Top 12 Audio Interface for Mac

by | Mixers

If you’re looking for the best audio interface for Mac, you’ve come to the right place! This article will discuss the different audio interfaces available and help you choose the right one for your needs. So, whether you’re a musician, producer, podcaster, or just someone who wants better sound quality from their computer, read on for all the info you need.

Overview

An audio interface for Mac is a device that allows you to connect musical instruments and other audio devices to your computer so you can record and play back digital audio. There are many different types of audio interfaces on the market, so how do you know which one is right for you? This article will help you determine the best audio interface for your needs.

When choosing an audio interface, you must consider your Mac type. For example, if you have a MacBook, you’ll need a different audio interface than an iMac or Mac Pro. The next thing to consider is what type of connection you need. The most common connections are USB, Thunderbolt, and Firewire, but wireless options are also available.

If you’re only going to be connecting a microphone and headphones, then a simple USB interface will suffice. However, if you want to connect multiple instruments or devices, you’ll need a more robust interface with numerous input and output options.

Another vital consideration is latency. This is the delay between playing a note and hearing it back through your headphones or speakers. If you’re recording music, you’ll want to choose an audio interface with low latency so you can listen to what you’re playing in real time.

Finally, consider your budget when choosing an audio interface. They range in price from around $50 to over $1000, so it’s essential to find one that fits your needs and budget.

Related: Audio Interface vs. Mixer: Which is Better for Podcasting?

Other Factors to Consider When Choosing an Audio Interface

These are some other factors to consider:

  • The quality of the audio
  • How easy it is to use
  • Compatibility with other devices
  • Portability
  • Brand reputation

Choosing the best audio interface for your needs doesn’t have to be complicated. Just keep these factors in mind, and you’ll be sure to find the perfect one for you.

Related: Top 9 Best Podcast Mixers | The Ultimate Buying Guide

How to Choose the Right Audio Interface for Mac?

When choosing an audio interface for Mac, many things need to be considered before deciding. The type of Mac being used, the purpose for needing an audio interface, budget, and other factors all play a role in choosing the best one. This guide will help make the decision easier by providing all the necessary information before purchasing.

What is my budget?

As I stated before, audio interfaces range in price from around $50 to over $1000. So, finding one that is affordable but also meets all the needs required is crucial.

What type of Mac do I have?

The different types of Macs include MacBook, iMac, and Mac Pro. Each requires a separate audio interface.

What is the purpose of needing an audio interface?

Are you a musician who wants to record music? A producer who creates beats. A podcaster who records interviews? The purpose will help determine which audio interface is best suited.

Related: How to Record a Phone Interview for a Podcast?

What are the latency requirements?

Latency is the delay between playing a note and hearing it back through your headphones or speakers. If recording music, low latency is essential so notes can be heard in real-time.

What type of connection is required?

Some of the most popular connections are USB-A or USB-C, Thunderbolt, and FireWire. While Apple no longer includes FireWire connection on new computers, the company does produce Firewire audio interfaces. However, the standard for most audio interfaces is now USB-C and Thunderbolt. It’s incredible how technology has evolved and what we’re now able to do with audio interfaces.

Input and Outputs

If you’re looking for the best audio interface for Mac, you’ll want to consider your inputs and outputs. Do you need mic input? Line input? Instrument input? Optical input? MIDI input? Make sure your audio interface has the right connections for your needs. Likewise, do you need stereo output (1/4 inch jack)? Mono output? Headphone output? USB output? RCA output?


Make sure your audio interface can connect to the devices you want to use. Once you’ve considered your inputs and outputs, you can narrow down your choices and find the best audio interface for your Mac.

Good Sound

When choosing the best audio interface for Mac, there are a few things to remember. First and foremost is sound quality. After all, what’s the point of spending money on an interface if it produces a subpar sound? Luckily, there are many high-quality audio interfaces on the market specifically designed for use with Macs.

The audio sample rate and bit depth are essential when choosing an audio interface. The higher the sample rate and bit depth, the better the sound quality. Therefore, you should look for an audio interface with a high sample rate and bit depth.

Portability

Macs are known for their sleek design and portability, so it only makes sense that you would want an audio interface that is just as easy to transport. The best audio interface for Mac should be compact and lightweight yet still offers all the features you need.

Finding an interface compatible with your Mac model is crucial, as some interfaces only work with specific models. Fortunately, there are plenty of great options on the market, so you should be able to find the perfect one for your needs.

Software

For the Mac user, the best audio interface comes with good digital audio workstation (DAW) software. This way, you can start recording immediately without worrying about compatibility issues. In addition, many audio interface manufacturers offer excellent DAW software bundles with their products.

Another bonus is if the audio interface comes with extra plugins. This can give you more options for sound manipulation and get you started on your music or podcast production journey. So, when shopping for an audio interface for your Mac, check what software it comes with. It might just be the best decision you make.

Related: Garage Band Interface: How to Choose The Right Audio Interface?

12 Top Audio Interfaces for Mac

1. Apogee Duet 3-2 Channel USB Audio Interface

The Apogee Duet 3 has an ultra-compact design with scratch-resistant cover glass. Image Source.

Apogee Duet 3 is a two-channel USB audio interface that allows you to record microphones, guitars, keyboards, and other instruments directly to your computer. It offers high-quality 24-bit/192kHz sound quality, making it ideal for recording, streaming, and podcasting. The interface also features a built-in headphone amplifier for monitoring recordings and comes with various software tools for getting the most out of your recordings. So, if you’re looking for an easy-to-use interface for recording high-quality audio on your Mac or PC, the Apogee Duet 3 is worth checking out.

Advantages:

  • Good sound
  • Small
  • Backpackable

Disadvantages:

  • Expensive
  • Sellers do not allow returns

2. Behringer U-Control UCA222 USB Audio Interface

The U-CONTROL UCA222 allows you to connect instruments and other audio devices to your computer. Image Source.

The Behringer U-Control UCA222 USB Audio Interface is a great way to get started in audio recording. It’s simple to use and gives you everything you need to get started, including a USB interface, phantom power, and XLR inputs. Plus, it’s one of the most affordable audio interfaces on the market. The only downside is that it doesn’t have as many features as some of the more expensive options. But the Behringer U-Control UCA222 is a great way to go if you’re starting.

Advantages:

  • Cheap
  • Small
  • Easy to use

Disadvantages:

  • Poor sound quality
  • USB Microphone mono input only

3. PreSonus Studio 24C

The Studio 24c delivers amazing sound quality in a rugged, compact form factor. Image Source.

The PreSonus Studio 24c is excellent for a reliable, easy-to-use audio interface. With its clear and concise controls, the Studio 24c is perfect for beginners and professionals. In addition, the interface offers two balanced line level inputs, two instrument level inputs, two microphone level inputs, two-line level outputs, and one headphone output. The Studio 24c also comes with a USB Type-C port for easy connection to a computer or laptop. Overall, the PreSonus Studio 24c is an excellent option for anyone needing a quality audio interface.

This interface offers two combo mic/instrument inputs and four-line inputs, making it perfect for solo recordings and band sessions. In addition, Studio 24c comes with high-quality preamps and converters, ensuring that your recordings will sound great. Whether a beginner or a seasoned pro, the PreSonus Studio 24c is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to capture quality recordings.

On the front, it has an LED meter that can be used to monitor input levels and output during recording or live performance; there are also knobs here which some find difficult because they’re so close together.

Whether you like it or not, cables will come out of your Studio 24C. One thing that may bother some people about this interface is the headphone output location on its back side—it can get uncomfortable when plugging in and unplugging headphones every time we want them for a session.

Advantages:

  • Software bundle
  • USB-C audio interface
  • Portable

Disadvantages:

  • Bad knob design

4. Steinberg UR22C

The UR22C brings you amazing sound quality in a remarkably compact, tough and versatile package for composing and recording anywhere. Image Source.

When it comes to audio interfaces, Steinberg’s UR22C is one of the best in its class. It offers excellent sound quality, low latency, and a robust feature set. It’s also very easy to use, making it an ideal choice for both beginner and experienced producers. In terms of sound quality, the UR22C is clean and clear, with plenty of headroom. Latency is also very low, making it perfect for recording live instruments and vocals. The UR22C also comes with a handful of handy features, such as an integrated DSP that can be used for effects processing and a built-in tuner.

For starters, the unit has a robust metal construction that makes it durable enough to withstand heavy use. In addition, the UR22C features two microphone preamps capable of capturing audio with amazing detail and clarity. And if that wasn’t enough, the interface also comes with a free copy of Cubase AI software and Cubasis LE, making it easy to start recording and editing audio. Overall, the Steinberg UR22C is an exceptional USB audio interface that will meet the needs of even the most demanding users.

A small yet powerful device with two combo jacks, gain volumes on the front of it for your instruments and vocals. A handy mono switch changes how you want them output from the low or high impedance. And if things get too loud without changing anything else about what sounds good through these speakers (or headphones), there are separate Hi-Z buttons, so they’ll play only those frequencies just right at any volume desired.

The Steinberg UR22XC is an exceptional USB-C audio interface. The back of this device houses all your ports and controls, allowing you to get creative with what’s plugged in! It has a 48v switch for powering up electronics or instruments quickly at any time without worrying about outlets; MIDI input/outputs so it’ll work seamlessly alongside other devices like synths etc.; two main outputs jacks that can be used as monitors if needed. With its high bit rate 192kHz precision sound reproduction abilities–even those tiny details will last forever, thanks to its 24bit resolution.

Advantages:

  • Internal DSP
  • Cheap Professional device
  • Bundled DAWs and plugins

Disadvantages:

  • It needs an extra power supply for iOS machines

5. MOTU M2

The M2 delivers an astonishing 120 dB Dynamic Range on its main outputs. Image Source.

There’s much to like about the MOTU M2 audio interface for Mac. For starters, it’s one of the more affordable options on the market. It also boasts an impressive feature set, including low-latency performance and compatibility with a wide range of software. However, there are a few drawbacks to consider as well. While the audio quality is good, it’s not quite up to the standards of some of the more expensive interfaces. Additionally, the build quality leaves something to be desired, and the included software isn’t particularly user-friendly. But overall, the MOTU M2 is a solid option for anyone looking for a budget-friendly audio interface for their Mac computer.

The front of this little Motu M2 has all the amenities you could need for your live sound needs. It’s got two inputs with gain knobs and 48v phantom power, as well as a monitoring button so that no matter what kind or size venue is lighting up your day (or night).

On the back of this unit, we find unbalanced connections via RCA outputs or balanced ones with TRS jacks for instruments such as guitars and keyboards. Also, we can see a MIDI input so you can connect it to another device if the need arises. It also includes a 2.0 USB-C port to power the system.

Advantages:

  • Monitoring Controls
  • Individual Phantom Power
  • LCD lever meters
  • Loop-back

Disadvantages:

  • It has only a 2.0 USB
  • No Mix dial knob

6. Universal Audio Apollo Twin X

Apollo Twin X gives musicians and producers elite-class audio conversion with the tone, feel, and flow of analog recording. Image Source.

If you’re looking for an audio interface that will give you the best sound quality possible, the Universal Audio Apollo Twin X is the way to go. This interface uses Thunderbolt 3 to connect to your computer, which gives you incredibly low latency and outstanding sound quality. In addition, the interface comes with two mic/instrument inputs and four-line outputs.

Plus, it comes with Universal Audio’s Realtime UAD Processing, which lets you use its world-class plugins without taxing your CPU. The only downside to the Apollo Twin X is its price tag, but if you’re serious about getting the best sound quality possible, it’s worth every penny.

The Universal Audio Apollo Twin X is a favorite among many in the industry because of its impressive plugin capabilities. With two versions available, you can choose between quad-core processing or dual cores to suit your needs and budget!

Advantages:

  • Thunderbolt 3 connection
  • UAD Plugins

Disadvantages:

  • Expensive
  • Thunderbolt cable not included

7. Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen

The SCARLETT 2I2 has two high headroom instrument inputs, for plugging your guitar or bass straight in. Image Source.

The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen is one of the best USB audio interfaces on the market. It’s perfect for anyone who wants to record music or podcasts, as it offers excellent sound quality and is very easy to use. The interface has two microphone inputs, two-line inputs, and one headphone output. It also has a free software bundle with Ableton Live Lite and a free plugin suite. The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen is an exemplary interface for beginners and professionals.

It features five buttons on its front: one for controlling instruments or line signals (2 in total); another (2 more) that turns the Air function which emulates Focusrite’s original ISA preamps sound quality – this allows you to get that vintage tube warmth without having any bulky equipment.

And lastly, 48 volts of the phantom power button for both sides.

Advantages:

  • Excellent Software
  • Free plugins
  • Portable

Disadvantages:

  • No MIDI I/O
  • It is USB-C to USB-A

8. Behringer UMC202HD

The UMC202HD comes with all the connectivity for microphones, guitars, bass and keyboards. Image Source.

The Behringer UMC202HD is a high-definition audio interface perfect for recording and producing music on your computer. It comes with two mic/instrument inputs, each with its volume control, so you can easily record multiple tracks simultaneously. The unit also has a headphone output for monitoring your recordings and a built-in 48V phantom power supply for powering condenser microphones.

The included software is easy to use and provides a comprehensive set of tools for processing and manipulating audio.

The sound quality is excellent, and the interface is straightforward to use. Overall, the Behringer UMC202HD is a perfect choice for anyone looking for a high-quality audio interface.

Behringer’s UMC202HD is a great little console with some clever features. I love how it allows easy access to your headphones with its volume knob and direct monitoring button on the front instead of being buried somewhere else in the mixer.

The Behringer UMC202HD has all the features you need to get your sound pumping. On the back includes two studio monitor outputs, USB 2 for transferring files or powering accessories like keyboards and mics, plus 48V of phantom power in the middle.

Advantages:

  • Good Price
  • Preamps
  • Easy to use

Disadvantages:

  • No software included
  • No MIDI I/O

Related: Behringer UM2 vs UMC22: Our Audio Interface Comparison Guide

9. Komplete Audio 2

The KOMPLETE AUDIO 2 lets you easily record vocals, guitar, or any other instruments straight into your DAW in high quality. Image Source.

If you’re looking for an audio interface that offers both quality and value, the Native Instruments Komplete Audio 2 is a great option to consider. This unit provides two channels of audio input and output, allowing you to connect a microphone and instrument at the same time. As a result, the audio quality is superb, with clear and detailed sound reproduction. The interface is also straightforward, with large buttons and a clear layout. In addition, the bundled software package includes many valuable tools for recording and mixing, like Ableton Live 11 Lite, MONARK, PHASIS, and KOMPLETE START. As a result, the Komplete Audio 2 offers an impressive blend of features, performance, and value.

Advantages:

  • Software included
  • Small, light

Disadvantages:

  • Average build quality

10. Audient iD4 MKII

The iD4 (MKII) delivers professional audio performance in a compact and modern desktop package. Image Source.

The Audient iD4 is a sleek and stylish audio interface that will look great on any desktop. It’s made from high-quality materials and features a powerful USB-C port for fast and reliable connections. The front of the unit features a DI input for your instruments and a dual headphones input that offers zero-latency monitoring. On the back, you’ll see 2 output jacks for monitors, the +48v phantom power switch for the microphones and an XLR combo for mic and line level input. The iD4 is an excellent choice for anyone who wants a reliable and easy-to-use audio interface that sounds great and looks good on their desk.

On the front, we have a direct injection for your instruments and a dual headphone jack with no loss in sound quality thanks to its ¼” plug size – perfect if you’re using studio-grade systems. There’s also a 3.5mm port just waiting so someone can tune their guitar while playing along at home without interference from other sounds coming out around them.

The Audient iD4 MKII is a state-of-the-art interface for all your recording needs, and it’s powered by USB! On its back, you have three ports: One 3.0 USB-C port that also provides power to this lightweight device; two TRS jacks which can be used as studio monitors (or PA speakers) if needed; and lastly, there’s an XLR input where we load up our mic or line level signal.

Advantages:

  • Good quality
  • USB 3.0
  • Light

Disadvantages:

  • Input level monitoring
  • Only one microphone input

11. Avid Pro Tools Carbon

Carbon enables you to record, edit, and mix in a single application without bouncing between software. Image Source.

The Avid Pro Tools Carbon is a high-end audio interface that gives you all the features and flexibility necessary to produce professional-quality audio on your Mac. This sleek hardware has all the features you need to get the most out of your Pro Tools software. And while it’s not cheap, it’s definitely worth the investment if you’re serious about music production.

Pro Tools Carbon is a versatile 8-channel interface with built-in preamps and comprehensive monitoring. It is designed for a mobile production environment that is flexible and contemporary. This interface will bring Pro Tools commercial studio technology to the bustling market of homegrown music production.

The sleek design of the Pro Tools Carbon makes it an excellent addition to any home studio. It has a small form factor and is easily portable, making it perfect for music producers on the go. The rugged build of the interface ensures that it can withstand the rigors of travel and production.

The comprehensive monitoring system ensures you have all the information you need to produce great-sounding tracks. The preamps are of high quality and provide excellent sound reproduction. Pro Tools Carbon is a great choice for music producers who want the professional sound quality of Pro Tools in a mobile interface.

In terms of sound quality, Carbon delivers pristine audio that will take your productions to the next level. And with its easy-to-use control surface, you’ll be able to dial in the perfect sound for any situation quickly.

The Avid Pro Tools Carbon is an excellent audio interface for professional recording and mixing. It has eight balanced mic/line XLR/TRS inputs with Variable Z (impedance) in 4 channels, as well as additional instrument input available through the 25-pin connection that can be used to plug in your guitar or other instruments. The conversion rates are 192KHz /32bit allowing high-quality sound playback.

It also includes a high-quality talkback microphone and four headphone outputs with independently adjustable levels on the front panel.

Advantages:

  • Software included
  • Excellent quality

Disadvantages:

  • Expensive

12. iConnectivity Audio 4c Dual USB-C

AUDIO4c works great on Mac, PC, iOS and for the first time, Android too! Image Source.

iConnectivity’s Audio 4c is a dual USB-C audio interface for easy connection to Mac and Windows computers. The unit offers two audio input and output channels as MIDI I/O in a compact desktop format. The 4c is powered via USB-C and includes various built-in connectivity options, making it an excellent choice for studio and live use.

The Audio 4c also includes a headphone output, making it perfect for monitoring and recording. And with its compact design and easy-to-use controls, the iConnectivity Audio 4c is sure to become a staple in your studio or live setup.

The iConnectivity Audio4c is tailor-made for recording, streaming, and playing music. It includes four XLR/¼” TRS analog inputs, six outputs, DIN MIDI, and USB-MIDI. The three custom-tailored modes make configuring the interface for your specific needs easy. The audio quality is excellent, and it is straightforward to use. The only downside is that it is a bit pricey.

Advantages:

  • USB-C and MIDI connection

Disadvantages:

  • Expensive

Conclusion

So, there you have it! Our top twelve picks for the best audio interfaces for Mac. Whether you’re a musician, podcaster, or just need better sound quality for Skype calls, one of these interfaces will fit your needs. Do you have a favorite that we didn’t mention? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading, and happy mixing!