The best audio interfaces to buy in 2023: 14 best audio interfaces under $300

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Audio interface

Credit: Getty / Brett Bodkin

If you’re picking out your first proper audio interface, but don’t necessarily want to break the bank, it’s a great time to be in the market. The boom of affordable home recording gear has led to fierce competition between brands, which, much to the benefit of music-makers, has led to more affordable devices and some impressive bundled third-party software.

From home recording stalwarts to great throw-in-your-bag options, here are our top picks for the best audio interfaces you can buy this year for under $300.

The best audio interfaces under $300 at a glance

  • Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 (4th Gen)
  • Audient EVO 4
  • Universal Audio Volt 276
  • Solid State Logic SSL2+
  • Arturia MiniFuse 4
  • Apogee BOOM
  • PreSonus Studio 68c USB-C Audio Interface
  • TASCAM Series 102i
  • MOTU M4 4×4
  • Audient iD4
  • Steinberg UR22mkII
  • Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6
  • M-Audio 192
  • Novation Audiohub 2×4

Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 (4th Gen)

The Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 4th Generation audio interface is a versatile studio hub suitable for musicians who play multiple instruments and collaborate with others. It offers various inputs and outputs, including two clear and quiet microphone preamps, connections for different instruments, and separate controls for headphones, monitors, and line outputs.

It stands out with its Air mode, which adds a rich sound quality, automatic level adjustment with Auto Gain and Clip Safe, and the Hitmaker Expansion software bundle for recording and producing music. With its impressive microphone gain and dynamic range, the Scarlett 4i4 is an excellent choice for high-quality audio recording and production.

Check out our full review of the Focusrite Scarlett 4i4.

Key features:

  • High-quality audio with 24-bit/192 kHz and 120 dB dynamic range
  • 2 Scarlett microphone preamps offering 69 dB gain and +48 V phantom power
  • Switchable Air function for enhanced sound
  • Auto Gain and Clip Safe features for automatic level control
  • Price: $298

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Audient EVO 4

Seasoned engineers working on more complex setups might have forgotten how daunting even the most basic recording tasks can be to a beginner. Even setting levels for the newbie can seem like a step you can get wrong. The Audient EVO 4 is a compact, no-nonsense interface ideal for those wanting to get into recording quickly without worrying about the more technical aspects, at least yet.

It’s a two-input/two-output interface, which means you get two dual-function sockets for your XLR and quarter-inch inputs, and a pair of quarter-inch outputs for your speakers. The way that this interface combines its intuitive layout with auto gain setting makes it especially straightforward. Also, for its very affordable price tag, this interface boasts some serious audio quality, coming from console and interface makers, Audient.

Read our full review here.

Price: £99 / $129 / €119
Inputs: 2x combo inputs (XLR / 1/4″),
Outputs: 2x TRS outputs (1/4″)
Preamps: 2x Mic, 1x Instrument
Mic Pre Gain Range: 58dB (-10db Pad for Line)
Connection Protocol: USB Type-C (USB 3.0 / 3.1 Gen 1)
Headphone Outputs: 1x 1/4”

Universal Audio Volt 276

UA’s Volt 276 boasts studio-grade sound quality, with features such as the Vintage Mic Preamp mode that replicates the iconic Universal Audio 610 tube preamp sound. Its onboard 76 Compressor, inspired by UA’s renowned 1176 Limiting Amplifier, ensures your recordings have “album-ready punch and presence”, the brand says.

With straightforward 2-in/2-out connections and a curated suite of audio software included, Volt 276 simplifies the creative process. Whether you’re recording vocals, instruments, or podcasts, this interface is your ticket to legendary sound quality and inspiration. Plus, its rugged build ensures it will serve you for years to come.

Read our full review of the Universal Audio Volt 276.


  • High-quality 24-bit/192 kHz AD/DA converter
  • Built-in microphone preamps featuring a vintage mic preamp mode
  • Incorporates a 76 compressor inspired by the UA 1176
  • Switchable +48 V phantom power
  • Price: $254

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Solid State Logic SSL2+

Built upon SSL’s 40 years of crafting exceptional audio for professional producers, SSL+2 combines advanced technology with features tailored to a collaborative producer or musician. With 2 SSL-designed microphone preamps, 2-In/4-Out USB-C connectivity, and Legacy 4K analogue color enhancement inspired by classic SSL consoles, it empowers musicians and content creators to produce outstanding soundscapes.

The interface includes high-quality 24-bit/192 kHz AD/DA converters, two high-current headphone outputs for independent monitoring, balanced monitor outputs, MIDI I/O, and USB 2.0 bus-powered operation for Mac and PC. Additionally, it offers a Loopback feature via firmware update. Bundled with the SSL Production Pack, it delivers a comprehensive suite of virtual instruments, plug-ins, samples, and DAW software for a creatively inspiring experience.

Read our full review for the Solid State Logic SSL2+.


  • 2-In/4-Out
  • 24-bit/192 kHz AKM converters
  • Microphone preamps with 62 dB gain range
  • Neutrik connectors
  • 4K switch
  • +48 V phantom power
  • Price: $270

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Arturia MiniFuse 4

The MiniFuse 4 audio interface by Arturia is an adaptable 4-in/4-out interface with best-in-class audio quality with a 110dB dynamic range and industry-leading -129dB equivalent input noise. It offers loads of connectivity, allowing up to four inputs, MIDI connection, and a USB hub, with dual headphone outputs for customisation.

The stereo virtual Loopback channel enables seamless content creation by recording computer audio alongside external inputs. Also, you can pick it up as part of bundle which includes Ableton Live Lite, Analog Lab Intro, and Native Instruments’ Guitar Rig 6 LE, making it a complete solution for modern music production.

Read our full review of the Arturia MiniFuse 4.


  • 24-bit / 192 kHz audio quality
  • Switchable +48V phantom power
  • Illuminated controls and LED meter
  • Control for adjusting monitor levels
  • 2 XLR/TRS combo inputs
  • Price: $235

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Apogee BOOM

The Apogee BOOM is a 2×2 USB-C audio interface featuring high quality Apogee conversion and mic preamp technology, offering up to 24-bit/192kHz recording quality. It includes a quarter-inch instrument input, a combination mic/line/instrument input, and two quarter-inch balanced outputs. The interface also provides a quarter-inch headphone output and features an aluminum low-profile design. It is bus-powered and equipped with on-board hardware DSP for low-latency recording with Apogee FX.

Additionally, it comes with the Symphony ECS Channel Strip hardware DSP FX, with the native plugin available separately. The BOOM is compatible with macOS, iOS/iPad OS and Windows.

Read our full review.


  • 2 Line outputs: 6.3 mm jack, balanced
  • 24-bit / 192 kHz recording
  • Onboard hardware DSP with Symphony ECS channel strip
  • Microphone signal gain: +62dB
  • +48V Phantom power
  • Pad and phase rotation
  • Price: $192

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PreSonus Studio 68c

The PreSonus 68c audio interface caters to small productions and electronic artists, delivering brilliant sound quality with four renowned XMAX analogue mic preamps. It features two stereo outputs, a potent headphone amp with A/B switching, and professional metering capabilities. High-quality converters and PreSonus’ XMAX mic preamps ensure distortion-free recording with ample headroom and balanced audio.

The interface provides simultaneous I/O of up to 6 inputs/6 outputs, including 2 mic/instrument/line inputs, 2 mic/line inputs, and 2 balanced quarter-inch TRS main outputs. Supporting various sampling rates, it includes Studio One Artist, Studio Magic Software Suite, and Ableton Live Lite, making it an excellent choice for live performances and studio setups.


  • 24-bit/192kHz audio quality
  • 4 XMAX L mic preamps with +48V phantom power
  • 2 ins / 2 outs
  • Price: $270

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TASCAM Series 102i

The TASCAM 102i is a versatile audio/MIDI interface designed for guitarists, songwriters, and small studio owners. It offers up to ten audio inputs, two audio outputs, and supports recording and playback at up to 192 kHz / 24-bit resolution. The interface features Tascam’s Ultra-HDDA mic preamps, individually switchable phantom power, and instrument-level inputs for direct recording of guitars and basses. It includes dual headphone outputs, MIDI I/O, and a DSP mixer with built-in reverb, compressor, phase invert, and a four-band EQ for each channel.

The interface comes with Tascam control software, Steinberg Cubase LE, IK Multimedia AmpliTube, T-RackS, and iZotope Neutron Elements for high-quality recording, mixing, and mastering. It’s compatible with Windows, macOS, and iOS devices.


  • 24-bit/192kHz audio quality
  • USB 10×2 audio interface
  • 2 combo inputs on the front panel (XLR/jack) for mic/line/instrument
  • +48V phantom power
  • 2 balanced TRS main outputs with front panel level control
  • 2 stereo headphone outputs
  • Price: $275

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MOTU M4 4×4

The MOTU M4 4×4 audio interface is a compact yet versatile device. It boasts four XLR-TRS combo inputs, allowing for simultaneous recording of microphones, instruments, or line-level sources at a pristine 24-bit/192kHz resolution. It stands out with its integrated loopback function, seamlessly incorporating computer audio, making it ideal for podcasting and live streaming.

The interface provides two sets of balanced quarter-inch outputs with individual volume controls for studio monitors and headphones. Built with robust USB-C connectivity, it suits both studio and mobile setups. Additionally, MOTU often comes with software bundles including the MOTU Performer Lite and Ableton Live Lite, making the M4 4×4 an excellent choice for a feature-rich audio interface for various recording needs.


  • Four XLR-1/4″ combo inputs at 24-bit/192kHz
  • Built-in loopback for seamless computer audio integration
  • Dual 1/4″ outputs with individual volume controls
  • USB-C connectivity for studio or mobile use
  • Includes MOTU Performer Lite and Ableton Live Lite
  • Price: $311

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Audient iD4

Audient equips their entire product line – from its consoles to its iD interfaces – with the same class A mic preamp design, meaning you’re free to consider your other needs in an interface such as form factor and I/O. While the EVO4 is ideal for throwing in a bag and taking around, the iD4, which similarly has two-inputs and two-outputs could be better suited for the home studio because of its multi-function volume knob.

By using the virtual scroll wheel mode, dubbed Scroll Control, you can use the iD4’s volume encoder to make adjustments in your DAW and plug-ins by merely hovering over a parameter, and rotating the knob to tweak it. You can also assign a function to the iD button on the front panel, so you have quick access to mute, dim or talkback.

Read our full review here

Price: $199
Inputs: 1x XLR, 1x TRS (DI)
Outputs: 2x 1/4″
Preamps: 1x Mic, 1x Instrument
Mic Pre Gain Range: 58dB
Connection Protocol: USB 2.0
Headphone Outputs: 1x 1/4”, 1x 1/8”

Steinberg UR22MKII

The UR22MKII is as straightforward as audio interfaces get, and that isn’t a bad thing. This is a two-in, two-out interface with a Hi-Z function on the second input. Housed in a rugged chassis, and powered via USB, it’s an ideal portable interface. Its preamps are Yamaha’s D-PRE design, and are capable of supplying up to 60dB of gain, too. So, if you’re recording a podcast and you’re working with the notoriously gain-hungry Shure SM7B, this is a great pick.


  • 2x combo (XLR/1/4”) inputs
  • 2x 1/4” outputs
  • 2x Mic preamps
  • 54dB mic pre gain range
  • USB 2.0 connection protocol
  • 1x 1/4” headphone output
  • Price: $219.99

Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6

Not only does this interface come with some solid sounding preamps, but it packs great software to kickstart your plug-in collection as well. Native Instrument’s Komplete Kontrol keyboards demonstrate that the company is on a mission to bring great hardware and software bundles to music production newcomers, and the Komplete Audio 6 follows strongly in this vein.

On the interface itself, you’ll find two mic/line combo inputs in the front, two 1/4” inch inputs in the back, a pair of jack outs, headphone out, as well as level and input selector controls. On the software side, you get Cubase LE 5 and Traktor LE 2 and Komplete Elements. For under $300, that’s a lot to get you started.


  • 2x combo inputs (XLR/1/4”), 2x 1/4” inputs, 2x digital inputs
  • 4x TRS outputs (1/4”)
  • 2 mic preamps
  • USB-B connection protocol
  • 2x 1/4” headphone outputs
  • Price: $249

M-Audio 192 | 4

The compact two-in/two-out interface category is a highly competitive one – and many manufacturers, like M-Audio have chosen to add value by bundling impressive third-party software with their hardware.

To be completely clear, the M-Audio 192 | 4 is a perfectly reliable audio interface on its own, and its ability to record at sampling rate up to 192kHz is impressive for the price. But it’s a big plus that it comes bundled with both Ableton Live Lite and Pro Tools First; Eleven Lite, Xpand2!, Vacuum, Boom and 2GB of Touch Loop content.


  • Inputs: 1x combo inputs (XLR/1/4″), 1 x 1/4″ (Hi-Z)
  • Outputs: 2x 1/4″ (L/R)
  • Preamps: 1x Mic, 1x Instrument
  • Mic Pre Gain Range: 55dB
  • Connection Protocol: USB Type-C (USB 2.0)
  • Headphone Outputs: 1x 1/4″
  • Price: $199

Novation Audiohub 2×4

Novation is best known for its MIDI controllers, keyboards and synths, so it’s only natural that their standalone audio interface plays well with others in the product line. The Audiohub 2×4 is an audio interface designed exclusively with electronic musicians in mind, combining a powered USB hub for your devices with an intuitive way to control output and monitoring levels.

We’ll admit, it would have been nice to have at least one XLR input, or even MIDI I/O, but the Audiohub 2×4 picks its battles, and if you have a range of USB devices in your setup, this could be right for you.

Read our full review here.


  • 3x Powered USB, 2x RCA line inputs
  • 4x Line outputs
  • USB 2.0
  • 1x 1/4” headphone output

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