Advice on Ipad Air 3 with/out audio interface setup please?

Hi guys,

I’m looking for a piece of advice on if I should get an audio interface for my setup or not, please.

I’m a ‘basic’ DJ compared to all of you guys here. I usually DJ at a party or school/studio that already has a mixer (eg Behringer Xenyx 802) setup already.
All I only need to press play, select the next song, wait til the song finish, and then play the next track. Hardly any mix whatsoever.

Currently, I just use Ipad Air 3, splitter 1/2 → headphone and 1/2 to the mixer as or similar to the above.

My question is do I need to get a separate Audio Interface? if so which one?
I was looking at getting hercules djcontrol mix for the controller (bluetooth controller, no audio interface build-in) and this lead me to the question. "May be I should get hercules starlight instead, same unit but audio interface buildin but it needs to connect to my Ipad…

Then what benefit do I have by having this Starlight’s audio interface if the Mixer already doing the job and that lead me to this forum.

Sorry for the long post.

1 Like

@PoyTB it sounds like your setup is working fine for you and the way you play music.

  1. The main advantage of an External Audio Interface over a Splitter Cable is better sound quality and a stereo signal instead of a mono signal.
  2. The main advantage of adding a MIDI Controller with a built-in Audio Interface is the same as above plus physical controls over djay Pro AI. Personally, I would stay away from MIDI Controllers with no built in Audio Interface as this will add complexity to your setup. Given your description of how you play music, it doesn’t sound like you need this. However, if you’re interested in expanding your DJing skills and learning manual beatmatching, this is definitely the way to go.
  3. Depending on the situation, I have used all 3 setups (Splitter Cable, External Audio Interface, MIDI Controller).
  • I like the Splitter Cable option when I need an ultra light weight setup and where sound quality isn’t really a concern (traveling, playing at the beach or a small house party).
  • I like the External Audio Interface option when I still want to be light weight, but better sound quality is required.
  • My preference is to use a MIDI Controller wherever possible because I prefer to beat match manually and use hardware controls over touch screen controls.

Yes… I feel that my setup does the job already.

In fact my ideal world is to have mono output rather than the stereo as certain songs only output more to one channel (say left) and the dancers on the right might not hear certain instruments to dance to it.

That bring me to the next puzzle question I had for ages now… “Better sound quality”…

How do I quantify or know how much better the sound between the split vs with audio interface one?

Sound quality is a very subjective thing. Reading audio device specs alone often doesn’t provide sufficient information. The best thing is to use your ears and do a side-by-side comparison.

Perhaps you can borrow a MIDI Controller or Audio Interface from someone to test along side your Splitter Cable setup? Maybe you can purchase equipment for a shop with a good return policy?

Most likely, even a cheap MIDI Controller with built-in audio is going to sound better than your Splitter Cable. However, if sound quality is more important to you than having physical controls over djay, then I think the External Audio Interface is the better choice for you. You will likely get much better sound out of a $200 External Audio Interface than a $200 MIDI Controller with built-in audio interface.

There’s a good discussion here about External USB Audio Interfaces that might help you find what you’re looking for:

1 Like

Note that you will need an Apple Camera Connection Kit to connect your iPad Air 3 to the USB Audio Interface or a MIDI Controller. I recommend that you purchase the official Apple one instead of a cheaper 3rd party one as I have tried many in the past that don’t work for this setup. Some work and some don’t so you might get lucky, but personally I don’t think it’s worth the risk.

Also make sure you get the one with the lightning charging socket. Many Audio Interfaces and MIDI Controllers will need your iPad connected to power to work.



Fantastic knowledge and appreciate for all your comments here! I learnt a lot!


1 Like

You’re welcome @PoyTB. Happy to help!

Hi @PoyTB,

Thanks so much for sharing your question in the community!

I’m glad to see that @Slak_Jaw’s information proved useful to you as well so thank you to them.

Anyone else looking to provide additional feedback in this thread would be greatly appreciated as well.

Have a nice day, everyone!

1 Like