Best Budget Audio Interface 2020: Top Full Review, Guide

Best Budget Audio Interface

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

As soon as you’ve got your hands on a sound port, you are going to have the ability to plug everything from radios and electric guitars to synths and additional tools, maybe even MIDI gear, also and you will have no problem hooking up a set of studio tracks and studio cans.

However, as you may expect, there are tons of budget audio interfaces on the current market, all offering different features to catch your attention. So, how can you opt for the ideal audio port for youpersonally? In this guide, Fidlar will show you the Best Budget Audio Interface 2020.

The Best Audio Interfaces For Your Home Studio: Things To Consider

Functionality: Inputs / Outputs

When making your choice, the primary factor you need to be considering is that the performance of this interface. Or rather: everything you want it to perform.

Some sound interfaces have a massive quantity of XLR inputs, 1/4 jacks, and quite a few different purposes. Simultaneously, others have perhaps one or 2 XLR inputs and a fundamental level of connectivity.

If you are searching for recording an entire group in your house studio, you should consider choices with a greater quantity of outputs and combo inputs. Consider what musical components you will have to document concurrently and what connectivity choices you will have to achieve.

On the flip side, if you are house studio is probably likely to consist of only you, a MIDI keyboard, and perhaps even a studio microphone, you can consider a lightweight, more basic alternative.


Please browse: You must consider the sound interface’s compatibility since you might wind up buying your perfect interface to learn it can not connect to your notebook or pc. Trust me, it happens.

There are three choices for compatibility:

1. The USB audio interfaces are a wide selection and are available on virtually every PC, Mac, or other pc. A number of these exemplary interfaces are USB bus-powered, so they will need the notebook or computer’s ability to operate. It is still worth checking if a port is Mac / P.C. compatible. However, most USB audio interfaces will work for the two.

2. Thunderbolt Thunderbolt provides a remarkably quick 10Gbps connection, leading to a significantly faster transfer speed than Firewire. Apple produces this link, so the Windows apparatus are extremely unlikely to possess thunderbolt inputs. Special adaptors exist to bridge this technical difference, but they’re quite unreliable from my experience.

3. Firewire Firewire Audio Interfaces are used by professionals for several years. It’s another connection widely utilized in the Apple universe. But, recent Apple versions have not included a Firewire input signal, instead of going for a Thunderbolt input signal. So ensure that your device has Firewire connectivity before buying an interface.


The final thing which you will consider is cost.

Like most audio gear, sound ports are offered in a broad assortment of budgets. There are versions available anywhere from $50 to $2500. Within this list, I will mostly be adding budget ports.

Best Budget Audio Interface 2020

Bestseller No. 1
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
Bestseller No. 2
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
Bestseller No. 6
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; Professional input metering to keep an eye on your recording levels

1. PreSonus AudioBox USB 96

The AudioBox USB 96 is your flagship budget sound port from PreSonus. It succeeds in just under the $100 price point and provides competitive value for money.

The Audio interface includes two inputs, two chief outs, and a stereo headphone output for tracking. There’s also complete MIDI in/out on the back of the device. Both inputs are compatible with both XLR or 1/4 inch TRS connectors. Consequently, it is easy to plug in mics or guitars to the quick and effortless recording device.

The USB 96 is compatible with P.C. and Mac, and in the majority of instances, isn’t difficult to play and plug with. There’s also a 48V button on the front panel for lovers of phantom power. The noise from the USB 96 is striking with all the frequency that ranges from 20 Hz to 20 kHz. You could even document in 44.1, 48, 88.2, or perhaps 96k Hz. There is no doubt that it is among the best USB audio interface on the market.


  • Comes with Studio One Artists DAW.
  • 24-bit resolution.
  • Ghost power.


  • May conflict with specific O.S.’s.

2. M-Audio M-Track 2X2

The M-Track 2X2 from M-Audio is just another low-budget sound interface for Mac or P.C. With Mac setup, there’s no driver setup necessary, which means an extra-quick installation.

From the box that the M-Track 2X2 is striking, looking with its glistening surface and big central controller knob. There is no doubt that it is among the best cheap audio interfaces on the market.

This port provides a lot of what the PreSonus USB 96 must bring to the table, still lacks a couple of items such as MIDI in/out. This isn’t such a significant stumbling block today as USB MIDI is now the go-to benchmark typically. It will outperform the PreSonus using its capacity to catch at 192 kHz.

M-Audio hahas an excellent track record with sound hardware for users. Their products are often well equipped with a slick appearance and maximum efficacy.

This Audio interface is a joy to use, and the bundled applications are going to keep you imaginative for quite a very long moment. Included is a copy of ProTools First, that’s the entry-level equivalent of this notorious DAW.

Additionally, there is a duplicate of Lite along with a choice of decent VST tools like Midi Grand, Xpand! 2, and Strike. The M-Audio M-Track 2X2 requires an impressive second location. It can be featured in our listing of the complete best audio interfaces.


  • Mobile recording and seems calm.
  • Excellent bundled software package.
  • 24 bit / 192 kHz resolution.


  • No more MIDI in/out.
MOTU M2 Audio Interface
  • 2-in / 2-out USB audio interface with studio-quality sound
  • Best-in-class audio quality driven by ESS Sabre32 Ultra DAC Technology
  • Best-in-class speed (ultra-low latency) for host software processing
  • Best-in-class metering for all inputs/outputs with a full-color LCD
  • Individual preamp gain and 48V phantom power for each input

3. Mackie Onyx Artist

Mackie is a well-known brand, mostly connected with high-end professional conventional audio hardware such as mixing desks. Consoles like these quite frequently retail for tens of thousands of dollars. Thankfully the Onyx Artist resides at the opposite end of the cost range.

This port includes two inputs and two outputs. The inputs consist of one 1/4 inch TRS and one XLR input signal. You will find control knobs for every piece of information in addition to volume control for your stereo headphones output.

The Onyx Artist is a workhorse and provides 192 kHz resolution. Mackie also offers you a more expensive variant of the port the Onyx Producer comes with the two MIDI in/out and yet another XLR set up of the present TRS. An excellent audio interface for the Cost provides a number of the very best cheep audio interface on the market.


  • Low latency.
  • Robust build.


  • Just 1 XLR input.

4. Tascam US-1X2

The US-1X2 is a reasonable audio interface in the American sound hardware firm Tascam. The plan of this US-1X2 is very striking in it is slightly tilted upward, which Tascam asserts allows for more straightforward use.

It includes 48V phantom capabilities together with a switchable line level to the instrument input. The Onyx Artist, this funding sound interface, has just one XLR input and a single 1/4 in. information.

This isn’t a terrible outing from Tascam, and the US-1X2 retails, on average, about ten bucks less than a number of the other contenders, like the PreSonus AudioBox interface USB 96 along with the M-Audio M-Track 2X2.

You do not receive precisely the identical software perks using the Tascam; however, they’ve comprised a mic pop up filter along with a fantastic XLR mic cable that will assist you on your way.


  • Free pop filter and microphone cable.
  • Ultra HDDA mic preamp.


  • No bundled applications.
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.

5. Steinberg UR12

Steinberg is well-known in the business due to its wide variety of computer applications, from DAW’s, for example, Cubase to tide editors like WaveLab. Together with the UR12, Steinberg has produced a mobile and convenient audio port for your home recording studio fan on a shoestring, there is no doubt that it is among the best interface for home studio.

This port is very bulky to check in on initial impressions. It will have some excellent features missing from other audio interfaces precisely the same bracket; together with a 24-bit recording, the UR12 matches the greatest in this cost class.

The red LED lights around the surface of the UR12 make it simple to discover a healthful input amount. Steinberg has sent the UR12 using some very excellent guitar amp simulators that will sweeten the offer. Additionally, there is a choice of nice small VST effects contained in the package.

To prevent any difficulties using the UR12 when getting started, do be sure you’ve got the most recent official Steinberg drivers installed until you begin the UR12.


  • Peak direct monitoring LEDs on in the united.
  • Handy direct observation button.
  • Fantastic high-quality preamps.
  • Great Choice of VST FX included.


  • No DAW included.

6. Peavey USB-P

Peavey is famous for its broad selection of music hardware equipment like guitar amps and P.A. systems. Together with the Peavey USB-P, they’ve created the best cheap audio interface with value and quality in mind.

This is just one no-frills item of the kit. To have a look at, the USB-P resembles a fundamental D.I. box. There are three links in total on the port; 2 XLR connectors and a single USB connector. Soundwise, the Peavey USB-P performs admirably, providing low sound and a simple stereo to mono switch.

The Peavey USB-P will attract anyone who would like a simple but dependable audio port for their home recording studio or perhaps live operation. The interface is excellent for live bands that have to send stereo or mono feeds to band members on stage. It is well constructed and can be plug-and-play for many systems.


  • Competitively priced.
  • Comes with two XLR connectors.


  • Basic layout.
  • No level controllers.
  • No USB cable included.
PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 2x2 USB Audio Interface, Blue, PC/Mac - 2 Mic Pres
  • Bus-powered USB 2.0 audio and MIDI interface
  • 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
  • Includes Studio One Artist DAW software and 6+ GB of third-party resources

7. Behringer U-Phoria UM2

The U-Phoria UM2 is just one of several Behringer audio interface products. It is keenly priced at about $50 and therefore appeals to each budding house studio newcomer. The UM2 is capable of recording up to 48 kHz and features a 20 Hz to 20 kHz frequency response.

All in all, the U-Phoria UM2 is a terrific audio interface. You might even have a look at this accessory package that has the UM2 port, headphones in addition to XLR, TRS, and RCA cables.

The addition of extras by Behringer is guaranteed to appeal to many out there. While the inclusion of a set of Samson SR360 is a great touch, many audiophiles will have their own favored collection anyhow. You could even look at our latest article discussing a number of the very best budget headphones under $50.


  • It comes with headphones and sound wires (see accessory package ).
  • Clip monitoring LEDs.
  • Tracktion 4 on registration.


  • No DAW included.
  • Max of all 48 kHz resolution.

8. 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 input 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 use an iPhone/iPad. On the other hand, the studio devilry is in detail: Audient has thought about using the valued usability in mind, which makes a funding option feel anything but cheap. The Audient iD4 is, very simply, the most effective USB audio interface we have seen at this price for quite a while.


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


  • Not much to complain about
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
  • Compatible with popular recording software including Avid Pro Tools*, Ableton Live*, Steinberg Cubase*, etc.
  • Streams 2 inputs / 2 outputs with ultra-low latency to your computer, supporting Mac OS X* and Windows XP* or higher
  • State-of-the-art, +48 V-powered XENYX Mic Preamp comparable to stand-alone boutique preamps

9. SSL 2+ sound interface

Compact interfaces with pro features and connectivity, the SSL2+ promises that an affordable variant 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 combinations ). The 4k button adds some excess existence and high-end zing (and, more importantly, allows you to feel a little more pro’).

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


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


  • You May Not enjoy the RCA outputs.

Read More: 

Best Audio Interface For Guitar 2020: Top Full Review, Guide

10. 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 P.C. 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 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 U.A.’s classic hardware emulation plugins to be added right into every input path.

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.


  • Incredible sound quality
  • Superb UAD-2 plugins


  • Thunderbolt only in This Time
  • No MIDI
Steinberg UR12 USB Audio Interface
  • 24-bit/192 kHz USB 2.0 audio interface
  • 1 Class-A D-PRE mic preamp supporting +48V phantom power
  • 1 Mic input(XLR) and 1 Hi-Z instrument input (TS), 2 line outputs(RCA)
  • Cross-platform compatibility with Windows, OS X and iPad (with Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit/Lightening to USB Camera Adapter)
  • USB-powered for mobile recordings with Mac and, additional USB mini socket for power source connection when used with the iPad


1. Do you need an audio port?

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 an audio card on your PC.

2. Does port affect audio 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. Does it matter what sound interface I use?

Yes, it matters because the preamp from the port is the thing that amplifies up the mic to a decent level for recording. On its possess a mic produces a superficial level signal(voltage?). In most audio ports, the preamps aren’t likely to be as great as the ones in a decent outside one.

4. Can a mixer replace a sound port?

It is essential to be aware that a few Mixers may also function as Audio Interface, should they have one built-in. This only means you could record right to the recording software/DAW in your PC using a mixer rather than having another audio port.

5. Do I need a sound port if I have a mixer?

All you will need is a port using two inputs. If this is so, a mixer using a built-in USB or FireWire audio interface is well worth looking at. But if you have music production bundled applications with virtual faders and outcomes, then a bare-bones audio port might be all you want.

6. Why is Ableton Live Lite so expensive?

Part of the reason why Ableton Live is expensive is that they have to accommodate for the pirates and cracks. Ableton is a company, and when people steal their product instead of purchasing it, they are losing money. Therefore, to compensate for the lost money, the price increases.


Last update on 2020-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. By browsing this website, you agree to our use of cookies.