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Behringer U-Phoria UMC202HD review

In this review, I’ll be taking a look at Behringer’s U-Phoria UMC202HD audio interface. Despite its low price point, the unit is allegedly one of the better 2-in/2-out interfaces on the market. Let’s take a gander.

About the author

I’m a producer and audio engineer with over 10 years of experience with a wide range of gear and recording techniques. Throughout my career, I have worked with a myriad of different audio interfaces, from Focusrite, Audient, Universal Audio, and more.

Behringer U-Phoria UMC202HD audio interface review
Image: Higher Hz

Final verdict on the UMC202HD 4.0

While it isn’t the perfect interface, the U-Phoria UMC202HD is hard to beat for its price. The unit boasts a solid performance, high-quality preamps, and a more than tempting price tag.

The only bad thing to say is that the knobs feel a bit cheap, but for $99 I can live with that.

What I like

  • Good sound quality.
  • Great preamps.
  • Under $100.

What I don’t like

  • Knobs/buttons feel a bit cheap.
  • Inputs have some give.
  • No software bundle.
Buy Behringer U-Phoria UMC202HD at: SweetwaterAmazon


Use these jump links to navigate to the desired section of the review.

I/O and controls 4.4

Starting on the left of the front panel are two XLR/TRS combo inputs. Each input has its own gain control, a switch to toggle between instrument and line level for TRS, as well as a pad which attenuates the inputs by 20 dB.

Behringer UMC202HD audio interface (front panel)
Image: Higher Hz

The unit features a direct monitor switch and a dial to blend your direct input and the signal coming in from your DAW. There is a 1/4-inch headphone jack and a volume control on the right.

There are no leveling meters, although there are LEDs that indicate when you’re clipping, and to show whether phantom power is engaged.

Behringer UMC202HD audio interface (rear panel)
Image: Higher Hz

Turning around to the rear panel, is a USB port, followed by a Kensington security lock, and an On/Off switch to engage phantom power. Lastly, the unit has two TRS outputs to send audio to your monitors.

Recording quality 4.0

The unit offers 24-bit depth and a maximum sample rate of 192 kHz. Behringer has listed the UMC202HD as having a dynamic range of 110 dB (A-weighted), although it’s noted that this number may vary from one unit to the next. Generally, upwards of 100 dB is adequate, especially for units within this price range.

The unit boasts a noble EIN level of roughly -129 dB, and provides gain of around 51 dBFS at 0 dBu.

Preamps 5.0

The UMC202HD gives you two pure, world-class Midas preamps. Midas preamps are exceedingly popular, and are some of the most-used preamps in the recording industry. They sound clean, clear, and God as my witness, crisp.

In use 3.7

This is a fine cheap interface for beginners recording at home. The unit takes up very little space, and can fit snugly in the corner of your desk. Your only downside is its limited connectivity, and lack of MIDI I/O.

Still, considering the quality of its preamps, the unit drives a hard bargain even for the seasoned engineer.

Mobile recording 4.0

The UMC202HD is fairly light and compact, making it an ideal candidate for recording on the go, whether that be tracking demos in a van or for last minute guitar tracking.

The unit is bus-powered, so you don’t need to worry about forgetting any externals. Again, the only limit is having just two inputs.

Build quality 3.0

Wrapped in an all-metal chassis, the unit feels decently solid and durable. Only the knobs and buttons are plastic, and while the knobs are rather smooth, the buttons feel pretty cheap.

The inputs also seem to have some give to them which is a let down. However, given how cheap this interface is, I can understand why Behringer chose to go with some cost-cutting decisions.

Software bundle 0.0

You may think that giving Behringer’s software bundle a zero out of five for this section is rather cruel, perhaps even unfair, but I have to stick to my guns. There is no software bundle. It’s devastating. I’m all devastated.

Compared to other audio interfaces

All things considered, the U-Phoria UMC202HD is, no doubt, one of the best options under $100 for those of you looking for a decent starter interface. But here are a few alternatives to consider.

Behringer UMC202HD vs Focusrite Scarlett 2i2

Although the Scarlett is a fantastic interface, it’s nearly $90 more expensive than the UMC202HD. If you’re on a budget, the Behringer is the obvious choice.

Read the full Scarlett 2i2 audio interface review

Behringer UMC202HD vs PreSonus AudioBox USB 96

If you need MIDI I/O, the AudioBox has Behringer beat. If you need better playback, however, the U-Phoria is superior.

Read the full AudioBox USB 96 interface review

Behringer UMC202HD vs Focusrite Scarlett Solo

There honestly isn’t much to say here. For those of you on a tight budget, the Behringer has two combo inputs, performs equally well, and is more affordable.

Read the full Scarlett Solo audio interface review

Behringer UMC202HD vs M-Audio M-Track Solo

The M-Audio may be a better value for the money, but at what cost? A bit depth of 16-bit and 48 kHz doesn’t sound too appealing. Besides, you’re better off having the combo inputs in the long run.

Read the full M-Audio M-Track Solo interface review

Who is the UMC202HD best suited for?

The U-Phoria UMC202HD is best suited for beginners and folks on a budget. I’m sure a professional can find some benefit in the unit as well, especially for tracking demos.

Buy Behringer U-Phoria UMC202HD at: SweetwaterAmazon