Buying Guides, Reviews, and More for Today's Musicians

Guitar Audio Interfaces – Top 11 Best Audio Interfaces for Guitar (2021 Review)

Apogee JAM 96k Guitar and Instrument Interface Input for iPad, iPhone and Mac, Made in USA
Apogee One - Audio Interface for Vocals and Instruments with Built In Studio Quality Condenser Microphone for iOS, Mac & Windows PC, Headphone DAC for audiophiles, Made in USA (Silver)
Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface with Pro Tools | First
M-Audio AIR 192|6 - 2-In 2-Out USB Audio / MIDI Interface with Recording Software from Pro-Tools & Ableton Live, Plus Studio-Grade FX & Instruments
PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 2x2 USB Audio Interface with Studio One Artist and Ableton Live Lite DAW Recording Software
MSRP
$119.00
$275.00
$239.99
$169.00
$99.95
Our Rating
94
94
92
91
88
Connectivity
USB 2.0
USB 2.0
USB
USB
USB
Audio Resolution
24-bit/192kHz
24-bit/96kHz
24-bit/192kHz
24-bit/192kHz
24 bit/96khz
MIDI I/O
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Apogee JAM 96k Guitar and Instrument Interface Input for iPad, iPhone and Mac, Made in USA
MSRP
$119.00
Our Rating
94
Connectivity
USB 2.0
Audio Resolution
24-bit/192kHz
MIDI I/O
Yes
More Information
Apogee One - Audio Interface for Vocals and Instruments with Built In Studio Quality Condenser Microphone for iOS, Mac & Windows PC, Headphone DAC for audiophiles, Made in USA (Silver)
MSRP
$275.00
Our Rating
94
Connectivity
USB 2.0
Audio Resolution
24-bit/96kHz
MIDI I/O
No
More Information
Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface with Pro Tools | First
MSRP
$239.99
Our Rating
92
Connectivity
USB
Audio Resolution
24-bit/192kHz
MIDI I/O
Yes
More Information
M-Audio AIR 192|6 - 2-In 2-Out USB Audio / MIDI Interface with Recording Software from Pro-Tools & Ableton Live, Plus Studio-Grade FX & Instruments
MSRP
$169.00
Our Rating
91
Connectivity
USB
Audio Resolution
24-bit/192kHz
MIDI I/O
Yes
More Information
PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 2x2 USB Audio Interface with Studio One Artist and Ableton Live Lite DAW Recording Software
MSRP
$99.95
Our Rating
88
Connectivity
USB
Audio Resolution
24 bit/96khz
MIDI I/O
Yes
More Information

In this article, we’re going to discussing what the best guitar audio interfaces are in 2021.

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. Although these below are strictly for guitar, you can also look at our guide for the best recording interface in general.

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

IK Multimedia 1 iRig HD2

IK Multimedia iRig HD 2 digital guitar interface for iPhone

Features

  • Audio interface by iRig
  • Compatible with iPhone, Mac & PC
  • Primarily used for Guitar
  • LED light when the unit is detecting an input signal
  • High-Quality Instrument Preamp
  • Package includes Amplitude 4
  • Positive Amazon Review Ratings
  • Owners Manual

Technical Specifications

  • 1 x TRS (1/4″ jack) input
  • 1 x 1/4″ jack ‘Amp Output’ – For Live Use
  • 1 x 1/8″ jack Headphone Output
  • 96Khz Sample Rate
  • 24 Bit A/D Conversion
  • Weight : 0.24kg
  • Dimensions : 3.9″ x 2.3″ x 0.8″ inches

So how exactly does it sound?

Take a look at the overview video below to see the iRig HD 2 in action:

For the price, this unit really sounds great! There’s no wonder considering the 96Khz sample rate and A/D 24-bit conversion.

However, it won’t make a bad instrument sound good, it merely provides a very accurate representation of your instrument’s natural amplified sound.

What would we improve?

According to one review, since this is bus-powered, it means that it relies on your device’s battery life… Which is potentially a limitation if your device’s battery life isn’t so good!

Who is this pedal for?

This audio interface is perfect for the musician who ONLY wants to record guitar, and potentially use this as for virtual stompbox emulation for both studio/live performances.

Pros

  • Highly Portable
  • Incredibly Affordable
  • Comes with Amplitube
  • Ability to create virtual stompbox rig
  • Ideal for Musician on a Budget

Cons

  • Single Channel Recording
  • Only for recording Guitar & Bass

Summary

The IK Multimedia 1 iRig HD2 is another interface featured on the list that is aimed more towards being highly affordable. This unit is also compatible with several iOS devices, including iPad, iPhone and Mac

The unit itself utilizes a 96Khz sample rate, meaning that all of your input signal frequency is accounted for, and the analog to digital conversion is done at 24 bits, so it’s fantastic for a little unit, which is fairly inexpensive.

The iRig HD2 also provides an Amp Out 1/4″ jack output, which can be used for live situations, where you can output the guitar signal to an amplifier (ideal for a stage performance).

Interestingly, the ‘Thru FX’ switch dictates whether or not you want to output the signal pre/post effects processing, so you can create a virtual stompbox [Refer to the video demonstrations below for the full range of options that this provides]

The audio interface also comes pre-loaded with Amplitube for your device and DAW, a guitar and bass tone studio which can be used to create an sculpt a virtual pedalboard and guitar rig, which then can be used with the iRig HD2 for live performance or recording.


IK Multimedia iRig Pro I/O

IK Multimedia iRig Pro I/O compact instrument/microphone audio interface for iPhone

Features

  • Audio interface by iRig
  • Compatible with iPhone, iPad Mac & PC
  • Ideal for both Guitar & Microphone/Vocal recording
  • Advancement from original iRig HD
  • LED light when the unit is detecting an input signal
  • High-Quality Instrument Preamp
  • Positive Amazon Review Ratings
  • Owners Manual

Technical Specifications

  • 1 x XLR/TRS input (combination port)
  • 1 x 1/4″ jack ‘Amp Output’ – For Live Use
  • 1 x 1/8″ jack Headphone Output
  • 96Khz Sample Rate
  • 24 Bit A/D Conversion
  • Weight : 0.24kg
  • Dimensions : 3.9″ x 2.3″ x 0.8″ inches

So how exactly does it sound?

Take a look at the overview video below to see the iRig in action:

For the price, this unit really sounds great! There’s no wonder considering the 96Khz sample rate and A/D 24-bit conversion.

However, it won’t make a bad instrument sound good, it merely provides a very accurate representation of your instrument’s natural amplified sound.

What would we improve?

At this price-point, there’s simply not much that we can suggest which should be improved.

However, the owners manual says that you can get around 3.5 hours of recording time from NiMH rechargeable batteries, and 45 minutes from alkaline batteries, so be sure to use NiMH batteries.

Who is this pedal for?

The audio interface is ideal for the musician who requires ultra-high quality recording specs (96Khz sample rate and A/D 24-bit conversion), whilst also having the option to record Guitar, Bass, Keyword & Vocals.

Pros

  • Includes MIDI & XLR port
  • Record Vocals, Guitar, Bass & Keyboard
  • Comes with Amplitube & SampleTank
  • Ability to create virtual stompbox rig
  • Includes Lightning, MicroUSB and USB cables
  • Optional Battery Powered

Cons

  • Single Channel Recording

Summary

The IK Multimedia iRig Pro is an iOS audio interface, compatible for recording both Guitar & Vocals through its 1 XLR/TRS combination input port. 

The interface is compatible with several devices including PC, iPad, iPhone and Mac

Additionally, the unit itself utilizes a 96Khz sample rate, meaning that all of your input signal frequency is accounted for, and the analog to digital conversion is done at 24 bits, so it’s fantastic for a little unit, which is fairly inexpensive.

The main difference between the iRig HD2 & the Pro is an additional XLR/Midi functionality…. and due to this (XLR/Microphone) recording functionality, it also features an optional 48v phantom power, which can be used on condenser microphones.

Not only this, but it also has a MIDI input port, so you can easily connect a MIDI keyboard for playing virtual instruments with SampleTank (included software).

What we really like about the unit is the fact that it provides a highly visible audio level LED indication, with red signalling that the input gain is too high, and green suggesting that it’s too low.

The audio interface also comes pre-loaded with Amplitube for your device and DAW, a guitar and bass tone studio which can be used to create an sculpt a virtual pedalboard and guitar rig, which then can be used with the iRig Pro for live performance or recording.


Apogee Jam 96k Premium-Grade Guitar Audio Interface

Apogee Jam 96k Premium-Grade Guitar Audio Interface

Features

  • Apogee 96K audio interface
  • Compatible with iPhone, Mac & PC
  • Premium-Priced & Compact in size
  • Designed for Electric Guitar & Bass Recording Only
    • Suitable for Garageband, Logic & MainStage
  • LED light when the unit is detecting an input signal
  • MFI Certified by Apple (Certified Compatibility)
  • Positive Amazon Review Ratings
  • Owners Manual

Technical Specifications

  • 1 x TRS (1/4″ jack) input
  • 1 x USB output
  • 96Khz Sample Rate
  • 24 Bit A/D Conversion
  • Weight : 0.24kg
  • Dimensions : 3.9″ x 2.3″ x 0.8″ inches

So how exactly does it sound?

As you can hear from the video demonstration below, it provides a really impressive, professional sound quality!

We’re extremely impressed, but this shouldn’t be a surprise, as Apogee are renowned for their equipment’s incredible sound quality.

However, as we’ve previously mentioned, this won’t make a bad instrument sound good, it will merely provide a very accurate representation of your instrument’s natural amplified sound.

What would we improve?

Considering that the interface has some very positive reviews on Amazon, it’s hard for us to knock it!

However, we like to be critical, especially for more expensive equipment, as we believe this really should provide high sound quality.

Who is this pedal for?

Since this audio interface is specifically designed for electric guitar and bass guitar, it’s very easy to see who this unit isn’t for (i.e vocalists looking to record).

However, taking into account the very solid reviews on Amazon, it’s clear that it’s a great interface for those who are just looking for a guitar/bass recording interface.

Pros

  • Highly Portable
  • Premium-Brand & Internal Circuit Technology
  • Advancement upon initial Apogee Jam (2011)
  • Apple MFI Certified (100% Compatibility)
  • Ideal for Guitarist/Bassist looking for High Quality Recordings

Cons

  • Single Channel Recording
  • A Little Pricey

Summary

The Apogee Jam 96k is an audio interface targeted towards musicians who are looking for an interface supplying high-quality circuitry, reliability and manufactured by an authority brand within the industry!

The Jam is very small in size, and particularly easy to use, with just a TRS input, USB output and a gain control knob on the side, making the entire recording experience particularly simple and streamlined.

However, typical of Apogee, they’ve used their PureDigital Technology within the unit’s preamp, to really give it that oozing quality, that we all know the brand is capable of providing in near to all of their products.

As you may have already gathered, the 96k refers to the sample rate, offering 24 Bit Analog/Digital Conversion.

The interface is MFI certified, which means that it provides 100% compatibility with Apple products (iPod, iPad and iPhone), with Apple verifying this.

Additionally, it can be used with some of your favourite DAWs including Garageband, Logic and MainStage.


Apogee One – Editor’s choice

Features

  • Audio Interface which is compatible with iPhone, Mac & PC
  • Incredibly Compact & Durable
  • Die-Cast Aluminium Housing
  • Designed and Built in California, USA
  • Ultra-High Sound Quality
  • In-Built Microphone which sounds FANTASTIC
  • In-Built LEDs for Signal Monitoring
  • Ideal for both Guitar & Microphone/Vocal recording
  • Package includes Ableton Live Lite
    • Optional AC Powered adapter (Sold Separately)
  • Positive Amazon Review Ratings
  • Owners Manual

Technical Specifications

  • 1 x XLR input
  • 1 TRS (1/4″ jack) input
  • 2 x TRS (1/4″ jack) outputs
  • 1 x 1/8″ jack Headphone output
  • 1 x USB 2.0 port
    • Optional AC Powered adapter (Sold Separately)
  • 96Khz Sample Rate
  • 24 Bit A/D Conversion
  • Weight : 0.95 kg
  • Dimensions : 5.51″ x 8.43″ x 1.5″ inches

So how exactly does it sound?

One word… Awesome!

Take a listen to the video demonstration below to get an accurate indication of how this interface performs.

What would we improve?

Absolutely Nothing!

Who is this pedal for?

This unit is ideal for the musician who’s looking for an incredibly compact, well-designed audio interface, which just so happens to also include a high-quality microphone!

Pros

  • Created by Legendary Company ‘Apogee’
  • Awesome-sounding in-built Microphone
  • Ultra-High Sound Quality
  • Solid Built and Very Compact
  • XLR/TRS + Phantom Power
  • Comes with Ableton Live Lite
  • Includes USB cable
  • Can also be powered by power supply (purchased separately)

Cons

  • Nothing

Summary

The Apogee One is the perfect combination of incredible engineering and sleek-looking aesthetic design.

The unit has an aluminium housing, and is extremely compact in size, making it perfect for the musician who doesn’t want a large audio interface, whether or not that’s for the sake of portability or just personal preference.

Even despite the One’s small size, since it’s created by Apogee, they’ve managed to pack some impressive circuitry into such a small space, with it boasting a 96kHz sample rate and 24-Bit A/D conversion, this has meant that this unit sounds AWESOME!

We were so impressed by the sound quality that we could achieve with this unit!

Not only this, but it also has an in-built microphone, which we quite frankly were absolutely blown away by! It sounds as good as most premium-priced condenser microphones that you can find on the market today.

That means, not only are you getting a premium-sounding audio interface, but also a wonderful microphone too!

That’s everything you need to create your next album!


Apogee Duet Audio Interface

Apogee Duet Audio Interface for Guitar

Features

  • Audio Interface compatible with iPhone, Mac & PC
  • Incredibly Compact & Durable
  • Die-Cast Aluminium Housing
  • Designed and Built in California, USA
  • Ultra-High Sound Quality
  • In-Built Microphone which sounds FANTASTIC
  • In-Built LEDs for Signal Monitoring
  • Ideal for both Guitar & Microphone/Vocal recording
  • Package includes Ableton Live Lite
    • Optional AC Powered adapter (Sold Separately)
  • Positive Amazon Review Ratings
  • Owners Manual

Differences from the Apogee One

  • Apogee SoftLimit
  • Midi Connectivity
  • Has 4 Outputs instead of 2
  • Doesn’t include the in-built microphone

Technical Specifications

  • 1 x XLR input
  • 1 TRS (1/4″ jack) input
  • 2 x TRS (1/4″ jack) outputs
  • 1 x 1/8″ jack Headphone output
  • 1 x USB 2.0 port
    • Optional AC Powered adapter (Sold Separately)
  • 96Khz Sample Rate
  • 24 Bit A/D Conversion
  • Weight : 0.95 kg
  • Dimensions : 5.51″ x 8.43″ x 1.5″ inches

So how exactly does it sound?

Definitely a contender for the Editor’s Recommendation, based on the sound-quality alone.

Take a listen to the video demonstration below to get an accurate indication of how this interface performs.

What would we improve?

It’s a little expensive for a 2-input audio interface, compatible for your iPad and iOS devices. Although it doesn’t come with the suitable cables for you to get started… What’s with that Apogee?

Who is this pedal for?

Apogee is marketed as the ‘Apple’ of the audio interface industry, therefore it’s more than just an audio interface, it’s a statement of sorts!

Equally, the Duet can walk circles around other interfaces when it comes to sound quality, so this interface is suited for someone who’s looking for sleek aesthetic looks, incredible sound, all for a premium price tag.

Pros

  • Created by Legendary Company ‘Apogee’
  • Ultra-High Sound Quality
  • Solid Built and Very Compact
  • XLR/TRS + Phantom Power
  • MIDI I/O
  • Comes with Ableton Live Lite
  • Includes USB cable
  • Can also be powered by power supply (purchased separately)

Cons

  • A little pricey

Summary

The Apogee Duet is the perfect combination of incredible engineering and sleek-looking aesthetic design.

The unit is very similar to the Apogee One, having an aluminium housing, and is extremely compact in size, making it perfect for the musician who doesn’t want a large audio interface, whether or not that’s for the sake of portability or just personal preference.

However, the unit differs from the Apogee one in a number of ways, having numerous additional features which may make it more attractive for the musician with an extra couple hundred dollars.

It has in-build softlimit technology, which helps to prevent clipping before the A/D converter converts the signal… Although we like this feature, proper signal preparation would solve this issue.

Additionally, the unit has 4 outputs instead of 2, meaning that you can route the signal to more destinations, which could be useful for additional processing.

One of the key differences is that the Duet can process MIDI, which will be important for the producer, electronic music creators.

Finally, one of the features that we wish the duet had, is the in-built microphone that the Apogee One has… Although I guess that you simply can’t get everything.

None-the-less, the Duet is small in size, readily portable boasts Apogee’s impressive circuitry, utilizing a 96kHz sample rate and 24-Bit A/D conversion, this has meant that this unit sounds AWESOME!

Similarly to the One, we were so impressed by the sound quality that we could achieve with this unit!

It must be noted that both interfaces do not come with the kits/connectivity equipment that is required for use with your iPad, and therefore we suggest purchasing this separately – Apple Camera Connection Kit.


Standard-Sized Audio Interfaces for Guitar

PreSonus AudioBox USB 96

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

BUNDLE

This audio interface is also available in a full recording equipment bundle, which includes the following:

  • Presonus Audiobox USB 96 audio interface
  • M7 large-diaphragm condenser microphone
  • HD7 Headphones

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

So how exactly does it sound?

To get a good overview of the Presonus Audiobox USB 96 and also hear a vocal demo using the device, take a look at the video below:

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

  • 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

Cons

  • Not compatible with USB 3.0

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.


Focusrite Scarlett Solo [3Rd Gen]

Compatibility

  • Mac [Mac 10.12 and onwards] / Connectivity via USB

Features

  • A very popular & best selling audio interface on Amazon, with over 21,000 reviews, averaging 4.8 stars
  • Solid metal chassis for high-quality protection
  • Incredibly simple to use, with a clear display user interface
  • 2 inputs (1 microphone and 1 instrument input),
  • 2 outputs (left and right output)
  • Has a switchable air setting, which can give your vocal recordings a richer, brighter, more open sound
  • Comes with the following software
    • Pro Tools | First Focusrite Creative Pack
    • Ableton Live Lite
    • Focusrite Control
    • Softube Time and Tone Bundle
    • Focusrite’s Red Plugin Suite
    • 3 Month Splice Subscription
    • One free XLN Addictive Keys Virtual Instrument
  • Lowest latency of any audio interface on the market

Bundle

This audio interface is also available in a full recording equipment bundle, which includes the following:

  • Focusrite Scarlett Solo Studio (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface and Recording Bundle with Pro Tools | First
  • Microphone Suspension Boom Scissor Arm
  • Microphone Shock Mount
  • Pop Filter

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
  • 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 the USB connection
  • 3-Year Purchase Warranty
  • Designed in England and manufactured in China

So How Exactly Does It Sound?

For a 1st-hand view of the amazing recording quality of the Focusrite Scarlett Solo (3rd Generation) take a look at the video demonstration below:

This unit sounds phenomenal. We were seriously blown away with how professional it sounds.

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.

What would we improve?

Some reviews have indicated that Focusrite’s customer service team are incredibly slow to respond… However, most 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

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

Cons

  • Only has 2 inputs

Summary

The Scarlett Solo (3rd 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 (3rd 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.


M-Audio – AIR 192|4 2X2 AUDIO INTERFACE

Compatibility

  • Mac & PC

Features

  • A beginner-friendly, clear user interface
  • Pro-grade metal chassis
  • Includes DAW Software: Pro Tools | First M-Audio Edition, Ableton Live Lite, Eleven Lite, the Avid Effect Collection, AIR Creative FX Collection (20 world-class FX AU/VST plugins), 2 GB of sample content from Touch Loops, Strike, Xpand!2, Mini Grand, Vacuum, BOOM from Air MusicTech
  • 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 or without MIDI
  • 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

This Audio interface comes in two versions (all shown under the same Amazon listing), which are:

  • Without Midi functionality
  • With Midi Functionality

BUNDLE

  • In a Complete Recording Bundle, 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 Audio Interface: +  Software Suite
    • M-Audio’s HDH40 Closed-Back Headphones
    • Nova Black large-diaphragm condenser microphone
    • Shock mount
    • XLR Cable

So how exactly does it sound?

Although it was hard to find the perfect demo of someone using the M-Air 192, we were able to find this unboxing and demo video of the 192|8, which should give you some idea of the quality of the 192|4:

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

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

Cons

  • Some reviews have pointed out about issues they faced when using Windows 10 with this device

Summary

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

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

  • Without Midi functionality
  • With Midi Functionality
  • In a Complete Recording Bundle, for someone looking to have everything they need to record in one package. The bundle includes:
    • Includes M-Track Air 2 x 2 USB Audio Interface: + Software Suite
    • M-Audio’s HDH40 Closed-Back Headphones
    • Nova Black large-diaphragm condenser microphone
    • Shock mount
    • XLR Cable

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 [3rd Gen]

Compatibility

  • Mac [Mac 10.12 and onwards] / Connectivity via USB

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 combination inputs (for either mic or instrument)
  • 2 outputs (left and right output)
  • Comes with the following software
    • Pro Tools|Focusrite Creative Pack
    • Ableton Live Lite
    • Focusrite Control
    • Softube Time and Tone Bundle
    • Focusrite’s Red Plugin Suite
    • 3 Month Splice subscription
    • One free XLN Addictive Keys Virtual Instrument
  • Lowest latency of any audio interface on the market

BUNDLE

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

  • Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Studio (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface
  • Microphone suspension boom scissor arm with basic microphone shock mount
  • CM25 MKIII condenser microphone
  • HP60 MKIII closed-back headphones
  • Pop Filter

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
  • 2 Combo XLR (Microphone) or Line (Instrument) 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 the USB connection
  • 3-Year Purchase Warranty
  • Designed in England and manufactured in China

So how exactly does it sound?

For a 1st-hand view of the recording quality of the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (3rd Generation) take a look at the video demonstration below:

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.

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

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

Cons

  • Reported instability on some PCs
  • Unresponsive customer support

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 sister, 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.


Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 [3rd Gen] – Editor’s Recommendation

Compatibility

Mac [Mac 10.12 and onwards] / Connectivity via USB

Features

  • A very popular & best selling audio interface on Amazon, with over 21,000 reviews, averaging 4.8 stars
  • Solid metal chassis for high-quality protection
  • Incredibly simple to use, with a clear display user interface
  • 4 inputs (2 microphone and 2 instrument inputs),
  • 4 outputs
  • Has a switchable air setting, which can give your vocal recordings a richer, brighter, more open sound
  • Comes with the following software Pro Tools | First Focusrite Creative Pack
  • Ableton Live Lite
  • Focusrite Control
  • Softube Time and Tone Bundle
  • Focusrite’s Red Plugin Suite
  • 3 Month Splice Subscription
  • One free XLN Addictive Keys Virtual Instrument
  • Lowest latency of any audio interface on the market

bundle

The Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 audio interface is also available in a full recording equipment bundle, which includes the following:

  • Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 audio interface
  • USB Type B studio microphone
  • XLR cable
  • Shock mount
  • Pop filter
  • Mic stand
  • Recording Headphones

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
  • 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 the USB connection
  • 3-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 someone requiring minimal latency, high-quality recordings and several outputs.

So how exactly does it sound?

For a detailed review and recording demonstration showing off the recording quality of the Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 3rd Gen, 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 4 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

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

Cons

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

Summary

The Scarlett 4i4 is very similar to the Scarlett 212, except it has 2 additional line intputs, and 2 additional balanced outputs… Not only does this make it an ideal, high-quality device for recording, but also live performance.

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.


Behringer UMC 404HD Audiophile

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

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

  • 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

Cons

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

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.


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3 thoughts on “Guitar Audio Interfaces – Top 11 Best Audio Interfaces for Guitar (2021 Review)”

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