Best value audio interfaces

🌅 Introduction

Looking to bring your music production to the next level? Look no further than our comprehensive audio interfaces best value guide. We’ve curated a list of the most budget-friendly yet high-quality audio interfaces on the market, ensuring that you get the biggest bang for your buck. Whether you’re a professional producer or an aspiring musician, our guide will help you find the best value audio interface that suits your needs. Say goodbye to the hassle of sifting through countless options, our expert recommendations have got you covered.

🏆 Our Top 5

No. 1
Focusrite Scarlett Solo 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface
  • Focusrite Scarlett Solo 3rd Gen USB Interface - Software Suite (Download) - USB Type-C to USB Type-A Cable - Focusrite 3 Year Limited Warranty
  • Elevate your recordings with the single 3rd Generation Scarlett mic preamp, offering a pristine sound out of the box and the iconic Air mode for legendary Focusrite ISA mic pres effect, known and loved by professionals worldwide
  • Capture your guitar or bass with unparalleled clarity using the high-impedance, high-headroom instrument input, guaranteeing distortion-free, professional-quality recordings every time
  • Simplify your workflow and achieve optimal recording levels effortlessly with the iconic Gain Halos, providing visual feedback for quick and precise adjustments
  • Experience the true essence of your audio with two balanced outputs, ensuring hum-free monitoring, mixing, and mastering sessions that meet the highest studio standards
No. 2
M-Audio M-Track Solo – USB Audio Interface for Recording, Streaming and Podcasting with XLR, Line and DI Inputs, Plus a Software Suite Included
9,465 Reviews
M-Audio M-Track Solo – USB Audio Interface for Recording, Streaming and Podcasting with XLR, Line and DI Inputs, Plus a Software Suite Included
  • Podcast, Record, Live Stream, This Portable Audio Interface Covers it All – USB sound card for Mac or PC delivers 48 kHz audio resolution for pristine recording every time
  • Be ready for anything with this versatile M-Audio interface - Record guitar, vocals or line input signals with one combo XLR / Line Input with phantom power and one Line / Instrument input
  • Everything you Demand from an Audio Interface for Fuss-Free Monitoring – 1/8” headphone output and stereo RCA outputs for total monitoring flexibility; USB/Direct switch for zero latency monitoring
  • Get the best out of your Microphones - M-Track Solo’s transparent Crystal Preamp guarantees optimal sound from all your microphones including condenser mics
  • The MPC Production Experience - Includes MPC Beats Software complete with the essential production tools from Akai Professional
SaleNo. 3
Native Instruments Komplete Audio 1 Two-Channel Audio Interface
  • Easily record audio into your computer
  • Choose from two flavors – same pristine audio quality, different ways to plug in and play back
  • The full package for creating – All the software you need to record and build tracks, plus synths, effects, and more
  • Two different inputs – XLR for vocals, and jack for guitars or other Line-In sounds
  • Stereo RCA outputs let you connect directly to hi-fi speakers and play everything out loud
SaleNo. 4
USB Audio Interface for Mac and PC Podcasting Streaming, Audio Interface for Guitar Professional Computer Recording Music, Vocalist, Podcaster or Producer
  • ➤➤【Professional Audio Interface & Sound Card】Supports high-resolution audio up to 24-bit/192kHz for professional monitoring and listening. It has left and right channel inputs to connect both microphones and instruments for music production. Stream 2 inputs 2 outputs to your computer with ultra-low latency. Your recording will retain all its sound quality so you can hear all the details in the track as it plays.
  • ➤➤【2-Input/2-Output & Connect more Devices】Portable Audio interface has 2i2 jacks: 2 combo XLR/MIC/LINE inputs with phantom power to record guitar, vocals or line-in signals. 2 independent TRS/TS (6.35mm) stereo jacks connect to PA speakers, powered monitors, amplifiers and recording equipment. You can also choose 1/4 inch TRS (balanced connection) and TS (unbalanced connection) to connect different devices.
  • ➤➤【48V Phantom Power & Mic Pre-amplifier】 This usb audio interface built-in a 48V phantom power and Mic Pre-amp. However there is one precautions to note,The 48v condenser microphone needs to be connected to the phantom power supply to work this product.Both mic preamps have separate volume control knobs, signal indicators, overload indicators and fast fade buttons. By using a condenser microphone, you will be able to inject great clarity and detail into your recordings.
  • ➤➤【Studio quality Recordings & Low-noise Clear Listening】You can achieve professional recordings with EBXYA’s high-performance converters. Your recordings will retain all of their sonic qualities so that you can sound like the artists you admire. Two low-noise balanced outputs provide clean audio playback. Hear all the details and nuances of your own track or music from Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music. Plug-in your own headphones via the output for private listening in high-fidelity
  • ➤➤【Plug and Play & Compatible with Recording Softwares】The 2X2 USB audio interface supports Mac OS and Windows XP or later, NO NEED to DOWNLOAD ANY DRIVERS. Record, podcast, and stream high-quality audio quickly and easily. Compatible with popular recording softwares including Avid Pro Tools, Ableton Live, Steinberg Cubase and more. The small, ultra-portable size lets you take it anywhere and use it anywhere, providing flexible options for your music production.
No. 5
RHM USB Audio Interface, 2 In 2 Out Audio Interface with 48V Phantom Power for Recording, Professional Audio Mixer & Mic Preamplifier XLR/TSR/TS Ports for Guitarist, Vocalist, Podcaster or Producer
  • 【PROFESSIONAL USB AUDIO INTERFACE】RHM portable audio interface can supports high-resolution audio up to 24-bit/192kHz to create studio quality vocals, powerful guitars, luscious keys and huge drums. It built with left and right channel inputs to connect both microphones and instruments. Stream 2 inputs 2 outputs to your computer direct monitoring for latency-free recording. It can be used for podcast, record, Live Stream which will will retain all its own sound quality.
  • 【REAL-TIME MONITOR】RHM Sound card with 1/4 jack and independent interface knob, you can easy monitor your own voice without any delay and low noise.The high-headroom instrument inputs allow you to record guitar or bass without any clipping or unwanted distortion, while Gain Halo metering makes it easy for you to set the input level.You can monitor directly through the preamp input, so you will get a completely delay-free sound that can accurately hear and process your recordings in real-time.
  • 【2 IN/2 OUT & +48V PHANTOM POWER】RHM USB Audio Interface has 2 combo XLR/MIC/LINE input that can connect microphones&guitar and vocals or line-level signals. 2 independent TRS/TS (6.35mm) stereo jacks connect to PA speakers, powered monitors, amplifiers and recording equipment; It also built-in a 48V phantom power that condenser microphones need a steady power supply of 48v which is provided through “Phantom power”, eliminating a need for an additional piece of equipment.
  • 【EASY TO CONNECT】RHM 2X2 USB audio interface is truly plug and play device that can be accessed by any audio program to capture ultra-high quality audio for Mac OS and Windows XP or later, NO NEED to DOWNLOAD ANY DRIVERS. It can work for popular recording softwares including Avid Pro Tools, Ableton Live, Steinberg Cubase and more.
  • 【PORTABLE ITEM & PACKAGE INFORMATION】RHM USB sound card are compact and lightweight makes it portable; you can place it in your casual bag and take it to anywhere you want. It can work for recording music, zoom meeting, podcast, live boardcast and so on. Package contains: USB Audio interface*1, 6.35mm (1/4”) to 3.5mm (1/8”) TRS adapter*1, USB 2.0 A-Male to B-Male Cable*1, USB 2.0 A-Male to Type-C Cable*1, Type-C to USB A Adapter, Manual*1. If you have any problem, please kindly contact us.

🤔 How to choose?

1. Compatibility

One of the most important considerations when choosing an audio interface is compatibility. Make sure the interface you choose is compatible with your computer’s operating system, whether it’s Windows, macOS, or Linux. Additionally, consider the software you will be using and ensure the interface is supported by it. Compatibility issues can lead to frustration and wasted time, so taking the time to research and choose a compatible audio interface is crucial.

2. Connectivity Options

When it comes to connectivity, there are several options to consider. USB, Thunderbolt, and FireWire are the most common connection types for audio interfaces. USB is the most widely supported and versatile option, while Thunderbolt offers faster data transfer speeds, making it ideal for recording multiple channels simultaneously. FireWire, although less common in newer interfaces, is still popular in certain professional setups. Consider your needs and the devices you plan to connect to the interface to determine the best connectivity option for you.

3. Input and Output Channels

The number of input and output channels you require will depend on your specific recording needs. If you’re a solo artist recording vocals and instruments separately, a 2-channel interface will likely suffice. However, if you’re in a band and want to record multiple instruments simultaneously, you’ll need an interface with more input channels. Keep in mind that the more input channels an interface has, the higher the cost will be.

4. Sample Rate and Bit Depth

Sample rate and bit depth are crucial factors in determining the audio quality of your recordings. Higher sample rates and bit depths result in more accurate and detailed recordings. Most interfaces support sample rates of 44.1kHz and 48kHz, which are standard for audio production. However, if you require higher sample rates for professional applications, such as mastering, look for interfaces that support higher rates.

5. Preamps and Conversion Quality

Preamps play a vital role in audio interfaces as they amplify the incoming signals from microphones or instruments. The quality of preamps can significantly impact the overall sound quality of your recordings. Look for interfaces with high-quality preamps that offer low noise and high gain levels. Additionally, consider the conversion quality of the interface, as this affects the accuracy of the analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog conversion processes. High-quality converters ensure faithful reproduction of audio signals.

In conclusion, when choosing an audio interface, ensure compatibility with your computer and software, consider the connectivity options, determine the required number of input and output channels, pay attention to sample rate and bit depth, and consider the quality of preamps and conversion. By considering these factors, you’ll be able to find an audio interface that suits your specific needs and delivers exceptional audio quality for your recordings.

💡 What to Look for in a audio interfaces?

1. Compatibility: Ensuring Seamless Integration

When selecting an audio interface, it is crucial to consider its compatibility with your existing equipment and software. Whether you are a seasoned producer or a beginner, this is an important factor that can impact the efficiency and quality of your audio production.

The first compatibility aspect to assess is the connection type. Most audio interfaces offer a variety of connectivity options, including USB, Thunderbolt, and FireWire. USB interfaces are the most popular and versatile, as they are widely supported by both Mac and PC systems. Thunderbolt interfaces, on the other hand, provide faster data transfer rates, making them ideal for professionals working with large audio files.

Another critical compatibility aspect to consider is the operating system. Always check if the audio interface you are considering is compatible with your computer’s operating system, be it Windows, macOS, or Linux. This will ensure that the interface can seamlessly integrate with your digital audio workstation (DAW) software. Most manufacturers provide driver support for major operating systems, but verifying compatibility is essential to avoid any frustrating setbacks.

2. Inputs and Outputs: Flexibility for Diverse Needs

The number and type of inputs and outputs an audio interface offers are key considerations when choosing the right one for your needs. This decision should be based on both your current requirements and potential future expansion.

For recording purposes, it is crucial to assess the number of microphone preamps available. If you plan to record multiple instruments simultaneously, look for an interface with multiple preamps to accommodate your needs. Additionally, consider the type of inputs available, such as XLR, TRS, or MIDI, to ensure compatibility with your existing equipment.

When it comes to outputs, consider the number of line outputs available. This is especially important if you plan to connect your interface to external studio monitors or outboard gear. Having multiple line outputs allows for greater flexibility in routing signals and achieving optimal sound.

3. Sample Rate and Bit Depth: Capturing High-Quality Audio

The sample rate and bit depth are crucial specifications that determine the audio interface’s ability to capture and reproduce sound accurately. The sample rate refers to the number of samples taken per second, while the bit depth represents the number of bits used to represent each sample.

A higher sample rate (e.g., 96kHz) allows for more accurate capturing of high-frequency content and improved audio quality. Similarly, a higher bit depth (e.g., 24-bit) provides a wider dynamic range and greater precision in capturing subtle nuances in your audio recordings. However, keep in mind that higher sample rates and bit depths require more processing power and storage space.

To summarize, when choosing an audio interface, prioritize compatibility with your existing equipment and software. Ensure that it offers sufficient inputs and outputs to meet your recording needs, and consider the sample rate and bit depth to capture high-quality audio. By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision and invest in an audio interface that elevates your audio production experience.

🔍 How we picked?

1. Researching the options

When it comes to buying an audio interface, it’s essential to conduct thorough research to ensure you make an informed decision. With so many options available in the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one. One way to start is by reading online reviews, forums, and buyer’s guides to get an idea about different models and brands.

For example, a review on a popular audio technology website states, “The XYZ audio interface offers high-quality sound, low latency, and a user-friendly interface, making it a top pick for recording professionals.” This kind of information can provide valuable insights and help narrow down your options.

2. Determining your requirements

Before making any purchase, it’s crucial to evaluate your specific needs and requirements. Consider the type of audio projects you’ll be working on, the number of inputs and outputs you need, the desired sound quality, and your budget constraints.

For instance, if you’re a singer-songwriter who primarily records vocals and acoustic guitar, a two-input audio interface with built-in preamps might be sufficient. However, if you’re a podcaster or a band looking to record multiple instruments simultaneously, a larger interface with more inputs and outputs would be necessary.

3. Seeking expert advice

If you’re still unsure about which audio interface to choose, it can be immensely helpful to seek advice from experts in the field. Visit your local music store and talk to knowledgeable staff who can provide personalized recommendations based on your requirements. Additionally, reaching out to experienced musicians, producers, or sound engineers through online communities or social media can also offer valuable insights.

As mentioned by a renowned music producer in an interview, “When buying an audio interface, don’t underestimate the importance of compatibility and driver support. Make sure to choose a brand that is known for reliable driver updates and compatibility with your operating system.” This kind of advice from professionals can assist you in making the right decision.

By conducting thorough research, understanding your requirements, and seeking expert advice, you can confidently choose the best audio interface for your needs. Remember, it’s essential to find a balance between your budget and the features you require. So go ahead, explore the market, and bring your audio projects to life with the perfect audio interface.

💬 Frequently asked questions about audio interfaces

1. What is an audio interface and why do I need one?

An audio interface is a crucial piece of equipment for anyone involved in recording or producing music. It acts as the bridge between your computer and the outside audio world, allowing you to connect microphones, instruments, and speakers to your computer for high-quality sound recording and playback.

Without an audio interface, you may experience latency issues, poor sound quality, and limited connectivity options. Investing in a good audio interface is essential for achieving professional-level recordings.

2. What features should I look for in an audio interface?

When choosing an audio interface, several features should be considered to ensure it meets your specific needs:

– Number of inputs and outputs: Consider the number of microphones, instruments, and speakers you plan to use simultaneously and choose an interface with enough I/O for your requirements.

– Preamps: If you plan to record vocals or acoustic instruments, **high-quality preamps** are a must. Look for interfaces with transparent and low-noise preamps.

– Connectivity: USB and Thunderbolt are common connection types, but ensure the interface is compatible with your computer. Additionally, some interfaces offer MIDI ports or ADAT connections for expanding your setup.

– Sample rate and bit depth: Higher sample rates and bit depths offer better audio quality, but keep in mind they require more processing power and storage space.

– Compatibility and drivers: Ensure the interface is compatible with your operating system and software. Also, check for regular software updates to ensure ongoing compatibility.

3. Should I choose a USB or Thunderbolt audio interface?

A common dilemma when selecting an audio interface is whether to go for a USB or Thunderbolt connection. USB interfaces are more affordable and widely compatible, making them a popular choice for entry-level or home studio setups. Thunderbolt interfaces offer faster data transfer rates, lower latency, and greater overall performance, making them ideal for professional studios or demanding projects.

It’s important to consider the specific needs of your setup and budget when deciding between USB and Thunderbolt interfaces.

4. Can I use an audio interface with my iPad or iPhone?

Yes, many audio interfaces are compatible with iOS devices. These interfaces usually connect through the Lightning port or USB-C port found on newer iPad and iPhone models. This allows you to record and produce music on-the-go using iOS-compatible software. However, ensure the interface explicitly states iOS compatibility and is supported by the software you intend to use.

5. Do I need an audio interface if I’m just a beginner or on a tight budget?

While it’s possible to start recording with just your computer’s built-in soundcard, investing in an audio interface, even for beginners or those on a budget, can greatly improve your sound quality and flexibility. It provides better analog-to-digital conversion and preamps, reduces latency, and offers more reliable connectivity options. There are affordable interfaces available that offer good performance and features suitable for beginners. Remember, **investing in a decent audio interface is a worthwhile long-term investment** that will enhance your recording experience.

Last update on 2024-04-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Sources :

All To Know About audio interfaces - We Kompare For You : audio interfaces - Essential guide of audio interfaces