Are you looking for the best audio interface for your podcasting needs? Do you want to learn all about them before making your purchase? Well, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll be discussing everything you need to know about beginner audio interfaces, including what they are and what they can do for you when it comes to recording your podcast.
We’ll also provide a list of some of the best audio interface for beginners on the market today so that you can make an informed decision before buying. Let’s get started!
Related: Top 9 Best Podcast Mixers
What Is A Beginner Audio Interface?
For the uninitiated, an audio interface may seem like a daunting piece of equipment. But in reality, an audio interface is a relatively simple device for podcasting that can be a helpful tool for anyone who wants to improve their audio recording quality.
An audio interface is essentially a box that allows you to connect your microphone and other audio devices to your computer. This way, you can record high-quality audio directly onto your computer.
Audio interfaces typically have inputs for microphones, instruments, and line-level sources, as well as outputs for headphones and speakers. Some higher-end models also include features like MIDI ports and phantom power.
If you’re just starting out with recording as a beginner podcaster, a basic model should suffice. But if you’re looking to take your podcasting to the next level, investing in a more feature-rich audio interface can be a worthwhile investment.
What Can A Beginner Audio Interface Do?
An audio interface is an essential part of any podcasting setup. A good audio interface will allow you to connect your microphones and instruments to your computer so that you can record high-quality audio. It will also provide phantom power for condenser microphones, and it will typically have built-in preamps to boost the signal of your microphones.
In addition, a good audio interface will offer low-latency monitoring, meaning that you can hear yourself as you speak without any noticeable delay.
This is essential for recording vocals or instruments without any lag. A good audio interface will come with software that makes it easy to get started recording right away. If you’re looking to get into the world of recording, an audio interface is a great place to start. With so many features and benefits, it’s no wonder that they are essential for any home studio.
What Are The Best Beginner Audio Interfaces?
Now that you know what an audio interface is and what it can do for you let’s take a look at some of the best beginner models on the market with a free software bundle. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to upgrade your existing setup, these options will provide quality recordings with features to suit any budget.
1. Universal Audio Volt 2 USB Audio Interface
The first audio interface on our list is the Universal Audio Volt 2 USB Audio Interface, a desktop 2-in/2-out USB audio interface that gives best-in-class 24-bit/192 kHz audio conversion for PC, iPad, Mac, and iPhone. It also features a Vintage Mic Preamp mode and software including Ampeg, Ableton, UJAM’s Virtual Drummer, Melodyne, Marshall, and more.
Additionally, the Universal Audio Volt 2 USB Audio Interface has a studio-quality headphone amplifier, is USB bus powered, and has 48V phantom power for a condenser microphone. Plus, it has stylish, rugged construction and 1-in/1-out MIDI connections which come with a USB-C to USB-A cable.
All of these features make the Universal Audio Volt 2 USB Audio Interface an excellent choice for anyone in the market for a new audio interface. The Volt 2 also comes with a one-year part and labor warranty. It’s an affordable and reliable choice, making it a great option for audio interfaces for beginners.
- 24-bit/192 kHz audio conversion
- Vintage Mic Preamp mode
- USB bus powered
- 48V Phantom power for condenser microphones
- Stylish and rugged construction
2. Focusrite Scarlett Solo 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface
Whether you’re just starting out in the music world or you’re a seasoned pro, having a good audio interface is essential. The Focusrite Scarlett Solo 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface is a great option for anyone looking for quality sound. It features one mic preamp, one instrument input, and phantom power, making it perfect for recording both vocals and instruments.
Like Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, it also comes with a 3-month subscription to Avid Pro Tools Artist, giving you everything you need to get started with music production. Plus, it’s compatible with the new USB-C iPad Pro, making it easier than ever to record on the go.
And best of all, it comes with Sweetwater’s FREE 2-Year warranty, so you can be sure that you’re getting a great product that will last. If you’re looking for an easy way to get great audio quality when recording music on your computer, the Focusrite Scarlett Solo 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface is the way to go.
- One Mic Preamp
- One Instrument Input
- Phantom Power
- 3-Month Subscription to Avid Pro Tools Artist
- USB-C Compatible
- 2-Year Warranty
3. Native Instruments Komplete Audio 2 USB Audio Interface
The Komplete Audio 2 is a high-quality USB audio interface that is compatible with both Mac and PC. It features two combi-XLR/jack instrument inputs with 48V phantom power, making it ideal for recording both microphones and instruments.
The interface also has a flexible stereo recording mode, allowing you to record two independent sources or a stereo source. Additionally, the Komplete Audio 2 has a stereo jack out for use at home, in the studio, or on stage, and a VU-meter for adjusting levels.
Its Direct monitoring feature allows you to blend audio playback from your computer with the audio from the interface, and the big volume knob makes it easy to adjust levels. The headphone output has high power output and volume control, making it perfect for monitoring your recordings and mixes.
The Komplete Audio 2 also comes with a full version of the Native Instruments Komplete Start production package, giving you the tools to start recording right away. So, if you are new to home recording or a seasoned pro, the Komplete Audio 2 is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a great audio interface at an affordable price.
- 2 combi-XLR/jack inputs with 48V phantom power
- Stereo headphone jack out for use at home, in the studio, or on stage
- VU meter for adjusting levels
- Direct monitoring feature
- Big volume knob for easy adjustment
- High-power headphone output for monitoring recordings and mixes
- Comes with a full version of the Native Instruments Komplete Start production package
4. Audient iD4 MKII Desktop Audio Interface
The Audient iD4 MKII Desktop 2×2 USB Type-C Audio Interface is a great choice for anyone looking for a high-quality audio interface. It features class-leading converters, a scroll control volume knob and a speaker on/off button.
The monitor mix and pan function let you control the balance between your headphones and speakers, and the phantom power over USB provides optimal sonic performance. The USB 3.0 bus powers the device, and it is iOS compatible. The all-metal design is engineered for durability, and the bundled software suite includes a free DAW.
It has a modern, minimalistic design that fits perfectly with your studio setup. For those who need more inputs and outputs, Audient offers the iD4+, which includes four analog inputs and two headphone outputs.
- 2 inputs, 2 outputs
- Scroll control volume knob & speaker on/off button
- Monitor mix & pan function
- USB 3.0 bus powered
- iOS compatible
- All metal design for durability
- Free DAW included
5. Roland Rubix 22 USB Audio Interface
The Roland Rubix 22 USB Audio Interface is a great way to get high-quality audio into your computer. It has high impedance sources with a Hi-Z input for guitar, MIDI In/Out ports, XLR combo jacks with two low-noise mic preamps, and a low-noise extensively shielded design.
This audio interface is perfect for recording music, podcasts, or any other type of audio. It also comes with a free download of Cakewalk SONAR LE software, so you can start producing great-sounding recordings right away!
The Roland Rubix 22 USB Audio Interface also comes with a USB cable and Power Supply, so you don’t have to worry about purchasing them separately. With all of these features, it’s one of the best beginner audio interfaces on the market!
- Comes with a USB cable and Power Supply
- XLR combo jacks with two low-noise mic preamps
- MIDI In/Out ports
- Hi-Z input for guitar and other high-impedance sources
- Low-noise extensively shielded design
6. Mackie Onyx Producer 2×2 USB Audio Interface with MIDI
The Mackie Onyx Producer audio interface is perfect for any producer or musician who wants to record high-quality audio. The two boutique-quality Onyx mic preamps provide class-leading fidelity and dynamic range, while the 48v Phantom Power ensures that your microphones will be able to give you the best possible sound.
The high-resolution 24-Bit/192kHz recording provides you with the ability to capture your audio in great detail, while the zero-latency direct monitoring of analog inputs ensures that you can hear your playing immediately, without any delay.
The dedicated outputs for connecting studio monitors allow you to set up your monitoring system quickly and easily, while the MIDI I/O lets you connect synths, controllers, and more. The bus-powered design means that you don’t need an external power supply, making it easy to use on the go.
It’s a great choice for anyone looking for an audio interface that can offer them professional features at an affordable price. With the Mackie Onyx Producer, you’ll be ready to make high-quality recordings in no time.
- 2 boutique-quality Onyx mic preamps
- 48v Phantom Power
- Zero-latency direct monitoring of analog inputs
- High-resolution 24-Bit/192kHz recording
- Dedicated outputs for connecting studio monitors
- MIDI I/O for synths, controllers, and more
- Affordable price point
These are just a few of the best beginner audio interfaces available today. They all offer great features and sound quality, so it’s up to you to decide which one is best for your needs. With any of these options, you’ll be able to start making professional-quality recordings in no time!
Do I Need Solo Or 2i2?
When deciding between solo or 2i2 audio interfaces, it really depends on your needs. If you just need one input and output for recording instruments or vocals, then a solo interface will be a great choice. However, if you plan to record multiple inputs at once, such as drums, backing vocals, or amplifiers, then a 2i2 would be a better choice.
It’s also worth noting that the 2i2 offers more features, such as MIDI I/O and low latency monitoring so that it may be the best option for some users. Some 2i2s also offer extra inputs such as high-impedance guitar and DI, so they can be a great choice if you need those features.
Does A Cheap Audio Interface Affect Sound Quality?
The short answer is: Yes, it can. While you can get some decent-quality sounds out of a cheap audio interface, don’t expect magical results. Generally speaking, the more expensive and higher-end an audio interface is, the better sound quality it will provide for recording and playback.
That being said, even a budget audio interface can produce good-quality sounds if operated properly and with a decent microphone and/or instrument. Sometimes a cheap audio interface can sound just as good as a more expensive one, depending on the other equipment used. It all comes down to the overall quality of your setup.
How Do I Connect My Audio Interface?
Connecting an audio interface is usually quite simple. First, you’ll need to install the necessary drivers for your particular model. Most interfaces come with drivers or can be downloaded online from the manufacturer’s website.
Once installed, you’ll then need to plug in the power adapter and all other necessary cables (such as MIDI and USB). Then, plug in your instruments, microphones, headphones, speakers, etc., and you should be ready to go.
It’s worth noting that some audio interfaces allow you to connect directly to a computer or laptop without needing any additional cables. This is becoming increasingly popular with newer interfaces.
Related: How to Connect a Sound Mixer to a Mac
Choosing The Best Beginner Audio Interface
Finding the right beginner audio interface for your needs can be a daunting task. There are several factors to consider which we are going to go over in this section. But before you buy, make sure to do your research so that you get the best bang for your buck.
The first thing to consider when selecting a beginner audio interface is budget. Make sure you set yourself a budget and stick to it; otherwise, your purchase can quickly become overwhelming. Cheap models tend to have fewer inputs and outputs and may not be suited for more demanding recordings.
On the other hand, a more expensive model may provide better sound quality but also be unnecessary for a beginner. Consider what type of recording you plan on doing and decide how much money you’re willing to spend.
2. Number Of Inputs & Outputs
The next factor to consider is the number of inputs and outputs. If you plan on recording more than one instrument or vocalist at once, make sure that your interface has enough input for each sound source. Similarly, if you want to connect a variety of sound modules and effects processors, look for an interface with enough outputs.
Some models even feature built-in mixer functionality that can save you the trouble of buying additional equipment. It’s also worth noting that some interfaces feature additional connections, such as MIDI and USB ports.
3. Quality Of Preamps
It’s important to consider the quality of the preamps in your audio interface. Preamps are what amplify the sound from your mics before it is converted into digital information by the interface. If you plan on recording with high-quality microphones, make sure that your preamp can handle the job; otherwise, you won’t get the best sound possible.
Look for preamps with high-grade gain stages and low noise, distortion, and crosstalk. If you’re unsure of which to choose, ask an expert at your local music store or look up reviews online. Sometimes, you might even find a good deal on an audio interface with premium preamps. This can save you time and money in the long run, so it is definitely worth exploring.
4. Ease Of Use
Whatever interface you choose, it should be easy to understand, set up, and use. The last thing you want is for the interface to become a distraction or source of frustration. Look for an interface with clear instructions that make configuring it as simple as possible.
There are also many helpful online tutorials and support documents available if you need extra help setting up your audio interface. Some portable audio interfaces have a streamlined design and intuitive user interface, making them easy to use even for those with limited technical knowledge.
5. Software Support
When it comes to software support, many audio interfaces offer compatibility with both Mac and Windows. It is important to check the technical specifications of an interface to ensure that it works on your computer’s operating system. Additionally, some interfaces may offer support for recording and audio editing software that is often included in the package.
Many interfaces come bundled with digital audio workstation (DAW) software so you don’t need to buy it separately. The software is typically compatible with basic audio editing tasks such as:
- Recording: To capture sounds and record them on your computer.
- Mixing: To layer, blend and balance multiple tracks together.
- Editing: To fine-tune sound levels and make adjustments to individual audio clips.
- Mastering: To combine all the elements of a song into one finished track.
Also, remember that some interfaces may require additional drivers or software to get the most out of them. Make sure that you understand what is needed before making your purchase.
Related: Top 12 Audio Interface for Mac
6. Remote Control
Another feature available on many audio interfaces is the ability to remote control them from your computer, which means that you can use your laptop or desktop as a control surface for mixing, routing, and adjusting settings in real-time. This makes it easier to make adjustments without having to reach for the device itself.
Some interfaces even feature an intuitive graphical user interface (GUI) to make remote control more convenient. The remote control functionality of your audio interface can be a huge help when you’re recording, so make sure to take it into consideration when making your purchase.
Before software support, it’s important to consider the compatibility of your audio interface with other devices and peripherals. Some interfaces are designed for specific types of instruments or microphones, so make sure that you check if the device is compatible with what you own.
Additionally, most audio interfaces have standard 1/4” jacks to connect guitars and basses while others use XLR inputs. You’ll need to make sure the interface you pick can accommodate whatever peripherals you have.
It’s also important to ensure that your choice is compatible with your computer, whether it’s a Mac or a PC. Although most audio interfaces are designed to work on both OS platforms, there are some that only work with one or the other. Make sure to check which operating systems the manufacturer recommends for your chosen model before you make a purchase.
8. Number of Devices to Plug
Don’t forget to consider how many devices can be plugged in at once and how many channels the audio interface offer. This will give you an idea of how much flexibility you have when it comes to recording multiple tracks at once. Some interfaces support up to 8 simultaneous inputs and can record dozens of tracks simultaneously.
These factors will help you decide on the best beginner audio interface for your needs. With the right research, you’ll be able to find an interface that suits your budget and offers all the features you need to create high-quality recordings.
What To Be Aware Of When Using A Beginner Audio Interface?
Now that you know what to look for when choosing an audio interface, there are a few things to keep in mind when using one.
First, make sure that all the connections between your audio interface and other equipment are secure. This includes making sure that cables are properly plugged in and not loose. You should also be aware of any volume levels or settings on the device itself as these can easily be changed by accident during use.
Audio interfaces tend to have some latency when recording or playing back audio. This is normal, but it can be annoying if it’s too noticeable. Generally, the best beginner audio interfaces have low latency and are suitable for most home recording setups.
Many audio interfaces require a power supply to operate, and some even require you to plug the device into an AC outlet. Before using an interface in a studio or on the go, make sure you have access to the necessary power source.
Some budget audio interfaces come with USB ports that allow you to plug the device into your computer for power and audio streaming. This can be an especially useful feature if you’re going to use your interface out of the house or if you don’t have access to an AC outlet.
4. Computer Resources
When using an audio interface, your computer’s resources are being used to process the sound. This means that your processor and RAM will be taxed, so make sure that you have enough power for whatever recording task you need to do.
Noise can be a big problem when recording audio. Things like hums, buzzes, and hisses can easily be picked up by microphones and end up in your recording. To avoid this, make sure that your audio interface is well-shielded from electromagnetic interference. This can be done by positioning the device away from other electrical equipment and ensuring that all cables are properly grounded.
Is An Audio Interface Really Necessary?
Yes, an audio interface is necessary for any serious recording setup. Because recording audio directly to a computer introduces too much latency due to the way that the audio signal is routed, an audio interface acts as a bridge between your microphone (or other sources) and your recording software. It converts analog signals from microphones or instruments into digital information that can be recorded easily on a computer.
If somebody is serious about producing quality audio recordings, an audio interface is a must-have. Popular musicians like Kendrick Lamar, Taylor Swift, and, The Weeknd all employ audio interfaces to get the best possible recordings. Without one, these superstars would not be able to achieve their amazing sound, which has earned them so many fans.
Related: The Best Audio Interface For Podcasting
The Bottom Line
Every product mentioned in this article is considered to be one of the best audio interfaces on the market. After thoroughly reviewing every one, we came to the conclusion that each of them is capable of providing a great quality sound that you can use for recording at home.
However, the best audio interface choice ultimately depends on your personal preferences and needs. If you want to invest in something durable and reliable, then look for the one with the best build quality.
Just make sure to double-check your connections before buying, as well as research the available features for each product. You don’t want to waste money on something that you won’t be able to use properly. With that said, we believe any of these interfaces can help you get started in the world of the home recording!