Griffin StudioConnect Review

edited November 2013 in Equipment

You can find the Griffin StudioConnect online these days for under $70. I just bought one on Amazon for $68 (list price is $99). This is the 30-pin connector version; Griffin is rolling out a new version, which is exactly the same except for a Lightning connector. I received mine today, and here is a short review if you are shopping for a good interface for Loopy.

Essential Info:

  • Supports: 30-pin iPad, iPad 2, iPhone 3G, iPhone 4, and iPod Touch 3rd and 4th generation. (I tested it with an iPad and an iPod 4.
  • Audio in: mono 1/4", stereo 3.5 mm
  • Audio out: left and right channel RCA plugs (line level), 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack
  • MIDI: DIN-5, in and out


  • the darned thing worked right out of the box, simple, no hassles, no manual needed!
  • pristine audio via 30-pin connector on pigtail cable. No crackles, no audible noise. Nice!
  • peeked inside: a Nuvoton NAU8822A audio chip (24-bit stereo ADCs and DACs), and a Cypress CY8C34 micro controller
  • a gain control for mono audio input tweaking
  • MIDI in and out works without a hitch
  • uses an (included) international 5V DC power supply (wall wart), and charges your iThing during use
  • firmware is upgradeable via a free Griffin app, if needed. Mine was received up-to-date. Future proof!
  • Griffin is still actively supporting the product line, and evolving it (for Lightning, etc)
  • works with iPads AND iPhones and iPod Touches (hard to find this wide support in similar devices)
  • fairly compact, and you can insert an iPad in vertical or horizontal position
  • serves as a weighted iPad stand, with a nice viewing angle
  • all that for $68 .... you gotta be kidding me!!


  • shiny black plastic housing (not my fave look, but it IS well built, nonetheless)
  • no XLR jacks or phantom power (easy to workaround with proper cabling, or mic pre, or mixer sends, etc)
  • RCA audio out jacks (easy to workaround via cabling or adapters)
  • a big ol' "chrome" knob with a glowing blue ring for headphone volume (you may like it; I thought it was overkill)

The bottom line, the audio and MIDI ins and outs are working flawlessly, using Loopy or any other app I throw at it. It sounds great. No frills, just the basics. An outstanding price. Highly recommended!



  • And now even at a more outsanding-er price!

  • edited November 2013

    Holy mackerel. You couldn't BUILD one for that cheap! Guess I should have waited for holiday deals, eh?

    Thx for posting...

  • Does it work with an iPhone 4S???

  • Nice, I could not pass up this deal. Thanks guys.

    Does anyone know if a lightning to 30 pin adapter will make this compatible with iPad 4 and iPhone 5 and up?

  • Hey guys, I picked up a Studio Connect at my local GuitarCenter store. It was an open box, we'll actually no box, just the device and it was missing the wall wart. Got it for $21 US. Can one of you give me the specs off the wall wart ( e.g. output: 5v @ xx amps) so I can find one that will support the iPad charging in the device.


  • edited January 2014

    5.0V DC @ 2.5A
    positive center

    Good $21 score!

  • Tom -- sorry, I misread your phone model. It won't work with a 4S (see the list in my original post for supported models; same as the list found in the link you provide). @Hmtx, I have not tested it with a lightning model with an adapter, so don't know. I think I read somewhere it works, though.

  • edited January 2014

    It looks like this will work with a lightning to 30-pin adapter, from what others have said:

  • edited January 2014

    I really love this interface. Nicely designed both functionally and visually. Really like the big lit knob. I use it as a stand even when not recording.
    $40 from Guitar Center.
    I'll be keeping an eye on Griffin's offerings in the future.

  • Mine has been working flawlessly. For those of you who must have an XLR microphone input (which the Griffin does not have), there are small mic preamps available you can use. Even better, just use a bus or aux send from your mixer (so you are using your mixer channel as a pre amp),

  • A Presonus Bluetube would be a good mic pre for the Griffin.

  • The Bluetube is very nice. Another choice is an ART Tube MP (single channel, though), for only $49. And the Griffin StudioConnect is still $39 at Sweetwater last time I looked. A steal for an iThing interface that actually works and has great audio fidelity.

  • NO!! just when i was about to order, and found a way to ship this to asia, they changed the price back to $99. Not fair... :(

  • Hello!
    I'm thinking in buying this app, but I need to understand some things.
    I just want it to make some loops, but with instruments, so I will need footswitches...
    What I want to know is: is this "Griffin Studio Connect" a good option, and I will have to only buy the footswitches and connect to it?
    I'm interested because it's really cheap, but I'm not sure if this is exactly what I need.

  • Well, i just ordered the griffin from america cause of the price. You can connect your guitar through normal guitar jack, and there is also a mini jack input. The FCB1010 is as far as i know the cheapest/best (but bulkiest) option for footpedals. The advantage is that there is a MIDI merge function in the FCB. So you can connect your midi piano into the FCB, and then into the griffin studioconnect.
    The signal converter (line to digital) of the studioconnect is said to be very good. But there is no phantom power for your mic's. You can ofcourse make a workaround or use non powered mics.

  • Well, i contacted sweetwater and explained my situation and the salesman corrected the price for me to $39 while it was at $99. Nice service

  • @BDriving - I have a Studio Connect and think it is a solid choice, especially at the $40 USD price. One thing to keep in mind, there is no USB connectivity (e.g. MIDI, audio).

  • Thanks!
    My problem is that I will want to use lots of acoustic instruments, so it will have to be recorded with mics (no?)
    And for that your advice is to buy a "studio connect" and a "FCC 1010" ?
    Thanks again!

  • Well, like i said, the studio connect lacks phantom power. So if you have an active microphone, you'll need to find a way to power the mic separately or go for maybe an iRig pro (beware this device will not charge your apple device)
    And yes, i can recommend the FCB1010. Its a great/solid device for the money.

  • Just picked this up for 50 usd. I can't wait to get it, as it's my first opportunity to use my bass in loopy (among other apps)... But I think I'll really miss usb midi down the road. We'll see.

  • I am using the Studio Connect and want to know how I can connect my USB Snowball mike to it. Any ideas? If I use the camera connect kit to connect the mike, then I can't connect the 30 pin connector to the studio.

  • @Rick5472 - The studio connect only has analog audio inputs. You would need to convert the USB audio output of the Snowball back into analog to get it into the studio connect.

    If you have 2 iDevices, you could use the CCK to get the snowball audio in and the an 1/8 inch stereo cable to connect the headphone out to the stereo in on the studio connect. The quality will probably suffer converting it back and forth (analog - digital - analog - digital)

    Maybe a USB audio interface if it has a headphone/ monitor output. But if you don't have extra hardware lying around, you would be better off with an analog microphone to use with the studio connect.

  • TomTom
    edited March 2014

    I just found out the 30pin uses analog audio.

    I thought a $39,- 30pin studioconnect with a lightning to 30 pin adapter would still be cheaper than buying the $149 studioconnect lightning version.

    It turns out there is analog conversion involved which theoretically should decrease sound quality. Anyone?

  • edited March 2014

    The 30-pin is no issue to worry about with digital audio.

    • 30-pin interface has digital in/out and analog in/out

    • lightning interface has only digital in/out. So... funny thing is that the new "lightning" technology has less features. They removed the analog in/out.

    So, any audio interface that plugs in via CCK uses the digital in/out by using a DAC (digital-to-analog converter). The quality of the analog components and the DAC can be a factor in sound quality. I'm pretty sure thats how it works.

  • @Tom - in theory, you are correct. The question is, does the 30pin studio connect use the Analog audio ( In and/or Out ) or the Digital audio connections available in the 30 pin?

    If you have one of the really cheap ( non-Apple ) 30pin to lightning adapters, they most definitely won't have the D/A chips (one reason they are cheap) and therefor all that would be passed would be the Digital. This would prove whether it uses the Analog or Digital.

    I have the studio connect and Apple 30pin to Lightning adapter, it sounds good. Is there a double conversion going on ? If I run across a local store with the cheap adapters, I'll try one and let you know.

    Anyone have a 30pin studio connect and a cheap ( non-Apple ) 30pin to lightning adapter? doesn't it work?

  • @Tom - I had to rethink it. The only question is, do prefer Apple or Griffin to do the A/D and D/A conversion?

    since the Studio Connect only has Analog audio input (guitar, mic, etc.) the signal is going to be converted to digital somewhere, but only once (in either direction if you use the headphone/speaker out on the studio connect).

    With the HD version, Griffin is obviously doing the conversion. With the 30pin it's unknown who is doing it, but it's only being done once.

  • Thanks. I would like to know if is possible to use StudioConnect with some apps like Songsterr and Guitar Pro, I like to hear my bass and my song tab at the same time. Thanks for your answer.

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