Audient iD4 Buyers Guide Review (October 2020)
- ✔ Zero-latency monitoring with monitor mix and pan
- ✔ iD4’s Monitor Pan - create a balanced headphone mix
- ✔ Monitor Mix feature lets you monitor a blend of both inputs and playbacks
- ✔ Clean, punchy and musical character
Packing large-format console performance into a petite desktop chassis. The Audient iD4 audio interface fortifies your studio with one of Audient’s renowned Class A console mic preamps and a discrete JFET DI. As well as industy-leading conversion technology, two headphone jacks, and console-style monitoring control. Also onboard is the company’s intuitive ScrollControl virtual scroll wheel. This lets you use the iD4’s big volume knob to tweak your DAW and plug-in parameters and even scroll your iTunes library. Simply press the knob to dim the monitors. The iD4 is a serious upgrade for any personal project studio or mobile setup.
This interface has a cool space age design that supports DI and XLR mic input, with quarter inch to RCA speaker output. Another interesting feature of this interface is the Monitor Pan, which allows you to mute your speakers without having to physically turn them off. Not to mention, the iD button on this interface can be used as a hardware function key which allows such options as ScrollControl, Mono, Mono + Polarity, Dim, and Talkback. These configurations can be made within the master section of the iD mixer.
When designing the iD4, Audient went against the grain compared to many audio interfaces in this range, making this device feel quite unique. The majority of the action takes place on the top of the device as opposed to the side, meaning it’s easy to work with while sitting at a desk.
Aesthetically it is quite simple, with no overly-complicated designs or branding – just a sturdy all-metal chassis which is gently curved at the front, along with a solid black control panel. As for the build, this compact interface oozes excellence. It’s designed in the UK, but made in China, although this takes nothing away from the rock-solid feel – certainly capable of surviving both a busy studio as well as regular voyages into the outside world.
The USB-powered iD4 is packed with features. Starting with the connections, the iD4 sports two inputs in the form of an XLR with phantom power for condenser mics, while plugging in a guitar or bass is easy with the discreet JFET instrument-level DI. As for outputs, you get standard L/R TRS main speaker ports around the back.
Clearly there’s not as many inputs as other interfaces on our chart. However some additional features help set the iD4 apart in other areas. This includes the monitor mix knob, which allows blending of the input signal with the DAW playback for close to zero-latency monitoring, while the monitor pan feature gives you the choice to pan your mic pre-input and your DI input from left to right. This gives a great headphone mix. While the two headphone ports (jack and mini jack) allow for two sets to be connected at any time.
There’s also ScrollControl, where the volume encoder can be switched to act as a virtual scroll wheel, which proves a very useful feature. Finally, Audient promise more than $600 worth of free software, which instantly puts this interface in a good value zone. On closer inspection, this includes Cubase LE and Cubasis LE 2, as well as a host of sample packs, synths and plugins.
Because Audient install the same Class A mic preamp design as used in their higher-end interfaces, the iD4 is a solid performer, punching well above its price tag. As we have mentioned, the build is excellent and finetuning things with the responsive aluminum control knobs is a pleasure. Finally, the fact that this interface is compatible macOS and iOS means it’s a perfect option.