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iRig UA review: Can your phone replace an amp?

We take a look at the iRig UA, the portable, palm-sized amp

Lugging around an amplifier wherever you go can be a right pain for guitarists but luckily the iRig UA is here to save all you budding Slashes and Hendrixes.

The iRig UA is a palm-sized, ultra-light device that you use to transform your mobile into an amp in seconds.

The company’s popular Amplitube app has an excellent user interface, recreating the look and feel of an elaborate amp set up. Each screen has a number of dials and switches that you can alter to you liking, which you can then queue up on your phone’s screen to create the effect you are going for.

iRig UA _05The app allows you to alter dozens of different sounds and even includes options to alter feedback levels and a wah pedal, giving guitarists the full experience. It’s ideal for almost any genre of music, possibly apart from very heavy metal as the sound produced is a bit too clean and lacks that meaty edge, but on the whole you can adapt the sound to most styles.

The sound latency, the time difference between playing and hearing a note, is absolutely superb, with audio occurring almost instantaneously. This is vital for a musician to hear music as it’s being played and the iRig is certainly one of the best products around for transmission speed.

Using this does drain your phone’s battery quite considerably. Our tests showed a loss of 25 per cent of battery in just 20 minutes of playing, so if you’re planning on having a long music session, it would be wise to have a replacement battery ready as the iRig plugs into the microUSB port where your charger would normally go. This is quite frustrating but battery drain is inevitable when an app is running, the screen is on and the speakers are at full whack as well.


Rating: 4/5