November 2021

Audio Recording Interfaces: Aggregated Ranking Report

This report contains an aggregate consensus of Audio Interface rankings posted by key online experts, as of November 2021.

At a glance - November 2021 Ranking

Scroll horizontally to browse this ranking table
Rank Change Price Audio Interface
Music Radar
Musician on a Mission
Sweetwater
Consordini
MusicTech
Music Critic
We Rave You
Your Guitar Brain
WireRealm
EDM Sauce
1
- $298
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2
-
2
-
2
-
1
-
1
3
-
2
- $2791
Universal Audio Apollo Twin MKII
4
8
-
1
-
-
2
-
1
-
3
- $95
PreSonus AudioBox USB 96
-
1
15
-
-
-
6
-
-
4
4
- $300
Solid State Logic SSL2+
2
-
11
-
7
-
8
-
-
-
5
- $595
Focusrite Scarlett 18i20
-
6
-
-
3
-
-
5
-
-
6
- $199
Audient EVO 8
-
-
-
-
2
-
1
-
-
-
7
- $228
Audient iD14
-
-
16
-
5
-
9
-
-
-
8
- Check price
Apogee Duet
-
10
-
-
-
-
-
3
-
-
9
- $2000
Apogee Element 46
-
-
-
8
-
2
-
-
-
-
10
+1 $139
Native Instruments Komplete Audio 2
5
-
-
-
-
-
5
-
-
-
11
+1 $171
Mackie Onyx Producer 2-2
7
-
-
10
-
-
-
-
-
-
12
+1 $220
Steinberg UR22C
8
-
-
7
-
-
-
-
-
-
13
+1 $440
Focusrite Clarett 2Pre USB
-
5
-
-
-
9
-
-
-
-
14
+1 $291
Tascam US-2x2
-
-
-
5
-
7
-
-
-
-
15
+1 $248
Native Komplete Audio 6 MK2
-
-
-
-
4
-
-
-
-
5
16
+1 $275
Apogee One
-
-
-
-
-
-
4
-
7
-
17
+1 $250
Motu M4
-
-
19
-
-
-
7
-
-
-

We ranked Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 #1 in November 2021 because:

  • 5 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Audio Recording Interfaces” rankings.
  • Out of those, 2 experts ranked Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Musician on a Mission

Recommended for Solo Artists and Mobile Recording

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Consordini

The best budget audio interface

Pros
Extremely low latency guaranteed with the Direct Monitor circuit.
New “Air” button for adding brightness and openness.
Wired to protect against power surges that could damage the interface.

Cons
Uses a USB-C type cable instead of a normal USB cable, so it may not be easily compatible with older computers.

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Music Critic

Pros
Comes equipped with a rugged metal unibody case for durability and aesthetic appeal.
A great make by one of the best in the business.

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Your Guitar Brain

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WireRealm

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We ranked Universal Audio Apollo Twin MKII #2 in November 2021 because:

  • 5 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Audio Recording Interfaces” rankings.
  • Out of those, 2 experts ranked Universal Audio Apollo Twin MKII as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Music Radar

High-quality audio and DSP-powered plugins

Pros
Incredible audio quality
Superb UAD-2 plugins

Cons
Thunderbolt only at the moment
No MIDI

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Musician on a Mission

Recommended for Solo Artists

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Consordini

The ultimate best audio interface in 2021

Pros
Built-in microphone for talkback when in the studio.
Comes with the Realtime Analog plugin bundle which has all you will need for basic mixing.
With Unison technology you can achieve high quality emulation of classic tubes, preamps, guitar amps, and microphones.

Cons
UAD plugins are ones you will have to pay for if you want more than just the Realtime Analog bundle.
Apollo audio interfaces are easily some of the most expensive ones on the market, this one is no exception.

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We Rave You

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WireRealm

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Methodology: combine opinions of key experts

Identify Experts

We identify key publishers and experts that consistently review and recommend Audio Recording Interfaces.

Capture Rankings

For each publisher we find a currently recommended "top 10" list of Audio Recording Interfaces, it must be updated in the last 9 months.

Aggregate Rankings

We put all those lists together and aggregate them. The more frequently a product is recommended, the higher it is in our ranking

Experts chosen for November 2021 ranking

We ranked PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 #3 in November 2021 because:

  • 4 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Audio Recording Interfaces” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Musician on a Mission

Recommended for Solo Artists and Mobile Recording

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Sweetwater

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We Rave You

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EDM Sauce

Pros
Includes free downloading of more than 6 GB of third-party resources
Has high-performance instrument inputs
Features zero-latency monitoring

Cons
May face some compatibility issues with various software

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We ranked Solid State Logic SSL2+ #4 in November 2021 because:

  • 4 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Audio Recording Interfaces” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Music Radar

Get 'that SSL sound' at an amazing price

Pros
Great signal path for the money
The 4k button does add a 'sound'
Solid build quality

Cons
You might not like the RCA outputs

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Sweetwater

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MusicTech

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We Rave You

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We ranked Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 #5 in November 2021 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Audio Recording Interfaces” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Musician on a Mission

Recommended for Full Bands and Project Studios

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MusicTech

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Your Guitar Brain

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We ranked Audient EVO 8 #6 in November 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Audio Recording Interfaces” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Audient EVO 8 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
MusicTech

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We Rave You

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We ranked Audient iD14 #7 in November 2021 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Audio Recording Interfaces” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Sweetwater

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MusicTech

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We Rave You

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We ranked Apogee Duet #8 in November 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Audio Recording Interfaces” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Musician on a Mission

Recommended for Solo Artists and Mobile Recording

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Your Guitar Brain

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We ranked Apogee Element 46 #9 in November 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Audio Recording Interfaces” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Consordini

World class sound in 12 inputs and 14 outputs

Pros
The most high tech interface on this list with virtual control software and hardware remote controls.
Thunderbolt multi unit support for using multiple interfaces on the same computer.
Has a ton of great sounding inputs and outputs and the ability to connect to external devices.

Cons
Only compatible with Mac and iOS devices.

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Music Critic

Pros
12 in x 14 out Thunderbolt audio I/O box, so that you can plug in as many instruments as you want.
This device comes with a 48v phantom power so that you can easily connect instruments, microphones, and line-level devices.
It also has 4 analog inputs and the best mic preamps.

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We ranked Native Instruments Komplete Audio 2 #10 in November 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Audio Recording Interfaces” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Music Radar

A compact, slick 2x2 audio interface at a competitive price

Pros
Super compact
Very slick and stylishly designed
Decent five-part input metering

Cons
No scaling on the controls

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We Rave You

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We ranked Mackie Onyx Producer 2-2 #11 in November 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Audio Recording Interfaces” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Music Radar

A hard-wearing 2-channel interface with high audio quality

Pros
Up to 24-bit/192kHz operation
Robust build quality
MIDI input and output

Cons
Zero latency control affects monitor output

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Consordini

An optimal choice for singer-songwriters

Pros
Includes MIDI inputs and outputs to use with MIDI controllers, synths, and other MIDI compatible devices.
Hi-Z switch allows you to direct input record your bass and guitar.
Comes with Mackie’s DAW Essentials Collection of plugins and the Tracktion T7 DAW.

Cons
Could have a couple more connection options other than just USB 2.0 like USB-C or Thunderbolt.
Adds a little bit of warmth and coloration which could potentially be a con if you prefer more clean, transparent preamps.

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We ranked Steinberg UR22C #12 in November 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Audio Recording Interfaces” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Music Radar

A rugged 2-in/2-out audio interface with Yamaha preamps

Pros
Built to last
Yamaha preamps
Built-in DSP processing

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Consordini

An all-around workhorse interface

Pros
ASIO, Core Audio, and WDM compatible.
Comes with Cubase AI and Cubase LE for iOS devices.
Has MIDI inputs and outputs for use with external hardware or transferring notes to a DAW.

Cons
The maximum headphone volume is a bit low.
The mic preamp is a bit weaker than others, so make sure you power it through the DC.

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We ranked Focusrite Clarett 2Pre USB #13 in November 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Audio Recording Interfaces” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Musician on a Mission

Recommended for Solo Artists and Mobile Recording

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Music Critic

Pros
Two Clarett Mic pres with lots of gains.
Low latency level.
Compatible with IOS and Windows.

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We ranked Tascam US-2x2 #14 in November 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Audio Recording Interfaces” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Consordini

The best audio interface for a home studio

Pros
Rugged metal housing for taking it on the road, it can stand up to rough handling very well.
Fits well in a home studio due to its compact size and very low self noise.
Comes with Cubase LE software.

Cons
Best for ensembles or singer songwriters, so do not expect to record a large group unless you are using a condenser for a room mic.
Needs special drivers to be installed before using it.

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Music Critic

Pros
XLR 1/4" combination input jacks to give you maximum sound quality.
This sound card has zero-latency.
Angled design and aluminum body make it easier for desktop visibility.

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We ranked Native Komplete Audio 6 MK2 #15 in November 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Audio Recording Interfaces” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
MusicTech

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EDM Sauce

Pros
Includes headphone output with a separate switch control
Contains a mono input switch for recording mono sources
USB powered

Cons
Pops and clicks may interfere with the recording audio

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We ranked Apogee One #16 in November 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Audio Recording Interfaces” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
We Rave You

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WireRealm

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We ranked Motu M4 #17 in November 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Audio Recording Interfaces” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Sweetwater

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We Rave You

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