Best Budget Audio Interfaces Of 2022 (Top 4 Entry-Level Picks)

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Audio interfaces are small devices, yet they do a perfect job! Their job is to convert different signals of sound into a type of format so that when trying to work on your computer with them, the device can recognize them in the best way possible.

Anyways, in general, audio devices are known as budget devices, but still, there are some prices that may be too much! That’s why, in this article, I will be talking about some of the best budget audio interfaces that you can find on the nowadays market. The cheap audio interfaces that I chose are four in number, and they are definitely some of the most commonly used ones by many professionals in the world of sound!

Right now, without losing your time any further, let us see which are the best budget audio interfaces!

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
The Super-Affordable
Behringer U-PHORIA UM2
Behringer U-PHORIA UM2
10
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The Economical
M-Audio M-Track Solo
M-Audio M-Track Solo
9
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Most Durable
PreSonus AudioBox iTwo
PreSonus AudioBox iTwo
8.5
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Best Overall
Focusrite Scarlett Solo
Focusrite Scarlett Solo
8.8
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The Top 4 Best Budget Audio Interfaces

4. Behringer U-PHORIA UM2 – The Super-Affordable

Here goes the first interface of this article, which is not only the cheapest on this list but is one of the most affordable interfaces that you guys can ever find.

The whole body of this interface is super compact, and being lightweight, it quickly becomes a producer’s best friend since it can accompany you wherever you may go.

In order to connect this interface to your computer, you can use two types of connections. It works via a USB cable, as well as an XLR cable. There are found also two types of inputs and two types of outputs, which is included the XENYX preamplifier for microphones of any kind.

It has two monitor outputs which you can use, so if you own any studio monitors, this will come in handy.

Considering the fact that you will be using interfaces with your PCs of any kind, the Behringer U-PHORIA UM2 can work with any digital audio workstation (DAW), especially with Tracktion, which is one of those DAWs that is most commonly used.

Whenever I have to talk about this budget usb audio interface, I mention that it is able to provide you with an audiophile type of sound, which means that the quality of sound is one of the greatest that you have ever listened to.

Key Specifications

  • Weight: 9.1 ounces
  • Dimensions: 6.3 x 8.27 x 3.54 inches
  • Audio Resolution: 24-Bit/48 kHz
  • Phantom Power: +48 V

Why Should You Buy It?
Being the most affordable audio interface, this one is for those people who don’t want to spend too much money on an audio interface, and besides that, it can be considered as the interface for audiophiles.

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3. M-Audio M-Track Solo – The Economical

Another great budget audio interface that takes up the fourth place in our article is the M-Audio M-Track Solo, which is an interface that you should check out. Based on its name, Solo, you should know that it comes as a Duo pack, and it is related to the preamplifiers that I will be talking about below.

Just like the interface that I mentioned above, this one is super-compact as well. It owns a very durable body, and it is lightweight too, which makes it a good traveler.

M-Audio M-Track Solo interface uses the same connection as Behringer. It works via a USB cable and an XLR cable, which makes this compact audio interface flexible at the connectivity part. Yet again, it also owns a preamplifier for your microphones, which is only one in number and it tells us the name of this audio interface. It is the transparent Crystal Preamp. It has a 1/8” headphone output and stereo RCA outputs, which should be enough for any use.

When it comes to using, and when I say use I mean the software that you will be working with, this one is known for its usability with MPC Beats, which is one of the most famous DAWs that can be used.

Everything that you will; be working with while using this interface will be brought to you with exceptional clarity. you shouldn’t worry at all about the way it sounds because the audio quality is quite fine, and every frequency of sound will be brought amazingly.

Key Specifications

  • Weight: 10.6 ounces
  • Dimensions: 4.46 x 6.43 x 2.14 inches
  • Audio Resolution: 24-Bit/48 kHz
  • Phantom Power: +48 V

Why Should You Buy It?
The only thing that I would say about this interface is that if you are using the famous MPC Beats, then this one will do the job in the greatest way possible.

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2. PreSonus AudioBox iTwo – Most Durable

PreSonus is a super celebrity in the world of sound as it brings to the market some of the greatest sound devices, and in there it has delivered to us the great PreSonus AudioBox iTwo, which is an interface that should definitely be mentioned.

Made of metal chassis, this interface is one of those that would stay with you for a pretty long time. The weight of 1.04 pounds may be a little bit heavy for some of you guys, but still, I would like to say that it is considered quite lightweight when it comes to interfaces.

To work and get connected to your computer this straightforward audio interface uses a USB cable which is accepted by many devices, and also, here you will find two balanced outputs. In case you want to use this interface with headphones, you can freely do so since it owns a headphones jack. You can also find two Class A amplifiers for any kind of microphone.

There are two important DAWs that are mostly mentioned in this audio interface and they are the Studio One Artist and Ableton Life Lite. They will work perfectly fine, of course, if the devices that you will be using work with them.

When it comes to the audio quality, the PreSonus audio interface will definitely bring a PreSonus sound, which means that it will provide you with a great audio quality overall, and every frequency range of the sound is brought clearly enough to work easily with it.

Key Specifications

  • Weight: 1.04 pounds
  • Dimensions: 17.88 x 8.38 x 8.88 inches
  • Audio Resolution: 24-bit/96 kHz
  • Phantom Power: +48 V

Why Should You Buy It?
In case you are searching for an audio interface that will work for a pretty long time, without being broken in any way, I think that PreSonus is the kind that you should check out! You can use it to record music, record vocals and more!

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1. Focusrite Scarlett Solo – Best Overall

Focusrite is one of a kind and it is one of the greatest brands that is in charge of bringing you guys some of the best audio interfaces that you have been looking for. The Focusrite Scarlett Solo is one of the best overall interfaces, just as it has earned first place in this article.

Now, the first thing that I would like to mention about this budget audio interface is that it looks super cool while covered in a red finish in general. It is durable and lightweight enough to be used, even though it weighs a bit more than the audio interface previously mentioned. It has +48 V phantom power, which is worth mentioning.

Being super modern, this budget audio interface uses a USB-C type of connection, which makes it compatible with different devices, of course mostly the new ones. There are also found some amazing preamps for microphones, and they make this budget audio interface super versatile when it comes to usage. It is used by many people for podcasts and instruments, besides being amazing for music producers and music-making.

Focusrite says that their Scarlett Solo can work amazingly with any type of software that is needed to work with the sound in general, so you won’t have any problem of any kind when it comes to software. It comes with bundled software too, which are pretty easy to learn to use.

The sound that this audio interface is able to provide you with is super-professional, as it knows how to bring lows mids, and high frequency ranges in the best way possible so that you can create the greatest music.

The bundled software: Hitmaker Expansion

Key Specifications

  • Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Dimensions: 3.77 x 5.65 x 1.71 inches
  • Audio Resolution: 24-bit /192 kHz
  • Phantom Power: +48 V

Why Should You Buy It?
The Focusrite Scarlett Solo is one of the best audio interfaces that you guys can find. It is considered a budget purchase and it provides you with the best things that any audio interface should own. It also comes with bundled software, so you won’t have to buy them separately.

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Buying Guide

A buying guide will help help you pick the best thing that you are in need of, and there is a buying guide for affordable audio interfaces as well. Here it goes as follows:

Connectivity + Inputs and Outputs

The connectivity of an audio interface is completely related to the inputs and the outputs that it owns, and this part is one of the most important things that should be considered before buying one. Whenever choosing an audio interface, check the connections wisely so that you won’t have to return it.

Another thing that should be known about the connectivity part is the DAWs or the software that the audio interface works with because I think that you wouldn’t want to buy an audio interface and notice that it won’t work!

Sound Quality

Another thing that you guys should consider when you want to buy an audio interface is the way that it sounds and it is definitely one of the most important things. When I mention sound quality in interfaces you should always know that I mean the way that it will be brought to your PC and how will you be able to work with the sound, since a bad sound destroys every little thing.

Design and Build (for some)

You can notice that I mentioned, “for some”. Well, that’s because many sound professionals take a good look at the design meanwhile some others don’t really bother themselves about it. However, in case you fall into the first category, when we talk about design and build, you should always have in mind the weight and the build quality. A well-built audio interface can stay with you for years, while a lightweight one can accompany you wherever you may go.

Price Range

The fact that searching for the best budget audio interfaces brought you here, it is the price range that matters and deserves a place in the buying guide. Without having a price in mind it is a little bit difficult to find out which are the best ones, but still, you should always consider the price that an audio interface has.


Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need an audio interface?

In case you are a professional in the field of sound, I bet you know how great interfaces are. However, for you guys that don’t have any idea about them, the main reason that you need an audio interface is to bring a better audacity and accuracy to the sound that you are creating.

Do interfaces improve the sound quality?

An audio interface will surely improve and increase the quality of sound, and that is one of the reasons why this device is found in many professional recording studios and in hands of professionals.

Do interfaces allow usage with headphones?

There are different interfaces all around the market, and all of them come with different features. Just like I mentioned in the buying guide above, interfaces have inputs that are quite essential, and yes, most of them have headphone input and headphone output ports, which answers the question. Yes, you can use headphones with interfaces.

Can I use interfaces with instruments?

Just as the inputs of the headphones, most interfaces have inputs for instruments, especially guitars and pianos.

Are interfaces and DAC the same?

Not at all! Even though an audio interface and a DAC are very similar on just a first look, their jobs are completely different, as interfaces in a way create music and are tend to be used by professionals in making music, meanwhile DACs are mostly in chare for those people who are more into listening to music. Still, in order to find out more about them, I would advise you to check out my article regarding Audio Interface vs. DAC.


Final Words

Here we are at the end of this article, in which you guys can find some of my favorite budget audio interfaces! The ones that I mentioned throughout the article all come from professional brands of sound in general, and it is more than surely known that they will do the job in a proper way.

I really hope that this article will help you guys find which are my favorite budget audio interfaces, and why not, I hope it helps you choose one of them!


Further Reading

Coming at the last part in which I will mention for you some other articles, completely related to audio interfaces of any kind!

In case you are in need of an audio interface for any specific microphone, I would advise you to check out some of the best audio interfaces for AT2020, which by the way is one of the greatest microphones that you can find.

You know that interfaces work with software that you may have installed on your working computer, and there are some audio interfaces that work with Cubase, audio interfaces for Audacity, and some of the greatest ones for GarageBand. While I mentioned computers, I would like to tell you some of the greatest audio interfaces for Chromebooks as well.

Focusrite is one of the brands that bring some great audio interfaces, and here I would like to mention for you guys my article and it is a comparison between Scarlett 2i2 and 2i4.

Have fun!

Josh Harper

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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