10 Best Audio Interfaces of 2023

Audio interfaces revolutionized home music production, allowing anyone to build their own recording studio and release music that meets the industry standards, all this at a fraction of the cost of a professional recording studio.

A good-quality audio interface is a must-have for both professional and beginner artists, and choosing the right one for your creative needs will depend mostly on your requirements and budget.

Today we'll look into some of the best audio interfaces in the market and identify which ones will help you unleash your creativity.

Here's a list of the best interfaces available right now. I tried to compile a list of products for every budget, focusing on interfaces that provide outstanding quality for their price range and that are compatible with most DAWs and operative systems.

Quick Summary of the Best Audio Interfaces

  1. Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (Best Audio Interface for Beginners)
  2. Solid State Logic SSL 2+ (Best USB Audio Interface for Podcasters)
  3. M-Audio M-Track Solo (Best Budget USB Audio Interface)
  4. Universal Audio Apollo Twin X (Best Sound Quality Interface)
  5. Audient ID44 Mk II (Best Interface With Many Line Inputs)
  6. Presonus Studio 24c (Best Bundle)
  7. IK Multimedia iRig Pro Duo I/O (Best Portable Interface)

1. Best Audio Interface for Beginners - Focusrite Scarlett 2i2

Best Audio Interfaces


  • Connectivity: USB
  • Resolution: 24-bit/192kHz
  • Input/Output: 2/2
  • Midi: NO

Undoubtedly one of the most popular audio interfaces among new music producers, the iconic Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 comes with specs that’ll also satisfy the needs of navigated artists. 

The XLR/TRS inputs come with switchable phantom power, meaning you can use your condenser microphones without issues. Preamps have an Air mode that enhances higher frequencies and can get up to a 56dB gain.

If that wasn’t enough, the Scarlett 2i2 also comes with an excellent software bundle. For the price, you can’t really ask for more, so I'd strongly recommend this interface to anyone who wants to start experimenting with music production or needs a reliable interface with USB connectivity.

2. Best USB Audio Interface for Podcasters - Solid State Logic SSL 2+

Best Audio Interfaces


  • Connectivity: USB
  • Resolution: 24-bit/192kHz
  • Input/Output: 2-in/4-out
  • Midi: YES

Solid State Logic has built a legacy on excellent audio gear for professional artists, and the SSL 2+ is a great solution for artists who need a versatile audio interface that delivers pristine quality recordings.

The built quality is outstanding, and the minimal design will fit perfectly in any recording environment, but it's also a compact interface that you can take with you on tour for basic recording sessions on the go.

The SSL 2+ comes with Legacy 4K, based on the legendary SSL 4000 series console: all you have to do is push a button, and your preamps will get a high-frequency EQ boost and the subtle harmonic distortion typical of the 4000 series. Recordings of all kinds will sound deeper and more professional thanks to this unique feature.

The loopback functionality included in the SSL 2+ will expand the possibilities of live streamers and broadcasters thanks to a set of tools designed to craft the perfect voice before it’s streamed.

Finally, the SSL 2+ comes with a comprehensive software bundle that includes Ableton Live Lite, Melodyne, Vocalstrip’s four vocal processors, and much more.

3. Best Budget USB Audio Interface - M-Audio M-Track Solo


  • Connectivity: USB
  • Resolution: 24-bit/48kHz
  • Input/Output: 2/2
  • Midi: NO

If you’re on a really tight budget but still want to get good-quality recordings, then look no further than the M-Audio M-Track Solo: for only $50, you’ll get an intuitive, versatile interface that can record your musical instruments with professional clarity.

With a Combo input and Crystal mic preamp, phantom power, and a set of carefully-selected software to get you started, this is the best option to get your hands dirty and let your imagination run wild.

The audio resolution of the audio inputs allows for transparent recordings you wouldn't expect from budget audio interfaces such as this one. Perhaps the only downside is the lack of MIDI inputs, which are usually quite important for new producers.

If the budget allows, go for the M-Track Duo, which offers similar features but has more instrument inputs and headphone outputs, giving you more creative flexibility.

4. Best Sound Quality Interface - Universal Audio Apollo Twin X

Best Audio Interfaces


  • Connectivity: Thunderbolt
  • Resolution: 24-bit/192kHz
  • Input/Output: 10/6
  • Midi: NO

This is the best pick for the artist willing to invest in gear that maximizes productivity and brings to life excellent results. Universal Audio is renowned as one of the most respected brands in the audio production business, and the Apollo Twin X is the embodiment of the quality offered by the California-based brand.

Thanks to real-time processing, near-zero latency, and compatibility with Universal Audio LUNA software, you'll get an interface that'll transform your home productions into international hits.

With a top-of-the-line DUO Core processor, Dual Unison preamps, and the unique Heritage software bundle, the Universal Audio Apollo Twin X is a high-end audio interface that'll give you the perfect audio resolution you need to take your artistry to the next level.

5. Best Interface With Many Line Inputs - Audient ID44 Mk II

Best Audio Interfaces


  • Connectivity: USB
  • Resolution: 24-bit/96kHz
  • Input/Output: 20/24
  • Midi: NO

A superb product that can meet the demands of bands and music producers alike, thanks to ADAT ports that can be expanded up to 20 line inputs and 24 out. The Audient ID44 Mk II offers excellent recording quality in most environments, with excellent microphone preamps combined that'll give a tone to and enhance the audio resolution of your takes.

An excellent Analog to Digital Converter offers a wide 126dB dynamic range with close-to-zero noise. Just like the SSL 2+, the Audient ID44 Mk II comes with tools for streamers and broadcasters to enhance and customize the vocal output.

All in all, this is an audio interface for those looking for uncompromising audio quality but can't afford to invest a fortune in professional audio gear.

6. Best Bundle - Presonus Studio 24c

Best Audio Interfaces


  • Connectivity: USB
  • Resolution: 24-bit/192kHz
  • Input/Output: 2/2
  • Midi: YES

The Presonus Studio 24c is another valid option for the frugal producer. For just $150, you’ll get a versatile audio interface that delivers high-quality recordings and a rich software bundle to craft your audio. Thanks to the MIDI connectors, you can switch from audio recording to virtual instruments in a second.

With the solid-state XMAX-L preamp generation, you'll get a warm, authentic sound out of every instrument, and the 115dB of dynamic range ensures you'll capture every frequency across the spectrum with clarity.

The software bundle included is nothing short of impressive, with Studio One Artist and the Studio Magic plugin suite giving everything an artist needs to record and mix music professionally. The quality of Presonus' products is unquestionable, with a range of software and hardware that you'll find in many high-end recording studios, so rest assured the Presonus Studio 24c will optimize your workflow and give you more than what most audio interfaces offer, despite the price.

7. Best Portable Interface - IK Multimedia iRig Pro Duo I/O

Best Audio Interfaces


  • Connectivity: USB
  • Resolution: 24-bit/48kHz
  • Input/Output: 2/2
  • Midi: YES

Portability is the crucial feature of this tiny yet powerful interface that has everything to become the touring artist’s best friend. You can take this battery-powered product anywhere you like, and with its MIDI connectivity, phantom power, and all-around compatibility, you'll be able to record any ideas on your computer, tablet, or smartphone in seconds.

Don’t let its size fool you: the iRig Pro Duo has two analog combo inputs and Class-A preamps, making it a great small portable setup to record your ideas on the go on your Android or iOS device.

Best Audio Interface Buyer's Guide

Aside from budget, there are a few factors to consider when choosing a new audio interface. Bear in mind that although modern interfaces are extremely versatile and compatible with most audio gear, the devil is in the details, so pay extra attention to the following features.

Compatibility with your existing gear

Make sure the connection type is compatible with your computer: USB, PCIe, FireWire, or Thunderbolt. If you use MIDI controllers, check if the audio interface has a MIDI in/out option, and most of all, ensure it works with your operating system (Mac, Windows, Linux, and so on).

Most interfaces work with both Windows and Mac, but you might need additional software to connect them to your device, so ensure you check the interface's specs before buying.

Instrument Inputs/Outputs

You need an audio interface that will simplify your workflow: therefore, you need one that can record your music professionally, capturing every sound and nuance coming out of your musical instruments.

While it’s possible to obtain good-quality recordings using only one mic, multiple microphones will give you the possibility to create a deeper, more authentic sound.

If you're a professional musician, I'd suggest you get an audio interface with at least two input channels and more if you're recording your band's albums or rehearsals. If you're a so-called bedroom producer, one instrument input might do the job for a while, but chances are you'll need to upgrade at some point.

Having more than one output is important to connect multiple headphones and studio monitors at the same time. It might not be necessary, but it will undoubtedly speed up your mixing process.


If you’re a traveling musician, you probably don’t want to carry a bulky interface with you. There are plenty of lightweight options out there, mostly with one or two input channels. If portability is crucial, I’d definitely recommend buying the M-Audio M-Track Solo or the IK Multimedia iRig Pro Duo.

Another aspect to consider is whether the interface is battery-powered: if you're often on tour, you might want a device that allows you to record on the go without sacrificing sound quality. If that's your case, look no further than the IK Multimedia iRig Pro Duo.

Extra: Bundles

Nowadays, every audio interface comes with a software bundle, including a DAW's lite version, some VST plugins, and samples. If you just started making music, these freebies could be a great way to hit the ground running and start making music right away using professional tools.

Even if you're a professional artist with a well-drilled selection of software and effects, there might be plugins included in the bundle that'll help you expand your sonic palette further.

Different Connectivity

There are four main connection types for audio interfaces: USB, Thunderbolt, PCIe, and FireWire.

USB is undoubtedly the most common connection and will work on all computers with a USB port. The interface's latency will largely depend on the type of USB provided (USB C connection, USB-2, USB-3, etc.).

Thunderbolt is highly efficient and transfers data much faster than USB. Most high-end interfaces are Thunderbolt-powered, and luckily, this connectivity is cross-compatible with USB and works just fine when connected to a USB-C port.

PCIe is another professional option, which requires integrating the interface directly into the computer's motherboard. In this way, you'll have the lowest possible latency but also plenty of work to install and configure it properly.

Finally, FireWire: it used to be the standard in audio/video data transfer until USB became more efficient and popular, but now it's extremely rare, and it's unlikely you’ll find a new computer with a built-in FireWire port.

If, for any reason, you find yourself with a FireWire audio interface and a computer with a FireWire port, rest assured you can record professional audio with it.

My recommendation would be to always choose a USB interface for its versatility and the audio quality provided.

Best Audio Interfaces Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is an Audio Interface?

An audio interface connects your musical and MIDI instruments to your DAW, recording your takes in real time and converting any analog audio signal (from a guitar, piano, or vocals) to digital.

In this way, your DAW can recognize the incoming sound and save it. Audio interfaces also come with one or two headphone outputs you can use to connect your monitors and headphones.

What Are the Main Features to Consider When Choosing an Audio Interface?

When choosing an audio interface, consider its compatibility with your existing gear. Make sure that it will connect with your PC or Mac (many audio interfaces work with both), has the right connection type, has enough inputs and outputs to satisfy your needs, and features MIDI in/out connectivity if you use MIDI controllers extensively.

What Type of Audio Interface Do I Need?

You need an audio interface with enough inputs and outputs to record your takes professionally. If you're a songwriter, chances are you'll need at least two microphones recording simultaneously, meaning you'll need one with at least two mic inputs and a headphone output. If you want to record your band's album with your home studio equipment, you'll need at least 4-5 inputs, especially for the drums!

What Kind of Software do I Need for my Audio Interface?

Most audio interfaces are plug & play, meaning they don't require software to function. However, you do need a DAW to record your music using your audio interface. Luckily, most audio interfaces these days come with great software bundles, including DAWs and effects, to help you get started on your music journey right away.

How do I Connect my Audio Interface to my Computer?

Most Audio interfaces connect to computers via USB; however, other connection types include FireWire, Thunderbolt, and PCIe. When choosing your new interface, ensure it’s compatible with your existing gear without adding adapters that might compromise the interface’s data transfer capabilities.

What are Some Common Issues and Troubleshooting Tips for Audio Interfaces?

Most of the time, cables are the issue, so first try to replace your cables one by one and see if your problem persists. If it does, make sure your DAW can recognize your audio interface: disconnect the interface, restart your computer, connect your interface, and open your DAW.

Check your DAW's settings and ensure all parameters are correct. Every DAW is different, and although in most cases they're compatible with all audio interfaces, it might take a few extra steps to connect them, but don't despair!

Final Thoughts

I hope this guide will help you choose among the best audio interfaces for your creative needs.

Nowadays, the market is saturated with affordable USB audio interfaces that provide excellent sound quality.

While I find the ones mentioned in this article to be better than the others, I'm confident any of them will help you get started in your music production journey.

If you're a beginner, choose an interface that suits your budget and comes with a rich software bundle to explore new sounds. There's no better way to get started than having all the tools at your disposal right away and perfectly compatible with each other.

If you're an experienced musician, ensure you choose one with enough inputs and outputs and the lowest possible latency.

Choosing an audio interface with excellent analog-to-digital conversion, compatibility with both dynamic mics and condenser mics (through phantom power), multiple input signals, and zero latency monitoring can give you more tools to expand your sonic palette, so don't just focus on how many inputs your next interface will have.

Good luck, and stay creative!

Photo Courtesy Sweetwater

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