By Mike Riley on Wed, 07/09/2014
IK Multimedia is a company whose products I have been reviewing for several years, and they continue to impress me with their prodigious release of new hardware and software. Their latest batch consists of substantial revisions to their popular iKlip and iMic product lines. This review roundup takes a look at these to see if they are worthy of your purchase consideration.
I still use the initial release of the iKlip for my first generation iPad every day. Whether it I'm using it for reading guitar tabs, studying documents, or watching movies, the iKlip has never failed me. Unfortunately, due to its very specific spider arm design length and depth of clip edges, this initial release does not secure other iPad releases in place. As a result, IK Multimedia had to release several iterations of the iKlip just to keep up with Apple’s changing form factors. It also meant that in addition to being tied to Apple-specific releases, the iKlip could not be used with other non-Apple phone or tablet hardware.
With the release of the iKlip Xpand and iKlip Xpand Mini, that constraint has been lifted. Instead of the spider arm design approach used in previous iterations, the new iKlip has switched to a spring-loaded clasp instead. This allows iPads, iPad Minis, and the variety of iPhone models to all benefit from the iKlip and iKlip Mini concept. It also allows non-Apple hardware like Android tablets and phones to be held in the new iKlip’s embrace.
Assembly of the iKlip Xpand and iKlip Xpand Mini has also been simplified with only four parts to assemble, two of which are mounting screws. I had both iKlip Xpand models assembled and attached to my mic stand in under a minute. While the initial process of clasping an iPad or iPhone within either iKlip Xpand is slightly more cumbersome than simply sliding it into the older iKlip design, I felt confident that the new iKlip Xpand clasps held my iOS devices more tightly and securely than its iKlip ancestors. Both new iKlip Xpands also look more attractive and less intimidating in their bare states since their function is obvious thanks to their new industrial design.
While I continue to use my original iKlip, my mic stand has become populated with these two additional iKlip Xpands to accommodate all my iPads and non-Apple tablets and phones. Using the iKlip Xpand and iKlip Xpand Mini not only provides a rewarding hands-free experience, they now also provide a degree of future proofing for future iPads and iPhones to come.
The iRig Voice is a more playful, less potent version of IK Multimedia’s well-received iRig Mic. I gave the iRig Mic a perfect 5 out of 5 star review when it was originally released a few years ago. Read on to learn if the iRig Voice attains the same high praise.
Compatible with both iOS and Android devices, the iRig Voice is intended for fun karaoke sessions and parties where fun trumps professional recording quality. Like the original iRig Mic, the iRig Voice features a headphone jack at its base for active audio monitoring. It also has an on-off switch at the midpoint of its neck and works with the free EZ Voice app which frankly doesn’t do much that's very interesting until the In-App Purchases for various effects are added to the program.
The quality of the iRig Voice is slightly above average, but not nearly as notable as IK’s beefier iRig Mic HD. The feel of the iRig Voice is also not as weighty and feels a tad cheaper, hence the nearly $100 difference in price between it and the professional level iRig Mic HD. Still, for karaoke and simple PA broadcast needs, the iRig Voice offers a passable handheld microphone experience while helping you project your voice to an audience of one or even thousands of listeners. And it comes in a variety of colors (except for black, obviously reserved for the more serious high-end iRig Mic HD) to suit your playful audio broadcast needs.
Product: iRig Voice
Manufacturer: IK Multimedia
iPhone Life Rating: 3 out of 5 stars