If you are looking for a portable and versatile audio interface that can record and perform with various devices and instruments, you might be interested in comparing the Zoom U-44 and the iRig Pro Duo I/O.
The Zoom U-44 is a compact, 4-in/4-out audio interfaces that offer different features and benefits, and the iRig Pro Duo I/O is a 2-in/4-out audio interface. The inputs are combo XLR/TRS jacks that can accept microphones, guitars, keyboards, or other line-level sources.
A Quick Look
You might want to get the Zoom U-44 if you are looking for a versatile and portable audio interface that can record with various devices and instruments. You can also use Zoom’s interchangeable input capsules to change the microphone type according to your needs. The Zoom U-44 is a great choice for recording and performing anywhere, with a low price and a compact design.
You might want to get the iRig Pro Duo I/O if you are looking for a high-quality and native audio interface that can record with iOS and Android devices. You can also use guitar effects and amp modeling software to enhance your sound and creativity. The iRig Pro Duo I/O is a perfect choice for recording music, videos, podcasts, or live-streams with your mobile device, with a professional sound quality and a durable finish.
- Compact, 4-in/4-out design that enables you to record and perform anywhere.
- High-quality, low-noise mic preamps that are compatible with Zoom’s Interchangeable Input Capsules for different microphone options.
- Two combo inputs with independent gain knobs and 48V phantom power, as well as MIDI I/O jacks and multiple output options.
- Dedicated headphone output with independent volume control and a direct monitor knob that lets you blend your headphone mix between the input and playback signals.
- Can function in standalone mode as a high-quality mic preamp and AD/DA converter with a 44.1 or 48 kHz sampling rate.
iRig Pro Duo I/O
- Two combo XLR/1/4 inch inputs for microphones or instruments.
- Two MIDI inputs and outputs for connecting keyboards, controllers, or other MIDI devices.
- Two 1/4 inch balanced outputs for connecting speakers or mixers.
- One 1/8 inch headphone output with level control.
- Two gain control knobs for adjusting the input levels.
- Two phantom power switches for condenser microphones.
- Powered by two AA batteries, an external power supply, or the connected device.
Both the Zoom U-44 and the iRig Pro Duo I/O have some common features that make them suitable for mobile recording and performing. These include:
- Two combo XLR/TRS inputs for connecting microphones, guitars, keyboards, or other line-level sources.
- Two balanced 1/4″ outputs for connecting speakers, mixers, or other devices.
- A headphone output with level control and direct monitoring option.
- MIDI input and output ports for connecting MIDI controllers or other MIDI devices.
- USB connectivity for connecting to PC, Mac, iOS, or Android devices.
- Bus-powered operation via USB or battery-powered operation via AA batteries (Zoom U-44) or optional power supply (iRig Pro Duo I/O).
- Compatible with various recording and music apps on different platforms.
The Zoom U-44 and the iRig Pro Duo I/O have different price points depending on where you buy them. The lowest price I found for the Zoom U-44 was around $190, and the highest price I found was $540, so it really pays to shop around for the best price. The power supply for the Zoom U-44 is around $16-20 depending on the seller. The lowest price I found for the iRig Pro Duo I/O was around $170, with the power supply generally selling for $40 from various retailers.
- Both interfaces offer 24-bit/96kHz resolution, which is sufficient for most recording and playback scenarios. However, the iRig Pro Duo I/O has a lower noise floor and a higher dynamic range than the Zoom U-44, which may result in a cleaner and more detailed sound quality.
- Both interfaces have two combo inputs with mic preamps and phantom power, which can accommodate a variety of microphones, instruments, and line-level sources. However, the Zoom U-44 has more gain and headroom than the iRig Pro Duo I/O, which may be useful for recording low-level signals or dynamic microphones. The Zoom U-44 is also praised for having better sound quality when using Zoom’s interchangeable input capsules for different microphone options.
- Some users have complained that the iRig Pro Duo I/O has a lower output volume and a weaker headphone amp than the Zoom U-44, which may affect the loudness and clarity of the playback sound.
In summary, both interfaces have their pros and cons in terms of sound quality and features. The Zoom U-44 may offer more versatility and power for recording and performing anywhere, while the iRig Pro Duo I/O may offer higher quality and native compatibility for recording with mobile devices.
Zoom U44 vs iRig Pro Duo I/O Compatibility
The Zoom U-44 and the iRig Pro Duo I/O are both compatible with various devices and platforms, but they have different connection options and requirements.
The Zoom U-44 uses a USB-B port to connect to PC or Mac via a USB-A cable or to iOS devices via a Lightning cable (both included). It also has a Micro USB port for powering the device from a USB charger or external battery pack when using it with an iPad. The Zoom U-44 does not support Android devices natively, but it may work with some third-party apps that support USB audio interfaces.
The iRig Pro Duo I/O uses a Mini-DIN port to connect to PC or Mac via a USB-A or USB-C cable or to iOS or Android devices via a Lightning or USB-OTG cable (all included). It also has a DC input for powering the device from an optional power supply when using it with mobile devices. The iRig Pro Duo I/O supports both iOS and Android devices natively, as well as Windows and Mac computers.
Zoom U-44 Pros
- Affordable price.
- Compact and lightweight design.
- Compatible with Zoom’s interchangeable input capsules for additional recording options.
- Can run on AA batteries for mobile use.
- Includes AmpliTube 5 SE software for guitar effects.
Zoom U-44 Cons
- Limited gain range and phantom power for inputs.
- May have noise, clipping, latency, and driver issues.
- Does not support Android devices natively.
- Power supply not included.
iRig Pro Duo I/O Pros
- Improved preamps with extended gain range and phantom power.
- Low latency and noise performance.
- Compatible with iOS and Android devices natively.
- Rubberized finish and ergonomic controls.
- Includes TONEX SE software for amp modeling.
iRig Pro Duo I/O Cons
- Higher price.
- Requires power supply for mobile use.
- Mini-DIN port may be less durable than USB port.
- MIDI ports use 2.5mm jacks instead of standard 5-pin DIN.
Zoom U-44 vs iRig Pro Duo I/O: The Final Verdict
The Zoom U-44 and the iRig Pro Duo I/O are both great audio interfaces that can help you record and perform with various devices and instruments. However, they have different strengths and weaknesses that may appeal to different users.
The Zoom U-44 is more affordable, compact, lightweight, and compatible with Zoom’s interchangeable input capsules. The iRig Pro Duo I/O is more expensive, but it has better sound quality, preamps, gain range, phantom power, latency, and compatibility with iOS and Android devices.
Ultimately, the choice depends on your personal preferences and needs. I hope this article has helped you compare these two audio interfaces and make an informed decision. Happy recording!