In this article, I’ll be reviewing the Audient Evo 4 audio interface. While it didn’t make it onto our best-on-a-budget list, the unit still has plenty to offer in terms of sound quality and interesting features. Let’s take a look.
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Final verdict on the Audient Evo 4
The Evo 4 sounds great, and has some handy features to expedite your recording process. For $130, it’s pretty hard to beat in terms of value for cost. On the other hand, it’s a bit of an eyesore and its build feels a bit cheap. Whatever, nothing can be perfect.
What I like
- Sounds great.
- Smartgain mode.
- Excellent value for money.
What I don’t like
- No MIDI.
- Flimsy build.
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I/O and controls
The front panel is equipped with a TRS instrument input as well as a 1/4-inch headphone jack. Rotating to the back, you’ll find two XLR/TRS combo inputs, two balanced TRS outputs, and a USB-C port.
Moving on to the top panel is the main feature of the Evo 4: a multi-function step rotary encoder. The encoder is surrounded by small LED lights, which display your audio levels as well as other effects the encoder is adjusting.
Also on the top panel, is a bright green button with a microphone icon on it. This button engages Audient’s Smartgain feature, which sets the “perfect” gain for your inputs. Simply press the green button, select the inputs you’re playing through, press the green button again and play so that the Evo can gain-stage you.
Surprisingly, this feature is incredibly reliable. Smartgain aims for roughly -12 dB, which should be fine for most scenarios. You can choose to make your own adjustments after the fact, although it seems unlikely that you would need to.
The Evo 4 has a dynamic range of 115 dB, an SNR of 100 dB, and records up to 24-bit depth at a max sample rate of 96 kHz.
Its frequency response is nominally flat, despite what seems to be a vague dip in the extreme low-end. This dip is subtle, however, and should have virtually no effect on your recordings.
For something that costs just $130, the recording quality makes the Evo 4 an ideal candidate for any home studio. Novice engineers may also benefit from Smartgain, allowing them to achieve near perfect levels whenever they choose to record.
However, the multi-function encoder can prove to be a bit problematic for those of you with faster work flows. For instance, it can be easy to assume that you’re adjusting the master control, only to find that you had it set to control the input gain. This won’t be as bothersome to some, but it does require some getting used to.
Its size and flexibility would make the Evo 4 a great choice for recording on the go. However, it’s rather flimsy in terms of build quality, and might not survive too many bumps and scuffs on the road.
Like I’ve mentioned, this thing is flimsy. It won’t spontaneously combust while sitting on your desk, but I can’t imagine this thing will last more than two drops to the floor.
The Audient Evo 4 comes with access to Cubase LE 3, and three free courses from Produce Like a Pro. It also comes with a few virtual instruments, such as Retrologue 2 and M-Tron Pro LE.
Compared to other audio interfaces
The Audient Evo 4 is an overall good budget USB interface for home studio use. But here are a few alternatives to consider before purchasing.
Audient Evo 4 vs Focusrite Scarlett 2i2
Focusrite drives a hard bargain with their signature Air mode, but unfortunately, their control software is virtually unusable. It’s a toss-up.
Audient Evo 4 vs Motu M2
The Motu M2 sounds just as good as the Evo 4, and is a bit easier on the eyes in my opinion. For those of you looking for something a bit more standard, or just something with MIDI I/O, I’d suggest going with the Motu.
Audient Evo vs Focusrite Scarlett Solo
The Scarlett Solo is pretty limiting in terms of its inputs and outputs, so I’d recommend opting for the Evo 4.
Who is the Audient Evo 4 best suited for?
The Evo 4 is best suited for novices and budding engineers and producers. Smartgain is helpful for those of you who aren’t great at setting levels yet. Its software bundle and flexibility offer a great exchange value.