The new AXE I/O audio interface brings tube-like circuits and $1,000 in software to your Mac


Ahead of NAMM 2019 later this month, IK Multimedia has now unveiled its new AXE I/O audio interface. The guitar player-focused box brings all of the usual high resolution recording possibilities to your Mac setup along with a series of specialized features for guitar players. More details below.

AXE I/O Inputs

IK is offering an impressive 192 kHz recording resolution here (24-bit) in a 2 in/5 out setup. That includes a pair of PURE discrete Class A preamps with phantom power for microphones as well as two Hi-Z front panel ¼-inch inputs for guitars and basses.

Tube-like Pres

One interesting touch here is the ability to flip between a clean Class A PURE circuit and a JFET option. In other words, you can choose between an extremely clean, transparent input path and a more vintage-style tube like sound with interesting saturations. These kinds of options don’t tend to pop-up very often in consumer-priced boxes like this and is an entirely welcome addition as far as we are concerned.

AXE I/O Outputs

On the output side of things, you’ll find two floating balanced outputs, two unbalanced outputs and a built-in discreet headphone connection. But you’ll also discover a floating Amp Out that allows players to integrate real world amps and stomp boxes into the signal chain without all of the issues than can arise with this kind of setup (ground loops, noise, hum etc.) It is right on the front panel and is great for re-amplification setups and the like.


That’s all on top of a pair of LED VU meters and a “Monitor” knob for latency-free monitoring. The new patent-pending Z-Tone impedance-adapting circuit allows you to experiment with different input impedances. This can result in a massive array of tonal changes, dynamics and more.

Included Software

Along with over $1,000 of software and plug-ins (AmpliTube 4 Deluxe and a selection of 10 popular processors from T-RackS) included in the package, there is also a pair of controller inputs on the back of the box. This can be super handy for making changes in your emulation software or DAW without having to take your hands off the guitar.

AXE I/O [can] double as a software controller and provide connection for two expression pedals, single or double switches. An assignable data knob with push encoder on the front panel also allows switching presets and controlling AmpliTube or any other software in real time


AXE I/O is available right now from IK and elsewhere starting from $349.99 shipped. It doesn’t appear to be live on Amazon just yet though.

IK dropped details on its new mic stand iPad holder last week. Also, be sure to stay locked to 9to5Toys for all things NAMM this month.

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