Best Audio Interfaces

By Julius Reid | Last Updated on Nov 14, 2021

In Hurry? Editor's Choice:

BEHRINGER Audio Interface, UMC404HD (UMC404HD)
TOP 1
BEHRINGER Audio Interface, UMC404HD (UMC404HD)
TR score rating icon 9.9
TR Score
BEHRINGER U-Phoria UMC202HD, 2-Channel
TOP 2
BEHRINGER U-Phoria UMC202HD, 2-Channel
TR score rating icon 9.9
TR Score
BEHRINGER U-Phoria UMC1820, Black, 8-Channel
TOP 3
BEHRINGER U-Phoria UMC1820, Black, 8-Channel
TR score rating icon 9.9
TR Score
How To Choose Audio Interfaces: Methodology

The best Audio Interfaces ranking is based on our detailed evaluation and analysis of over 5,350,536 consumer satisfaction surveys. We have come up with the top 3 Audio Interfaces you might be interested in and rated them on factors such as Max. Resolution In Bit, Number Of ADAT Connectors, Number Of Instrument Inputs, Number Of Line Inputs and Number Of S/PDIF Connectors experience.

* Our experienced editors are constantly reviewing the latest news, looking at data analytics in order to recommend only products worth your time and money. As Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

A Detailed List of Top 3 Audio Interfaces in 2021

BEHRINGER Audio Interface, UMC404HD (UMC404HD)

UMC404HD
2.65 Pounds
11.5 x 5.12 x 1.81 inches

Features

4 State-Of-The-Art, MIDAS Designed Mic Preamplifiers With +48 V Phantom Power. "Built-Like-A-Tank", Impact-Resistant Metal Chassis Designed And Engineered In Germany
Streams 4 Inputs / 4 Outputs Plus 1X MIDI I/O With Ultra-Low Latency To Your Computer, Supporting Mac OS XP And Windows XP Or Higher
Compatible With Popular Recording Software, Including Avid Pro Tools, Ableton Live, Steinberg Cubase, Etc.
Audiophile 24-Bit/192 KHz Resolution For Professional Audio Quality
4X4 USB 2.0 Audio/MIDI Interface For Recording Microphones And Instruments
4 State-Of-The-Art, MIDAS Designed Mic Preamplifiers With +48 V Phantom Power. "Built-Like-A-Tank", Impact-Resistant Metal Chassis Designed And Engineered In Germany
Streams 4 Inputs / 4 Outputs Plus 1X MIDI I/O With Ultra-Low Latency To Your Computer, Supporting Mac OS XP And Windows XP Or Higher
Compatible With Popular Recording Software, Including Avid Pro Tools, Ableton Live, Steinberg Cubase, Etc.
Audiophile 24-Bit/192 KHz Resolution For Professional Audio Quality
4X4 USB 2.0 Audio/MIDI Interface For Recording Microphones And Instruments
#TOP 2

BEHRINGER U-Phoria UMC202HD, 2-Channel

1.19 pounds
6.69 x 4.92 x 1.97 inches
UMC202HD

Features

2 State-Of-The-Art, MIDAS Designed Mic Preamplifiers With +48 V Phantom Power
Compatible With Popular Recording Software, Including Avid Pro Tools, Ableton Live, Steinberg Cubase, Etc.
Audiophile 24-Bit/192 KHz Resolution For Professional Audio Quality
Streams 2 Inputs / 2 Outputs With Ultra-Low Latency To Your Computer, Supporting Mac OS X And Windows XP Or Higher
2X2 USB 2.0 Audio Interface For Recording Microphones And Instruments
2 State-Of-The-Art, MIDAS Designed Mic Preamplifiers With +48 V Phantom Power
Compatible With Popular Recording Software, Including Avid Pro Tools, Ableton Live, Steinberg Cubase, Etc.
Audiophile 24-Bit/192 KHz Resolution For Professional Audio Quality
Streams 2 Inputs / 2 Outputs With Ultra-Low Latency To Your Computer, Supporting Mac OS X And Windows XP Or Higher
2X2 USB 2.0 Audio Interface For Recording Microphones And Instruments
#TOP 3

BEHRINGER U-Phoria UMC1820, Black, 8-Channel

UMC1820
2.99 pounds
19.02 x 5.12 x 1.81 inches

Features

18X20 USB2.0 Audio/MIDI Interface With ADAT I/O For Recording Microphones And Instruments
Audiophile 24-Bit/96 KHz Resolution For Professional Audio Quality
Compatible With Popular Recording Software, Including Avid Pro Tools, Ableton Live, Steinberg Cubase, Etc.
8 State-Of-The-Art, MIDAS Designed Mic Preamplifiers With +48 V Phantom Power
Streams 18 Inputs And 20 Outputs Of Ultra-Low Latency Audio To Your Computer, Supporting Mac OS X And Windows XP Or Higher
18X20 USB2.0 Audio/MIDI Interface With ADAT I/O For Recording Microphones And Instruments
Audiophile 24-Bit/96 KHz Resolution For Professional Audio Quality
Compatible With Popular Recording Software, Including Avid Pro Tools, Ableton Live, Steinberg Cubase, Etc.
8 State-Of-The-Art, MIDAS Designed Mic Preamplifiers With +48 V Phantom Power
Streams 18 Inputs And 20 Outputs Of Ultra-Low Latency Audio To Your Computer, Supporting Mac OS X And Windows XP Or Higher

Best Audio Interfaces — FAQ

Does it matter what audio interface I use?

People often ask us, Do things like bit depth and sample rate really matter? They're some of the specs listed with almost every interface out there. The answer isn't simple, but yes, they do matter.The result is that if you work at 16-bit, the quieter sections of your audio will tend to be noisy.

Thus, what makes an audio interface good?

A good audio interface is essential to producers for reference and for recording because most stock sound cards will not give you professional sound. Audio interfaces can also greatly expand the possibilities of your recording setup with multiple inputs and outputs, MIDI connection and monitoring options.

Nevertheless, do audio interfaces affect sound quality?

Does Audio Interface Enhance Sound Quality? Well, the obvious answer is yes, it can! Besides expanding your setup's inputs and outputs, it also significantly improves your audio signals' overall quality.

On the other hand, do you really need an audio interface?

Answer: Yes, you need an audio interface, even when you make beats or electronic music. The main reason is because of the audio quality which is needed for professional music production. This quality is lacking in most sound cards shipped in laptop and desktop computers.

Still, does audio interface affect latency?

In the majority of cases, an audio interface will reduce latency. Audio interfaces are generally more efficient than a computer or laptop's inbuilt sound driver. High-end audio interfaces have the ability to massively reduce latency, while lesser quality ones still reduce it significantly.

Eventually, why is audio interface important?

Audio interfaces convert microphone and instrument signals into a format your computer and software recognize. The interface also routes audio from your computer out to your headphones and studio monitors.

However, are audio interfaces preamps?

Audio interfaces may contain preamps, but they are not preamps. Preamps do a completely different job. A preamp may be installed in your audio interface, but it's best to buy them separately.

In addition, can you record without an audio interface?

While you technically don't need an audio interface to record anything, you'll need an audio interface to record professional, high-quality sound.The sound card in a phone or computer doesn't have the appropriate connections for recording music or other audio (especially at a high quality level).

Also, is a audio interface analog or digital?

Audio interfaces don't only have analogue connections. They also have digital inputs and outputs. With a few exceptions, digital inputs can't be used to directly record musical instruments or microphones; their primary purpose is expansion.

Nonetheless, is Steinberg better than focusrite?

If you are willing to learn the clunky user interface and don't mind a slightly larger device in your bag or desk, then the Steinberg UR22mkii is the interface for you. If you are looking for a simpler, smaller, and user-friendly experience, then the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is the obvious choice.

Meanwhile, are high end audio interfaces worth it?

An expensive audio interface may be a better investment due to its durability, slightly better sound quality, and the features, plugins, and better components that it offers. They also tend to have updated technologies.

Beside this, which audio interface is best?

Here are the best audio interfaces 2021:

  • Universal Audio Apollo Twin MkII.
  • Focusrite Scarlett 2i2.
  • Arturia AudioFuse 8Pre.
  • M-Audio M-Track 2X2.
  • TASCAM US-22.
  • Behringer U-Control UCA222.
  • Steinberg UR22C.
  • Apogee Element 46.

Our Verdict

With so many Audio Interfaces available, it's difficult to know which one is best. Fortunately, our research team compiled an unbiased list of 26 best Audio Interfaces that will fit every budget. During this study there were over 4485 products across 26 brands. Our verdict: most customers choose Audio Interfaces with an average price tag of $453!

Julius Reid
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Julius Reid is a broadcast and video professional with over 10 years of experience in the industry. He has an unmatched understanding of all aspects of production, from pre-production to post-production. His ability to think on his feet and work under pressure make him one of the most sought after professionals in the business today.