Best Audio Interface of 2020 : Audio interface for mac & Windows

The Best Audio Interfaces of 2020 - Audio Interfaces for Mac & Windows

1.Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 USB Recording Audio Interface Review 2020

 

It would be plain wrong not to consider Focusrite when we are on the subject of audio interfaces and preamps for microphones. This company has been in the industry for over 25 years and is one of the top producers of this form of gear making a name for itself.


The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 USB Recording Audio Interface is another outstanding Focusrite device that comes fitted with a USB recording interface of 2 in and 2 out. It is a full audio device to fit all your recording requirements.

Pros:

+ Comes fitted with a unibody durable metal case for durability and aesthetic appeal.
+ One of the best in the industry, a perfect build.

Why We Liked It - People might comment on the high price of the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 USB Recording Audio Interface, but the truth is this tool is one of the best audio interface tools you'll ever find.


2.Apogee ELEMENT 46 Thunderbolt Audio Interface 
Review 2020

It has everything on the Apogee ELEMENT 46 Thunderbolt Audio Controller. It helps you to combine various instruments, blend instruments with vocals, and so much more, so you can achieve the clarity of the sound you've always dreamed of. This instrument for capturing sound is just fine all over.

Pros:

+ 12 in x 14 out the Thunderbolt I / O audio panel, so you can put in as many instruments as you want.
+ This device comes fitted with 48v phantom power so you can conveniently attach cameras, microphones and line-level cameras.
+ It also has 4 analog inputs and the best preamps for microphones.

Why We Liked It - The Apogee ELEMENT 46 Thunderbolt Audio Adapter will be your first port of call if you are trying to get an audio interface for your Mac. It's quick to say this device's the best for Mac.



3. Focusrite Scarlett Solo USB Audio Interface with Pro Tools 
Review 2020

Your audio interface is incredibly relevant if you are an audiophile and want flawless audio recordings. The Focusrite Scarlett Solo USB Audio Interface with Pro Tools is one of the tools which can best serve this purpose.


Pros:

+ Comes with a standard preamp Scarlett mic with plenty of even gains.
+ If you love hot guitar pickups this is the newly built instrument input audio interface to go for.
+ Windows and Mac compatible, so you can use it on any form of operating system.

Why We Liked It - You'll easily see this product is the best bang for your dollar when you compare the quality this design has to its price tag.


4.Focusrite iTrack Solo Lightning & USB Compatible Audio Interface Review 2020

 

You should be assured that you're having the absolute best with the Focusrite iTrack Solo Lightning & USB Compatible Audio Interface. This audio interface is great for mixing the sound in amazing detail to record instruments and vocals.

Pros:

+ Comes fitted with high-quality Focusrite microphone input.
+ Could record your vocals and instruments on your iPad, compatible with Lightning.
+ Works with iPad, Mac and Windows so you're not limited to a specific operating system.
+ Durable unibody aluminum shell.

How We Liked It - At a low price, the Focusrite iTrack Solo Lightning & USB Compatible Audio Interface provides a lot.

5. ESI Gigaport HD+ 24 Bit 8 Output Audio Interface Review 2020

The ESI Gigaport HD+ 24 Bit 8 Output Audio Interface is ideal for partially recording and mixing various instruments, since there are so many inputs and outputs. It is compact but robust, and capable of delivering excellent sound quality.

Pros:

+ Sound safe.
+ Heavy padding for longer life.
+ Goal size.

Why We Liked It - You get so much at an astonishingly low price with the ESI Gigaport HD+ 24 Bit 8 Output Audio Interface. What could you hope for more?


6. Focusrite Saffire Pro 14 8 In / 6 Out FireWire Audio Interface Review 2020

The top of Focusrite's line external sound card is the Focusrite Saffire Pro 14 8 In/6 Out FireWire Audio Adapter which features all the qualities you would expect from an external sound card.


Pros:

+ Equipped with two preamps to Focusrite mic.
+ 8 in Audio Interface and 6 out FireWire.
+ This external sound card comes with a Saffire-mix control feature.
+ Remarkably low latency.

How We Liked It - The Focusrite Saffire Pro 14 8 In/6 Out FireWire Audio Interface is the best choice for you when your goal is to get the best recording quality from time to time.


7. TASCAM US-2x2 USB Audio Interface Review 2020

Only find an external sound card or an audio device capable of accomplishing the optimal level of both home recording and recording on the go in mobile studios. Yes, the TASCAM US-2x2 USB Audio Interface has the potential to do so with absolute ease, thanks to the nature and technology used to create this audio interface.

Pros:

+ XLR 1/4" combination input jacks to give you maximum sound quality.

+ This sound card has zero-latency.

+ Angled design and aluminum body make it easier for desktop visibility.

Why We Liked It - The TASCAM US-2x2 USB Audio Interface is an all around great buy which offers you loads of versatility in your recordings.

 

8.Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 (2nd Gen) USB Audio Interface Review 2020

Focusrite! There's just no way that we can keep this company off our list for very long. This external sound card is another top of the line product of the company.

Pros:

+ Comes with 18 in / 8 out USB Audi interface.

+ Plenty of even gains provided by the four natural-sounding Scarlett mic preamps.

+ Has a built-in 2GB of loop master samples.

Why We Liked It - This is one of the best audio interface designed by one of the best in the business.

 

9. Focusrite Clarett 2Pre for Recording Mac & PC

What you look for when going for an external sound card or an audio interface is defined in detail by this very audio interface i.e. the Focusrite Clarett 2Pre for Recording Mac & PC. It has the capability of satisfying all your recording needs and as far as audio interfaces are concerned it is simply one of the very best products that you will ever find in the market.

Pros:

+ Two Clarett Mic pres with lots of gains.

+ Low latency level.

+ Compatible with IOS and Windows.

Why We Liked It - All in all, the Focusrite Clarett 2Pre for Recording Mac & PC is a complete champ.

10. Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 Professional 20 In/20 Out Firewire Audio Interface

The Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 Professional 20 In/20 Out Firewire Audio Interface is another example of the brilliance of this company. It's a top of the line card.

Pros:

+ Eight Focusrite high-quality preamps for a great sounding interface.

+ Has two separate headphone buses widening the options you have.

+ 20 input and 20 outputs.

Why We Liked It - It might be a bit tough to configure for some people, but when you compare the pros of the Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 Professional 20 In/20 Out Firewire Audio Interface with the cons you can easily conclude that it'sone of the best audio interfaces around.

Audio Interface Buyers' Guide 2020

You want to input and output sounds from your computer, as a music director or producer. Music sessions involve various forms of instruments for editing which should be linked to the computer. To convert analog audio signals into digital ones, you will need a computer, and vice versa. You'll need an audio device to hook up your drum machines, microphones, guitars, etc .. An audio interface converts the computer's analog signals to digital signals, and converts digital signals back to analog for monitor / speakers.

An audio interface can take the signals from your sensors or microphones and digitize them before they are sent to your screen. You can compare this to an external sound card fitted with additional features.

So let's hop in now and find out how an audio device works. An audio interface has front- and back-ports. There are microphone inputs at the end, instrument inputs, and a headphone output. Across the back are two control outputs (speaker outputs), an output panel, and an input device.

Inputs Typically there will be three types of input ports in a recording interface, a microphone (XLR cable to Preamplifier), an instrument (TS/TR cable bypassing preamp), and a midi (digital information about how an instrument is played).

Basically, a preamplifier will drive an XLR input while the TRS / Hi-Z output will bypass it. Modern audio interface provides gain knobs to monitor the volume of your microphone. You can find a + 48v phantom power button on several interfaces which is a tiny electrical charge that runs through an XLR cable up to your microphone. You'll usually find an external power supply on high-end or mid-range microphones. When it's not available then you can use phantom power without worrying about overpowering or microphone damage.

You can find an entry to the MIDI. This input is fitted with the keyboards capable of outputting MIDI data to replace your normal sounds with computer-stored or external bank sounds. MIDI inputs usually are not available in low-budget audio interfaces. Instrument inputs serve the same purpose, so you can connect the different instruments to convert their analog to digital signals. Some audio interfaces do not have one, but you can use the Direct Injection box to take the input and output through an XLR cable, should you intend to connect an instrument in the near future.

Outputs There are three types of output ports, a headset (for personal monitoring), a monitor (speaker room monitoring), and an interface cable (for computer communications). Low-budget audio interfaces can have only one headphone output with a dedicated volume control button, while more than one might have an expensive one. It also comes with a dedicated headphone amplifier providing a wide variety of outputs.
Track quality interacts with your microphones, so that sensitive listening can be supported. Some manufacturers use XLR cables to transmit sound to the monitors but some prefer TRS cables. There's a broad range of cables and connectors.

Finally, an interface output is available which uses interface cables to take digital signals to your computer. The cables are typically USB or firewire, although there are newer alternatives such as ethernet cables. Mac systems use the Thunderbolt cables. USB and firewire offer fast speeds and you can switch between the two according to the quality of your device data. Similarly, adapters are available to move between the two.

The port or cable interface provides sound to your device but also takes audio back to the speakers / monitors. Known as ADC (Analog to Digital Converter) and DAC (Digital to Analog Converter), the main components used for this port / cable are These convert the audio signals from electrical to binary code to allow your machine to understand that. It can also turn it back from binary to electrical, so it can be inputted into the display.

Delaying the command and executing it can be a serious matter when recording the sound or professionally using an audio interface. When you say something in the microphone, the capsule picks your voice, then sends it to the audio interface through the microphone cable. It is digitized and sent to a computer, then it is processed and sent back by the machine, digital audio is traveled back to the audio interface and eventually converted to analog for transmission to headphones. The cycle takes time and leads to latency. You may be frustrated by the delay. So when you buy your new audio app, you'll need to test for the function of direct monitoring.

Direct control allows you to hear the analog audio that is being immediately inserted into the device, rather than hearing it after the machine processes it. That removes the factor of latency and gives you sound in real time. Mostly found on USB 1.0 audio interfaces, this feature is because the slower speed makes them less susceptible to latency. Not all organizations call it "Direct Tracking," but that function can be easily recognized. An audio interface with a knob has "mix" on one side and "machine" on the other side so it means direct control is enabled

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Top Select

Scarlett 2i2 by Focusrite The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is an audio platform featuring two award-winning Focusrite preamps.

On the front panel, along with the microphones there is a Neutrik hybrid input for linking line and instrument level signals. For recording the digital stage piano together with the electric or acoustic guitar this makes it the best. It's also fitted with special halo indicators that let you know about the intensity of the signal. If it produces red then it means that your signal is interfering, and you should reduce the gain. When a good signal is reached it turns orange. It also features a large display dial to provide tactile volume control. A high quality amplifier provides your headphones with clean, but loud sound.

This audio interface comes with a feature for direct monitoring. If you turn this on you can hear what you record through your monitors without first having to go through a machine and then return to the headphones / speakers. This trims the element of latency when recording. Thanks to the 24-bit resolution sample levels of up to 96KHZ which is a very high digital conversion rate, every note and subtle detail is captured with great clarity.

Upon registration of the app, you will obtain an approved code for Ableton Live Lite, as well as the Focusrite Scarlett Plug-in Suite and the Red 2 & Red 3 Plugin Suite. Scarlett plug-in kits provide you with critical resources such as EQ, Compression, Gate and Reverb, so you can add more to your mix. This audio interface box contains two award-winning high quality Focusrite micropres. Both preamps are offered the same quality as Saffire PRO 40 and Liquid Saffire 56, the famous flagships.

The anodized unibody aluminum frame makes sure your audio interface is able to cope with the harsh climate. Scarlett 2i2 is very light and portable which makes transportation and transportation simple. You don't have to install a supplementary power supply as it is fitted with bus power.

The Scarlett 2i2 has a firewire interface so it doesn't sacrifice speed. Also included is a phantom power option for microphones with no external power supply.


The factors that persuaded us to rate this product as our top pick are direct monitoring feature, software, tough content, two high quality mic preamps.


Premium

PickElement 46 Thunderbolt It can be a tough decision to invest a lot of money into any form of equipment. Make no worries! We protected you.

Apogee's Element 46 Thunderbolt Audio Interface is designed specifically for Mac, as it has a Thunderbolt interface port. This audio interface delivers the ultimate recording experience with the elite hardware features and stunning software advancements.

Equipped with a high-quality analog to digital converter, this audio interface captures every detail through your screen. For maximized signal efficiency, this minimizes unnecessary sounds. Your tracks offer great sound and it makes mixing much easier.

The Element 46 features the advanced stepped gain architecture mic preamps provided by Apogee to catch the slightest information of drums, complex vocals or strings. This analog circuit is designed to dynamically optimize to provide low distortion and incredible bandwidth over a gain range of 0-75dB. It is fitted with a digital to analog converter of high quality, so you can communicate more with the concept. The clarity promises a helping hand when you are mixing the track for precise adjustments.

It has 4 Combi mic / line / instrument inputs with micro-preamps on the input side and 48v selectable phantom control. This audio interface comes with 2 balanced L / R XLR display outputs and 2 separate 1⁄4 'stereo headphone output on the output.
Options such as integration with Logic Pro X, remote control of the Apogee hardware and elementary control make this a top option.


Great Value

Focusrite Solo Scarlett 2nd genWould you like to spend less and get the best? Buy the Focusrite Scarlett Solo 2nd gen in that case. This audio interface is great for guitarists and songwriters alike. The newly built instrument can accommodate all of this no matter how you play. Unwanted distortion lets you concentrate where it most counts.

It has the new preamps in mic so you can adjust the rates accurately. Instrument input was also completely re-engineered to handle hot guitar pickups with ease.

The principal aim of an audio interface is to transform your analog signals into digital signals then back again. Thanks to world-class leading conversion and sample rates of up to 192 kHz/24 bit, theSolo 2nd gen has a beautiful, crispier, clearer sound.

Another element that shatters the workflow is latency or delay. This audio interface revolutionizes the idea absolutely, thanks to the unrivaled round trip latency of Scarlett, which is as low as 2.74ms.

With low latency, the latest in micropreamps, and sample levels of up to 192 kHz/24 bit, Focusrite's Scarlett Solo 2nd gen performs well beyond its price range.

What device interfaces are required?
An audio interface consists of several connections between the input and output. A budget-efficient audio box, for example, will have fewer ports and a budget-savvy one will include loads of ins / outs. You need to know about each single type of ports and their functions before purchasing.

We'll focus on around 3 main inputs and outputs.

Interface connectors Input / Output (I / O) Types Input / Output (I / O) Count The main purpose of an audio interface is to convert the analog signal to digital for transmission to a computer. The audio box is connected to the device using interface connectors.

The most common cable / port used are about 4.

USB Universal Serial Bus is widely used on budget audio interfaces, since every single device provides it. It does have the slowest rate of data transfer.

Firewire Firewire is used in high-end audio boxes, and provides a much faster speed than USB ports.

Thunderbolt Thunderbolt connectors are commonly used in Mac-designed audio boxes / interfaces, because they have a thunderbolt port connection. They deliver a much quicker than USB and Firewire data transfer rates.

PCIE PCIE ports are typically found in professional audio boxes as they provide additional processing power and fast transfer of data.

While choosing an interface link from which adapters can be used to convert the signals, be sure to test your device port.

Input Channel Types Test the right input channels as the real number of inputs is applied to the number of mic preamps, not the number of inputs. For example, if you choose to use your microphone as without a microphone preamp, you would have fewer input for other instruments because those inputs are dedicated to preamps for microphones.

There are about 5 types of ports to connect.

Mic input This input lets you attach your microphone directly to the audio interface.

Line Output This output allows the microphone signals to be amplified and used as a microchannel by adding an outboard microphone preamp.

Optical Output This output includes the addition of both a micro-preamp and a "optical out" digital converter to be used as a micro-branch.

DI Input This input lets you connect your set of guitars or drums.

MIDI Input This input lets you connect keyboard controllers or midi controllers.

Now be sure to test these inputs before buying your new audio interface and do not confuse the form of count input with the overall count input.

Input / Output (I / O) Count The I / O counts will range from 2-4 on a basic audio interface and above 14 on a professional audio box. The number actually depends on the style of job and how many tracks you want to record at once. Solo musicians would need around 2-4 I / O counts, because they will have to attach a small number of instruments. A songwriting team can need to count up to 4-8 I / Os as working in a team means each person is committed to one instrument that needs more I / O ports. Engineers who record bands that need a minimum of 16 ports as a whole band will have several instruments to use.

When purchasing an audio interface, what is DAW compatibility and what form factor should I consider?
DAW Digital Audio Workstation performance specifications DAW. It's a program for editing, capturing, and producing the signals that the audio interface digitizes. Most DAW's operate with any audio interface but exceptions exist. Verify that your compatibility with DAW is reviewed on the product website.

Form Factor Form factor refers precisely to the physical size and device form of electrical devices. There are two types of Type Factors in the audio interfaces.

Desktop Interfaces They're compact, so they can comfortably sit on a desk.

Rackmounted interfaces They are huge, as many I / O ports are included. They can be mounted in a regular unit of rack size.

When you're a novice then a desktop gui should be considered as tiny and easy to install. If you're older, you probably can switch to the rack-mounted interfaces, because they have more I / O ports and a greater signal routing.

Why does it operate on an audio interface?
There are two converts to an audio interface, Analog to Digital (ADC) and Digital to Analog Converter (DAC). The former transforms Analog signals into digital signals while the latter transforms the reverse.

The analog signals are created by your instruments (guitars, drum set), microphones, keyboards etc. The signals are converted by an Analog to Digital Converter when you link them to the audio interface so that they can be redirected towards the device. The system cables transmit the digital signals back to the audio interface when the editing process is done and you need to listen to the output. The audio interface converts them through a Digital to Analog Converter to analog signals. The analog signals are routed to the monitors (speakers / headphones), allowing you to listen to the output.

What is Digital Signal Processing Software On Board?
Digital Signal Processing Software or DSP, used on audio interfaces with 8 or more outputs. This program lets you edit and create mixes within the outputs you track. For example, if you're recording with your team and you guitarist is asking you to turn up the pitch on his headphones, you can easily do so inside the program without affecting the original sound you make.

This software is often used in audio interfaces which are budget-efficient. The program is copied onto the CD inside the box. You must install it on your computer, as it also has software drivers for the performance of the gui.

PCIE, Firewire, USB, Thunderbolt or?
USB and Firewire include up to 800 MB / s, and up to 1.25 GB / s respectively. If you have a lot of work, you can do either a USB or a Firewire. Both links can be easily accessed on the device. If you're part of a team of up to 20-25 men, Thunderbolt could be considered, it delivers 5 GB / s of lightning fast power. The ports are seen only on Macs, however. The PCIE choice is more difficult as you need to mount a special sound card that is not popular for home or professional use. In most cases, the job will be done by USB or Firewire, but if you want some extra speed then you might find a port with thunderbolts.

What is Bit Depth and Optimal Sampling Rate?
Just make sure your audio interface supports up to 24 bits and 48 kHz if you really want to compete with the existing standards of the music industry. Most audio interfaces provide lower bit rates such as 16 bits but the output is inferior to that.

What's the difference between an audio interface and a Sound Card?
The principal distinction between a sound card and an audio interface is that both serve as the sound card of the device. A good audio interface lets you connect a range of digital and analog signals. It also gives you better digital clock and superior analog circuitry to increase the quality of the signal. Compared with the simple sound card that comes with your machine, you'll experience whole new audio performance.

What are TRS Inputs and Outputs at line-level?
Microphones send out a very weak signal; when attached to a microphone input, they need to be amplified by a preamp. Signals at the line-level are very powerful, and require no boost. So a microphone requires a different kind of input connector for line-level pairing.

Line-level inputs and outputs typically have 1/4 "TRS / TS jacks, which are great for avoiding noise and eliminating ground hum. You can connect your speakers, keyboards, external effects, compressors, limiters and everything else that has a stereo line-level output. What are MIDI ports? MIDI-supported instruments can be managed / played directly via DAW on your computer.

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