Best Audio Interfaces Under $500 (Buying Guide For Mid-Range Devices)

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Any performer, artist, singer, songwriter, or any other person who is talented and creative enough to have music as her or his profession, knows exactly what tools to use while creating their art.

Any tool holds its importance and serves for a specific purpose, which can be essential for a great result.

Audio interfaces are as important as they can be for any type of art creating. Every artist knows exactly what kind of an audio interface needs, with all of its specifics and requirements.

This article is going to be dedicated to audio interfaces, or if I have to be a little more specific, in this article you will be reading about 5 of the best audio interfaces under $500, and also at the very end, I’ll make sure to include a buying guide. So, let’s not waste any time and just start!

A Quick Look at My Favorite Audio Interfaces

Best for Small Studios 
Tascam US-16 x 08

Tascam US-16 x 08

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Best Value 
Steinberg UR-RT2

Steinberg UR-RT2

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Best Runner-Up 
PreSonus Studio 68c 6x6

PreSonus Studio 68c 6x6

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Best Audio Quality 
M-Audio AIR 192|14

M-Audio AIR 192|14

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Best Overall 
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen

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Key Takeaways

  • Audio interfaces are highly priced devices, but there are some amazing ones you can find under $500.
  • PreSonus Studio 68c 6×6 is one of the most famous audio interfaces you can choose and use.
  • The perfect choice for you would be Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, which is the best overall.
  • The audio resolution of an audio interface will tell you how it will deliver the sound to you!
  • When searching for a specific audio interface, you should always check out the price range.

Top 5 Best Audio Interface Under $500

5. Tascam US-16 x 08 – Best Compact 

Even though Tascam isn’t the most famous name of the brands, I would like to assure you that the US-16×08 audio interface will do the job super-efficiently and help you in many ways.

In terms of design, this audio interface isn’t the prettiest one you can find, but if you are interested in the build quality, you can be more than sure that it offers durability and prolonged use. However, you should know that it is a bit big in size and heavy.

The connection that this audio interface uses is the USB in order to get connected to any PC that you use. However, this audio interface also owns XLR connectors and eight total TRS inputs. This way you can rest assured when it comes to connection.

The audio resolution of 24bit/96kHz will help you bring out the amazing sound quality, and in general, the sound is clear and comes out pretty detailed.

Why Should You Buy It?

If you need an audio interface with a great rugged body that you will be able to use for a long time, let me present to you the Tascam US-16 x 08 as it is one of those that will help you for years; plus, it sounds good!

Audio Resolution24 Bit / 96 kHz
Phantom PowerYes (+48V)
Main ConnectivityUSB
Size11.34 x 22.09 x 5.04 inches
Weight6.11 pounds


  • Durable
  • Good Connection
  • Sounds Pretty Well


  • Big and Heavy

4. Steinberg UR-RT2 –  Best Value 

The second audio interface of this article comes from the brand Steinberg, a quite famous brand known for its great audio interfaces. But for today, we’ll be reviewing the Steinberg UR-RT2!

Steinberg UR-RT2 is an audio interface especially known for its durability, as it has a whole metal chassis around it and is perfectly rugged. It is also known as a compact audio interface that can stay perfectly fine in your recording studio.

The connectivity of this interface works via a USB of version 2.0, but it also owns two preamps. I am sure you would expect TRS and XLR cables, but you are in the wrong place. However, it has steady connectivity when this audio interface is connected to your computer or any other device.

When it comes to sound quality, you will find an impressive audio resolution of 192kHz, which is good enough for anyone looking for a decent audio interface. Steinberg UR-RT2 will help you bring out the best version of any sound and melody.

Why Should You Buy It?

The main reason that you should buy this audio interface is its compact, strong build quality, as well as its fantastic audio resolution which will do the job pretty fine in any recording or production that you may do. It is definitely one to choose from if you work in a studio.

Audio Resolution24-bit/192 kHz
Phantom PowerYes (+48V)
Main ConnectivityUSB
Size12.76 x 10.55 x 4.13 inches
Weight 3.74 pounds


  • Compact
  • Robust Build Quality
  • 24-bit/192 kHz Audio Resolution


  • No TRS or XLR Inputs

3. PreSonus Studio 68c 6×6 – Best for Most People 

PreSonus, as a brand, is very powerful and is in charge of bringing some fantastic audio devices! In this case, as an excellent audio interface under $500, I will mention for you the PreSonus Studio 68c 6×6. 

Some of you may know how good the PreSonus devices look, and the Studio 68c 6×6 is definitely one of them. It is covered in black and blue. Meanwhile, the whole material used in the making is metal. Considering that metal is one of the most robust materials, this audio interface is definitely a long-lasting one.

The connectivity is the part of which PreSonus is very proud, and this audio interface has two main types of USB: type A and C. You will be more than thrilled to notice that in this audio interface, you will also find TRS outputs and some other line inputs for microphones and headphones that you may use.

If your concern stands mainly in the sound quality, let me assure you that this audio interface is in charge of bringing out one of the perfect sound qualities, from lows to highs, while its main resolution stands at 192 kHz.

Why Should You Buy It?

You can never go wrong with a PreSonus audio interface, and I am glad to mention that with the connection that PreSonus 68c 6×6 has, you will have a perfect audio interface in your hands.

Audio Resolution24-bit/192 kHz
Phantom PowerYes (+48V)
Main ConnectivityUSB-C + USB-A
Size5.51 x 9.02 x 1.73 inches
Weight1 pound


  • Good-Looking
  • Strong Build Quality
  • Perfect Connection
  • Lightweight


  • Pricey for Some

2. M-Audio AIR 192|14 – Best Runner-Up

Another audio interface I should mention is the M-Audio AIR 192|14. It is a famous audio interface that will do the job well and precisely for your needs.

The shiny black design of this audio interface is the first thing that you will put your eyes on, as it is known for its sleek design. There are controls on the audio interface’s top part, and you will find the inputs and outputs on the back part. Also worth mentioning is the metal chassis that covers the whole audio interface.

As I mentioned outputs and inputs, let me mention that USB is the main connection this audio interface has, and it is one of the sturdiest connections found in audio interfaces.

The combination of TRS and XLR makes this audio interface amazing regarding connectivity and will help connect different audio devices. By the way, this audio interface owns a MIDI connection which is the best one any audio interface can possess.

Like the audio interfaces I mentioned above, the M-Audio one also works at the same audio resolution. That says that the sound comes out fully detailed and with exceptional clarity.

Why Should You Buy It?

With its MIDI connectivity, this audio interface from M-Audio is definitely the one to choose for you that works with microphones, instruments, and computers at the same time. It will allow an amazing and sturdy connection.

Audio Resolution24-bit/192kHz
Phantom PowerYes (+48V)
Main ConnectivityUSB
Size7.32 x 10.2 x 3.6 inches
Weight3.97 pounds


  • Easy-to-Use
  • MIDI Connection
  • Impressive Clarity of Soundv


  • Heavy

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

Last but not least, the famous name of audio interfaces is Focusrite! The Focusrite Scarlett is the best overall audio interface you may find and stands in front of many professionals worldwide.

Nobody doubts that Focusrite audio devices are the most good-looking ones you can find, and here we have the Scarlett 2i2 coming covered in red and metal again. You can use Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 for a super long period, and it will stay just as the first time you buy it because of its robust metal body.

This audio interface is another one that promises a lot regarding connectivity, and it really perfectly does the job. The famous USB-C is the primary computer connection, but you will also find different inputs and outputs for instruments, microphones, and many other things. I would like to mention that this audio interface will work with any software you might be using.

If you mind the sound, let me mention that this audio interface from Focusrite is definitely one of the best. It offers a perfect audio resolution and a frequency response for the sound that covers everything you need; lows, mids, and highs sound perfect!

Why Should You Buy It?

As it is the best overall audio interface for under $500, you can notice why one should buy Focusrite Scarlett 2i2! It is indeed the best and perfect purchase that one can make!

Audio Resolution24-bit/192kHz
Phantom PowerYes (+48V)
Main ConnectivityUSB-C
Size7.68 x 2.09 x 1.32 inches
Weight1.1 pounds


  • Very Beautiful
  • Long Usage (Durable)
  • Amazing Connectivity
  • Perfect Audio Resolution
  • Frequency Range of 20Hz-20kHz


  • none

Things to Consider: Buying Guide

I know that choosing an audio interface under $500 isn’t the easiest thing to do, so I would like to include some of the main things you should consider before purchasing them!

Price Range

I know that it feels wrong to see the price range as the first thing to check, but considering that you need an audio interface under $500, the price is essential. You have the budget you “approve” and then search for them based on the specification of the budget. You can never go wrong with that!

Audio Resolution

The audio resolution of an audio interface will always show you how the sound can come out and whether it is high quality or low. Most audio interfaces under $500 come with an audio resolution of 24bit/192kHz, which is more than excellent. That’s because the sound comes out detailed and super-precise.


The worst thing in the world is to have an audio interface in your hands and then notice that it won’t get connected to your computer or any other device that you may want to use. That’s why first you have to check the main connection, which is mostly via USBs, and then you can move on to the inputs and outputs, which will tell about the other devices besides computers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are audio interfaces necessary devices?

Whether you are a beginner who works with audio or a professional in this field, you should remember that audio interfaces are some of the essential devices you can use. They will ease and help you in your job in many ways.

Are audio interfaces worth it?

Some audio interfaces are very pricey, but as you search for those under $500, you should remember that they are worth it. It would help if you never were afraid to spend money on an audio interface as they are devices that work for a lifetime and are known as once-in-a-lifetime purchases.

What are the best brands for audio interfaces?

You may have heard about different brands that work and bring out some fantastic audio interfaces, but some of the best-known are Focusrite, PreSonus, M-Audio, and Steinberg. Every brand I mentioned in the article!

Final Words

As we move on, we’ve come to the end of today’s article! Something that I would like to mention here, in the end, is the fact that audio interfaces are vital devices, primarily if you work in a recording studio.

As audio interfaces come at some high prices, the best thing to find out is based on the price you want, just like the article’s main topic, which is the best audio interface under $500. Everything I mentioned in this article concludes that all the audio interfaces will do an excellent job besides coming under $500.

Based on this article, I hope you will find the best audio interface under $500 that you are searching for.

Further Reading

As you might already know, the further reading paragraph is meant to give you more to read, and that’s exactly what I’m going to do, so go ahead and check 6 best headphones for drummers (Buying Guide) if by any chance you happen to be the drummer of the band, but even if you aren’t, it’s worth the while, believe me. You can also check the best microphones for hip Hop Vocals in 2022 .  Read more about the differences between Dac and Amplifiers. Hope you enjoy!

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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