Nowadays, the best budget audio interface is incredibly difficult to find. Why?
Well, let’s just say that manufacturers of audio interfaces seriously stepped up their game.So much so that a quiet set of preamps and zero latency monitoring aren’t all that hard (or expensive) to come by. Today it’s not uncommon to to find both these in audio interfaces under £200!! What’s more, the market for a budget audio interface has grown significantly.
Compare your options for budget audio interfaces to those you’d have 5 years ago, and you’ll be staggered by the amount of new interfaces (& brands), which have entered the segment. Although don’t let that fool you – the current market isn’t just awash with good audio interfaces. If it was, there’d be no need to read this blog; there’s still plenty of audio interfaces to avoid. In fact, there’s more now than ever before!
Let’s just say that the sheer amount of new tech that goes into AIs in 2023 plus the fact that those under £200 are victims of mass-production, means that there’s more than a few hiccups that shall we say… slip through the net. So to avoid you splashing the cash on anything but the best budget audio interface, we’ve compiled a list of 13 interfaces + rated their preamps, features and overall build. You can thank us later.
After something specific about the best audio interface? Or just curious as to how an audio interface affects sound quality? Use the menu below to get all the answers you need in one click…
The best budget audio interfaces @ a glance…
10+ of the best budget audio interfaces (around £200)
With there being that many budget audio interfaces out there, there’s pretty much an AI for everybody.
However… it’s not that simple. You see, if you’re a small-time producer who’s just starting up, you’re going to prefer a completely different AI to a pro who’s just looking for a cheap for use ‘on the go’. Factor in that no 2 audio interfaces are the same + that each manufacturer makes various budget variants, & you can see where the confusion comes from. There’s THAT many audio interfaces these days that narrowing them down to just 1 – i.e. the best audio interface for you – is quite a monumental task.
Thankfully though, making your decision should be a whole lot easier, as we’ve done pretty much all the legwork for you. Simply keep scrolling for out rundown on the best budget audio interfaces + answers to pretty much all of your FAQs…
1: Motu M2
2: Solid State Logic 2+
3: Arturia Minifuse 2
4: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (3rd Gen)
5: Audient iD14 MK2
6: Steinberg UR22C MK2
7: Presonus Studio 24C
8: I Rig Pro Duo I/O
9: Mackie Onyx Producer
10: Roland RUBIX22
11: M-Audio Air 192
Best portable audio interface (around £200)
While studio setups are great, not all of us are that lucky.
And besides, with the shrinking size of music tech nowadays, you can argue you don’t even need a studio space to record a smash hit; ‘on the go’ music production is growing in popularity by the day. And you can see why. Aside from being more flexible & allowing you to make better use of your time, it also allows you to create music in virtually any environment you’d like… a creative’s dream!
So if you’re looking to spice up your workflow & record your songs in a little more spontaneous fashion, we’d suggest checking out this portable audio interface…
12: Focusrite Scarlett Solo
Cheapest good audio interface in the region of £200
Not everyone has bags of £$€ to splash on an audio interface – we get it!
And what with studio startup costs not exactly being small, cheap audio interfaces can look rather appealing. However, there is a slight caveat… not all cheap audio interfaces are good. Exactly why if you don’t have a lot of money to spend you need to really be clued up on what you’re buying. REMEMBER: it’s not a bargain if it doesn’t do the job.
So to help you avoid from falling into the ‘cheap audio interface’ trap, here’s a budget AI that seriously surprised us & that we would even say is on par to many of those above in terms of sound…
13: Behringer U-phoria UMC202HD
Best audio interface if your budget is slightly bigger…
Looking for an AI that’s slightly more ‘professional’?
You know – the type you’d find in a mixing studio or the bedroom setup of a serious producer. Well, if so then Arturia may already have you covered. See, while most of the budget audio interfaces above are from a technical perspective, scaled down versions of their bigger brothers, this bigger budget audio interface isn’t.
Hence why if you’re after an interface that’s just as compact, only packing a whole bigger punch, then we’d say you can’t go wrong with the…
14: Arturia AudioFuse Rev 2
Which is the best budget audio interface? Our editor’s choice…
When it comes to the best budget audio interface, we did struggle to come to verdict. But with that being said, we’ve managed it. Ask us & the best budget audio interface for sale today is the…
Arturia Minifuse 2 = Best Budget Audio Interface
Reason being that this newcomer has a LOT of extra features over its competition. And yet, it manages not to be gimmicky; the Minifuse 2 doesn’t lack when it comes to sound quality either. In fact, on that subject alone, it’s stand-out!
Team the super low levels of input noise (-129dB) with the sky high dynamic range (110dB) & you really do hear the difference between this & the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2. The clarity is there! Levels of which we didn’t expect from a budget interface of this size. What’s more, the Minifuse gives you more control over you sound too.
Unlike the majority of its rivals, it also boasts a direct monitor mixer knob + gives you access to a fantastic software package, including: Ableton live Lite, Analogue Lab Intro & a whole host of high quality FX plugins. Far better than the bundle you get with the Motu M2!! An interface that (on paper) the Minifuse comes pretty darn close to.
Take into account its metal build, humongous 5 year warranty & the fact it the Minifuse gives you a Midi In/ Out port too, & it’s pretty hard to pick fault. The Minfuse is not just a good on paper. It’s a great all-rounder & if you ask us, the recipe for the best budget audio interface.
Enjoy this review of the best audio interface around £200 and eager for more? Don’t miss out on our latest Reviews Of Audio Gear , as well as our countless Music Production Gear Reviews. Recently, we also published a guide on the Best Audio Interfaces For ANY Budget + another on the Vocal Microphones Under £500, which may also be worth a read.
Or, if you’ve still got as burning question about audio interfaces, keep reading to discover even more about why audio interfaces are such valuable pieces of kit…