Which are the best audio interfaces? The answer depends on what YOU want to record. Read on to discover what audio interface you need for your home recording studio. To make it easy, we have selected the one we think is best for each recording situation. For more detailed information, you might want to refer to our in-depth guide on choosing an audio interface. But read on for our quick time-saving round-up! First, though, a video of the key things you need to consider to choose the best audio interface for your recording needs.
Table of contents
- Best Audio Interfaces – Video Tutorial
- The Best All-Round USB Audio Interface
- The Most Popular USB Audio Interface in 2022
- The Best Audio Interface For Guitarists And Vocalists
- A Recording Interface For Keyboard and Piano Players
- The Best Audio Interfaces for Mobile Devices
- Best-Selling Audio Interfaces for Mobile Devices
- Getting Connected
- THE Best Selling And Most Popular Audio Interfaces in 2022
- Further Information about Home Studio Recording
Best Audio Interfaces – Video Tutorial
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The Best All-Round USB Audio Interface
In our view, the Presonus Audiobox iTwo is a great all-round USB audio interface for several reasons:
- Multi-platform: PC, Mac and iPad. Buy once, use with your iPad, laptop and desktop. So designed from the ground up to be versatile and mobile..
- Audio AND MIDI on one interface. Very few interfaces tick both boxes at this pricepoint.
- Recording software included to get started immediately. Also works with any other recording software or DAW you want to use
- Record vocals, guitar, keyboard, any acoustic instrument (via mic), any line level signal
- Two high quality mic/line inputs. Record 2 mics or any combination of 2 inputs at the same time.
- Available in two packages. If you already have mic and headphones then you can purchase the iTwo audio interface as a separate, or buy the complete iTwo studio package complete with everything you need to set up your first professional home recording studio.
The Most Popular USB Audio Interface in 2022
The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 USB Audio Interface – now in its third generation – has been a consistent best-seller since its launch. And here is why. Firstly, very high quality microphone pre-amps. Focusrite was founded in 1985 and has been designing and manufacturing high-end audio equipment ever since. Quick to spot the trend for integrating mic pre-amps into recording interfaces, they have set the standard that others follow in home recording equipment.
The Focusrite 2i2 is not just a great looking interface. It has two mic inputs (with the before-mentioned pre-amps) that can be switched to instrument level input. You can effortlessly record two mono tracks at once (say vocals and guitar) or you can record a stereo track (for example the sound of your digital piano or keyboard). This would be our pick for a vocalist.
If you are in the process of buying your first home recording studio equipment, then we particularly recommend the Scarlett 2i2 Studio Bundle. With mic, headphones and XLR cable, plus Pro Tools software, it really has everything you need to get started, and is easy to set up. Literally thousands of these have been sold with good reason. A solid choice if you want to record on Mac or Windows. (NB can also be used with iPad or iPhone if you purchase the Apple Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter . This cable will allow you to power the interface and so you won’t get that annoying ‘Device requires too much power’ error message)
The Best Audio Interface For Guitarists And Vocalists
If you want to record guitar on PC or Mac, then we recommend the Focusrite Scarlett Solo. Designed from the ground up to record guitar and vocals, with specialist inputs for microphone and instrument. This interface works perfectly out of the box on PC or Mac. You can also record on iPad if you buy the Apple MK0W2AM/A Lightning To USB Camera Adapter.
Record direct onto your iPad, into Garageband or other apps, as well as on your Mac or PC. It is just one bit of guitar recording kit designed to be totally mobile, portable and multi-platform.
Also consider the Scarlett Solo Studio Bundle which comes with complete with a professional mic, headphones and cables. Plus great suite of software. An instant studio in a box with everything you need to start recording your guitar. And absolutely created for the guitar-vocalist.
The Scarlett Solo is also perfect for podcasters and YouTubers – especially the studio pack with the mic and headphones. This will seriously professionalise your video voiceovers and podcasts.
A Recording Interface For Keyboard and Piano Players
Why the Alesis MultiMix audio interface for keyboard players? We think it is ideal for all these reasons:
- Dedicated line inputs so you can take a line output from your keyboard and record the sound of it with high quality
- Has 4 channels – so you can record your keyboard and microphone(s) at the same time
- Class compliant – for PC and Mac
- You could also consider the the Presonus Audiobox iTwo if you want to combine audio recording with MIDI too.
The Best Audio Interfaces for Mobile Devices
There is no shortage of choice of interface when it comes to recording on your iPad. There are audio interfaces for iPad at every price point. We have already pointed out the Presonus Audiobox iTwo, which is directly compatible with the iPad.
But also consider the high quality and versatile Shure MVi digital audio interface – works with a lightning iPad out of the box with dedicated cable. Also works on Mac and PC with the included USB cable.
The great thing about all those is they are multi-platform, so you can use them with your iPad, your Mac and any Windows machine.
But here are another two options, each slightly different.
The Yamaha AG03 can turn your iPad into a professional looking recording studio. Although you will also need to purchase the Apple Lightning to USB Adapter, once you have that this Yamaha USB Mixer will work very well on iPad. Yamaha recommends the Cubase App available from the Apple App Store.
On a very tight budget, the Tascam iXZ iPad recording interface is really worth considering. Perfect if you just want to connect a condenser mic or record your guitar. High quality and very inexpensive. Plus small enough to travel easily with your iPad.
Note … the above are all recommended because they have been designed specifically for iPad and iPhone. BUT here’s the thing … you can use many USB audio interfaces directly with iPad or iPhone if you purchase the Apple Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter.
Best-Selling Audio Interfaces for Mobile Devices
- CREATE HIGH-QUALITY DIGITAL MUSIC PROJECTS: The perfect combination of performance and value, this iPhone audio interface provides 24-bit/96 kHz audio quality...
- COMPLETE RECORDING PACKAGE: A XLR and Hi-Z combo input lets you connect your favorite instrument or mic, with +48v phantom power for condenser microphones, and...
- DIRECT MONITOR WITH YOUR HEADPHONES: Connect your earbuds directly to the headphone jack to monitor your sound in real-time, with no latency or echo. Ensure you...
- 22-Track simultaneous recording, 20-track playback
- Mix, monitor, and record using an iPad
- Main outputs, 6 customizable monitor outputs, and a dedicated output for FOH monitoring and mixing
- PLUG AND PLAY SIMPLICITY ON EVERY DEVICE: High-definition digital guitar interface for you with a high-quality instrument-level 1/4" Hi-Z input jack, for...
- CONNECT TO AMPLIFIER WITHOUT ADDITIONAL ACCESSORIES: 1/4" Amp Out jack with switchable output “FX” and “Thru”. You can use it with line-level signals...
- DISTORTION FREE AMPLIFIER: iRig HD 2 is renowned for its 96kHz sampling rate – the highest in its class. You don't have to sacrifice performance to practice...
- 20 discrete channels (16 mono mic/line plus 2 stereo) offer up to 22 tracks of recording (up to 24-bit/96 kHz)
- 6 powered headphone outputs, each with a customizable, savable mix as well as a dedicated 7th output for the sound engineer
- 20 built-in effects with adjustable parameters that can be applied to any channel via two dedicated EFX busses
- STREAM WITH SERIOUS AUDIO: This 24-bit, 96 kHz audio interface provides stereo RCA inputs to connect to iPhone, iPad, Mac and PC for recording, live-streaming,...
- COMPLETE RECORDING PACKAGE: Use iRig Stream to connect mixers, keyboards, audio players, and more. And connect your earbud's mic to talk or sing over your music...
- DIRECT MONITORING WITH ANY APP: Connect your earbuds directly to the headphone output to monitor your sound in real-time, with no latency or echo. Ensure you...
Last updated on 2023-03-23 / Affiliate links / Images via Amazon Product Advertising API
Once you have picked out the perfect audio interface for you, don’t forget to order all the audio cables you’re going to need. If you’re not sure about this, then you’ll find our post on audio cable types useful. And also consider whether you need new studio headphones to mix and monitor, and/or a good set of studio monitors.
THE Best Selling And Most Popular Audio Interfaces in 2022
This is a bang up to date list of the absolute best-selling audio interfaces right now. If in doubt, this gives you a useful guide to what is most popular in home recording. As you will see, the best brands (Focusrite, Presonus, Behringer etc) all feature often in the top 10. For a reason. Well priced, good features, and the tech support and backup of a good audio specialist company.
- Pro performance with the finest pre-amps - Achieve a brighter and a more open recording thanks to the best performing mic pre-amps the Scarlett range has ever...
- Get the perfect guitar take - There’s no need to sacrifice your tone with the high headroom instrument input when recording your guitar and basses. Capture...
- Studio quality recordings for your music and podcasts - You can achieve professional sounding recordings with Scarlett’s high-performance converters which...
- 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...
- Be ready for anything with this versatile M-Audio interface - Record guitar, vocals or line input signals with two combo XLR / Line / Instrument Inputs with...
- Everything you Demand from an Audio Interface for Fuss-Free Monitoring – 1/4” headphone output and stereo 1/4” outputs for total monitoring flexibility;...
- 2-channel USB Audio Interface with 1 XENYX Preamp
- Instrument Input
- Phantom Power
- Bus-powered USB 2.0/iPad audio interface for personal and portable recording; no additional power supply needed.
- Contains 1 microphone input with low-noise, high-headroom, Class A mic preamplifier and +48V phantom power to accommodate studio condenser microphones.
- Contains 1 instrument input to record guitar, bass, and more.
- Pro performance with two of the finest mic preamps – Sound better than ever with 8i6’s two mic preamps. Achieve a brighter and a more open recording thanks...
- All the inputs you’ll need for your gear – Six balanced line inputs are available for connecting synths or other line level audio that you use in your...
- Crystal clear playback in studio quality – Get professional sounding recordings with Scarlett’s high-performance converters which enable you to record and...
- 2-channel USB Audio Interface with 1 MIDAS Preamp
- Instrument Input
- Phantom Power
- ➤➤【Professional Audio Interface & Sound Card】Supports high-resolution audio up to 24-bit/192kHz for professional monitoring and listening. It has left...
- ➤➤【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,...
- ➤➤【48V Phantom Power & Mic Pre-amplifier】 This usb audio interface built-in a 48V phantom power and Mic Pre-amp. It is comparable to independent...
- Capture Every Detail - Premium component selection and 24-bit/192kHz resolution for professional recording and monitoring to your Mac to PC
- Low Latency - Hi-Speed USB / USB-C circuitry gives you the fastest connection, with a class-leading round trip latency of only 2.59ms; USB and USB-C connection...
- Pristine Studio Grade Capture - Transparent Crystal preamps and ultra-pristine A/D converters for unsurpassed audio recording quality
- Audient EVO 4 USB Audio Interface
- Sabre32 Ultra DAC Technology: Equipped with the same ESS Sabre32 Ultra DAC Technology found in audio interfaces costing thousands, the M2 delivers an...
- Best-in-class Speed: The M2 provides best-in-class speed for monitoring live inputs (mic, guitar or keyboard) through your computer, thanks to MOTU's expertly...
- Best Metering: When recording and mixing, nothing is more critical than achieving optimum levels. The M2 is the only audio interface in its class with a full...
Last updated on 2023-03-23 / Affiliate links / Images via Amazon Product Advertising API