Whether you’re trying to up your recording game or looking for an affordable-yet-useful gift for that special musician in your life, audio interfaces are a great place to start and don’t need to break the bank! In the spirit of promoting sweet gear on a budget, here is our definitive list of the best audio interfaces under $300 that 2020 has to offer!
1. Behringer U-Phoria UMC22 USB Audio Interface – $68.00
Coming in at the most affordable slot, the Behringer U-Phoria UMC22 has everything you need to get up and running, including both XLR-combo and TRS input jacks, an instrument input for recording guitar or bass direct in without needing a separate DI box, +48V phantom power, and genuine MIDAS preamps for an especially impressive sound at this price point.
- Quality 2-channel USB recording interface for your Mac or Windows PC
- Combo input with MIDAS preamp lets you plug in any microphone or line-level gear
- +48V phantom power lets you use studio condenser microphones
- Dedicated instrument-level input accommodates your guitar or bass
- Headphone and stereo 1/4″ outputs provide easy monitoring
- Includes Tracktion DAW and 150 downloadable instrument/effect plug-ins
Grab yours here for $68
2. PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 USB Audio Interface – $99.95
At #2, the PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 is another incredibly affordable USB audio interface that is sub-$100. Compared to the Behringer U-Phoria, the AudioBox USB 96 has an additional combo jack input, as well as PreSonus’ pair of top-quality preamps.
- Value-packed 2-channel USB 2.0 interface for personal and portable recording
- Records at up to 24-bit/96kHz professional-standard digital resolution
- Dual preamplifiers with combo inputs let you record microphone- and instrument-level audio
- Onboard +48-volt phantom power accommodates studio condenser microphones
- Internal analog mixer lets you blend direct input and playback signal for latency-free monitoring
- Mobile-friendly USB bus power means there’s no need to carry an additional power supply
- Compatible with nearly any recording software on Mac or Windows operating systems
- Includes PreSonus Studio One Artist DAW software and over 6GB of third-party content
- Packaged with the complete Studio Magic Plug-in Suite — a collection of awesome plug-in emulations of classic studio gear by Maag Audio, Lexicon, Arturia, and others
Get this easy-to-use interface here for $99.95 and start recording now!
3. IK Multimedia iRig HD 2 Guitar Interface – $99.99
The IK Multimedia iRig HD 2 is not only our 3rd pick because of the wonderful price point, but it’s a great option for musicians who record on their mobile devices. In addition to being used with a Mac or PC, the iRig HD 2 features a “thru” setting, which lets the player use their iPhone or iPad to tune and record as well. It also comes with IK’s AmpliTube 4 software for added guitar and bass tone options.
- High-quality, instrument-level 1/4″ hi-Z input jack
- Adjustable input gain control provides easy signal control
- Studio-grade 24-bit A/D conversion yields great sound quality
- 1/4″ amp output connects to your amplifier without an adapter
- 1/8″ headphone output for silent practice
- FX/thru switch toggles between two useful operation modes
- Includes AmpliTube 4 guitar amp and effects sim plugin
- iPhone 7 Ready
- Unlocks full version features and gear of AmpliTube for iOS (Free download from App Store)
- Comes with mic stand support and hook and loop strip
Go mobile with the iRig HD 2 for $99.99 here.
4. Focusrite Scarlett Solo 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface – $109.99
Alright, we’ve finally made it into the triple-digit category. The Focusrite Scarlett Solo is a fantastic USB interface and features Focusrite’s legendary preamp, as well as their acclaimed “Air” circuit that adds some extra shimmer and openness to your vocals, guitars, and more!
- High-performance 24-bit/192kHz converters
- Upgraded 3rd-generation Scarlett mic preamp
- Switchable Air mode gives your recordings a brighter, more open sound
- High-headroom instrument input for bass, guitar, or synths
- Unique, intuitive halo level indicators for optimized gain staging
- Super-low latency lets you monitor with native plug-in effects in real-time
- Direct Monitor circuit for monitoring your input with guaranteed low-latency
- Balanced TRS L/R monitor outputs with level control
- Headphone output
- Supports iPad Pro
- Quick Start tool gets you up and running fast
- Free 3-month Splice Sounds subscription
- Included software bundle
- Membership in Focusrite Plug-in Collective
- 3-year warranty
Get one of the world’s most popular interfaces for just $109.99 here.
5. Audient EVO 4 USB Audio Interface – $129.00
Coming in at $129, the Audient EVO 4 is another compact audio interface that hosts a ton of handy features. Including 2 ins and outs, 2 EVO mic pres, and loopback options, the EVO 4 is a sleek recording solution that will fit most musicians’ needs.
- 2 transparent Audient EVO preamps
- JFET instrument input
- Class-leading conversion
- Ultra-low latency performance
- 24-bit/96kHz sample rate
- Front-panel headphone jacks
- Stereo monitor outputs
- Bus-powered over USB 2.0
- Smartgain automatic level-setting feature
- Loopback functionality
- EVO Control app
- Included software and plug-ins package
Get this sleek, futuristic interface here for $129.
6. PreSonus AudioBox iTwo USB Audio Interface – $159.95
Another great interface from PreSonus, the AudioBox iTwo comes in at $159.95 and features two Class A mic/instrument preamps, phantom power, and more, all wrapped up in a slick metal casing. It also comes with a copy of PreSonus’ Studio One Artist DAW, which makes full-featured recording a breeze with its handy interface and impressive sonic capabilities.
- Bus-powered USB audio interface for Mac, PC, and iPad
- Low-noise, high-headroom mic preamps are perfect for recording vocals and instruments
- Included Studio One Artist DAW software gives you a full-featured recording and mixing solution
- Capture Duo iPad app makes it easy to record and transfer projects to your Studio One Artist DAW
- Completely portable with no power supply required
Get this two-channel interface today for $159.95 here.
7. Steinberg UR242 USB Audio Interface – $219.99
Now into the ~$200 price range, the Steinberg UR242 features 4 ins, 2 outs, and D-PRE mic preamps, as well as intuitive controls for input, output, and headphone levels, all encased in a slim design that is perfect for just about anywhere.
- Excellent 24-bit/192kHz USB 2.0 audio interface with phenomenal analog and digital circuitry
- Steinberg’s D-Pre Class A discrete mic preamps give you excellent recording quality
- Combo inputs for connecting instruments and microphones
- Line level 1/4″ inputs on the rear panel for connecting keyboards, drum machines, and other line-level sources
- Line level 1/4″ outputs for connecting your studio monitors
- Latency-free hardware monitoring
- 5V phone battery input to power iPad and interface
- Cross-platform compatibility for iOS, Mac OS X, and Windows
- Includes Cubase AI music production software
Get this premium interface for $219.99 here.
8. Solid State Logic SSL2 2×2 USB Audio Interface – $229.99
At #8, the Solid State Logic SSL2 2×2 is a fool-proof USB interface that features 2 ins and outs with mic/line/instrument preamps, phantom power, and SSL’s unique 4K Legacy mode which allows the user to add SSL 4000 series analog console magic to their recordings with the push of a single button!
- Legendary SSL sound for your home or portable studio
- 2 class-leading microphone preamps
- Pristine 24-bit/192kHz AKM converters
- Solid build quality, with heavy-duty chassis, Neutrik connectors, and Alps pots
- Intuitive front panel design with easy-to-read meters
- High-output headphone amp for accurate monitoring
- 4K Legacy mode imparts 4000 series analog console sound
- Bundled with Pro Tools First, Bomb Factory plug-ins, Ableton Live Lite, Hybrid Keys, and Komplete Start
- SSL Native software bundle with Vocalstrip 2 and Drumstrip
- Includes 1.5GB of samples from Loopcloud
Get the SSL sound in a compact and affordable package for $229.99 here.
At #9, the IK Multimedia AXE I/O SOLO features a rugged casing, 2 ins, 3 outs, active/passive pickup switches, and a Class A mic preamp. Ideal for guitarists and bassists , the build quality and features of this surprisingly compact interface make it a great buy for the price.
- A robust 24-bit/192kHz guitar recording interface — the ideal front end for your virtual amps
- A comprehensive tracking solution — great for turning those riffs into songs
- Includes AmpliTube 4 Deluxe, 10 T-RackS Singles, and Ableton Live 10 Lite recording software
- JFET input stage adds analog mojo to your incoming guitar/bass signal
- PURE input stage offers 117dB of headroom and clarity
- Switch for passive and active pickups
- Z-Tone variable impedance optimizes your instrument for AmpliTube’s virtual amps and stomps
- Single Class A mic preamp with +48-volt phantom power
- Accurate clocking; transparent conversion
- Dedicated re-amp output lets you re-record or live monitor through a live amp
- Control your virtual rig with assignable preset knob
- 2 inputs for single or double footswitches and expression pedals
Get this guitarist-focused interface for $249.99 here.
10. Audient iD14 USB Audio Interface – $299
And last but certainly not least, the Audient iD14 comes in at just shy of $300 and features 2 Class A mic preamps, expandable up to 8-channel ADAT inputs, and class-leading Burr-Brown converter technology. This is a great choice if you intend to expand your number of inputs later on – using ADAT connection you can add more preamps from another unit without needing a separate interface. The design is intuitive but the interface itself is powerful enough to have features for almost any musician and can help expand your existing recording rig.
- 2 Class A console microphone preamplifiers
- 2-in/4-out high-performance Burr-Brown converters
- 1 discrete JFET DI instrument input
- Separate headphone amplifier output stage
- Console-style monitor control with:
- Mono, polarity, cut, talkback, and cue mix
- 2 Neutrik combo connectors for mic/line inputs
- 8-channel ADAT input lets you expand to a total of 10 channels
- Balanced 1/4″ main outputs
- Control your DAW and plug-ins with the iD14’s virtual scroll wheel
Get yours here for $299.
When it comes to choosing the audio interface that’s right for you, it’s important to consider your specific recording needs and what you’re willing to compromise on. Luckily, there are plenty of options that have features up the wazoo and won’t deprive you of most of your precious rent money. We hope you found our Top 10 Best Affordable Audio Interfaces 2020 list useful, and happy shopping!
Some of these links may be affiliate links which support the site at no extra cost to you.