Artiphon’s Instrument One Requires an iPhone to Function

When you thought you’ve seen all of world’s musical instruments, Artiphon launches an innovative multi instrument built around the iPhone 5.

Artiphon’s creation is probably the one instrument to rule them all, since it can emulate the sound of guitars, keyboards, violins and banjos. Unlike many accessories for the iPhone, this is not built from cheap materials. Instead, Artiphon made use of African hardwood for most of Instrument One’s body.

The design of this concept is rather confusing, but I guess that Artiphon wanted to be original, instead of just copying the design of other musical instruments. This concept also includes a pair of speakers, which due to the design of the instrument, are not symmetrical. Their combined power is of 30W, which is more than impressive, for a mobile device, even more so for a musical instrument. Musicians who enjoy standing out from the crowd should definitely try this one out, provided they can get their mitts on it.

As far as inputs and outputs go, Instrument One has plenty of both, but the line-out and the MIDI in/out will probably be the most frequently used ones. Inputs and outputs, as well as all sorts of switches, can be seen not only at the back of the device, but also beneath its handle.

One thing that should really get some appreciation is how discreet the iPhone 5 section is on this device. It’s great that the developers of Instrument One decided not to go with a bolder design with LEDs that glow around Apple’s product, making it feel like it is the star of this show. Instead, they placed it in a spot where it does not attract a lot of attention, despite being visible at all times. It should be noted that Instrument One does not work only with iPhone 5 smartphones, but also with iPod Touch portable multimedia players. After all, Instrument One does not make use of the GSM features that distinguish the two.

Personally, I’m not sure I’d like to hear any of my favorite musicians using Instrument One. Sure, it is as unique as it gets, and the innovations abound in it, but it has a stronger electronic vibe than I’d like it to.

As seen in the following video, which is in fact an Engadget hands-on review (I envy these guys sometimes for their hands-on, eyes-on, ears-on reviews!), Instrument One will work just fine with any MIDI app for iOS:


If you liked this post, please check the Pilcrow musical instrument and the DIY 3-string guitars.