Link: Urbanears — Price: $15/€15/£13
Apple’s ubiquitous iPad and iPhone are bringing a whole new touchy feely dimension to DJing. They’re marvels of miniaturisation, packing an insane amount or horsepower into a diminutive frame. But for all their brilliance, they suck badly at audio. But since iOS6, multi-channel audio has been possible, but this usually requires dedicated hardware plugged into the 30 pin or Lightning port to make any use of this feature. So audio app makers have had to get smart with the available headphone output. By get smart I mean fudging the headphone stereo output into dual mono outputs for master and headphone cueing.
Enter stage left Urbanears with their Slussen audio adaptor. This achieves the aforementioned splitting with an aesthetic charm that others don’t. Griffin’s djay cable along with others does precisely the same thing, but simply feels like a splitter cable, albeit a sturdy one.
The Slussen adaptor is a 2 piece unit — the actual adaptor and a connector to allow you to keep it attached to a key ring. It also comes in 4 lurid bright colours that seem to match nothing in the DJ market bar other Urbanears headphones. It does have the nice side effect of being easy to find in among the usual bird’s nest of DJ cables or back pack.
It’s certainly sturdy, but my concern lies with the key ring element. Factory fresh, it’s a nice tight fit. But my gut tells me that the key ring connector will soon loosen up or maybe even split. Stuffing keys in and out of your pocket is worse punishment than a DJ bag. This won’t change the function of the Slussen though. I’m sure Urbanears did a heap of prototypes, but I cannot help but thing that having the headphone mini jack at the end of the adaptor may well have been a better approach. I can only think it’s to allow a sleeker sideways attachment to the iPad or iPhone.
I have to say that this is a long way from a taxing review, and there’s very little to comment on or to test. So it goes like this — you plug it in, set the audio splitting in your chosen app and you’re done. It just works, looks funky and will probably be with you longer than your Apple device of choice. Assuming you don’t lose it of course.
There is the added fun of a dedicated Slussen DJ app. Visually, it’s as kaleidoscopic as the hardware with some nice visual treats. But being a free app, I’m not wasting any time reviewing it — you can grab it for yourself and try it out.
The Urbanears Slussen audio adaptor does exactly what you expect it to, and does it with the usual Urbanears funky aesthetic. Time will tell if it stays on the key ring or not, and having purchased the Pumpkin edition for myself (yes bought), I’ll be able to report back in due course.
Bottom line – I like it, and it does the job for a fair price. If you’re an iPad or iPhone DJ, you should buy one.