Line 6 is a brand that’s well-known for creating audio gear built for guitarists. One of their smallest offerings is this cute audio interface – the Line 6 Sonic Port. Due to the size and build, it’s one of the most portable audio interfaces you can find for under $100. Today we’re taking a look at what it has to offer.
When it comes to design and appearance in general, Line 6’s Sonic Port actually looks nothing like the majority of audio interfaces on the market. Instead of a standard, clunky box with lots of buttons and knobs, you get a very sleek candy bar-like device that can fit inside your pocket. Due to the compact size, it’s not something well-suited for a home recording studio, but it is definitely a device worth considering for recording and performing on the road.
The build quality is very good and it’s very sturdy, with a cool red and black casing. The layout of the ports is quite simple. On the front you there are four ports, while the back is reserved for the USB output.
As it’s so compact, the Sonic Port is very limited when it comes to features – ultimately there are just two 1/4” TRS ports and two 1/8” stereo ports. However, when you understand that this interface was designed to be used exclusively with iOS and Mac OS devices, it makes more sense. Ultimately, it’s the hardware extension to applications such as GarageBand – its primary use is simply to bridge the gap between instrument-level signal and something your device can read.
So how does all this perform in practice? In truth, quite well. Line 6 offers a virtually latency-free conversion, maxing out at a 24-bit/48 kHz bit rate. As it is powered via the USB port, all you need is a mobile device and a cable to get started (it comes with detachable Lightning and 30-pin cables). It proves a solid way to connect a guitar or bass to an iOS device, essentially turning your iPad or iPhone into a mobile recording studio (a slightly limited one, but still pretty cool).
Although it’s a fairly niche interface – and not suitable for those who just want a basic audio interface for recording instruments and vocals – Line 6’s Sonic Port offers a fair amount of versatility for those who like to record and perform with a guitar on the road. It’s built like a tank and delivers a fairly consistent performance. Overall, if you are an Apple user and a guitarist, this interface is worth considering.