If you are a newbie to the music industry or simply looking for an affordable audio interface that doesn’t sacrifice quality, then this post is perfect for you. We have researched and found the best cheap audio interfaces on the market today.
Audio interfaces are essential for any musician who wants to produce high-quality music. They connect your instruments and microphones to your computer, allowing you to record audio in various formats. And while pro musicians might be able to spend up to $1000 on an interface, there are plenty of interfaces that cost less than $200 that will do the job just as well.
These models come with their own set of pros and cons, but all offer great value for money and will serve your needs as a beginner well. In this article, we’re going to take a look at some of the best cheap audio interfaces available online today. For more information, read on! Hopefully, it will help you find one that suits your needs perfectly!
[amazon bestseller=”Best Cheap Audio Interface” items=”20″ ]
Best Cheap Audio Interface Reviews 2023
Audient iD4 MKII USB-C Audio Interface
[amazon box=”B08SBSN88X” ]
The Audient iD4 MKII is an affordable cheap audio interface that offers USB-C audio interface with two headphone outputs (2×1/4in) and one microphone preamp. This unit has two headphone outputs and one JFET DI. The software bundle comes with Mac, PC, and iOS. Its bus power makes it very convenient for quick operation without AC power.
We use this for our instruments (guitar/bass) because many of the amps we use don’t have a dedicated channel for recording the instrument. We find the sounds to be detailed and not fuzzy like other interfaces in its price range. The only thing we would change about this unit is adding another mic preamp channel. This way, you can record vocals at the same time you record electric guitar.
The software helps mix on mac or pc. It’s straightforward, so anyone who wants to start recording would benefit from getting this. The USB-C port makes it possible to hook up to any computer without worrying about which side of the cable is up or down.
Overall, this is a good unit for beginners and pros because it’s reliable, affordable, compatible with both PC/Mac/iOS and has all the I/O you need.
– 2×1/4in headphone outputs
– 1 Microphone preamp
– Only one mic preamp channel
PreSonus Studio 24c 2×2
[amazon box=”B07L9MWWDK” ]
You may be shocked by the price of this audio interface. It is an affordable device that can be used by newbies and computer geeks. It is one of the best 2×2 audio interfaces in the market today, with a vast number of features. For one, it is equipped with four phantom-powered mic pre-amps. This enables you to connect up to two microphones at any given time.
The device also has a superb sound quality, which is maximized by its built-in 24bit/96kHz converters. The headphone output provides you with high power for headphones with different impedances without changing your headphone settings on your host computer software. Its MIDI I/O guarantees you a simplistic connection between your keyboard, drum machine, and other MIDI devices.
It even comes with a free studio, one artist, and Ableton live lite DAW recording software for your convenience. Other features include a studio-grade XMAX-L mic preamp, high headroom instrument/line inputs for recording guitars and keyboards, and a ladders LED monitoring level to help gauge your sound levels quickly. The bundle also includes one year of free support and a 2-year warranty.
This audio interface is ideal if you are looking for an entry-level audio interface with a wide array of features. It will make an excellent addition to your collection of studio gear.
– It is affordable
– 4 phantom-powered mic pre-amps for best sound quality and great input options
– Free Studio One Artist and Ableton Live Lite DAW recording software for convenience
– It doesn’t come with a power supply.
Focusrite Scarlett Solo (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface
[amazon box=”B07QR6Z1JB” ]
As a newbie or computer geek, you might be looking for an audio interface to help you out with your recordings. Focusrite Scarlett Solo (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface can help you make the most of your recordings by giving them a polished and perfect sound. This interface product lets you connect your instrument (guitar) and record your songs with high-quality audio.
Focusrite Scarlett Solo (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface is a very affordable choice for a newbie or computer geek looking for a way to upgrade their recording equipment. You can use it for recording vocals or any other instruments, too! It comes with quite a bit of software that will help you get started on making music.
This device will help you get the most out of your experiments in music-making while maintaining good value overall. Focusrite Scarlett Solo (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface is compatible with Mac, Windows, and iOS devices.
– It is affordable with a lot of great features
– It is excellent for newbies and computer geeks who are still experimenting with their music
– Can’t use it as a microphone
– Takes up a lot of space
Steinberg UR12 USB Audio Interface
[amazon box=”B00QY4RLRQ” ]
The Steinberg UR12 is the perfect audio interface for newbies or computer geeks. The sound quality is excellent, with high resolution and recording digitally at a 192 kHz sample rate. We tested this interface in our studio, in places like our office, and coffee shops with our laptops. It offered clear recordings with the headphone jack, and the sound was exceptional without any noise or hiss.
It is also compatible with windows, osx, and even the iPad (with an Apple iPad camera connection kit). The downside was that it doesn’t come with an amp preamp though you can plug one in using one of the two mic inputs.
The other downside is software compatibility. The company has not updated its drivers for this product in quite some time which may be an issue for people who update software regularly. Other than that, this is a fantastic audio interface that will work well for most sound engineers. If you are looking for a mid-ranged audio interface, this product will satisfy your needs.
– High resolution, able to record digitally at 192 kHz sample rate
– Clear recordings with headphone jack and sound quality are exceptional without any noise or hiss
– Compatible for Window OSX and even iPad (with Apple iPad camera connection kit)
– Doesn’t come with the amp preamp though you can plug one in using one of the two mic inputs
– The company does not update its drivers for this product in quite some time which may be an issue for those who update software regularly
Behringer Audio Interface (UMC22)
[amazon box=”B00FFIGZF6″ ]
This interface is an excellent choice for those looking to upgrade their current equipment. It’s perfect for those who are just starting and those who have been recording music production for a long time. This interface does everything that it promises and more!
For those looking for a reasonable price on a professional interface, the Behringer Audio Interface should be at the top of your list! The Behringer UMC22 is a 2×2 USB audio interface for recording instruments and microphones. It can record a 48 kHz resolution, which is of professional quality. The UMC22 is compatible with both Windows and Mac, and it does not require any drivers.
Recording software such as Ableton Live, Pro Tools by Avid, and Cubase by Steinberg are supported. This device’s two inputs and outputs make it possible to stream low latency sound to your computer. It also includes a preamplifier with +48 V phantom power for microphones.
– Easy to install
– Windows compatibility is not guaranteed
Best Cheap Audio Interface Benefits
Audio interfaces are a crucial part of any recording studio or home-based audio production setup. They allow you to plug in microphones, guitars, keyboards, and so on for creating your music. But not all audio interfaces are created equal – there’s a lot that goes into finding the right one for you!
There are many benefits to buying a cheap audio interface, like improved sound quality, low cost, and compatibility with other devices. These factors should be considered before making a final purchase decision. Below is more information about these benefits in detail to assist in your research process.
Improved Sound Quality
A cheap audio interface will offer better sound quality than using the microphone on your laptop or desktop computer as it records sound from an external source instead of internally from the device’s built-in speakers which can cause distortion over time due to continuous use and not being able to completely control the sound.
Cheaper interfaces may only cost $20-50 to $100 depending on your budget and how much you can afford, which is very low compared to higher-end models that could cost over $500 or more. The price of cheap audio interfaces varies, but if you are just starting, we recommend buying cheaper models first to see if you even like making music before investing more money on ones with advanced features.
Any interface produced after 1992 should be compatible with your computer. If for some reason it is not, please read the instruction manual or contact customer service for help since most interfaces are always compatible unless there was a change in recent years, but it is rare.
These are just a few of the many benefits that come with buying cheap audio interfaces for newbies who are just starting or are on a budget. Have fun making music!
To sum up, the benefits of the best cheap audio interface includes:
• The sound quality is improved with a low-cost audio interface
• Buying an audio interface starts you on the road to success in the music industry
• Compatibility is not an issue with newer models of audio interfaces
• Cheap is expensive when you consider the cost about the price of professional recording studios
• You can’t expect top-notch features with cheap audio interfaces, so do your research before making a purchase
Factors To Consider When Choosing Best Cheap Audio Interface
A good soundcard is the first step for beginners. The most important thing about a sound card is its ability to record and output audio, so be sure to have these two features before you buy it. These are not complicated tasks, but they need some attention to get the best quality possible.
A sound card with an onboard preamp can do both of these tasks more efficiently than one without but will cost more as well. If you’re just starting in-home recording, though, this may be worth spending extra money on because getting your levels right at the source means less work later on when editing your recordings or mixing them down into a finished product.
Cheap audio interfaces can be used with various software such as reaper, garage band, and more. We’ve noticed that most beginning home musicians don’t know how to choose a good sound card. How do you pick the best cheap audio interface for recording purposes? This part will help you out with your quest to choose one.
There are many factors to consider when choosing the best cheap audio interface, and they depend on what you need in an audio interface. Let’s look at some of the most important considerations when looking for the best cheap audio interface.
What Are Your Needs
Make a list of everything you’ll need from an audio interface before considering what type of interface is right for you. Your needs will vary depending on what you intend to record. For example, if you only need one input, perhaps an “all-in-one” USB interface is all you need.
If you want more inputs and the ability to add a few effects to your recordings, then consider a multi-channel audio interface that uses Firewire or USB. This is one of the factors to consider when choosing the best cheap audio interface. Another thing to consider is whether you want an interface that connects through a PCI/PCIe card, USB, or Firewire.
The other options are Thunderbolt and ExpressCard. You can also opt for all-in-one audio interfaces with built-in soundcards, preamps, MIDI support, and so on.
What You’ll Use It For
Consider the type of things you want to do with your audio interface first. This is particularly important if you are looking for a new interface purely for recording purposes since these devices vary greatly depending on what applications they are designed for. If you are recording vocals, guitars, and external instruments, then an interface with preamps is what you need.
If all you want to do is record your laptop’s built-in microphone or your electric guitar, then an audio interface without a built-in preamp should be fine.
What Other Hardware Do You Own
Best Cheap Audio Interface is not just about the interface itself; it’s also related to your other hardware such as PC, laptop, speakers, and microphones. For example, if you want to use a USB microphone with your audio interface, this must be compatible with the device.
It’s also worth considering what other hardware you already have rather than focusing exclusively on which audio interface is the best one for your needs. If you’re starting from scratch, this decision will be easier, but if you already have some hardware that you are happy with, then buying a new audio interface may not be necessary.
External Or Internal Sound Cards
Internal soundcards are usually built to higher standards than external ones. Not only do they have better components, but they also offer less noise and resistance. More expensive interfaces will use internal sound cards because of these advantages. If you want an interface that provides the best performance, look for an internal sound card, although it will be more expensive.
External soundcards offer another option for those who don’t want to fork out a lot of money for their interface. The main advantage is the lower cost, but these devices tend to have fewer features and poorer performance than internal sound cards. While the primary function of a USB Audio Interface is recording, many models also support MIDI through USB.
This is a great option that allows you to hook up your favorite synth or music keyboard and play or record with your computer, making it a good investment for musicians who aren’t focused only on recording.
If budget is your primary concern, it’s worth considering that cheaper interfaces offer lower quality than more expensive models. However, there are still good options available if you’re willing to sacrifice some sound quality for affordability.
USB Or Firewire
Some interfaces come with both USB and Firewire connections; others only have one type of connection (or none at all). So which do you want?
You also need to be aware that most interfaces don’t include any inputs and outputs except for the standard RCA and MIDI ports, so you’ll need to purchase cables separately.
Number Of I/Os
You must consider the number of inputs and outputs you need on your interface. For example, if you intend to connect several microphones (or line levels) to your interface, you’ll need to ensure that your interface has enough inputs for those purposes.
In general, some of the most important things you should consider when choosing the best cheap audio interface are budget, connection types, several inputs, and outputs, including software, preamp quality, and internal or external soundcards. As with anything in the technology world, the best cheap audio interface is a highly variable subject with many options available to consumers.
However, considering your own needs and a bit of research, you’ll be able to choose which interface fits your particular situation. For example, if you simply want to record vocals and guitar, an interface with a built-in preamp is probably overkilled and won’t offer any benefit.
On the other hand, if you’re into electronic music, you’ll need at least two inputs (for two sound sources) or four inputs (for four sound sources) to make a two-track recording.
FAQs About Best Cheap Audio Interface
– Can I use a sound card with this audio interface?
Some audio interfaces have a built-in sound card. This can be useful if you are trying to save money or don’t need many inputs and outputs.
– What are the best options for connecting my audio interface to my computer?
The best option would be USB since it is the most common type of connection with most computers today. Firewire is also a standard option.
– How many inputs and outputs do an Audio Interface typically come with?
Most audio interfaces will allow at least two XLR microphone inputs but can go up to 8 or more depending on their price range. The number of line-level inputs is usually between 2 and 4, with the higher-end units providing more. The outputs will vary based on how many audio channels you are sending to the interface, but expect at least two for stereo monitors.
– Does it require drivers or installation software to work?
Some audio interfaces come with installation software, but the majority do not. However, if you are using a Windows PC, it will most likely work without any drivers or installation software.
– Is there any significant difference between the inputs and outputs on the audio interfaces?
There is no significant difference between the inputs and outputs on the audio interfaces. There is a limit to the number of inputs and outputs that would be available for different prices. The higher-priced interfaces will have more inputs and outputs than lower-priced ones.
If you’re new to the audio interface world and want a great, affordable option that has all of your basic needs covered, this is it. With two XLR microphone inputs and four line-level inputs for connecting instruments or other sound sources – as well as outputs including stereo monitor outs – these best cheap audio interfaces will give you everything you need at an unbeatable price point.
And with no installation software needed on PCs running Windows OS, the setup couldn’t be more straightforward!