If you’re here just to find the best audio interface and really can’t afford to take the time to read the excellent reviews and buying advice prepared by our researchers, this short paragraph will highlight all the vital information. We have gathered a lot of information about the best audio interfaces on the market by looking at owner feedback, expert review sites, sales figures, price and overall brand quality. Out of the products we have looked at, the Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 came up on top of the competition. Featuring superb sound quality and features, this model is simple to figure out. The two XLR inputs allow you to connect microphones and electric guitars, and you can use them for introducing playback signals in your audio line. Its 105dB capacity delivers really great performance, in superior sound quality that is sharp and loud at the same time. Creating mixes is really easy, since access to a wide variety of sound effects is readily provided. A code for using specialized online software is included with your purchase, so you can play around with reverb, EQ, compression and other tools for enhancing your mix. If the Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 is out of stock, you could also consider Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 as the second best option.
Audio interfaces are not only for professionals. If you really do not want to end up depending only on the soundcard of your computer for any audio work you may want to do, you should get a good quality audio interface. This piece of equipment is essential for connecting any kind of audio gear you might have with your computer, for better sound accuracy and quality, and more control over effects and other enhancements you may want to add to the audio work you are creating. There are many reasons to get a good quality audio interface, and we are here to help you figure out what features you need most in the equipment you will get.
Although budget should always be in the cards as an important consideration when you want to purchase an audio interface, you should know how and when to compromise in order to get the best for your money. With so many options available for sale, it is no wonder that many buyers tend to feel a bit overwhelmed by the plethora of features these systems come equipped with. Speaking strictly of sound quality, we will focus on what is most important. First of all, check for products that come with reliable bit depth. This is an important factor that influences how your output will sound like. To make things simple for a non-aficionado, we will tell you that a superior number of bits means more fidelity in comparison with the initial signal. Practically, bit depth is in charge of eliminating noise, so that the sound you get is as crystal clear as possible. Sample rate is another feature with an important role in sound quality. Again, the higher, the better, since sample rates currently available are capable of capturing sound frequencies that cannot be detected by the human ear. Pro audio interfaces use sample rates of 48kHz, 96kHz, and, to the high end of the scale, 192kHz sample rates, to give you an idea. On the other hand, the human ear can only detect sound frequencies of up to 22.05kHz. Last, but not least, a converter is pretty much needed for delivering better sound quality. For garage band needs, an audio interface that comes with a converter is pretty much a necessity.
One thing that should be of great interest for you is the connectivity present on your audio interface. For iPad users, for instance, the presence of an USB port is paramount. Many people today use their smartphones and tablets to create audio content, so, for them, reliable connectivity is essential. USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 connectivity is usually present on the audio interfaces you can find right now. So, for creating a mobile recording rig, it is good to start with the basics, which, in this case, it means having an USB port on your audio interface. FireWire is a type of connectivity present on Mac desktops, so it is a fixture for Apple rigs. In case you want to make use of this system on your PC, you will need an expansion card. Thunderbolt is another technology used for audio connectivity. Created by Intel, and present on the latest Mac desktops, this offers great transfer efficiency and reduces latency to a minimum. PCI Express is the type of connectivity present on PC desktops and this also provides high data transfer rates, and reduced latency.
Inputs and outputs
Consider what kind of inputs and outputs you need when you want to purchase an audio interface. For guitar recording, for instance, you may not need something extremely complicated, so a two-channel model would be enough for you. However, if you want an audio interface fit for home studio, then you should get a model that can handle numerous channels and inputs at the same time. Keep in mind that such units can be quite expensive, so you should plan ahead. For vocals, a simpler model, with a couple of mic inputs, is the only thing necessary. For more complex projects, consider spending a bit more, though.
Top audio interfaces in 2019
Now that you know more about this type of equipment, we recommend taking a look below, at the best audio interfaces currently available on the market. Read our reviews of the most popular models and decide which best suits your needs.
Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6
The top audio interface reviews have only positive remarks about the features with which the Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6 comes. First of all for recording songs it is ideal because it is fitted with a mono input for those superb vocals, other ones for guitar, piano and many more. With it you will have a large number of possibilities when it comes to audio effects which you can use for voice recordings or simple instrument recordings. Also use it without any drawbacks for live performances.Buy from Amazon.com
The TASCAM US-1800 is an audio interface which many audiophiles go for because it offers a well balanced set of features at a very decent price range. Via its 2.0 USB port it can be connected to Windows and Mac devices so data is transmitted extremely fast. Have also 16 inputs and 4 outputs at your disposal so you can connect a multitude of instruments to it, including microphones for playing live or even for recording purposes. The best audio interface reviews think of it as a wonderful piece of audio engineering.Buy from Amazon.com for ($215.89)
For a musician on the go, or for an active podcaster, the PreSonus AudioBox seems to be a really great choice. You can use this model with any recording software you may have installed on your desktop computer, be it a PC or a Mac. The 24 bit converters contribute to the outstanding sound quality this model provides. In case you do not have your own software to work with, the PreSonus AudioBox is delivered together with the Studio One 3 Artist DAW that works on both Windows and Mac. Because it is sturdily built, it is a great option for those who travel a lot.Buy from Amazon.com for ($94.99)
Focusrite Scarlett 2i4
Don’t invest in an audio interface with a doubtful quality if you have the chance to get the Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 which is viewed by audiophiles as possibly the best audio interface –. With it you can even convert the quality of your sound recordings to as much as 24 bits. The microphone pre-amps which are well known for their quality are excellent for live performances and for recording vocals as well. You might be inclined to think that this audio interface costs quite a lot but the fact of the matter is that it actually has a regular price range.Buy from Amazon.com for ($229.99)
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2
From the title of this audio recorder from Focusrite you can determine its speciality and that is recording. This characteristic is possible thanks to the top microphone preamps which are also very good for performing at different venues as well. The compact design made from metal means you will have no problem carrying it from one place to the other. And when you add the fact that it is capable of a top digital audio performance you know that you have come across what is possibly the best audio interface -.Buy from Amazon.com for ($149.99)
Akai Professional EIE
This Akai audio interface comes in a nice and classic design but which houses also excellent features which you will take advantage of when you are about to start a recording or are about to begin a live performances. With it you will be able to record 16 bits quality music which luckily will get you that record deal signed. Other than the 3 USB ports you will also have a MIDI in and Mini out port for connecting fast to all kinds of audio devices.Buy from Amazon.com for ($150)