› Best Audio Interface

What is the Best Audio Interface
for Your Home Studio?

One of these devices could be the best audio interface for your home studio

Choosing the best audio interface for your home studio is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make when you’re bringing together your studio equipment. Your interface will be one of the central hubs in your studio - for recording and for mixing.


You already know the fundamentals of what to look for in a great-quality interface. So here’s a quick run-down of 3 of the best tools that you can choose from to establish your setup and start making good music.


 


Interface 1: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2


For me, this is the best audio interface you can choose for your home setup. The 2i2 has established itself at the top of the tree for quite a while now, and always makes the end-of-year lists for the best USB audio interface.

The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface


With the Scarlett 2i2, you can capture your sounds quickly, easily, and in superb quality with Focusrite’s world-renowned preamps and converters. Pro-level condenser and dynamic microphones can be used for recording, alongside any instruments that use jack connections like guitars and keyboards.


There’s stress-free connectivity to your DAW computer, with no need for an extra power supply - the USB connection to your computer also powers the 2i2. The small size and light weight makes it easy to carry around and use with a laptop, and the extra plugin bundle definitely helps you squeeze more life into your mixes.




Interface 2: PreSonus AudioBox 2x2


The PreSonus AudioBox, whilst not having the same inbuilt quality as the Scarlett 2i2, is still a superb interface. It’s ideally suited for beginners, with a price point to match. Like the Scarlett, it’s quick and easy to set up and you’ll be recording with it in no time.


The PreSonus AudioBox 2x2 audio interface

It’s powered through the USB connection, and the light weight and small size of the unit give it extra flexibility, making it ideal for making music with a laptop. High-quality recordings are easy to achieve, helped along by the 24-bit converters and pro-sounding preamps. Onboard phantom power gives you the option to use condenser mics as well.


The AudioBox is also at the center of the always-popular PreSonus AudioBox Studio Bundle, which brings together several tools into one package and is aimed at those who are want the complete starting package. It contains the AudioBox, Studio One Artist software, the M7 condenser microphone, and the HD7 headphones. You will need more gear if you want to take the next step and start producing better music, but the Bundle is a fantastic starting point.




Interface 3: M-Audio M-Track

The M-Audio M-Track audio interface


The M-Track is the follow-up to the Fast Track interfaces from M-Audio. The M-Track is superb value and a great choice for new home studio owners.


It’s designed differently to the 2i2 and the AudioBox, but the same core elements are still there. You get great sound quality from the preamps and converters, and it’s super-portable for any producers who like recording with their laptops in different rooms and locations.


The M-Track also comes bundled with Ableton Live Lite, which gives you a quick and easy way to try out the features of Live without spending big money up front.




Best Audio Interface - Comparison

 

Mic Inputs

Line Inputs

Monitor Outputs

Headphone Output

Phantom Power

Mic Preamps

AD/DA Converters

Direct Monitoring

Connection

Power

MIDI In/Out

Usual Price

Scarlett 2i2

2x XLR

2x 1/4" jack

2 (1x L, 1x R)

1

Yes

Focusrite

24-bit/96 kHz

Yes

USB

USB Bus

No

$149

AudioBox

2x XLR

2x 1/4" jack

2 (1x L, 1x R)

1

Yes

Class A XMAX

24-bit/48kHz

Yes

USB

USB Bus

Yes

$99

M-Track

2x XLR

2x 1/4" jack

2 (1x L, 1x R)

1

Yes

M-Audio

24-bit/48kHz

Yes

USB

USB Bus

Yes

$99



Final Thoughts


Combining an audio interface from the above list with the rest of your production setup will be a positive step forward in your music making. They all have impressive preamps and converters to help with the quality of your recordings, and your mixing life will be made easier when you hook up a quality pair of monitors.

My choice for best audio interface for your home studio - the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2


Coming up with only one choice for what is the best audio interface will always be a personal decision, but if I could only choose one then it would have to be the Scarlett 2i2. Inferior preamps are often one of the biggest downfalls in home recording, but the inclusion of Focusrite preamps and the sampling rate of 96 kHz really helps to push the quality of the 2i2 to another level.


To find out more about any of these interfaces and to get a closer look, you might want to check out the reviews below.


 


 

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