Best Audio Interfaces Under $200 (Buying Guide & Reviews)

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Shout out to anyone who is postponing the audio interface just for the price range. Now is the time to get one at the perfect price. They offer great features as well professional-grade sound production.

Audio interfaces are technological hardware pieces that you can directly connect your microphones and instruments at the same time to your computer.

In today’s topic, we will cover the required studio degree of excellence. The products down below cover are the best ones you find in the current market.

Let’s start the hunting process and find the best audio interfaces under $200.

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Best Budget
Behringer U-PHORIA UM2

Behringer U-PHORIA UM2

9.7
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Best Overall
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen

10
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Most Durable
Mackie Onyx Artist 12

Mackie Onyx Artist 12

9
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Best For Music Instruments
PreSonus AudioBox iTwo

PreSonus AudioBox iTwo

8.5
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Best For Content Creators
Audient iD4 MKII

Audient iD4 MKII

8.6
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The Top 5 Best Audio Interfaces Under $200

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

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen offers peerless reliability, sound quality, and value for the money. The easy use and command let you record all types of studio recordings such as podcasting, songwriting, and streaming in high quality.

The durability is at a high point, it can perfectly handle drops and scuffs without leaving marks.

This budget audio interface has really fine mic pre-amps. Plus, the included Air Mode adds extra clearness to the voices and acoustics while recording.

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen is more for entry-level artists. Accomplish the high professional performance without any noticeable area of weakness. It enables you to record and mix up to 24-bit/192kHz. Now you can sing and play any instrument just like your favorite artist.

This affordable audio interface works well with any digital audio workstation (DAW), and guarantees high quality recording.

Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen also has two low-noise balanced outputs to ensure that all the details and nuances are hearable from your own work as well as stream music directly from Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music. You just have to plug in the headphones and enjoy monitoring in high fidelity. It’s one of the most popular budget audio interfaces, and i can confidently say that its one of my favorite budget audio interfaces because it has everything you might need.

Key Specs:

  • Item Dimensions: 7.68 x 2.09 x 1.32 inches
  • Item Weight: 1.1 Pounds
  • Frequency Response Inputs: 20 Hz to 20 kHz ±0.1 dB
  • Phantom Power: 48V
  • Sample Rates: Up to 192 kHz (AD/DA Conversion)
  • Equivalent Input Noise: Mic Inputs:-128 dBu A-Weighted
  • Maximum Input Level: Mic Inputs: +9 dBu (Min Gain), Hi-Z Inputs:+12.5 dBu (Min Gain) and Line Inputs:+22 dBu (Min Gain)
  • Dynamic Range: 104 to 111dBA
  • Analog Audio I/O: 2 x Combo XLR-1/4″ TRS Balanced/Unbalanced Mic/Line/Hi-Z Input (Front Panel)
    2 x 1/4″ TRS Balanced Monitor Output
    1 x 1/4″ TRS Unbalanced Headphone Out (Front Panel)
    1 xUSB Type-C (USB 2.0)

Why Should You Buy It?
2 Mic/Line/Instrument Preamps
1 Headphone jack
24-Bit / 192 kHz Converter
Mac, Windows, iPad Pro Compatible
Direct Monitoring Makes Ease at Use
Mic Air Mode, Multicolor Gain Halos
Compact, Rugged Design

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2. Mackie Onyx Artist 12 – Most Durable

The A-Tank hardware design is built to last for ages. It can handle harsh drops without getting damaged, thanks to the all-metal enclosure. It is also lightweight and compact if you want to port the device somewhere. You can be the abusive parent to the device all the time with zero worries.

Onyx Artist 12 offers great value for the offered price. Bus-power feature makes it easy to use for mobile recording without the need for a power adapter USB2. A great budget audio interface for content creators, singers, songwriters, home studios, and mobile recordings.

Mackie Onyx Artist 12 is joining a high-resolution 24-bit/192kHz to convert the analog circuitry.

Zero-latency while monitoring because it has direct monitoring of inputs. Hear and notice every mistake or unpleasant beat or voice in real-time. As a nice bonus, the traction music production software is included.

If you’re an entry-level artist, don’t miss out, it will be your favorite travel and work buddy and the unquestionable durability will make you keep it till it becomes vintage.

When it comes to cheap audio interfaces, this is the most durable one.

Key Specs:

  • Item Dimensions: 4.4 x 6.4 x 1.9 inches
  • Item Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Frequency Response Inputs: 20 Hz to 20 kHz ±0.5 dB (Min Gain)
  • Phantom Power: 48 V
  • Sample Rates: Up to 192 kHz
  • Equivalent Input Noise: Mic/Line/Hi-Z Inputs:-100dB; Monitor Outputs:-85dBu
    Headphone Outputs:-75 dBu
  • Maximum Input Level: Mic Inputs:
    +11 dBu (Min Gain)
    Line/Hi-Z Inputs:
    +24 dBu (Min Gain)
  • Analog Audio I/O: 1 x XLR 3-Pin Balanced Mic Input
    1 x 1/4″ TRS Balanced/Unbalanced Line/Hi-Z Input
    1 x 1/4″ TRS Unbalanced Headphone Out
    2 x 1/4″ TRS Balanced Monitor Output

Why Should You Buy It?
All Metal Design is a Real Survivor
It’s Preferable for Content Creators and Singers
24-Bit / 192 kHz Converter
DAWs, Mac, or Windows Compatible
Zero Latency Monitoring

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3. PreSonus AudioBox iTwo – Best For Music Instruments

When it comes to affordable audio interfaces, PreSonus is a popular name.

The attractive blue and rugged design are mainly targeting recordings like guitar, drums, keyboards, basses, and band rehearsals. You can also record vocal demos, and podcasts and create content at ease. Plus, Free Nimbit account for dealing out and selling your own music.

Traveling is way easier with PreSonus AudioBox iTwo because the audio interface is mobile compatible (iOS). Put it in your backpack and take it anywhere you desire. The metal body is durable and ultra-lightweight.

The professional-grade performance has Class-A preamplifier and Studio One Artist DAW software together with 6+ GB of third-party sample content creation. The sounds of your music will perform loud and clear without delay and distortion. A 24-bit, 96 kHz digital converter provides a super clear and detailed response, so you are left to appreciate and enjoy every step of the process.

PreSonus AudioBox iTwo has extremely low latency while monitoring either with the mixer or instruments. It will bring a magic wand to your music production with Studio Magic Plug-in. The sounds will come out freshly and in different types of sound effects to spice up your music game.

Key Specs:

  • Item Dimensions: 17.88 x 8.38 x 8.88 inches
  • Item Weight: 1.04 pounds
  • Microphone Preamps: 2 Preamps
  • Phantom Power: 48 V
  • Sample Rates: 48 kHz / 24-Bit
  • MIDI Connectivity: 1 x DIN 5-Pin Input
    1 x DIN 5-Pin Output
  • Analog Audio I/O: 2 x Combo XLR-1/4″ TRS Mic Input
    2 x 1/4″ TRS Balanced Monitor Output
    1 x 1/4″ TRS Headphone Output

Why Should You Buy It?
Excellent Quality for Instruments (Keyboard, Guitar, Drums, Bass and Band Rehearsal)
24-Bit / 48 kHz Converter
Mobile, Mac, or Windows Compatible
Extremely Low Latency
Rich Connectivity
Portable and Ultra Lightweight
Loud, Clear and Outstanding Sound Effects

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4. Audient iD4 MKII- Best For Content Creators

Ultra-compact and up-to-date hardware offers all-metal construction, and aluminum knobs and is born ready to withstand long hours of studio work.

With included audio loopback, now you can combine your work from different sources like Spotify and iTunes. It’s a really nice budget audio interface especially for content creators because you can record your own voice and after that, you can send the previous audio recording to apps like Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom and it enables you to hear the produced music and your voice at the same time.

Not only content creators but also songwriters, musicians, producers, engineers, and voice-over artists can benefit from Audient iD4 MKII.

The sound precision is exclusive to 24-bit / 96 kHz AD/DA converters. The sounds maintain clearly and naturally in just one microphone Class A and one instrument JFET input.

It’s noteworthy to know that it requires USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 doesn’t have too much reliability.  

Key Specs:

  • Item Dimensions: 5.2 x 4.72 x 1.57 inches
  • Item Weight: 1.63 pounds
  • Frequency Response: 10 Hz to 40 kHz ±0.5 dB
  • Microphone Preamps: 1 Preamp
  • Phantom Power: 48 V
  • Sample Rates: 96 kHz / 24-Bit
  • Screen: 2 x Multi-Segment LED Meter
  • Analog Audio I/O: 1 x Combo XLR-1/4″ TRS Balanced Mic/Line Input
    1 x 1/4″ TRS Unbalanced Hi-Z Input
    2 x 1/4″ TRS Balanced Monitor Output
    1 x 1/4″ TRS Unbalanced Headphone Output
    1 x 1/8″ / 3.5 mm TRS Unbalanced Headphone Output

Why Should You Buy It?
24-Bit / 96 kHz Converter
All Metal Body Construction and Aluminum knobs
Low Latency
Ideal for Content Creators
Portable and Light
Great for Mixing

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5. Behringer U-PHORIA UM2- Best Budget

Since the list is named as a budget list, here comes the Behringer U-PHORIA UM2 with the most affordable price tag.

Free is always preferred, thanks to the behringer.com official website for letting all the customers take full advantage of recording and podcasting software. It includes 150 virtual instruments and FX instruments to make your work more intriguing either in the studio or mobile home recording. Besides, you can also edit your recordings and everything is free of charge.

XENYX Mic Preamp with +48 Volt phantom power, now you can record clear vocals and great sound quality. Any singer, songwriter, or producer can take full benefit because it’s compatible with Avid pro tools, Ableton Live, and Steinberg Cubase. At the same time, you can stream 2 inputs and 2 outputs at superior low latency.

Tracktion digital audio station (DAW) brings itself 130 dB dynamic range music production, so you can work like a professional and pay like a beginner. This is for sure one of the best audio interfaces under $200.

Key Specs:

  • Item Dimensions: 6.3 x 8.27 x 3.54 inches
  • Item Weight: 9.1 ounces
  • Frequency Response: 10 Hz to above 200 kHz.
  • Phantom Power: 48 V
  • Sample Rates: 16-bit/48kHz
  • Dynamic Range: 130 dB
  • Analog Audio I/O: 1 x XLR-1/4″ combo (mic/line), 1 x 1/4″ (Hi-Z), 1 x Dual RCA Stereo, 1 x USB Type B

Why Should You Buy It?
Highly Portable
Inexpensive Price Tag
Low Latency
Free of Charge Official Website (Up to 150 instruments)
Superior Dynamic Range
Useful Tools Like  Avid Pro, Ableton live, and Steinberg Cubase
Phantom power switch

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Beneficial Information You Need to Know About Audio Interfaces Before Buying

What is the Role of an Audio Interface?

Consider the audio interface as a multi-tasking device. First of all, it is a necessary audio device that records both the vocals and instruments. Doesn’t matter if you are a music producer or a podcast reporter, owning a decent audio interface is a must according to the professionals.

Secondly, an audio interface is the speed of sound waves. To simply explain it; if the vocals or any sound go faster than the speed of the main concept of the sound, it creates a sonic booming which makes the sound waves explode. When you plug the audio interface into the PC or laptop, you automatically get great sonic sound.  

There is an AI technology that stands for Artificial Intelligence that lets your laptop or PC connect with multiple inputs. The connectivity also depends on your computer’s capability. I’m saying this because you will use 2 microphones and a single USB, and it does all the work. 

Thirdly, the audio interface converts the analog sound into digital sound and vice versa. 

Types of Audio Interferences

  1. USB Audio Interference
  2. Thunderbolt & PCI Audio Interference
  3. FireWire Audio Interfaces
  4. Ethernet Audio Interfaces
  5. MIDI Interfaces

Do You Really Need an Audio Interface?

Yes, you absolutely need one audio interface even though you have the best mic and instrument, if you lack it, all the effort can go to waste. The reason behind the curtain is to produce professional-grade audio quality, otherwise, you can go without having an audio interface, but you have to face the mediocre audio quality. The decision is up to you.

Audio interfaces pay for themselves in the long run, so i’d recommend everyone have one or two audio interfaces in their arsenal!

Is Audio Interface Replaceable with Mixer?

Yes, to a certain point, but be careful if you buy a USB mixer with stereo output, don’t expect something like a multichannel interface that only lets you record many audio resources in discrete tracks.

Are Live Performances Better with an Audio Interface?

The audio interface helps you get better sound quality from the computer when the singer is performing live. Not only it’s better to have one, but you do really need one.

If you are a performer or instrumentalist, you absolutely need an audio interface for vocal records as well as instrumental records like guitar, drums, or any kind of musical device. 

Get an Audio Interface for its Versatile Use

  • Use it for music production, podcasting, and instrumental recordings. Almost all the models include inputs for guitar, bass, keyboards, and microphones.
  • The audio interface has adjustable volume levels even the budget-priced ones offer headphone and speaker output connectivity.
  • A USB interface gives louder and better audio quality, rather than those that don’t have a USB microphone or 3.5mm headphone jack.
  • You can use any type of XLR microphone which is an analog mic plugged via wires for recording purposes.  
  • You can use the audio interface for gaming purposes too.

Check this out Before Buying an Audio Interface

  • Check your laptop’s or PC’s connectivity options such as USB, Thunderbolt, or Ethernet.
  • The number of mics you are about to use at the same time.
  • Is volume control important to you?
  • How many speakers or headphones will you use?  

Summary

Audio interfaces are the required tools if want to achieve professional studio-quality vocals and music production. Also, live performances hit different with this device. They are versatile in use for gamers, music producers, engineers, content creators, podcasters, and artists.

The best above all is that this time professionalism comes at very affordable price ranges.

Further Reading

For additional special prices, there is another option, check out these Audio Interfaces for under $500, it’s definitely worth clicking. If you are a voice-over artist and podcast more than you produce music, click Audio Interface For Voice Over. If your main target is live streaming, don’t waste time here and check the greatest Audio Interface For Live Streaming.

Chromebook users, no worries that you don’t have a laptop, audio interfaces for you are also available, just click the link Audio Interface for Chromebook.

Good Luck with Hunting.

Anton Dimitriyev

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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