The Best Guitar Accessories for the iPad

Jam out with these nifty and necessary guitar accessories

If you play guitar, there are some cool accessories for your iPad. The iPad can enhance or replace a multi-effects package, complement a pedalboard, or serve as a recording platform through Garage Band or a similar Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). These apps and devices will have you playing guitar through your iPad like a pro.

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Line 6 AmpliFi FX100

Amplifi app
What We Like
  • A multi-effects processor controlled by an iPad.

  • Connects to the internet for expansive tone and effects options.

What We Don't Like
  • Not much visual feedback.

  • Connectivity and mobile integration may prove troublesome.

There are a number of apps, such as AmpliTube, that can turn an iPad into a guitar effects processor, but these apps tend to be geared toward practice. The AmpliFi FX100 by Line 6 is a multi-effects processor that is controlled by an iPad, giving you the best of both worlds. You get the quality of a real effects processor with the ease of using the iPad touchscreen to shape the tone it produces.

The AmpliFi FX100 also lets you connect to the internet to find the right tone. Access your song library, choose a song, and allow AmpliFi FX100 to recommend the closest guitar tone for the song. While it isn't always perfect, it can be a handy feature.

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iRig BlueBoard

Blue Board

iRig

What We Like
  • The pedal-based wireless MIDI controller is more convenient than tapping an iPad.

  • It's affordable.

What We Don't Like
  • Has a limited wireless range.

  • May not be dependable in gigging situations.

Want to reduce the wires cluttering up your practice room? The BlueBoard from IK Multimedia is a Bluetooth MIDI pedalboard designed to let you control your music apps with a tap of the foot—no need to add another wire to the mix. The BlueBoard has four backlit pads and is designed to work with apps like AmpliTube.

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iRig HD 2 for Guitar

iRig HD for guitar

iRig

What We Like
  • A compact plug-and-play solution that's ideal for practicing.

  • It's affordable.

What We Don't Like
  • It's not ideal for gigging.

iRig HD is a great companion for AmpliTube and other multi-effects packages available on the iPad. With all this hardware, you still need a way to plug your guitar into your iPad, and the iRig HD is one of the best solutions.

The iRig HD has a 1/4" jack for the guitar and plugs into the iPad headphone jack. It also includes a 3.5 mm headphone jack, so you don't give up the ability to listen to or monitor your playing on headphones.

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Griffin GuitarConnect

Griffin technology guitarconnect cable

Griffin Technology

What We Like
  • A quick plug-and-play solution for iPad and iPhone.

  • It's great for rehearsal or recording basic ideas.

What We Don't Like
  • It only provides about six feet of cable, which isn't enough if you move around a lot.

Similar to iRig, Griffin GuitarConnect is a great way to plug your guitar into your iPad. Sold alongside the Griffin Stompbox and designed to be used with iShred, we weren't a huge fan of the Stompbox, but we really liked GuitarConnect.

While iRig is an adapter, GuitarConnect is a cable that splits out the additional headphone jack. The only problem is that GuitarConnect only provides about six feet of cable, which won't be enough if you like to move around a lot.

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Apogee Jam

Apogee jam for guitar and iPad

Apogee

What We Like
  • Higher quality sound than other plug-and-play options.

  • Apple Lightning compatibility.

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey.

  • No headphone output.

If you're serious about hooking your guitar into your iPad and using DAWs like Garage Band, Apogee Jam provides a little more quality to the solution than the iRig or GuitarConnect. However, it is more expensive. Apogee Jam currently costs around $99 compared to the $20 to $40 you might spend on a different solution. However, the result is a digital connection and higher quality sound.

Unlike the competition, the Apogee Jam connects directly to the iPad's 30-pin connector or Lightning connector, depending on the iPad model. And because it accepts the 1/4" cable and outputs sound via USB, it can be used to hook into a Mac or Windows-based laptop.

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iRig Stomp I/O

iRig Stomp

iRig

What We Like
  • Simple stompbox control quickly mutes any signal from an iPad device.

  • The rugged build.

What We Don't Like
  • Has limited functionality.

Have you ever wanted to incorporate your iPad into your gig or practice session for a particular song or to get a particular sound, but you wanted to shut it off for the rest of your session? iRig Stomp is designed to control AmpliTube and other guitar signal processing apps via a stompbox. You can use it alongside other effects by inserting iRig Stomp into your chain, turning it on and off with the tap of your foot.