If you're looking to employ any of the dozens of guitar apps to practice Stevie Ray Vaughn riffs, you'll need some sort of adapter to plug your axe into your phone, tablet or computer. Apogee debuted the Jam in 2011, a $99 thumbdrive-sized dongle that made it possible to play a guitar though an iOS device or Mac. The company would follow up with a pair of 96kHz models -- one for Windows and Mac and the other for Mac and iOS. Today, Apogee is revealing the latest version: the Jam+.
The Jam+ has a few big changes from the previous models. First, there's a built-in headphone jack for low-latency monitoring. Sure, you could monitor your guitar tone with the headphone jack on a connected device before, but this should give you much better results. There's also a Blend feature to ensure that's the case.
A new Overdrive mode handles all of those virtual amps and effects pedals guitar apps offer. Apogee says this mode makes those bits of virtual gear sound more realistic, which, if true, will definitely be a good thing. Lastly, the Jam+ is housed in a metal frame with soft-touch controls up front. And yes, this new device offers 24-bit/96kHz high resolution audio just like the Jam 96k and Apogee's PureDigital tech also returns for quality sound.
The Jam+ will cost you a bit more than the previous versions at $160. The good news is that it's available today at Apogee retailers around the globe and it works with iOS, Mac and Windows. It also accommodates more than just guitar as the Jam+ will also offer an input for your bass, keyboard or any acoustic instrument that has a pickup. Thankfully, Lightning, USB and USB-C cables are all included in the box as is BIAS FX Jam software. With that app, you'll be able to immediately add three amps and six pedal effects to your (virtual) tour rig. If you like to keep your options open, the Jam 96k and original Jam are still available for $129 and $99, respectively, to pair with your iPhone or iPad. The Jam 96k for Mac and Windows is sticking around for $99 as well.