Home recording is not possible without USB audio interfaces. This is a must-have device for everyone who wants to start their home studio.
It’s the first thing you need to buy when you build a studio at home. It allows you to record analog or MIDI instruments.
There are hundreds of different audio interfaces on the market. On this list, you will find the best of them in the different price ranges.
What Is A USB Audio Interface?
A USB audio interface is a device that allows you to connect it to your computer via USB and record instruments or vocals. Needs no power because a USB acts as a connection and power source.
It has various ins and outs. You can connect guitars, bases, microphones, and even MIDI instruments and record music in the DAW. USB audio interfaces are a great way to record music at home.
Some interfaces have more inputs and outputs. This allows you to record several instruments simultaneously. These big interfaces are great for band recordings.
Let’s find out the best audio interfaces you can find on the market.
Best USB Audio Interfaces Under $1000
First, let’s see some high-end audio interfaces. These are more expensive devices that offer better features, sound quality, and other benefits.
1. Audient iD44
Audient iD44 is a premium quality, high-performance audio interface. It has 20 inputs and 24 outputs, Talkback, Dim, and Cut controls, and offers very low latency for better recording. Has metal construction and is a very well-built device. Also, it has high-quality, 24-bit, and 96kHz converters.
You can use Audient iD44 as a mic pre too. It includes four mic preamps with 60dB of gain. You can record instruments and vocals. Has XLR and headphone inputs too. Works with USB 2.0 and supports both – Windows and iOS.
Audient iD44 Top Features:
- Has four mic preamp
- Supports 24-bit recording
- Headphone outputs
- Low-latency mixer
- Two balanced inputs
2. Focusrite Clarett+ 4Pre
Focusrite Clarett is one of the most famous USB audio interfaces among musicians who record at their homes. This is a high-quality device with great features and sound quality. Focusrite Clarett comes with control software and several cool plugins.
Because it has multiple inputs and outputs, you can record several instruments at the same time. This is great if you plan to record bands or use the device in live situations. If you want to have a great-sounding recording then this is a great choice.
Focusrite Clarett+ 4Pre Top Features:
- Four microphone pres
- High-quality converters
- Control software included
- Phantom power support
- 18 inputs and 8 outputs
3. Steinberg UR-RT4
Steinberg UR-RT4 is another great audio interface you can get for under $1000. It offers Class A preamps and includes Neve transformers. It gives you rich sounds with enhanced harmonics. This device has zero-latency monitoring and also comes with a guitar amp and several effects plugins.
On the front, you have four mic and line inputs, peak and phantom power indicators, headphone outputs, and controls for gain, headphones, and output. Steinberg UR-RT4 is also great for live performances because it includes a loopback function. A great device for high-quality music recording at home.
Steinberg UR-RT4 Top Features:
- Steinberg UR-RT4 comes with 24-bit/192kHz support
- Offers zero-latency monitoring
- Supports phantom power
- Comes with several VST3 plugins
4. Roland UA-1010
Roland is a well-known brand in the music industry. They make high-quality products. Roland Octa-Capture interface is one of them. It has many great features and makes music recording a great experience. You have instrument and line inputs, phantom power, an LED screen for more convenience, and much more features.
In total, it has ten inputs and ten outputs and supports 24-bit/192kHz audio recording. Has a mic preamp for better recording, very low-latency recording, and comes with Ableton Live Lite. UA-1010 works with all the major DAWs and supports Windows and Mac.
Roland UA-1010 Top Features:
- VS mic preamps
- AUTO-SENS for optimal input levels
- The LED screen on the front panel
- Comes with a free DAW
5. PreSonus Studio 1824c
PreSonus makes great USB audio interfaces. Studio 1824c is perhaps the best you can get in this price range. It has eighteen inputs and outputs, input control meters, phantom power, a mono switch, and various controls on the front panel. On the back panel, you get all the necessary inputs or outputs like mic, instrument, balanced, MIDI, etc.
PreSonus Studio 1824c offers amazing sound quality and features. It includes PreSonus Studio One Artist DAW. It offers unlimited tracks and all the things you need to start recording music at home. Other than that, it includes other great plugins, wireless interface control for Windows, Mac, and Android, and of course, supports 24-bit/192kHz audio recording.
PreSonus Studio 1824c Top Features:
- Eighteen ins and outs
- Eight balanced line outputs
- Comes with free DAW and plugins
- Has mic preamp and phantom power option
Best USB Audio Interfaces Under $500
Find the best USB audio interfaces under $500 that work great. In this price range, you can find a great combination of the price and features.
6. Focusrite Scarlett 18i8
Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 is a solid solution for home recording studios. This is a great example of a good combination of price and features. You get an amazing features and options package at an affordable price. It has a 24-bit/192kHz converter, eighteen ins, eight outs, four analog outputs, and more.
Mic and instrument inputs are available on the front panel. There is also a headphone output, phantom power switch, and a big monitor knob. Has low latency for better monitoring and mic preamps. Also, comes with free DAW and various plugins.
Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 Top Features:
- Mic preamps
- Low latency monitoring
- Includes free DAW and plugins
- Various inputs and outputs
7. PreSonus Studio 1810c
PreSonus Studio 1810c is a great affordable alternative to its big brother 1824c. It has all the great features you need. Includes XMAX preamps, various I/O, monitor mixer, free DAW from PreSonus, and several free plugins. Of course, it includes a phantom power to use a condenser microphone.
Studio 1810c is one of the best USB audio interfaces for home studios. It has great sound quality, low latency, works with Windows and Mac, and comes with great free bundles. Also, the build quality of the device is superb.
PreSonus Studio 1810c Top Features:
- Low latency
- Free DAW and plugins
- Mic preamp
- Eighteen inputs and eight outputs
8. Tascam 102i
Tascam 102i is a small yet powerful device for music recording. With it, you can create high-quality tracks at your home studio. This device offers ten inputs and two outputs, phantom power, headphone outputs, optical inputs, DSP effects, and more. Built quality is very high. It’s a solid device.
On the front panel, you have mic and instrument inputs with the gain control knob, peak indicators, monitor knob, and headphone outputs. And the back panel has USB and DC ins, MIDI ins and outs, balanced outputs, and optical in. Tascam 102i is a great choice for home studios.
Tascam 102i Top Features:
- Phantom power
- Various ins and outs
- DSP effects
- 24-bit/192kHz converter
9. Steinberg UR44C
Another great audio interface in this price range is Steinberg UR44C. It supports USB 3.0 and has six ins and four outs. It supports 32-bit/192kHz audio recording and has four XLR inputs, mic, and instrument inputs along with MIDI I/O. UR44C is compatible with Windows and Mac.
The front panel includes inputs, peak indicators, gain controls, and an output rotating knob. Other than great features and I/O, it has low latency monitoring, Class A microphone preamps, dual headphone monitoring capabilities, and includes free Cubase AI software.
Steinberg UR44C Top Features:
- Free Cubase AI
- USB 3.0 support
- Microphone preamps
- Low latency monitoring
- 32-bit/192kHz audio converter
10. Zoom UAC-2
Zoom UAC-2 doesn’t offer many ins and outs but has some awesome features. This is a great home studio audio interface you can buy for under $500. Like UR44C, it has USB 3.0 support. Has two instrument and mic inputs, MIDI I/O, headphone output, and includes effects. Also, you can use condenser microphones and you can control output gain.
UAC-2 has great sound quality, low latency monitoring, LED meters for level control, and you can use delay and reverb on inputs and outputs. This is a great audio interface for people who are on a budget.
Zoom UAC-2 Top Features:
- Compact, lightweight yet solid build
- USB 3.0 support
- Various I/O
- Delay and reverb effects
Best USB Audio Interfaces Under $100
Now, let’s see the best USB audio interfaces for beginners. These devices cost less than $100 and are great-sounding yet inexpensive.
11. PreSonus AudioBox USB 96
One of the best audio interfaces you can get for under $100 is AudioBox USB 96 from PreSonus. You get amazing features in a small box. Not many interfaces offer these kinds of features and options in this price range. PreSonus makes great devices for music recording.
AudioBox USB 96 is a two-channel audio interface that can record 24-bit/96kHz audio. Has mic and instrument inputs and phantom power allows to use of condenser mics. On the front panel, you have different control knobs for input levels, mix, gain, etc. The package includes free DAW and plugins.
PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 Top Features:
- Comes with Free DAW and plugins
- Has phantom power support
- Needs no power supply
12. Behringer UMC202HD
Behringer UMC202HD is another great affordable audio interface. It’s the smallest member of the U-Phoria series and has great features and a low price. It’s a two-channel device and is powered by USB 2.0. You can record vocals or instruments with it.
It has phantom power, gain controls for each input, direct monitoring option, headphone output, and more awesome features. UMC202HD includes Tracktion DAW and various downloadable plugins.
Behringer UMC202HD Top Features:
- Comes with free DAW and effects plugins
- Can record 24-bit/192kHz audio
- Has direct monitoring option
- Includes phantom power
13. M-Audio M Track Solo
And the best and cheapest USB audio interface you can find is M-Track Solo by M-Audio. Very high-quality product with all the features you need to start recording music at your home. Perhaps it’s the best interface for beginner engineers. Small box with great features and solid build quality.
What you get with M-Track Solo are instrument and mic inputs, phantom power, headphone output, and control knobs. It includes Pro Tools First and MPC Beats out of the box. Also, you can choose between USB or direct monitoring output. Works with USB 2.0 and can record 16-bit/48Hz audio.
M-Audio M-Track Solo Top features:
- Includes free DAWs and several plugins
- Has a mic preamp built-in
- Phantom power
Recording at home is very easy with USB audio interfaces. You get all the options you need in one box. You can choose between different interfaces that differ by options and price. If you are a beginner recording engineer, you can buy an affordable interface to learn how it works.
For more advanced musicians, there are more expensive and feature-rich devices. But all the interfaces on this list are great for home recording and you can feel free to choose any of them depending on your budget.