12 Best Audio Interfaces for Mac OS (2018 Review)

Best Audio Interface for Mac OS

Welcome to Sustain Punch! In this article we’re going to be discussing the top 10 audio interfaces for Mac OS in 2018. We felt that we really had to create this article, reviewing all of these audio interfaces suitable for Mac, as there seems to be minimal information on the topic, in a condensed, easy to read format!

We realise that everyone reading this will (more than likely) have or own a Mac, hence the reason you are looking for an compatible audio interface; However, not everyone has the same budget, nor the same input/output requirements… So we’ve structured the article in a very logical format, segmenting on the main criteria, which is the number of line outputs, and then sub-criteria which is budget… All of this information is nicely condensed and summed up in the table directly below, but for you guys who want all of the information and videos to watch the audio interface in action, keep reading!

 

[Table]

So let’s get to it, what are the top 12 audio interfaces for Mac in 2018?

Best Audio Interface for Mac OS

ManufacturerModelConnectivityOutputsShop
FocusriteScarlett Solo [2nd Gen]USB2Buy on Amazon
FocusriteScarlett 2i2 [2nd Gen]USB2Buy on Amazon
ApogeeONE-MACUSB2Buy on Amazon
M-AudioM-Track 2X2 C-SeriesUSB2Buy on Amazon
PreSonusAudioBox USBUSB2Buy on Amazon
FocusriteScarlett 2i4 [2nd Gen]USB4Buy on Amazon
ApogeeDuetUSB4Buy on Amazon
BehringerUMC 404HD AudiophileUSB4Buy on Amazon
UniversalAudio Apollo TwinThunderbolt6Buy on Amazon
FocusriteScarlett OctoPre DynamicUSB8Buy on Amazon
TascamUS-16x08USB8Buy on Amazon
TascamUS-20x20USB20Buy on Amazon

 

Audio Interface for Mac with 2 Outputs

Focusrite Scarlett Solo [2nd Gen]

(4.8 / 5)

best audio interface for beginners - Focusrite Scarlett Solo

Compatibility

Mac (Mac 10.10 and onwards)

Features
  • A very popular & best selling audio interface on Amazon, with over 1000 reviews, averaging 4 stars
  • Solid metal chassis for high quality protection
  • Incredibly simple to use, with clear display user interface
  • 2 inputs (1 microphone and 1 guitar input), Left and Right Output
  • 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 Loopmaster’s samples
  • Lowest latency of any audio interface on the market [Source:Focusrite.co.uk]

Focusrite Scarlett Solo [2nd Gen] Recording Bundle

Focusrite-scarlett-Solo-Studio-Bundle

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 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 it’s 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:

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 [2nd Gen]

(4.7 / 5)

 

 

 

Compatibility

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 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 Loopmaster’s 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 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)
  • 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 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 it’s inexpensive price.

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

 

Apogee ONE for Mac

Apogee One for Mac [usr4.5]

 

Compatibility

Mac (find out more information on connectivity here – Apogee.com)

Features
  • Die cast aluminum chassis
  • Legendary/World Class Apogee Hardware for incredible recording quality – Sounds Fantastic!
  • Very Low Latency
  • Not to mention, this device has a Truly Incredible in-built microphone, one that has turned heads and converted the Neumann, Shure fanatics to using the Apogee built-in microphone instead.
Technical Specs
  • 2 inputs x 2 outputs audio interface
  • USB 2.0 connection with 24-bit / 96kHZ AD/DA conversion
  • Designed in California, Built in the USA.

There’s not too much to say here, besides from the fact that Apogee create really high sound quality audio interfaces; However, from the research I have done, where Apogee lack, is in their customer service, which isn’t necessary something you want, considering you may have questions regarding the interface if things were not to work! On a more positive note, Apogee have a great website, with plenty of information, and video tutorials on how to setup the device and even recording tips & tricks.

Make no mistake, this audio interface is fantastic, it was one of the best, highest sound quality audio interfaces I’ve ever used.

Without further ado, it’s easier if you are able to hear an audible demonstration of the audio interface in action, which I have featured below!

 

M-Audio – M-Track 2X2 C-Series

[usr4.3]

Compatibility

Mac / Connectivity via USB

Features
  • Beginner-friendly clear user interface
  • 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

This Audio interface comes in three 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

We’ve featured a good video demonstration of the audio interface below, which gives a fantastic impression to the quality of recordings that you can expect.

 

[usr4.3]

 

Compatibility

Mac / Connectivity via USB

Features
  • Durable, heavy-duty steel chassis
  • 2 inputs (for Microphones and Guitars/Bass), 2 line outputs
  • 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

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

 

Audio Interface for Mac with 4 Outputs

Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 [2nd Gen]

(4.8 / 5)

 

Focusrite-Scarlett-2i2-[2nd-Gen]

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, but also live performance.
Compatibility

Mac [Mac 10.10 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 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 Loopmaster’s samples
  • Lowest latency of any audio interface on the market [Source:Focusrite.co.uk]
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)
  • 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 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 the someone requiring minimal latency, high quality recordings and several outputs.

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:

 

Apogee Duet

(4.5 / 5)
Apogee Duet audio interface for Mac OS

Compatibility

Mac / Connectivity via USB

Features
  • USB Connection and MIDI I/O
  • Incredibly compact and durable audio interface with full colour LED display for input and output levels, grouping, phase, muting and phantom power.
  • Designed in California and Built in the USA
  • Ultra-Low latency monitoring

Technical Specs

  • ESS Sabre32 DAC technology for high quality audio preservation
  • (2×4) 2 Analog Inputs (XLR and 1/4 inch) and 4 Analog Outputs (2 x 1/4 inch jack balanced outputs, MIDI and 1/4 inch stereo headphone output)
  • AD/DA conversion providing 24-bit, 192kHz recording
  • Direct connection to iPad and IOS devices, including iPhone, iPad and iPad Touch – 30 pin cable is sold seperately

The Apogee Duet is the Apple Macbook Pro of the Audio Interface industry, it’s sleek design is highly attractive, very durable and extremely portable for the professional musician who wants a device that provides high quality recordings in studio and whilst on the road.

The Apogee Duet is the perfect audio interface for anyone looking for more inputs/outputs than the Apogee One, and whilst it doesn’t feature the same in-built microphone that the Apogee One has, it has legendary status microphone pre-amps and internal circuitry, for that high quality sound.

Below is a video demonstration of the duet in action, being integrated with a guitar and iPad.

 

Behringer UMC 404HD Audiophile

[usr4.6]

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 / Connectivity via USB

Features
  • USB 2.0 Audio/MIDI Interface
  • 4 or 8 channel inputs (depending on the model you choose) and 4 outputs
  • 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

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!

 

Audio interface for Mac with 6 outputs

Universal Audio Apollo Twin MKII

Universal Apollo Twin MKII Audio interface for Mac OS

Compatibility

Mac / Connectivity via Thunderbolt

Features

  • 2×6 Audio Interface with Thunderbolt connectivity
  • Sleek design and high build quality
  • Built-in talkback microphone for easy communication between the engineer and the musician
  • Comes with real-time analog classics UAD plugin bundle : Including Legacy Versions of the Pultec EQP-1A, LA-2A, 1176LN, and Softube Amp Room Essentials,610-B Tube Preamp & EQ, Raw Distortion, and many more
  • Runs with all major mac-compatible DAWs
  • Requires 12DC mains power

 

Technical Specifications

  • UAD-2 Core DSP Acceleration (three different cores to choose from SOLO, DUO or QUAD)
  • 2 high quality mic/line preamps (inputs)
  • 6 outputs (2 line outputs, 2 monitor L & R outputs and 2 line/XLR outputs)
  • S/PDIF can be used for a single optical input socket, or for up to 8 channels of digital audio via ADAT format.
  • Thunderbolt Connectivity

A device for someone looking for a compact, high quality audio interface with Thunderbolt connectivity, alongside 6 outputs. If you happen to have a setup where the singer is separated from the engineer i.e in a recording booth, this is the ideal audio interface with it featuring a talkback microphone for direct contact.

Audio interface for Mac with 8 outputs

Focusrite Scarlett OctoPre Dynamic

[usr4.8]

 

Before commenting on this, I actually own the Focusrite Scarlett Octopre MKII which is a former model… So what can I say about it, well I love it! It was rather inexpensive for the price, and the quality of the recordings it provides is superior to other interfaces of the same price budget.

Compatibility

Mac

Features

  • 8×8 Audio Interface which is rack-mountable
  • Stylish design, with several interface menu options for the engineer
  • 2 high-headroom instrument outputs, particularly suitable for guitars and basses with high output pickups
  • Opportunity to record an entire band, with 8 inputs (for recording) and 8 outputs (for monitoring)
  • Two Year Manufacturers Warranty

Focusrite Scarlett Octopre Dynamic Audio Interface for MAC

Technical Specifications

  • Up to 192kHz, with integrated AD/DA 24-bit converter
  • 8 XLR/Line combination inputs
  • 8 line outputs
  • 48V phantom power
  • LED display
  • Integrated mains power supply

As you can see from the video demonstration below, the interface provides fantastic audio recording quality!

 

Tascam US-16×08

[usr4.0]

Tascam US-16x08 Mac Audio Interface

 

Compatibility

Mac and iPad / Connectivity via USB

Features

  • 16 input / 8 output rack mountable audio interface
  • Smart minimalistic design with plenty of inputs on front of the interface
  • On/Off switch for ease
  • Suitable for engineers and bands looking to record live sessions (multiple instruments simultaneously)
  • Tough metal body, making it ideal for heavy duty usage

Technical Specifications

  • Capable of 96kHz/24-bit resolution recording
  • 8 Ultra-HDDA microphone preamps with 57db of gain, meaning noise level interference is practically null
  • USB 2.0 Connectivity
  • 4-band EQ and Compression on each channel
  • 8 XLR microphone inputs and 8 Balanced Line Inputs
  • 8 Balanced Line Outputs

Audio interface for Mac with 20 outputs

Tascam Celesonic US20x20 

[usr4.5]

Tascam US20X20 Audio Interface

This interface is in the same series as the Tascam US-16×08 interface, except it provides more inputs and outputs, making it suitable for an engineer/musician who requires this.

Compatibility

Mac and iPad / Connectivity via USB

Features

  • 16 input / 8 output rack mountable audio interface
  • Smart minimalistic design with plenty of inputs on front of the interface
  • On/Off switch for ease
  • Suitable for engineers and bands looking to record live sessions (multiple instruments simultaneously)
  • Tough metal body, making it ideal for heavy duty usage

Technical Specifications

  • Capable of 96kHz/24-bit resolution recording
  • 20 simultaneous inputs when operating at 44.1kHz or 48kHz
  • 8 Ultra-HDDA microphone preamps with 56db of gain, meaning noise level interference is practically null
  • USB 2.0/3.0 Connectivity
  • 4-band EQ and Compression on each channel
  • 8 XLR/Line inputs and 2 Balanced Line Inputs
  • S/PDIF coaxial input/output
  • Word input/output
  • 8 Balanced Line Outputs

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12 Best Audio Interfaces for Mac OS (2018 Review)
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