I could never get the iStudio to properly attach to the iPad 2; my wife’s iPad connected for charging purposes but wouldn’t send audio to the outputs.

Enough about the iStudio, this article focuses on an interface that actually worked for me, the StudioConnect.

Griffin StudioConnect Features

  • 1/4-inch Line Input
  • 1/8-inch Stereo Input
  • RCA Stereo Output
  • Headphone Output with Volume Control
  • MIDI In/Out
  • Charging Dock
  • Attached 30-pin Connector

Using the StudioConnect for Studio Work

Getting connected with the StudioConnect was a breeze. The audio input and output jacks worked perfectly the first time out, as did the MIDI I/O. The 30-pin connector cable could be a bit longer and the wall-wart power cable annoyed, but considering the street price of around $99, I’m not complaining too loudly.

Griffin StudioConnect

The Griffin StudioConnect in action. Photo copyright Griffin Technology.

My iPad 2 fit snugly in the device’s dock, holding it at a nice angle for viewing and touchscreen action. 1/4-inch outputs and a XLR input would have been nice, but once again, the StudioConnect’s sub $100 price means some corners get cut. MIDI-capable iPad apps, like Animoog and Arturia’s iMini, recognized the StudioConnect, and I had no problem playing notes and controlling parameters using the E-MU Xboard 49.

The StudioConnect sounded great through my board and studio monitors, and the unit serves a nice role in making an iPad a true part of any recording setup. The headphone output with a volume control works great for those looking for a guitar interface for practice. Its $99 street price means it’s easy to recommend the StudioConnect for any iPad-owning musician.

Note that Griffin also recently released a version of the StudioConnect with a Lightning connector compatible with Apple’s newer line of iPads. It retails for $149.99, but cheaper prices are afoot.


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