The 9 Best Audio Interfaces of 2022
Audio Interface – Buying Guide, Opinions and Analysis
An audio interface can greatly enhance your listening experience over your computer, whether you’re listening to music or making music productions. Likewise, it is a useful piece of equipment for making cleaner and more professional podcasts. On this occasion we present several high-quality interfaces; one of them is the M-Audio AIR 192|4, which offers two channels, which are used for microphone and musical instruments. Also, we recommend the PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 that has a hybrid input (XLR + 6.3 mm balanced) and two 1/4-inch outputs for monitors.
The 9 Best Audio Interfaces – Opinions 2022
If you are looking for a good audio equipment for your Home Studio or DJ controller, check out this list where we select 9 interface models. Perhaps some of them will help you to carry out better multimedia projects at home, without having to invest a lot of money.
USB audio interface
1. M-Audio AIR 192|4 USB-C 2-Input USB Audio Interface
It is perhaps the best audio interface, offering crystal clear recordings, as it runs at 24-bit depth and 192kHz of sample rate. In practice, this means that the recorded sound will be able to sound very similar to the original that the musical instruments emit. Likewise, due to this you will be able to have a lower latency in the recordings. In this way, the songs are better recorded in terms of tempo.
Also, this USB audio interface has a hybrid input for XLR and 6.3 mm), as well as another special 6.3 mm input to connect your instruments and make recordings. You can use keyboards, guitars or basses, being quite versatile despite its portable size. Similarly, on the hybrid input you can connect dynamic or condenser microphones. The latter are supported thanks to their Phantom Power function.
If you are looking for audio quality and ergonomics when recording, this interface could be the most suitable for you.
Sound: The sound of your tracks will be cleaner and more dynamic, thanks to the fact that it works with 192 kHz and 24 bits.
Channels: With this interface you can record through its two inputs, so you can play the instrument and sing at the same time.
Phantom: It has Phantom Power, so you can activate it when you want to record with a condenser microphone.
MIDI: It is missing that the interface has MIDI ports, so that you can connect other instruments and equipment through that way.
2. Moukey USB-C 3.0 24bit 48kHz Audio Interface
Among the best audio interfaces of 2022, the Monkey MSc1 model stands out, as it works with a sampling frequency of 48 kHz and 24 bits depth. That is, it provides a sound that is quite faithful to the samples taken in the Home Studio. Also, we mention that it has Phantom technology, so that you can activate it when you want to connect a condenser microphone.
In addition to this, it should be noted that it is a USB 3.0 audio interface, that is, the sounds will be transferred to the computer and vice versa with a higher speed than USB 2.0 technology.
Also, you should know that it has two entrances. The first is hybrid, so it works with XLR and 1/4-inch jacks. Second, it has a 1/4-inch input which will come in handy for connecting musical instruments. As if that were not enough, it has a special 3.5mm output for recording or live streaming via phones.
There are many options on the market, but this is one of the most useful interfaces for modest music producers, vlogs, tutorials, and podcasts. Below, we summarize some of its most important qualities.
Sound: The audio signal recorded by this interface is quite realistic, because its 48 kHz sampling rate captures the nuances of each voice or musical instrument.
Inputs: It has two channels, one for microphone and line, as well as another that is mainly intended for musical instruments (guitars, keyboards, basses, etc.).
Controls: On its front panel it has volume controls for the headphones, speakers and the two inputs.
Monitoring: It does not come with a special button to mute monitoring, which could be a problem for some users.
audio interface for guitar
3. PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 2×2 Recording System
If you are wondering which is the best audio interface, perhaps this model is the most appropriate answer. It has two hybrid inputs, to be able to connect two microphones at the same time or some instruments, for example, bass and guitar. In addition, it can be useful if you are looking for an audio interface for guitar and voice. This is possible thanks to the fact that it has Phantom, to connect any condenser microphone through an XLR jack.
In addition to this, it comes with analog controls to adjust the volume of each input and the sound output. Similarly, this audio interface works with 24 bits and a frequency of 96 kHz, being efficient in capturing voice and instruments. That is, it converts analog sound into samples without noise, very similar to the original audio of instruments and performers.
This could be the best audio interface of the moment for podcasts, since two microphones can be connected at the same time. In the following section we present its most relevant aspects.
Sound: Its 24 bit and 96 kHz frequency are enough to record or broadcast live audio that is clear and true to analog sound.
Channels: It has two hybrid channels (XLR and 1/4 inch), so you can record your projects more comfortably.
Compatibility: It works for various DAW programs on Mac or Windows computers, so you will not have problems with compatibility.
USB: Its USB port is version 2.0, so it is not very fast, maybe it would be better if it had 3.0 or type C.
4. Saramonic SmartRig II Profession Audio Adapter
In this case, we present you with an audio interface for guitar and voice that can get you out of trouble and even help you with a formal music production project. Although it is one of the smallest interfaces on the list, it does allow you to work in DAW programs from various companies, Pro Tools, Cubase, Sonar, Audacity, among others. In addition, it has Phantom, because in its rear part there is a compartment for a 9 V battery.
And, if you’re worried about monitoring, you should know that the interface has a headphone output. Simply connect a pair of headphones with a 3.5mm male jack and you can listen to the sound in real time.
Likewise, we inform you that thanks to its compact design with hybrid XLR + 1/4-inch input it is possible to connect a condenser microphone and launch a direct through the telephone.
Next, we will talk about the positive and negative aspects of the Saramonic SmartRig II, since, although it is one of the cheapest interfaces, it is efficient for some multimedia content producers.
Microphone: In it you can connect a condenser microphone, since it has Phantom Power.
Input: Its hybrid input for microphones and musical instruments will get you out of trouble in those moments when you have good ideas and want to record them.
Practicality: This interface is very small and works with iOS and Android phones or tablets, so you can take it with you to record or broadcast a live anywhere.
Audio channel: Guitar and voice cannot be recorded at the same time, because it has an audio channel.
Behringer audio interface
5. Behringer U-PHORIA UM2 Additional Stereos
This might be the best value for money audio interface, as it is one of the cheapest, but it boasts a 48kHz sample rate, providing quality to your recordings. In addition, thanks to its size you can take it with you everywhere comfortably.
Also, we mentioned that the Behringer audio interface is compatible with the most popular recording programs used by sound engineers or music producers, including Steinberg Cubase, Avid Pro Tools, and Ableton Live. Likewise, with it you will be able to record musical instruments and vocal tracks at the same time on your computer since it has a microphone preamplifier, which has Phantom power. In this way, your recordings will be very professional.
Likewise, it has direct monitoring control, signal clip, status LED and power through USB. As if that weren’t enough, it has an XLR/TRS input for microphone or line, as well as a 1/4-inch port (mic input).
If you still don’t know which audio interface to buy for your Home Studio, we recommend this model, as it is compact and versatile.
Compatibility: This device is compatible with the main DAW programs, for example, Ableton Live, Cubase and Pro Tools, the most used by music producers today.
Preamplifier: Its microphone preamplifier with 48V Phantom power allows the use of condenser microphones.
Monitoring: It has direct monitoring so that when you are recording you have a better experience with mixing and editing.
Case: It would be nice if the interface came with a padded case to carry or store it more safely and comfortably.
audio interface for mac
6. Roland Rubix22 USB Audio Interface
This Roland interface has been made of metal, a resistant material, so it will have a long useful life. In addition, it has a compact design, so you can take it with you everywhere. But that’s not the most important thing, since it has extensive isolation and grounding, so you will enjoy a very clean sound anywhere you want to record.
It is an audio interface for Mac and PC that has low latency drivers, this means that you will not have the typical response or tempo problems in your recordings. It also comes with Ableton Live Lite software, which you can use without any complex setup.
Also, it has a Hi-Z input, so you can connect a guitar or other high-impedance device. As if that were not enough, it has two low-noise microphone preamps, so the sound will be quite clean. In addition, you will enjoy a wide dynamic range that allows you to record the smallest details of your recording regarding low, medium or high frequencies.
If you are looking for an audio interface with the possibility of recording in low latency, perhaps this could be a good option for you. Review its pros and cons, which we present below.
Resolution: It has a resolution of 24 bits, as well as 192 kHz for the sampling frequency. Your recordings will be left with a very realistic sound, just as it is conceived by each musician in the studio.
Input: On its front panel it has a Hi-Z input where you can connect electric guitar, keyboard or bass.
Preamps: Its two microphone preamps have been designed for high definition and low noise in your projects.
Usability: This interface is recommended for simple studios or beginning producers. That is, if you want to make recordings at a professional level, you should choose another model.
Audio interface for iPad
7. iRig IK Multimedia HD 2 Professional Sound Audio Interface
One of the most important aspects of this interface is its practicality, since it has a quite compact and light design, so that you can easily take it anywhere, for live recordings. Plus, it has a dual switchable amp output, so you can send raw signals to your guitar amp, without the use of conversion adapters.
In addition to that, we mentioned that the same output is 1/4-inch, so you can use a traditional instrument cable. Also, its USB output is compatible with computers, tablets and phones, so you can make recordings without limitations. And, if you want to have monitoring, this interface has a headphone output, which is 3.5 mm, so you can connect any model of headphones (in-ear or over-ear).
On the other hand, it is an audio interface for iPad and PC that has superior audio quality with 24-bit A/D converters and a 96 kHz sampling rate, which will provide you with a signal free of interference and background noise..
In the next section we explain the pros and cons of this product, it may be the one you are looking for for your recordings inside or outside the studio.
Compatibility: It is compatible with Windows and Mac laptops, as well as iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices, so you can use your interface with any of these devices.
Frequency: It has a sampling frequency of 96kHz which provides clarity and depth to the sound, making your recordings sound incredible.
Package: This interface comes with a USB to Micro USB cable, microphone stand mounting clip and a Lightning to Micro-USB cable, so you don’t have to buy these accessories from another website.
XLR: It would be nice if it had an XLR input at least for dynamic microphone, however, this does not affect its quality in terms of instrument recording.
8. Focusrite Scarlett Solo 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface
It is characterized by being compatible with different recording programs such as FL Studio, Garageband, Cubase, Nuendo, etc. Therefore, you will be able to use your favorite and start making your recordings and mixes. Also, you should know that this interface has an instrument input, so you can connect your electric bass or guitar. In the same way, it has the Easy Start tool, with which you will be able to make configurations, recordings and reproductions in a few minutes, which is very advantageous if you are a beginner.
Likewise, it should be noted that it has a microphone preamplifier with the Air function, so that your recordings have a brighter sound. In addition, it has 24-bit A/D converters, as well as 192 kHz sampling frequency. In other words, it will allow you to mix, record and play back audio with a great studio quality.
On the other hand, we mention that the interface has an XLR input with 48 V Phantom Power technology, to be able to connect a condenser microphone. Plus, the instrument input is 1/4-inch, so you can easily plug in basses, keyboards, or guitars. You can even record voice and instrument at the same time, but on two different tracks within the DAW program.
Focusrite might be the best brand of home studio audio interfaces, as they make compact kits specializing in recording, editing, and mixing software.
Preamplifier: This interface has a microphone preamplifier that has the Air Mode function, so your recordings will have a brighter or more dynamic sound.
Compatibility: It is compatible with the majority of recording software used by music producers or amateur musicians, so you can use the one you like best.
Inputs: Its XLR and 1/4-inch inputs allow you to record each channel separately in real time.
Manual: The user manual comes in English, so for some people it is somewhat cumbersome.
9.Zoom U-24 Audio Interface
It is an interface with two hybrid inputs (XLR and 1/4 inch), which can work at the same time, to record two voices at the same time or guitarist and singer. Likewise, it comes with gain potentiometers for each input, so you can freely adjust the volume level you want for each channel. In addition to this, you should know that the input is Hi-Z type, so you can connect basses, guitars or other instruments.
Also, we mention that it has both MIDI input and output jacks and with 5-pin DIN format, so you can use rhythm machines, keyboards, synthesizers and controllers, according to your requirements. In addition, it has Ableton Live 9 Lite, so you can quickly edit your tracks, adding effects such as Chorus, Reverb, Delay, among others.
It also has monitoring options, so you can adjust your projects more efficiently. In the same way, each of the ports was strategically placed, so you have easy access and make the necessary adjustments with much more comfort.
In the next section, we present the most important pros and cons of this interface, it may be the model you need.
Channels: Its two audio channels offer greater ease when recording voices and instruments simultaneously.
Size: The compact size of this interface allows it to be installed in any Home Studio, especially if space is limited.
Monitoring: It has direct monitoring with zero latency, so you can make your recordings without tempo or rhythm problems.
Batteries: It requires two AA batteries for its operation, which provide approximately 4 hours of autonomy. You may have to buy refills often.
In the world of sound, audio interfaces, also known as sound cards, play a very important role. They are responsible for converting analog audio signals into digital ones, being compatible with various DAW programs. However, the sound quality can be good or bad, depending on the technologies with which this conversion is done (the quality of the interface). For that reason, in this article we present a guide to buying the best audio interface.
If you are doing a comparison of audio interfaces, this is one of the first qualities that you should know. Bit depth refers to the number of bits that can be represented in a digital audio sample. If we compare this with still cameras, 16 bits would be 16 MP (megapixels). In theory, a 24-megapixel camera will take sharper photos than a 16-megapixel one. The same happens with the bits in audio, since they represent the resolution of the music that we listen to.
Thus, the audio card must be able to convert analog signals into digital data or waveforms with 16 bits or 24 bits. If the samples recorded in your DAW were made with a 24-bit interface, the resolution is higher. In other words, if you want better quality recordings, buy a 24-bit interface. This way you will not have white noise problems or distortions with some frequencies when you record voices or instruments.
Of course, the interface won’t work miracles, so you have to have good musicians in the studio, to play guitar or sing professionally. Many times the problems in music production are not due to the quality of the interface, but rather the low level of the musicians who recorded.
Another important aspect of any interface is its sample rate. It should be able to record at 44100kHz and 16-bit if you want to create music for later burning to CD. On the other hand, if you want to record for DVD, the most logical thing would be for the card to have a high sample rate; 48kHz would be fine as well as 24bit.
On the other hand, the music on a Blu-ray must have a higher sample rate, for example, 192 kHz and 24 bits. Normally, when the sample rate is high, the resolution (bit depth) also increases. So, the recommendation is that you choose the interface that best suits your multimedia projects. This will give you success in terms of sound quality.
Number and type of tickets
Before asking yourself how much a certain card costs, you should check its number of ports (inputs and outputs). Most commonly, single entry interfaces are cheaper. In any case, you should search calmly and, surely, you will find a good and cheap interface on the Internet.
If you want to record voice and instrument at the same time, buy an interface with 2 inputs (channels); for example, one XLR and one 1/4 inch. The first is for a microphone and the second is for a variety of musical instruments, keyboards, basses, guitars, ukuleles, banjos, etc.
In addition to this, keep in mind that some interface models come with one or two hybrid inputs. This type of input is very versatile, since it is used to connect a microphone via XLR or instruments in the 1/4-inch port. Also, they are known as 2-in-1 tickets.
Importance of Phantom Power
This is another aspect that you should know yes or yes. Phantom Power is a special DC voltage that powers certain microphones so they can function properly. Phantom Power is generally only activated on an audio interface when you are going to use a condenser microphone.
Of course, not all Internet vendors show this detail within the interface specifications. However, you can find this information on review pages, videos and, above all, through the official website of the manufacturer (Steinberg, M-Audio, PreSonus, Behringer, etc.).
In practice, you can plug a condenser microphone into an audio interface without phantom power. The result is that it will not pick up audio signals, since this type of microphone has an internal circuit that requires power to work and, normally, with a voltage of 48 V. This is the reason why we see some interfaces with these indications in the phantom power button.
Frequently asked questions
Q1: How to use an audio interface?
When you buy an audio interface, keep in mind that it receives power from the computer through a USB cable, which sometimes comes in the product box. Before connecting it to the computer you must turn down the volume completely. In addition, it is recommended to disconnect the studio headphones. The latter can receive a strong signal hit the moment you first connect the interface.
After connecting the interface, it should not send a strong signal to the headphones, however, some have that problem every time you turn on the computer. In that case, it is best to always unplug the headphones after each use, to protect them and make them last much longer.
Otherwise, just plug in your instruments or microphone to record and set up audio channels in your DAW.
Q2: How to record with an audio interface?
For many people recording can be a headache if they don’t know how or where to connect each cable. Therefore, here we explain it to you in the simplest way possible. The first step is to install the interface drivers (if required) on the computer. Next, connect the audio interface to your computer and open the DAW program that came with it. Also, you can use an editing application that you have purchased separately on the Internet (Cubase, Nuendo, Pro Tools, etc.).
In the program go to “Audio Settings”, “Audio Preferences” or something similar. Simply configure the inputs and outputs to work through your interface. Sometimes this is done automatically, because DAW programs recognize that the quality of the interface is higher, compared to the original audio from the computer.
In any case, the next thing will be to activate the tracks on the red button (REC) and start recording everything you want, songs, conversations, guitar rhythms, etc.
Q3: How to connect an audio interface to PC?
Typically, the audio interface has a USB-C, USB 2.0, or USB 3.0 port, so just plug it into an available input on your PC. This is done with the cable that may have come in the interface box. If the latter is Plug and Play, it means that when connected to the computer it can be automatically recognized. Otherwise, install the drivers that come in the box in CD format or download them from the official website. With the drivers installed, the computer will easily recognize your new interface.
Q4: How to connect a MIDI controller to your audio interface?
The connection of a MIDI controller can be done with a DIN pin cable. This cable has two equal ends (with male 5-pin DIN jacks), so you only need to plug one end into the female OUT port on the controller and the other into the MIDI input on the interface. It should be noted that the interface port is also female and almost always appears as IN, implying that it is the MIDI input. That would be it, simple and quick so you can start recording using your controller.