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iConnectivity PlayAudio12 review

The iConnectivity PlayAudio12 is an interesting interface that’s been specifically designed for live use. As a result, it has no proper inputs. Before you run away in horror, let’s talk through what it has to offer.

About the author

I’m a producer and audio engineer with over ten years of experience with a wide range of gear and recording techniques. Throughout my career, I have worked with a myriad of different audio interfaces and other gear, from Focusrite, Neve, Universal Audio, and more.

iConnectivity PlayAudio12 USB audio/MIDI interface review
Image: Higher Hz

Final verdict on the PlayAudio12 5.0

The PlayAudio12 might not make a lot of sense for folks who aren’t as accustomed to live sound, but for some, it may be an incredibly useful piece of gear to have by your side.

While it has no true audio inputs, it offers plenty of outputs and connectivity to help simplify complicated rigs. It may be incredibly niche, but it serves its niche perfectly.

If you’re looking for more outs or an interface that can support two computers simultaneously, look no further.

What I like

  • Multi-computer connectivity.
  • 24-bit/96 kHz AD/DA conversion.
  • Robust and user-friendly design.
  • Solid software bundle.

What I don’t like

  • No inputs or dedicated preamps, sorry.
Buy iConnectivity PlayAudio12 at: SweetwaterAmazon

I/O and controls 4.5

iConnectivity PlayAudio12 front panel
Image: Higher Hz

The PlayAudio12 offers a variety of output options. Amongst these include ten 1/4-inch TRS analog outputs, a 1/4-inch headphone output, as well as MIDI I/O through both Ethernet and USB connections.

iConnectivity PlayAudio12 rear panel
Image: Higher Hz

The PlayAudio12 interface also features a Control In and Out for a footswitch and slave connector, respectively.

Recording quality 4.7

This unit wasn’t designed for “recording” per se, but despite that, it has excellent sound quality and delivers up to 24-bit/96 kHz A/D resolution. You can definitely trust that this device can faithfully deliver every detail of your performance.

Home studio 4.0

Even though the PlayAudio12 is mainly designed for live applications, it can feasibly be used as a valuable addition to whatever your studio setup is.

You can hook it up to two computers at once with both manual and automatic switching modes, and it also enables you to control eight ports worth of USB MIDI.

With all it has to offer, fairly complicated rigs are much less of a hassle to set up.

Mobile recording 4.0

Again, this device isn’t truly meant for recording as much as it is to help with control and playback for live performance, specifically electronic musicians.

That being said, it is compact, lightweight, and small enough to fit snugly into a backpack. So, it’s quite mobile and easy to travel with.

If you’re looking to record amps or live sound, maybe consider a different audio interface that was built for that purpose.

Build quality 5.0

The PlayAudio12 is a well-designed unit; it’s more than capable of handling the wear and tear of touring life. The metal casing is sleek and attractive, the volume knob works as it should, and the LED metering is clear and helpful.

All around, the iConnectivity PlayAudio12 is a robust, reliable, and user-friendly interface.

Software bundle 5.0

The software bundle here is nice. You’ll receive access to Ableton Live Lite and a plethora of samples from Big Fish Audio. I think that, ultimately, the bundle complements what the PlayAudio12 was designed for and is well-suited to the expected demographic.

Compared to other interfaces

To be honest, a 12-out interface is a particularly niche piece of equipment to be considered. There isn’t really much out there that is as uniquely tailored to such a specific requirement.

However, I compiled a few options for you to comb through. My apologies in advance if they have inputs.

PlayAudio12 vs Motu UltraLite Mk5

If you’re looking for outputs, this unit offers 22 outs, albeit some of those are through ADAT and SPDIF. Otherwise, it offers a higher number of inputs and outputs (which isn’t hard), better resolution, onboard DSP effects, and a rack-mount form factor.

While you might not need the inputs, they’re always nice to have in a pinch.

PlayAudio12 vs Motu 828 Mk3

Again, it’s more of the same here. The Motu has more outs, better resolution, and also more flexibility in terms of functionality and usage.

If you’re not interested in adding more inputs to your live rig, the PlayAUDIO12 is the better option, but I’d go for the Motu, personally.

If you’re looking for something more versatile, check out our pick of the best audio interfaces for recording.

Who is the iConnectivity PlayAudio12 best suited for?

The PlayAudio 12 interface is best suited for electronic musicians in search of more control over their playback in live situations.

Buy iConnectivity PlayAudio12 at: SweetwaterAmazon

Video demo

Watch this video by my colleague Fabio where he puts the iConnectivity PlayAudio12 interface to the test.