There are a variety of reasons why iMic is preferable to the built-in audio on existing PCs or Macs. The inside of your computer is electrically very noisy. High frequency noise from many sources can degrade a computer's audio input and output quality. USB audio provides a far cleaner and more effective way of getting sound in and out of the computer. The audio A/D and D/A circuitry is external from the computer away from noise that degrades audio performance. All signals are carried to and from your computer digitally through the USB connection. The net effect is audio quality that is far superior to what people have become accustomed to from their computers.
The Griffin iMic builds upon this advantage using the best USB audio codec (compressor/de-compressor) available. The iMic uses the identical codec used in the professional USB audio solutions that cost 5-10x as much. In fact most users and reviewers agree that the iMic provides superior audio input and output quality to these professional adapters. Further, software available only for the iMic allows you to customize your audio input and output far beyond what can be done with any of these high end products.
Some of the other advantages of the iMic include:
24bit Internal Audio Processing
Most built-in computer audio supports a maximum of 16bit sampling, while the iMic hardware samples internally at 24bit. This means that the iMic has a much larger potential signal to noise (S/N) ratio, a wider dynamic range and superior high-end frequency response. Combine that potential with one of the audio programs and drivers that can take advantage of that capability and you're on your way to superior fidelity.
Isolates internal electrical computer noise
The power supplies are full of transient noise from the CPU, hard drives, CD drives and other computer components. Built-in computer audio hardware can transfer that noise into the audio I/O. The iMic stays outside of your noisy computer system, attaching via the external USB interface.
Eliminates "Ground-loop hum"
Ground loops usually manifest themselves as a humming noise, often directly related to the frequency of the electrical system being used. In the United States, the hum is typically at 60Hz or a near harmonic, while in many European countries the hum is 50Hz (or a near harmonic). In addition, the nature of the electrical connections may also greatly exacerbate any possible radio frequency interference (RFI) that may be in the area. A "ground loop" can occur when at least two devices are connected to a common ground through different electrical outlets.
Typically, audio/video signals use zero volts (0v) as the point around which all signals are compared and contrasted, with any appreciable voltage either positive or negative, representing the information being carried. This "zero level" is often called "ground", despite the fact that it rarely refers to a physical connection to the earth.
The problem is that a piece of equipment plugged in to one outlet will probably have a slightly different "ground potential" than another piece of equipment plugged in to an outlet on a different house circuit. To prevent ground loops, all electrical grounds must be connected together. If you must connect your peripherals to two different power outlets that are on separate grounds, then you should use some method of isolating the signals and grounds from each other.
There is a case to be made that a lot of the quality problems affecting audio or video electronic devices can be traced back to ground loops.
Utilize industry-standard connections
iMic incorporates standard 1/8" stereo connections, which eliminates potential problems caused by outdated proprietary hardware such as the older Macintosh PlainTalk design. By adhering to the world wide computer standard 1/8" port, iMic guarantees you'll be able to connect peripherals from around the globe. In addition, there is no commercially available PlainTalk extension cable, since it's an interface used only by Apple for its older microphones. With iMic, you can use practically every kind of extension cable on the market. Not only can you extend the audio connections, but you can also extend the USB cables for even more flexibility in usage and placement.
Many new Mac and PC desktop and portable computers are shipping without audio inputs. With iMic you can easily move one piece of equipment between two or more computers with no hassles at all. Simply unplug iMic from your desktop machine and plug it in your laptop; no drivers to install, no loss of expansion ports, no time wasted prying open the case and swapping cards in and out, and perhaps most significantly - no additional expense.
One Year Warranty
Most music & audio applications available
- Audio input: 1/8" (3.5mm) stereo line/mic-level minijack
- Audio output: 1/8" (3.5mm) stereo line-level minijack
- Hardware control: toggle switch for mic/line setting
- Height: 0.5 in.
- Diameter: 2 in.
- Weight: 2 oz.
- Cable Length: 18"