Top 3 Best 8 Channel Audio Interfaces (April 2021)

The Best 8 Channel Audio Interfaces - 2021

The best 8 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 an 8 channel audio interface.

8 Channel Audio Interface Connection Types

8 channel 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 USB Type-A, USB 2, & Micro USB through to the latest USB Type-C connections. Thunderbolt connections are the fastest. You'll find these are used on some of the more modern and high end 8 channel audio interfaces available on the market.

The Best 8 Channel Audio Interface Prices

The price of top quality 8 channel 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 8 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.

8 Channel Audio Interface Inputs & Outputs

8 channel 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 8 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 interfaces with the best features. While still being considered a great eight channel audio interface.

Focusrite Scarlett OctoPre Dynamic Image

Focusrite Scarlett OctoPre Dynamic

  • ✔ Flexible analogue compression on every channel
  • ✔ Eight natural-sounding 2nd generation Scarlett mic preamps
  • ✔ Focusrite precision AD/DA conversion up to sample rates of 192 kHz
  • ✔ Eight balanced line outputs

Scarlett OctoPre Dynamic is ideal for expanding any high quality, multi-channel recording system.

Focusrite Scarlett OctoPre Dynamic - Read Review See The Latest Price On Amazon Now

Focusrite's new OctoPre MkII is an 8-channel audio interface, featuring one of Focusrite's award-winning Red microphone preamplifiers. This interface gives you an 8-channel mixer with phantom power as well as analogue inputs and outputs and digital connectors for ADAT, S/PDIF and USB 2.0. It also includes Focusrite's Soft Limit technology, which ensures that the analogue inputs and outputs never overload and that the interface always performs at its optimum level. This device is perfect for those starting out with recording who want to get a mix of analogue and digital recording, or anyone who wants a compact, portable interface.

The Focusrite Scarlett OctoPre is a high-performance interface that is designed for producers and musicians who want to make professional recordings. This unit has eight pristine-sounding Scarlett mic preamps for outstanding RMS noise performance and the digital audio conversion is 24-bit, at up to 96 kHz. The Focusrite Scarlett OctoPre is designed for producers and musicians who want to make professional recordings. This unit has eight pristine-sounding Scarlett mic preamps for outstanding RMS noise performance and the digital audio conversion is 24-bit, at up to 96 kHz.

Featuring eight award-winning Focusrite preamps, Focusrite USB audio interfaces are the best-sounding and most reliable you can buy. The new Scarlett range has been completely redesigned to give you the best sounding and most reliable USB audio interfaces in the world. The Scarlett range includes 6 distinct models, each with super-low latency* that lets you record vocals, instruments or audio input directly to your computer with no delay, and without the need for any external hardware. This interface also features an LED-backlit digital display to show sample rate, audio and peak levels.


Presonus Quantum 26x32 Thunderbolt 2 Low-Latency Audio Interface Image

Presonus Quantum 26x32 Thunderbolt 2 Low-Latency Audio Interface

  • ✔ Very good sound quality
  • ✔ Rack mountable
  • ✔ Control session using an iPad or Android tablet
  • ✔ Built-in talkback microphone

Another excellent choice for professional studios

Presonus Quantum 26x32 Thunderbolt 2 Low-Latency Audio Interface - Read Review See The Latest Price On Amazon Now

The Presonus Quantum audio interface is the most expensive unit featured on this list, and when taking into account exactly what it offers, it’s easy to see why.

Similarly to the MOTU 828es, the Quantum provides thunderbolt 2 (and thunderbolt 3 compatibility) connectivity, helping ensure low-latency times.

Additionally, it has a wide range of inputs/outputs and provides users with the ability to expand up to 96-in / 96-out through stacking up to 4 Quantum interfaces together.

Not to mention, it also provides that capability to remotely control the levels using the free UC Surface touch-control software for iPad and Android tablets

Overall, we think that Presonus have created a good quality interface here, but we see all of the same, if not more features in the MOTU 828es, which can also be expanded and even provides web-app remote control for all devices, not just Android and iPad tablets.

Compatibility
  • Mac & PC, iOS*, Android* & Linux*
  • Supports all major DAWs
Features
  • 26-in/32-out audio interface
  • Well-known audio interface brand
  • Rack mountable unit
  • Sturdy aluminum metal chassis
  • Expandable if you need more I/O (Up to 96-in / 96-out)
    • Stack up to 4 Quantum interfaces
  • Remote control from iPad & Android tablets
  • Talkback microphone
  • 10 LED display lights for inputs
  • Comes with software:
    • Studio One DAW, UC Surface touch-control, Studio Magic plugin-in suite
  • Warranty: 2-Year Manufacturers Warranty
Technical Specs
  • Thunderbolt 2 (Thunderbolt 3 compatible)
  • 26-in / 32-out (at 44.1 or 48 kHz)
  • 2 XLR/TRS combination inputs (on the front)
  • 6 XLR/TRS combination inputs (on the back)
  • 2 main Line outputs
  • 8 line outputs
  • MIDI input/output
  • 2 x ADAT optical input/output
  • S/PDIF input/output
  • Powered by a power supply
  • 24-bit/96kHz resolution
  • 48v Phantom power
Pros
  • Very good sound quality
  • Rack mountable
  • Expandable (up to 4 additional Quantum interfaces)
  • Remote session control using an iPad or Android tablet
  • Built-in talkback microphone
  • Low latency
  • 2-year manufacturers warranty
Cons
  • A very expensive unit ideal for professional studios
  • Doesn’t provide as many features as the MOTU 828es, which is more affordable

MOTU Ultralite AVB USB iOS Interface Image

MOTU Ultralite AVB USB iOS Interface

  • ✔ Fantastic customer reviews
  • ✔ Ability to connect up to 5 MOTU devices
  • ✔ Ability to network with other interfaces and computers
  • ✔ Reputable brand

Well received from previous customers, fantastic customer reviews

MOTU Ultralite AVB USB iOS Interface - Read Review See The Latest Price On Amazon Now

The MOTU UltraLite AVB interface definitely holds up as being a high-quality audio interface, and that’s apparent from the customer review ratings.

The interface provides 36 audio channels, providing 10 analog inputs alongside 8 analog outputs, in which there is a selection of XLR and Line ports (we’ve provided the specifics in the technical specs section). Additionally, it includes an optical input/output to increase the overall input and output capability.

It’s compatible with both a PC and a Mac, via a USB 2.0 connection (although it’s compatible with USB 3.0), offering high data transfer speeds and minimal latency.

Additionally, the Ultralite AVB digital mixer provides 48 channels and 12 busses, all of which can even be controlled with your Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS and Android device, by using the web app served by the physical hardware itself… Perfect for recording or performance environments.

Not to mention, the UltraLite AVB can be further expanded, using the MOTU AVB Switch, which enables you to connect up to five MOTU interfaces, so the possibilities are endless.

Overall, the MOTU UltraLite AVB is an interface which is ideal for live setups, professional studios, and aspiring home studios… All of which comes at a cost, but considering it’s made by MOTU, you know that it’s an interface that will provide ultra high-quality recordings and last for a long time.

None-the-less, MOTU is such a reputable brand, that combined with the 2-year limited warranty and the low latency time, it will certainly be an interface to consider.

Compatibility
  • Mac & PC & Web App control on any device (iOS, Android, Linux, etc)
  • Supports all major DAWs
Features
  • MOTU is a leading company in the industry
  • 18-input/18-output audio interface
  • Heavy-duty chassis
  • Capable of system expansion and device networking
    • Connect up to five MOTU interfaces
    • Ability to network with other interfaces and computers
  • Web app control from any device (using a local area network)
  • Quick setup presets
  • Near to zero-latency monitoring (5ms latency as referenced from Amazon Reviews)
  • Requires power adapter
  • Warranty: 2-Year Manufacturers Warranty
Technical Specs
  • USB 2.0 connectivity (compatible with USB 3.0)
  • Ethernet cable input
  • MIDI input/output
  • 1 XLR input (on the front)
  • 2 TRS inputs for guitar (on the front)
  • 1 XLR input (on the back)
  • 6 TRS/Line inputs (on the back)
  • 6 TRS/Line outputs (on the back)
  • L & R Line outputs (on the back(
  • S/PDIF input/output
  • 24-bit/192 kHz resolution
  • 48v Phantom Power
Pros
  • Reputable brand
  • Fantastic customer reviews
  • Ability to connect up to 5 MOTU devices
  • Ability to network with other interfaces and computers
  • Web app control via any device (iPad, iPhone, etc)
  • 2-year manufacturers warranty
  • Very impressive technical specs

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