An audio interface is the most important “ingredient” in making music. It is a central piece of hardware that improves the capabilities of a computer by connecting instruments, microphones, and other gear and outputting different signals. We also have a lot more control over how we present our recordings to our software, as well as attain some great power in the actual recording quality of our tracks. Although these things can start to get costly, we’ve continued our journey in the price-specific guides here today, so let’s get into the best audio interfaces under $100 dollars.
The Best Audio Interfaces for Under $100
PreSonus AudioBOX USB 96
The AudioBOX USB 96 is a 2 in and 2 out compact and portable USB audio/MIDI interface by one of our favorite brands out there, PreSonus. It is bus-powered which makes it easy to use anywhere, provided there is a computer or a laptop. It has a dual channel input for the channels which means the user can use either a microphone or an instrument in each.
Internally, this audio interface under $100 also has a pair of high quality PreSonus preamps and records at a resolution of up to 24-bit / 96 kHz. In the box, the PreSonus AudioBOX USB 96 includes the Studio One Artist DAW software and the complete Studio Magic Plug-in Suite.
Behringer U-Phoria UM2
Up next, the U-Phoria UM2 is another great compact 2 in and 2 out, dual channel USB audio interface full of some nice features all for a price of under $100. It is +48V phantom powered and records at a resolution of up to 24-bit / 192 kHz. The Behringer U-Phoria UM2 features studio grade XENYX mic preamp, XLR/TRS combo input.
This interface also includes a downloadable copy of Tracktion DAW and more than 150 downloadable virtual instruments and effect plug-ins. It is compatible with popular recording software including Pro Tools, Ableton Live, Cubase etc.
IK Multimedia iRig HD 2
The IK Multimedia iRig HD 2 is a 1 in 1 out, high quality digital guitar interface and it’s so small that it can fit in your pocket. It can be used with iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac or PC. Despite the pocket-size, this audio interface can record at a resolution of up to 24 bit / 96kHz and has a selectable dual mode FX and THRU switch. It’s a recommended audio interface under $100 for those
The FX is used to process and send the signal to an external amplifier without the need of an adaptor. While the THRU sends a clean signal and with which users can use their mobile device as a tuner, recorder, etc. This interface comes with AmpliTube 4 which is a powerful multi-effects processor, a recorder, a tuner and some of the most famous amplifiers and stompbox effects.
ART USB Dual Pre
This audio interface records at a resolution of up to 16 bit / 44.1 kHz and has balanced XLR and TRS combo inputs, also latency free monitoring and mix level controls and is phantom powered. The Art USB Dual Pre is compatible with a large number of applications. The Dual Pre is a dual channel, 2 in and 2 out, good quality, compact audio interface for just under $100. It also includes the Audacity recording software.
The Zoom U-22 is a dual channel, 2 in and 2 out portable audio interface for Mac, PC and iPad. It records at a resolution of up to 24 bit / 96 kHz and is +48V phantom powered. It features an XLR and TRS combo, zero latency direct monitoring switch for recording and mixing, high quality, low noise microphone preamp and DI input which can be used to plug in a guitar or bass and record directly.
This interface includes a downloadable version of Ableton Live 9 Lite via a code which is included.
TC-Helicon GO SOLO
Last here to cap off our guide, the TC- Helicon GO SOLO is another professional, quality high definition 2 in and 2 out USB, MFi audio/ MIDI interface for $100 or less. It has high quality preamps that can record at a resolution of up to 24 bit / 48kHz and it is +48V Phantom powered.
This audio interface has a real time monitoring which shows real time signal and peak level and a gain knob that lets the user control the recording levels. It can be used by Mac, PC, iOS and Android devices. The TC-Helicon GO SOLO comes with a suite of apps including Go Record, Go Studio FX and the Guitar Rack amp and pedal imitator.