In this article, we’re going to be reviewing the top 10 best audio interfaces that exist in 2022. We’ve done hours of research and evaluation to find only the highest quality audio interfaces, based on their features and customer review testimonials. These are the best audio interfaces under 500.
In 2022, looking for a decent sound interface has never been simpler – regardless of whether you are perusing the spending range or the exceptional market. Today we are taking a gander at those units that sit someplace in the middle of the two – sound interfaces that can be yours for around $500 or less.
Last update on 2022-11-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
There are many aspects of an audio interface that you can use in helping make your decision, and since you’re reading this, I’m assuming that price is probably one of the most important aspects. Some are the best home recording interface.
However, since that is a given, let’s talk about some more key aspects
What to Expect from an Audio Interface Under $500?
When you purchase an audio interface for less than $500, there are a couple of things that you can expect.
Interfaces right now commonly accompany eight or fewer information sources and yields, however, there are a couple of anomalies. The majority of these models will have computerized sources of info and yields in the event that they have anything else than four as it assists with reducing expenses.
All things considered, fewer I/O alternatives will at present be all that anyone could need for the best audio interface for home recording, particularly for the individuals who are hoping to record each instrument in turn.
Past the I/O alternatives, you’ll need to ensure that your sound interface is as adaptable as could be allowed with the goal that you can record whatever rings a bell. Ideally, your interface will have every one of these things:
- DI Input for Guitars and Other Live Instruments
- Line Inputs for Guitars and Other Line-Level Gear
- Mic Input for Your Microphone
- MIDI Inputs for MIDI Controllers
One of the best things about investing a little more into your audio interface is the choice of connectivity. Many budget models usually run on standard USB 2.0 (with average speeds of 480Mbps), which is very acceptable. In fact, many in this $500 still use the best USB audio interface connections with great results.
However, some of the most modern interfaces are really pushing that USB 2.0 standard to its limits. When you are sinking up to $500 into your audio interface, you will be pleased to find a few other connectivity options on offer, including Thunderbolt models. Having a Thunderbolt connection can be the difference between a good interface and a great interface, as it can offer speeds of up to 20 times higher (rated at 10 Gbps per channel).
In practical terms, this translates to much lower latency, even when you load the signal with all kinds of bandwidth-eating effects. The only downside to using Thunderbolt is that you have to have a matching motherboard. Bear this in mind when making your purchase!
For certain customers, the brand is everything. Also, while we concur that brand is significant, as acceptable/respectable brands have a demonstrated record in providing top-notch sound interfaces, make an effort not to consequently limit new brands as well.
Beyond a shadow of a doubt that the entirety of the interfaces that we prescribe beneath have been done through long stretches of research and client survey assessment.
In case you’re taking a gander at spending around $500 on a sound interface, you need to have a guarantee, and this can be the integral factor on the off chance that you discover 2 interfaces that meet your different prerequisites. In our proposal list beneath, we’ll plainly show the sort and length of guarantee accessible.
1. Resident Audio T4 Thunderbolt Audio Interface
- Item Weight 36 Kg
- Product Dimensions 4 x 10.2 x 5.1 cm
- Voltage 48V
Sitting in the lower-end of this value extend is Resident Audio’s T4, whose feature highlight is that it utilizes Thunderbolt for an extremely quick network, with zero-inertness – permitting you to do coordinate checking, in any event, when you load up your sign with a lot of modules.
What’s more, the unit itself is very much assembled and uncluttered, with not too bad adaptability. It accompanies four XLR/TRS combo ports on the front, with not too bad yield choices. The preamps included giving a quality sound.
It’s the best guitar interface for pc that packs in a ton of adaptability at a sensible cost. Need more? Look at the total Resident Audio T4 breakdown.
“I bought this interface mainly for live use. I usually send the 1, 2, 3 chouts separate to the FOH or use 1 & 2 for software instruments, 3 for sequence, 4 clicks. Hasn’t failed me once in a year already. Have been using it a lot. No playback issues so far, just one functionality issue: can’t use the midi in & outs.”
2. Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 MOSC0018 2nd Gen USB Audio Interface with Pro Tools
- Item Weight 69 Kg
- Product Dimensions 8 x 22.9 x 6.3 cm
- Voltage 240 Volts
For some portion of the prior referenced Scarlett Series, the 18i8 is an extremely well-known sound interface for home studios. With an upscale aluminum body, strong controls, and a natural plan, it’s an expert evaluation bit of apparatus that is bundled into an easy-to-understand group.
The most particular component of this interface is its optical information channel, permitting you to make 10 broadened channels utilizing the ADAT contribution, alongside eight simple XLR/TRS ports to carry the aggregate to 18 data sources!
The full survey of the Scarlett 18i8 clarifies how the exhibition and sturdiness are likewise first-class, conveying a reasonable sound with extremely low-inactivity observing. A strong decision!
“This is a great interface for this price range. I used it for 6 months, great recordings through it. The best 8 input audio interface really good.”
3. BEHRINGER U-PHORIA UMC1820
- Item Weight 36 Kg
- Product Dimensions 3 x 13 x 4.6 cm
- Voltage +48 Volts
The U-PHORIA UMC1820 from Behringer is another passage to our outline and – even right now value goes – demonstrates a standout amongst other worthy alternatives.
For clients searching for a lot of contributions on a moderately little spending plan, this smooth effect safe rack-mountable unit is well worth considering, with eight XLR/TRS contributions on offer. In any case, this is a strong entertainer as well – as we notice in the total Behringer U-PHORIA UMC1820 survey.
It includes the eminent MIDAS mic preamps, while each info has a better than the average control group (all on the front), offering great adaptability. No fancy odds and ends, yet at the same time extraordinary!
“Works as lowest latency audio interface. Installation was too easy compared to other A/Ds and worked perfectly with Audition recording 4 channel audio interface simultaneously @ 48kHz. Running this unit with a Dell Precision Mobile Workstation for mobile podcasts with three MXL 990 mics and an external USB hard drive – it has been a welcome addition to my audio equipment and best audio interface for recording.”
4. Focusrite AMS-CLARETT-2PRE-USB 10-In/4-Out Audio Interface
- Item Weight 41 Kg
- Product Dimensions 1 x 21 x 5.5 cm
- Voltage 100 – 240 volts
With their Scarlett Series overwhelming the market for such a long time, Focusrite show they are nobody stunt horse with another age of top-notch sound interfaces intended for home studio use.
The transport-fueled Clarett 2Pre highlights right around zero inertness, with an amazing preamp that conveys a reasonable and straightforward sound. Regardless of whether you are a guitar player or an enthusiastic vocalist, this best audio interface for guitar can be a genuine distinct advantage.
It likewise helps that the Clarett 2Pre is an appealing and powerful gadget that is completely perfect with all stages and DAWs. Make certain to peruse more in our full Clarett 2Pre audit.
“I never review anything…EVER. 5 minutes with this thing and I felt compelled. I had a 4-year-old Scarlett that was damn decent. I got the Clarett and it was like somebody lifted the scales from my ear’s best recording interface. So much more headroom and clarity. All I did was playback songs I had laid down with The Scarlett and it was truly ear-opening and the best professional audio interface. I cannot imagine what it will be like to record with the Clarett, but if it is this good at just playback? Mein God! Shut up and buy it.”
5. Roland OctaCapture USB 2.0 Audio Interface
- Item Weight 6 pounds
- Product Dimensions 2 x 11.2 x 2 inches
- Voltage 9 Volts
You won’t have to have invested a lot of energy in the realm of sound rigging to have known about Roland – their blenders and consoles are especially unbelievable. In any case, this regarded brand has created a diagram beating sound interface in the Octa-Capture 10X10.
As we notice in the full Roland OctaCapture 10X10 audit, this profoundly adaptable stage conveys 10 information sources and 10 yields, with the decision of either work area or rack-mounted arrangement.
The equipment inside is top-level, particularly considering Roland has utilized mic preamps from their famous star grade blenders, guaranteeing phenomenal sound quality. Indeed, even at a more significant expense, this interface is difficult to leave behind!
“I was surprised by the quad-capture quality, so I got the OctaCapture and it’s really good. I’ve had a lot of gear over the years that was affordable but had hissed, if there is any noise from this, I can’t hear it even with my cheap microphones.
I keep the rear inputs patched to the patch panel and they go to my drum mics. Low noise, good signal, really affordable, a little more complicated than the quad, because of front panel controls but quickly get used to it. Nice display.
I looked for digital interfaces for a long time, glad I found this best-sounding audio interface. It remembers prior settings too. I use an externally powered USB hub as someone suggested. Win 8.1, Reaper, Toshiba AMD quad-core laptop.”
6. M-Audio M-Track 8X4M | Compact USB / USB-C Bus-Powered 8-In/4-Out 24/192 USB Audio/MIDI Interface With Zero Latency Monitoring, Rugged Metal Chassis And Pro-Grade Software Suite
- Item Weight 3 pounds
- Product Dimensions 9.4 x 2.4 x 7.7 inches
- Voltage 48V
M-Audio’s huge assortment of well-known interfaces is among the absolute generally polished available and zero latency audio interfaces. The M-Track Eight demonstrates this point consummately, flaunting a smooth, somewhat retro look that we love.
This rack-mounted interface highlights eight simple data sources (combo XLR/TRS ports) and similarly the same number of yields. Each channel includes its own realistic metering group and can be finely tuned for ideal execution.
As we feature in the primary audit of the M-Track Eight, it is stacked with M-Audio’s profoundly regarded Octane Preamp Technology, which is the best guitar recording interface. It additionally comes packaged with some top-notch programming and the best home recording interface!
“The product itself is a multi-channel audio interface and quite capable especially with the added phantom power option. It does get hot so keep it in a ventilated audio interface for a USB mic. I play the drums and I bought this to record the covers I would do for songs.”
As we mentioned at the top of the article, we realize that price is an important aspect of your decision, but there are so many other factors that come into the end decision-making process.
The best thing about audio interfaces is how they tend to scale naturally. Those in the affordable entry-level range are awesome for smaller home studios, and – as you work your way up – you start to see devices suitable for professional use. The models we have listed above are great examples of pro-grade audio interfaces.
With both desktop and rack-mounted units, USB, and Thunderbolt devices, we hope our chart has given you a good idea of what’s out there in this range as well as a bit of inspiration. Whatever you eventually go for we hope it gives you years of trusty recording pleasure!