iZotope has released Spire Studio 2. The concept of the hybrid, portable recording system for your smartphone remains the same, but iZotope has updated several hardware components and improved the iOS app. What’s new in Spire Studio 2?
iZotope Spire Studio 2
iZotope Spire Studio was launched in 2017 as a unique, portable recording solution. The system consists of two main components: The hardware, which bears somewhat of a resemblance to typical smart speakers (“Alexa, record the guitar, please!”), and a smartphone app. The hardware connects to your phone wirelessly via WiFi. According to iZotope, the system saw a spike in popularity during the lockdown, so they’ve decided to give it an upgrade.
The hardware provides two XLR-1/4″ combo jacks with preamps for connecting anything from microphones to guitars to keyboards, as well as two headphone outputs. There’s also an integrated microphone with an omni polar pattern for recording anything that’s happening in the vicinity of the Spire, without any additional equipment. The circular level meter, which encircles the centrally located record and play buttons, also works as a touch surface for setting volume levels and other adjustments. The idea is to have a compact device that you can place on the table wherever you may be, connect to your phone and start recording without the need for additional gear.
This layout remains the same in the second generation, but iZotope has made a few adjustments. Spire Studio 2 features new preamps, which deliver a “smooth” sound, according to the manufacturer. They’ve also made the display a bit brighter and added more memory for a longer onboard recording time of up to eight hours. Other improvements include better battery life and a new Bluetooth link to your phone for faster pairing with the app.
Spire iOS app
The Spire iOS app comes in two versions: free and Pro. The app lets you record, edit and mix up to eight tracks. It also includes collaboration functionality and lets you share your tracks and mixdowns with others via the Spire cloud. The iOS app can even be used without the Spire hardware, while the Spire Studio Controller app for Android requires pairing with the hardware.
The Pro version of the iOS app, which requires you to enroll in a subscription plan, unlocks additional functionality such as vocal tuning and automatic sound checking. New in Spire 2 are noise reduction and pop filter algorithms pulled from iZotope’s RX audio restoration suite, which will come in handy for recordings made in less-than-perfect environments.
It’s not a huge upgrade, but the new version of Spire Studio does come with a few improvements that keep the hybrid platform up to date.
Price and compatibility
Spire Studio 2 is available now for €485. If you order it today (March 31, 2021) from Thomann.de*, you’ll receive the Spire Studio Case for free (a €29 value).
The Spire iOS app is available on the Apple App Store. The Pro membership costs €5.49 per month or €52.99 per year.
The Spire Studio Controller Android app is available for free on the Play Store.