Hardware

10 Best Audio Interfaces For Music Production July 2021

A good quality Audio Interface should be one of your first key investments as a Music Producer.

We are halfway through the year now so we wanted to put together a collection of the 10 Best Audio Interfaces available in 2021.


All computers come with built in audio processing units.

However, from a Pro Audio perspective, their capabilities could certainly be improved when it comes to Digital to Analogue conversion.

An Audio Interface is a device dedicated to processing audio and can improve the detail of sound that your computer outputs to your monitors or headphones.

The key function of an Audio interface is to convert audio between Analogue and Digital formats, so:

The most critical components in any interface are its Digital / Analogue Converters and Mic Preamps.

A good quality Audio Interface should be one of your first key investments as a Music Producer / Audio Professional.

In this article we have put together a list of what we believe to be some of the best Audio Interfaces you can buy in 2021.

It’s worth mentioning the list is not ranked in order of what we think is best.

Instead we wanted to simply piece together a collection of what we found to be great high quality Audio Interfaces that you should consider in 2021.

These are all top draw pieces of hardware and picking out a favourite would be doing an injustice to the quality of the others.

We have included a range of different prices to accomodate for all budgets.

You can use the list below to jump to a certain product.

Top 10 Best Audio Interfaces (July 2021)


Steinberg UR-RT2

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Injects the sound of acclaimed Neve hardware into your recordings.

Our Top Pick For…

Portable With Unique Features

Price: £246

Specs At A Glance

Computer ConnectivityUSB 2.0
Audio Resolution24-bit/192kHz
Simultaneous Inputs / Outputs4 / 2
Analogue Outputs2
Digital ConnectivityNone
MIDI InterfaceYES
See Full Specs

Steinberg UR-RT2 Review

Rupert Neve is an infamous name in the world of mixing desks and studio hardware design.

The Steinberg UR-RT2 Audio Interface includes a Rupert Neve Designs (RND) transformer that can be switched into the signal path on every mic channel.

The transformer adds a natural pleasing distortion to recordings, colouring them with analogue tastiness – described by the manufacturer as creating a sound with more depth and perspective.

With the RT2 and the RT4 interfaces by Steinberg, you can add the legendary Neve sound to your home recordings.

If you are looking to make good use of recording with your interface, this product offers something unique and special.

Not to mention its top-of-the-line preamps.

If you are looking for more than 2 mic inputs for recording, the RT4 model accommodates for 4 mic inputs.


Steinberg UR22C MKII

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Powerful preamps at a competitive price.

Our Top Pick For…

Value For Money (With MIDI)

Price: £140

Specs At A Glance

Computer ConnectivityUSB 2.0
Audio Resolution24-bit/192kHz
Simultaneous Inputs / Outputs2 / 2
Number of PreAmps2
Digital ConnectivityNone
MIDI InterfaceYES
See Full Specs

Steinberg UR22C MKII Review

Steinberg deliver an excellent interface for the lower price range with the UR22C MK II.

You can’t go wrong with this brand and this product shows you why.

The UR22C MK II features Yamaha’s highly acclaimed D-PRE preamps that deliver truly transparent and beautifully detailed sound.

The D-PRE is seen by many as unmatched in this price class, making this interface a solid investment.


Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

A popular interface for good reason.

Our Top Pick For…

Value For Money (Without MIDI)

Price: £150

Specs At A Glance

Computer ConnectivityUSB 2.0
Audio Resolution24-bit/192kHz
Simultaneous Inputs / Outputs2 / 2
Number of PreAmps2
Digital ConnectivityNone
MIDI InterfaceNO
See Full Specs

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen Review

Focusrite provide excellent quality audio preamps at a competitive price.

The 2i2 delivers a pristine and impressive audio quality and leaves you wondering how they managed to provide it this price point.

The ‘Air mode’ function is a nice touch which gives you the option of capturing a brighter and more open sound in your recordings.

If you are looking to make your first serious studio investment in an audio interface and you want a good quality product below £200, the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is a solid choice.

Its continued popularity and consistently high ratings on retail outlets stand testament to its quality.


Universal Audio UAD Apollo Twin MkII

Rating: 5 out of 5.

World Class D/A Conversion quality.

Our Top Pick For…

Portable & Unbeatable Quality

Price: £750

Computer ConnectivityThunderbolt 2
Audio Resolution24-bit/192kHz
Simultaneous Inputs / Outputs10 / 6
Number of PreAmps2x Mic, 1x Instrument
Digital ConnectivityOptical Toslink
MIDI InterfaceNO
See Full Specs

Universal Audio specialises in Audio Interfaces and their products are some of the best money can buy.

They certainly created something special when they made the Apollo Twin.

The quality of the engineering in its components result in pristine clarity from the preamps and amazing warmth in the output.

Its Digital to Analogue (D/A) conversion quality is incredible.

It’s no wonder why it’s #1 for so many professionals.


Presonus Studio 1824c

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

A powerful foundation for a serious studio.

Our Top Pick For…

Outboard Value For Money

Price: £380

Computer ConnectivityUSB 2.0
Audio Resolution24-bit/192kHz
Total Inputs / Outputs18 / 18
Number of PreAmps8
Digital Connectivity1 x Optical (ADAT), 1 x Coax (S/PDIF)
MIDI InterfaceYES
See Full Specs

Presonus deliver a high quality, robust interface with their 1824c design that proves to be a smart investment for any outboard gear rack.

The 1824c features great basic features and High-quality D/A converters on its inputs and outputs.

Eight of PreSonus’ professional-grade XMAX mic preamps enable you to impressively capture complex musical harmonics with no audible distortion.

XMAX mic preamps own a strong reputation for their ability to deliver high headroom, deep lows, smooth highs, and a rich overall sound.

By processing your recordings through the 1824c, you will capture every small detail.


Behringer U-Phoria UMC204HD

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Good quality at an unbelievably low price.

Our Top Pick For…

Low Budget Value

Price: £60

Computer ConnectivityUSB 2.0
Audio Resolution24-bit/192kHz
Simultaneous Inputs / Outputs2 / 4
Number of Preamps2
Digital ConnectivityNone
MIDI InterfaceYES
See Full Specs

Featuring a MIDAS-Design microphone preamplifier, the U-Phoria is our top pick for those of you looking for a very low budget and portable interface.

Its reviews repeatedly highlight how impressive it is for the price and considering you are getting your hands on a MIDAS-Design Preamp for such a low price, it certainly is.


Solid State Logic SSL2+

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Supreme quality and characterful.

Our Top Pick For…

Portable Mid-Level Budget

Price: £200

Computer ConnectivityUSB 2.0
Audio Resolution24-bit/192kHz
Simultaneous Inputs / Outputs2 / 4
ANumber of PreAmps4
Digital ConnectivityNone
MIDI InterfaceYES
View Full Specs

SSL+2 delivers exactly what they promise and when combined with the right setup gives fantastic results.

Solid State Logic traditionally target the more high-end hardware market and they have produced top quality products over the years.

Impressively this relatively inexpensive piece of kit adds a taste of their premium signature.

The consistently high quality reviews and testimonials speak for themselves with this interface – its a great option for a portable USB powered interface.


Roland UA-1010 Octa-Capture

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Our Top Pick For…

Hybrid High Capacity

Price: £360

Computer ConnectivityUSB 2.0
Audio Resolution24-bit/192kHz
Simultaneous Inputs / Outputs10 / 10
Number of Preamps8
Digital ConnectivityNone
MIDI InterfaceYES
See Full Specs

Roland provide a solid piece of hardware with the UA-1010 model.

With good quality preamps and a large amount of inputs/outputs available its a great choice if you need a high recording capacity for your studio.

Capable of both sitting on a desk or being mounted onto an outboard rack with its attachable braces, the UA-1010 will be able to adapt to your studio as it grows into a bigger professional space.

A good choice if you like the sound of its versatility and if you know you will make use of its large recording capacity.


RME Fireface UFX+

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Our Top Pick For…

Outboard Versatility

Price: £1600

Computer ConnectivityUSB 2.0 / Thunderbolt
Audio Resolution24-bit/192kHz
Simultaneous Inputs / Outputs18 / 18
Number of Preamps4
Digital Connectivity1x XLR (AES/EBU), 2x Optical Toslink (ADAT, S/MUX, S/PDIF – ADAT2), 1x BNC (MADI), 1x SC Duplex connector (MADI)
MIDI InterfaceYES
See Full Specs

RME holds stellar reputation for the quality of its interfaces.

If you are looking for pro level recording and monitor playback on a higher budget then you should consider the RME Fireface UFX+.

With extremely low latency, an attractive LCD interface and a sturdy and strong build alongside consistently remarkable reviews, there is little room to go wrong with this model.


Universal Audio Apollo x6

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Our Top Pick For…

Outboard Premium Quality

Price: £1890

Computer ConnectivityThunderbolt 3
Audio Resolution24-bit/192kHz
Simultaneous Inputs / Outputs16 / 22
Number of Preamps2 x Mic, 2 x Instrument
Digital Connectivity1 x Coax (S/PDIF), 2 x Optical Toslink (ADAT/SMUX)
MIDI InterfaceNO
See Full Specs

What better way to finish our list than with an interface that will leave you dreaming of that dream studio!

Universal audio is a spectacular brand, famous for its interfaces and the Apollo x6 is its premium high-end studio interfaced described as being their ideal model for High-End Electronic Music Production setups.

There is a lot of buzz surrounding the quality of the Apollo range of UA interfaces. They have earned numerous industry awards from Sound on Sound, Future Music and Electronic Musician — as well as the prestigious TEC Award for computer audio hardware five years running.

Definitely worth checking out the x6!

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