Best 4 Channel Audio Interfaces

Top 10 Best 4 Channel Audio Interfaces (May 2020)

Updated - May 25, 2020
Audio Interfaces
Best 4 Channel Audio Interfaces - Top 10
    1. Universal Audio Apollo x8 Thunderbolt - The Apollo offers a huge improvement on Universal's audio interface predecessors.
    2. RME Audio Interface (BABYFACEPRO) - Ultra portable and a customer favourite
    3. Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 - A great competitively-priced option with plenty of connectivity.
    4. Steinberg UR242 - Steinberg is a well-known brand that caters to professional musicians around the world.
    5. Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6 - This is a great audio interface from industry favorite Native Instruments.
    6. RME Audio Fireface UFX II - This is one of the most reliable and fully featured interfaces on the market.
    7. Antelope Audio Antelope Zen Tour - If you want a high-quality audio interface for studio, rehearsals and gigs you have to look at this.
    8. Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 Audio Interface - The next iteration of this best-selling, award-winning Scarlett series.
    9. BEHRINGER UMC 404HD Audiophile - Easily one of the most versatile audio interfaces you can find on a tight budget.
    10. Arturia AudioFuse - AudioFuse is an attractive and portable Mac, PC and iOS-compatible interface with a raft of features.
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Universal Audio Apollo x8 Thunderbolt

Universal Audio Apollo x8 Thunderbolt

  • ✔ Record with near-zero latency
  • ✔ Easily connect to pro-level studio gear
  • ✔ Includes Power Supply
  • ✔ Track and mix with powerful HEXA Core processing
The Apollo offers a huge improvement on Universal's audio interface predecessors.

The incredibly designed Apollo 8 from Universal Audio is a phenomenal rack-mount interface. Its ability to reach a high level of dynamic range allows for extreme clarity, depth, and intimate accuracy on any recording. With plenty of connectivity options, it’s possible to chain a few of them together. In the attempt to find the most optimal sound recording experience.

If you’re looking for create professional sounding recordings one thing is for sure. You’re going to require a professional industry leading audio interface. Something that will perform with the precision and stability needed for larger more demanding sessions. Cue in the Avid HD I/O. A high-performance Pro Tools HD|Seris 8 x 8 x 8 analog and digital audio interface. One that’s designed to completely integrate with Pro Tools HD|Systems. The interface features premium A/D and D/A conversion and advanced circuitry. Giving you pristine sound quality and clarity and the lowest possible latency.

The Apollo offers a huge improvement on Universal’s audio interface predecessors. HD I/O features premium A/D and D/A conversion. Allowing you to experience improved audio fidelity and a sweeping dynamic range. Not to mention ultra-low jitter and the lowest possible latency in your recording sessions. With specific configurations, you can make use of built-in sample rate conversion. As well as a soft clip tool for hassle-free recording.

The Apollo I/O is delivered in three arrangements, so you have the option of picking the interface that best fits your connectivity needs. Additionally, you can increase your digital or analog I/O. By simply installing an HD I/O option card into one of the unused bays. You can install a single option card in HD I/O 8x8x8. Or a maximum of two additional cards in HD I/O 16×16 Digital. Although the HD I/O 16×16 Analog arrives with the max number of four cards, you can optimize your I/O by switching any card.

The Apollo audio interfaces completely integrate with Pro Tools|HD. You can achieve high levels of dependability, performance, and command of your outputs, inputs, and routing. Straight from within your Pro Tools interface. You’ll also experience an increased production quality and improved workflow fluidity than with any previous interface. If you desire to use your interface with Pro Tools| HD and alternative DAW software, you’re able to do so with ease.

Finding a great audio interface will improve the capability of your production setup and the quality of your sound. Let’s recap how you should choose the correct mac audio interface thats right for you. Start by gaining a general understanding of how you would want to connect your setup. Then consider the live instruments that you will be using. There are lots of audio interfaces on the market that are affordable, durable and support a wide array of amazing features that will get you on track to capture your required sound.

Desktop compatible interfaces are a great option for Entry and Mid-Level Producers. Rack-mounted interfaces are perfect additions to Mid-Level and Pro-Level producers. Producers who have vast audio production knowledge and are looking to ramp up their output to the max.

Making music with a simple setup of headphones and a laptop can only get you so far. At some point audio production becomes an issue. Having a well routed and professionally optimized production setup will greatly enrich your sound design, production and workflow.

RME Audio Interface (BABYFACEPRO)

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
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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 4i4

Focusrite Scarlett 4i4

  • ✔ High-performance converters
  • ✔ Mix at up to 24-bit/ 192kHz
  • ✔ USB-C powered device
  • ✔ Compatible with Windows, Mac and iPad
A great competitively-priced option with plenty of connectivity.
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Focusrite’s Scarlett USB interfaces have traditionally combined excellent sonics and audio flexibility at affordable price points, and the third generation units keep up the good work.

All units in the range have received physical and technical upgrades, with improved preamps (now up to 56dB gain), balanced connectivity throughout, and the inclusion of Focusrite’s ISA transformer preamp emulation option (Air). On the bus-powered Scarlett 4i4 you get two mic/line/instrument inputs with gain, two line-level TRS inputs and four TRS outputs.

The 4i4 supports Focusrite’s Control application, which means that a number of settings can only be made in the software. The app also handles low-latency monitoring.

As we’ve come to expect from the Scarlett series, the sonics are neutral and the drivers reliable. The Air option tilts the frequency response towards high frequencies, and this can be great for taming undesirable proximity or adding high frequency lift.

With a decent software bundle included, this is a solid upgrade and a great affordable audio interface.

Focusrite’s Scarlett USB interfaces combine excellent sonics and audio flexibility at an affordable price point, and the third generation units have just landed. 

Up for review we have two of the mid-sized units (the 8i6 and 4i4) from a range that starts with the pocket-sized Solo, and tops out at the impressively equipped 18i20. All units in the range have received a physical and technical upgrade, with improved preamps (now up to 56dB gain), balanced connectivity throughout, and the inclusion of Focusrite’s ISA transformer preamp emulation option (Air). There’s now a slicker front panel with LEDs and the halo-style input level meters sitting below a shiny surface. Meanwhile, all units now use USB Type C connectors, although for the foreseeable future will ship with Type C to Type A cables. Finally, Focusrite is rolling out a new onscreen onboarding process that guides you through the setup from the moment you first plug in.

Looking specifically at the review units, both gain a couple of extra inputs over their predecessors (the 2i4 and 6i6). So, for the 4i4 you get two mic/line/instrument inputs with gain, two line-level TRS inputs and four TRS outputs. The 8i6 also has two mic/line/instrument inputs with gain, and gets four line-level TRS inputs, four TRS outputs and stereo S/PDIF in/out. Both units include MIDI in/out. For headphones, the 4i4 has one front panel output with level and the 8i6 two outputs with individual level. The larger interface requires an external PSU which, though understandable, is moderately annoying given it’s pretty compact. The smaller 4i4 is USB bus-powered.Both the 4i4 and 8i6 support Focusrite’s Control application, and this means that a number of settings including pad, line/Hi Z instrument selector, and the Air option mentioned above can only be set via the software. The app also handles low-latency monitoring, so there’s no direct monitoring knob as per the 2i4, although it’s worth noting that the 3rd Gen 2i2 and Solo interfaces continue to use this system. Whether you view this as extra flexibility or unnecessary complexity is personal preference, but I like the software option, particularly when you take into account that there’s an accompanying nifty iOS app that effectively adds in remote control capabilities as well. A further positive is the monitor mix system which allows easy creation of low latency mixes for each output stream. Finally, both interfaces support Focusrite’s Loopback feature, whereby a further mix panel allows you to quickly route inputs, DAW outputs or a custom blend of both back into the DAW.

As we’ve come to expect from the Scarlett series, the sonics are neutral and the drivers reliable, and both units operate at up to 192kHz. The Air option tilts the frequency response towards high frequencies, and this can be great for taming undesirable proximity or adding high frequency lift. There’s also a decent pack of bundled software including Ableton Live Lite 10, Pro Tools First Focusrite Creative Pack, Focusrite Red 2 and Red 3 plugin suite, Softube Time and Tone bundle, XLN Audio Addictive Keys and Focusrite Plug-In Collective. This is a solid refresh and both review models deliver a noticeable upgrade on predecessors.

Steinberg UR242

Steinberg UR242

  • ✔ Compatible with mac and windows
  • ✔ MIDI input/output & iPad connectivity
  • ✔ USB2.0
  • ✖ Some complaints regarding the latest mac software compatibility
Steinberg is a well-known brand that caters to professional musicians around the world.
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Steinberg is a well-known brand that caters to professional musicians around the world. The UR242 takes the tops spot on our list as it proves itself to be a great value audio interface and an all-round workhorse.

This audio interface is an ideal piece of kit if you are planning on doing some home recording on a budget of $300 or less. It features a dedicated TRS headphone output, combined microphone/TRS instrument inputs, monitor inputs and MIDI inputs. You also get a copy of Cubase which is one of the most popular DAW’s on the market today.

Steinberg UR242 is an external sound card for both audiophiles and recording enthusiasts. This interface is compatible with both PC and Mac. The UR242 makes it easy to record guitar, vocals, percussion and other instruments from the comfort of your home studio.

This is a relatively inexpensive USB audio interface from a world-famous brand and would be a solid purchase for any home studio.

The UR242 offers musicians and producers far more than just a portable I/O device, or even an audio interface; the UR242 is a mobile production solution. That’s because it combines fantastic-sounding I/O and durability with advanced DSP-based FX that can be used with your DAW software, and that at a price point that is still easily affordable.

Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6

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.
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or Choose Your Preferred Region

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.

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.

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.

RME Audio Fireface UFX II

RME Audio Fireface UFX II

  • ✔ Ultra-low latency operation with USB and FireWire
  • ✔ All inputs and outputs can be used at the same time
  • ✔ Direct USB Recording
  • ✔ Best low latency performance
This is one of the most reliable and fully featured interfaces on the market.
Buy From Amazon.com
or Choose Your Preferred Region

This is one of the most reliable and fully featured interfaces on the market. It runs on good old USB so there’s no trouble running it on MacOS. It’s quite striking how Steinberg has reflected the look of the UFX II in the AXR4. The Fireface UFX has 60 channels of audio! Digitally controlled high-end preamps, reference class converters and full 192 kHz operation.

The Fireface UFX II has 30 ins and 30 outs with 4 digitally controlled mic preamps on the front, another 8 analog on the back and the rest in ADAT, AES/EBU and S/PDIF digital. The latency and performance of RME’s USB technology are second to none and supports audio resolutions up to 192kHz. Along with the excellent monitoring screen, MIDI I/O and wordclock features, you can also plug in a USB stick in the front and record directly to it. Imagine taking an instant mix from a recording session or live show. The internal TotalMix FX software gives full routing access and hardware mixing with DSP effects.

Antelope Audio Antelope Zen Tour

Antelope Audio Antelope Zen Tour

  • ✔ 24-bit, 192 kHz audio and Antelope’s signature flawless conversion
  • ✔ Guitar amp modeling and effects processing with virtually 0 latency
  • ✔ Touchscreen control panel
  • ✔ 32 channels via Thunderbolt and 24 channels on USB
If you want a high-quality audio interface for studio, rehearsals and gigs you have to look at this.
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or Choose Your Preferred Region

Antelope doesn’t tend to scrimp on the quality of its products and the Zen Tour is no exception. It’s very compact given how much functionality it offers, and feels solid. It has a small but useful touchscreen which enables you access to all the basic functions of the unit, with the likes of input gains, headphone levels and talkback directly accessible using buttons on the front panel and the large ‘soft’ knob.

At the front are two headphone outs, two re-amping outs and four line/Hi Z inputs, all on 1/4-inch jacks. To the rear are four dual XLR/1/4-inch inputs, two pairs of monitor outs on 1/4-inch jacks, eight analogue outs on a DB25, two RCA sockets for S/PDIF in and out, a power connector and USB and Thunderbolt sockets. On the left-hand side are two pairs of ADAT ins and outs.

Once you have the software installed on your computer and connected you are ready to go. There are six amplifier emulations covering vintage to modern and clean to downright filthy. They sound great and, unlike some software emulations, have a great dynamic response. You also get a great range of EQs and a single compressor.

If you want a high-quality audio interface for studio, rehearsals and gigs you have to look at this. It sounds great and is supremely flexible. Certainly one of the best audio interfaces for guitarists you can buy.

Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 Audio Interface

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.
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or Choose Your Preferred Region

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, Focusrite red plugin suite, Focusrite plugin collective, Focusrite 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
BEHRINGER UMC 404HD Audiophile

BEHRINGER UMC 404HD Audiophile

  • ✔ Audiophile 24 - bit/192 kHz resolution
  • ✔ Midas designed mic preamplifiers
  • ✔ Compatible with popular recording software
  • ✔ 4x4 USB 2.0 Audio/MIDI interface
Easily one of the most versatile audio interfaces you can find on a tight budget.
Be Advised - Possibly Low Stock
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Devices such as the U-PHORIA UMC404HD are the reason why Behringer is one of the go-to brands for budget users looking for reliability and efficiency. This USB-powered device may look plain, but it is easily one of the most versatile audio interfaces you can find for a modest budget. Let’s take a closer look.

When it’s time to record, you need a reliable audio interface, one you can count on. That’s why Behringer kicked things up a bit with the U-PHORIA Series USB Audio Interfaces. It’s worth noting that there are 4 unique models to choose from. The U-PHORIA Series has the ideal interface to make your recording experience legendary.

Renowned for their digital console design, Behringer’s sister company MIDAS developed the industry leading preamps for the UMC204, UMC202 and UMC22 interfaces”. Thanks to the available +48 V phantom power, you can even use professional-grade studio condenser mics. This allows you to create outstanding tracks.

The moment you pull the UMC404HD out of the box you can see that this audio interface is nothing like its competitors. There is just more of it – in every sense of the word. At around 11” wide, it’s quite a large unit, which is understandable when you consider the four separate inputs that line up on the left of the face (more on these soon).

You take your tracks seriously, and the U-PHORIA Series respects that. Providing your choice of 96kHz resolution (UMC204/UMC202), or 48kHz resolution converters (UMC22/UM2), depending on your application. Both sampling rates offer better than CD recording quality for professional results.

When you start looking at the features of the UMC404HD, the story starts to unravel. The focus is naturally on the four channels, with Behringer using dual XLR/TRS connectors for all of them, adding to the convenience and versatility. Each input is connected to a MIDAS preamp. A well-known name in the audio market due to its high-quality performance.

Each input has a corresponding control cluster that includes a line/instrument switch, a pad for each preamp, and a gain rotary control. Not bad at all, although there is no individual phantom power option – instead of being able to turn phantom power on a specific channel, you can only use it on all four at the same time. Still, at this price, we really can’t complain. Finally, the back panel reveals a variety of different outputs, including RCA and MIDI, as well as a USB output, which doubles up as the power source (although it can also take a DC adapter).

All U-PHORIA models provide powerful phones output with Level control and Direct Monitor select, Status, Signal and Clip LEDs, and are powered via your computer’s USB port so they’e ready to go wherever you go. Plus, free audio recording, editing and podcasting software, and 150 instrument / effect plug-ins are just a download away at BEHRINGER.com.

When it comes to performance, the Behringer U-PHORIA UMC404HD works like a champ. As mentioned, the MIDAS preamps included in the device are very solid and allow for achieving very clear vocal recordings. In terms of guitar recording, the UMC404HD can take the heat of active pickups with no issues.

The good news is that this audio interface is perfectly compatible with Mac. Note that the UMC404HD actually comes bundled with a copy of Tracktion DAW, which makes a handy addition for recording and editing.

Arturia AudioFuse

Arturia AudioFuse

  • ✔ 5dB A-weighted EIN rating guarantees the widest dynamic range for your audio
  • ✔ Pristine studio quality is at the heart of AudioFuse
  • ✔ Ultra-low latency as low as 3ms Hi-Z inputs and outputs for easy guitar re-amping
  • ✔ Compatible with Windows, Mac and iPad
AudioFuse is an attractive and portable Mac, PC and iOS-compatible interface with a raft of features.
Be Advised - Possibly Low Stock
Buy From Amazon.com

So how will AudioFuse vie for your attention in an already crowded marketplace? AudioFuse is available in three different colour configurations: Deep Black (black lid, orange surround with lime green trim), Space Grey (white leather and dark grey aluminum) or Classic Silver (a lighter grey aluminum with brown leather surround). It’s good-looking, and the lid doubles as a base support when AudioFuse is in use.

Despite the compact frame, there’s plenty of connectivity on offer. Along the front edge, you’ll find combi inputs and two fully independent headphone feeds. In turn, these can accommodate both mini-jack and 1/4″ plugs. At the back, there are speaker outputs for two pairs of monitors, line level connectors, MIDI In/Out ports (which, due to size restrictions, have been replaced by mini-jack connectors, which you’ll find in the box) and – for digital interfacing – both S/P-DIF and ADAT In/Out.

There are also inserts for inputs 1 and 2, allowing you to track through hardware compressors or channel strips. AudioFuse connects via USB-2, but USB connectivity goes further; Arturia have built a USB hub into it, providing three extra USB ports.

AudioFuse is a plug-and-play interface which requires no dedicated driver, but it’s well worth downloading the Control Center software, which acts as a bridge between the interface and your chosen DAW. The software mirrors the upper panel display of the hardware, whilst also laying out additional functions.

The input selection dropdown within your DAW will show you how AudioFuse’s inputs are arranged; 1-2 are mic/line inputs (which use Arturia’s own excellent sounding DiscretePro preamps), 3-4 record via the rear phono or line level ports, 5-6 allow access to the inbuilt talkback microphone, whilst 7-8 use the S/PDIF digital inputs. If you’re making microphone recordings, key settings (48V Phantom Power, Pad, Phase Invert etc) can be configured from the twin upper-panel input strips (or can be configured over software), whilst the central, largest silver dial controls output volume and can access two separate pairs of monitors.

Within the software, you can readily control all inputs/outputs, configure Cue Mixers for recording, and oversee settings including Clock Rates. Our only concern with AudioFuse is its price; other interfaces with similar levels of I/O are available for substantially less.

Otherwise, there’s no doubt that AudioFuse provides a beautiful and contemporary approach to audio interfacing with a great design, compatibility with a huge range of possible audio sources, a great sound and a highly tactile control set.

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