Best Audio Interfaces Under $200
Best Audio Interfaces Under $200: For that Multifunction Resonation
Audio interfaces are essential tools that allow to have enhance audio capabilities of your computer. Audio interfaces come in real handy when you’re trying to produce music on a budget. When deciding on a reliable audio interface, many deciding factors come in mind. For instance, whether you want multiple inputs or you plan to plug your MIDI controller directly into your computer, etc. In this article we are going to take a look at some of the best audio interfaces you can find for under $200.
Below is a list of products along with a buyer’s guide with an overview of the qualities that you can expect from the best audio interfaces when on a budget. Continue reading to finalize your decision on finding the best audio interface that fits your production needs.
1. Focusrite Scarlett 2i4
Focusrite are known for their reliable interfaces that give you great performance along with a wide range of models from entry-level to professional level interfaces. For quality home recording, Scarlett 2i4 proves to be the ideal fit.
All the products in the Scarlett series are attention-worthy and what makes Scarlett 2i4 so compatible is the hardware which features several features. It includes two mic preamps, two combined TRS/XLR inputs, second-generation top notch A/D converters, reaching 192kHz resolution with no zero latency.
You can also find the addition of attenuation pads on each input channel, a stereo switch, and a source select switch for headphones monitoring. Another highlighting feature of Scarlett 2i4 are the four outputs in the back which makes it a very functional interface.The Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 comes with additional software such Ableton Live Lite and huge collection of plugins.
Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 is definitely a wise option if you are looking for a solid, versatile and budget-friendly interface. With its heavy-duty build and performance, Scarlett 2i4 is a must buy for small scale music production.
2. Audient iD4
This portable interface comes from the British brand Audient. This interface looks small but with its performance and versatility, it is unrivaled compared to other products in this price range.
The Audient iD4 is USB-powered which has a list of prominent features.It contains two XLR connectors with a convenient power source for condenser mics. Regarding outputs, in the back you can find standard L/R TRS main speaker outlets.
Some other unique features include the monitor mix knob, which allows blending of the input signal with the DAW playback for no noticeable latency monitoring. It also comes with ScrollControl where the volume encoder can be switched to act as a virtual scroll wheel. Finally, Audient iD4 is compatible with Windows, macOS and iOS which makes it usable almost anywhere.
Audient comes with a variety of software, which includes Cubase LE and Cubasis LE 2, as well as many other sample packs, synths and plugins.
Audient iD4 shows a great value for money when considering the qualities, controls and a ton of software that comes along with it. For professional level production, Audient iD4 should seriously be considered.
3. Behringer U-PHORIA UMC404HD
Behringer is among the leading brands for audio interfaces that are budget friendly and are extremely versatile and efficient. Looking at the features of UMC404HD, the focus naturally goes to the four channels, with dual XLR/TRS connectors which makes this product so user-oriented.
The high quality performance comes from the MIDAS preamp that is connected to each input. The input outlet has a control cluster that includes an instrument switch, a pad for each preamp, and a gain rotary control for better handling of sound frequencies. Finally, the back panel reveals a variety of different outputs, including RCA, MIDI and a USB output.
Behringer U-PHORIA UMC404HD is a heavy duty audio interface with a variety of options. Considering the price range and the bundle of properties this product has to offer, it is strongly recommended for beginners and for home studios purposes.
4. PreSonus AudioBox iTwo 2×2
The AudioBox Series from PreSonus have the best selling audio interfaces, especially their AudioBox iTwo 2×2 remains the best seller in the market today.
This petite audio interface has standard features such as two combo input jacks with TRS or XLR plug, two outputs and gain control knobs for both channels. The inputs are equipped with Class A microphone preamps along with a 96kHz sampling rate.
At the back, you can find a USB plugin, MIDI I/O,TRS 1/4 inch output jacks and a stereo headphone jack. Lastly, the AudioBox iTwo 2×2 comes with a copy of Studio One Artist, which is a DAW package for recording and editing music.
This audio interface has been in the market for years and because of its strong performance and a fairly good price, it can easily fit the requirements for home studio users.
5. Mackie Onyx Artist
This entry-level two-channel audio interface is an affordable and durable device, which is suitable for home users. This is a USB powered device with features such as Mackie circuitry, Onyx mic preamp, three pin XLR input and +48v phantom power switch.
Mackie Onyx Artist is compatible with all DAWs comes with a copy of Tracktion T7 and other essential plugins. This device has a sample rate of 192kHz recording and no-latency monitoring.
Although there are no surprising features, for an audio interface under $100, it definitely gets the job done. For recordings on the go, Mackie Onyx Artist is a must buy.
6. Tascam US-2×2
Tascam is a famous media brand that have a range of innovative products, especially their Tascam US-2×2 which contains several key features. Tascam US-2×2 has a standard build that offers two microphone inputs with combined TRS/XLR ports. A very rare feature at this price range is the Ultra-HDDA microphone preamp for clear audio signals. The +48V phantom power enables it to be connected to condenser microphones in addition to dynamic and ribbon mics.
On the back, you can a pair of balanced TRS 1/2 inch outputs, MIDI I/O and a USB 2.0 port for data connection and power and lastly, a DC power connector used to connect an AC adapter for when the US-2×2 is connected to an iOS device.
Finally, the Tascam US-1×2 features some latest DAW software, coming with a copy of both Ableton Live Lite 9 and Cakewalk Sonar X3 LE.
The combination of both the hardware and software makes this audio interface very reliable. There’s not much to complain about as you’ll rarely find a device with so many features at this price range.
7. M-Audio M-Track 2X2 C Series
M-Audio’s M-Track 2X2 C-Series is very well known for its efficiency and is a very affordable option for entry level production. The features on this device are very basic as it only has one microphone line with an XLR port and one instrument line with a 1/4” TRS input.
You can also find a a gain control along with a graphic LED stack, phantom power, Direct/USB switch, and headphone out level knobs. At the rear, there is a standard USB port, used for both power and data transfer. The interesting part about this device is that it allows you to switch to direct and access latency-free monitoring.
M-Audio M-Track 2X2 C-Series is a great entry level audio interface you can find for under $100. If you want an audio interface that is very basic and delivers consistency, then M-Audio M-Track 2X2 is definitely recommended.
8. iConnectivity iConnectAUDIO2+
The brand iConnectivity might not be too popular among users but their audio interfaces are definitely worth the attention. What makes the iConnectivity iConnectAUDIO2+ so interesting is the fact that it features two USB ports that can be used to send signals from the interface to two different computers or to a computer and other devices. This type of feature is very rare and is not usually found in this price range.
The remaining features include two inputs, both capable of taking an XLR and 1/4” TRS cable for instrument-level recording, as well as phantom power for condenser mics.
This device is not very hot in the market these days, but it delivers great quality and the routing ability makes it a smart option for both entry to professional level production.
After going through this buyer’s guide, you now might have an idea of the type of features you can get for under $200 and which product suits your budget the most. However, there are many more products in the market that provide the same features as the ones above. So if you like, you can do some more browsing before you purchase an audio interface.
We hope that you find an audio interface that covers your needs, brings you the desired results and last a very long time.