Studio Gears

Best Budget USB Audio Interface 2018 – Best Choice on a Budget

INTERFACES BUYING GUIDE

First, you need to know what you need. How many inputs and outputs do you need? Do you need MIDI input and output? What’s the bit depth and sample rate you really need? (If you don’t know what is bit depth and sample rate, CHECK HERE) Which feature is must have and which is optional?

1. PreSonus AudioBox USB 96

If you are a beginner of home recording, and the price is what you concern, then this one might be your choice. This interface comes with Studio One DAW and some plugins. It has a lower price than other USB audio/MIDI interfaces on this page, and its specs are not low at all.

  • Bus-powered USB 2.0 audio and MIDI interface
  • 24 bit/96 kHz
  • 2 Mic/instrument inputs: XLR combo jack
  • 2 Line outputs: 6.3 mm balanced jack
  • MIDI input and output
  • Stereo headphone output: 6.3 mm jack
  • 48 V Phantom power
  • Balance knob between input and playback signal (Direct monitor)
  • Includes Presonus Studio One Artist Software + Studio Magic Plugin Suite

COMPARE PRICE : AMAZON THOMANN

2. M-Audio M-Track 2x2M

This interface is kinda like PreSonus AudioBox, it also comes with free DAW and plugins. They have very similar specs, only the sample rate is higher, so do the price. If you want higher sample rate than PreSonus AudioBox, and lower price than M-Audio M-Track 2x2M, it also has non-MIDI version of this interface M-Audio M-Track 2×2. The specs are identical as MIDI version, only without MIDI input and output, and has the lowest price in this page.

  • Bus-powered USB 2.0 audio and MIDI interface
  • 24 bit/192 kHz
  • 2 Mic/Line inputs: XLR combo jack
  • 2 Instrument inputs: 6.3 mm jack
  • 2 Line outputs: 6.3 mm balanced jack
  • MIDI input and output
  • Stereo headphone output: 6.3 mm jack
  • 48 V Phantom power
  • Balance knob between input and playback signal (Direct monitor)
  • Included Pro Tools | First, Eleven Lite, AIR Creative FX Collection (20 world-class FX AU/VST plugins), Strike, Xpand!2 and Mini Grand

 

M-Audio M-Track 2x2M COMPARE PRICE : AMAZON THOMANN

M-Audio M-Track 2×2      COMPARE PRICE : AMAZON THOMANN

 

3. Steinberg UR22 MK2

This one is really cool, it allows you to use any virtual amps on your iPad or iPhone. It provides a 5 V DC port to supply power, that means you can connect this interface to your iPad or iPhone, all you need is an adapter. Not to mention it has 2 nice preamps.

  • Bus-powered USB 2.0 audio and MIDI interface
  • 24-bit/192kHz
  • 2 Mic/instrument inputs: XLR combo jack
  • 2 Line outputs: 6.3 mm balanced jack
  • MIDI input and output
  • Stereo headphone output: 6.3 mm jack
  • 48V phantom power
  • Balance knob between input and playback signal (Direct monitor)
  • 2 D-PRE Class-A mic preamps
  • 5 V DC port
  • Usable with iPad/iPhone (requires adapter)
  • Includes Steinberg Cubase AI software

COMPARE PRICE : AMAZON THOMANN

4. Focusrite Scarlett 2i2

You might have already heard of Scarlett 2i2, lots of producers and musicians are using it, and here’s why: The maximum sample rate of 2nd generation has upgraded from 96khz to 192khz, and it has the lowest latency than other USB audio interfaces without the need for DSP (digital signal processor), also it has really nice looking. The Addictive Keys virtual instrument from XLN Audio is included for free with all Focusrite audio interfaces.

  • Bus-powered USB 2.0 audio interface
  • 24-bit/192kHz
  • 2 Mic/instrument inputs: XLR combo jack
  • 2 Line outputs: 6.3 mm balanced jack
  • Stereo headphone output: 6.3 mm jack
  • 48V phantom power
  • Direct monitor switch
  • line/instrument input switch
  • 2 Scarlett microphone preamps
  • Super low latency without DSP
  • Include Pro Tools | First and Ableton Live Lite recording software
  • Free access to Addictive Keys virtual instrument from XLN Audio

COMPARE PRICE : AMAZON THOMANN

5. BEHRINGER U-PHORIA UMC404HD

This interface has literally everything. It’s the best USB audio interface for live shows. It has two set of playback outputs, so you can send two different tracks to each set of outputs, this is very useful for live shows. This is the only interface with analog inserts on our list, 4 analog inserts for external gears like compressor or EQ, how cool is that. 4 inputs? That’s a lot, regarding its relatively low price. It is also usable with iPad/iPhone like I’ve mentioned earlier.

  • Bus-powered USB 2.0 audio and MIDI interface
  • 24-bit/192kHz
  • 4 Mic/instrument inputs: XLR combo jack
  • 2x Line outputs: 6.3 mm balanced jack
  • 2 XLR outputs
  • MIDI input and output with ultra-low latency
  • Stereo headphone output: 6.3 mm jack
  • 4 analog inserts for using external gears
  • 4 playback outputs: 6.3 mm jack and RCA
  • 48V phantom power
  • Stereo/Mono switch with balance knob between input and playback signal (Direct monitor)
  • line/instrument input switch
  • 4 MIDAS-designed preamps
  • 5 V DC port
  • Usable with iPad/iPhone (requires adapter)
  • Monitor A/B source select for DJ-style cueing
  • Include Tracktion

COMPARE PRICE : AMAZON

 

6. Audient iD4

This one is a quality interface. With high quality Mic preamp, Headphone amps and high performance AD/DA converters, you can get really nice sound from this interface. Two headphone outputs, this is very useful. It also has some very cool features, one of my favorites is you can use the main volume knob to control any knobs in your DAW.

  • Bus-powered USB 2.0 audio interface
  • 24-bit/96kHz
  • 1 Mic/instrument inputs: XLR combo jack
  • 1 x Discrete JFET Instrument Input
  • 2 Line outputs: 6.3 mm balanced jack
  • 2 Stereo headphone outputs: 6.3 mm jack and 3.5 mm jack
  • 48V phantom power
  • Balance knob between input and playback signal (Direct monitor)
  • Monitor panning function
  • Class-A Audient Console Mic Preamp
  • Class-AB Headphone Amplifier
  • ID control with ScrollControl for DAW integration
  • High Performance AD/DA Converters
  • Include License for extensive Audient ARC download software package.

COMPARE PRICE : AMAZON THOMANN

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