The 5 Best Audio Interfaces Under $200 Are:
What Is An Audio Interface
Without being so technical an audio interface basically gives your computer the ability to handle sound on a much higher level. An audio interface allows you to connect instruments and microphones to your computer.
You no longer have to have a ton of money in your pockets in order to build a quality home studio. You can get a decent audio interface to start making beats and other music at your place of residence. In this blog post we are going to view some of the best audio interfaces on the market for less than $200.
What You Need To Know About Audio Interfaces
You may know a lot about audio interfaces already and if that is the case just go ahead and scroll down and start reading my reviews. But if you are not that knowledgeable about these items let me share with you some information that you need to know before you buy one.
I know that this is not the easiest task but I want to help you learn more about this subject so you can become an overall better music producer or even recording artist.
Your Computers Sound Card is Not Designed to Record Music.
This is the most important reason why you need an audio interface. Your computer's sound card is just for playing music, it does not come with inputs that will allow you to add a microphone or other instruments. Even if you can plug in via a usb chord, there are still limitations, when it comes to editing and mixing your music.
So if you would like to plug your instruments directly into your computer, it's your choice but just know that the quality of the sound you will be looking for will not be there.
Best Cheap Audio Interfaces For Less Than $200
I was once a beginner in this art craft of making music and I did not have the budget that I do now. So I really wanted to create this for newbies and beginners who are still learning about making music. Plus they probably don't have the budget to invest thousands of dollars into their equipment.
The good news is that technology allows for us with little money to still compete with the big time studio's. The one thing that all music producers have in common is that we want our music to have a quality sound. This may sound strange but a cheap audio interface can help you do just that. I actually think that it's foolish to spend a ton of money on an interface because they all can do pretty much the same thing. You just have to find one that works best with what you are trying to accomplish with your project.
PreSonus AudioBox USB 2×2 – For Less Than $100
The last time that I checked this PreSonus AudioBox was selling for under a $100 bucks. This is the most recommended audio box for the newbies. Why because the price is right for people with a small budget. The truth is even if you have a budget I would still recommend this interface if you are newbie because it's easy to use. But it really is powerful as well.
When you first start making music you will probably will be subject to waiting on the speed of your computer. That is why the Presonus Audiobox is a great place to start for beginners.
It comes with USB plugin connections and you can use it with just about any laptop or desktop out there, including MAC's.
Behringer U-PHORIA UMC404HD
When I was researching the Behringer on amazon I noticed that the price is mainly under $100. If you haven't noticed yet I am really focused on making sure you stay on your budget. I just really want people to know that you don't have to spend a lot money to get started. When you look at Behringer you can see that it comes with four channels when other audio interfaces at this same price usually come with only two.
You will also notice that there is output stack in the back that comes with XLR, TRS and RCA outs. You can use each channel as a line or instrument, even while power is being spread to all four channels at the same time. The reputation of the behringer is second to none when it comes to budget shopping.
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2
The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is a great design and the price ranges between $99-$150 on Amazon. What sets Focusrite apart from it's competitors is the elegant design. Focusrite has been known to make nothing but quality products.
It does come with natural sound and it has been known by its buyers to be the most durable portable audiobox for th price. It really is a good box and you can really use it to code into your playback machine.
M-Audio M-Track 2X2 C-Series
I am still staying on budget because the M-Audio M-Track 2X2 C-Series will only cost you about $150. This is a solid box and it is designed pretty well also. With the M-Tracks you will get very low noise levels and signal coloration (that's a good thing if you did not know). Basically, if you are looking for a clear sound or clear vocals the M-Tacks will deliver.
It does come with its own DAW and a ton of plugins that you can use to add to the software. You can use this one straight out the box but upgrade it in the future if you want to.
My friend uses this box and he has his mic plugged in and 2 monitors with TRS dual cables and he loves it.
Steinberg UR22 2-Channel USB 2.0
The Steinberg UR22 has a price range from $99-$149 on Amazon, so once again I am making your life easier by staying under the $200 budget. I think the reviews for this item speaks for itself as it has a 4 out of 5 star rating.
I would say that this interface is perfect for Youtubers and singers that are on a budget. While reading the reviews I noticed a common theme and that was the sound quality was almost perfect and natural. Which is why it's good for recording vocals.
The case is made out of metal and the controls are very smooth and easy to use. It never makes that humming noise, which why I love it.
How To Choose The Right Audiobox
You need to know some basic information before you purchase an audio interface. What are your goals? Are you trying to record vocals or are you simply just making beats or you might need one for YouTube.
The biggest question you need to ask yourself is how many inputs and outputs do you need. You need to know this because this will help you decide what type of audiobox to buy. Do you need to plug in a microphone, do you need one that is compatible with a usb cable etc. Knowing what type of equipment you will be pairing with is super important.
You need to know what an inline level input is because these will allow you to connect things like preamps, mixing boards and synthesizers.
When it comes to microphones outputs they need an extra preamplifier so it can convert the sound to digital before it enters your laptop or computer.
There are so many more rules to understanding interfaces that I have decided to write another article about this topic because I can't share it all in this one post.
This article is still being built and I will continue to add more content to this article as I research more cheap audio interfaces for my readers. But I would like to mention this before I go, all of the items that I recommended above are great for newbies and will work for anything that you are trying to do on an entry level. rather it be recording music, making beats or starting a Youtube channel.
Never start your career by overpaying for equipment that you don't need yet. If you only need 1-3 inputs for things like your microphone or preamp all of the above are great for you to get started. although I will be adding more to this article I don't want you to hesitate to go to the next step in your career.