The 52 Best Audio Interfaces on the Market

Audio interfaces are essential tools for modern music production.

Every sound that goes in or out of your DAW has to pass through your interface to get where it’s going.

But there are more audio interfaces on the market than ever before. Knowing what’s out there is getting harder and harder.

In this article you’ll get all the key details for the 57 best audio interfaces available today

How to use this guide

Today’s audio interfaces are extremely versatile tools.

To make sense of it all, we’ve listed each interface by its most important features: connection type, total number of inputs and outputs and price. 

Audio interfaces have all kinds of connectivity options.

If you need an overview of the different kinds of I/O, or what they mean for your workflow, check out our guide to How to Choose an Audio Interface for Your Home Studio.

The first number you’ll see in the “I/O” section is the total.

The inputs are written to the left of the slash and the outputs to the right.

That means an interface with 12 inputs and 8 outputs would be written “12/8.”

Following that you’ll see a breakdown of the different kinds of I/O connections available.

If you’re interested in a particular brand or interface, use the table of contents to go directly to the product you’re looking for.

With that out of way, here’s the interfaces!

Apogee

Apogee Duet

Apogee’s classic Apple-computer styled interface was the one of the first compact interfaces to bring rackmount quality conversion to the portable format.

It’s single rotary encoder control scheme had a massive impact on interface design for its ease of use.

Built with quality and simplicity in mind, the Duet’s I/O suite offers only analog I/O, headphone output and MIDI over USB.

Connection Type: USB 2.0

I/O: 2/4 (2x mic/line/inst in,  2x line out, 1x headphone out), MIDI (over USB)

Street Price: $649 USD

Apogee Symphony

Symphony Desktop is Apogee’s flagship home recording interface. It comes with two hybrid ins, a ¼ inch jack, and an optical in. As well as support for an additional six ins.

Each mic input comes with includes preamps with up to 75dB of gain, a touch screen interface and much more.

It’s rock solid and capable build for any home recording setup.

 

Connection Type: USB-C

I/O: 10/14 (2x mic/line/inst in, 2x line out, 2x headphone out, 8x Optical I/O), MIDI USB

Street Price: $1,495 USD

Apogee Element

Element is Apogee’s newest line of interfaces. Designed to be simple and effective without unnecessary features, the Element series combines a fast Thunderbolt connection with Apogee’s renowned preamp and converter design.

Element 24

Connection Type: Thunderbolt

I/O: 10/12 (2x mic/line/inst in, 2x line out, 1x headphone out, 8x Optical I/O) Wordclock I/O

Street Price: $549 USD

Element 46

Connection Type: Thunderbolt

I/O: 12/14 (4x mic/line/inst in, 2x line out, 2x headphone out, 8x Optical I/O) Wordclock I/O

Street Price: $895 USD

Element 88

Connection Type: Thunderbolt

I/O: 16/16 (4x mic/line in/inst in, 4x mic/line in, 4x line out, 2x headphone out, 8x Optical I/O), Wordclock I/O)

Street Price: $1495 USD

Arturia

Arturia Audiofuse

Arturia’s Audiofuse has an impressive amount of connectivity. If it’s possible to plug it to an interface, the Audiofuse has a port for it somewhere on its compact enclosure. These extensive options make it highly versatile for studio use.

Connection Type: USB 2.0

I/O: 14/14 (2x mic/line/inst in, 2x phono in, 4x line out, 2x headphone out, 8x optical I/O 2x S/PDIF I/O), MIDI I/O  (⅛”TRS), USB hub,

Street Price: $599 USD

Arturia Audiofuse Studio

Audiofuse Studio is Arturia’s more advanced follow up to its original Audiofuse interface.

Audio fuse studio comes with four preamp ins, four line inputs, eight optical ADAT friendly ins,  and tons of connectivity no matter what you audio setup consists of.

Of course, you can always add the companion AudioFuse 8Pre for an additional eight analog ins to expand your recording capabilities.

This is a solid interface with tons of functionality to justify its higher price point.

Connection Type: USB-C, USB 3.0

I/O: 18/20 (4x mic/line/inst in, 4x line in, 2x phones in, 8x optical I/O, MIDI I/O

Street price: $899 USD

Audient

Audient Evo Series

Evo is the low-cost, compact, home recording interface from Audient. The Evo series each come in a box format with a unique button interface and a single knob for all parameters.

Its simple design requires a small learning curve to understand what each button does, but overall the user interface is not complicated and lends itself to the interface’s small footprint.

For a beginner setup the Evo series should absolutely be on your radar.

Audient Evo 4

Connection Type: USB 2.0

I/O: 2/2 (2x mic/line in, 2 line outs)

Street Price: USD $179

Audient Evo 8

Connection Type: USB 2.0

I/O: 4/4 (4x mic/line, 4 line outs, 1 instrument in)

Street Price: US $269

Behringer

Behringer U-PHORIA

Behringer’s UMC line of interface’s come at an impressively low price point for their feature set. Available in a range of I/O configurations, UMC interfaces offer good performance without breaking the bank.

Behringer UM2

Connection Type: USB

I/O: 2/2 (1x mic/line in 1x instrument in, 2x RCA/headphone out)

Street Price: $39.99 USD

Behringer UMC22

Connection Type: USB

I/O: 2/2 (1x mic/line in 1x instrument in, 2x line/headphone out)

Street Price: $59.99 USD

Behringer UMC202HD

Connection Type: USB

I/O: 2/2 (2x mic/line/inst in, 2x line/headphone out)

Street Price: $99.99 USD

Behringer UMC204HD

Connection Type: USB 2.0

I/O: 2/4 (2x mic/line/inst in, 2x line out, 1x headphone out, 4x RCA out), MIDI I/O

Street Price: $129.99 USD

Behringer UMC404HD

Connection Type: USB 2.0

I/O: 4/4 (4 mic/line/inst in, 2x line/RCA, 2x headphone out) MIDI I/O

Street Price: $149.99 USD

Behringer UMC1820

Connection Type: USB 2.0

I/O: 18/20 (8 mic/line/inst in, 10x line out, 2x headphone out 8x optical/SPDIF I/O), MIDI I/O

Street Price: $279.99 USD

Focusrite

Focusrite Scarlett

Focusrite’s inexpensive but capable Scarlett series has a strong following.

Scarlett devices come in all shapes in sizes from the single channel Solo to the studio-ready 18i20.

All Focusrite interfaces come bundled with an impressive selection of software including Ableton Live Lite, Pro Tools First, and access to Focusrite’s Plugin Collective program which feature tools and effects from top manufacturers.

Focusrite Scarlett Solo

Connection Type: USB

I/O: 2/2 (1x mic, 1x instrument/line, 2xRCA/headphone out)

Street Price: $109.99 USD

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2

Connection Type: USB 2.0

I/O: 2/2 (2x mic/line/inst in, 2x line/headphone out)

Street Price: $159.99 USD

Focusrite Scarlett 4i4

Connection Type: USB 3.0

I/O: 4/4 (2x mic/line/inst in, 2x 1/4″ line in, 4x line out, 1x headphone out) MIDI I/O

Street Price: $239.99 US

Focusrite Scarlett 6i6

Connection Type: USB 2.0

I/O: 6/6 (2x mic/line/inst in, 4x line out, 2x headphone out, 2x S/PDIF I/O), MIDI I/O

Street Price: $269.99 USD

Focusrite Scarlett 8i8

Connection Type: USB 2.0

I/O: 8/6 (2x mic/line/inst in, 4x instrument line in, 4x line out, 2x headphone out, 2x S/PDIF I/O), MIDI I/O

Street Price: $319.99 USD

Focusrite Scarlett 18i8

Connection Type: USB 2.0

I/O: 18/8 (2x mic/line/inst in 2x mic/line in, 4x line in, 8x optical in, 2x line out, 2x headphone out, 2x S/PDIF I/O), MIDI I/O

Street Price: $379.99 USD

Focusrite Scarlett 18i20

Connection Type: USB 2.0

I/O: 18/20 (2x mic/line/inst in, 6x mic/line in, 8x optical in, 10x line out, 2x headphone out, 8x Optical I/O 2x S/PDIF I/O), MIDI I/O, Wordclock Out

Street Price: $549.99 USD

Focusrite Clarett

The Clarett range is a step up from Scarlett in terms of sonic performance, with higher quality components throughout the analog and digital signal paths.

Clarrett interfaces are available with USB 2.0 or Thunderbolt architecture for ultra-low latency and maximum throughput.

Focusrite Clarett 2pre

Connection Type: USB 2.0/Thunderbolt

I/O: 10/4 (2x mic/line/inst in, 8x optical in, 4x line out), MIDI I/O

Street Price: $439.99 USD

Focusrite Clarett 4pre

Connection Type: USB 2.0/Thunderbolt

I/O: 18/8 (2x mic/line/inst in 2x mic/line in, 4x line in, 8x optical in, 4x line out 2x S/PDIF I/O), MIDI I/O

Street Price: $659.99 USD

Focusrite Clarett 8pre

Connection Type: USB 2.0/Thunderbolt

I/O: 18/20 (2x mic/line/inst 6x mic/line/inst in, 10x line out, 2x headphone out, 8x optical I/O 2x S/PDIF I/O), MIDI I/O, Wordclock out

Street Price: $869.99 USD

M-Audio

M-Audio M-Track

M-Audio has been a major player in the audio interface arena since Avid acquired Digidesign’s influential Mbox hardware brand.

In the early days of digital home recording, if you wanted to use Pro Tools, Mbox was essentially your only option.

Today the Mbox  has been succeeded by the M-Track line which comes bundled with Pro Tools First and a bundle of entry-level Waves plugins

M-Audio M-Track Solo

Connection Type: USB 2.0

I/O: 2/2 (1x mic/line in, 1x mic, 2x line out)

Street Price: US $49

M-Audio M-Track Duo

Connection Type: USB 2.0

I/O: 2/2 (2x mic/line in, 2x line in, phones out, stereo outs)

Street Price: US $69

M-Audio Air 192 Series

M-Audio’s Air 192 series is a slightly more advanced step from the entry-level M-Track. It has better pre-amps, lower latency, and higher 192kHz resolution.

It’s a competitive option for a close-to-studio-quality home recording interface.

Air 192|4

Connection Type: USB-C

I/O: 2/2 (1x XLR, TRS combo input, 1x ¼” instrument input, stereo out, phones out)

Street price: $119

Air 192|6

Connection Type: USB-C

I/O: 2/2 (2x combo inputs, 2x ¼” instrument input, stereo out, phones out) MIDI I/O

Street price: $169

Air 192|8

Connection Type: USB-C

I/O: 2/4 (2x combo inputs, 2x ¼” inputs, Stereo ¼” outs, RCA stereo outs, 2 RCA assignable outs, ¼” headphone out with independent level control), MIDI I/O

Street price: $229

MOTU

M-Audio M Series

MOTU is another manufacturer that’s been around since the early days of digital audio. Their rack MIDI interfaces are a staple of large-format studios everywhere.

Their entry-level M series is a very high-quality line of home recording interfaces with highly engineered pre-amps, quality metering and deep integration with all DAWs.

MOTU M2

Connection Type: USB-C

I/O: 2/2 (2x combo inputs, stereo outs, RCA stereo outs), MIDI I/O

Street price: $179

MOTU M4

Connection Type: USB-C

I/O: 2/2 (2x combo inputs, 2x line in, stereo monitor outs, 2x line out, RCA stereo outs, 2x RCA line outs), MIDI I/O

Street price: $229

Native Instruments

Native Instruments Komplete Series

Komplete is Native Instruments low-cost offering for the home recording market.

While Native Instruments is not known for being an interface manufacturer, the appeal of its Komplete interface is its simple workflow, included Native Instruments software and deep integration with other Native Instruments products.

NI Audio 1

Connection Type: USB 2.0

I/O: 2/2 (1x mic pre-amp, 1x ¼” instrument, stereo outs, phones out)

Street price: $109

NI Audio 2

Connection Type: USB 2.0

I/O: 2/2 (2x combo inputs, stereo outs, phones out)

Street price: $139

NI Audio 6

Connection Type: USB 2.0

I/O: 6/4 (2x combo inputs, 2x line inputs, 1x digital stereo in, 2x stereo outs, 1x digital stereo out) MIDI I/O 

Street price: $249

Presonus

Presonus AudioBox

Presonus is a major player in the interface industry that caters to all budgets.

AudioBox USB 96 is their simplest, most cost-effective audio interface. 

Connection Type: USB 2.0

I/O: 2/2 (2x mic/inst, 2x line out, 1x headphone out), MIDI I/O

Street Price: $99.95 USD

Presonus ioStation

Presonus’ ioStation is very different any of the other interfaces on this list because it also doubles as a capable DAW controller.

This is an interesting option for any home recording setup because it has extra transport controls.

Connection Type: USB-C

I/O: 2/2 (2x combo inputs, stereo outs, phones out, footswitch out) 

Street price: $299

Presonus Studio Series

The Studio Series is Presonus’ intermediate-level range of interfaces. With great conversion quality and an impressive feature set, the Studio Series comes bundled with Presonus’ Studio One Artist DAW software and Studio Magic Plugin Suite.

The newly announced “c” models sport the forward looking USB-C port for modern connectivity

Presonus Studio 24c

Connection Type: USB-C

I/O: 2/2 (2x combo inputs, stereo outs, phones out), MIDI I/O

Street price: $159

Presonus Studio 26c

Connection Type: USB-C

I/O: 2/4 (2x combo inputs, stereo outs, 2x line outs, phones out), MIDI I/O

Street price: $209

RME

RME Babyface Pro

German manufacturer RME’s “-face” line of USB and Firewire interfaces are highly respected audio tools. The Babyface Pro shares it’s design inspiration and desktop form factor with the Duet and offers extended connectivity with access to RME’s TotalMix DSP environment.

Connection Type: USB 2.0

I/O: 12/12 (2x mic in, 2x /inst/line in, 2x line out, 2x headphone out, 8x optical I/O,), MIDI I/O (via breakout cable),

Street Price: $749 USD

Solid State Logic

SSL series

Solid State Logic is a name brand with a long history in professional studios.

Its desktop interface SSL series is the newest option for bringing professional recording quality into the home studio.

SSL comes with excellent pre-amps, high resolution audio capture and much more

SSL 2

Connection type: USB-C

I/O: 2/2 (2x combo inputs, stereo outs, phones out)

Street price: $199

SSL 2+

Connection type: USB-C

I/O: 2/4 (2x combo inputs, stereo outs, RCA stereo outs, 2x RCA line outs), MIDI I/O 

Street price: $299

Steinberg

Steinberg UR Series

Designers of the popular Cubase and Nuendo DAW software, Steinberg has entered the hardware game with interfaces of its own.

The UR-RT series are versatile interfaces with custom wound Rupert Neve input transformers switchable at the preamp stage.

Check out the newer UR-c series for higher speed USB-C connectivity.

These interfaces are worth your attention if you’re looking for the classic warmth of vintage Neve consoles.

Steinberg UR-RT2

Connection Type: USB 2.0

I/O: 4/2 (2x mic/line/inst in, 2x line in),   

Street Price: $349.99 USD

Steinberg UR-RT4

Connection Type: USB 2.0

I/O: 6/4 (2x mic/inst, 2x. mic/line, 2x line in, 6x line out, 2x headphone out) MIDI I/O

Street Price: $599.99 USD

Steinberg UR22c

Connection Type: USB 3.0

I/O: 2/2 (2x combo inputs, stereo outs, phones out), MIDI I/O

Street price: $189

Steinberg UR24c

Connection Type: 3.0

I/O: 2/4 (2x combo inputs, stereo outs, 2x stereo outs, phones out), MIDI I/O

Street price: $249

TASCAM

TASCAM Series series

Series is the newest line of audio interface from TASCAM, it assembles everything from Tascam’s decades-long history in the audio recording industry.

Series comes in a rock-solid and compact package that includes all the trapping of a modern audio interface. 

You get hi-fidelity recordings, meticulously refined pre-amps, options to expand inputs and much more.

Series 102i

Connection Type: USB 2.0

I/O: 2/2 (2x combo inputs, stereo outs, 2 phones out), MIDI I/O 

Street price: $299

Series 208i

Connection Type: USB 2.0

I/O: 4/4 (4x combo inputs, stereo outs, 6x line outs, optical audio in), MIDI I/O, word clock in/out 

Street price: $399

Tascam HR series

HR is Tascam’s more affordable line of recording interfaces, even with a lower price tag these interfaces are a quality option from a respected brand.

1×2 HR

Connection Type: USB-C

I/O: 2/2 (1x mic input, 1x ¼” instrument in, 2x line out, phones out), MIDI I/O

Street price: $119

2×2 HR

Connection Type: USB-C

I/O: 2/2 (2x combo inputs, 2x line out, phones out), MIDI I/O

Street price: $179

4×4 HR

Connection Type: USB-C

I/O: 4/4 (4x combo inputs, 4x line out), MIDI I/O

Street price: $219

Universal Audio

Universal Audio Apollo Series

Apollo is Universal Audio’s flagship line of audio interfaces.

With a broad range of configuration and connectivity options, real-time UAD Console environment, Unison preamp modelling and industry standard UAD-2 plugins, Apollo is the interface to beat for features and performance.

Universal Audio Apollo Twin MkII

Connection Type: Thunderbolt 2

I/O: 10/ 6 (2x mic/line in, 1x inst in, 8x optical in, 4x line out, 2x headphone)

Street Price: $699 USD

Universal Audio Apollo Twin X

Connection Type: Thunderbolt 3

I/O: 10/6 (2x combo inputs,1x ¼” instrument in, stereo outs, 2x line outs, phones out), optical in to support an additional eight inputs and two outputs. 

Street price: $1,399

Universal Audio Apollo X4

Connection Type: Thunderbolt 3

I/O: 12/18 (4x combo inputs, 2x ¼” instrument inputs, stereo outs, 4x line outs, 2x phones out), optical I/O

Street price: $2,199

Zoom

Zoom UAC/TAC

Zoom’s USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt interfaces combine great connectivity with incredibly low latency figures at a very reasonable price.

The UAC or TAC interfaces are great options if speed is a top concern.

Zoom UAC-2

Connection Type: USB 3.0

I/O: 2/2 (2x mic/line/inst in, 2x line out, 1x headphone) MIDI I/O

Street Price: $249.99 USD

Zoom TAC-2R

Connection Type: Thunderbolt

I/O: 2/2 (2x mic/line/inst in, 2x line out 1x, headphone) MIDI I/O

Street Price: $349.99 USD

Zoom UAC-8

Connection Type: USB 3.0

I/O: 18/20 (2x mic/line/inst, 6x mic/line, 10x line out, 8x optical I/O, 2x S/PDIF I/O), MIDI I/O, Wordclock I/O

Street Price: $599.99 USD

Zoom TAC-8

Connection Type: Thunderbolt

I/O: 18/20 (2x mic/line/inst, 6x mic/line, 10x line out, 8x optical I/O, 2x S/PDIF I/O) MIDI I/O Wordclock I/O

Street Price: $649.99 USD


Interface value

There’s a lot of choices out there, but everyone needs an interface to get started with digital audio.

Even though it’s important, it doesn’t have to be scary.

Now that you know the different interfaces that are out there, you’ll have a better overview of the which products you’ll be looking at for your choice.

If you still need more help making a decision, head over to How to Choose an Audio Interface for Your Home Studio for more info!

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