Not so long ago, recording music at home was difficult for many and out of reach for most. With the advancement of modern technology, particularly devices such as audio interfaces, we finally have a way to record audio without having to break the bank easily. In today’s article, we look at some of the best audio interfaces under $100. As you will discover, recording guitars and sounds at home are not only possible but also very affordable. After the list, we’ll tell you what to expect from the best audio interfaces under $100.
List of the best audio interfaces under $100
Mackie Onyx Artist 1-2
Another new item in this diagram is the Onyx Artist 1-2 from Mackie, which promises (and delivers!) Zero-latency monitoring, excellent recording quality, and an audio interface built like a small tank! The Onyx Artist 1-2 is not only very durable but also has an Onyx microphone pre-amplifier with great sound quality. Controls and I/O options are a bit limited, but no less than you would expect at this budget price range, including a 1/4 “TRS input and XLR microphone input. As we mention the Mackie Onyx Artist 1-2, this is one of the best audio interfaces under 100 dollars.
PreSonus AudioBox USB 2×2
The main selling point of the PreSonus AudioBox 2×2 is the performance – it is an excellent entry-level interface with a Class A microphone preamplifier, which means that vocals have evident sound quality. It is nothing special about the design department, but it is not ugly. The advantage is that the aluminum chassis is virtually bullet-proof. Besides, there is a versatile range of I/O ports, while PreSonus sends this interface with a great software package. All in all, this is one of the best audio interfaces under $100 for both beginners and advanced users.
Steinberg may not be a brand associated with budget solutions or standard equipment, although their UR12 audio interface is incredibly affordable while they are at work. Although the design appeals much to the imagination, the UR12 is well built and easy to use. It has two channels for microphone and instrument use (both with their gain control), allowing you to record both guitars and vocals. There are also two options to power the device – using the standard USB cable or a 5V DC via mini-USB, for use on a mobile device. Overall, the Steinberg UR12 is a perfect choice when it comes to the best audio interfaces under $100.
Line 6 Sonic Port
Line 6 is a brand known for creating some of the most affordable guitar accessories on the market, including everything from amplifiers to audio interfaces, such as their Sonic port. Only compatible with Mac OS DAWs, this guitar-oriented interface is the most niche in this list, but it still has its applications. It is slim and compact, and it is one of the easiest ways to turn your iPad or iPhone into a mobile recording studio. It’s not that great for home studios, but if you’re a guitarist who likes to travel, this device is for you.
Peavey is known for their extensive range of audio hardware equipment such as guitar amps and P.A. systems. With the Peavey USB-P, they have created an inexpensive audio interface with quality and value in mind. This is a kit with no frills. The USB-P looks like a simple D.I. box. There are a total of three jacks on the interface; two XLR jacks and a USB jack. In terms of sound, the Peavey USB-P delivers admirable performance, with low noise and easy switching from stereo to mono.
The Peavey USB-P will appeal to anyone who wants a simple yet reliable audio interface for their home studio or even for live performances. The interface is ideal for live bands that need to send stereo or mono feeds to band members on stage. It is well built and is plug-and-play for most systems. Overall, this is one of the best audio interfaces under $100.
Behringer U-Phoria UM2
The U-Phoria UM2 is one of many audio interface products from Behringer. It is competitively priced around $50, making it attractive to any beginning home studio. The UM2 can record up to 48 kHz and has a frequency response of 20 Hz to 20 kHz. Overall, the U-Phoria UM2 is a great audio interface. You can also check out this accessory bundle that includes the UM2 interface, headphones and XLR, TRS and RCA cables.
The addition of extras by Behringer will certainly appeal to many people. While the addition of a pair of Samson SR360 is a nice touch, most audiophiles will already have their own favorite set. Overall, this is one of the best audio interfaces under $100.
What To Expect From Best Audio Interfaces Under $100
One of the biggest and most consistent misconceptions about audio interfaces is that you have to spend a lot of money to get a good one. But – as may have been suggested from the graph – this is not true. With audio interfaces, there is a very well defined necessary performance. The models that we have displayed on the map meet that performance (and sometimes even exceed that performance).
Of course, we would be lying if we said that a $500 audio interface does not tend to deliver more versatility and better functions than anywhere in the budget, but, likely, the core performance is more or less the same. All affordable audio interfaces are primarily designed to deliver excellent sound with a limited budget. Most offer both a microphone preamp and an instrument channel, as well as decent output options and controls, but you can not expect much more than the basics.
The most important thing to watch out for is whether the audio interface is compatible with both your operating system PC or Mac and your DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) software. Fortunately, even a budget-audio interface, more often than not compatible with both Windows and Apple products and almost all DAWs, including SONAR, Pro Tools, Ableton, Cubase, and Studio One.
An audio interface is a core of hardware for every modern recording studio for home. It is difficult to imagine that you make music without music. The best audio interfaces under $100 that we have shown you today are by far The Best you can buy on a limited budget and do the work for any home studio. Find one that meets your needs and read some reviews about it. If you can increase your budget slightly, then we strongly recommend you to look at our best audio interfaces under $200, in case you want something more appropriate.