As you know, an audio interface is used to record high-quality sounds or vocals. But along with the recording, you also get quality playback with the best audio interface under 500. You must be thinking, why not record that stuff on smartphones? Well, there are smartphones with good sound cards that can be used for recording. However, the best audio interface will give you a more professional touch to all your recordings.
Some of the best audio interface under 500 comes with MIDI ports that can be used to connect the audio interface device to a keyboard or other devices and equipment. You can record vocals directly into the computer but you get more professional and high-quality sound with an audio interface. It is a must and is at the heart of any home recording studio.
Best audio interface under 500 – Buying Guide
An audio interface is worth investing in but you should consider a few factors before buying one. Some factors to keep in mind before getting the best audio interface under 500 are as follows:
Factors to look for:
- Input and output-This is an important factor to consider when looking for an audio interface. If you have a small studio and you are a solo artist then a small interface would be ideal for you. If you are a beginner but want to expand your studio later then invest in a bigger interface with multiple input and output ports.
- Quality- The best audio interface under 500 comes with a remarkable build. They are durable and reliable. You should be able to use the audio interface for a long time and hence the quality of the product is important. The buttons on the audio interface should be made with durable products so that they do not break off. A sturdy build will be beneficial when you are traveling and it will not get damaged easily.
- Features- An audio interface should have some necessary features that are essential for high-quality recording. Some of the best audio interface under 500 comes with pre-installed software to help you set up quickly so that you get more time for recording and mixing. You should get a device with an easy user interface for your ease. Some features like low latency mixing and monitor controls are also important.
- Sound- The whole purpose of buying an audio interface is to get a professional sound out of your recordings. An audio interface will produce high-quality sound but be sure to check out the technical specifics of the product before getting one. It should have low noise and distortion level. The dynamic range should be high for better results.
Best audio interface under 500 Reviews
Now that we have learned about some must-have features for an audio interface, let us move forward and review some of the best audio interface under 500:
This device is compatible with Mac OS X, Windows XP, or higher OS. It has four microphone preamps that record high-quality sounds. The MIDAS designed preamps have switchable 48 volts of phantom power, which is the preferred power source for condenser mics. It is latency-free and you will experience zero lag during the mixing process. It also comes with 150 instrumental and sound effects.
You just have to register your device at Behringer and then you can download all the effects for free! This is great for recording and podcasting. This is the best audio interface under 500. It is compatible with a wide range of DAW software like Abelton live, Avid pro tools, and many more. The A/D resolution is 24 bit/192 KHz. The dynamic range is 100 db.
- It comes with a power adapter and a USB cable.
- There are two 10-feet premium instrument cables included one-fourth inch straight connectors and PVC shielding.
- There are two XLR three-pin cables for microphones and speakers.
- It has five Velcro cable ties of six inches each that are reusable.
- All these accessories are of high quality and have a lifetime warranty.
This is a USB audio interface and the model name is AIR 192/4 vocal studio pro. It weighs only 1000 grams. It is lightweight so it is easily portable and is perfect to use while traveling. It has two input and two output ports. The sound has a remarkable resolution of 24-bit/192 KHz. This will give you a completely professional sound. You can record and monitor the progress through your mac or computer.
It has hi-speed ports for USB and C-type USB. Both, USB and C-type USB cables are included with the audio interface device. This circuitry will give you a fast connection. This device also offers a low latency of only 2.59 Ms. As for the main device, it is made from a metal chassis. There is a large knob in the center to control the volume. There are LED meters for power and phantom power.
There is a knob that switches USB and directs for zero-latency monitoring. The package also includes an XLR cable with a one-fourth inch TRS combo. It also has a premium software suite included. There are a total of eight different software and they offer everything you need to get started. The software is Abelton live lite, eleven lite, pro tools first M-audio edition, avid effect collection, creative FX collection, and many more!
- It is compatible with any Mac or PC.
- There is a one-fourth inch input for instruments and a one-fourth output for stereo.
- It comes with a nova black condenser mic and a shock mount.
- There is a high-quality headphone included with a one-fourth inch output and independent level control.
- This is one of the best audio interface under 500 dollars.
This audio interface device works for the thunderbolt port but it is also available in the USB port. The mic and guitar amp emulations from Avalon, Neve, Marshall, Fender, and more makes for high fidelity recorded tracks. The transparent converters and preamps are amazing to work with.
This interface makes recording very easy and it will make your recordings sound so much better! Apollo solo has shown stellar results in terms of audio conversion and it also includes a suite of UAD plug-ins that gives you studio-like sound quality. With the built-in UAD-2 processing, you can record using studio tools like UA 610-B tube preamp and EQ.
The LA-2A, 1176 compressors, and more let you record with near-zero latency. The sonic outcome is tremendous and it is perfect for people who are thinking of getting into recording. It is used by both beginners and professionals alike. It is a small device with sturdy metal construction. It is like having a portable studio in your bag!
- It offers audio conversion at the class-leading rate of 24-bit/192 KHz.
- It is compatible with mac and windows with thunderbolt only.
- The LUNA recording system is a free and fully-integrated system for Apollo.
- It has a bus-powered connection that makes it easily portable and reduces cable confusion.
- The phantom power works very well and the pre-amps sound great!
This is the third generation audio interface by Focusrite. It has two input and two output USB sources. All the ports have individual controls. You can simultaneously record two microphones or instruments via two input ports. You can also playback or monitor the output at the same time via the two output ports.
This audio interface has two microphone preamps with switchable air mode. This will make your recordings sound clearer and brighter. It is especially good for vocals. It yields high performance with 24-bit/192 KHz AD-DA converters. There is a condenser microphone that gives your recordings a studio-like sound.
The headphones are thickly padded for long-lasting comfort so you can work on your stuff for a long time without any problems. It also comes with in-built software for all your recording and mixing needs. The two DAW software included are Abelton live lite and pro tools first Focusrite creative pack. It also includes a guarantee by the USA manufacturer.
- It comes with a Knox gear pop filter for recording.
- The closed-back headphones are great and have better quality than the one with a second-generation interface.
- It also has a microphone suspension scissor arm and a basic mic shock mount.
- It also includes a condenser microphone and a three-meter XLR cable.
- This is the best studio audio interface under 500.
Also, you can take a look into Best Audio Interface for Mac that are available in the market.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need an audio interface to record vocals?
The answer is no. You do not necessarily need an audio interface. You can directly plug the USB microphone into your computer and then record. You could also record using your phone. Both of these devices have a sound card. But if you want better and more professional sounding vocals then you need an audio interface device. It will increase the quality of your vocals and music. A phone or a computer will not give you as clear a sound as an audio interface.
Is a mixer the same as an audio interface?
No, a mixer and an audio interface are not the same things. Some audio interfaces come with built-in software for sound effects, etc. A mixer has more hardware controls and does not need software. With a mixer, you can channel the sound from multiple microphones and instruments into one stream. An audio interface, on the other hand, lets you record sound on separate tracks.
Do you need an audio interface for a microphone?
No, you do need an audio interface for a microphone. If you have a USB microphone then you can simply plug it into your computer with a USB cable. An audio interface converts the analog signal to a digital signal so you can monitor it on your computer. But the USB microphone does the job within the mic so that there is no need to buy an audio interface. You only need an audio interface if you have an XLR microphone.