Guitar Audio Interfaces | Top 11 Best Audio Interfaces for Guitar (2019 Review)

In this article, we’re going to discussing what the best guitar audio interfaces are in 2019.

We decided to write this article after realizing that there are no significant resources which are firstly up-to-date and secondly talk about the different options available for those ‘guitar techies’ and musicians who are looking to record guitar in their home-studio environment.

Now, we’ve structured the article in a very logical format, so that it’s easy to follow, segmenting on the main criteria, which is the number of inputs available.

This is because we’re certain to have a wide audience of musicians/engineers/guitarists looking at this article, each with different technical requirements from the audio interface… And inputs is probably one of the most important technical specifications.

Additionally, the sub-criteria that we’ve used is, of course, price/cost… Since everyone will have a certain budget in mind.

For those who are in a rush, we’ve condensed all of the products in a neat table directly below… However, if you can, we advise that you read the full product descriptions and look at the video demonstrations, as they will provide you with an accurate representation to how the audio interface performs when recording audio.

So let’s get to it, what are the best 10 audio interfaces for guitar recording.

Top Guitar Audio Interfaces

[Table]

Small Audio Interfaces for Guitar





Standard-Sized Audio Interfaces for Guitar



 

PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 – $

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Presonus Audiobox 96 Audio Interface compatible with Guitar

Compatibility

Mac & PC

Features
  • Durable, heavy-duty steel chassis
  • 2 inputs (for Microphones and Guitars/Bass)
  • Low Latency
Technical Specs
  • USB 2.0 bus-powered (no need for separate power)
  • Midi interface
  • Compatible with almost all recording software for Mac and Windows
  • 24-bit resolution; 44.1|48|88.2| & 96 kHz sampling rates
  • 2 combo mic/instrument inputs with high-performance, low-noise, high-headroom mic preamplifiers
  • Includes Studio One Artist DAW software and 6GB+ of third-party software
  • Includes Studio Magic Plug-In Suite
  • 20 Hz – 20 kHz Frequency Response
  • 48v Phantom Power
Customer Review Rating

The Presonus Audiobox USB 96 audio interface has received an average rating of 3.8* out of 5 stars from 91 Amazon customer review – Read these reviews here

Summary

The Presonus Audiobox USB 96 is a 2 x 2 audio interface, suitable for being your reliable studio solution for recording guitar, bass, midi or any other instrument which has either an XLR or TRS input.

The unit itself is small enough to be portable but large enough that you’re not going to readily misplace the interface. Its made up from an all-metal casing, so you can rest assured that the internal circuitry will remain intact, even if you’re looking at carrying it around.

However, we think this unit is more suited towards someone who’s looking for a more permanently located interface, for a home studio.

Impressively, the unit boasts 96kHz A/D converters and a 24-bit resolution and 48V phantom power… Not bad for quite an inexpensive unit.

Additionally, the unit comes with Studio One Artist DAW software and 6+ GB of third-party resources.

So how exactly does it sound?

Well, even despite us not being able to find a designated live demonstration of the unit, we have however found a video demonstration of a live comparison between this unit and the Scarlett 2i2 (which is also featured).

What would we improve?

The interface is not compatible with USB 3.0, so therefore if you only have a USB 3.0 port, then this unit will simply not work for you.

Who is this interface for?

The Presonus Audiobox 96K is ideally for a musician/guitarist who wants an audio interface for their home recording studio/setup, which is exceptionally affordable in price considering the technical specs.

Pros & Cons

Pros & Cons

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Pros
  • Very affordable
  • High technical specs
  • Somewhat portable
  • Includes MIDI & XLR ports
  • Record vocals, guitar, bass & keyboard
  • Comes with Studio One Artist DAW & 6GB of resources

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Cons
  • Not compatible with USB 3.0

Although I could not find a great demonstration of this audio interface, on its own, I’ve been able to find a comparison against the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2:

Available on AmazonCheck Price on Amazon



Focusrite Scarlett Solo [2nd Gen] – $

(4.8 / 5)

Focusrite Scarlett Solo Audio interface for Guitar Recording

Compatibility

PC  (Windows 7, 8.1 and 10) and Mac (Mac 10.10 and onwards)

Features
  • Amazon’s most popular & best selling audio interface, with over 1000 reviews averaging 4 stars
  • Solid metal chassis for protection
  • Incredibly simple to use, with a clear display user interface
  • 2 inputs (1 microphone and 1 guitar input)
  • Comes with the following software
    • Pro Tools
    • Focusrite Creative Pack
    • Ableton Live Lite
    • Focusrite Control
    • Softube Time and Tone Bungle
    • Focusrite’s Red Plugin Suite
    • 2GB of Loopmasters samples
  • Lowest latency of any audio interface on the market [Source:Focusrite.co.uk]
Customer Review Rating

The Scarlett Solo (2nd Gen) audio interface has received an average rating of 4.0* out of 5 stars from 563 Amazon customer review – Read these reviews here

Summary

The Scarlett Solo (2nd Generation)  is Focusrite’s most affordable audio interface, and before you think that affordability must mean low-quality, think again! The interface has some really impressive technical specs, with conversion rates of 192kHz and 24-bit sample rate.

Not only this, one common issue with audio interfaces at this price-point is that they use cheaper internal circuitry, and this leads to latency issues… Well, the Scarlett Solo is the exception, an outlier to this assumption. Focusrite state that the Scarlett series (2nd generation) interfaces have the lowest latency than any other audio interface… Which is a bold statement to make, and one in which I think that they prove, with the sheer amount of fantastic reviews that the unit gets on Amazon.

The interface itself comes in a well-finished, high-quality metal casing, making it ideal to integrate within a home-studio setup.

The Scarlett Solo is very simple to use, with having 2 inputs (XLR & TRS) it means that you can record 2 tracks simultaneously, i.e a guitar and vocals.

So how exactly does it sound?

Well, as you can hear from the demonstration video below, showing the audio interface recording a guitar take… This unit sounds phenomenal. We were seriously blown away with how professional it sounds.

What would we improve?

Some reviews have indicated that Focusrite’s customer service team are incredibly slow to respond… However, 99% of reviews say how great this unit is.

Who is this interface for?

This interface is ideal for a guitarist who wants a simple, affordable and reliable interface for tracking guitar and potentially vocals. High-quality recordings for an incredibly affordable price.

Pros & Cons

Pros & Cons

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Pros
  • Highly affordable
  • Impressive technical specs
  • Built to last
  • Simple to use
  • Lowest latancy of any audio interface
  • High-Quality guitar recordings

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Cons
  • Only has 2 inputs

Focusrite Scarlett Solo [2nd Gen] Recording Bundle

Focusrite Scarlett Solo Audio Interface recording bundle for guitar

This audio interface is also available in a full recording equipment bundle [Link to Amazon], which includes the following

  • Focusrite Scarlett Solo Studio (2nd Gen) USB Audio Interface and Recording Bundle with Pro Tools | First
  • Dragonpad USA Pop Filter
  • Studio Microphone Mic
  • Wind Screen Pop Filter
  • Swivel Mount 360 Flexible Gooseneck Holder
Technical Specs
  • Class-leading conversion & sample rates up to 192kHz/24 bit.
  • Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz 0.1dB
  • Super-low latency for using plug-ins in real-time without the need for DSP (measured at 2.74ms, working at 96kHz with a 32 samples buffer)
  • 1 XLR (Microphone) Input, 1 Line (Guitar) Input for singular or simultaneous recording.
  • Provides 48v Phantom power for active microphones
  • Does not need a power supply, runs and is powered directly from USB connection
  • 2-Year Purchase Warranty
  • Designed in England and Manufactured in China

Being an Amazon Best Seller, it’s clear that this audio interface is a fantastic prospect for beginners looking for their 1st audio interface. Looking into the specifications of this audio interface, it’s clear why it’s so popular, especially considering its inexpensive price.

For a 1st-hand view of the recording quality of the Focusrite Scarlett Solo (2nd Generation) take a look at the video demonstration below:



M-Audio – M-Track 2X2 C-Series – $$

(4.3 / 5)

M-Audio M-Track Audio Interface for Guitar Recording

Compatibility

Mac & PC

Features
  • Sleek audio interface by M-Audio
  • Includes DAW Software: Pro Tools | First, Eleven Lite, AIR Creative FX Collection (20 world-class FX AU/VST plugins), Strike, Xpand!2 and Mini Grand
  • High Quality ‘Crystal’ Preamps for professional audio recording
  • Low-Noise, Low Latency
  • +48v Phantom Power Switch for microphones which require it (condenser mics)
Technical Specs
  • 2 inputs x 2 outputs USB audio interface with MIDI (MIDI functionality is optional)
  • 24 bit /192 kHz resolution
  • Two XLR and 1/4 inch TRS combo inputs
  • Two 1/4 inch (Guitar/Bass) instrument inputs
  • Includes standard USB and USB-C connections
Summary

The M-Audio M-Track 2×2 unit is a sleek-looking, 24-bit/192kHz audio quality interface.

The interface comes in three different versions, which are shown below

And Finally,

  • In a Complete Recording Bundle [Link to Amazon], for someone looking to have everything they need to record in one package; What exactly does this include:
    • Includes M-Track 2 x 2 USB/USB-C Audio Interface: +  Software Suite
    • M-Audio’s HDH40 Closed-Back Headphones
    • Studio-grade Nova black large diaphragm condenser microphone

M Audio M Track Audio Interface for Recording Electric Guitar

So how exactly does it sound?

As you can hear from the video demonstration, the sound quality that this unit provides is exceptional, and the demonstration gives a fantastic impression to the quality of recordings that you can expect.

What would we improve?

According to customer reviews, the USB connector is a little loose when plugged in, and this can lead to disconnectivity if the interface or lead is moved suddenly. All-in-all, it’s not the worst issue for those who are not moving the unit whilst it’s in use.

Who is this interface for?

This interface is ideal for the musician/guitarist who wants a sleek-looking interface for recording guitar, vocals and other instruments. However, if you’re looking for MIDI compatibility, be sure to purchase the MIDI integrated device.

Pros & Cons

Pros & Cons

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Pros
  • Highly affordable
  • Impressive technical specs
  • Sleek design
  • Very simple to use
  • Zero latency monitoring
  • High-Quality guitar recordings

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Cons
  • Some reviews have pointed out about the USB’s physical connection being loose

Available on AmazonCheck Price on Amazon



Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 [2nd Gen] – $$

(4.7 / 5)

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface for Guitar

Compatibility

PC  (Windows 7, 8.1 and 10) and Mac (Mac 10.10 and onwards)

Features
  • Amazon’s most popular & best selling audio interface, with over 1000 reviews averaging 4 stars
  • Solid metal chassis for protection
  • Incredibly simple to use, with a clear display user interface
  • 2 inputs/2 outputs
  • Comes with the following software
    • Pro Tools
    • Focusrite Creative Pack
    • Ableton Live Lite
    • Focusrite Control
    • Softube Time and Tone Bungle
    • Focusrite’s Red Plugin Suite
    • 2GB of Loopmasters samples
  • Lowest latency of any audio interface on the market [Source:Focusrite.co.uk]

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 [2nd Gen] Recording Bundle

The Focusrite Scarlet 2i2 audio interface is also available in a full recording equipment bundle [Link to Amazon], which includes the following

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface for recording guitar

  • Focusrite Scarlett Solo Studio (2nd Gen) USB Audio Interface and Recording Bundle with Pro Tools | First
  • Dragonpad USA Pop Filter
  • Studio Microphone Mic
  • Wind Screen Pop Filter
  • Swivel Mount 360 Flexible Gooseneck Holder
Technical Specs
  • Class-leading conversion & sample rates up to a 192kHz/24 bit.
  • Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz 0.1dB
  • Super-low latency for using plug-ins in real-time without the need for DSP (measured at 2.74ms, working at 96kHz with a 32 samples buffer)
  • 2 XLR (Microphone) Inputs, 2 Line (Guitar) Inputs for singular or simultaneous recording.
  • 2 Line Outputs
  • Provides 48v Phantom power for active microphones
  • Does not need a power supply, runs and is powered directly from USB connection
  • 2-Year Purchase Warranty
  • Designed in England and Manufactured in China
Summary

Being an Amazon Best Seller, it’s clear that the Scarlett 2i2 audio interface is a fantastic prospect for guitarists who are looking for a reliable audio interface to record their guitar tracks, vocal tracks and other instrument tracks.

Looking into the specifications of this audio interface, it’s clear why it’s so popular, providing super low-latency, 192kHz resolution, and 24-bit sample rate, especially considering its inexpensive price.

Where this unit differs from its younger brother, the Scarlett Solo, is through providing two XLR/TRS combination inputs, as opposed to the Solo’s 1 XLR and 1 TRS input. Additionally, the Scarlett 2i2 also features two TRS L+R outputs, as opposed to the Solo’s two 1/8″ jack L+R outputs.

So how exactly does it sound?

Well, similarly to our reaction to the Scarlett Solo, we’ve been blown away with how For a 1st-hand view of the recording quality of the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (2nd Generation) take a look at the video demonstration below.

What would we improve?

Considering the technical specifications and price of the Scarlett 2i2, there’s simply not much that we can suggest should be improved.

Who is this interface for?

This interface is for the musician/guitarist who requires two XLR/TRS combination inputs, which in regards to recording guitar would be particularly handy for stereo microphone placement, double tracking and other creative techniques.

Pros & Cons

Pros & Cons

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Pros
  • Impressive technical specs
  • Sleek design
  • Very simple to use
  • Zero latency monitoring
  • High-Quality guitar recordings
  • Recording bundle option available
  • 2-year manufacturers warranty

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Cons
  • Reported instability on some PCs
  • Unresponsive customer support

Available on AmazonCheck Price on Amazon



Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 [2nd Gen] – $$– Editor’s Recommendation

(4.8 / 5)

Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 2nd Generation Audio Interface for Recording Electric Guitar

Before talking about the features or specifications, this Scarlett 2i4 is very similar to the Scarlett 212, except it has 2 additional line outputs, and 2 additional balanced outputs… Not only does this make it an ideal, high-quality device for recording guitar and other instruments, but also in a live performance environment.
Compatibility

PC  (Windows 7, 8.1 and 10) and Mac (Mac 10.10 and onwards)

Features
  • Amazon’s most popular & best selling audio interface, with over 1000 reviews averaging 4 stars
  • Solid metal chassis for protection
  • Incredibly simple to use, with a clear display user interface
  • 2 inputs/4 outputs
  • Comes with the following software
    • Pro Tools
    • Focusrite Creative Pack
    • Ableton Live Lite
    • Focusrite Control
    • Softube Time and Tone Bungle
    • Focusrite’s Red Plugin Suite
    • 2GB of Loopmasters samples
  • Lowest latency of any audio interface on the market [Source:Focusrite.co.uk]
Technical Specs
  • Class-leading conversion & sample rates up to a 192kHz/24 bit.
  • Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz 0.1dB
  • Super-low latency for using plug-ins in real-time without the need for DSP (measured at 2.74ms, working at 96kHz with a 32 samples buffer)
  • 2 XLR (Microphone) Inputs, 2 Line (Guitar) Inputs for singular or simultaneous recording.
  • 4 line outputs, 2 balanced outputs
  • Provides 48v Phantom power for active microphones
  • Does not need a power supply, runs and is powered directly from USB connection
  • 2-Year Purchase Warranty
  • Designed in England and Manufactured in China
Summary

Being an Amazon Best Seller, it’s clear that this audio interface is a fantastic prospect for someone requiring minimal latency, high-quality recordings and several outputs.

So how exactly does it sound?

For a 1st-hand view of the recording quality of the Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 (I could only find a video of the 1st generation, but it gives you a good impression to the sound quality) take a look at the video demonstration below:

What would we improve?

Considering you’re getting 2 additional outputs (in comparison to the Scarlett 2i2), you’re paying a substantial amount more

Who is this interface for?

This interface is for the musician/guitarist who requires two XLR/TRS combination inputs and 4 outputs, as opposed to the Scarlett 2i2’s 2 outputs. These additional outputs would potentially be useful for someone looking to route the output signals to separate sources, i.e 2 sets of monitors, to get a more accurate representation to how the guitar mix sounds.

Pros & Cons

Pros & Cons

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Pros
  • Impressive technical specs
  • Sleek design
  • Very simple to use
  • Zero latency monitoring
  • High-Quality guitar recordings
  • Recording bundle option available
  • 2-year manufacturers warranty

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Cons
  • A large price difference between the 2i2 and 2i4
  • Reported instability on some PCs
  • Unresponsive customer support

Available on AmazonCheck Price on Amazon



Available on AmazonCheck Price on Amazon



Behringer UMC 404HD Audiophile – $

(4.6 / 5)

Behringer Uphoria UMC404HD Audio Interface for Guitar Recording

If you’re looking for more inputs, let’s say 4, potentially to an instrument from multiple angles at one time, this interface is the perfect solution, offering high-quality hardware without breaking the bank.
Compatibility

Mac & PC

Features
  • USB 2.0 Audio/MIDI Interface
  • 4 or 8 channel inputs (depending on the model you choose)
  • Compatible with most recording software (Avid Pro Tools, Ableton Live, Steinberg Cubase, etc)
  • Low Latency
Technical Specs
  • USB 2.0 Audio/MIDI Interface
  • Audiophile 24-Bit/96 kHz resolution for professional audio quality
  • Compatible with popular recording software including Avid Pro Tools*, Ableton Live*, Steinberg Cubase*, etc.
  • Ultra-low latency audio recording
  • 4 or 8 state of the art MIDAS designed Microphone Preamps
  • 48 V phantom power
Summary

The Behringer UMC404HD is a 4-channel audio interface, although there is a  1-channel, 2-channel and 8-channel version available.

The interface itself is more suited to being permanently positioned, as it’s quite bulky and would not be ideal to transport… With that being said, it’s made from a metal alloy and therefore if you needed to transport it, you can be sure that it won’t get damaged easily.

The unit provides high-quality audio resolution, recording at 24-bit/192kHz, so you can be confident that you’ll get a good quality recording.

One aspect that we were particularly impressed with, is the MIDAS designed microphone preamps that are used in this interface, helping ensure great audio quality.

So how exactly does it sound?

In the video demonstration below, they are reviewing the 4 input version. The hardware is still the same, and therefore the sound quality will be just as good!

What would we improve?

For the price-point, the Behringer UMC series provide great value for money, and alongside the unit’s technical specs, there’s not much that we can suggest that needs improvement.

Who is this interface for?

This interface is for a musician/guitarist who’s looking for an audio interface which can provide more inputs, with the UMC series providing 4-channel and 8-channel interfaces. Both of which provide great value for money, and hence it would be perfect for the guitarist who’s not looking to spend a large amount, whilst getting high-quality audio hardware.

Pros & Cons

Pros & Cons

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Pros
  • Impressive technical specs
  • Plenty of inputs to plug in guitars, or set up multiple microphone placements
  • MIDAS designed preamps
  • High technical specs
  • Low-latency
  • Compatible with almost all DAWs

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Cons
  • RCA ports provide humming unless you purchase a RCA ground loop eliminator (less than $10)

Available on AmazonCheck Price on Amazon



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