Audiobus: Use your music apps together.

What is Audiobus?Audiobus is an award-winning music app for iPhone and iPad which lets you use your other music apps together. Chain effects on your favourite synth, run the output of apps or Audio Units into an app like GarageBand or Loopy, or select a different audio interface output for each app. Route MIDI between apps — drive a synth from a MIDI sequencer, or add an arpeggiator to your MIDI keyboard — or sync with your external MIDI gear. And control your entire setup from a MIDI controller.

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Audiobus is the app that makes the rest of your setup better.

Lightning adaptor (Phones of Head, for the use of) quality discussion

edited November 2019 in Off-topic

It has recently come to my attention that the little white Apple headphone lightning dongle that came free with (now my wife’s) iPhone 8+ isn’t actually good quality at all. When I had the 8+ (I have a XR these days) I bought a couple more, and have been using those ever since. I used headphones on the tube to create Art & Crime & Magic using the Lightning port on the XR and when I switched to the iPad Pro if I could get a rare seat on the train, I'd unplug the lightning adaptor from the phone and pop it into the iPad’s lightning port rather than unplug the adaptor from the in-ear headphones (Sennheiser at the time, been through two sets of them). Thus, I never really got an idea for what those headphones sounded like through my iPad Pro headphone jack. At home I'd use completely different headphones (Sennheiser, but from the ’90s) only on the headphone jack.

Well, to cut a short story long, I've recently burned through both of the In-ear Sennheisers, went through a JBL cheapo set for a few months (were actually good, but gently cleaning them wrecked them) and have recently bought two different cheap chinese ones, one of which was okay, not bad, the other of which was astoundingly precise and has really impressive separation (but hardly any low-end). Both ironically had faults, the former came without a vol down button, the latter had the back part of the case-body on the right earpiece just fall off. Anyway, the latter one I tried on my iPad to see if the bass was as lacking as I experienced on the iPhone XR through the Apple headphone adaptor, and I was surprised that I got a bit more bass, and a far better fuller sound through the 3.5mm headphone jack of the iPad. Just to make sure, I put the Apple headphone adaptor back on and plugged it into the same iPad's lightning jack and listened to the same stuff and it was noticeably different, and quite inferior (and a bit lacking in bass, although I'm never going to get impressive bass out of those earphones, they’re that good).

So, I've been thinking about what alternatives are there to the Apple Lightning headphone adaptor. I bought one on eBay, the UGREEN headphone adaptor, which cost me £15.59 (ie, more than the Apple one) and I'm not sure if it's my imagination but it sounds either better, or the same, but not worse than the Apple one, I'm inclined to think a bit better than.

What alternatives have you tried to the Apple headphone adaptor? Have you found a better quality one? Other than the UGREEN and the Apple one, I realise that if I went up in size and bulk, I could probably try connecting through my Apple Lightning-usb3 adaptor a few items I already have around which have headphone outs, like my (embarrassingly still unused since I bought it some years ago) behringer UCA222, or my Shure MV5 (which is Lightning connectable) (both kind of portable) or a Zoom H1 or Zoom H2n or suchlike, and so on. Obviously my A&H Zed 10 mixer is not portable at all.


  • First comment is only somewhat related. I have always thought that the built-in DAC / 3.5mm jack on iOS devices is astonishingly good, much better than Mac and PC laptops from my limited experience.

    But, alas Apple have determined we no longer need this 3.5mm port... so, I’ll eventually need to ask the same questions you are. Hopefully some others here have some good advice.

  • Audioquest Dragonfly (+ USB adapter).

    Not as tiny as the apple dongle but definitely portable. I keep it in my earbuds case.

    Fantastic sound! Dramatic, highly noticeable improvement. I just have the entry level black model too. 😎

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