In this article, I’ll be reviewing the PreSonus AudioBox iOne audio interface. There’s a lot of competition in this price range, but the PreSonus seems to hold its own. Let’s take a closer look at what it has to offer.
About the author
Final verdict on the AudioBox iOne
While there isn’t anything wrong with the iOne, it isn’t the best interface in its price bracket. Folks on a budget may benefit from having one of these by their side until they’re ready to upgrade, but that’s the best I can say.
What I like
- Decent build quality.
- Decent sound quality.
- Great software bundle.
What I don’t like
- Not the best for its price range.
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I/O and controls
The unit has an XLR input, a 1/4-inch TRS instrument input, and a 1/4-inch headphone output, all of which are located on the front panel. Both inputs have their own designated gain controls and 48 V phantom power for the XLR.
The gain controls are accompanied by small LED lights which flash red when clipping is present. To my dismay, the instrument input has no way to switch to line level.
The device also has a button to engage direct monitoring, a master control, and a headphone volume control.
Turning around to the rear panel, you’ll find two USB ports, a Kensington security slot, and well as two balanced TRS outputs.
The iOne offers an A/D resolution of 24-bit/96 kHz. This is standard for professional recording. It offers a dynamic range of 105 db, which is rather common for budget-priced interfaces similar to this.
The XLR input features PreSonus’s Class-A preamp, which has a fairly flat frequency response. Unfortunately, there is a 3 dB drop-off around 20 Hz, although this isn’t the worst thing in the world. The preamps are transparent, and hold their own against most other interfaces in this price range.
The AudioBox iOne is great for beginners, as well as artists with small bedroom studios. It’s rather unimposing, and can accommodate most setups.
Thankfully, the unit is bus-powered, so you won’t have to worry about forgetting any external power sources. Its small size is great for travel, making this an ideal interface for recording demos on the road.
Overall, the build is respectable. The unit is wrapped in a durable aluminum casing, and can take a couple of drops to the floor. The knobs are a little bit wiggly, and the buttons feel a bit hollow, but this shouldn’t pose any serious issues.
The AudioBox iOne comes with PreSonus Studio One Artist and the Capture Duo iPad app. That has you covered for DAWs on both platforms. One of the cool things about the Capture Duo app is that you can wirelessly transfer a session over to Studio One Artist on your computer.
It also comes with a very nice plugin suite that includes emulations of vintage effects and instruments. Those plugins are all available in VST, AAX, and AU formats, so you can use them in any popular DAW.
Compared to other audio interfaces
As I already said, the AudioBox iOne isn’t the best budget interface for the money, but if you’re lucky to find it on sale for $70-80, it’s a good buy. Here’re a few more options to consider.
AudioBox iOne vs AudioBox USB 96
Definitely get the AudioBox USB 96, the iOne is fairly more expensive with not much to show for the price increase.
AudioBox iOne vs Focusrite Scarlett Solo
The Scarlett Solo has far better A/D resolution, preamps, and a better software bundle. If you have the extra cash, the investment is completely worth it.
AudioBox iOne vs Focusrite Scarlett 2i2
The Scarlett 2i2 may be slightly more expensive, but the expense is fully justified: it’s one of the best on the market. Get the Scarlett.
AudioBox iOne vs M-Audio AIR 192|4
The AIR 192|4 is just about the same price as the PreSonus, but has better A/D resolution and style. Get the M-Audio.
Who is the AudioBox iOne best suited for?
The AudioBox iOne is best suited for beginners, bedroom recording artists, and folks on a budget. While there may be many units which perform better for cheaper, this unit is still fairly decent.