best audio interfaces for music prodcution

10 Best Audio Interfaces for Music Production in 2021

While making music, it’s important to capture the best sound quality whether you are recording vocals, guitars, or just playing your tracks over the speakers. Your laptop isn’t built to achieve the best sounding result, that’s why audio interfaces have been built. They are specially made to reduce distortion or any other side effects that come with the conversion of digital to analog and vice versa. There are tons of audio interfaces out there. So we decided to reduce your workload on finding what would be the right interface for you and made a list of the best audio interfaces for music production in 2021.

List of the Best Audio Interfaces for Music Production

1. Audient Evo 8 
2. UAD Apollo Twin MK ll
3. Focusrite Scarlett 2i2
4. Apogee One
5. Native Instruments Komplete Audio
6. Pre Sonus Studio USB 96
7. Motu m4
8. SSL 2+
9. Audient id14 MKII
10. Antelope Zen Go Synergy

 

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1. Audient Evo 8 

Price: $199

This 4in / 4out audio interface is currently one of the best audio interfaces available in the market. The reason behind its success is Audient’s 20+ years of research & development. Besides its stylish design, it will offer you a big dial (ranging up to 58 dB of gain), 4 mic buttons (to control your microphone levels), a smart gain, volume buttons, 48V phantom power, 4 preamps, 4 instrument inputs, 2 outputs, and 2 headphone inputs. Be it vocals, guitars, strings or drums, Evo 8 allows you to smoothly record everything into your DAW without losing any audio quality. It also comes bundled with an Audio Loop-back feature: allowing you to record your computer audio and your mic at the same time. Check out all the features of the EVO 8 Audio Interface down below.

 

 

2. UAD Apollo Twin MK ll

Price: $1,399

The famous Twin MK ll comes with 2 line/mic inputs, monitor output, and 2 line outputs. Check your monitor level, line level, and mic level through its gain meters, enable preamp, enable phantom power, flip the phase, or put your signal to mono with just a few buttons. Included with the UAD Apollo Twin are multiple UAD plugins such as the Teletronix LA-2A, and the 1176 compressor. The built of this audio interface is quite remarkable and so is the audio quality. Apollo Twin Mk II however is one of the most expensive options available at the moment but is definitely a contender for the best audio interfaces for music production.

 

3. Focusrite Scarlett 2i2

Price: $170

The Scarlett 2i2 3rd generation includes 2 inputs (each with a separate gain knob), 2 line outputs, a 48V phantom power knob, direct monitor function, a big volume knob, and a headphone input. Its hard case body protects its interface from damage. Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 also comes with software like Avid Pro Tools, Ableton Live Lite, XLN Audio Addictive Keys, Softube – Time and Tone Bundle, etc. Scarlett 2i2 is very popular among music producers worldwide.

 

4. Apogee One

Price: $249

Apogee One is a very sleek audio interface. Containing 2 input & 2 output channels, this USB audio interface has attracted the attention of artists like The Chainsmokers. It contains an aluminum chassis, direct monitoring, a USB 2.0 connection, and the typical Apogee sound quality when recording. Thanks to its small size and compact nature, you can easily take this audio interface along with you on the fly.

 

 

5. Native Instruments Komplete Audio

Price: $109

The Native Instruments Komplete Audio line is suitable for every occasion such as podcasts, performers, songwriters, and music producers. Connect it to your laptop, a jack output to your monitors, and an XLR to your microphone and start recording. This plug-and-play audio interface comes with some of the best plugins for music production such as Native Instruments Monark, Maschine Essentials, and Komplete Start.

 

 

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6. Pre Sonus Studio USB 96

Price: $149

The USB 96’s appearance is a bit similar to the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 however the functioning and features of both are a bit different. Pre Sonus Studio has been implementing a MIDI input, MIDI output, a mixer button (to get the right mix between inputs and playback), and the main mixer (ranging from -80dB to 0dB). The frequency response on the Pre Sonus Studio is decent and lacks some decibels at both ends of the human hearing spectrum i.e. 20Hz & 20kHz.

 

 

7. Motu m4

Price: $299

Motu m4 is a relatively less known audio interface however its crisp audio quality allows for its inclusion in this list of best audio interfaces for music production. The Motu m4 contains a Jack and RCA input, 2 monitor outputs, a bus-powered USB C connection, and MIDI in/outputs. Check your levels through its visualizer and control the in/and outgoing levels. Motu m4 also comes in with software that provides you complete control over the loopback which is quite useful when recording multiple things at the same time. Check out the complete video review of the audio interface down below.

 

8. SSL 2+

Price: $299

Solid State Logic is without a doubt one of the best audio interface & recording equipment manufacturers in the field of music production gear. SSL’s signature circuit, used in their famous consoles, has been implemented into the SSL 2+ USB audio interface as well. The solid aluminum case and classic buttons represent the appearance of SSL. It features 2 inputs, 4 outputs, 2 headphones, in/out MIDI, and you’ll be able to control all of these with a monitor mix and 2 phone mixes. Enable the 4K feature to add the famous SSL distortion and air immediately to your production. Check out SSL 2+ in action down below.

 

 

9. Audient ID14 MKII

Price: $299

Another Audient audio interface that makes it to our list of best in the business. The ID14 MKII comes with 8 buttons spread across 2 gain knobs, 2 phantom power buttons, a big volume knob, mute knob, iD shortcut button, and the headphone button to control your recordings. Its built-in converters will make sure to capture the most honest recordings. Within the box is included a USB C to USB C type cable for connectivity. Also, along with the purchase you get access to a bunch of software and plugins that can be download from the Audient website.

 

 

10. Antelope Zen Go Synergy

Price: $579

Antelope developed this 4in / 8out audio interface to improve the workflow of recording instruments, vocals, etc. They implemented a visualizer to control your levels with the gain knobs. This simple but effective audio interface comes with several audio plugins such as guitar cabinets, guitar amps, and various different emulations of analog gear. The audio quality of the interface is quite immaculate.

 

 

Read next: Best Delay VST Plugins of 2021

Image Credit: Audient

 

 

 

 

 

- DJ/Producer from the Netherlands. - Graduated from the Conservatory in Amsterdam. - Currently working as the technical writer at We Rave You

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