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The 5 best audio interfaces in 2024 for beginners and pros

Nowadays, it’s easier than ever to record music. Nearly every audio interface available has the capability to capture sound at the same quality of professional-grade consoles. While this isn’t to say that all interfaces are created equal, high-quality units are more accessible than ever.

I’ve tested many audio interfaces here at Higher Hz, and in this article, I’ll be providing you with what I consider to be the best choices for 2024. I’ll tackle a wide variety of different units for both macOS and Windows users, USB and Thunderbolt, and home and professional studios alike.

Quick recommendations

The Universal Audio Apollo Twin X tops my list as the best value for money audio interface on market right now. It’s a top choice for many professional musicians and producers, offering unparalleled processing and sound quality.

The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 4th Gen is my best budget pick. The new 2i2 represents a significant upgrade from its previous generations, boasting enhanced preamp quality, additional features, and low-latency performance.

Finally, the professinal’s choice, the Fireface UFX III, is RME’s most powerful flagship model to date. Its extensive connectivity and advanced DSP processing make it one the most staggering audio interfaces currently available.


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

Why you should trust me

I’m a producer, audio engineer, and songwriter with over 10 years of experience in the music industry.

Brandon Schock, author and contributor at Higher Hz

I’ve worked with a diverse spectrum of gear over my decade spent in the field of audio production and engineering, both in the studio environments and on live productions.

Working with brands such as Neve, Focusrite, and Universal Audio has lent me nuanced insights into the practical application of audio equipment and what value it provides users ranging from novice to seasoned professional.

How I chose and tested

In compiling this list, I found it important to avoid any exclusion on the basis of financial constraints. To ensure this wasn’t the case I devised four separate categories: under $500, under $1000, under $2000, and over $2000.

The list isn’t organized in any particular way, but I wanted to use these parameters to guide my process of selection.

I looked at a wide range of interface types, including but not limited to desktop models, rack-mount units, portable units, and so on and so forth. I compiled lists of ten for each category, and picked my favorites based on a number of factors including preamp quality, connectivity, software bundles, and others.

To avoid implying a hierarchical order of superiority, I chose not to arrange the list by price or by personal favoritism. Each unit offers its own advantages tailored to different user preferences, needs, and setups.

My goal wasn’t to define what interface is truly the best, but to curate a fair and impartial list to help guide you in finding the unit that will best suit your needs.

Best value: Universal Audio Apollo Twin X

Universal Audio Apollo Twin X audio interface
Image: Universal Audio

The Apollo Twin X is a great option for those looking to take advantage of UAD plugins and real-time processing. At around $1500, the Apollo Twin X Quad is one of the most professional-sounding interfaces for its price range.

The unit is compatible with LUNA software, which grants you a smoothly integrated environment for recording, editing, and mixing. The Apollo’s strengths are vast, allowing you full software-based control over the interface’s parameters, and real-time tracking through UAD plugins.

All this along with its super-fast and low-latency Thunderbolt 3 compatibility make the Apollo Twin X an amazing investment for musicians trying to bring their recordings to the next level.

Read my full Universal Audio Apollo Twin X review to find out more.

Buy Universal Audio Apollo Twin X at: SweetwaterAmazon

Best budget: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 4th Gen

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 4th Gen audio interface
Image: Higher Hz

The Scarlett 2i2 4th Gen is easily the best audio interface that you can buy on a budget. The unit offers a tremendous value for its cost without sacrificing performance.

The Scarlett 2i2 is a 2-in/2-out unit with two XLR/TRS inputs, both of which offer 48 V phantom power. For $200, there really isn’t any competition here.

It has amazing preamps with switchable Air mode, a max sample rate of 192 kHz, and comes with a pretty sizable software bundle. I really can’t recommend this unit enough.

Read my full Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 4th Gen review to find out more.

Buy Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 4th Gen at: SweetwaterAmazon

Best under $1000: RME Babyface Pro FS

RME Babyface Pro FS audio interface
Image: RME

The Babyface Pro FS is a huge upgrade from the unit’s predecessors. The interface has kept true to everything that made the first iterations so great, with several boosts of performance making it one of the most solid recording interfaces on the market.

RME has a great reputation for making some of the lowest-latency items in audio recording, and the Babyface doesn’t fall short of upholding the company’s name.

The unit is a compact, and high-performing powerhouse suitable for professionals, amateurs, and live performers alike.

Read my full RME Babyface Pro FS review to find out more.

Buy RME Babyface Pro FS at: SweetwaterAmazon

Best under $300: Solid State Logic SSL 2+

Solid State Logic SSL 2+ audio interface
Image: Higher Hz

For the price, Solid State Logic’s SSL 2+ is an absolute powerhouse. The unit’s simple design and high-quality sound make the SSL 2+ the perfect interface for any budding home studio.

The SSL 2+ is a 2-in/4-out interface with MIDI I/O, great preamps, as well as a switch to engage 4K Legacy mode which imparts the analog sound of SSL’s highly coveted 4000 series console.

It requires no drivers for Mac as it’s class-compliant, but for Windows, you’ll find the drivers readily accessible through SSL’s website.

This unit is ideal for desktop use and is accommodating for a wide variety of different studio setups.

Read my full Solid State Logic SSL 2+ review to find out more.

Buy Solid State Logic SSL 2+ at: SweetwaterAmazon

Best for professionals: RME Fireface UFX III

RME Fireface UFX III audio interface
Image: RME

RME’s latest flagship model, the Fireface UFX III, is simply put, a sprawling powerhouse.

The unit boasts 94-in/94-out connectivity, four onboard microphone preamps, 128 channels of MADI I/O, and internal DSP which includes 188 channels of EQ, dynamic, and effects processing.

If you have a little over $3k burning a hole in your pocket, this option is a no-brainer.

Buy RME Fireface UFX III at: SweetwaterAmazon

Honorable mentions

To be frank, I didn’t have a great reason not to include these units along with the main contenders, and each of them is definitely worthy of your consideration.

  • Universal Audio Apollo x8p. Thunderbolt 3 connectivity, 16×22 simultaneous I/O, eight mic preamps, real-time DSP processing power, and exceptional AD/DA conversion makes the x8p one of the most powerful, versatile, and comprehensive tools that a professional could have at their disposal.
  • M-Audio M-Track Solo. Even though the M-Track Solo is just under $50, don’t be fooled – it’s a great audio interface. For any beginners out there wanting a cheap but solid unit, it’s your perfect bet.
  • Black Lion Audio Revolution 6×6. I was quite pleased with the Revolution 2×2, and I’ve found that the 6×6 only serves to build upon what was already a pretty stellar foundation. The preamps are wonderful, the converters are stunning, and what’s more is that the unit can double as a master clock or standalone DAC and ADC.
  • Heritage Audio i73 Pro Edge. This unit stands as a testament to the legacy of the “73” console modules, renowned for their distinguished sound and character. Equipped with two Class A 73-style preamps with 70 dB of gain, the i73 Pro Edge captures the essence of its namesake.

Recent updates

  • February 15, 2024: I’ve replaced the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen with the newer Scarlett 2i2 4th Gen as the “Best budget” pick. I’ve also moved the M-Audio M-Track Solo to the Honorable mentions and added a “Quick recommendations” section and jump links for your convenience and easier navigation.
  • January 25, 2024: I’ve replaced the RME Fireface UFX+ with the Fireface UFX III as the “Best for professionals” choice.
  • December 14, 2023: I’ve added a “Honorable mentions” section for the products that didn’t quite make the list but are nonetheless worth your attention.
  • May 10, 2023: I’ve verified that all the recommended audio interfaces are still widely available on the market.