5 Best Audio Interfaces For Audacity (Buying Guide & Reviews)

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I’m pretty sure that while watching the news or watching a scene of a movie with a reporter in it, you have noticed the reporter holding a microphone but that didn’t seem to you like a microphone.

Well, you were right, that wasn’t a microphone, that was an audio interface that converts microphone and instrument signals into a format your computer and software recognize.

In this article I’m going to present 5 of the best audio interfaces for Audacity, and if you don’t know what audacity is, I’m here to indulge you. Audacity is a free and open-source digital audio editor and recording application software, available for Windows, macOS, Linux, and other Unix-like operating systems.

So, without no further ado, let’s get into the audio interfaces and their details and understand better what they represent. Bare with me!

Steinberg UR22 MKIISteinberg UR22 MKII
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Zoom H4N PROZoom H4N PRO
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PreSonus Studio 24c 2x2PreSonus Studio 24c 2x2
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Behringer U-PHORIA UMC404HD Behringer U-PHORIA UMC404HD 
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Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd GenFocusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen
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Top 5 Best Audio Interfaces For Audacity

5. Steinberg UR22 MKII – Best Durability

This audio interface is incredibly well-built and has sturdy metal housing, making it tough enough to resist all the hardships of travel. You don’t need to be concerned about the possibility of damaging your audio interface during location recording or simply shifting your equipment from one spot to another.

When you’re ready to record, this audio interface will always function flawlessly because it is durable enough.

High-speed USB 2.0 is a feature of the Steinberg UR22 MKII that enables quick, dependable, and smooth connecting to Mac and PC computers, iPads, and iPhones. The UR series gives you peace of mind wherever you are recording thanks to the improved low latency of our SSP2 processor and the most recent drivers.

With the UR22mkII, you can seamlessly switch between the direct signal and your host’s output thanks to latency-free hardware monitoring and an easy-to-use Mix knob.

This audio interface’s Loopback feature makes it simple to broadcast live performances online. When the function is turned on, incoming audio signals to the UR (such as microphone, guitar, or line source) are mixed with the signal from audio playback software like Cubase or another DAW inside the computer.

This capability is frequently utilized by hosts of live web broadcasts. The combined signal will then be transmitted back to the computer so that your preferred program can stream it online.

Specifications of Steinberg UR22 MKII: 

  • Frequency Response: +0.1/-0.3 dB, 20 Hz – 22 kHz.
  • Dynamic Range: 101 dB, A-Weighted.
  • THD+N: 0.0035 %, 1 kHz, -1 dBFS, 22 Hz/22 kHz BPF.
  • Maximum Input Level: +4 dBu.
  • Input Impedance: 4 kO.
  • Gain Range: +6 dB – +60 dB.
  • Dimensions: 159 (W) x 46 (H) x 159 (D) mm.
  • Net Weight: 1030 g.

Why Should You Buy It?
Ultra-rugged build, high speed USB, compatible with all major audio software, 24-bit/192 kHz audio resolution, latency-free hardware monitoring with mix knob. So, I don’t see a reason why you shouldn’t buy it.

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4. Zoom H4N PRO – Best Multifunctional

The H4n Pro was designed by Zoom for high-resolution sound performance. The company’s well-known H5 and H6 Handy Recorders, both of which have seen a lot of use, are equipped with the same low-noise, high-performance mic preamplifiers as the H4n Pro.

It features an enhanced noise floor that captures low-volume audio with few artifacts and vanishingly low noise, and it records and plays back at resolutions up to 24-bit/96kHz.

Zoom packed the H4n Pro with capabilities that make it perfect for capturing sound effects and music from movies. Two combination input connectors allow you to use your preferred microphones in addition to the onboard XY microphones, which record an amazing stereo image.

A high-definition stereo audio signal can be sent straight to your camera using the headphone/line-out connector on the H4n Pro.

The Zoom H4n Pro is unbeatable when it comes t journalism and podcasting because it offers the portability, versatility in making, and high-quality audio you need for compelling narrative. You may easily use a lavalier to mic the performer thanks to the H4n Pro’s compatibility for plug-in power.

You can either record time-stamped WAV files and sync the audio with the video in post-production, or you can use a 1/8″ stereo feed to integrate hi-fi audio straight into your movie in real time.

Specifications of Zoom H4N PRO: 

  • Audio Interface: 2 x 2 SD Recorder, USB Interface
  • A/D Resolution: 24-bit/96kHz
  • Built-in Mic(s): X/Y Stereo unidirectional condensers
  • Analog Inputs: 2 x XLR-1/4″ combo, 1 x 1/8″ TRS (mic in)
  • Analog Outputs: 1 x 1/8″ (headphones/line out)
  • Headphones: 1 x 1/8″
  • Built-in Speaker: Yes
  • Effects: Amp/Cabinet emulators, Guitar/Bass effects
  • USB: USB Type Mini-B
  • Power Supply: 2 x AA batteries / 5V DC power supply (sold separately)
  • Battery Life: 6 hours (normal mode), 10 hours (stamina mode)
  • Dimensions: Height-1.46″, Width-2.87″, Depth:-6.19″, Weight-0.65 lbs.

Why Should You Buy It?
With this audio interface you will be to do your greatest work while field recording for a film or videos. A very practical handheld multitrack studio and interface, which will make your life easier and provide you great sound quality.

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3. PreSonus Studio 24c 2×2 – Best Value

The Studio 24c audio interface is compatible with almost all macOS and Windows recording programs and seamlessly integrates with the accompanying PreSonus Studio One Artist music production software.

PreSonus Studio 24c 2×2 is simple to use and allows you to write, record, and produce without being constrained by track constraints or distracted by the tools.

For ultra-high definition recording and mixing, the Studio 24c operates at up to 192 kHz. You may record intricate musical harmonics smoothly and organically, with no audible distortion, thanks to high-quality converters on every input and output and PreSonus’ professional-grade XMAX-L mic preamps.

You can carry amazing sound with you wherever you record with XMAX-L mic preamps because they are made to work best on bus-powered audio interfaces.

The Studio 24c will provide you with crisp, clear, ultra-high-definition sound in a tough, bus-powered device, whether you’re just starting out in recording or are a seasoned producer who wants to go mobile.

The Studio 24c pairs with integrated Studio One Artist to provide you a full, cheap recording solution that will make you sound fantastic, making it the ideal companion for any recording program, including Audacity.

Specificatons of PreSonus Studio 24c 2×2: 

  • Supported Sample Rates (kHz): 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, or 192 kHz
  • Converter Resolution: 24 bit
  • ADC Converter Dynamic: Range 108 dB
  • DAC Converter Dynamic Range: 108 dB
  • Frequency Response for Microphones: 20 Hz – 20 kHz (±0.3 dBu, unity gain, unwtd)
  • Frequency Response for Instruments: 20 Hz – 20 kHz (±0.1 dBu, unity gain, unwtd)
  • Frequency Response for Headphones: 20 Hz – 20 kHz (±0.5 dBu, unity gain, unwtd)
  • Height : .75″ (44 mm)
  • Width: 7″ (180 mm)
  • Depth: 5.5″ (144 mm)
  • Weight: 2 lbs. (0.9 kg)

Why Should You Buy It?
This audio interface will deliver to you professional sound quality for home recording studios, since it has a world-class recording software. Superior sound and stress-free recording come along with this audio interface.

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2. Behringer U-PHORIA UMC404HD – Best High End

Your admirers and your creativity will be connected by the amazing U-PHORIA UMC404HD. With all the connectivity needed for your microphones, guitars, keyboards, and even MIDI instruments, this lightning-quick USB 2.0 studio in a box will have you recording your next masterpiece in minutes.

Plug microphones, instruments, or line-level sources into the UMC404HD’s 4 combination XLR/TRS inputs when it’s time to make recorded history on your Mac or Windows computer for the utmost in studio flexibility! To profit from control surfaces in your studio workflow, connect to and communicate with MIDI devices.

The UMC404HD recognizes how seriously you take your songs by offering up to 192 kHz resolution for even the most demanding music and movie post-production applications. Work with your preferred recording software for consistently professional results with assurance and accuracy.

So, the Behringer U-Phoria UMC404 USB 2.0 audio interface is totally recommended if you’re setting up a home studio, or you simply are into audio devices.

Specifications of Behringer U-PHORIA UMC404HD: 

  • Computer Connectivity: USB 2.0
  • Form Factor: Desktop
  • Simultaneous I/O: 4 x 4
  • Number of Preamps: 4
  • Phantom Power: Yes
  • A/D Resolution: 24-bit/192kHz
  • Analog Inputs: 4 x XLR/TRS Combo, 4 x 1/4″ (Inserts)
  • Analog Outputs: 6 x 1/4″, 2 x XLR, 2 x Stereo, 1 x 1/4″ (Headphones)
  • MIDI I/O: In/Out

Why Should You Buy It?
The ultra-reliable U-PHORIA UMC404HD will help you succeed in the digital world whether you’re a singer-songwriter, producer on the go, or simply require a rock-solid audio interface for playing back recordings during a show.

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1. Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen – Best Overall

With two upgraded Scarlett mic preamps, high-performance 24-bit/192kHz AD/DA converters, optimized preamp gain structure, vanishingly low latency, and instrument inputs that can handle scorching hot pickups, the third-generation Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 pushes the boundaries of USB audio interface technology.

To give your voice and instrument recordings a brighter, more open sound, the mic preamps now come equipped with Focusrite’s famed Air mode, which offers the coveted Air effect based on the company’s illustrious ISA console transformers.

Focusrite has provided what customers and fans have requested! iPad Pros with USB-C connectors are now supported by the 3rd Gen Scarlett audio interfaces. It’s also compatible with every digital audio workstation.

Yes, carrying your Scarlett 2i2 around on the go is now even simpler. Simply link the device into a compatible iPad Pro, then launch the music-making app to get everything set up.

You may utilize your Focusrite Scarlett 3rd Gen audio interface anywhere you are as long as you have your iPad Pro with you. Definitely one of the best audio interfaces for audacity out there.

Specificatons of Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen: 

  • Computer Connectivity: USB 2.0
  • Form Factor: Desktop
  • Simultaneous I/O: 2 x 2
  • Number of Preamps: 2
  • Phantom Power: Yes
  • A/D Resolution: Up to 24-bit/192kHz
  • Analog Inputs: 2 x XLR-1/4″ combo (mic/line/Hi-Z)
  • Analog Outputs: 2 x 1/4″ TRS
  • Headphones: 1 x 1/4″
  • Compatibility: USB-C iPad Pro
  • Power Supply: USB bus powered

Why Should You Buy It?
Portable studio quality, and now is supporting iPad Pro. An optimized third-generation technology with a super-low latency for better performances.

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Final Words

The hardware you’re using will decide the optimum studio interface for Audacity. However, keep the following in mind while you look for the best choice.

The PCI sound cards won’t be as problematic as when using a USB or firewire if you need to work on a desktop or tower PC rather than a laptop. I get that you have to take care of too many details before purchasing an audio interface, but remember, the devil is in the details.

Further Reading

Since we have started to talk about audio interfaces now, I also have for you the best audio interface for at2020.

If you are attracted to comparisons between audio items, I invite you to read more about in-wall vs tower speakers or active speakers vs passive speakers.

I have also so many other comparison articles, but I wouldn’t like to charge you with more tasks, so for now, these are enough.

Whether you’re looking for information on audio equipment, looking to learn more about how things work in the music field, or looking for reviews of products, we got you covered!



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