If you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to go through all the reviews and buying advice compiled by our researchers but you do want to find the best audio interfaces money can buy, this short paragraph should tell you everything you need to know. We have gathered a lot of information about the best audio interfaces on the market by looking at owner feedback, expert review sites, overall brand quality and even social media activity. Out of the products we have looked at the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is the best model for sale because it is designed to provide you with an exceptional digital performance. It comes with two award winning mic preamps that are capable of delivering a high quality sound without distortion or interference. The inputs allow you to connect and monitor instruments during recording, and it is compatible with acoustic and electric guitars. It also comes in a sturdy aluminum case that not only looks attractive, it is durable enough to take with you when you travel. If the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is not available, you could consider the Behringer UCA202 as it is the second best option.
Audio interfaces – What to look for:
The different brands and models that will be mentioned below are some of the choices that have been given high ratings in many of the best audio interfaces reviews that have been published recently. With such, you can be assured that choosing any of them will prove to be a decision that will not lead into frustration in the future.
Functionality and connectivity
Music producers and DJs are very picky when it comes to their musical instruments. Recent statistics showed that a growing number of men and women are searching for efficient audio interfaces. The road to beautiful notes and smooth audio clarity starts with investment in professional devices. Today’s growing demand for audio interfaces is pretty overwhelming. Audio interfaces are reliable hardware used to connect microphones with other musical gear or even to computer. This device safely converts analog signal in smooth digital audio information which the computer processes without problems. The interface sends the new digital signal through some the existing connection USB, PCI/PCle card or even FireWire. It is very important for the new digital information to run smoothly in order to maintain the audio quality high during each song played.
Since there are so many audio devices available on the market, discovering the right model requires access to professional information. Now, in order to help you and other music producers control every moment of musical creation we tested 30 of the most efficient models released by top brands. After 90 hours of quality tests on audio performance and data transmission we were able to draft the best audio interface reviews. A reliable audio interface is way better than the standard built-in sound card in the computer. From a technical point a view, a built-in computer is an audio interface but with limited sound quality. Audio interfaces are ideal for daily recording. Furthermore this particular device can act as a reliable shield against radio and electromagnetic interference. This is probably why so many music producers are using audio interfaces during monitoring and recording production.
Consider your needs
How can you find the best audio interface in 2018? Well, tackling this question starts with setting achievable musical goals. With a professional audio interface and the right I/O configuration, people will control every moment of the musical creation. If you want to record and create quality music it is important to opt for an active audio interface. You can see audio interfaces with 2-channel desktop units which safely records on different types of channels. For instance: if you are a song-writer, singer or music producer a pair of proper inputs and audio interface can assist you every step of the way. Playing guitars or keyboards directly from the interface requires skill. Still, you will have complete control over every moment of the song creation. This is why you have to make sure that your musical instruments include different levels of inputs and outputs.
With the best audio interface in 2018 people can reach their true musical potential. This is without a doubt something to aspire and enjoy. The audio interface should hook up with outboard processors, studio monitors or even headphone amps for smooth musical creation. There are many possibilities on the market, from USB, PCle and FireWire models. You should also take into account USB 2.0, 3.0 and also 1.1 ports for fast connectivity. Still, for PC and notebook owners we recommend the FireWire cards.
Most appreciated Products – Comparison Table
|Product||Audio Resolution||Price||Dimensions||MIDI Interface||Our Rating||Where to buy|
|24-bit / 96 kHz||$$$$||9.6 x 4.1 x 6.6 inch||No||B+||AMAZON
|24-bit / 48 kHz||$$$||8.7 x 6.1 x 2.8 inch||YES||A||AMAZON
|24-bit / 96 kHz||$$$||6.5 x 9 x 4.2 inch||YES||B+||AMAZON
|16-bit / 48 kHz||$$||7 x 3 x 12 inch||No||B||AMAZON
|32-bit / 48 kHz||$$||7.2 x 5.5 x 1.4 inch||No||B+||AMAZON
Top rated audio interfaces in 2018
Now that you know what you should be looking for in a good audio interface, it’s time you take a look at some of the best options currently available on the market. Just below we showcase the audio interfaces which have proven to be the most popular with users, as these models have gathered loads of positive reviews and feedback.
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2
The anodized aluminum unibody chassis of this model is one thing that is often given words of praises in the top rated audio interfaces reviews. The latter is basically the reason on why it has a stylish appeal. More than its form, its function has also been given emphasis in many of the reviews about such. It is designed with high quality headphone amp that ensures the best quality of audio output if you would like to listen in private. The front panel offers easy-to-adjust knobs that will make it possible for you to configure the desired settings as quickly as possible.
As one of the most popular audio interface from Focusrite, the Scarlett 2i2 has a stylish anodized aluminum construction, which makes it easy to take along during musical gigs
The audio interface includes a low-noise, low-distortion preamp and with a user-friendly FireWire interface, making it easy for people to move coil and ribbon microphones
This affordable audio interface comes with a front panel Neutrik combination input, which musicians can use in order to line level signals such as microphones without problems
The device includes an output for stage piano and synthesizer with a simple flick of a switch, connecting acoustic and electric guitars or keyboards
Does not include a protective case (this is a useful accessory worth investing in)
The digital to analog conversion takes a while but no more than for other similar models
Buy from Amazon.com for ($149.99)
M-Audio M-Track Portable USB Audio and MIDI
If you are still looking for the best audio interfaces in 2018, this is definitely another option that should not be missed. Since it is USB powered, it offers convenience and portability. It offers flexibility in terms of the audio inputs that can be accommodated by the device. More so, it is also common for the users of such to commend the fact that it offers improved monitoring, as compared to the previous models. With such, better recordings can be anticipated. Lastly, it is also packaged with a music creation software that will come in handy in terms of making enhancements in the recorded audio.
Present among the Black Friday deals on top products, the M-Track 2-Channel from M-Audio uses a simple USB cable in order to transform laptop computers into a vibrant digital recording studio
Musicians and music producers will be able to connect electric guitars, condenser microphones or other instruments in order to render clear sounds
The audio interface is accompanied by an advanced Ignite Music Creation software which offers people the chance to combine, arrange and capture various musical ideas
This audio interface offers 24-bit to 48 kHz digital audio processing and Zero-latency audio processing for smooth sound reproduction
The USB cable is considered by many short but it gets the job done
The Ignite software needs to be downloaded
Click to see the price on Amazon!
Whether you need an audio interface for traveling or to improve the sound quality of your podcasts, this unit by PreSonus might be just what you are looking for. The durable housing protects the sensitive components when you are traveling, and its compact design makes it easy to pack and carry with the rest of your gear. Since it is compatible with most recording software for PCs and Macs it is a great choice for podcasters, and it even comes with its own that can be easily downloaded to your computer. With high performance mic preamps and 24 bit converters you can easily create professional sounding recordings with the AudioBox.
The AudioBox by PreSonus is compatible with most PC and Mac recording software, and it also comes with Studio One.
With 2 high quality mic preamps you don’t have to worry about distortion or interference ruining your recordings.
Its sturdy construction and compact design make this audio interface a great choice for traveling musicians.
Some consumers have mentioned that this audio interface can be difficult to use, especially since it does not come with an owner’s manual. There is a customer service department available to answer any questions, and many are also addressed on the manufacturer’s website.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($99.95)
Behringer 302USB Premium 5-input
Among other things, this specific model is a common choice for many people because of its compact size that makes it portable. More so, it is also low-noise, which is one of the reasons on why it is considered as a good option in a market that is replete in terms of the alternatives that are available. It has a USB interface that makes it a breeze to have it connected to a computer when recording needs to be done. It has innovative preamps that will make it possible to deliver high quality audio performance, in spite of the small size of the interface.
Regarded by thousands of music technicians as the best rated product from Behringer, the 302USB premium audio interface is recommended for small or office music studios
Measuring 117 x 135 mm, the audio interface incorporates a unique phantom powered XENYX Mic preams and stereo USB line channel, connectable with the laptop
Comes equipped with Tracktation, a powerful digital audio workstation that allows users to mix, edit and share music creation
Backed by a solid 3 year warranty the device also includes a useful British EQ for fast control over the music creation process
Comes with a single power setting of 15V
Some users consider the Line In buttons pretty confusing
Buy from Amazon.com for ($49.99)
Behringer UCA202 Audio Interface
The flexibility of this unit is perhaps one of the reasons on why it remains to be the favorite of many people. It offers several connectivity options that will allow you to plug different external devices that will be needed when recording. More so, it is also good because of its plug and play connectivity to your computer. You simply need to have it plugged and it will work immediately, in the absence of requiring drivers or software installation. It is also worth noting that it is integrated with high resolution audio converters that guarantee the optimal quality of audio.
Considered by many as the best audio interface for Christmas, the UCA202 from Behringer offers 2 analog mono outputs and inputs and S-PDIF optical output which enables accurate analog to digital conversion
Features a stereo headphone output, with high comfort levels and better control over the sound monitoring process
Fully compatible with Mac and PC computer this audio interface does not require an external power supply in order to run
Comes accompanied by free helpful audio software like Kristal Audio Engine, Audacity and EnergyXT2, which improve the development of any music project
The user manual could’ve been more instructive but it covers the basics
Buy from Amazon.com for ($29.99)
Tascam US-200 USB 2.0 – Not Available
In reading the best audio interfaces reviews, you will realize that this is another model that has often received words of praises from its users. One thing that makes this a good choice is the inclusion of the Cubase LE5 in its packaging. The latter is basically the one that will make it possible to create alterations in the recordings made and to explore with your creativity based on the output that is desired. It also has MIDI in and out that will allow you to connect a variety of external devices, such as in the case of keyboards.
There are thousands of music producers that want to learn what is the best product and for them we recommend the US-200 audio interface from Tascam, a lightweight device with desktop design optimal for studio use
The device incorporates 2 combo jack inputs and 4 RCA outputs, which offers users heightened music flexibility during long creative processes
Features a microphone input that deliver phantom power for proper condenser output and no echoes whatsoever
This audio interface is fitted with Cubase LE5 which represents a 48-track workstation application for heightened musical results
Some people prefer larger knobs but the existing ones get the job done