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Best 4 Channel Audio Interfaces

Top 3 Best 4 Channel Audio Interfaces (July 2021)

The Best 4 Channel Audio Interfaces - 2021

The best 4 channel audio interfaces offer fantastic opportunities to record high quality audio from several sources with minimal latency.

Audio interfaces range from large 'rack' styled devices through to pocket sized incredibly compact and durable audio interfaces. Some come with full colour LED/LCD displays for input and output levels, others offer portability by being powered by batteries.

Whether you're looking to record a keyboard, guitar or vocals, the best way to setup your recording station is to plug into your computer and make tracks via a 4 channel audio interface.

4 Channel Audio Interface Connection Types

4 channel audio interfaces come with all sorts of connection types allowing you to connect to your computer via USB, thunderbolt & firewire to name a few. USB is the most popular and widely used mainly because it comes in many different forms ranging from Type-A, 2.0, & Micro USB through to the latest Type-C connections. Thunderbolt connections are the fastest. You'll find these are used on some of the more modern and high end 4 channel audio interfaces available on the market.

4 Channel Audio Interface Prices

The price of top quality 4 channel audio interfaces has fallen dramatically in recent years. This is great news if you're looking to get hold of a device that will give you a fantastic sound without costing the earth. This is because many brands have taken their previous generation 4 channel audio interface models and repackaged them. Usually with some modern nuances to create a budget model of their current range. Don't be put off by this, these audio interfaces are still great value. They might not have all the latest bells and whistles but they get the job done. Which means you don't need to pay substantial amounts of money for them.

Depending on what you want to achieve, you'll priorities different features when finding the best audio interfaces for your situation. If space is an issue you'll look for a small to medium sized interface that provides you a great experience and end result while not taking up a large portion of your limited space. If you're in need of a portable audio interface then you'll probably rule out any rack mountable models. Instead you'll be looking for small battery powered options.

4 Channel Audio Interface Inputs & Outputs

4 channel audio interfaces come with a range of inputs and outputs. Some will have line inputs, mic preamps, headphone outputs, mic inputs & many other inputs and outputs. Make sure the model you consider has what you need. If you're kitting out a home studio then you'll be looking for the best audio interface which features (such as phantom power) the inputs and outputs you need at an affordable price.

Some of the best audio interfaces on the market come with software as part of the package. Pro tools is a popular editing software that we've seen offered as part of audio interface packages in the past. Purchasing an audio interface that comes with a reputable editing software is a great way to justify paying more for your audio interface because you're saving money elsewhere.

What is a 4 Channel Audio Interface

In essence an audio interface allows you to take audio signals and pump them in and out of your computer. The decision on which one is right for you simply comes down to a combination of your budget and how you like to work. Simplistic models exist that simply convert analog audio signals to digital audio signals on the way to your computer. This is because your computer will have software such as pro tools that is able to understand digital audio signals. Allowing you to layer, manipulate and refine the sound and then pump out to a speaker or amplifier. The audio interface will convert your digital audio signals back to analog signals on the way out of your computer. This way the speaker is able to play the sound for you to hear. These types of audio interfaces are known as AD/DA (Analog to Digital/Digital to Analog) converters

Whatever type of audio interface you're looking for we've tried to find the audio interfaces with the best features. While still being considered a great four channel audio interface.

RME Audio Interface (BABYFACEPRO) Image

RME Audio Interface (BABYFACEPRO)

  • ✔ Extremely portable
  • ✔ Bus-powered or mains powered
  • ✔ Premium quality product
  • ✔ Pricey when considering input/output capacity

Ultra portable and a customer favourite

RME Audio Interface (BABYFACEPRO) - Read Review See The Latest Price On Amazon Now

The Babyface Pro by RME is one of the most portable audio interfaces that we’ve featured on the list, besides from the Apogee Duet of course.

Despite the unit’s size, it has a range of connectivity ports, including XLR inputs/outputs, Line, MIDI & ADAT inputs/outputs, making it very versatile for those who require several input/output types.

Additionally, the unit is housed within an aluminum chassis, and runs on either bus-power or an external power supply… All of which is totally up to yourself.

Not only have RME created a well-built audio interface, but they’ve especially prioritized their efforts on the internal circuitry, with it featuring the latest generation of low latency AD/DA converters, in combination with RME’s ‘Steadyclock’ technology, which helps further reduce noise, helping create a noise-free, clear output sound.

Overall, with all that being said, the RME Babyface Pro is ideal for those who want a portable audio interface, with a wider selection of inputs/outputs than the similarly sized Apogee Duet.

Compatibility
  • Mac & PC & iOS devices
  • Supports all major DAWs
Features
  • Highly reputable brand
  • 24-channel mobile solution
  • A very portable audio interface
  • Aluminum chassis for effective protection
  • High-quality internal circuitry for low-latency
  • Includes software
    • RME’s TotalMix FX
  • Warranty: 2-Year Manufacturers Warranty
Technical Specs
  • USB 2.0/3.0 connectivity
  • 2 XLR inputs
  • 2 XLR outputs
  • MIDI input/output
  • ADAT input/output
  • 2 headphone line outputs
  • 24-bit/192 kHz resolution
  • 20 Hz – 35 kHz Frequency Response
  • Power adapter or bus-powered
  • 48v Phantom Power
Pros
  • Premium quality product
  • Extremely portable
  • Bus-powered or mains powered
  • Very portable
  • 2-year manufacturers warranty

Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 Audio Interface Image

Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 Audio Interface

  • ✔ Highly reputable brand
  • ✔ One of the best selling audio interfaces
  • ✔ iPad, iPhone & iPod compatible
  • ✔ Extremely impressive technical specs (192 kHz/24-bit)

The next iteration of this best-selling, award-winning Scarlett series.

Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 Audio Interface - Read Review See The Latest Price On Amazon Now

The Scarlett 18i8 is the third generation in the iteration of this best-selling, award-winning Scarlett series.

Focusrite has been creating affordable interfaces, which exude premium audio quality since they started the Scarlett series, and the 3rd generation is definitely an interface that packs a punch!

It’s one of the more affordable 8-channel audio interfaces that we’ve featured on the list, yet it provides superior sound quality compared to other interfaces, as it offers 192 kHz/24-bit sound resolution. Not to mention, the unit has recently been released, and they’ve redesigned the preamps for it.

This is a great audio interface from industry favorite Native Instruments. It comes with an extremely clean and symmetrical design making it aesthetically pleasing with any studio setup. This interface features a wide range of connectivity for its price. It features plenty of outputs and inputs, so you should be able to connect it to almost any home studio setup with ease. This will allow you to plug in your studio monitors and your subwoofer with no problem. An excellent interface from one of the best companies in the industry. This interface is a must have for beginner producers looking to step up their production quality.

Construction of the Audio 6 is reassuringly solid. Weighing in at around 1.9 lb (850 grams), the internals feel suitably protected in a rugged but attractive black and silver metal chassis. Once unboxed and we’d finished admiring the overall aesthetic our attention was quickly drawn to the rather huge analog volume control that’s centered on the glossy top panel. In practice, the utility of this oversized dial can’t be overstated and we loved just how convenient it became to make volume adjustments with barely a second thought. The remaining regular sized knobs are made of rubber and turn smoothly, and the various buttons give a satisfying click when pushed. Rubber feet on the bottom of the unit provide stability while protecting the chassis and your desk. Overall we were impressed with the build of this interface.

The unit also includes MIDI input/output, optical input and a SPDIF input/output.

On the brushed aluminum front panel you’ll find two analog XLR/TRS combo inputs for microphones and instruments, each with a complementary gain control and a standard line/instrument switch. XLR retaining locks add a small professional touch. Moving along we find separate controls for monitor and headphone volume. Headphone input, a headphone source switch, a mono switch, and a direct monitoring switch for zero latency monitoring.

Located on the rear are a further two 1/4″ TRS inputs and four balanced 1/4″ outputs, MIDI in/out sockets (for those with legacy synths and drum machines) and digital stereo input and output (SPDIF / RCA). Finally for the rear, we find a USB socket, and a 48V phantom power switch enabling you to connect condenser microphones.

Preliminary browsing through user reviews of the Komplete Audio 6 seemed to suggest some occasional problems with the drivers provided for the interface. We forged ahead with installs on a Windows 10 desktop and a 2015 Apple Macbook Pro, having downloaded the most recent drivers from Native’ website. Installation on Windows 10 of driver version 4.2.0 was quick and painless, resulting in a straightforward settings panel being installed. On our Macbook we’re running OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) which does not appear to be officially supported by the most recent Mac OS X driver, a Native Instruments representative confirmed however that internal testing has revealed no significant problems and indeed installation on our Macbook was as expected with no issues to speak of so far. Stability of the drivers was not in question with us suffering no dropouts, popping or hissing on either operating system.

Audio quality from the Audio 6 is clear and punchy and on par with competition in its price range. We found the gain controls to provide more than enough volume for quiet microphones. However noted that the headphone output is not quite as blaringly loud as some other interfaces. Volume should be sufficient for general use but the maximum level did fall just a little short of our expectations. In contrast, we were thoroughly impressedwhile recording at the interfaces limit of 24-bit/96 kHz. The level of latency experienced was minimal.

Additionally, it includes a wide range of free software, including Pro Tools, Ableton live, etc, so this unit is great for those who potentially don’t already have a DAW or plugins.

The inclusion of four ins and outs plus MIDI in and out combined with the impressive design. It’s rugged construction and solid performance make this a top contender in this price range. Highly recommended. Overall, as you might be able to tell, we particularly like the Scarlett 18i8, and there’s a reason why this is the 3rd generation and it’s one of the best selling audio interfaces of all time.

Compatibility
  • Mac, PC, iPad, iPhone, iPod
  • Supports all major DAWs
Features
  • Best-selling audio interface
  • Extremely reputable brand
  • New Technology – Recently released
  • Sleek design & well-built metal chassis
  • Highly portable
  • Newly designed, high-quality microphone preamps
  • iPad, iPhone, iPod device compatible
  • Software included:
    • Avid pro tools, Focusrite creative pack, Ableton live lite, Splice sounds (3-month subscription), XLN audio addictive keys, Softube time and tone bundle. Not forgetting the Focusrite red plugin suite, plugin collective and control.
  • Warranty: 2 Year Manufacturers Warranty
Technical Specs
  • USB Type C connectivity
  • MIDI input/output
  • 4 XLR/TRS combination inputs (on the front)
  • 4 TRS inputs (on the back)
  • 4 TRS outputs (on the back)
  • 2 TRS headphones outputs (on the front)
  • Optical input
  • SPDIF input/output
  • Supports all major DAWs
  • 24-bit/192 kHz resolution
  • 48v Phantom Power
Pros
  • Highly reputable brand
  • One of the best selling audio interfaces
  • Brand new generation (new technology)
  • iPad, iPhone & iPod compatible
  • Extremely impressive technical specs (192 kHz/24-bit)
  • Includes lots of software

Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6 Image

Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6

  • ✔ High-quality pre-amps
  • ✔ Low-latency performance
  • ✔ Mono input switch for recording vocals or guitars
  • ✔ Direct monitoring for live

This is a great audio interface from industry favorite Native Instruments.

Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6 - Read Review See The Latest Price On Amazon Now

Audio interfaces have been getting smaller and smaller in the last few years, with the introduction of the mini-jack. However, a low quality sound is still being produced through these mini-jack devices. The Native Instruments KA6 is a high quality interface that has been designed and manufactured to be used with a professional studio.

Native Instruments KA6 is designed to deliver a studio quality audio experience to your computer. It is designed by Native Instruments, a company that has been providing musicians with the best in music production equipment for years.

The Komplete Audio 6 is Native Instruments' most affordable interface ever. The new interface features the same high-quality preamps as the older models. As well as a host of upgrades that make it a bit easier to use.

The Native Instruments KA6 is the perfect solution for your home studio. It is easy to use, sounds great, and works with virtually any piece of recording software, such as Pro Tools. The audio interface is equipped with two microphone inputs with analog compression, phantom power, and high-quality 24-bit converters. It is also features stereo inputs for your instruments, a pair of balanced line outputs, and a single headphone output.

When it comes to recording, the quality of your recording equipment is important, especially if you want to record high quality audio. Native Instruments KA6 is used by professionals to record their tracks. It has a wide range of uses in any home recording studio. It is a perfect way to set up a home recording studio for those on a budget.


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