CASTIV: The Guitar Sidekick is the perfect way to read music or lyrics while you play without having to sit in front of a computer or turn pages in a book.

This nifty little gadget clamps onto your guitar strings above the nut and grips practically any mobile device or smartphone. The fully pivotable holder allows you to find the best angle and locks in place with the turn of a ring. Use it to read tablature software, launch a tuner app or play along with a metronome. castiv.com

Turn your iPod into a music studio with these cool gadgets.

The iRig is a guitar interface that allows you to turn your iPod, iPad or iPhone into a guitar amp. AmpliTube, the software that was designed for use with the iRig, has just released a new version with improved performance and all new features. The iRig is the perfect solution for guitarists who want to rock out but don’t want to annoy roommates.

AmpliTube is a fantastic, all-inclusive piece of software, which you can add on to with in-app purchases or just enjoy in its free stripped-down form. Customize your rig, mixing and matching between five virtual amps, five cabinets and two microphone combinations (based on popular real-life equipment). Each has full tone and gain controls.

Then layer your effects with fully customizable stompboxes (11 initially, with the option of five additional for purchase). Effects pedals include: Chorus, Flanger, Phazer, Delay, Fuzz, Overdrive, Wah and Envelope Filter. Additional purchasable stompboxes include: Octave, Noise Filter, Compressor, Limiter Parametric EQ and Six Band Graphic Equalizer. You can also save your settings as presets (up to 36 of them) so they’re ready at the touch of the screen next time.

The amps and effects are only half of what’s cool about AmpliTube. You can also record directly to your iPod (one track on the free version, with a four-track upgrade which includes master effects). Export your tracks as high-quality audio files or MP3s. It’s a great way to get down those song ideas before the muse vanishes or record a rhythm track to practice a solo.

You can also import music (up to 50 songs) from your library and play along with it. Songs can be slowed down 50 percent without affecting pitch while you learn them. AmpliTube also includes a built-in tuner and metronome.

Using an iPod Touch 4G, the iRig/AmpliTube showed negligible distortion/signal delay. ikmultimedia.com/irig

Bond Music Research’s GuitarBud is another guitar interface, much like the iRig, but without the benefit of the accompanying software. You can use the GuitarBud with many apps sold separately, such as StompVox, Riff Raters, GigDaddy, iStrobosoft, Rectools Pr, Guitar FX Deluxe or even to record quick song ideas with Voice Memos (preloaded on your iPod/iPhone).

In testing, the GuitarBud showed some slight delay in signal and minor feedback.

GuitarBud also works with a bass or keyboard. bondmusicresearch.com/guitarbud

The Mikey 2.0 is Blue’s newest microphone that plugs directly into the bottom of your iPod. You can record class lectures, dictate notes or even record music. But before you rush out and buy one, be aware the Mikey is not compatible with the newest generation iPod and iPhones. It is compatible with most other models.

You can adjust the angle of the mic through 230 degrees and chose from three gain settings to capture the clearest possible sound. It includes a line-input and USB pass through. The Mikey records CD-quality stereo audio directly to your iPod and comes with the free BlueFiRe recording app.

The Mikey is a cardioid condenser microphone. Also includes a soft carrying pouch. bluemic.com/mikey

Capture all the nuances of your guitar playing without blowing out your eardrums with Future Sonics Atrio Special Edition earphones. Designed to give “Bigger Sound at Lower Volume,” the Atrio features a new MG7 transducer and TrueTimbre audio quality for a clear and dynamic sound. The proprietary dynamic drivers produce frequencies below 150Hz more effectively than multiple driver designs.

The bottom line: They deliver a full-bodied sound with deep lows and clear highs, without having to crank the volume.

Multiple in-ear sleeves create a custom fit and noise isolation. They also come with an eco-friendly zipper case. futuresonics.com