Best Audio Interface Under $500

Best Audio Interface Under $500
Best Audio Interface Under $500 (Image: © Wooster Audio | Best Audio Reviews & New)

Are there any suitable audio interfaces under the range of $500? Or what are the best audio interfaces in the market? It is a tricky question to answer, as many types of interfaces vary in quality. We have scoured the internet to find you the interface for your budget.

There are many great options if you’re looking for an entry-level device with advanced features such as high-resolution recording with minimal latency and a low noise floor. The best part about the audio interface is the ability to plug in a high-quality microphone and go straight into recording.

Our Top 3 Recommendations

Best Pick Behringer U-Phoria UMC22 USB Audio Interface Behringer U-Phoria UMC22 USB Audio Interface

Convenient Monitoring

Solid construction (metal)

+48 V phantom power

Most Popular PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 2x2 USB Audio Interface PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 2x2 USB Audio Interface

Heavy-duty steel chassis

Great sound on countless albums

Two front-panel combo mic/instrument inputs

Budget Pick Focusrite Scarlett Solo 3rd Generation Audio Interface Focusrite Scarlett Solo 3rd Generation Audio Interface

Guitarist, Vocalist, Podcaster or Producer also can use this audio interface

High-Fidelity Sound quality

Studio Quality Recording

The audio interface is an essential part of your studio. The universal audio interface is a device that converts the sound from your instrument or vocals to digital signals and sends them to your computer. You can’t record any audio on your computer without an audio interface. It would be best if you needed an audio interface to record anything.

Despite what you may think, there are some great options for an excellent audio interface, so you’ll find the budget audio interface to be in this price range and beyond. So, below we have listed the best audio interface under $500 budget.

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Our Recommendations For Best Audio Interface Under $500

Award Image Model Price
Audio Interfaces For Home Studios Behringer U-Phoria UMC22 USB Audio Interface Behringer U-Phoria UMC22 USB Audio Interface See on Amazon
Best budget audio interface PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 2x2 USB Audio Interface PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 2x2 USB Audio Interface See on Amazon
Great Audio Interface For Mac Focusrite Scarlett Solo 3rd Generation Audio Interface Focusrite Scarlett Solo 3rd Generation Audio Interface See on Amazon
Audio Interface Under $300 Behringer U-phoria UMC20HD Audio Interface Behringer U-phoria UMC20HD Audio Interface See on Amazon
High-quality 6-channel Audio Interface Komplete Audio 6 USB Audio Interface Komplete Audio 6 USB Audio Interface See on Amazon
Budget Audio Interface For Gutarist Focusrite Clarett 2Pre USB Audio Interface Focusrite Clarett 2Pre USB Audio Interface See on Amazon
Audio Interface Under $400 Black Lion Audio Revolution 2×2 Audio Interface Black Lion Audio Revolution 2×2 Audio Interface See on Amazon
Audio interface for under £500 Mackie Onyx Artist 1.2 USB Audio Interface Mackie Onyx Artist 1.2 USB Audio Interface See on Amazon
Audio interface for Studio One Presonus Studio 1810c Audio Interface Presonus Studio 1810c Audio Interface See on Amazon
Best audio interface for Cubase Steinberg UR22c Audio Interface Steinberg UR22c Audio Interface See on Amazon
Best audio interface less than $500 Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Generation Audio Interface Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Generation Audio Interface See on Amazon

Included in this guide:

Best Audio Interface Under $500 Reviews

Behringer U-Phoria UMC22 USB Audio Interface (Image credit: Amazon)

Behringer U-Phoria UMC22 USB Audio Interface

Audio Interfaces For Home Studios

SPECIFICATIONS

Brand: Behringer | Connectivity Technology: USB | Maximum Sample Rate: 96 kHz | Power: +48 V phantom power

REASONS TO BUY

Convenient Monitoring

Solid construction (metal)

+48 V phantom power

Professional audio quality interface

Audiophile 48 kHz resolution

MIDAS mic preamplifier

Seamless Integration with Popular DAWs

Supports professional quality 48v condenser mics

Behringer audio interface not require any driver or coreaudio supported

Behringer is compatible with Avid pro tools, Ableton live, Steinberg Cubase

MIDAS designed Mic Preamplifier

REASONS TO AVOID

Sometimes you may get in to trouble due to drivers issue

Trouble may be face using Behringer audio interface on windows 11

Must be connected to a computer for power

Mild hiss (when the mic gain is high)

The Behringer UM200M audio interface is an excellent choice because it comes with reasonable quality at a low cost starting at under 500 dollars. The Behringer UM200M provides up to 16 simultaneous inputs through MIDI connections making it perfect if you want to do live recordings or use electronic instruments in your home recording studio setup. The Behringer UM200M provides additional features such as a digital I/O connection, a USB connection, and studio-grade low-latency drivers. The 48 kHz resolution audio quality will be sufficient for most home users.

With the most popular recording software like Avid pro soft, a range of features is available for audio mixing. The Behringer UM200M interface provides ultra-low latency driver performance and is compatible with Windows and Mac operating systems.

The Behringer Audio Interface UMC22 is an excellent option for beginners looking to get their feet wet in audio interfaces and recording equipment without spending too much money. It has an incredible 24-bit conversion, perfect for smaller studios or home setups that need only two channels running simultaneously.

The Behringer UMC22 audio interface also has fantastic sound quality and a black design body that looks sleek and professional, perfect for any studio setup if you are looking for a cost-effective option that is still excellent in every category. So, overall the Behringer is a good buy if you are looking for the best audio interface under $500.

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PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 2x2 USB Audio Interface (Image credit: Amazon)

PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 2x2 USB Audio Interface

Best budget audio interface

SPECIFICATIONS

Brand: PreSonus | Connectivity Technology: USB | Number of Channels: 2

REASONS TO BUY

Heavy-duty steel chassis

Great sound on countless albums

Two front-panel combo mic/instrument inputs

Easy-to-use stereo recording system

MIDI controller

World-class recording software

REASONS TO AVOID

The audio interface dependent on software to run

The Presonus Audiobox USB 96 is an audio interface with many professional features for the best price and comes with many technical specs to make it versatile in any situation, from recording live sound, and mixing, all at different quality levels. The Presonus Audiobox USB 96 also provides MIDI inputs, outputs, and balanced monitor-outs for headphones or powered speakers. The frequency response on this device ranges up to 44 kHz, which is impressive considering its low cost! It can be used with Mac OSX, Windows XP/Vista/Win-2000, and higher versions of these platforms without hassle because drivers are already available. This gadget presents easy controls such as panning knobs and volume faders but not EQs or compressors, but it can be used in conjunction with other gear. So, overall the Presonus Audiobox USB 96 is an excellent audio interface for the price.

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Focusrite Scarlett Solo 3rd Generation Audio Interface (Image credit: Amazon)

Focusrite Scarlett Solo 3rd Generation Audio Interface

Great Audio Interface For Mac

SPECIFICATIONS

Connectivity: USB Type-C | Protocol: USB 2.0 | Form Factor: Desktop | Simultaneous I/O: 2 x 2 | Phantom Power: 48V

REASONS TO BUY

Guitarist, Vocalist, Podcaster or Producer also can use this audio interface

High-Fidelity Sound quality

Studio Quality Recording

Low-noise for crystal clear listening

REASONS TO AVOID

Bugs on sound quality may occurs

Focusrite Scarlett Solo (third-generation) has many features perfect for small home studios. This edition includes three different microphone preamps, which can be used to record vocals or instruments. The question is, Does the Focusrite Scarlett Solo audio interface affect sound quality? Yes! Its sound quality is superb, with output at 24-bit rates up to 192 kHz sampling rate.

The High-performance converters are another great feature of the Focusrite Scarlett Solo, producing a low distortion and high-resolution sound that mixes up to 24-bit/ 192kHz.

The Focusrite Scarlett Solo has a single headphone jack that can monitor the sound. You gain control of input channels and output levels and an LED display showing your signal’s peak levels. It doesn’t have MIDI ports, but it has software to compensate for this lack of functionality.

You can download Pro Tools First to create music or podcasts without trouble. There are two ways of working: one where you use the computer’s power by running all plugins inside Pro Tools; another mode where only some effects will run in real-time while others will need post-processing (this way, you still get great quality tracks). So, overall the Focusrite Scarlett Solo is the best audio interface under $500 and is the perfect device for beginners who want to try their hand at recording.

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Behringer U-phoria UMC20HD Audio Interface (Image credit: Amazon)

Behringer U-phoria UMC20HD Audio Interface

Audio Interface Under $300

REASONS TO BUY

Excellent Quality Sound

Audiophile 24-Bit/192 kHz resolution

Exceptional 24-Bit/192 kHz high-resolution converters

Direct Monitor switch

Own level control for zero audio delay

REASONS TO AVOID

For people who were using pro tools on mac or Windows it troubles sometimes

Behringer U-Phoria UM20HD is best for those looking for a budget audio interface that doesn’t compromise features and quality. The Behringer can be used with either Windows or Mac OS X, making it compatible with most current computers. The small size also makes this unit perfect for home studios where space might be limited. The Behringer U-Phoria UM20HD offers some very impressive specs for its price: 16 input channels (eight mic/line), 18 outputs (six-line out plus 12 preamp outs) - all completely MIDI-enabled! In addition to these standard features, an ultra-high-resolution mode allows you to record 24 bits at 96 kHz without additional software. Like all Behringer products, it’s covered by their standard warranty of three years. The only downside to this device is the lack of a number pad for direct input, which can be somewhat frustrating at times, but with so many features and such an affordable price tag, it’s hard not to recommend the UM20HD as one of the perfect audio interfaces.

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Komplete Audio 6 USB Audio Interface (Image credit: Amazon)

Komplete Audio 6 USB Audio Interface

High-quality 6-channel Audio Interface

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Up to 192 kHz / 24-bit
  • 4 analog in/out, 2 digital in/out
  • 2 headphone out
  • MIDI in/out

REASONS TO BUY

Low-latency performance

High-quality pre-amps (With gain control)

Mono input switch

48V phantom power (condenser mics and active DI boxes)

REASONS TO AVOID

Non

Komplete Audio 6, the latest audio interface from Native Instruments, continues to be a staple in the world of music production. Team Wooster Audio will show you what Komplete Audio 6 is and why it is a perfect choice for you if you’re looking to up your audio game and need a powerful audio interface.

You can record audio up to 192 kHz / 24-bit with Komplete Audio 6’s redesigned audio interface, which features MIDI and low-latency performance. DJs may find the Komplete Audio 6 useful for importing loops, creating new instruments, and using it as a DJ interface due to its easy-to-read LED VU-meters on top.

In addition to a built-in Expanded MIDI in/out for Maschine (MIDI controller), the Komplete Audio 6 has a Custom, streamlined circuit design with an analog volume knob and direct monitoring with zero latency.

Using the dynamic range compressor in Komplete Audio 6, you can reduce noise when performing in draggy conditions or recording in draggy situations, and it has four analog inputs, four digital inputs, and four digital stereo inputs (lossless signal transmission).

With Komplete Audio 6, you can compose, record, mix, and master your own music. This application is USB-powered (extra custom USB socket) and offers four balanced analog outputs (1/4" TRS).

With Komplete Audio 6, you can create electronic music, mix and master it, and use its many features on both PCs and Macs. In summary, Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6 is an excellent audio interface that lets you produce professional-quality music.

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Focusrite Clarett 2Pre USB Audio Interface (Image credit: Amazon)

Focusrite Clarett 2Pre USB Audio Interface

Budget Audio Interface For Gutarist

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Frequency Response 20-35kHz: ± < 0.15dB
  • Dynamic Range (min gain): 118dB
  • THD+N (-1dBFS, +20dB gain): -110dB
  • Gain range: +57dB

REASONS TO BUY

Great quality mic pres

Mic has plenty of gains

Low noise and distortion

Wide dynamic range headphone output

Go/no-go indication of level

REASONS TO AVOID

Soon

Focusrite Clarett is the best audio interface under 500. It’s been an industry-standard in the pro audio world for years. The design of this interface may be more flashy and eye-catching than some interfaces out there, but it does the job well at its intended function.

The CLARETT⁺ Range includes two dynamic mic preamps with up to 24 bit/ 192 kHz resolution on each channel and three bands of EQ per input (one high shelving, one low cut filter, and one parametric). There’s also a single-button compressor built into every input module, plus 64x oversampling ensures you have plenty of headroom when recording vocals or instruments such as drums so that your signal doesn’t distort even if you push it hard. The headphone output also features a single-button compressor to ensure your headphones don’t suffer from nasty spikes in level when you’re monitoring the input signal while recording on one channel of an instrument (such as drums). The metering is accurate and lets you know how loud each track is without having to do any math, which can come in handy if things get confusing during complex mixes.

A low-cut filter has two slopes, so it’s easy to dial precisely what frequency range needs attenuating. There’s even a polarity switch for specific microphones that react differently depending on where they are plugged into this interface. It also comes with Steinberg Cubase AI software, which offers a deep library of virtual instruments, including pianos and electric pianos, drums and percussion, strings, and synthesizer sounds.

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Black Lion Audio Revolution 2×2 Audio Interface (Image credit: Amazon)

Black Lion Audio Revolution 2×2 Audio Interface

Audio Interface Under $400

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Brand: Black Lion Audio
  • Connectivity Technology: USB | 2-in/2-out
  • 24bit, 192KHz USB C interface
  • Bus Powered
  • Macro MMC clocking

REASONS TO BUY

King of audio mods

Revolution software suite

Has Great input and outputs

REASONS TO AVOID

Non

Black Lion Audio Revolution USB interface is a good audio interface you can buy on Amazon, and it’s also very affordable. Some great features include two channels with high-quality preamps, ADAT interconnection, MIDI input/output, word clock synchronization, and S/PDIF digital connection.

The Black Lion audio interface has a good solid build quality similar to its higher-priced competitors in this list of budget audio interfaces, so if you’re looking for something more than just your average budget-friendly option, then maybe take a look at what they have available.

The Black Lion audio interface connects via a USB cable, meaning no drivers are needed for your Mac or PC, making setup extremely and problem-free. So, overall the Black Lion Audio Revolution is the best audio interface under $500.

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Mackie Onyx Artist 1.2 USB Audio Interface (Image credit: Amazon)

Mackie Onyx Artist 1.2 USB Audio Interface

Audio interface for under £500

SPECIFICATIONS

Brand: Mackie | Connectivity Technology: USB | Number of Channels: 2 | 24-bit/192kHz | MIDI I/O | Onyx Series USB Audio Interfaces

REASONS TO BUY

Combining high-resolution 24-bit/192kHz converters

Mackie analog circuitry

Mackie analog circuitry

Built-in MIDI I/O for controllers

Hi-Z instrument switches

REASONS TO AVOID

No Linux drivers

Mackie Onyx Artist 1.2 offers a 24-channel monitor mixer, four mic inputs with high-quality preamps, plenty of output routing options, and an onboard compressor/limiter. The Onyx Artist series is all about getting that big professional-sounding production in your studio or on the go at home without breaking the bank. It’s perfect for small project studios, bands, and songwriters who want to mix their music but still need access to expensive gear.

The Onyx Artist series’s interface audio quality is phenomenal and best seen in this interface’s 24-channel analog mixer. The Mackie Onyx Artist 1.2 audio interface offers many features that will make your mixing experience enjoyable from start to finish.

The Mackie Onyx Artist 1.2 has good-quality preamps and many output routing options. It also has an onboard compressor/limiter. So, overall the Mackie Onyx Artist 1.2 is the best audio interface under $500 that offers the best of both worlds - versatility and affordability.

Presonus Studio 1810c Audio Interface (Image credit: Amazon)

Presonus Studio 1810c Audio Interface

Audio interface for Studio One

SPECIFICATIONS

Brand: PreSonus | Connectivity Technology: USB | Number of Channels: 8 |  Inputs: 18 |  Outputs: 8 | Preamps: 4 XMAX

REASONS TO BUY

4 dedicated line inputs

USB-C computer connectivity and records

DC-coupled line-level outputs

Built-in MIDI interface

REASONS TO AVOID

Plug-In and Plug-out issue may occur

The Presonus Studio 1810c is a very high-quality interface with various options and has two microphone preamps, four line inputs, and eight outputs to maximize your studio setup’s versatility. The Presonus Studio 1810c is an excellent option if you need an audio interface that will provide top-notch sound quality combined with lower latency which can be crucial when recording vocals or instruments on the fly.

The Presonus Studio 1810c interface is expandable with up to 18 simultaneous inputs, which is great for any studio setup. The 1810c design is sleek and durable, with a metal casing that provides outstanding protection and durability.

The Presonus Studio 1810c also comes with a free full version of Studio One Professional DAW software which is excellent for those just starting in the world of audio production who are looking to get their feet wet without spending any money upfront on expensive studio equipment.

The 1820c has two microphone preamps that can be used separately or combined; this allows you to easily capture high-quality vocals from both sources at once when recording soloists.

The four-line inputs allow you to input electric guitars, keyboards, and other electronic instruments, such as samplers so overall the Presonus Studio 1810c is excellent audio interface is the best on our list because of its versatility, easy-to-use features, and professional sound quality.

Steinberg UR22c Audio Interface (Image credit: Amazon)

Steinberg UR22c Audio Interface

Best audio interface for Cubase

SPECIFICATIONS

Brand: Steinberg | Compatible Devices: Laptop, Personal Computer | Connectivity Technology: USB | Number of Channels: 2 - 32-bit/192 kHz audio resolution

REASONS TO BUY

Loopback function for streaming

Compatible with all major software (like ASIO, Core Audio or WDM standard)

Class-A D-PRE mic preamps

Two separate, switchable monitor modes (Daw and DJ modes)

REASONS TO AVOID

Software dspmxfx doesn't work with it

The Steinberg UR22c Audio Interface is a compact and affordable USB-powered audio interface that gives you all the tools you need to make music on your computer, with two great-sounding mic preamps, phantom power for the use of condenser microphones, MIDI in/out/thru ports so you can keep it plugged into your keyboard or drum machine. The Steinberg UR22c Audio Interface has a small size, which makes this interface perfect for producers on the go and mobile musicians who want an easy way to capture their ideas when inspiration strikes without having to carry around bulky equipment like laptops and stands. The headphone output means there’s no latency during monitoring either – plug in a set of headphones or monitors and start making music. Its Class-a D-PREAMP mic preamps accurately represent your sound, while the onboard digital effects make you sound like a pro with zero latency. So, overall the UR22c is an excellent choice for a compact, portable interface with many features.

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Generation Audio Interface (Image credit: Amazon)

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Generation Audio Interface

Best audio interface less than $500

SPECIFICATIONS

Connectivity: USB Type-C | Protocol: USB 2.0 | Bus Powered: Yes | Balanced: 1/4" Line Outputs: 2 TRS

REASONS TO BUY

Studio quality recording

Perfect guitar and vocal

Best performing mic pre-amps

High-performance converters

Scarlett’s best-selling interface

REASONS TO AVOID

You may face some cutouts with general pc Speakers

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is a modern audio interface for people who need to be able to record themselves. The best part about it is that you don’t have to spend any extra money on software; since the Scarlett, the software is included!

The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 interface has two inputs and can handle converting analog signals into digital ones. It also offers excellent sound quality, using Focusrite’s best technology to provide a studio-quality recording.

The best part about this Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface is that you don’t have to spend any extra money on software because Scarlett Software comes with it. This is important for people starting in music production or who want a less expensive option than some of their competitors that cost more than $500.

The only downside would be if your computer doesn’t have an input slot available, but there are adapters that you could buy separately. So, if you’re looking for an inexpensive audio interface, the Scarlett Solo is a great option.

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In A Nutshell - Best Audio Interface Under $500

In conclusion, microphones and interfaces are a hot commodity because they’re much more realistic and natural sounding than anything else you’ll hear or see in the industry. To get this kind of quality recording, you will need an interface that can handle high-frequency input and provide the necessary power output for multiple binaural mics at once (typically four). The audio interface varies from person to person, depending on their needs, budget, and intended use. For example, some people might want something with low latency.

So they could run virtual instruments live into an FX processor like Ableton Live (the best audio interface for Ableton) without any noticeable delay between button presses and sound outputs; while others may be looking for something portable enough to take out on the go; or on the other hand, someone else may be after a simple four-channel interface with one mic input and two stereo line inputs (stereo USB interface budget option).

Frequently Asked Questions

Does cheap audio interface affect sound quality?

It is undeniable that high-quality audio interfaces provide better sound quality than cheap ones, but some interfaces provide good sound quality at a reasonable price. Does a cheap audio interface affect sound quality? This question is complex to answer. First, it all depends on what type of interface you are using. If you are using a cheap USB audio interface, you may experience poor sound quality. If you are using an XLR or TRS audio interface, then the cost of your audio interface will not affect the sound quality.

How much should I spend on an audio interface?

An audio interface may be expensive, but it offers many benefits and can cost anywhere from $50 to $200. If you’re just getting started, you might find an affordable interface useful. In contrast, investing in a better audio interface makes sense if you’re already experienced and want to enhance your audio production skills.

How do I connect my audio interface to my computer?

An audio interface is great whether you want to record audio or improve your sound quality. You can find many different types and brands of audio interfaces available, so it can take time to decide which one to buy. Once your equipment is set up, the next step is to configure it. 

  • Use USB or thunderbolt cable
  • Then connect your interface to these cables
  • You have to check to receive the power of your audio interface
  • On your computer, check your audio inputs and output settings
  • To your audio interface’s input, you must connect your instrument (mic, headphones, etc.)
  • Check input signals (Use green light)
  • Set the audio
  • Connect your instrument to the audio interface now

Is it better to listen to music through an audio interface?

The separation between instruments and vocals on audio interfaces results in a more enjoyable listening experience. In addition, audio interfaces often offer more features than standard speakers, such as EQs and compressors, which can enhance the sound quality of your music. However, listening to music through a regular speaker is just as good. An audio interface can enhance bass response, but some argue it is not worth the additional quality.

William
Hi! I'm William and I've done graduation in Information Technology, and I love music. I buy lots of audio equipment, the latest audio interfaces, and hardware and use them to get proper knowledge, and after excellent judgment, I write blogs on them.
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