2014 saw the release of some tasty new audio interfaces catering to very different producers and engineers. Here's our pick of the bunch listed in alphabetical order.
Listed in alphabetical order, here's eight of our favorite audio interfaces we reviewed in 2014.
What do you get when a company best known for its high-end studio consoles and monitoring solutions makes a USB audio interface and monitoring box? Hollin Jones discovers something stunningly well-designed.
Pros: Stunning build quality. Flawless recordings. Highly flexible I/O. Incorporate outboard hardware and digital sources. Beautifully designed mixer app.
Cons: Not technically zero latency monitoring, if that bothers you.
In the market for a new audio interface with ADAT, lots of ins and outs, excellent preamps and at a keen price? Focusrite’s Saffire Pro 26 might be the answer. Read and watch our world-first video review.
Do you want a very portable 2-in/2-out audio interface with direct monitoring, phantom power, and good bundled software for under $100? We put Focusrite's Scarlett Solo to the test.
Price: $99.99 / £79.99
Pros: Very portable and well built. Direct monitoring. Halo light system. Phantom power. Good bundled software.
Cons: Not iOS-compatible. You may have to add phono-compatible output cables.
An 8-in, 8-out audio interface for under $400? M-Audio's new M-Track Eight comes bundled with Cubase LE, has XLR combos for all channels with Octane preamps. But does it make the grade? We find out.
Pros: No drivers required, XLR combo inputs for all channels, large knobs are easy to spot and use, 2 separate headphone mixes, power button located on the front instead of rear, shallow rack profile, quality bundled software and plug-in effects.
Cons: Very little control over the monitor mix, knobs feel a bit light, no S/PDIF or ADAT optical ports.
The Lyra 2 is Prism Sounds first offering into the travel friendly USB audio interface market. Bill Burgess runs it through its paces to see how it stacks up.
Price: Lyra 1, $2350; Lyra 2 (as reviewed), $3225
Pros: World-class audio conversion. Highly improved depth and imaging. A deeply flexible and functional audio interface.
Cons: Slightly hard to understand software. Higher price may be difficult for some users.
You’ll see more inputs than its smaller sibling, the UR22, but the real power of the Steinberg UR44 is found in what you don’t see. It also is compatible with Mac, PC and iOS devices. Matt Hepworth puts the UR44 to the test.
Street Price: $299.00
Pros: Robust chassis, great mic preamps, oodles of DSP power, iPad-compatibility, and price.
Cons: No signal indicators and no digital I/O connectivity.
Web: Steinberg UR44 website
Being a regular audio interface is only half of what Tascam's UH-7000 offers. It’s also a high-quality dual mic preamp, with Phantom Power. Joe Albano discovers how well it performs on both counts.
Price: $599.99 USD (Street)
Pros: High-Quality Mic Pre’s; Flexible Interface w/ DSP effects
Cons: Less I/O than some comparably-priced units
The sleek and sexy Apollo Twin brings the high-quality preamps and the UAD Powered Plug-Ins from the Apollo into a portable and affordable package. Matt Vanacoro puts it through its paces. [Spoiler alert: Matt bought this interface as soon as he reviewed it!]
Price: $699 for the Single-processor SOLO and $899 for the dual-processor DUO
Pros: Take the power of the UAD powered plug-ins with you on the go, new Unison mic preamp emulations, both XLR mic preamps are very high quality, quality build and sleek look, hardware buttons to access important preamp features, locking power cable (seriously, why don’t all mobile units have this?)
Cons: None we can think of!