Best 2-Channel Audio Interfaces (That Money Can Buy) – 2022

  • Audio interfaces are an essential component in any production setup.
  • Two channel interfaces are perfect for beginners, live use and as backups.
  • These are the best 2-channel audio interfaces you can buy!

Audio interfaces have improved by leaps and bounds over the last two decades.

they have become more capable, smaller, and cheaper, and thus the gap between consumer and professional-grade interfaces has narrowed considerably.

Reading: Audio interface that comes with 2 headphone

and in a truly mobile world, 2-channel audio interfaces are used by some of the best musicians, producers and engineers to work on ideas and mixes from their hotel rooms or backstage in the middle. of a tour.

Naturally, beginners are also attracted to these complete recording solutions due to their low cost and amazing features.

(if you’re new to production or just need a refresher, get a full rundown of audio interfaces with what do you use an audio interface for? (read this before you buy))

what are the 7 best 2 channel audio interfaces?

Our pick for the best 2-channel audio interface is the focusrite scarlett 2i2. it’s been the best-selling interface for a while for a lot of good reasons.

For those who need the best of the best, it’s hard to beat the Universal Audio Apollo Solo Heritage Edition Thunderbolt 3 as it offers superior quality and access to the incredible UA ecosystem. For those on a tight budget, m-audio air 192×4 is an excellent option.

also, for those who do live broadcasts, the audient evo 4 is our choice, although it works perfectly fine for other purposes too.

Overall, these are our candidates for the 7 best 2-channel audio interfaces.

  1. focusrite scarlett 2i2 (our pick)
  2. universal audio apollo solo heritage edition thunderbolt 3 (premium option)
  3. audient evo 4 (better for streaming)
  4. audient id14
  5. native instruments komplete audio 2
  6. m-audio air 192×4 (best value)
  7. ssl2 solid state logic

1. focusrite scarlett 2i2 3rd generation

focusrite scarlett 2i2 3rd gen has been the best selling recording interface for a few years now. this is not surprising, as scarlett offers an unparalleled balance between cost and benefit.

It doesn’t hurt that it’s made by one of the most legendary names in audio, focusrite. This is our pick for the best two-channel interface on this list.

features

  • High-performance 24-bit/192 kHz converters
  • 2 balanced line inputs, suitable for connecting line-level sources
  • unique and intuitive halo level indicators for optimized gain staging
  • direct monitoring circuitry to monitor your input with guaranteed low latency
  • balanced trs l/r monitor outputs with level control

review

The third-generation Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 features two improved Scarlett mic preamps, high-performance 24-bit/192khz AD/DA converters, optimized preamp gain structure, low latency, and instrument inputs that can drive sources. active.

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To top it off, the mic preamps now come with focusrite air mode which provides the air effect modeled on the company’s legendary isa console transformers to provide your vocal recordings and instruments a brighter, more open sound. .

This interface is USB bus powered and features two mic/line/instrument inputs for simultaneous recording and playback of up to two channels. all this with independently controllable headphone and monitor outputs.

In a direct response to their customers, Focusrite added support for iPad Pros with USB-C ports. Simply plug it into your compatible iPad Pro and open your music making app. It doesn’t get any easier than that!

The scarlett 2i2 also features halo indicators that let you know when your signal level for recording is optimal. if the halo is red, your signal is clipping and you need to reduce the gain.

the halo will turn amber momentarily as the level becomes acceptable, at which point it will turn green. This ensures that you are always recording at the optimal level!

This interface is also great for mobile recording and comes with a comprehensive software suite headlined by ableton live lite and the first creative suite of professional tools focusrite. you also get the softube time and pitch pack, the focusrite red plug-in set, and access to the focusrite plug-in collective.

This makes scarlett a fantastic choice for beginners looking for their first interface.

For a full and detailed breakdown of the focusrite scarlett, check out our third generation focusrite scarlett review.

2. universal audio apollo single heritage edition thunderbolt 3

For decades, Universal Audio has been the maker of some of the world’s most admired audio equipment. From compressors to limiters to preamps, ua gear holds a special place in the world of audio.

Their Apollo series of interfaces are impressive, not only with fantastic preamps and overall features, but also with an ecosystem of modeled plugins that rival the originals they are based on.

the ua apollo solo thunderbolt 3 is our premium option for this list.

features

  • thunderbolt 3 audio interface
  • superior uad-powered plugins for tracking and mixing
  • unison technology for point emulations of vintage preamps
  • includes a premium plug-in set of 5 award-winning uad plug-ins, along with real-time classic analog plug-ins. packaged with accurate emulations of classic analog hardware
  • bus-powered compact design

review

The UA Apollo Solo features a pair of unison mic/line inputs, an instrument input, two analog outputs, and a high-quality headphone output.

This revolutionary audio interface is compatible with UA’s free Luna software. luna is a complete music production environment for tracking, editing and mixing with ultra-tight hardware/software integration.

See also: Top 14 Best Earphone/Earbud Brands In The World 2022 – My New Microphone

(for a full overview of what makes luna so unique, be sure to read our ua luna review here!)

itallows you to take control of your interface’s monitoring, intercom and headphone systems, track and overdub with real-time uad dsp accelerated plugins and benefit from full software based control over Apollo’s unison mic preamps, without leaving your production software.

Another innovative feature that Universal Audio includes with its audio interfaces is the UAD-2 processing power. allows you to take the processing load off your computer and instead be handled by uad’s super powerful analog device sharc processors.

Universal Audio’s Apollo Solo Interface has one of these sharc processors built in, giving you enough power to track down small sessions and start building your mix.

ua apollo solo is a thunderbolt 3 audio interface. ua also produces an apollo solo with usb-c instead. however, thunderbolt is one of the most important technologies to impact audio production in years, and ua was an early adopter.

provides extremely fast connectivity, lower latency and greater stability than usb or firewire, with the convenience of a single cable. with apollo’s thunderbolt 3 connection alone you’ll be able to run high track count projects at incredibly low latency.

additionally, this interface comes with the renowned uad powered plugin pack. the uad platform has excellent processing power that has made these plugins so popular with the most demanding professionals.

with the heritage edition of apollo solo, you get a premium set of five award-winning plugins:

  • teletronix la‑2a classic levelers collection of three historic versions of the renowned electro-optical tube processor
  • ua 1176 collection with three unique versions: rev a, rev e and ae
  • pultec passive equalization collection to access three highly coveted pultec
  • ua 610 tube preamp & eq, including the legendary wally heider “green board” used to record neil young, ray charles, elvis presley and jimi hendrix
  • a pure plate reverb that delivers a bright, authentic plate reverb sound with a minimum of fuss

In a nutshell, Apollo Universal Audio only offers unique features and is often the choice of top engineers on the go.

3. audience evo 4

The audient evo 4 interface offers excellent sound quality and is our pick for the most portable interface on this list. (???)

This usb 2.0 audio interface fits in the palm of your hand and is a 2-in/2-out, 24-bit/96khz solution for recording on the go. it can easily fit into a backpack and offers ultra-low latency performance, smartgain auto-level adjustment, and more.

features

  • 2 transparent audient evo preamps
  • jfet instrument input
  • industry-leading conversion class
  • ultra-low latency performance
  • 24bit/96khz sample rate

review

audient evo 4 features two inputs on two evo mic preamps and an innovative smart gain feature. this feature helps you set gain quickly and accurately so you can start working without worrying about clipping and distortion.

all you have to do is press the smartgain button and choose the channels you want to use for recording. Once you start playing, singing, or speaking into your microphone, the Smart Gain feature will automatically set the input level.

if you broadcast live, audient evo 4 has a loopback functionality which will be of great help. allows you to mix your microphone or other input signals with your computer’s output, then send the combined signal back to your computer.

This significantly simplifies recording your computer’s output for broadcast purposes.

This 2-channel interface also includes the evo control app, compatible with macOS and windows. This app lets you make simple adjustments to the evo 4’s hardware right from your computer, allowing you to set and monitor levels, mute microphones, activate smartgain, and more without even touching the audio interface.

(Want to know more? Check out our full Audient Evo 4 review here!)

4. audience id14

audient id14 is a bus-powered, expandable two-channel interface audio interface. it features 2 asp console class a preamps and is compact and easy to use, with the potential to expand to ten channels thanks to its 8 channel adat input.

features

  • 2 Class A console mic preamps
  • high-performance 2-in/4-out burr-brown converters
  • 1 discrete jfet instrument input
  • 2 neutrik combo jacks for mic/line inputs
  • 8 channel adat input allows you to expand to a total of 10 channels

review

audient id14 features a scroll control id mode, making controlling your daw a more streamlined experience. this interface comes with an endless rotary encoder that you can assign using the illuminated buttons and configure it to control the speaker or headphones.

Other functions include mono summation, talkback, polarity inversion, and signal mix monitoring, all assignable to the shift function mentioned above.

You can also choose to operate it by hovering over any function. this allows you to use the rotary dial instead of the mouse wheel, helping to ease workloads within your daw.

There are two combo xlr/trs inputs and two jack outputs, as well as a jfet di output and an auxiliary headphone output.

The jfet di is designed in the same way as a standard tube amp input and ensures that the signal is matched to your instrument for optimal recordings. it also colors the line input tone, adding a vintage amp vibe.

audient id14 input/output is expandable because it has an optical input that works like a normal s/pdif but is compatible with adat (alesis digital audio tape). which allows you to connect more head amps if you wish and can be expanded to a ten-in, two-out interface.

The id14 is built with a robust all-metal casing and a brushed aluminum finish, which also makes it quite durable. Overall, this is a fantastic option for a small desktop audio interface.

5. komplete audio 2 native instruments

See also: OPPO HA-1 Headphone Amplifier

Native Instruments’ Komplete Audio 2 interface is Audio 1’s big brother. These are two entry-level audio interfaces built for beginners interested in music production and recording.

The Audio Komplete 1 and Audio Komplete 2 are 2-in, 4-out, bus-powered USB 2.0 boxes, differing only in the nature of those inputs and outputs. for simplicity, we will focus on audio 2 in this article.

features

  • 2 xlr/di combo inputs with 48v phantom power for flexible stereo recording
  • stereo output connectors for use at home, on studio or on stage
  • vu meter for fine-tuning levels
  • direct monitoring: zero latency, output of high power
  • large volume knob to easily adjust the output level

review

the native instruments komplete audio 2 interface features a design in which half of its top panel houses leds for two input ladder meters, usb connection and 48v phantom power, while the other half features a large output volume knob.

It is portable, weighs just 360g and measures just 140mm x 52mm x 112mm.

This audio interface features a single stereo headphone output and two main outputs on 1/4″ connectors, for professional studio monitors and the like. the large knob at the top controls the main output level and the headphones have their own volume control on the front panel.

The Komplete Audio 2 also features two xlr/jack combo inputs, both with phantom power and independently switchable between line and instrument levels.

With this interface, you can simultaneously record two microphones, bass and guitar, the left and right outputs of a synthesizer, etc. latency is in line with a typical usb 2.0 interface, from 7.55 ms round trip at 44.1 kHz with a 32 sample buffer, to 51.8 ms at 1024 samples.

6. m-air audio 192×4

m-audio has been bringing great value to budget audio interfaces for a while, and air192x4 is no exception.

Comes with two channels of solid 24-bit/192khz audio, low-noise crystal preamp/trs input with +62 db of gain for driving studio condenser mics into stage dynamics, along with a hi-z input for keyboards and guitars. this is our best value option for this list.

features

  • records up to 2 channels of pristine 24bit/192khz audio
  • low noise crystal preamp/trs input
  • hi-z instrument input for direct guitar and bass recording
  • usb/direct knob for live monitoring and mixing applications
  • high speed usb-c connection minimizes round trip latency

review

This interface from m-audio features a 192×4 low-noise crystal air preamplifier for a clean, uncolored signal. It comes with the latest generation A/D converters, which provide high headroom and low distortion.

another great feature of the air 192×4 is the front mounted 1/4″ instrument direct input for guitar and bass. Plus, this 2×2 audio interface includes the Eleven Lite FX Suite, which has several virtual amps, cabinets, and stompbox options to choose from, so you can leave your amp and pedalboard behind if you want.

m-audio air 192×4 has a rugged tabletop form factor that is desktop-friendly and puts all essential controls at your fingertips, with an ergonomic tilt that improves desktop visibility and remote use.

its large center volume knob provides easy access to set desired monitoring levels. the all-metal chassis feels great and gives this interface a durable and robust feel, despite its small size.

m-audio air 192×4 is a usb-c protocol interface (also compatible with usb 2.0) that helps minimize latency during tracking and monitoring.

To top it off,this interface comes with all the software you need to start recording like the pros: pro tools first, ableton live lite, avid eleven lite guitar/bass processor, and more.

Overall, this is a great option for beginners on a budget who don’t want to sacrifice much.

7. ssl2 solid state logic

A two-channel solid-state logic audio interface at an affordable price? bet! ssl has been the maker of some of the most famous recording consoles for 40 years, and some cost more than your parents’ house!

With ssl2, this legendary company brings a set of professional-grade preamps and amazing 24-bit/192khz converters to the home studio, at a price even beginners can afford.

features

  • Legendary ssl sound for your home or portable studio
  • 2 class-leading mic preamps
  • pristine 24bit/192khz akm converters
  • solid build quality, with rugged chassis, neutrik connectors and alps potentiometers
  • intuitive front panel design with easy to read gauges

review

the ssl2 audio interface delivers the natural sound and excellent build quality we’ve come to expect from ssl. Equipped with two class-leading mic/line/instrument inputs and 24-bit/192khz converters from industry-renowned manufacturer AKM, the SSL2 offers fantastic quality in a small form factor.

This audio interface is housed in a robust and attractive case and features neutrik connectors and alps potentiometers.

Its front panel design offers an intuitive workflow with easy-to-read meters and a satisfying ergonomic feel that is sure to be a welcome addition to your home studio. the ssl2 also features a high current headphone amplifier for precise control.

The SSL2 brings the sound of the legendary 4000 Series recording consoles with its legacy 4K capability, giving the preamps two essential features of the 4000 Series signal chain with the push of a button.

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The first is a high-frequency musical EQ boost that will push a vocal or instrument forward in the mix, for a deeper, more dimensional sonic profile. then a subtle addition of harmonic distortion sweetens the sound and adds personality to the signal.

For those looking for an audio interface that “has it all”, the ssl2 ships with a comprehensive production suite, including third-party software from avid, ableton, and native instrument, and over 1.5gb of loopcloud samples.

This is easily one of the best audio interfaces on the market today, from one of the most sought after brands in audio history.

See also: Target Headphone Return Policy In 2022 (Your Full Guide)

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