Top 10 iOS Hardware Add-Ons

Creating music on the go can be extremely versatile with minimal gear, but invest in some iOS hardware add-ons and a whole world of opportunity opens up. Here’s our top 10…

ios hardware add-ons

Novation Launch range


Price From £49
Type USB grid, key or pad

Novation has a whole range of USB controllers and the smaller Mini versions are particularly suited to iOS, although you may need an additional Camera Connection Kit.

We say: “Well-made controllers that add extra levels of creativity for iPad-based creators and performers.”

ROLI Blocks range

Price £69 to £169
Type iOS/wireless pad controllers
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ROLI’s Blocks range is a system of touch-sensitive blocks that join together to make many and varied music-making systems – using the iOS NOISE app as their source.


We say: “Can add a level of control you won’t get with any other MIDI controllers and looks very cool indeed.”

Arturia BeatStep range

Price £90 to £189
Type USB/CV step controllers
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Great for step sequencing and for controlling synth hardware but also, via a Y connector, a very cool way to sequence your iOS synths.

We say: “BeatStep is a great choice for anyone working with MIDI-triggered instruments, be they in hardware or software form.”

Shure MV5

Price £94
Type iOS/USB microphone

A general-purpose USB and iOS mic with settings for music, podcasting and video chats.

We say: “The Instrument setting sounds detailed, natural and realistic. Voice mode is louder, punchier, brighter and more forward. Both are excellent, and your choice will depend on the application.”

IK Multimedia iRig Pads

Price £119
Type USB/iOS grid/pad controller

More compact and portable than most and specifically aimed at the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch markets.

We say: “A very flexible device, as well as being highly portable. Makes for a compact, sturdy and tactile addition to your i-based studio.”

Røde IX-Y

Price £129
Type iOS mic
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Mic with a pair of cardioid condenser capsules that connects to your iPhone (or iPad) via the Lightning connector and can record at 24-bit/96KhZ.

We say: “An excellent bit of kit and a great way to get a relatively inexpensive iOS recording solution.”

Shure MV88

Price £129
Type iOS/USB microphone

Compact condenser, bidirectional and cardioid mic designed specifically for iOS operation.

We say: “Depending on settings, it copes with instruments and vocals with equal aplomb. All in all, this is a serious recording device.”

Apogee Mic 96k

Price £189
Type USB mic
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Cardioid condenser capsule microphone designed for optimal signal quality and for both vocals and instrument recording. Requires Camera Connection Kit for iOS.

We say: “A proper mic that plugs into your iOS device, delivering the quality you’d expect from Apogee.”

IK Multimedia iRig Keys IO

Price £200 to £300
Type USB/iOS key controller

The latest keyboard from IK is available in 49- or 25-key versions with full-size keys and a velocity-sensitive keyboard.

They say: “iRig Keys I/O works out of the box with all iOS devices with a Lightning port, so you can create from the word go.”

ROLI Seaboard Block

Price £279
Type iOS/wireless key controller
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Combining ROLI’s Seaboard keyboard with its Block wireless and mobile ethos, Seaboard Block brings expressive playing via the NOISE app.

We say: “Seaboard Block is a great and affordable way into extra dimensions of playing and sonic manipulation.”