Best Audio Interface 2021: Top Full Review, Guide

Best Audio Interface

If you create music on a PC or Mac, a sound port is pretty much a vital bit of kit to your production setup. In brief, the ideal audio ports allow you to acquire high-quality sound in and from your computer and also to join a few vital studio equipments throughout your sessions.

Audio interfaces are a few of the beef and potatoes of audio production, and in 2021 that there are several of the very best audio ports out there. Some ports are Thunderbolt/USB harmonious, and some are far better suited to Mac or PC (Windows). However, it’s not always easy to figure out that.

Fidlar will review the Best Audio Interface within this listing that you can buy in 2021 for the professional or home studio. We believe you’ll find that this among the beneficial audio interface testimonials on the web.

What Is An Audio Interface?

Every computer has a sound card, which is how the electronic realm transmits music, YouTube movies, and Netflix sound on your headset or speakers.

A sound port is also its simplest form, an outside replacement for that card. According to this information, it can look to be a redundant bit of hardware.

Not only will the sound interface boast exceptional sound quality for both playback and recording, they frequently arrive with quite a few inputs acceptable for microphones, guitars, and MIDI.

To fully understand sound interfaces’ function, we first have to know how microphones, audio cards, and computers interact with sound signals.

All sounds are vibrations in the atmosphere. A mic, guitar, or another device will translate these vibrations as sound and send this sign through its electric wiring into a desirable destination.

The signal traveling in the tool is an analog signal, which cannot be understood by the majority of computers in its present representation.

For analog devices to be processed with computers, this analog signal has to be converted into an electronic signal. This is where sound ports come into the picture.

Some analog devices have in-line sound interfaces that permit plug-and-play functionality (for example, USB microphones), but most need an external audio port to work.

Such external audio ports included/DA’ converters, which communicates the device’s unique analog signal to the monitor’s output, followed closely by converting the computer’s digital signal back into an analog one for the speaker and speaker outputs.

Best Audio Interface 2021

Best Audio Interface 2021

SaleBestseller No. 1
Focusrite Scarlett Solo (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface with Pro Tools | First
High-performance converters enable you to record and mix at up to 24-bit/ 192kHz.; Quick start tool to get up and running easier than ever.
$109.99
Bestseller No. 2
PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 25th Anniversary Edition, 96K
Bus-powered USB 2.0 audio interface with MIDI I/O; Compatible with almost all recording software for Mac and Windows
$99.95
Bestseller No. 5
Miditech Audiolink III Audio Interface
Audiolink III gives you all the recording possibilities you will ever need; Product design in black and silver tones, compact and multi-functional
$59.00
Bestseller No. 6
BEHRINGER Audio Interface, 1x XLR/TRS 1x 1/4" 2X RCA USB, Black, 1-Channel (UM2)
2x2 USB audio interface for recording microphones and instruments; Audiophile 48 kHz resolution for professional audio quality.Maximum Sampling Rate: 48 kHz
$49.00

1. Focusrite Scarlett 2i2

Focusrite is a very excellent company with many best-selling alternatives regarding audio ports, from more costly ones to cheaper ones. The Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen sound port is the ideal 2-channel audio interface for recording, podcasting, and several different pursuits.

The Scarlett 2i2 is a 2-channel USB-C sound interface (two inputs and two outputs) using two updated Scarlett preamps, extremely low latency, and tool inputs that could manage everything from guitars to drums and all in between.

Now contained at the Scarlett 2i2 is a’Air’ button, a result that has been modeled on Focusrite’s mythical ISA console. When engaged, the Air button provides your voice or tools a little more atmosphere, a sonic quality that offers more openness and brightness.

One other fantastic feature added to the Scarlett 2i2 is a wired analog protection circuit for the input signal and outputs, which protect the port electricity surges that may damage it.

The Scarlett 2i2 is very low latency that tracks instruments and vocals with many effects in real-time that a seamless task together with the Immediate Monitor circuit switch.

In terms of the dreams themselves, they are sometimes described as sounding lively. They’re extremely low noise, low distortion, and translucent, which provides you lots of headroom to accommodate your pellets regardless of the source. The Scarlett 2i2 also permits phantom power for your microphones, which need it to function.

Pros:

  • Incredibly low latency ensured with the Immediate Monitor circuit.
  • New “Air” button for including openness and brightness.
  • It is wired to protect against power surges that may damage the port.

Cons:

  • It uses a USB-C kind cable rather than a typical USB cable, so it might not be readily compatible with older computers.

2. Arturia AudioFuse 8Pre

The AudioFuse 8Pre is a compact audio interface with eight stations. It’s premium components along with a lot of unique features. The AudioFuse 8Pre includes 8 Discrete Pro preamps, which provides tremendous clean audio to contemporary studios. This sound interface is very good for recording everything from metal to classical string ensembles.

The USB-C link makes for a sound, quick connection to your PC. The Arturia AudioFuse 8Pre also lets you stack two 8Pre ports for 16 inputs because the eight stations are ADAT compatible, and there’s an ADAT output on the dock. ADAT stands to get Alexis Digital Audio Tape. Also, it’s a magnetic tape format used for recording eight tracks.

If you purchase an AudioFuse 8Pre, it comprises Arturia’s Creative Suite applications package, which provides three classic preamp plugins such as beefy drums and sparkling guitars.

You also receive a Lite edition of Arturia’s Analog Lab applications that delivers a group of favorite synth sounds. Moreover, you get Arturia’s Mini Filter plugin, which features step sequencing and ladder-type filtering.

The sound interface doesn’t include any sound, coloration, or whatever would negatively affect your audio. It provides a clear, clean sound that sounds fantastic through studio headphones or monitors. It’s fully USB 2.0 compatible and can link to other parts of equipment in your studio. There are additionally a talkback mic and noticeable metering lights.

Pros:

  • It has a USB-C link and is also USB 2.0 compatible for people who don’t have USB-C interfaces in their computers.
  • Comes with Arturia’s Creative Suite software package filled with plugins and other goodies.
  • Has an ADAT output for piling channels.
  • Shallow sound.

Cons:

  • Less mobile because of being a stand design port.
Sale
Focusrite Scarlett Solo (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface with Pro Tools | First
  • One of the best performing mic preamps the Scarlett range has ever seen, now with switchable air Mode to give your recordings a brighter and more open sound. One high-headroom instrument input to plug in your guitar or bass. Two hum-free balanced outputs provide clean audio playback.
  • High-performance converters enable you to record and mix at up to 24-bit/ 192kHz.
  • Quick start tool to get up and running easier than ever.
  • Includes Pro Tools | First Focusrite Creative Pack, Ableton Live Lite, Softube Time and Tone Bundle, Focusrite’s Red Plug-in Suite, 3-month Splice subscription, and your choice of one free XLN Addictive Keys virtual instrument, all available via download upon purchase and registration
  • LIMITED TIME OFFER: FREE D16 Devastator 2 upon registration and download.

3. M-Audio M-Track 2X2

The M-Audio M-Track 2X2 is also simple to use, a user-intuitive sound interface that’s made similar to the Apollo Twin. It features a large core volume knob, very low noise preamps, and audio/digital converters that convert sound into substantial-quality on your DAW.

Together with the M-Track 2X2, you can record two channels at the same time using an XLR input along with a tool input. Additionally, there are two outputs. To connect with the audio port to your personal computer (Mac or PC), you have the choice of working with a USB 2.0 link or a USB-C connection.

USB-C is much quicker, so I do urge that, but if you’ve got an older computer that isn’t compatible with USB-C, USB 2.0 will find the task finished. You’ll receive the zero-latency recording and playback with the two links and track your inputs to create recording fast, accurate, and straightforward.

Another added feature of this M-Audio M-Track 2×2 is an application package with all you want to begin making music. The software package features the M-Audio variant of Pro Tools First, the Creative FX Series by Pro Tools, a plugin package of 20 effects, a Mini Grand piano plug, and the Strike drum arranger and sequencer, along with the Xpand! Two virtual instruments.

The M-Track a part of M-Audio’s C-Series interface string, including the exceptionally high-quality professional crystal’ Preamps. Any sound running through those dreams is crystal clear and translucent. Combine this with all the Phantom Power button on the port, and you’ve some insanely great-sounding recordings.

Pros:

  • Extremely straightforward design with just four knobs.
  • High-quality Crystal preamps.
  • Works with both USB 2.0 and USB-C.
  • Fantastic port for Pro Tools.

Cons:

  • You need to install drivers onto your computer before having the ability to utilize the port.

4. TASCAM US-2×two

TASCAM is a reasonably old company that has excelled in the sound equipment market for several decades. Together with standard USB audio ports, they have lots of pleasant FireWire audio interfaces in addition to lots of additional top-end equipment, which can allow you to make music.

The TASCAM US-2×2 is a cheap USB sound interface that makes recording simple. The US-2X2 includes two high-gain mic preamps, which permit you to record to your DAW on Mac, PC, and iOS devices. The port is set up similarly to the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, in which every station is an XLR and tool combo port.

There’s a gain knob for every channel, sign volume index lights, along with an impedance change for if you would like to capture guitars and other tools right. The TASCAM US-2X2 is sure to get zero-latency monitoring via the included headphone output with volume amount.

The HDDA (High Definition Discrete Architecture) preamp layout provides crystal clear sound that’s exceptionally low self-noise, which makes it great for shooting details on your performances. The TASCAM US-2X2 is little enough to carry with you wherever you move but strong enough to capture a singer-songwriter or a small outfit.

Pros:

  • Rugged metal casing for carrying it upon the street, it can resist rough handling very nicely.
  • Fits nicely in a house studio owing to the compact size and very low self-noise.
  • Comes with Cubase LE applications.

Cons:

  • Most significant for ensembles or singer-songwriters, and thus don’t expect to list a massive group unless you’re using a condenser to get a room microphone.
  • Wants specific drivers to be set up before using it.
PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 25th Anniversary Edition, 96K
  • Bus-powered USB 2.0 audio interface with MIDI I/O
  • Compatible with almost all recording software for Mac and Windows
  • 24-bit resolution; 44.1, 48, 88.2, and 96 kHz sampling rates
  • 2 combo mic/instrument inputs with high-performance, low-noise, high-headroom mic preamplifiers
  • LIMITED TIME OFFER: Get the Studio One Premium Add-On Bundle FREE with the purchase of this product! A $99 USD Value

5. Audient iD4

Arguably the very best sound interface you can purchase for under $200, ” The iD4 is a comfortable two-input/two-output offering with a mic preamp complete with phantom power for using condenser mics also as a tool amount DI for plugging in your guitar or bass. In addition to this, there is a most crucial output for the speakers and dual headphone outputs.

The entire issue is powered by USB, and, together with Apple’s camera link kit, it may also utilize an iPhone/iPad. On the other hand, the studio devilry is in detail: Audient has thought about what, together with the value and usability in mind, making a funding option feel anything but cheap. The Audient iD4 is, very simply, the most effective USB audio interface we have seen at a price for quite a while.

Pros:

  • Fantastic value for money
  • Fantastic preamp
  • Well-thought-out

Cons:

  • Not much to complain about

6. SSL 2+ sound port

Compact interfaces with pro features and connectivity, the SSL2+ promises that an inexpensive version of the SSL audio’, bringing the sense of a gazillion records created in 7-figure recording studios in reach of everyone.

This is the big brother to the typical SSL2. The most crucial difference is that both + provides two outputs into the 2-in, 2-out setup of both MIDI In/Out and an extra separate headset out (with being in a position to track different mixtures ). The 4k button adds some excess existence and high-end zing (and, more importantly, allows you to feel a little bit more ‘pro’).

There are just two combi mic/line inputs with Hi-Z (impedance) choices for switching between bass and guitar or people from synths or drum machines. +48v alternative also permits the connection of the two condenser and dynamic mics.

Pros:

  • Fantastic signal route for the Cost
  • The 4k button will not include noise.’
  • Solid build quality

Cons:

  • You May Not enjoy the RCA outputs.
PreSonus Studio 24c 2x2, 192 kHz, USB-C Audio Interface, 2 Mic Pres-2 Line Outs
  • 2 pristine XMAX-L solid-state mic preamps to capture every detail
  • 2 high-headroom instrument/line inputs to record guitar, bass, and your favorite line-level devices
  • Studio-grade converters for 24-bit/192 kHz recording and playback. Computer-system requirements - macOS 10. 11 or higher (64-bit only). Windows 7 x64 SP1 + platform update, Windows 8. 1 x64, Windows 10 x64. Intel i-series 2 GHz multicore processor (or AMD equivalent) or faster. 4 GB RAM (8 GB or more recommended)
  • Professional input metering to keep an eye on your recording levels
  • Easy-to-use Mixer knob for low-latency direct input monitoring

7. Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 3rd Gen

Focusrite’s Scarlett USB ports have traditionally coupled excellent sonics and good efficacy at reasonable price points, and also, the third generation units continue the fantastic work.

All components in the scope have obtained technical and physical updates, improved preamps (currently around 56dB gain), balanced connectivity during, and the addition of Focusrite’s ISA transformer preamp emulation alternative (Air). About the bus-powered Scarlett 4i4, you have two mic/line/instrument inputs with gain, two line-level TRS inputs, and four TRS outputs.

The 4i4 supports Focusrite’s Control program, meaning that quite a few configurations can only be produced from the computer software. The program also manages low-latency monitoring.

As we have expected in the Scarlett show, the sonics are impartial, and the motorists dependable. The Air option tilts the frequency response involving high frequencies, and this may be perfect for taming undesirable proximity or including a high-frequency elevator.

Pros:

  • New, improved preamp layout
  • ‘Air’ transformer stage emulation
  • MIDI I/O is helpful

Cons:

  • Not Much

Read More: 

Best Budget Audio Interfaces 2021: Top Full Review, Guide

Best Audio Interfaces For Guitar 2021: Top Full Review, Guide

8. Universal Audio UAD Apollo Twin MkII

Nevertheless, a desktop-format 2-in/-6-outside port with 24-bit/192kHz capacities, the Apollo Twin MkII will be nearly indistinguishable from the first, were it not currently black instead of silver. It connects to a Mac or PC through Thunderbolt (there is no cable in the box). However, it must be powered by the wall. The rear panel and front border home the inputs and outputs, while the top discussion centers on a satisfyingly oversized knob.

Additionally, a DSP box for powering UAD plugin impacts (it is possible to pick out of Solo, Duo, and Quad choices ), the Apollo Twin MkII features precisely the same game-changing Unison preamps because of its predecessor, fed with the Mic/Line and Hi-Z inches. These enable a slowly expanding subset of all UA’s classic hardware emulation plugins to be added right into every input route.

That is a musically empowering hardware/software hybrid capable of bettering home and project studios’ humblest to professional-quality peaks. Definitely, among the very best audio ports, you may purchase.

Pros:

  • Incredible audio quality
  • Superb UAD-2 plugins

Cons:

  • Thunderbolt only in This Time
  • No MIDI
Sale
Focusrite Scarlett Solo Studio (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface and Recording Bundle with Pro Tools | First
  • Includes: Scarlett Solo USB audio interface, condenser microphone, headphones, 10’ XLR mic cable, mic stand clip
  • High-performance converters enable you to record and mix at up to 24-bit/ 192kHz.
  • Quick start tool to get up and running easier than ever.
  • Includes Pro Tools | First Focusrite Creative Pack, Ableton Live Lite, Softube Time and Tone Bundle, Focusrite’s Red Plug-in Suite, 3-month Splice subscription, and your choice of one free XLN Addictive Keys virtual instrument, all available via download upon purchase and registration
  • LIMITED TIME OFFER: FREE D16 Devastator 2 upon registration and download.

9. Native Instruments Komplete Audio 2

Complete Audio two is a two-input, two-output layout with two indistinguishable mic/line/instrument inputs. Connections are on space-saving combo XLRs with respective selector switches to choose between instrument and line. 48V phantom power, meanwhile, is engaged worldwide via one button.

Along with the input signal, the front panel contains a hardware tracking equilibrium knob (Input/Host) and a headphone output with a separate control.

The most important output is controlled by a sizable output level knob on the upper panel. Here you will also discover the input meters, together with ghost and USB indicators. Round the back, you have got the USB B connector, a pair of balanced outputs on TRS 1⁄4-inch jacks, along with a Kensington Security slot machine.

Pros:

  • Super compact
  • Slick and solidly made
  • Decent five-part input metering

Cons:

  • No scaling onto the controllers

10. Audient Evo 4

You will discover two combi mic/line inputs round the rear of EVO 4, along with a single device level input in the front for linking a guitar or bass (which then overrides the initial information around the trunk ).

Two speaker outs complete the links along with a prominent central dial to control the degree of the output and quite a few different degrees determined mostly by which buttons on the surface of the panel that you press on, these being 2 and 1 (for your input amounts ), and output (bottom right) along with the last button which means the dial adjusts the mixture between the input signal and DAW. Using the headset socket means that the significant dial controls this amount.

Pros:

  • Great, clean audio
  • Single dial makes it easy to operate.
  • You will like the Monitor Mix alternative.
  • Sturdy build

Cons:

  • No angled front
Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface with Pro Tools | First
  • Four of the best performing mic preamps the Scarlett range has ever seen, now with switchable Air mode to give your recordings a brighter and more open sound. Two high-headroom instrument inputs to plug in your guitar or bass. Eight balanced line inputs for connecting synthesizers, drum machine and other line-level sources. Four monitor outputs with anti-thump technology and speaker switching.
  • High-performance converters enable you to record and mix at up to 24-bit/ 192kHz.
  • Quick start tool to get up and running easier than ever.
  • Includes Pro Tools | First Focusrite Creative Pack, Ableton Live Lite, Softube Time and Tone Bundle, Focusrite’s Red Plug-in Suite, 3-month Splice subscription, and your choice of one free XLN Addictive Keys virtual instrument, all available via download upon purchase and registration
  • LIMITED TIME OFFER: FREE D16 Devastator 2 upon registration and download.

FAQs

1. Would you want an audio port to document a guitar?

As a way to document, you are likely to want an XLR input to your mic and a high-Z telephone plug input on your guitar. You will also require quality outputs, making it possible for you to keep an eye on your recording and audio editing utilizing speakers or cans. USB connectivity makes it a fantastic selection for mobile recording requirements.

2. Does port affect sound quality?

Yes, there’s a gap in quality. The audio going through a sound port has a broader variety. While it is not so evident when comparing bare signs, if you conduct the signal to an amp and taxi it, particularly once you overdrive or distort the character with the Blackberry sim, the noise difference is enormous.

3. Can I want an audio port or even a recording?

As you don’t need an audio port to document anything, you will need an audio port to capture professional, high-quality audio. That may consist of recording devices, voices, or other kinds of sound. Sure, you’ve got a sound card on your mobile phone and a sound card on your PC.

4. Are expensive sound interfaces worthwhile?

In my opinion, something such as a Focusrite Scarlett reaches a considerable degree of quality. To make the most of whatever growth in quality a more expensive interface may provide, you want to be skilled enough. The audio quality difference is not massive once you’ve got a sizeable fat sign going into your port.

5. Can a mixer behave as an audio port?

As I mentioned in the start, many mixers finally have USB presses, which means that the mixer may double as a sound port and send sound via USB to your PC. For many people, having that flexibility to operate at or from the pc is best.

6. What’s the distinction between the sound card and the sound port?

Technically speaking, a sound card is a sound port, but its restricted sound quality and nominal I/O make it less than perfect for recording. Many audio cards have a consumer-grade stereo line input, a headphone output, and perhaps also a consumer-grade stereo line output signal.

7. Is Ableton Live suitable for beginners?

Ableton Live Lite is one of the easiest to learn DAW. But it’s also quite deep, so to use its standard features, you only need a full day, give or take. Ableton’s decidedly clean and straightforward design makes it easy to pick up and uses right away.

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Last update on 2020-12-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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