Review: Griffin iMic II
A few months ago, we reviewed Griffin’s iMic. Last month, a newer model was announced that offered the same capabilities with an updated design. Besides being smaller, the new iMic (we’ll call it the iMic II) has text labels for the input, output, and level selector switch. It’s also white to match all the current Apple hardware. Electronically, it is the same product, so our review from the original has not changed much.
iMics New & Old
Priced around $40, but as low as $35 in some places, the small silver iMic allows you to use guitars, microphones, tape decks, turntables, VCRs, and more with your Mac. The iMic also features a high-quality audio output, in case you’re looking for better sound out of your speakers.
The iMic is ideal for anyone who wants to use their favorite microphone with iChat AV or play their guitar on GarageBand on an iBook or Mac mini. As expected, the iMic has the same excellent product design as the other Griffin products and is very easy to use.
The only step is to plug the iMic into a free USB port and pick it in the Sound Preference Pane (a similar process for Windows). Once set up, the iMic is just as easy to use. One jack is labeled as input (it does both line-level and mic-level). Another jack is labeled as output, for headphones, speakers, or something else.
The iMic boasts a professional codec, and can record and playback up to 24-bit, 48kHz audio. The iMic’s sound quality is close to many other higher-end audio devices, but it lacks some of the “pro” features. Of course, it also is a fraction of a price.
Also included with the iMic is a RCA-to-miniplug adapter and a CD with a manual and Final Vinyl (an audio recording program).
This iMic is a bit smaller than the previous one, and gone is the Power Mac G4-style silver-and-clear-plastic look. Instead, this new iMic is all white with dark grey text. A switch on the side lets you pick between mic-level or line-level input. This is a big improvement over the unlabeled switch of its predecessor.
Aside from that, the iMic feels sturdy, and is very easy to use. If you need to get sound into (or out of) your USB Mac, and don’t want to spend too much, the iMic may be the product you’re looking for.
The One-Sentence Verdict™
Just like the original iMic, the new model is the solution to use if you need to use any audio device with your Mac, but don’t want to spend much..
Pros: Simple, works as advertised, inexpensive, level selector switch is labeled
Cons: None significant