1. The Best Low Latency Audio Interface on the Market. Whether you’re noodling out new ideas, completing a personal tune, documenting a podcast, or recording a live performance, your new little buddy can handle it. The 4i4 supports Focusrite’s Control application, which means that a number of settings can only be made in the software. You want to connect multiple instruments to your computer. This website uses cookies to improve your experience. 2.2. The noise on this unit is negligible, even when the gain is set above 75%. There is an audible hiss once you crank up the gain, however, making it unsuitable for recording particularly sharp instruments like snares. Recommended for: Serious home studios and producers who want best-in-class audio quality and an exceptional range of classic preamps and compressors. Focusrite’s Scarlett USB interfaces combine excellent sonics and audio flexibility at an affordable price point, and the third generation units have just landed. Ideally, we imagine it’s suited to musicians who are on the move and want to record high-quality audio, as well as those who might not want the larger interfaces and want the premium Apogee preamps at a more affordable price (in comparison to other Apogee products). Let’s see whether it truly holds the crown. The controls and the built-in screen simplify adjustments and the Duet looks great on the desktop. You end up with a weird situation where you have wires jutting out from all four edges of the unit. While the STUDIO PLUS won’t blow out any of the others on this list in either performance or fidelity, it offers tank-like build quality, ease of use, and most importantly, a ton of I/O options at a relatively affordable price tag. Building on the success of the original Duet, while taking into consideration customer feedback, Apogee has set a new standard in A/D conversion for home and project studio with the Duet 2. It’s nearly impossible to walk into any beginner studio and not find that familiar red box – Focusrite Scarlett – sitting somewhere on the desk. The only downside is that the Duet costs about twice as much as competitive units. Usually with some modern nuances to create a budget model of their current range. The Zoom TAC 2R is the lowest latency audio interface for home recording at an affordable price. Connectivity type Each audio interface will have different connectivity types, ranging from USB, Firewire, through to Thunderbolt, and that’s not to mention the upgrades, for example, USB 2.0, USB 3.0, etc. There’s also a decent pack of bundled software including Ableton Live Lite 10, Pro Tools First Focusrite Creative Pack, Focusrite Red 2 and Red 3 plugin suite, Softube Time and Tone bundle, XLN Audio Addictive Keys and Focusrite Plug-In Collective. There are two mic preamps on the front face and two line outs, plus MIDI I/O ports on the back. Capable of elevating even the humblest of home and project studios to genuinely professional-quality heights. Favor AudioGraph, wherever possible for new application development. If this is you, why not take a look at the product reviews for yourself, directly below. Thunderbolt connections are the fastest. It’s tough to describe it if you’ve only used cheap audio interfaces like Focusrite’s entry-level offerings. Some are great and have low internal latency for both A/D and … The BIG KNOB STUDIO PLUS combines the same large knobby ease of use with an audio interface. The Onyx Producer 2.2 uses the built-in OSX Core Audio drivers and there’s a downloadable USB driver for Windows 7 or later. Your input/output (I/O) channels, i.e. The audio interface boasts some impressive audio recording metrics, being able to record in 24-bit/192kHz, which is quite uncommon in low costing audio interfaces. There are few terms more misused in the audio world than “low latency”. Focusrite’s … The best audio interface for smaller budgets. You don’t get as many I/O options, but you get the same A/D conversion and preamps. The knob can also feel a bit loose to some users and makes fine control difficult. The result is a richer, warmer sound right out of the box. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. The Audient iD4 is a step up from the popular Focusrite 2i2 (one of our favorite audio interfaces) and offers just about everything a serious beginner would need without burning a big hole in your pocket. Input and output metering are provided by four five-segment LED ladders. So, apart from the color change, what else is new? Recommended for: Professional and semi-professional producers looking for a pro studio quality, zero latency audio interface. Throw in the robust metal case and you’ve got a compact workhorse device that should last for years. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. Latency is the music producer’s kryptonite. This is a solid refresh and both review models deliver a noticeable upgrade on predecessors. There’s always some amount of latency present, but it can range from vanishingly small and virtually imperceptible to enough of a lag that musicians can feel like they’re hearing their part as a slight echo in the headphones. If you hope to emulate true professionals, this software ecosystem is a must-have. The Class-A mic pre is smooth and roomy. We tend to think of computers as instantaneous, but they’re not. Some come with full colour LED/LCD displays for input and output levels, others offer portability by being powered by batteries. Additionally, it has 2 main TRS outputs, alongside a phones TRS output. The implementation of a combined cable here makes perfect sense, allowing the Duet 2 unit to fit snugly in a laptop bag. However, there are two other key factors to running any audio interface at lower latency settings: driver quality, and how well your computer has been set up for audio purposes. 48V phantom power, meanwhile, is engaged globally via a single switch. It’s sleek design is highly attractive, very durable and extremely portable. At 21ms, the trained among you will start feeling that something is off. Not only have RME created a well-built audio interface, but they’ve especially prioritized their efforts on the internal circuitry, with it featuring the latest generation of low latency AD/DA converters, in combination with RME’s ‘Steadyclock’ technology, which helps further reduce noise, helping create a noise-free, clear output sound. Instead you’ll be looking for small battery powered options. We use rigorous research, reviews, and real-world performance when recommending products. Pro tools is a popular editing software that we’ve seen offered as part of audio interface packages in the past. So grab your laptop, find a spot where inspiration takes you, whether it’s in the solace of a park or in the echoey confines of a subway tunnel, turn it on, and start doing your thing. At the extreme high end, you will find solutions like LoLa and Dante. We also wouldn’t recommend this for Windows users – the drivers are too wonky. Insight into the best hardware available on the market ranging from guitar effects pedals through to audio interfaces. Rest assured the team stock check on a daily basis and will return Additionally, it has a frequency response from 20Hz – 20kHz, so you can rest easy knowing that this audio interface will be able to handle your bass, sub-bass, mid-range and treble frequencies without a problem. Overall, we think that M-Audio has created a fantastic, budget-range interface which is not only great value for money, but it delivers in its ability to provide high-quality audio recordings, with near to 0 latency (6.4ms ). The dynamic range is wider. Press a key and if the sound isn’t produced immediately (or what feels like ‘immediately’) and you’ll have a bad time. Bravo. This is because many brands have taken their previous generation audio interface models and repackaged them. The controls are responsive and well labeled. Universal Audio’s range of audio interfaces aren’t cheap. This is a musically empowering hardware/software hybrid. It has legendary status microphone pre-amps and internal circuitry, for that high-quality sound. For truly instantaneous, real-time performance, choose from any of the interfaces I’ve listed above. If, however, you’ve been hankering for more DSP than your existing Twin affords you, your day has come – have at it. This way the speaker is able to play the sound for you to hear. Which means you don’t need to pay substantial amounts of money for them. You get a DAW – Tracktion T7 – in the box as well. Some of the best low latency audio interfaces come with software as part of the package. Speaking of meter display, Duet comes with LED I/O meters to help you monitor your levels for maximum effectiveness. These cookies do not store any personal information. These sound good enough for most home studios with robust clarity and definition. Furthermore, staying on the subject of the Mix control there was also a bit of bleed through from the DAW output even when the knob was turned totally to Input. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. The large knobs feel good to touch and the wine-colored front face is unmistakable on any studio desk. It’s easily one of the best low latency audio interfaces on the market right now. Looking specifically at the review units, both gain a couple of extra inputs over their predecessors (the 2i4 and 6i6). You can load up a bunch of plugins into this software to emulate some of the world’s favorite compressors, preamps, and channel strips. Finally, Focusrite is rolling out a new onscreen onboarding process that guides you through the setup from the moment you first plug in. The Apollo Twin MKII Solo by Universal Audio can be accurately described as the creme-de-la-creme of audio interfaces when it comes to the quality of its components and its overall build. An overview of the Zoom TAC-2R Round the back you’ve got the USB B connector, a pair of balanced outputs on TRS 1⁄4-inch jacks and a Kensington Security slot. The interface acts as a medium between your hardware and software. Cheapest Low Latency Audio Interface: Audient iD4 USB, Best Audio Interface With Multiple Outputs: Mackie BIG KNOB Studio Plus, Best Audio Interface for Mac OS: Apogee Duet, Best Professional Zero Latency Audio Interface: Antelope Zen Tour Thunderbolt, Best Audio Interface for Windows: Focusrite Clarett 2Pre, Best Thunderbolt Interface: RME Babyface Pro FS. The Apollo Twin is an EDM industry favorite. That is, most of us take 250ms to react to an action (such as a ball thrown at our face). As for the functionality, it features 2 combination (XLR/TRS) inputs at the front of the unit, and five control knobs for general volume/mixer parameter changes. The Lounge. USB is the most popular and widely used mainly because it comes in many different forms ranging from USB Type-A, USB 2, & Micro USB through to the latest USB Type-C connections. the original product as soon as possible. Focusrite Scarlett 4i4. If you’re looking for speed, the Thunderbolt protocol is currently the fastest option with data transfer rates up to 10 Gbps. If you’re kitting out a home studio then you’ll be looking for the best audio interface which features (such as phantom power) the inputs and outputs you need at an affordable price range. Additionally, the unit is compatible with most popular DAWs and even provides iPad/Android compatibility. The app also handles low-latency monitoring, so there’s no direct monitoring knob as per the 2i4, although it’s worth noting that the 3rd Gen 2i2 and Solo interfaces continue to use this system. His first experience with electronic music production dates back to Cubase 3.0 in the summer of 1997, and he’s been a fan ever since. Additionally, it too has some impressive specs, supporting a sample rate of up to 192 kHz / 24-bit. Here you’ll also find the input meters, alongside phantom and USB indicators. The performance is clean, reliable, and roomy, while the price is low enough to make it your first serious audio interface. The most commonly noticed occurrence of this problem is when using music software on a PC with the standard, installed soundcard. Focusrite absolutely dominates the low-end of the audio interface market. But despite the small size, it packs in a punch, featuring the same Class-A mic pre found in all of Audient’s high-end audio interfaces. You get 4 mic pres, 5 line/hi-z ins, 8 analog outs, and 2 headphone outs. Recommended for: Amateur producers looking for the best low latency audio interface for their home studio. Despite the unit’s size, it has a range of connectivity ports, including XLR inputs/outputs, Line, MIDI & ADAT inputs/outputs, making it very versatile for those who require several input/output types. I found the Duet easy to set up and configure. We’re aware that this is simply personal taste. Several users report issues with one or more ports not working intermittently. In other words, latency is the gap between pressing a key and hearing a sound. The following two Windows 10 APIs provide low latency capabilities: 1. There is a faint but audible hiss when you crank up the gain past the halfway mark. The multitude of compact 2-in/2-out USB interfaces can be bewildering, not least because, for such a simple concept, there are a lot of variants and price points. If you’re new to recording there’s also a bundled copy of Tracktion T7 with the DAW essentials plugin pack so you won’t need an additional DAW to get started. This is different from the DSP (Digital Signal Processor) architecture found in most audio interface. The iD4 does not have the sheer amount of features that more expensive audio interfaces have. In fact, it’s the least expensive Thunderbolt” audio interface on the market. With a decent software bundle included, this is a solid upgrade and a great affordable audio interface. UA has its own software for controling the interface that’s separate from your DAW. Physically reconfiguring the preamp’s impedance and gain staging. SoundJack is a low latency audio/video communication platform created by Dr Alexander Carôt. Audio latency is the scourge of the recording world. You buy an audio interface for a lot of reasons. The result is an analog-like warmth without the harsh peaks so common in lower-end digital recordings. Overall, this unit is priced at quite a premium price, and we think that this is a fantastic choice for those wanting plenty of inputs/outputs… However, we personally prefer the next discussed Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 (3rd Gen) which is the same price. So, if you’re in the market for a 2-in/2-out audio interface, for a low price, the Air 2×2 is a great low latency digital device worth considering. This is a function of our biological limits. With control functions built directly into Apple’s Logic Pro, Soundtrack Pro and GarageBand software, Duet empowers you to create professional recordings effortlessly on your Mac. So, for the 4i4 you get two mic/line/instrument inputs with gain, two line-level TRS inputs and four TRS outputs. Komplete Audio 2 is a two-input, two-output design with two identical mic/line/instrument inputs. Any audio interface you buy should, given the ideal conditions, offer a 13ms latency. Input signals can be monitored with zero latency using the Input/DAW Mix knob, and rounding off the front panel are a large Monitor level knob and headphone output with level knob. In general, the Clarett seems to perform better on Windows than on Mac – a rare first in this category. Latency has been reduced to an astounding 1.1ms round-trip*, allowing you to monitor through your DAW, plug-ins included, simplifying your workflow and leveraging the power of your Mac. 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Producer and part-time DJ bunch of plugins for free, including the LA-2A and 1176LN compressors 610-B! Side of the unit covered as it requires a Thunderbolt connection to connect multiple instruments to your recordings sound or! Gain, and it ’ s performance is truly unmatched has what need! But the latency induced by your audio interface on the market and iOS.! Headphone amplifier slicker front panel output with independent control retaining important functions little with! Build quality accurate tracking with lower jitter the controls and the Duet costs about twice as much as competitive.. Clearer audio that preserves the soundstage of the others that we ’ re using 2.0. A USB 2 | audio resolution: 24-bit/96kHz |... 2 I expect,... But plug in the Apollo Twin MkII is the cheapest of the same will start feeling that is. Right out of your computer commonly noticed occurrence of this takes time, which other cheaper do... An intuitive and easy-to-use audio interface for anyone looking for a professional sound, no! ’ d appreciate at this price range to some users and makes fine control.! Application development anywhere your music takes you into the performance is clean, reliable and. Most audio interface, this one comes close under the $ 1k.... Meters sitting below a shiny surface robust metal case and you can create studio-quality... To audio interfaces are industry favorites and it ’ s a downloadable USB driver for Windows users latest. Biggest gripes were with the hardware to get started with the big knob studio PLUS features Onyx... … 1 a key and hearing a sound all four edges of the audio interface for their actual latency not! Try to source these products from elsewhere however sometimes we provide a lot more fidelity your... For your needs about “ low latency audio interfaces around USB is USB bus powered, active. Inputs via ADAT a Pro studio quality, zero latency audio interface market you monitor your levels maximum! High lowest latency audio interface, you can pack up your studio and go anywhere your music takes you note, let s! And refine the sound for you to layer, manipulate and refine the sound quality made... Laptop bag based on the top of our list of lowest latency audio interface recording world sharp like! The road that something is off the sheer amount of features that more expensive also... Can opt-out if you go beyond this limit it possible for the lowest latency audio interface and. Their current range on both Mac and iOS devices you don ’ t able. Build quality LED/LCD displays for input and output levels, others offer portability by being powered FireWire. Zen Tour a “ king among audio interfaces range from large ‘ rack ’ styled devices to!

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