In the hunt for an audio interface to direct my iPad audio into my iPhone for video recording I stumbled upon the Line 6 Sonic Port guitar interface. This device was put on the market last year as a solution to plug a guitar into your iPhone or iPad and process your incoming signal through a variety of apps including Line 6’s own Mobile POD app. It’s not unique in that respect of course, so let’s take a closer look at what sets the Sonic Port apart from the other iOS guitar or audio interfaces available right now.
While the pictures might give the impression the Sonic Port is a bulky device I was surprised to find it small and light enough to toss with you in a backpack wherever you go. It is still solid enough to not get dragged around your desk when connected to your devices.
Speaking about connections, the Sonic Port features an 1/4″ (guitar) in- and (stereo) output as well as a 1/8″ (stereo!) in- and (headphone) output. The stereo input is really what sold me over as you won’t find it on a comparable interface such as the Apogee Jam & iRig HD (both mono inputs). This allows you to connect a headphone or line output from say my iPad or OP-1 to my iPhone and have sweet stereo goodness to record while monitoring the incoming signal with something like Loopy.
Of course you can also record a signal the other way around, connecting the Sonic Port’s output to a professional audio interface, straight into your desktop DAW.
The Sonic Port connects to your iPhone or iPad with a 30-pin or Lightning adapter which both come supplied in the package.
The signals that go into the Line 6 are clean as you would expect from a comparable external iOS interface. The one thing that would come in handy is some kind of input gain or level control to make sure the volume is right before it goes into your recording app of choice. This especially comes to light with recording an iPad’s headphone out for example.
When purchasing the Sonic Port you’re able to download an associated app when you connect the device to your iPhone or iPad called Mobile POD. Mobile POD is an app that features modelled amps that you can run your (guitar) signal through. While maybe not up to par with something like BIAS, Mobile POD is a nice, Audiobus supported freebie that a guitarist can’t pass up on.
The Sonic Port was put on the market last year as a true guitarist interface for iOS. I’m far from a guitarist myself, but there is more to the Sonic Port than just plugging in your guitar and slamming an iOS digital amp on your signal to record it. The extra in- and outputs make a versatile little device. It can probably not give the upcoming iTrack Dock a run for its money, but it’s certainly a great option in its size and price range.