The best audio interfaces in 2021

the best audio interfaces

The 14 best audio interfaces in 2021

Having the best audio interfaces is a critical part of building a home studio in the modern-day. In this guide to the best audio interfaces, we explore top PC/Mac Thunderbolt and USB audio interfaces for music producers, songwriters, DJ`s and more.

Audio Interfaces basics

This article is dedicated to the best audio interfaces available on the market today. If you make music on a PC or Mac, you will need an audio interface – one of the most essential pieces of external hardware for your audio production setup.

 

What is an audio interface?

 

The device that offers all connectors you need to plugin instruments and studio microphones for recording, as well as studio headphones and studio speakers for listening, is called an audio interface. Many of these devices provide metering features along with some other features such as MIDI ports that will let you plug a MIDI controller. Having the best audio interfaces will let you get high-quality audio in and out of your computer and connect all essential studio gear during your sessions.

 

Connecting with Your Computer

 

All modern audio interfaces connect to your laptop or desktop computer via a USB or Thunderbolt port. Most interfaces work with both Mac® and Windows systems. To help you find the best audio interface for your home studio, we have divided them for you into 2 different price ranges.

  1. Budget
  2. High End

Budget Audio Interfaces

1. PreSonus Studio 24c 2×2, 192 kHz, USB-C Audio Interface

PreSonus Studio 24c 2x2, 192 kHz

The PreSonus Studio 24c 2×2, 192 kHz, USB-C Audio Interface is a bus-powered 2 input, 2 output USB audio interface. The XMAX preamps offer a lot of gain that retains your headroom and doesn’t color your sound too much, as well as a universal 48V switch. The interface is rated up to 192kHz, which is important for professional integration.

The bus-powered PreSonus Studio audio interface features 2 front-panel combo mic/line/instrument inputs with PreSonus XMAX-L solid-state mic preamps, 2 rear-panel line outputs, MIDI I/O, and onboard direct monitoring control.

A complete, all-in-one home recording studio, the Studio 24c comes with PreSonus’ award-winning Studio One Artist music production software for macOS and Windows.

 

Pros

  • World-class recording software (Studio One Artist) included.
  • Superior sound.
  • USB bus-powered.
  • 2 channels in and 2 out simultaneously
  • 2 mic/instrument/line inputs on the front
  • 2 balanced ¼” TRS main outputs
  • MIDI In/Out
  • Stereo S/PDIF digital I/O

Cons

  • the knobs can be tricky to dial in as they’re too close to your desktop.

Summary

This small unit is great for recording studios, mobile musicians, guitarists, podcasters, and live streaming. The Studio 24 comes bundled with PreSonus’ Studio One Artist Version software, so you are ready to start recording right away.

2 Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 3rd Gen

Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface

Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface  

Focusrite’s Scarlett USB interfaces are units that combine excellent sonics and audio features flexibility at an affordable price point. 

All units in the range have up to 56dB gain, balanced connectivity throughout, and the inclusion of Focusrite’s ISA transformer preamp emulation option “Air”. The “Air” mode reproduces the Air effect on Focusrite’s legendary ISA mic preamp. Piped through the Air mode, vocals will sound brighter, and acoustic sources can sound more open.

It adds two additional line inputs to your array, giving you the ability to record more instruments simultaneously. Each preamp on the 4i4 offers an optional Air setting.  The front panel is pretty slick with LEDs and the halo-style input level meters.  Apparently, all units use USB Type C connectors. Focusrite developed an onscreen onboarding process that will guide you through the setup.

With the 4i4 you get two mic/line/instrument inputs with gain, two line-level TRS inputs, and four TRS outputs and MIDI in/out. For headphones, the 4i4 has one front panel output with level and the 8i6 two outputs with the individual level. The smaller 4i4 is USB bus-powered, while the larger interface requires an external PSU but it is pretty compact.

The 4i4 supports Focusrite’s Control application, which means that a number of settings including pad, line/Hi Z instrument selector, and the Air option can only be set via the software. The app also handles low-latency monitoring. The unit has a monitor mix system which allows easy creation of low latency mixes for each output stream. The sonics are neutral, and the unit operates at up to 192kHz. There’s also a bundled software including Ableton Live Lite 10, Pro Tools First Focusrite Creative Pack, Focusrite Red 2 and Red 3 plugin suite, XLN Audio Addictive Keys, and Focusrite Plug-In Collective, Softube Time, and Tone bundle.

 Pros

  • Improved preamp design
  • “Air” transformer stage emulation of the classic ISA mic preamps.
  • MIDI In/Out
  • Full native support for USB-C iPad Pro

Cons

  • no mono button.

Summary

Focusrite has done a great job with the new line of 3rd  Scarlett generation interfaces. The price point is very fair and seems to be in the same range as its predecessors, despite receiving many upgrades.

3.  Audient iD14 High Performance USB Audio Interface

Audient iD14 High Performance USB Audio Interface

The Audient iD14 High Performance USB Audio is a compact desktop audio interface that gives you the superior audio performance normally associated with a large-format console. The iD14 sports two of Audient’s excellent Class-A mic preamps, class-leading Burr-Brown converter technology, console-style monitor control, and a JFET direct input. The unit has a very clean and transparent sound. It adds a nice, well-balanced saturation and harmonics that contribute dimension and a record quality to the sound. 

The onboard Audient’s ScrollControl mode gives you quick and easy control over compatible parameters within your DAW. And with its 8-channel ADAT input bumping your input capabilities up to ten channels, the iD14 is ready for your future studio expansion.

Pros

  • A well-thought-out and good-sounding desktop audio interface.
  • Burr-Brown Converters
  • Robust build quality.
  • A sensibly chosen blend of I/O and monitor control features.
  • 10-in/4-out USB Desktop Audio Interface with 2 Class A Mic Preamps
  • 8-channel ADAT Input
  • JFET DI

Cons

  • Can’t supply phantom power unless the DC adaptor is plugged in

Summary

Audient iD14 is a great little interface and monitor controller, which retains the core features of Audient’s larger “brother” iD22 in a more affordable package.  If you need a versatile, great-sounding hub for your DAW-based studio,  the Audient iD14 would be the right choice.

4. Universal Audio Apollo Twin MkII Heritage Edition

Universal Audio Apollo Twin MkII Heritage Edition

The original Apollo Twin has been giving access to Unison preamps, first-class I/O, and swanky UAD plugins for more than four years now. The new Apollo Twin MkII audio interface has optional DSP upgrades and several minor improvements.  The unit has a desktop-format 2-in/-6-out interface with 24-bit/192kHz capabilities. It connects to your Mac or PC via Thunderbolt. This is a Thunderbolt unit, but if you prefer to use a USB connection, Universal audio has Apollo Twin USB unit as well as an Apollo Solo USB unit.

The front edge and back panel house two combi Mic/Line inputs, a Hi-Z quarter-inch guitar input (overriding Mic/Line 1 when occupied), stereo S/PDIF out, four quarter-inch output jacks (two Monitor, two Line), headphones out, and a TOSLINK port for adding up to eight analogue inputs via ADAT.

The top panel centers on a relatively big knob, controlling Monitor or Preamp input levels, as selected with the two buttons flanking it, Each of the six option buttons, has its own icon on the LED strip, that change function depending on whether the unit is in Monitor or Preamp mode. Input and output metering is provided by four five-segment LED ladders. Also a ‘DSP box’ for powering UAD plugin effects (VST/AU/AAX/RTAS).

Twin MkII features great Unison preamps, fed by the Mic/Line and Hi-Z ins. These allow expanding subset of UA’s classic hardware emulation plugins to be inserted directly into each input path. Therefore, you can, physically reconfigure the preamp’s impedance and gain staging – prior to the regular algorithmic modeling of valves, EQ, amps, etc – for almost zero-latency monitoring and/or recording through them.

In other words, It is direct monitoring with plugins like singing into a real preamp or playing guitar through a real distortion pedal. The best part. there is no perceptible delay between input and output.

 

 Pros

  • Incredible audio quality
  • New Quad Core option
  • Real-time tracking and monitoring through Unison plugins
  • Superb UAD-2 plugins
  • An amazing plug-in bundle included

 Cons

Summary

The Apollo Twin MkII does more than just great interfacing. With two Unison-enabled mic preamps and stellar next-generation A/D and D/A conversion derived from UA’s flagship Apollo 8, 8p, and 16.  The unit runs UAD Powered Plug-Ins via VST, AU, and AAX 64 formats in all major DAWs, including Logic Pro, Pro Tools, Cubase, Ableton Live, and more. Definitely,  Apollo Twin MkII is on our list with the best audio interfaces.

5. Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6 Mk2

Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6 USB Audio

The Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6 Mk25  is the successor to the  Komplete Audio 6, originally released in 2011. The unit aimed at those whose recording and monitoring needs are a little more diverse. It is featuring high-definition recording, ultra-low latency, and flexible connectivity. The AUDIO 6 brings your whole setup together. You can plug in mics, guitars, and synths, create send and return loops with effects, and control synths and drum machines. Plus, you get all the software you need to capture performances, build songs, and polish recordings – bring any idea to life. 

Native Instruments also develops incredible software and plugins that function in KOMPLETE.  With Komplete Audio 6 Mk25, you’ll get Monark, Mod Pack, Replika, Solid Bus Comp, Maschine Essentials, Ableton Live 10 Lite, Traktor LE 3, Komplete Start!

Pros

  • Record audio in premium quality  – up to 192 kHz/ 24-bit
  • Connect your whole setup – 4 analog in/out, 2 digital in/out, 2 headphone out,
  • MIDI in/out ports
  • 2x Headphone out with high-power output and individual volume controls
  • Usb 2.0 Bus-Power – no additional power supply needed. 
  • Compatible with Mac and PC (ASIO/Core Audio/DirectSound/WASAPI)

Cons

  • No monitor outputs other than headphones.

 

Summary

The Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6 Mk25  is simple, well designed, robust, and portable. The driver architecture and performance is remarkable at this price.  The second headphone output is helpful and the MIDI interface is a big plus if you use hardware synths. Having more I/O makes this unit a more versatile interface and a fantastic Audio Interface for the price.

6. M-Audio AIR 192|6

M Audio AIR USB Audio MIDI Interface

Designed for musicians, producers, looking for studio-quality recordings, the M-Audio AIR 192|6  desktop 2×2 USB Type-C audio interface provides two channels of transparent preamps and converters, MIDI I/O, and an expansive software bundle of DAWs, virtual instruments, plug-ins, and loops.

The AIR 192|6  does add a second mic preamp and a second instrument input. For each of the two analog recording channels, you can either connect a microphone or an instrument. Also, this unit has MIDI In/Out.

The XLR-1/4″ combo inputs with preamps are at the back, while the instrument inputs are at the front. The fact that there are two of each kind of input also makes it easier to record stereo sources. Output-wise it has 192|4: Stereo 1/4″ outputs and a headphone jack with independent volume.

The AIR 192|6 comes with a complete software package that has everything to get you started including Pro Tools | First M-Audio Edition, Ableton Live Lite, Eleven Lite, the Avid Effect Collection, AIR’s Creative FX Collection, 2GB of sample content from Touch Loops, Xpand!2, Mini Grand, Vacuum, BOOM and DB-33 from AIR Music Tech.

 Pros

  • Premium component selection and 24-bit/192kHz resolution for professional recording and monitoring to your Mac/ PC;
  • Studio-Quality Recording
  • Low latency – Hi-Speed USB/ USB
  • Connectivity – XLR+¼” TRS combo input, (1) ¼” instrument input, stereo ¼” Outs, and ¼” headphone out with independent level control
  • 5-pin MIDI in/ out connections for connecting synths, sequencers, and other external MIDI gear

Cons

  • You can only record 2 tracks at a time.

 

 

 

Summary

 

With the AIR 192|6, you can create 24-bit/192kHz studio-quality recordings with an intuitive and easy-to-use audio interface. The AIR 192|6 lets you record up to 2 channels at once with its 2 dedicated XLR+¼” balanced combo inputs, and 2 all-new ¼” instrument inputs that have a specially designed gain and impedance stage to provide the most accurate representation of a guitar or bass plugged directly into the interface.

7. SSL SSL2+ USB-C Audio Interface

SSL SSL2+ USB-C Audio Interface

SSL’s entry into the world of affordable desktop audio interfaces is very successful. The 2+ offers a compelling balance of features and audio quality at highly competitive prices. The  SL SSL2+ 2-In/4-Out USB-C Audio Interface is an all-in-one professional studio for musical collaborators and media production teams. It brings together the best of SSL technology with the right features and expanded I/O capability.

The SSL-Designed Preamps are clean, pristine, and precise. They deliver high-class sonic performance that you’d expect from far more expensive interfaces and preamps on the market. The Legacy 4K option certainly introduces a noticeable change in the tonality of the input signal and is an affordable “option” of  ‘the SSL sound’. With such a great monitoring and recording quality and its flexible I/O configurations, the SSL 2+ is on our list with the best audio interfaces.

Pros

  • Great monitoring device
  • 4K – analog color enhancement, inspired by classic SSL consoles
  • 2 x Professional, high-current grade headphone outputs: create a second independent headphone mix
  • Great all-in-one professional studio
  • SSL Production Pack software bundle
  • MIDI In/Out

 

Cons

  • Some people would prefer quarter-inch outputs to the 2+’s phonos.

Summary

The SSL2+ 2-In/4-Out USB-C Audio Interface is solidly built with high-quality components and sounds great. It is a bit more expensive than others in entry-level audio interfaces but outperforms most of them. If you have a little extra money to spend on an audio interface, this should be the one.

8. Arturia AudioFuse Rev2 USB Audio Interface

Arturia AudioFuse Rev2 USB Audio Interface

The Arturia AudioFuse is a pro audio interface that sets a new standard in sonic quality and creative production. It has the superior sound of high-end analog studio consoles. At the same time, it has the flexibility of a solid mobile interface—with all the connectivity you may need for any recording or live performance. It has linear frequency response and the lowest harmonic distortion,  high signal-to-noise ratio, and short latency. These are essential to delivering your music in the highest quality.

AudioFuse has a solid aluminum chassis, complete with a hardcover to protect it from dust on your desktop. The unit comes with a software collection of vintage effects and instruments that will boost your creativity. 

Features: 

2 DiscretePRO microphone preamps, 2 RIAA phono preamps, 4 analog inputs, 4 analog outputs (1/4″ TRS), 2 analog inserts (1/4″ TRS), ADAT in/out, S/PDIF in/out, Word clock in/out, MIDI in/out, 24-bit next-generation A-D/D-A converters at up to 192 kHz sampling rate, Talkback with dedicated built-in microphone (up to 96 kHz Sample Rate), A/B speaker switching, Direct monitoring, 2 independent headphone outputs, Separate master and monitor mix channels, USB interface with PC, Mac, iOS, Android and Linux compatibility, 3-port USB hub, Aluminum chassis, hard leather-covered top cover, DiscretePRO Technology

Pros

  • An extremely comprehensive selection of I/O.
  • Monitor control features including speaker switching, mono, and talkback.
  • Built-in USB hub and turntable input.
  • Good sound quality
  • Versatile preamps

Cons

  • The Control Center software can be confusing.

Summary

The Arturia AudioFuse can capture all kind of sounds, from the most delicate ambience to the heavy metal. You can transform your desktop into a compact studio with world-class sound. It features two proprietary DiscretePRO® microphone preamplifiers and the set of top-notch AD/DA converters.  It sets a new standard in sonic quality. Definitely, Arturia AudioFuse is one of the best audio interfaces with compact size.

9. MOTU UltraLite AVB Audio Interface

MOTU UltraLite AVB Audio Interface

The  MOTU UltraLite AVB Audio Interface  is a compact desktop unit boasting the most simultaneous I/O options. It features 18 inputs and 18 outputs, a sophisticated but sturdy all-black metal chassis. The front of the unit sports a large backlit LCD screen, offering a clear view of signal activity. The inputs comprise two XLR mic ports, two 1/4” Hi-Z guitar inputs (on the front), six 1/4” TRS line inputs (balanced/unbalanced) around the back, as well as digital inputs via optical I/O and MIDI in and out and of course a headphone output on the front panel.

The unit features high-quality mic preamps and top-class circuitry, as well as a solid onboard DSP mixer and router with built-in EQ, compression, and effects that make it very flexible. The sound quality is pristine and detailed. Tracking latency is intangible while the unit records at sample rates up to 192kHz. The DSP mixer is a very convenient addition, working as a standalone mixer.

You can connect the unit to your computer through AVB Ethernet or USB. The UltraLite AVB is compatible with both Mac and Windows devices, as well as a long list of DAW software, including Studio One, Ableton Live, Cubase, Logic Pro, Avid Pro Tools,  just to name a few.

Pros

  • Great interface
  • AVB protocol
  • Ability to connect up to 5 MOTU devices
  • Ability to network with other interfaces and computers
  • Web app control via any device (iPad, iPhone, etc)
  • Impressive technical specs
  • MIDI I/O

Cons

  • the interface screen should be a bit larger considering the amount of data it displays

Features

  • Intuitive display
  • 2 XLR mic inputs with phantom power
  • 2 quarter-inch guitar line inputs
  • 6 quarter-inch balanced inputs
  • 8 quarter-inch line outputs
  • MIDI I/O
  • USB connectivity (with Ethernet for virtual mixing console)
  • Headphones out
  • Touch Console for iOS and Android

Summary

 

The MOTU UltraLite AVB Audio Interface is a sophisticated audio interface. It is not cheap but this unit has proved its worth by offering powerful mixing tools, exceptional sound quality. It offers more I/O options than most users will ever find a use for. Coupled with the nice and informative display, the AVB is certainly one of the best audio interfaces available n the market today.

10. RME Babyface Pro FS USB Audio Interface

RME Babyface Pro FS USB Audio Interface

As we all know RME has a positive reputation for developing some of the lowest latency audio units on the market and the RME Babyface Pro FS USB Audio Interface is no exception.  It has a compact design and is bus-powered via USB but the side panel has provision for external power. The preamp and converter quality is really good.  It is a professional 24-Channel audio interface with pristine sound quality, excellent word clock accuracy.

The front panel provides highly accurate metering for both inputs and outputs, along with quick access to gain and level controls. The unit is also expandable via the optical ADAT I/O (also S/PDIF compatible), allowing for the connection of external AD/DA converters and microphone preamps, adding an additional eight analog inputs and eight analog outputs.

 

Features

4x analog inputs
2x analog outputs
Up to 8 channels of digital I/O
SteadyClock FS timing circuit for ultra-low jitter
1x MIDI I/O
2x independent headphone outputs

 

Pros

  • Precise and accurate sound
  • Compact and rock-solid
  • Flexible mixing and routing
  • Extreme audio fidelity
  • Support for older computers and OSs

Cons

  • XLR cables don’t lock

Summary

The RME Babyface Pro FS USB Audio Interface sounds just great and works reliably at low latencies. This affordable and portable package unit has high-end professional features. Therefore it is on our list of best audio interfaces with a small form factor.

High-End Audio Interfaces

This price section is for the experienced users and those of you who want to create something significant. Everything here is top-tier and top quality.

11. Apogee Symphony Desktop

Apogee Symphony Desktop audio interface

The Apogee Symphony Desktop is a 10-in/14-out USB 2.0 interface with flagship A/D and D/A conversion specs. The unit provides 123dB of dynamic range on the way in and 129dB on the way out, both with ±0.05dB variance across 10Hz-20kHz. In other words, you’ll hear stunning clarity, depth and, width in everything you record and/or play through the ApogeeSymphony.

The two analog inputs boast 75dB of gain and Apogee Alloy preamp emulations. The onboard hardware DSP can also power Apogee plug-ins within your DAW. Dual headphone outputs are driven by amps and a DI input sits accessibly on the front of the unit. ADAT ports provide the other eight ins and outs.

 

 Features:

  • 10 In x 14 Out desktop audio interface with high-quality converters and circuit designs
  • 2 Advanced Stepped Gain mic preamps, up to 75dB of gain, variable impedance.
  • Apogee Alloy Mic Preamp emulation (Analog processing + DSP modeling) Includes British Solid State & 50s American Tube.
  • Built-in hardware DSP processing of Apogee FX Rack plugins.
  • Dynamic touch screen display for comprehensive hardware control
  • 2 fully balanced 1/4″ outputs and 2 assignable headphone outputs: 1 x 1/4″, 1 x 1/8”.
  • DSP processing for preamp emulations (British Solid State & 50s American Tube) and Symphony ECS Channel Strip (EQ, compression, saturation)
  • 2 Mic/Line inputs (XLR / TRS combo connector)
  • DI Instrument input with FET input stage (6.3 mm TS jack)
  • 2 Monitor outputs (6.3 mm TRS jack)
  • 2 Assignable stereo headphone outputs (3.5 mm & 6.3 mm TRS jacks )
  • Optical input/output (ADAT & S/PDIF)
  • USB-A host port and USB-C port

Pros

  • Easy to navigate touchscreen
  • Outstanding sound quality
  • Real-time DSP bundled with great plugins

Cons

  •  Expensive (but the quality does justify the high price)

Summary

 

The Apogee Symphony Desktop is a high-quality converter, offers two outstanding preamps with 75dB gain, vintage emulations powered by hardware DSP, a handful of DSP-accelerated plug-ins. The Symphony Desktop is a great home studio interface and is one of the best audio interfaces on the market.

12. Motu 1248 Thunderbolt Audio Interface

 

MOTU 1248 Thunderbolt Audio Interface

The MOTU1248 Thunderbolt audio interface gives you a high-class dynamic range and large console mixing capabilities. It features 66 channels of audio I/O (32 ins and 34 outs), 1248 also supports USB 2.0 audio class compliant connectivity that is USB 3.0 compatible. In other words, the unit has all  I/O you need for a well-equipped personal studio, including four mic inputs, two dedicated hi-Z guitar inputs, 8 x 12 balanced analog with separate main and monitor outs, 2 x 8-channel ADAT optical, and RCA S/PDIF (with sample rate conversion), for a total of 32 inputs and 34 outputs.

The 1248s powerful DSP delivers large console style mixing with 48 channels, 12 stereo busses, and 32-bit floating-point effects processing, including modeled analog EQ, classic reverb, and vintage compression.

The 1248’s extensive routing grid patches ins to outs, or splits inputs to multiple destinations. You can use the Motu 1248 as a stand-alone mixer and can control everything from the 1248’s innovative web app running on your iPhone, iPad, tablet, smartphone, and laptop. From initial tracking to final mastering, MOTU1248  delivers superb sound quality and highly reliable performance.

 

Pros

  • Superb audio specifications.
  • Very low latency even over USB.
  • Includes a powerful 48-channel internal DSP mixer, controllable from any device with Web browser.
  • Digitally controlled mic preamps.
  • A versatile range of onboard I/O and expansion options
  • Supports Thunderbolt and USB operation on both Mac OS and Windows.

 

Cons

  • Can be complex to set up.
  • Minimal monitor control functions
  • Metering does not clearly indicate overs.

 

Summary

MOTU interfaces can be found in many studios around the world because of their superb performance record and trusted reliability. MOTU 1248 has impressive audio specifications, boasts a very powerful DSP mixer, and works well at low latency.

13. RME Audio Interface  FIREFACE UFXII

RME Audio Interface (FIREFACEUFXII)

The RME Audio Interface FIREFACE UFXII  is was designed with expandability in mind. It is an ideal solution to a wide range of recording, mixing, and monitoring applications. The unit includes: 12 x Analog I/O, 4 x Mic/Instrument, 2 x Phones Output, 1 x AES/EBU I/O, 2 x ADAT I/O, 1 x Word Clock I/O, 2 x MIDI I/O, 1 x USB 2. 0, TotalMix FX, ARC USB, DURec, Class Compliant Mode. 

With the potential of a staggering 60 channels of I/O, the RME Fireface UFX II is one of the most versatile audio interfaces in the market today. It is a premier solution to transfer analog and digital audio data directly to a computer from practically any source.  Many companies are still trying to achieve zero latency. RME has done it a long time ago. Sound quality and performance are impressive, thanks to RME’s reliable, ultra-low-latency drivers and refined converters.  RME FIREFACE UFXII has a great stereo image and crystal clear high and low ends.

 

Pros

  • Ultra‑low latency RME drivers.
  • USB and Firewire interfacing.
  • Comprehensive built-in mixing and routing options.
  • Useful EQ, dynamics, and M/S processing included.
  • Integrated monitoring and talkback facilities.
  • Independently adjustable I/O levels.

Cons

Those looking for a simpler interface with no plans of expansion should look for a less overwhelming feature set.

 

 

Summary

If you have plans of expanding the RME AUDIO UFX II is a future-proof,  interface that will grow with your studio. UFX II delivers a rich feature set that will appeal to users in both high end home studios and commercial audio production facilities.

14. Universal Audio Apollo x8p Heritage Edition

Universal Audio Apollo x8p Heritage Edition

The Universal Audio Apollo x8p Heritage Edition is a rackmount 16×22 Thunderbolt 3 audio interface. It combines the sound, feel, and flow of analog studio recording with upgraded clocking, surround monitoring, a robust bundle of 34 stellar UAD plug-ins, and 50% more DSP than earlier Apollos thanks to its supercharged HEXA Core real-time UAD processing.

The standard Apollo x8p includes the Realtime Analog Classics Plus bundle (16 plug-ins), and the Heritage Edition adds 18 more plug-ins for a total of 34 revered UA-powered plug-ins.  Includes LUNA Recording System — a fully-integrated and inspiring music production application. You can track, overdub, and mix with elite-class AD/DA conversion and DSP-powered plug-ins. The dual-crystal clocking features dedicated crystals for 44.1 / 88.2 / 176.4 kHz and 48 / 96 / 192 kHz sample rates, resulting in stunningly low jitter (under 10 picoseconds) for pure, artifact-free recordings and solid stereo imaging.  The Unison technology nails the tone of the sought-after tube and solid-state mic pres including their input impedance, gain stage sweet spots, and the component-level circuit behaviors of the original hardware.

 Pros

  • A special edition of UA’s elite-class Apollo x8p interface, including a premium suite of award-winning UAD plug-ins 
  • Elite-class A/D and D/A conversion nearing the widest dynamic range and lowest signal to noise available
  • Realtime UAD Hexa core processing featuring 6 UAD DSP chips for running more award-winning UAD Powered Plug-Ins in real-time
  • Near-zero latency through preamp emulations from Neve, API, SSL, Helios, Manley, Avalon, and more using Unison technology
  • LUNA Recording System 
  • UAD Powered Plug-Ins via VST, AU, and AAX 64 in all major DAWs
  • Switchable +24 / +20 dBu headroom settings for easy connection to consoles and studio gear.

 

Cons

  • Expensive

Summary

The  Universal Audio Apollo x8p Heritage Edition has all the benefits of the acclaimed Apollo x8p, including world-beating A/D and D/A conversion, HEXA Core UAD plug-in processing, Unison-enabled mic preamps, and full LUNA Recording System integration. With a software suite of 10 award-winning UAD plug-in titles, featuring Collections from Helios, Pultec, Fairchild, Teletronix, and UA, the unit goes a step further Apollo x8p.

 End Remarks

An audio interface is a soundcard that allows you to record analog audio to your computer, turning it into digital audio and vice versa. It is a physical device that allows you to get sound in and out of your computer.

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