The Best USB Audio Interface for 2023

A USB audio interface enables you to record studio-grade audio from just about anywhere.

The Best USB Audio Interface for 2022

An audio interface is a necessary component of every recording studio, whether big or small. USB audio interfaces are among the most prevalent types of audio interfaces used today, even though a fantastic variety of options are available that use a range of protocols.

During recording sessions, having one of the best USB audio interfaces will allow you to get high-quality audio into and out of your computer and connect other necessary studio gear and instruments. They are often small and easy to carry, and they can function on the power provided by a USB port rather than a wall power outlet.

How We Picked

  • Number of Ports

    It is important to have multiple ports on the audio interface. This allows you to connect several devices to the interface simultaneously.

  • Size/Portability

    A portable audio interface may be taken to other locations for recording, so it must be manageable.

  • Features Available

    To a greater extent, your needs will be met by a USB audio interface that offers more features. Features like monitor controls, low latency mixing, and digital audio workstations (DAWs) are essential.

  • Cost-Effectiveness

    You'll want the highest quality for a reasonable price to ensure that your entire signal chain is as high as possible, including a high-quality USB audio interface.

Our Top Picks

Best Pick

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface

The best USB audio interface with two channels.

The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 third generation is a low-cost, user-friendly recording and mixing tool.

Buy Now for $159.99

The Focusrite 2i2 is a lightweight, portable audio interface that plugs into any computer or iPad. Its well-organized inputs and knobs and its clip lights make it simple to set up and use with any digital audio workstation, whether you're recording voices, acoustic instruments, or electric instruments.

Runner Up

SSL SSL2+ 2-In/4-Out USB-C Audio Interface

SSL SSL2+ 2-In/4-Out USB-C Audio Interface

This pick strikes a balance between price and performance.

The SSL2+, a portable interface with professional functionality and connections, offers a low-cost way to obtain "the SSL sound."

Buy Now for $229.99

The SSL 2/2+ has great performance and sound quality due to its high-end components. It's an entry into the competitive market for affordable studio equipment, incorporating 40 years' worth of technological advancement into a device that delivers superior results, although more costly than its competitors.

Most Cost-Effective

PreSonus AudioBox iTwo 2x2 USB/iPad Audio Interface

PreSonus AudioBox iTwo 2×2 USB/iPad Audio Interface

Simple and convenient mobile recording.

The PreSonus AudioBox iTwo is an iOS/Mac-PC interface with two channels that offers excellent value for the money.

Buy Now

The metal casing of the PreSonus AudioBox iTwo protects the device's longevity and makes it ideal for transport. The iTwo receives its power from the computer's USB port using the included USB cable and the same USB power adapter used by Apple's iOS devices. In terms of sound quality, it's excellent, and the pricing is reasonable.

Everything We Recommend

Best Pick

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface

The best USB audio interface with two channels.

$159.99

Buy Now

Runner Up

SSL SSL2+ 2-In/4-Out USB-C Audio Interface

SSL SSL2+ 2-In/4-Out USB-C Audio Interface

This pick strikes a balance between price and performance.

$229.99

Buy Now

Most Cost-Effective

PreSonus AudioBox iTwo 2x2 USB/iPad Audio Interface

PreSonus AudioBox iTwo 2×2 USB/iPad Audio Interface

Simple and convenient mobile recording.

Buy Now

Who This Is For

If you wish to record instruments using a microphone or a line-in, an audio interface will come in handy. Audio interfaces are not only helpful in getting digital audio out of a computer and into speakers or mixers and lower audio latency on a computer, which is particularly useful for producers working on Windows machines.

So, if you’re getting started in music production and want to maximize your recording’s potential, an audio interface is what you need.

What is a USB Audio Interface?
When connected to a computer, a USB audio interface digitizes analog audio signals (such as your voice) for use on the device. They may differ in many ways, including quality, features, inputs, and outputs.

With features like an inbuilt microphone and instrument preamps, a separate speaker (studio monitor), and headphone outputs, these products are tailor-made for professional audio applications and provide exceptional sound quality.

What can you do with an audio interface?
Audio interfaces enable you to plug audio sources like microphones and guitar wires into a computer and record using a digital audio interface. It also offers outputs that let you listen to the recorded or live incoming audio via the computer’s speakers, headphones, or studio monitors.

Why You Should Trust Us

If you plan on spending significant time creating music on a PC or Mac, an audio interface is a must-have item for your home recording setup. We’ve researched and selected the top USB audio interface for recording electric and acoustic guitars, mics, synthesizers, and any other musical instrument with an output into your preferred digital audio workstation.

How We Picked

USB audio interfaces that come in many different shapes and sizes, and some can record 16 or more inputs at the same time. We looked at what other customers said and found that most would want a USB interface with at least two XLR inputs that work with microphones and line/instrument sources.

We looked at many USB audio interfaces that come in different sizes. The audio interface should have sufficient ports and features to meet the requirements of the majority of its users, regardless of the size of the audio interface.

We prioritized portableness and the ability to run from the USB port on your computer to choose the best audio interfaces. We also looked at how simple it was to use, so you should spend less time reading the handbook to connect the interface to your computer.

You will discover that the audio quality and features are significant factors in our review process across the board for all of your available options. But they should also be durable with a good build quality to justify the price vs. quality.

Our Picks For You

Best Pick - Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface

Best Pick

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface

The best USB audio interface with two channels.

The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 third generation is a low-cost, user-friendly recording and mixing tool.

Buy Now for $159.99

Who It's For

If you require anything more powerful than a USB mic to record music or make a podcast, the next obvious step is to invest in an audio interface with multiple inputs. Musicians who wish to record up to two songs on a computer simultaneously will love this USB audio interface.

Why It's Great

The Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen from Focusrite is one of the best audio interfaces you can get for a reasonable price. It is an exceptional value for the money, and its performance is of a high grade.

With the purchase of a Scarlett 2i2, you will have access to Ableton Live Lite, the Plug-in Collective, the Hitmaker Expansion Bundle, and a 3-month subscription to Avid Pro Tools. This kit is quite flexible and will have you recording professionally immediately.

Potential Flaws

The lack of MIDI I/O is the only significant drawback. If you ignore that, it's perfect in its category.

Other Features

The Scarlett 2i2 is a sturdy and convenient small gadget. It's portable, lightweight, and compact enough to fit in a backpack. It's a must-have for mobile recording studios and traveling audio professionals.

The interface doesn't take up much room on your desk, and the two inputs give a beginner engineer more than enough flexibility. It may have a flimsy feel, but its design is more than competent for an entry-level interface. It's durable enough to withstand being knocked over or scratched.

The Scarlett 2i2 won't hold you back; it's capable of clear, latency-free monitoring and generating outstanding recordings, but the quality of your recordings will ultimately rely on your microphone and your recording style. Setting levels is also pretty easy. Most people had no trouble using the 1/4-inch inputs to record instruments directly.

The Scarlett 2i2 is a great option when you need more than a single-track USB mic can provide for your recording requirements but want to invest in something other than a full-fledged console setup. It's cheap, offers consistent audio quality, and simplifies live audio recording, mixing, and monitoring.

Runner Up - SSL SSL2+ 2-In/4-Out USB-C Audio Interface

Runner Up

SSL SSL2+ 2-In/4-Out USB-C Audio Interface

SSL SSL2+ 2-In/4-Out USB-C Audio Interface

This pick strikes a balance between price and performance.

The SSL2+, a portable interface with professional functionality and connections, offers a low-cost way to obtain "the SSL sound."

Buy Now for $229.99

Who It's For

The SSL 2+ is an excellent choice for everyone, from those just starting in the world of audio recording to seasoned pros needing a portable, lightweight solution.

Why It's Great

The SSL2+ provides an attractive compromise between design, functionality, and sound quality at an affordable price. The unit's construction seems solid and durable. The design is pretty old school, with a color scheme that reflects SSL's history, and everything does feel "pro." The solid build and smooth operation make you feel like these interfaces should be more expensive.

No external power source is required to operate the SSL2+ since it is powered via the USB bus. With the second set of headphones output, MIDI in/out, and an unbalanced secondary output pair, the SSL2+ is designed for use in collaborative settings.

Potential Flaws

The XLR ports are flexible, so the wires may feel a touch slack, which is the only real issue some users experience. The interface Solid State Logic has been quite well-made.

Other Features

These days, professional studios all around the globe use Solid State Logic consoles. The preamps, equalizers, and bus compressors made by SSL are among the best in the industry.

The lack of a visual mixer or control panel makes it easy to learn how to use. The ergonomics of the design are typically very well thought out and executed throughout. The SSL2+’s second headphone output is a huge plus, making it possible for two musicians to play at once or for a producer to listen in on a recording session.

The SSL Production Pack, which includes two of SSL's native plugins and a 6-month license for the remainder of SSL's plugin portfolio, is included with the physical interface. In addition, there are lightweight versions of ProTools, Ableton Live, and Komplete by Native Instruments, as well as a sizable Loopcloud sample collection.

Most Cost-Effective - PreSonus AudioBox iTwo 2×2 USB/iPad Audio Interface

Most Cost-Effective

PreSonus AudioBox iTwo 2x2 USB/iPad Audio Interface

PreSonus AudioBox iTwo 2×2 USB/iPad Audio Interface

Simple and convenient mobile recording.

The PreSonus AudioBox iTwo is an iOS/Mac-PC interface with two channels that offers excellent value for the money.

Buy Now

Who It's For

The PreSonus AudioBox iTwo is great for on-the-go musicians, sound designers, and podcasters because it provides high-quality audio in a compact, user-friendly portable interface that can be easily transferred between PCs and iOS devices.


Why It's Great

The PreSonus AudioBox iTwo is a versatile tabletop interface that can be used for recording and production on both a computer and an iOS device. It offers a fair value for its tiny size. Everything functions as it should, the sound quality is far higher than you'd anticipate for a product in this price range, and you get some great software for free.

You may expect high-quality audio recordings while using this interface. The preamps are high-quality, so not only will your recordings be free of distortion, but the natural decline and breadth of the sound will be maintained as well. There shouldn't be any hissing or other audio distortions in your recordings, and your voices should sound full and natural.

Potential Flaws

If all of the front inputs and outputs are in use, adjusting the input gain may be tricky. The tiny size of the knobs and their location at the device's base may make changing the settings a challenge.

Other Features

Because of its compatibility with Apple's iOS devices, you can easily include this interface into your mobile recording set-up. Nonetheless, this multi-tool can be used with either a Mac/PC or an iPad/iPhone (but only some at a time).

Using the integrated Capture Duo program, you may record directly to an iPad and then move your session to the Mac or PC, running the accompanying Studio One Artist software through wireless transmission. By connecting Lightning to a USB cable directly to the Mfi connector, you may avoid dealing with adapters. You'll still need a USB power brick or a power bank to provide power to the interface's USB power connector.

Almost Made The Cut - Audient iD4 MKII USB-C Audio Interface

Almost Made The Cut

Audient iD4 MKII USB-C Audio Interface

Audient iD4 MKII USB-C Audio Interface

If you need a high-quality, portable audio interface, this is it.

Flawless sound and solid construction.

Buy Now for $199.00

Who It's For

This is the perfect interface for anybody in need of high-quality preamps.

Why It's Great

With the iD4 MK2, you can produce high-quality recordings at home at an excellent price-to-performance ratio thanks to its professional-grade audio capabilities packed into a small and contemporary desktop package.

Potential Flaws

One of the flaws is that it has just one combination input and one TRS-in, which is restrictive. However, the unit's recording quality is more than enough for any aspiring audio engineer.

Other Features

The all-metal construction gives them a nice weight and a luxuriously smooth feel. All of the buttons and other controls are placed on the top surface, making them ideal as desktop interfaces. The knobs feel sturdy, and the huge encoder has a good bump when turned. They are very solid on the desk and feel like something other than entry-level audio interfaces.

Audio loopback is an important feature for podcasters, YouTube content creators, and streamers. The iD4 allows you to simultaneously record audio from your microphones and your computer's apps. In addition, iD4 MK2 includes a suite of professional software at no additional cost.

Most noticeably, the Audient iD4 MK2's preamps contribute significantly to the device's stunning audio quality. The iD4 has better preamps than the previous version. This is the identical set of preamps that can be found on the much more expensive Audient ASP8024-HE.

Care and Maintenance

Obviously, you’ll need to connect your interface’s included power cable or adapter to an electrical outlet or power bank for it to function. There will also be a USB cable included, which must be connected to your computer for the interface to function.

The purpose of your interface is to record sound waves produced by your microphone or other instruments.

Be sure your computer is compatible with your audio interface before proceeding. Check the audio device’s product page for the minimum and recommended system requirements and compare them to your computer’s capabilities.

If your interface isn’t supported, you may have to update your operating system or switch to one that is. To get the most out of your audio interface, it’s important to use the company’s most up-to-date driver software.

If your computer is not recognizing your audio interface, try connecting it to a different port on your computer with a different cable.

After you see your device in Device Manager, double-check that it shows up in Sound Settings. If not, you must install the most recent driver.

When your computer does recognize your audio interface, the next thing to do is to adjust your system-wide audio settings.

Having established that your computer can communicate with your interface, you must next configure your digital audio workstation (DAW) to make use of it.

Now that your DAW can talk to the interface, you only have one more thing to do. First, you have to find and choose the right input; next, you only have to turn on the track’s recording feature.

Remember that the audio interface should be left on during sessions but switched off when not in use. When using an interface and a preamp, the interface should be the first item turned on and the last thing turned off in the setup to prevent spikes from propagating through the remainder of the system when components are switched on.

In addition, using USB extension cords is not advised. Longer USB cables, for example, might impede sound transmission, so you should avoid using them.

If your audio interface does not function properly despite testing its controls, inputs, outputs, gain controls, volume knobs, switches, power adapter, USB connections, and routing through your DAW on your PC or laptop, it is likely that some component or materials making up the audio interface are broken.