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IK Multimedia iRig Keys I/O 49 Video Review

With its built-in audio interface and impressive list of features, IK Multimedia is trying to make this MIDI controller an all-in-one type of device.

Unfortunately, the iRig Keys i/o 49 falls short in almost every aspect. From proprietary connections to poor drivers, to an almost unusable audio interface, we cannot recommend this product and suggest you look for a different MIDI controller and a dedicated audio interface.

The iRig Keys i/o 49 has a laundry list of promising features including:

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• Microphone Type: balanced female 3-pin, XLR. Pin 2: hot / Pin 3: cold / Pin 1: ground
• Microphone Input Level: from 6 mVpp to 1.4 Vpp
• Microphone Input Impedance: 3.2 kOhms

• Gain Range: 46 dB
• Phantom Power: +48V ± 4V
• Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz +/-1.5dB

• Input Noise: -100 dB RMS
• Instrument Input: unbalanced, Hi-Z, TS 1/4″ Jack, Tip: signal / Shield: ground
• Instrument Input Level: from 30 mVpp to 6.9 Vpp

• Instrument Input Impedance: 1 MOhms
• Gain Range: 27 dB
• Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz +/-1.5dB

• Input Noise: -100 dB RMS
• Line Outputs: 2x balanced, TRS 1/4” Jack, Tip: hot / Ring: cold / Shield: ground
• Floating Balanced Outputs with automatic level compensation when working in unbalanced mode

• Maximum Output Level: +13 dBu into 600 Ohms balanced load
• Frequency Response: from 10 Hz to 21 kHz (+/- 0.2dB)
• Output Dynamic Range: 102 dB(A)

• Output Impedance: 150 Ohms balanced
• Connector: 1/8″ TRS Jack. Tip: right / Ring: left / Shield: ground
• Headphone Level Power 100mW into 50 Ohms

• DC barrel: 1x DC barrel. For power and device charging.
• Device Connector: mini-DIN
• External Pedal Input: 1/4″ TRS Jack

• Conversion: 16 or 24-bit A/D – D/A
• Sampling Rate: 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz, 88.2 kHz and 96 kHz
• USB bus powered when used with a computer

• Battery powered (4xAA included) when used with an iOS device
• DC power supply (not included, iRig PSU 3A sold separately)**
• Keys: 25 or 49 (depending on the version) full-size keys with velocity

• 8 velocity-sensitive multi color assignable pads
• Slider strips for pitch and modulation (user programmable)
• Octave, program change and transport
• 5 programmable touch sensitive encoders

These features make the iRig Keys i/o 49 look really promising, and maybe in the future it will be.

Universal connections are an important thing to consider when purchasing any new piece of audio equipment. It is important for all components to connect and work flawlessly together.

One of our biggest concerns about the iRig Key i/o 49 is the proprietary connection between the controller and the computer.

It is impossible to find a replacement cable anywhere that isn’t through IK Multimedia, which is really disappointing. Coupled with the short length of the cable and its seemingly inflated price to purchase a new one, this is a massive turn off for us.

We don’t like buying into tech ecosystems because it can severely limit the capabilities of your home studio.

The other problem we have with this MIDI controller is the built-in audio interface. With only a single channel and no dedicated drivers, it underperforms in almost every aspect and has a large latency delay.

This spells problems and dysfunctionality when it comes time to record, which is unfortunate.

To set the record straight, the IK Multimedia iRig Keys i/o 49 does work flawlessly as a MIDI controller.

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