The free Audiophile Music Player app for the iPad is an attractive and great-sounding way to improve iPad audio if you are connected to external speakers or headphones. Speakers can be the plug-in type, or connected via Bluetooth or AirPlay.
Like some of the other audio apps I've reviewed, most recently one for the iPhone for use with headphones, Audiophile processes music digitally and significantly enhances the sound, especially for smaller speakers and headphones.
The app sees your iTunes content, and allows you to play tracks and albums, or create playlists. You can also use iTunes file sharing for music not on your iPad. The app supports ALAC, WAV, AIFF, MP3 and AAC/M4A formats.
Audiophile Music Player also supports cloud-based music services like Bander, DJCloud and SoundCloud. It's not going to work with services like Pandora or Spotify because they are not built into the app.
An in-app purchase of US$6.99 gives you enhanced music playback and EQ settings. You can also select the type of speakers connected, or opt for headphone settings. You can try those enhancements one time without buying the upgrade.
I listened to Audiophile using some Bose Soundlink Mini Bluetooth speakers and the sound improvement was obvious and better than playing straight through the iPad music player. Instruments seemed better defined, there was a more realistic sound of the recording venue, and the overall tonal balance seemed more realistic. Rock, jazz and classical music all seemed improved. The GUI is very attractive, with real-time level meters. Advanced controls are on screen, and if you activate them, you'll get a pitch for the upgrade. I'd prefer those were hidden after an initial view, but the purpose is to sell the upgrade.
You can download the app and see how it does with your audio setup, and my guess is frequent users will want the in-app purchase for more flexibility.
The Audiophile Music Player is iPad only, and requires iOS 5.1 or later.