Urbanears Slussen – mixed in keyring?

Like it or not, DJing is rapidly becoming a pocket-sized pastime with a cheap if not free price tag. You can sit behind your keyboard and complain, but that won’t make it go away, nor will it stop the inevitability of the digital age continuing to rampage through the DJ scene. So it’s time to embrace the weird and wonderful that the new style is throwing our way, and one such quirky little thing is the Urbanears Slussen – the IKEA sounding pocket audio adaptor, and a free iOS app to go with it.

As ever, some official words to whet your appetite:


A first of its kind from Urbanears, Slussen is the most powerful after-party weapon known to man.  Slussen is the combination of pocket-sized hardware and free iOS software.  Designed to hang on your keychain, the Slussen allows you to take the party with you, wherever you go.   Slussen is available at nation-wide Urbanears retailers and online at Urbanears.com for $15. Urbanears comes in four color ways – Pumpkin, Grape, Tomato and Petrol.


To unleash Slussen, plug the adapter into your iPhone, iPod or other iOS device and download the Slusen app. Connect your headphones and sound system into the adapter via the two 3.5mm jacks.  Launch the app, and that’s it.  Slussen’s pre-listening feature ensures that the tunes are always bumping, even while preparing the next track.


Open a track by tapping the name field on top of each deck. Choose the track you would like to play in the drop down menu. Repeat the procedure on the other deck. The track will automatically start playing once loaded onto a deck. You can scroll through a track by sliding your finger along the waveform or by tapping the fast forward and rewind buttons.


Once you’ve hit play on one of your decks, you can control whether the music is heard in your speakers or not. Slide the crossfader to the side on which you want to be heard. You are now ready to press play on the other deck. To make mixing easier, make sure you press the sync button so that the two decks are in perfect sync. Please note that the two tracks need to be fully analyzed before you can press the sync button. You know this is done when the waveform is fully visible. Once the two tracks are in sync you are ready to mix them.


Slussen’s powerful equalizer is accessible by tapping and holding the EQ button on the middle of each deck. Once that is done, you will be presented with four options. Slide your finger towards the option you would like to adjust. Slide clockwise to increase and counter clockwise to decrease. Similarly, you can adjust the other equalizers and the gain. Adjusting the equalizer is great way to make your mixing smoother.


To pre-listen to a track you’d like to mix into your set, tap the headphone button and slide the headphone crossfader from side to side. If you don’t have the Slussen adapter plugged in, you won’t be able to use the pre-listening feature and you should change your settings in the settings menu.


  • Kill all – Kill the EQ effects on the respective side
  • 125 BPM – increase the BPM of a track or change the pitch by tapping the BPM button
  • Sync button – press this button to make sure that two different tracks are played in perfect sync
  • Equalizer – press and hold the EQ button to adjust the equalizer or gain
  • Scratch function – press and move any of the decks while they are playing to scratch
  • Crossfader – slide from right to left to choose which side should be heard in your speakers
  • Headphone crossfader – lets you choose which deck you will hear in your headphones
  • Cue feature – cue instantly, or set a new cue-point by tapping the cue button


Urbanears makes headphones that fit your everyday life. Supplying the perfect listening device for anyone with a pocket full of music and a wish to make the most of it, Urbanears models are designed to optimize sound and captivate self-aware customers by matching preferences in size, style, design, function and relation to music. Other companies may try to emulate the brand, but Urbanears is the original in colorful headphones.





Firs thing — am I alone in thinking that there really should be Black and White versions? Not everyone is feeling the whole tutti-frutti thing, and DJs in particular prefer their DJ gear to be a little more monochromatic.

Anyway, This is nothing more than a compact solution to the age-old iOS stereo output limitations. Think Griffin djay cable but in a very pocket-sized package. I’ve just ordered an Orange one (obviously duh) and will attach it to my house keys to see if it’s up to the daily punishment I meter out in my pocket. I’m betting that it’ll end up spending more time in my assorted pockets than attached to the keyring.

Regardless, it’s a handy solution to have around. I’ll report back once mine arrives and I’ve given it and the free app some punishment. I’m personally going to be much happier when Lightning based audio interfaces start to appear rather than putting strain on the headphone output. In the meantime, this is a very tidy solution for the ongoing audio issues of iOS DJing.

  • Looks *very* much like it might have something to do with propellerheads…. Visually similar to figure…

  • Gábor

    If you have an iPad, the Camera Connection Kit/Lightning to USB adapter (CCK), plus a cheap USB audio dongle will do full stereo for you, and no powered USB hub is needed. The overall cost is around $45, including the CCK.

    (Unfortunately the CCK doesn’t work with the iPhone and iPod touch. The only full stereo option for those is the Vestax Spin2, and maybe the Apogee ONE, but they are expensive.)

  • Great design, but. . . what about having an ipad 2 for using it!! Camere needed says. . . Realy. . . . ARE U JOKING?

  • Just downloaded the app (iPhone 4s – newest iOs / No Jailbreak) but it (the app) seems to crash or close just after displaying the urbanears startup screen…..do i need the “slussen” as some kind of dongle for the app to start or does anyone else experience this bug?

  • Ryan Supak

    How does it work exactly? Does it play the Master Out in mono and the Cue Out in mono? Or is the iPhone output capable of more than a stereo analog output and I never knew it?

    I and my family are planning to leave our large house and many possessions behind for a converted school bus…so this is just the kind of thing I better start embracing I suppose…


    • How can you expect to have two stereo outputs from a stereo jack output? Of course the signal is splitted into two mono outputs.

      • Ryan Supak

        The Slussen jack has (4x) conductors if you look closely at the photo, which is physically capable of running (2x) stereo pairs with a floating ground.

        I wonder if the later editions of iPhones would allow this to be configured behind-the-scenes as a multichannel analog output. (Slussen will not work on my iPhone 3G at all, but I get a free upgrade next month so hopefully it will work on what I end up with.) Apparently this does correspond to (4x) true conductors inside the iPhone audio-jack as well, according to iPhone developer discussions I found.

        Even if there were only (2x) conductors in the iPhone audio-jack (which there aren’t), there are various kinds of passive multiplexing that could be done between the software output and the Slussen that would give at least a stereo output and a dual-mono cue output.

        Casting pearls before swine,

        • Gábor

          It doesn’t matter how many physical pins are available. The built-in audio device has just 2 output channels.

          • Ryan Supak

            OK, but going back to my original question: why does the Slussen output jack have four conductors on it then? Why didn’t Urbanears just save the 2 cents or whatever and use the stereo jack if that’s truly all that’s being used?

            I have not seen any documentation one way or the other. Does someone have a documented answer for this? Maybe Mark S. can explain this in a later article…


            • Gábor

              This Slussen thing is exactly the same as the original Split Cable Adapter from Stereomusik or the Griffin DJ Cable.

              Master is playing on the left side of the headphone connector, pre-listening on the right: MP

              The adapter “doubles” both sides: MMPP

              One output connector has MM, the other PP.

              • Ryan Supak

                Thanks for the info. I hadn’t ever paid attention to Phone-Pad audio stuff before…I never had a reason to until I decided to sell all my possessions… 🙂

                That said, even though Urbanears is probably not coaxing 3-channel output from the iPhone (using the pin designated Microphone Input) I bet it’s doable…somebody here is doing it in a tinkering environment it appears…



                • Gábor

                  It doesn’t change the fact that every iOS device has just 2 channels for output. There is no way “flip direction” from input to output on the software level.

                  • Ryan Supak

                    That *is* the crux of the problem and the thing I can’t find a definitive answer on. Where is the Apple documentation stating that (or for that matter, Urbanears documentation stating that everything is in mono)?


                    • Gábor

                      I was part of the team who invented the split cable adapter for mobile DJing.

                      I’m also the developer of DJ Player, which is the fastest audio app on iOS, written on the lowest “close to the metal” level.

                    • Ryan Supak

                      The right guy to answer the question! 🙂

                      If you don’t mind my asking, do you think that there is some kind of multiplexing/Dolby-esque encoding a possibility for coaxing a third channel (mono cueing) out? Maybe at the cost of 32kHz stereo main output or something?


                    • Gábor

                      It would require external active hardware, and audio quality + separation would never be good enough.

                    • Ryan Supak

                      Cool. Well thanks again. It’s an honor.

    • If you want both cue and mix on different channels, once you’re using the stereo jack output of the iPhone, then the only way is to split the stereo into two mono outputs. Miracles are not from this world 🙂

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