USB audio interfaces are a type of computer hardware that connect audio devices to computers. They are generally designed for their use as a recording interface. Their latency-free qualities make them an ideal choice for online DJs or podcasters who need to play software instruments or effects as they record. A USB audio interface has other uses too. To name a few, you can connect soundcards, speakers, microphones, and guitars to your laptop when you are on the road.
In this article, we’re going to discuss the best USB audio interfaces for podcasters along with their specifications and features.
7 Best USB Audio Interfaces for Podcasters in 2021
1. Audient iD4 MkII
Audient’s iD4 is one of the best USB audio interfaces for podcasters. It has excellent features including a microphone preamp, headphone amp, and high-impedance instrument input, all in the slim 2 x 5.5-inch body.
It also has a compact design, unlike other interfaces, that come with lots of knobs and buttons on the face panel. The digital mixer allows you to monitor multiple sources, control levels, and switch between them. It has two extra headphone outputs for people who want to monitor with headphones without causing feedback.
There is also a high-powered balanced output to connect professional studio monitors or amplifiers. Connecting the device to your computer is easy as it has a USB 2.0 port. Additionally, the interface has a Pro Tools|HD support that allows it to work with the high-end recording software. Audient’s iD4 is compatible with Mac OS X Snow Leopard and newer operating systems as well as PCs running Windows XP or newer operating systems.
Its latency of 1 millisecond ensures that you hear your vocals in real-time when you sing or speak into the microphone.
Furthermore, it has a four-band dynamic equalizer to enhance the output. The high-pass filter is included for removing low frequencies. And there are two signal FFT meters that allow you to monitor input and output signals easily.
The audio interface is small and light enough to take anywhere you go. The frequency response of the dynamic range makes it compatible with a large variety of microphones such as condenser, ribbon, dynamic, or studio quality USB mics.
2. Focusrite Scarlett 2i2
The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 has an excellent sound quality. This interface is great for anyone who is running a podcast or recording voiceovers for YouTube videos. It comes with two mic/instrument inputs, as well as headphones and MIDI ports.
It pairs very well with the Blue Yeti Microphone and provides clear sound quality.
This USB audio interface also has several different recording options to select from, including stereo, mono, four-channel, eight-channel, as well as several others. This feature makes it very versatile and allows podcasters to overcome their limitations when it comes to recording devices.
3. Universal Audio UAD Apollo Twin MkII
The Universal Audio UAD Apollo Twin MkII is also among the top USB audio interfaces for podcasters. This interface features everything you need to make professional recordings, including mic preamps and converters.
The converters are 24-bit/192 kHz, making them the best in the industry. You can also use this interface to easily record a live performance with its two-man live setup, or broadcast content over social media and other applications.
The Apollo Twin MkII is also extremely easy to use, with a single knob and two buttons. The knob controls input levels, while the buttons control basic functions like a record. This device can be used with any DAW such as Pro Tools or GarageBand.
4. PreSonus AudioBox USB 96
PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 is an affordable 2-in/4-out USB interface that offers a reliable and quality performance. This unit features plug-and-play capability, a built-in microphone, stereo inputs and outputs, 96 kHz throughput, and DSP effects such as EQ, limiter, compressor, and de-esser.
The PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 is portable and compact, weighing only around 3.5 lbs. It is designed with a PCI bracket, which can be attached to the back of a computer or laptop for easy portability. It also comes with an illuminated meter display that enables you to monitor audio levels at all times.
5. Native Instruments Komplete Audio 2
The Native Instruments Komplete Audio 2 is among the best USB audio interfaces for podcasters. It’s the go-to device for the audio engineer looking to produce their own sound, or for any musician looking to record. The Komplete Audio 2 has an elegant and modern design that will fit into any studio setup. It also has a dual-mode input of mic/instrument which allows you to switch between recording vocals and recording instruments with ease.
Komplete Audio 2 also features vintage effects like de-esser, chorus, delay, and reverb. It works well with analog synthesizers, guitar cabinets, drum machines, and more. It also sports a built-in mixer with individual-level controls for every track and a master-level control for the main output.
The interface also has a direct monitoring feature that allows you to listen to records or your input signal in real-time, without any latency, and while the recording is under progress. The Komplete Audio 2 provides studio-grade sound quality, high-performance converters with a 105dB dynamic range and 48kHz sample rate, and super low latency.
It is compatible with Mac OS X users (10.5+) though Windows XP/Vista/7 users can utilize the device by downloading NI hardware drivers. The interface also supports ASIO 2, GSIF 2, Core Audio, and WDM driver standards to use it with any audio software on your computer.
6. Rode AI-1
I needed to set up a home recording studio, and after doing some research, I found the Rode AI-1. It’s been great for my podcasting needs so far.
Rode AI-1 is compact and portable, with superior sound quality. It features a switchable 20dB pad for high input signals, as well as up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution for digital audio. The interface supports a new USB bus-powered mode for easy use. The Rode AI-1 also includes a built-in headphone amp with studio EQ settings and a low latency performance mode.
It is compatible with Windows and Mac OS X computers, with drivers available for Windows XP SP2 or newer operating systems and Mac OS X 10.5 or newer versions.
7. Zoom PodTrak P4
Zoom PodTrak P4 is an ultra-compact interface. It can handle a lot of input sources and outputs simultaneously on its four channels at the same time. It also supports up to 16-track recording at resolutions of up to 24 bit and 96 kHz with a low latency of 2.25 ms. The device also has MIDI inputs and outputs. That means, it can be helpful for people who want to set it up as a MIDI interface as well as an audio interface.
It also comes with Cubase AI music production software and a powerful toolkit for non-destructive editing. The device can be used to record guitar, bass, keyboards, cello, and vocals among others. It is recommended that the artist have some sort of audio interface experience before using this product as it is quite advanced.
This interface offers a 3-year warranty. The biggest and perhaps the only limitation of this interface is that it does not support high-resolution 96k/24-bit audio. Additionally, it can only be used with Cubase AI music production software.
How to Choose The Best USB Audio Interfaces for Podcasters
The audio interface is an important piece of equipment for podcasters. It provides the connection between the computer and the various microphones and other devices. So what is a good USB audio interface for a podcaster?
First and foremost, you’ll need a reliable interface that won’t lead to any issues in the future. The next consideration is deciding on how many inputs you need as this will determine size and price. You’ll also want to consider whether or not you need MIDI functionality. It’s also worth comparing different interfaces with input and output, mic preamps, headphone amps, USB bus-powered mode, sample rate rates, driver support, features such as phantom power, and much more.
Before choosing to buy an audio interface, make sure to check its compatibility with your equipment, its price comparison with other options, and the specs such as frequency, resolution, latency, etc.
We hope you choose the best audio interface for your requirements. Happy podcasting!
Find out the best gear for your podcasting studio:
- Best Podcast Microphones
- Podcast Mixers
- Digital Recorders