The Best Cheap Audio Interfaces Under $200

The Audient ID4 continues to get high scores for its sound and build quality, form users of different backgrounds including singers, instrumentalists, voice over artists, home studio owners and more. These aim to reproduce the sound coming in as accurately as possible. This means that you don't need to rely on the manufacturer releasing new drivers going forward into the future to avoid your interface turning into an expensive brick. The 2i2 has mixed reviews in that department, while the Blackjack drivers were just horrible. If you have a favorite analog mic and want a convenient way of using it to record digitally, then get the CEntrance MicPort Pro.

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91 Responses to “Best Budget Audio Interfaces for SM7B”

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is a top selling option in the middle of the audio interfaces price range. It's a 1 bestseller in audio interfaces category and has dozens of popular alternatives in the same price range, such as Mackie Onyx Blackjack or Focusrite Saffire Pro There are 10 questions about Audio Recording Interfaces.

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Review by Sophia 0 0. Pros Superior sound for its size and price Modular design. Popularity scale indicating how frequently people buy the product online. Color Mouse over a color for a picture.

Size Variations Mouse over a size variation for a picture. Model Numbers Mouse over a model for a picture. Loading price comparison chart The ones I would not recommend, the ones I would recommend, and the ones I would recommend with a Cloudlifter. Not recommended for SM7B. While the design is cool, as it fits nicely on the end of a microphone and is completely USB powered, it did not offer much gain without also adding the most noise of the group.

While the 2i2 sounded good… when paired with the SM7B it was simply too noisy. The Cloudlifter improved its performance a little, but not quite enough for my recommendation. Recommended for SM7B with Cloudlifter. The Blackjack was probably the easiest interface of all. It felt good, and it played with Pro Tools very well. It also sounded the most sonically unique of the bunch as it was a bit more robust. However, when paired with a Cloudlifter, I think it performed marvelously.

This one is tricky. The Cloudlifter improved its preamp performance significantly and greatly reduced the noise. However, I would have a hard time recommending it over another similarly-priced interface that works fine without the Cloudlifter. And all cards on the table, I found the controls cumbersome to use compared to other interfaces with knobs. To me, the 8i6 sounded just like the 2i2… only with less noise.

M-Audio Fast Track C This baby is quiet, and sounds great! I felt like it had the tiniest bit of warmth to it compared to the others, and the noise floor was quite low. It also played very nicely with Pro Tools, which is more than I can say for some of the other contenders.

The Firestudio, by itself, was too noisy for the SM7B. Avid MBox Mini, 3rd Generation: The MBox sounded great. It sounded very similar to the C, with maybe a little higher noise floor. I think the most unexpected part of this test was just how similar most all these interfaces sounded.

There may have been one or two that sonically stood out, but all the rest were fairly indistinguishable. My decision pretty much came down to noise and price. Below are all the audio samples I based my evaluation on. Take a listen for yourself and see what you think! The VO script is not from Shure marketing. These samples have been processed using compression, de-essing, and limiting, as I would do if I were using the audio for a commercial voiceover.

Jason Miller is a producer and engineer based in Nashville, TN. Visit him online at JasonMillerMusic. Readers, please be aware that this evaluation is not intended as a comprehensive review of any of the participating audio interfaces.

I suspect all of these units perform admirably for common home recording tasks. Our results are specific to the Shure SM7B, a famously low-gain dynamic microphone, and a quiet source a speaking voice.

Paired with higher-output microphones, or louder sources, any of these devices would probably sound great. See, for example, my own review of four low-cost USB interfaces from late , as it includes a fuller evaluation of the Micport Pro: I encourage all readers to download the WAV audio archive and listen closely to determine which interface sounds the best. Shure covered the cost of the sessions, but was not involved in the review or evaluation process.

These companies provided evaluation loans of interface gear for the purposes of this review. All this gear is being returned. Special thanks to Front End Audio for a last-minute loan of an Mbox Mini, which could not be obtained in time from the manufacturer. David Royer Interview Next: Bone Ribbon Mic Test. The C was available at the time of our test, and it stood out.

Hey man, just wondering when you used the c, did you use a cloudlifter with it or did it work fine without? The C seemed to offer a good amount of clean gain without the CloudLifter.

Excellent review so thanks! I just wanted to say thanks for this great article. After a ton of research I landed on the SM7B mic, after more research I found I needed a pre-amp, and after a few more searches I ended up here. I can hear a clear difference between the C and other interfaces.

Thank you for writing this! The microphone input information for the UR22 is as follows: Some will give you less gain than you need, or more noise than you want.

It really will help the Cloudlifter on this settup? I will buy another sound card if I really need to get a new one, but I can not spend much on it, so if I can get a good result with GL, I will be more than happy. I just want to be clear that the cloudlifter is not a magical noise filter. It simply reduces the need for preamp gain. If your preamp gain sounds bad, then the cloudlifter will definitely help.

If your noise is due to something else, then you probably have to fix the something else first. Great shootout of those sound interfaces. Hard not to fall in love with the C It may seem as an odd question but I have a number of friends that favour Focusrite products, such as the Scarlett line, mainly for their pre-amps. And they do sound fairly neutral and seem to offer decent dynamics. You have a perfect production voice.

Will be nice if you share some tips or some practices to develop this kind of broadcast voice. I read your older USB audio interface review, and this newer one, and am not sure how to proceed.

Also, I need something that works with Windows 7. I had been looking at the Shure X2U based on your earlier article, but I noticed that a lot of people were having problems with it making a hiss sound, so that dissuaded me from the purchase.

Also a solid solution at a lower price would be my aim. Products with lots of reviews of breaking easily, or stopping working after a short time, or requiring a lot of trouble shooting, I am leery of. I have a Focusrite 2i2 and do not have a cloudlifter. I currently own a M. Others have said that the difference between the two mics is negligible with my rather low budget set up.

My Joly mic works great for my more breathy low volume ballads. As always, thanks for any help with this. If you later determine that the 2i2 does not have enough gain to get a good signal out of the SM7B, you can add a cloudlifter later. The SM7B will work well with just about any interface, if you are using it for loud sources; the only risk to the SM7B is that for quiet sources you might end up maxing out your preamp, thereby causing noise in the signal.

I think with the cloudlifter I will get the extra clean gain that I need…Hopefully. Was the Cloudlifter shown used while recording the the samples? Or were they straight from the audio interfaces?

The Tascam US is running beautiful in my Windows 8. Additionally, the C has various noise issues- just playing with the power cord and the USB plug connections at the back of the unit induce noises that are unacceptable.

Also, plugging both the DC power cable and the USB connection to a PC simultaneously produces a noticeable elevated noise level that too is unacceptable. All o f this are very helpful. I have the focusrite 18i6 and i wait for my shure sm7b. Am I ok without pre amp?????? I want to sing with the mic indy rock, acoustic rock etc…..

But I would suggest that, if people are going to get the SM7b and any of these interfaces, they opt to go past the CloudLifter and get something like a dbx s.

In my own tests, the s is enough to drive the SM7b without using any of the gain from the 2i2; moreover, with the effects the s make noise basically a non-issue if you use the gate properly. For very slightly more money, you get a hell of a lot more value. As well, since the talent is not on top of the mic, it makes the mic sound thin and piercing like a Blue condenser mic, but that is just my personal opinion. Hey thanks for the Review.

Why Is an Audio Interface Necessary?

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