Best Audio Interfaces For iPad

Top 10 Best Audio Interfaces For iPad (November 2020)

Updated - November 2, 2020

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

Audio interfaces for iPads 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 iPad and make tracks via an audio interface. Low and zero latency models are considered to be the best audio interface options on the market.

Check out our other review if you’re looking for 8 channel audio interfaces specifically.

Audio Interface For iPad Connection Types

Audio interfaces for iPads come with all sorts of connection types allowing you to connect to your iPad 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 audio interfaces available on the market.

Interested in small audio interfaces?

Audio Interface For iPad Price Range

The price of top quality 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 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 for iPads 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 iPads 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.

Audio Interface For iPad – Inputs & Outputs

Audio interfaces for iPads 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 range.

Some of the best audio interfaces for iPads 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 an Audio Interface For iPads

In essence an audio interface allows you to take audio signals and pump them in and out of your iPad. 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 iPad. This is because your iPad 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 iPad. 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 audio interface for iPads.

Best Audio Interfaces For iPad - Top 10
  1. RME Audio Interface (BABYFACEPRO) - Ultra portable and a customer favourite
  2. PreSonus Studio 1824 Audio Interface - The Presonus Studio 1824c 8-channel audio interface is a premium-priced, rack-mountable model.
  3. MOTU Ultralite AVB USB iOS Interface - Well received from previous customers, fantastic customer reviews
  4. Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 - A great competitively-priced option with plenty of connectivity.
  5. Apogee One - Make no mistake, this audio interface is fantastic.
  6. Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 with Pro Tools - This interface will take your growing studio to the next level.
  7. Steinberg UR242 - Steinberg is a well-known brand that caters to professional musicians around the world.
  8. Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 USB Audio Interface - Made by Focusrite, the industry leaders in music technology
  9. Apogee Duet USB Audio Interface - The Apple of the Audio Interface world
  10. Roland Rubix24 - The Roland Rubix24 is an audio interface which is really designed for recording and mixing purposes.

11

Sources Researched

34

Reviews Read

8

Hours Invested

24

Products Considered

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
Buy From Amazon.com
or Choose Your Preferred Region

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
PreSonus Studio 1824 Audio Interface

PreSonus Studio 1824 Audio Interface

  • ✔ Best-selling audio interface series
  • ✔ Sleek black metal chassis
  • ✔ Rack mountable
  • ✔ Switchable “Air” function
The Presonus Studio 1824c 8-channel audio interface is a premium-priced, rack-mountable model.
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The Presonus Studio 1824c is a premium-priced, rack-mountable audio interface suitable for any professional musician/sound engineer’s studio setup.

It comes with a range of inputs/outputs, including 8 XLR/TRS inputs and 8 TRS outputs (not including the 2 main TRS outputs), as well as MIDI, S/PDIF and ADAT connectivity.

PreSonus is known for producing high-quality audio equipment, and the 1824c doesn’t disappoint, with its high sound resolution (192kHz/24-bit) and XMAX preamps.

Additionally, the unit is compatible with most popular DAWs and even provides iPad/Android compatibility.

Overall, this unit is priced at quite a premium price, and we think that this is a fantastic choice for those wanting plenty of inputs/outputs… However, we personally prefer the next discussed Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 (3rd Gen) which is the same price.

Compatibility
  • Mac, PC, iPad & Android
  • Supports all major DAWs
Features
  • Highly reputable manufacturer
  • Sleek metal chassis
  • Rackmountable
  • Low latency unit with high-quality XMAX mic preamps
  • LED monitoring on front of the interface
  • Compatible with iPad* & Andoid*
  • Software included:
    • PreSonus Studio One Artist
  • Warranty: 2 Year Manufacturers Warranty
Technical Specs
  • USB Type C or USB-A connectivity (2 versions)
  • MIDI input/output
  • 2 XLR/TRS combination inputs (on the front)
  • 6 XLR/TRS combination inputs (on the back)
  • 2 TRS headphones outputs (on the front)
  • 8 TRS outputs (on the back)
  • 2 TRS main outputs (on the back)
  • S/PDIF input/output
  • 8 channels of ADAT Optical I/O (4 channels at 96 kHz)
  • Supports all major DAWs
  • 24-bit/192 kHz resolution
  • 48v Phantom Power
Pros
  • Reputable brand
  • Plenty of Inputs/Outputs
  • 2-year manufacturers warranty
  • Impressive technical specifications
  • Rack-mountable
  • Compatible with iPad & Android
MOTU Ultralite AVB USB iOS Interface

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
Buy From Amazon.com
or Choose Your Preferred Region

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
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.

Apogee One

Apogee One

  • ✔ Built-in microphone
  • ✔ Usb 2.0 connection for Mac
  • ✔ Die Cast aluminum chassis
  • ✔ Direct monitoring
Make no mistake, this audio interface is fantastic.
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There’s not too much to say here, besides from the fact that Apogee create really high sound quality audio interfaces. However, from the research done, where Apogee lack, is in their customer service. Which isn’t necessarily something you want. Considering you may have questions regarding the interface if things were not to work! On a more positive note, Apogee has a great website, with plenty of information, and video tutorials on how to set up the device and even recording tips & tricks.

Make no mistake, this audio interface is fantastic, it was one of the best, highest sound quality audio interfaces I’ve ever used.

Apogee One for Mac is essentially the same interface as the previous generation’s Apogee One. This newest version has a silver design (which, admittedly, looks pretty sleek) and eschews the iOS connection cables to save the purchaser $100. The converters are the same, the features are the same, and physically it sports the same dimensions.

If you’re not aware of the Apogee One concept, allow me to enlighten you. It’s an incredibly compact audio interface that sports an XLR input. it also sports a 1/4” input tuned for instrument level sources. The XLR input can push out phantom power as needed, and you can utilize both inputs at once. These 2 inputs are accessible via breakout cable, cutting down on the clutter when you’re not using them as you can stow the cable elsewhere.

The Apogee One for iPad, iPhone and Mac is the best portable DAC and headphone amp I’ve tested. By portable, I mean one that plugs into an iOS device and needs no external power to play. It’s the best because it has the most and cleanest output, it’s the best made (all metal), and it has the best ergonomics: a big volume knob right where you need it.

The One comes at a bit of a premium compared to other 2-channel audio interfaces, and it’s pretty clear why. The products finish is stellar, and the dynamic range for the microphone input is far beyond your standard 2-channel interface’s level of excellence. The XLR input on the One is incredibly clean. It has plenty of headroom, and sounds a lot better than it should.

The Apogee One is quite possibly the best interface for the price you pay. Since most interfaces at that price range are almost all the same. The Apogee One stands out for its professional finish and the fact that is has an outstanding microphone.

Forget about everything you know about internal mics. This microphone has amazing frequency response and clarity even for vocals. The Apogee website has demonstrations of all the different applications of the ONE with the internal mic. The end product will surprise you.

Not only does it sound fantastic; it’s super easy to use. Plug it in, and the big knob controls volume in 1 decibel clicks over a wide range. I have no idea why consumer gear makes it so hard to control levels; this piece of gear does it right with a big knob. This metal beauty is well padded and isn’t going to slide around your desk. It’s the perfect combination of sturdiness and lightweight. It’s a solid bar of precision, and the volume control is a dream to spin.

Should you change your mind after owning the One and wish that you purchased iOS/Mac edition, don’t worry—Apogee will sell you an iOS interface kit for $99. The interface itself is not limited or hobbled in any way, it’s exactly the same as the One for iOS/Mac, just minus the cables. It’s nice to know the option is there should you want to exercise it down the road.

Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 with Pro Tools

Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 with Pro Tools

  • ✔ Class-leading conversion and sample rates
  • ✔ Focusrite iOS Control app
  • ✔ Two headphones output
  • ✔ Eight natural-sounding Scarlett mic preamps
This interface will take your growing studio to the next level.
Buy From Amazon.com
or Choose Your Preferred Region

Another rack-mount choice in the mid-level category is the 18i20, which is the older brother of the Solo. Loaded with tons of features and I/O possibilities, this rack-mount is a solid choice for any mid-level studio setup. Not to mention, this interface will take your growing studio to the next level with its amazing sound quality and expansion options. The price seems to be very right with this rack-mount, it offers nearly all the same features and possibilities of competing rack-mounts but at half the cost.

Focusrite’s Scarlett audio interfaces are now a well established range, and using the same mic preamp design as the FireWire Saffire range, it’s a given that the front end is going to be at least as good as any at this price.

The 18i20 has 18 inputs and 20 outputs, and is effectively a Saffire Pro 40 with USB rather than FireWire. Though there are a few notable differences. Such as word clock only being on the 18i20 and no optical S/PDIF option for the 18i20. Although it may not appear to be a big step up from the Scarlett 18i6, they’re worlds apart in terms of physical connectivity.

At 3kg, the 18i20 is a hefty unit. Although the Scarlett series’ red livery has been carried through to the case. The black front panel is a far more serious and professional-looking affair. It all feels very solid. While we prefer the rubberised black mic preamp knobs to the shiny silver monitor and headphone knobs. It’s obviously not a deal breaker.

Like many current audio interfaces, the 18i20 tackles the ‘studio hub’ role successfully, bringing together input, output, software monitoring and hardware monitoring. Having two separately configurable headphone feeds, for example, is very useful. As are the physical Mute and Dim buttons and additional software monitoring options (including mono).

Two front-mounted mic/line/instrument inputs are joined by six rear-mounted mic/line inputs (all on combo connectors). All eight mic preamps feature individual front panel gain knobs, along with 48V phantom power switched on/off in two banks of four. Inputs 1 and 2 get manual switchover for high impedance instrument input and a 10dB pad switch.

There are ten analogue outputs on balanced TRS jacks, the first two of which are labelled ‘Monitor’. The front panel also has two dedicated headphone outputs with individual level controls. The other ten inputs and outputs are digital, with stereo S/PDIF via RCA and eight further channels on ADAT lightpipe. The latter can also handle S/PDIF or four channels of SMUX at 96kHz.

Lastly, there’s MIDI In/Out, word clock out and a mains input socket. The 18i20 can also run as a signal mixer in standalone mode. Display-wise, the front panel hosts eight 5-part LED input meters as well as USB Active and clock Locked indicators.

The combo inputs automatically switch between mic and line sources based on plug type, and the 60dB of gain handles low-level signals well. The input LEDs do the job, although there’s no option to switch them to output monitoring. One minor issue: in some circumstances, the monitor mute and level can be a bit slow to respond. Focusrite say it’s a software problem that’ll be fixed soon in an update.

Phantom power can only be turned throughout inputs 1-4 and 5-8 at a time. No on an as needed. so if only input 3 needs phantom power you must push the phantom power 1-4 button engaging it for all 4 inputs. Don’t worry as this will NOT damage or affect the other inputs using dynamic mics and will only hurt older ribbon mics.

Comes with more than enough software to start and point you to more if you’re new and feel the need to build up a plugin collection. It has everything you need and nothing you don’t. Cannot be beat for the price. Metal construction, beautiful red brushed aluminum on the top, it’s a shame to rack mount it. Knobs and buttons are heavy and confident as well as the solid click when inserting cables. It has some weight to it too. I’m blown away by the ability and features of this amp! No regrets and now I see why this audio interface for mac is so popular!

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.

Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 USB Audio Interface

Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 USB Audio Interface

  • ✔ Highly reputable brand
  • ✔ Very impressive technical specs
  • ✔ Tried and tested, as it’s the 3rd Generation of the product
  • ✔ Ultra-low latency
Made by Focusrite, the industry leaders in music technology

The Scarlett 18i20 (3rd Gen) by Focusrite is their third iteration of this phenomenally successful series. And with each generation, Focusrite seems to iron out any flaws and add functionality.

It is an 18 input unit, with 8 XLR/TRS combination inputs, as well as a MIDI input & output, S/PDIF input & output, and the ADAT inputs/outputs.

The reason that this interface features two sets of ADAT inputs/outputs as it requires both sets to be used simultaneously when running the unit at 96kHz.

The unit itself is very physically pleasing, and can be rack-mounted. It also includes a range of software, which will delight any musicians who may be starting out.

As for the technical capabilities of the unit, as expected, it can provide a 192kHz sample rate, which is very impressive.

Overall, since it’s extremely new, there are few customer reviews in existence. However, when taking into account the previous versions and their customer reviews, it definitely suggests that this is an interface to look at.

 

Compatibility
  • Mac & PC
  • Supports all major DAWs

 

Features
  • Newly released audio interface
  • 18 inputs and 20 outputs
  • Eight high-quality mic preamps
  • Made by Focusrite, who are leaders in the music tech industry
  • 3rd Generation of the Scarlett 18i20
  • Durable metal chassis which is rack-mountable
  • Sleek aesthetic design
  • Includes software
    • Pro Tools, Ableton Live Lite, Softube time and tone bundle, Focusrite’s Red plug-in Suite, 3-month splice subscription and 1 free XLN Addictive Keys virtual instrument
  • Requires power adapter
  • Warranty: 2-Year Manufacturers Warranty

 

Technical Specs
  • USB C connectivity
  • MIDI input/output
  • 2 XLR/TRS combination inputs (on the front)
  • 6 XLR/TRS combination inputs (on the back)
  • 2 TRS/Headphone outputs (on the front)
  • 10 TRS/Line outputs (on the back)
  • S/PDIF input & output
  • 2 x ADAT input & output
  • 24-bit/192 kHz resolution
  • 20 Hz – 20 kHz Frequency Response
  • 48v Phantom Power

 

Pros
  • Highly reputable brand
  • New technology, with it being a new release
  • Tried and tested, as it’s the 3rd Generation of the product
  • Ultra-low latency
  • 2-year manufacturers warranty
  • Very impressive technical specs

 

Cons
  • Phantom power can only be applied to bulk inputs (i.e 1-4, 4-8)
Apogee Duet USB Audio Interface

Apogee Duet USB Audio Interface

  • ✔ Very reputable brand
  • ✔ The most portable audio interface on the list
  • ✔ Beautifully engineered, with fantastic aesthetics
  • ✔ High-quality preamps and sound quality
The Apple of the Audio Interface world
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The Apogee Duet 2 is the world’s best-sounding and most convenient computer DAC for desktop audio. It’s also a professional monitor controller and headphone amplifier. The best part is it all sits on your desk with one big, beautiful knob for easy fingertip control. Building on the success of the original Duet, while taking into consideration customer feedback, Apogee has set a new standard in A/D conversion for home and project studio with the Duet 2. Simply put, after several years of working at home with an original Mbox, opening my first session with the Duet 2 was akin to listening to the song with brand-new ears.

The Apogee Duet is the Apple MacBook Pro of the Audio Interface industry. It’s sleek design is highly attractive, very durable and extremely portable. Perfect for the professional musician who wants high-quality recordings in the studio and on the road.

The Apogee Duet is the perfect audio interface for anyone looking for more inputs/outputs than the Apogee One. Whilst it doesn’t feature the same in-built microphone that the Apogee One has. It has legendary status microphone pre-amps and internal circuitry, for that high-quality sound.

There are cheaper audio interfaces than those provided by Apogee across their range but the first thing to note is that if you’re Mac-based, you’ll struggle to find a company whose approach is so tailored to Apple’s product-range, with rock-solid integration guaranteed. While we always think break-out cables don’t provide the most professional-looking solution. We’re aware that this is simply personal taste. The implementation of a combined cable here makes perfect sense, allowing the Duet 2 unit to fit snugly in a laptop bag.

The audio quality of Duet 2 is extremely good too, blowing most of the competition away not just among the array of cheaper interfaces available but also out-performing some of those retailing for higher prices.

The Apogee Duet is a stylish, AD/DA audio converter that provides 2 analog inputs with mic preamps and selectable 48 volt phantom power for connecting microphones, instruments or line-level equipment. 4 analog outputs including 2 balanced 1/4” outs for speakers or outboard gear, 1/4” stereo headphone output. A USB 2 connection to connect to a Mac; a MIDI port; and a digital connection for iOS devices.

Apogee units are pricier than similar interfaces from companies like Edirol, Steenberg, ProSonus. However the Apogee claim to fame is outstanding audio quality and great build quality. I found the Duet easy to set up and configure. The controls and the built-in screen simplify adjustments and the Duet looks great on the desktop. The only downside is that the Duet costs about twice as much as competitive units.

A big benefit of the Duet is that it works on both Mac and iOS devices. Giving you the ability to capture high-quality audio on your phone.

In order to record a microphone or analog musical instrument, we need to convert the analog signal into something the computer can read. Conversely, in order to hear audio stored on our computer or iOS device on something other than the built-in speakers, we also desire to convert the ones and zeros of the computer into something our speakers can play.

Overall, the Apogee Duet is a fantastic audio interface for those musicians who are fine with having only 2 inputs/4 outputs. Ideally, we imagine it’s suited to musicians who are on the move and want to record high-quality audio, as well as those who might not want the larger interfaces and want the premium Apogee preamps at a more affordable price (in comparison to other Apogee products).

Compatibility
  • Mac & PC & iOS devices (including iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, with the lightning and 30-pin cable)
  • Supports all major DAWs
Features
  • Apogee is the ‘Apple of the Audio Interface world’
  • Incredibly beautiful, minimalistic design
  • Impeccable sound quality with 2 fantastic mic preamps
  • Ability to connect to iOS devices
  • Premium-spec build quality
  • Very portable
  • Designed and built in California, USA
  • Warranty: 1-Year Manufacturers Warranty
Technical Specs
  • USB 2.0 connectivity
  • 2 XLR/TRS combination inputs
  • 2 Line outputs
  • 1 Line stereo headphone output
  • MIDI connectivity (USB-A Type)
  • 24-bit/192 kHz resolution
  • 20 Hz – 20 kHz Frequency Response
  • Requires power adapter
  • 48v Phantom Power
Pros
  • Very reputable brand
  • Very portable
  • Been utilized for many commercial projects
  • Beautifully engineered, with fantastic aesthetics
  • High-quality preamps and sound quality
  • 1-year manufacturers warranty
Cons
  • Only 2 inputs/4 outputs
  • Need to purchase the 30-pin lightning cable separately, for connection to iOS devices
  • Has been on the market since around 2013, so the technology isn’t exactly new
Roland Rubix24

Roland Rubix24

  • ✔ MIDI In/Out ports
  • ✔ Extensively shielded, low-noise design
  • ✔ 2 low-noise mic preamps with XLR combo jacks
  • ✔ Compatible with mac, pc and iPad
The Roland Rubix24 is an audio interface which is really designed for recording and mixing purposes.
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The Roland Rubix24 is an audio interface which is really designed for recording and mixing purposes. It has 2 inputs and 4 outputs. This is more than enough for most home studio recording setups.

Other features include direct monitoring and phantom power, which can be used to power condenser microphones. There are also handy indicators which allow you to monitor your input levels and avoid peaking.

In early 2017, Roland debuted the Rubix line. The Rubix 22, 24, and 44 may not be very exciting to look at, but they are smart choices for up-to-date, mid-range audio interfaces. The Rubix 24, in particular, hits the sweet spot while offering just the right amount of functionality. This is a typical 2-in, 4-out USB interface that’s also class compliant with Apple gear and features MIDI In/Out ports. It handles 24-bit, 192kHz audio and has on-board compressor and limiter effects.

The selectable headphone channel assignments lets you create a separate monitor mix, while the loopback recording feature lets you capture the interface’s main stereo audio output without extra cables or routing. This way, you can easily record live streaming audio from your computer. The Rubix 24 comes with Ableton Live Lite, which is enough of the famous DAW to get you started, but not enough to really appreciate its capabilities.

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