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Best Audio Interfaces Under $1000

Top 10 Best Audio Interfaces Under $1000 (September 2021)

The Best Audio Interfaces Under $1000 - 2021

The best audio interfaces under $1000 offer fantastic opportunities to record high quality audio from several sources with minimal latency.

Audio interfaces under $1000 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 audio interface. Low and zero latency models are considered to be the best audio interface options on the market.

Audio Interface Connection Types

Audio interfaces under $1000 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 audio interfaces available on the market.

Audio Interface 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 under $1000 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 under $1000 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 Inputs & Outputs

Audio interfaces under $1000 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 under $1000 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

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 audio interface under $1000.

Universal Audio Apollo x8 Thunderbolt Image

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.

Universal Audio Apollo x8 Thunderbolt - Read Review See The Latest Price On Amazon Now

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 Fireface UFX II Image

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.

RME Audio Fireface UFX II - Read Review See The Latest Price On Amazon Now

RME's best-of-class universal audio interface is a worthy successor to the Fireface 800, the "king of the hill" for many years. It offers the most natural, transparent audio path of any interface on the planet: The UFX II combines its superior A/D converters with RME's unique low-latency ASIO2 and Core Audio drivers. It is a high-end professional interface with a USB 2.0 connection. The Fireface device provides a wide range of connections, including FireWire, optical and coaxial digital, analog xlr, and MIDI. It is an interface which can be used in all areas of music-making, from recording to live performance.

The Fireface UFX II is a 16-In/16-Out USB 2.0 interface with two mic preamps, two Hi-Z instrument inputs, MIDI I/O and S/PDIF I/O. The Fireface device comes with the DIGICheck metering/routing/mixing/mastering software to get you started right away. It comes equipped with two analog microphone preamplifiers with three configurable inputs, two analog line inputs, two analog line outputs, and MIDI I/O.

Featuring the latest technology and an incredible ease of use, the RME UFX II is the new top model in the Fireface UFX series of USB interfaces. Perfect for any application that requires the highest quality audio. The Fireface UFX II is the ultimate replacement to the original UFX for the ultimate high-end audio experience on Mac and PC.


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.


Antelope Audio Antelope Zen Tour Image

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.

Antelope Audio Antelope Zen Tour - Read Review See The Latest Price On Amazon Now

The Antelope Audio Zen Tour is a portable USB Audio Interface that contains Antelope's award-winning 24-bit / 192 kHz Analog-to-Digital converters and Digital-to-Analog converters, as well as Zero Latency Monitoring technology, making it the go-to interface for traveling musicians, DJs or anyone who is on the road. The Zen Tour is an interface with performance, versatility and ease of use unsurpassed in the industry. Antelope's innovative design eliminates the need to make complex choices and trade-offs. With the Zen Tour, you get it all. Streamlined control and simple operation is further enhanced with exclusive Plug-And-Play presets, which are optimized for the most popular audio recording and live performance applications.

As a compact USB audio interface that includes microphone preamplifiers with adjustable gain, headphone amplifiers. As well as an advanced DSP mixer. The Zen Tour is a complete solution for recording a band, singer/songwriter, or solo musical performance. The Zen Tour's input channels are loaded with premium-grade components that are hand-picked from the Antelope Audio sound bard for their sonic purity and transparency.

The Zen Tour has an extremely powerful yet highly intuitive design that makes recording and mixing extremely easy. It is the perfect choice for recording musicians, vocalists, and sound engineers. It is designed with the professional musician in mind, who needs to capture audio in the most straightforward way possible.


RME Fireface UC Image

RME Fireface UC

  • ✔ Up to 192kHz sample rates
  • ✔ Provides revolutionary ultra-low latencies even with multiple channels
  • ✔ Class compliant MIDI ports
  • ✔ Compatible with Windows 10 and Mac

The RME Fireface UCX is a professional level soundcard for the studio.

RME Fireface UC - Read Review See The Latest Price On Amazon Now

There are so many audio interfaces on the market today that are unreliable. As a result, many musicians and home studio owners spend a lot of money on equipment they will end up having to replace. The RME Fireface UC is an audio interface that has been designed to be reliable. It has a rugged all-metal casing that will protect it from all kinds of damage, including high temperatures and humidity. Its internal circuits are based on a new technology that has been tested under extreme conditions, including high temperature and humidity. The result is a product that will provide you with years of trouble-free service.

The RME Fireface UC is the newest Fireface unit from RME. It is the first professional audio interface with Thunderbolt interface. The RME Fireface UC is a highly flexible, ultra-low latency 24-bit/192 kHz interface for USB 2.0, FireWire and Thunderbolt. The RME Fireface UC is an 8-in, 8-out audio interface for mobile musicians and home studios. It features two combination inputs on the front that can be used as microphone or line inputs, and is equipped with two further balanced line inputs and on the back.

With a RME Fireface UC, you can record your own music and have your own podcast. You can even make money from it. If you want to be successful at creating your own music, you must be able to produce the best quality music. The RME Fireface UC is the one product that can help you to achieve this goal.


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

Presonus Quantum 26x32 Thunderbolt 2

  • ✔ 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

Presonus Quantum is the first audio interface to combine the sonic character of an analog console with the flexible connectivity, state-of-the-art digital technology, and world-class audio processing of a state-of-the-art digital workstation. With Quantum, recording and mixing engineers can now seamlessly meld the best of analog and digital technologies, and use the same amazing interface for both live recording and studio production.

The Presonus Quantum is the right tool for any project, large or small. It provides the quality, flexibility and cost-effectiveness that professionals need. This device is the heart of a project studio, but it's also an excellent choice for anyone starting a home studio, a mobile rig or a small church sound system. It is an audio interface for Mac and Windows that utilizes true 32-bit analog-to-digital converters and delivers the best audio quality that we've ever heard from an interface in this price range.

Presonus Quantum is the ultimate professional recording interface for the home studio. This full-featured USB 2.0 and thunderbolt audio interface is capable of 24-bit/192 kHz audio quality. With outstanding mic preamps, unique direct monitoring capabilities and pristine digital conversion. You will get professional-quality recordings with the Presonus Quantum.

The Quantum delivers the quality and performance you expect from Presonus, now at an affordable price.


MOTU 828es 28x32 Thunderbolt USB 2.0 Audio Interface Image

MOTU 828es 28x32

  • ✔ Incredibly sound quality
  • ✔ Rack mountable
  • ✔ Expandable (up to 5 additional MOTU devices)
  • ✔ Web-app control

Lowest latency times (1.6ms roundtrip) and designed to perfection

MOTU 828es 28x32 Thunderbolt USB 2.0 Audio Interface - Read Review See The Latest Price On Amazon Now

The MOTU 828es has to be our favourite audio interface featured on the list. Why? Well, it offers so much functionality and in-turn, ease of use, that we can’t not love it.

Firstly, this is a rack-mountable interface that has both USB and Thunderbolt connectivity, which is quite rare to see.

It comes with 28-inputs and 32-outputs ranging from the mass of available XLR/TRS, Line, MIDI, ADAT and S/PDIF ports.

Due to the quality of its internal circuitry, and the ESS Sabre32 Ultra DAC Technology, it can provide an impressive 1.6ms of round-trip latency, which is less than any other interface featured on this list.

And whilst we’re on the topic of the ESS Sabre32 Dac Technology, this is the same technology used in MOTU’s ultra-expensive 1248 model.

However, the really attractive part of using the MOTU 828es is the ability to remotely control the interface, using any device, via the web-app feature, which is ideal for recording/live situations where you want to see how something sounds from another physical location. As well as this, the MOTU 828es can be expanded, by adding up to 5 additional MOTU devices together, in case your home/professional studio needs to expand operations.

Additionally, the unit provides a talkback mic, A/B mix buttons, and even the ability to connect a footswitch to remotely control the talkback microphone, whilst you’re busy using your hands.

Overall, when taking into account all of the above, including the pros and (not so many) cons, it’s clear why we really like the MOTU 828es.

 

Compatibility
  • Mac & PC, iOS*, Android* & Linux*
  • Supports all major DAWs

 

Features
  • 28-in/32-out audio interface
  • A very well-known and reputable brand
  • Rackmountable
  • Sturdy aluminum metal chassis
  • Near to zero-latency (1.6ms according to their website)
  • Check mixes instantly with A/B buttons
  • Web app control from any device (iOS, Android, Linux, Mac, PC, etc)
  • Ability to expand network and connect up to 5 MOTU interfaces
  • Plenty of input/output types
  • Talkback mic
  • Warranty: 2-Year Manufacturers Warranty

 

Technical Specs
  • Thunderbolt 2 (Thunderbolt 3 compatible) & USB 2.0 connectivity (USB 3.0 compatible)
  • 28-in / 32-out
  • 2 XLR/TRS combination inputs
  • 8 Line inputs
  • 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
  • Built-in talkback microphone (and remote use using a footswitch)
  • A/B mix buttons
  • Less than 1.6ms round-trip latency
  • 2-year manufacturers warranty

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

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.

MOTU's UltraLite AVB interface makes it possible to record up to four channels of audio at once, to a Mac or PC, with Mac and Windows drivers. You get eight high-performance preamps, pristine A/D, and a price point that's more than a bargain. MOTU's premium 8x8 audio interface for Mac and Windows is perfect for home recording, podcasting, audio-for-video, live sound-for-video, and multimedia applications. With its excellent sound quality and reliable performance, UltraLite is ideal for musicians, podcasters, photographers, videographers and video enthusiasts. With its convenient size and price, UltraLite AVB is perfect for mobile Mac or Windows recording setups - it's also ideal for home-theater PC users. UltraLite AVB includes all the essential inputs and outputs you need for recording eight simultaneous audio tracks and delivering great-sounding playback through a connected computer.

Ultra-compact, lightweight, and portable, MOTU's UltrLite AVB is the perfect companion for the traveling musician. Whether you're gigging with a laptop-based rig or on the go with a notebook or mac. MOTU's interface lets you record anywhere, anytime. Whether you're a musician, producer, engineer, or just a music-loving road warrior, UltrLite AVB can make your life easier and your music better.

Designed to offer state-of-the-art audio performance and routing in a compact form. The Ultralite AVB is a groundbreaking interface in many ways, including the fact that it is the smallest high-performance AVB audio interface available today. It is a perfect solution for home studios that require the highest quality audio and uncompromised 24-bit/192 kHz audio performance.


iZotope Spire Studio Image

iZotope Spire Studio

  • ✔ Very unique design
  • ✔ Record, edit, mix and share tracks from your phone
  • ✔ Professional microphone with award winning sound processing technology
  • ✔ Compatible with Android, iOS and iPad

The iZotope Spire Studio is an audio interface designed with the traveling musician in mind.

iZotope Spire Studio - Read Review See The Latest Price On Amazon Now

The Spire Studio is a top-of-the-line, premium desktop interface designed for creating amazing sounding recordings with the utmost fidelity. You can record, edit, and share your music with low-latency performance, thanks to the latest USB technology in iZotope's compact interface. The iZotope Spire Studio is a mobile recording setup that combines the functionality of a portable audio interface with the processing power of a full-featured DAW. Spire Studio's transformer-based audio path offers you a broad range of analog and digital recording and monitoring options.

This is a smaller interface that fits in a backpack, but it offers the same sound quality as many larger, more expensive interfaces. It also offers the ability to create up to eight channels of audio. The Spire Studio is a great entry-level interface that provides you with all the necessary tools for recording great-sounding tracks. It has two XLR or balanced TRS inputs for your microphones, as well as two XLR/TRS combo inputs that support both mic and line level signals. You can also add your own headphones for monitoring with dedicated input controls.

The iZotope Spire Studio is the most complete audio recording solution available for audio enthusiasts, podcasters, musicians, and composers. It is a USB-powered audio interface with two condenser microphones that create natural-sounding, studio-quality recordings. It is an uncomplicated powerhouse designed to get the best quality from your microphones, instruments, and other gear.

The Spire Studio from iZotope is a new breed of audio interface, designed for musicians who want high-quality audio, intuitive operation, portability and a stunning, eye-catching design. It can be used with a wide variety of recording and DAW (digital audio workstation) platforms, including Pro Tools, Logic Pro, Studio One, Reason and Ableton Live. The Spire Studio is compatible with most Mac and PC software. A fantastic looking device with all the performance needed for most home and portable recording studios.


How do I pick the right audio interface for me?

How to pick the right audio interface for your requirements

As we’ve discussed within our other audio interface buyers guides, it’s important to keep in mind a few things before making a decision on a specific audio interface.

Now, we can safely assume that price is an important aspect, with this article being about audio interfaces under $1000, but there are plenty of other fundamental aspects to look for, here are the main ones:

The number of inputs & outputs – It’s granted that each person looking to purchase an audio interface for $1000 or less will have different usage requirements, and a large aspect of usage,  is the number of inputs and outputs that are available to you. For example, those who are looking for an audio interface which is capable of recording a live band session will require more inputs than say a singer/songwriter or a vlogger/live streamer.

Connectivity type – Each audio interface will have different connectivity types, ranging from USB, Firewire, through to Thunderbolt, and that’s not to mention the upgrades, for example, USB 2.0, USB 3.0, etc. Generally, the newer the technology used, the faster the connection, and the less likely there will be any kind of roundtrip latency.

Bitrate & Sample Rates – To put it simply, the higher the bitrate and sample rate, the better the overall audio quality. Therefore, it’s important to bear this in mind when choosing an audio interface. Most of the audio interfaces that we’ve featured within this article have bitrates of 24-bit and deliver sample rates of up to 192kHz, meaning that they account for enharmonic frequencies (both high and lower pitches) and do a good job in converting the analog sound to digital. However, with that being said, most sound engineers will argue that sample rates above 96kHz do not provide any “intrinsic sound quality improvements across the 20Hz-20kHz region”, as it’s beyond the scope of human hearing.

Device & DAW Compatibility – This is another important aspect to consider, as certain interfaces will not be compatible with specific Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs). Additionally, device compatibility is another important consideration, with certain audio interfaces being compatible with Mac, PC or even an iOS device such as the iPhone or iPad. None-the-less, we’ll clearly indicate which interfaces are suitable for certain devices.

Warranty – Since you’re clearly looking to spend $1000 or less on an audio interface, making sure that it has a decent product warranty/guarantee is important. Therefore, we’ll be sure to highlight the length and type of warranty supplied with each audio interface that we recommend further below.

Physical Size – So where are you going to keep this new audio interface, will it be on your desk with your other music equipment, or in fact held in a rack? If you can answer these questions, you’ll have a clear indication as to the physical requirements and limits you have on your new audio interface.

Brand – For some shoppers, brand can be everything. And whilst we agree that brand reputation is important, as it’s likely to demonstrate that the company provides great quality products, hence they’re talked about a lot and gain fans and loyal users, try not to discount newer brands. With that being said, we’ve done hours of research and customer review evaluation to find the creme-de-la-creme of the audio interfaces, and we’ve featured all of them further below.

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