Best Value Audio Interfaces

Top 10 Best Value Audio Interfaces Available (November 2020)

Updated - November 18, 2020

The best value 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 audio interface.

Best Value Audio Interface Connection Types

alue audio interfaces come with all sorts of connection types allowing you to connect to your computer via USB, thunderbolt & firewire to name a few. USB is the most popular and widely used mainly because it comes in many different forms ranging from 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 best value audio interfaces available on the market.

Best Value Audio Interface Prices

The price of top quality best value 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 best value 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.

Best Value Audio Interface Inputs & Outputs

The best value audio interfaces come with a range of inputs and outputs. Some will have line inputs, mic preamps, headphone outputs, mic inputs & many other inputs and outputs. Make sure the model you consider has what you need. If you’re kitting out a home studio then you’ll be looking for the best value 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 Are The Best Value Audio Interfaces

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 value audio interface.

Best Value Audio Interfaces Available - Top 10
  1. Behringer U-PHORIA UM2 - Don’t let its small size and extremely low price deter you from the fact that this audio interface is the real deal.
  2. M-Audio AIR 2X2 - M-Audio AIR 2X2 is one of the most affordable 2-in/2-out audio interface we've listed.
  3. Mackie Onyx Producer 2.2 Audio Interface - A hard-wearing 2-channel interface with high audio and build quality.
  4. PreSonus Studio 24c 2x2 - The PreSonus Studio 24c 2×2 is their flagship 2-in/2-out low-latency audio interface.
  5. Native Instruments Komplete Audio 2 - The performance of the Komplete Audio 2 is as slick as its looks. Instead of 1 XLR and 1 jack input, the Komplete Audio 2 has 2 combi-XLR/jack inputs for more flexibility.
  6. Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 with Pro Tools - This interface will take your growing studio to the next level.
  7. MOTU 828es 28x32 Audio Interface - Lowest latency times (1.6ms roundtrip) and designed to perfection
  8. Roland OctaCapture Audio Interface - The most affordable audio interface that we’ve featured on the list
  9. Behringer U-Phoria Audio Interface - The U-Phoria UMC1820 Audiophile by Behringer is the most affordable 8-channel audio interface.
  10. IK Multimedia AXE I/O - IK Multimedia has one of the most well-regarded software guitar amp systems attainable in AmpliTube.

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Sources Researched

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Reviews Read

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Hours Invested

28

Products Considered

Behringer U-PHORIA UM2

Behringer U-PHORIA UM2

  • ✔ 2x2 USB audio interface
  • ✔ Audiophile 48 kHz resolution for professional audio quality
  • ✔ Compatible with popular recording software
  • ✔ State-of-the-art, +48 V-powered XENYX Mic Preamp
Don’t let its small size and extremely low price deter you from the fact that this audio interface is the real deal.
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Don’t let its small size and extremely low price deter you from the fact that this audio interface is a realistic option. For beginners who are working with a limited budget. Even professionals who move around a lot and want an inexpensive device to add to their arsenal.

Behringer UM2 offers a silver and black casing. What shouldn’t surprise anyone, is that at this price you won’t get a top-notch metal chassis. This budget audio interface is entirely made of plastic – there are no metal parts on the outside of the device. Chassis seems surprisingly well built with nothing left feeling lose.

The plastic knobs are positioned at the top, which is not a popular place in most audio interfaces, even those from Behringer, which are located at the front of the devices. Probably Behringer wanted to keep the size of the device as compact as possible. This location seems to be a very intuitive place for the knobs, which are easily reached for adjustments.

The Behringer UM2 offers two inputs on the front. One of them is an XLR / TRS ¼ inch (6.35 mm) combo, and the second connector is ¼ inch (6.35 mm).

The XLR connector is used to connect a professional microphone. The TRS connector is used for electronic devices and instruments, such as keyboards, bass guitars or electronic drums. Each input has two associated LEDs on the front panel, which are located to the right of them. The green one indicates that a signal has been detected and the red one shows when the signal is clipping. There are two other LEDs. The orange one tells you whether the device is on. The red one, called +48 V indicates whether the Phantom Power is on. Phantom Power is used to power the dynamic or condenser microphone.

On the right side of the front panel, there is a headphone jack for monitoring. The normal signal goes from the plugged in microphone. To the interface through USB, to the software and back. This creates latency. To avoid this, you can use the direct monitor button. It gives you a signal directly from a microphone, so if you are recording with software there is almost zero delay.

The UM2 interface is a low latency device, which is surprising. It’s very important for someone who records a lot of vocals and guitars. At this price point, you can’t beat Behringer in regards to it’s recording ability and features. The higher 24-bit device is required if you desire to hear the samples in your DAW with much more depth. It’s worth noting here that there are noticeable differences in comparison to 16-bit lesser interfaces.

There is something that I feel is going to be a major disadvantage, that other devices don’t have. Namely the UM2 is limited to 16-bit / 44 kHz. Which is ok for streamers and podcasters, but a serious musician should look for 24-bit devices (Scarlett Solo vs Behringer UM2). Normally the headphone outs on low-cost devices are cheaply made and underpowered. However in this case the UM2 headphone amp is quite loud. It would be great if there was a separate knob where you could control the volume of the headphones. If you really have to have this, you have to pay at least twice as much for UMC202HD.

UM2 is a top class audio interface for an amateur musician, podcaster, or streamer. It’s cheap, light and has a decent build. The biggest disadvantage is that it offers only 16-bit/48 kHz playback which is not enough for professional musicians.

M-Audio AIR 2X2

M-Audio AIR 2X2

  • ✔ Hi-Speed USB-C connection
  • ✔ Studio grade capture
  • ✔ XLR+1/4" TRS combo input
  • ✔ 5-pin MIDI in/out
M-Audio AIR 2X2 is one of the most affordable 2-in/2-out audio interface we've listed.
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With the AIR 192|6, you can create 24-bit/192kHz studio-quality recordings with an intuitive and easy-to-use audio interface. The AIR 192|6 enables you to record up to 2 channels at once with its 2 dedicated XLR+¼” balanced combo inputs, and 2 all-new ¼” instrument inputs that have a specially designed gain and impedance stage to provide the most accurate representation of a guitar or bass plugged directly into the interface.

It has an XLR and TRS (1/4″) input, resulting in it being a perfect fit for those looking to record both vocals & instruments. It’s worth noting that this audio interface provides 48v phantom power, so you can connect and power your condenser microphones as well.

The audio interface boasts some impressive audio recording metrics, being able to record in 24-bit/192kHz, which is quite uncommon in low costing audio interfaces. Additionally, it has a frequency response from 20Hz – 20kHz, so you can rest easy knowing that this audio interface will be able to handle your bass, sub-bass, mid-range and treble frequencies without a problem. The unit performs well in terms of latency , providing a pleasingly low output latency at around 6.4ms, which by the human ear, is not noticeable.

Overall, we think that M-Audio has created a fantastic, budget-range interface which is not only great value for money, but it delivers in its ability to provide high-quality audio recordings, with near to 0 latency (6.4ms ). So, if you’re in the market for a 2-in/2-out audio interface, for a low price, the Air 2×2 is a great low latency digital device worth considering.

However, there are no mentions of a customer warranty, as with other similarly priced products (Focusrite Scarlet 2i2) which come with a 2-year limited warranty.

Mackie Onyx Producer 2.2 Audio Interface

Mackie Onyx Producer 2.2 Audio Interface

  • ✔ High-resolution 2 in x 2 Out 24-bit/192kHz recording
  • ✔ Bus-powered for easy mobile recording with no power adapter needed
  • ✔ Built-Like-A-Tank design to survive day-to-day abuse
  • ✔ Compatible with Windows and Mac
A hard-wearing 2-channel interface with high audio and build quality.
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With high-quality Onyx mic press, balanced analogue connectivity and operation up to 24-bit/192kHz, the bus-powered Onyx Producer is more than capable of getting clean signals in and out of your DAW. There are two identical mic/line inputs with combination XLR/jack connectors. Each has a manual green backlit switch to select a Hi Z instrument, and there’s a global backlit switch for 48V phantom power.

Input signals can be monitored with zero latency using the Input/DAW Mix knob, and rounding off the front panel are a large Monitor level knob and headphone output with level knob. Round the back you’ll find a pair of 1⁄4-inch jacks for the monitor output, and also a pair of MIDI connectors (In and Out), which is very handy. Throw in the robust metal case and you’ve got a compact, workhorse device that should last for years. You get a DAW – Tracktion T7 – in the box as well.

The multitude of compact 2-in/2-out USB interfaces can be bewildering, not least because, for such a simple concept, there are a lot of variants and price points. 

Mackie’s latest units, the Artist 1.2 and Producer 2.2 (which we have on review), are at the simpler and more affordable end. Even so, with high quality Onyx mic pres, balanced analogue connectivity and operation up to 24bit 192kHz, they’re perfectly capable of getting clean signals in and out of your DAW. Throw in the robust metal case and you’ve got a compact workhorse device that should last for years.

The Onyx Producer 2.2 features two identical mic/line inputs with combination XLR/jack connectors. Each has a manual green backlit switch to select a Hi Z instrument, and there’s a global backlit switch for 48V phantom power. The unit itself is USB bus powered, and there’s no option to use an external PSU, which keeps things simple. Input signals can be monitored with zero latency using the Input/DAW Mix knob and rounding off the front panel are a large Monitor level knob and headphone output with level knob. Round the back you’ll find a pair of 1⁄4” jacks for the monitor output, and also a pair of MIDI connectors (In and Out), so the Producer 2.2 also doubles as a MIDI interface, which is handy.

The Onyx Producer 2.2 uses the built-in OSX Core Audio drivers and there’s a downloadable USB driver for Windows 7 or later. Once up and running you’ve got a bunch of green and green/red LED indicators (signal level, MIDI input activity and USB connection), so you can see at a glance what’s going on.

The unit is pretty compact and the layout self-explanatory. We particularly like the rubberized gain knobs as they’re easy to grab even though the knobs are quite small. The headphone output is also nice and loud. The unit has rubber pads on the bottom and this combined with its weight makes it nice and stable when you’re plugging up leads or adjusting settings. If you’re new to recording there’s also a bundled copy of Tracktion T7 with the DAW essentials plugin pack so you won’t need an additional DAW to get started.

So, any annoyances? First up, the Input/DAW Mix control influences both the headphones and Monitor output. Not a biggie, but the balances we need for headphones and monitors are often quite different, so if you’re recording someone else and want your own blend in the monitors, that’s not an option. Furthermore, staying on the subject of the Mix control there was also a bit of bleed through from the DAW output even when the knob was turned totally to Input. Again, not unusual in this sort of device, but worth mentioning.

Nevertheless, we think Mackie have done a pretty good job here, delivering a no-nonsense, robust interface, capable of excellent fidelity that you can still slip into your satchel. Bravo.

PreSonus Studio 24c 2x2

PreSonus Studio 24c 2x2

  • ✔ Easy-to-use Mixer knob for low-latency direct input monitoring
  • ✔ High-powered headphone output
  • ✔ USB-C compatible powered 2x2 audio interface
  • ✔ Compatible With Windows 10 and Mac
The PreSonus Studio 24c 2×2 is their flagship 2-in/2-out low-latency audio interface.
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From a physical standpoint, the interface is designed to look very sleek, with its black center chassis, surrounded by deep blue side compartments.

As for the functionality, it features 2 combination (XLR/TRS) inputs at the front of the unit, and five control knobs for general volume/mixer parameter changes.

As for the back of the interface, it has a MIDI input/output, which other cheaper interfaces do not have. Additionally, it has 2 main TRS outputs, alongside a phones TRS output. The unit is bus-powered and connects to both a Mac and PC via a USB-C cable.

Now, when it comes to latency, the company have said that the unit has a roundtrip latency of around 3ms, which is extremely low.

Overall, we think that readers who are looking for a 2-in/2-out interface, with the versatility to be able to plug in XLR or TRS into each port, as well as MIDI input and output capability and a phones output, will most certainly want to take a look at the PreSonus Studio 24c 2×2 interface. Not only does it provide a lot of functionality for an affordable price, but the latency levels are very low.

The Duet is a 2-channel FireWire audio interface that features the amazing sound quality that made Apogee Electronics famous. With control functions built directly into Apple’s Logic Pro, Soundtrack Pro and GarageBand software, Duet empowers you to create professional recordings effortlessly on your Mac.

With Duet, you can plug in guitars, keyboards, and microphones to record your music, or simply experience how much better your favorite tracks in iTunes sound. Duet is compact and powered by FireWire, so you can pack up your studio and go anywhere your music takes you.

Its dual, 1/4″ high impedance inputs allow you to combine and record your two favorite instruments, whether it be two guitars, one bass, one guitar, etc., simultaneously using your favorite Core Audio-compatible application. You can also capture vocals with two microphone inputs that have phantom power and 75dB of gain. Whether you’re noodling out new ideas, completing a personal tune, documenting a podcast, or recording a live performance, your new little buddy can handle it. The flexible breakout cables come with icons to make it easy to know what goes where, keeping everything in order, out of the way, and properly connected for maximum input and output, with minimal mess.

Duet’s bus-powered FireWire interface frees you from the traditional four-wall studio setting. So grab your laptop, find a spot where inspiration takes you, whether it’s in the solace of a park or in the echoey confines of a subway tunnel, turn it on, and start doing your thing.

If you don’t have Logic Pro, Soundtrack Pro, Garageband, don’t panic. Apogee’s includes it’s own Maestro software, so you’ll still be able to work with any Core Audio-compatible application. Maestro allows you to turn the Duet’s multifunction control knob into a one-click manager. Maestro will help you manage all of Duet’s capabilities and settings, including I/O level, source selection, muting, mic/instrument gain mode, assign MIDI function controls to the controller knob, assign meter display, and more. Speaking of meter display, Duet comes with LED I/O meters to help you monitor your levels for maximum effectiveness.

Duet is not only great for it’s input and interface functions, but it delivers amazing sound quality as well. Whether you’re listening to your iTunes collection or latest composition through powered speakers connected to the 1/4″ outputs or via the headphone jack, you’ll not be disappointed by the crystal clear, playback performance.

Native Instruments Komplete Audio 2

Native Instruments Komplete Audio 2

  • ✔ Flexible input options
  • ✔ Premium audio quality at 192 kHz and 24 bit
  • ✔ VU Meter for accurately adjusting levels
  • ✔ Compatible with mac and windows 10
The performance of the Komplete Audio 2 is as slick as its looks. Instead of 1 XLR and 1 jack input, the Komplete Audio 2 has 2 combi-XLR/jack inputs for more flexibility.
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Komplete Audio 2 is a two-input, two-output design with two identical mic/line/instrument inputs. Connections are on space-saving combi XLRs with individual selector switches to select between line and instrument. 48V phantom power, meanwhile, is engaged globally via a single switch. As well as the inputs, the front panel includes a hardware monitoring balance knob (Input/Host) and headphone output with independent control.

The main output level is controlled from a large output level knob on the top panel. Here you’ll also find the input meters, alongside phantom and USB indicators. Round the back you’ve got the USB B connector, a pair of balanced outputs on TRS 1⁄4-inch jacks and a Kensington Security slot. The performance of the Komplete Audio 2 is as slick as its looks, and though the features are basic, it does its job admirably. And when you consider the excellent software bundle, it’s great value.

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.
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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!

MOTU 828es 28x32 Audio Interface

MOTU 828es 28x32 Audio Interface

  • ✔ 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

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
Roland OctaCapture Audio Interface

Roland OctaCapture Audio Interface

  • ✔ The brand has a proven track record
  • ✔ The product has a near-perfect customer review rating
  • ✔ A large number of inputs/outputs
  • ✔ Impressive technical specifications
The most affordable audio interface that we’ve featured on the list
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The Octa-Capture by the Roland Corporation is the most affordable audio interface that we’ve featured on the list.

It’s compatible with both Mac and PC, and can be used with the majority of DAWs, making it versatile for your setup.

It features eight premium-quality preamps, which boast the same internal components as their V-Studio 700 and M-400 V-Mixer mixing desks.

It has 8 XLR/TRS combination inputs, which allow users to plug in a combination of 1/4″ jacks and XLRs, ideal for live band recording sessions and to record instruments such as drums, where you may need microphones and DI capability.

Regarding the technical details, it records at a maximum of 96kHz sample rate, has a frequency response from 20Hz to 40 kHz, and delivers extremely low roundtrip latency with the help of Roland’s proprietary vs streaming technology.

Overall, when taking into account that the audio interface has incredibly customer reviews and even comes with a 1-year manufacturers warranty, it definitely holds it’s own on this article being a product to beat.

Compatibility
  • Mac & PC
  • Supports all major DAWs

 

Features
  • Incredibly reputable company ‘Roland’
  • Durable aluminum chassis which is rack-mountable
  • Eight premium microphone preamps
  • Ultra-low latency driver
  • Includes software
    • Cakewalk Sonar X1 LE
  • Requires power adapter
  • Warranty: 1-year manufacturers warranty

 

Technical Specs
  • USB 2.0
  • MIDI input/output
  • 4 XLR/TRS combination inputs (on the front)
  • 4 XLR/TRS combination inputs (on the back)
  • 8 TRS outputs (on the back)
  • Supports all major DAWs
  • 24-bit/96 kHz resolution
  • 20 Hz – 40 kHz Frequency Response
  • 48v Phantom Power

 

Pros
  • The brand has a proven track record
  • The product has a near-perfect customer review rating
  • A large number of inputs/outputs
  • Impressive technical specifications
Behringer U-Phoria Audio Interface

Behringer U-Phoria Audio Interface

  • ✔ Extremely affordable audio interface with 8-channels
  • ✔ Plenty of input/output types
  • ✔ Durable, impact-resistant metal chassis
  • ✔ Rack-mountable
The U-Phoria UMC1820 Audiophile by Behringer is the most affordable 8-channel audio interface.
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Description

The U-Phoria UMC1820 Audiophile by Behringer is the most affordable 8-channel audio interface that we’ve featured on this list.

It’s compatible with both Mac and Windows operating systems and works with all major DAWs, including Pro Tools, Ableton Live, Cubase, etc.

The unit is designed and built-in Germany and features 8 MIDAS designed microphone preamps, which is definitely a firm selling point.

All of the channels provide an optional 48v phantom power, great if you’re using condenser microphones.

As for the audio interface’s inputs/outputs, it has a diverse range of ports, including both combination XLR/TRS, TRS, ADAT, MIDI & SPDIF (all of which are specified above in the technical specs section.

The interface provides 96kHz/24-bit recording resolution, and it delivers zero-latency direct monitoring on all analog inputs whilst recording.

Overall, when taking into account the UMC1820’s price, I/O’s, features and 3-year manufacturers warranty, it’s easy to see why it’s an attractive prospect and ultimately a great buy for someone looking for a very affordable 8-channel audio interface.

Compatibility
  • Mac & PC
  • Supports all major DAWs
Features
  • Extremely affordable audio interface with 8-channels
  • Plenty of input/output types
  • Durable, impact-resistant metal chassis
  • Rack-mountable
  • Eight state of the art MIDAS designed preamps
  • Designed & engineered in Germany
  • Warranty: 3-year manufacturers warranty
Technical Specs
  • USB 2.0 connectivity
  • MIDI input/output
  • 2 XLR/TRS combination inputs (on the front)
  • 6 XLR/TRS combination inputs (on the back)
  • 8 TRS outputs (on the back)
  • 2 ‘main’ TRS outputs (on the back)
  • ADAT input/output
  • SPDIF input/output
  • Supports all major DAWs
  • 24-bit/96 kHz resolution
  • 48v Phantom Power
Pros
  • The brand is well-known and reputable
  • Product is well-reviewed and scores favorably in customer review ratings
  • Includes a diverse range of inputs/outputs
  • Impressive technical specifications
  • Comes with a 3-year manufacturers warranty
Cons
  • There’s a single phantom power switch for all 8 channels
IK Multimedia AXE I/O

IK Multimedia AXE I/O

  • ✔ 3 different preamp circuits to choose from
  • ✔ Amp output for easy re-amping
  • ✔ Seamless amplitude integration
  • ✔ A professional 2 in/5 out audio interface and controller
IK Multimedia has one of the most well-regarded software guitar amp systems attainable in AmpliTube.
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IK Multimedia has one of the most well-regarded software guitar amp systems attainable in AmpliTube. They have decided to combine that software technology with a new premium audio interface packed full of features perfect for any guitarist. It’s called the AXE I/O — well, of course, it is!

  • 2 in / 5 out 24-bit, 192 kHz audio interface with 2 mic preamps, 2 instrument inputs
  • ACTIVE / PASSIVE pick-up selector matches your guitar’s pickups for ideal gain levels
  • Z-Tone adjustable impedance control coaxes a wider range of tones from your instrument
  • PURE and JFET instrument input channels keeps your sound totally clean or adds subtle saturation
  • Low noise AMP OUT for easy re-amping without the need for additional direct boxes or splitters
  • Register to receive a massive software bundle with AmpliTube 4 Deluxe, Ableton Live 10 Lite and 10 T-RackS mixing plug-ins

AXE I/O is a 2 input, 5 output audio interface in a ruggedized rack style box. On the input, there’s a “Z-Tone” impedance adapting circuit that matches up to your pickups. It is however, switchable between passive and active. The fully discrete input circuit has a choice of Pure or Class A JFET. These take you from transparent to tube-like at the throw of a switch. The unexpected 5th output is an “Amp Out” designed to go straight to a guitar amplifier. You can process your recordings through external gear rather than committing them to your project.

All the guitar amp and cabinet modeling are done in the included AmpliTube 4 Deluxe. With over 140 ultra-accurate models of guitar and bass amps, cabs, pedals, mics and more. You can dial in what you require via the front preset knob. On the back are two pedal inputs for expressive control that can be mapped directly to the software. They’ve even integrated a guitar tuner directly on the front panel.

And, like the Sono, it will do all the monitoring as well as the audio recordings. The AXE I/O also has a handy MIDI In and Out port for connecting keyboards or floorboard controllers.

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