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The Top 5 Best Audio Interfaces Under $200 (2024)

September 29, 2023 
BY DAN SPENCER
Last Updated on January 9, 2024

With a limited budget, you might be tempted to think that reliable, high-quality, and fully featured audio interfaces are simply out of reach. Fortunately, that’s not the case. You’ll be surprised to see that plenty of models in today’s market deliver exceptional sonic quality and impressive functionality for prices that won’t break the bank. This list of the best audio interfaces under $200 proves you don’t have to spend a fortune to achieve professional sound quality.

Included in this guide:

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Best Overall
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface

  • 2-in/2-out USB 2.0 audio interface
  • 24-bit/192kHz AD/DA converters
  • Switchable Air mode
4.7
Check Price
Runner-up
Universal Audio Volt 2 Audio Interface

Universal Audio Volt 2 Audio Interface

  • 2-in/2-out USB-C audio interface
  • Vintage preamp mode
  • MIDI I/O for synths and controllers
4.7
Check Price
Top Pick
Solid State Logic SSL2 Audio Interface

Solid State Logic SSL2 Audio Interface

  • 2-in/2-out USB-C audio interface
  • Legacy 4K analog enhancement
  • Bundled SSL Production Pack software
4.7
Check Price
Lowest Price
Behringer U-Phoria UMC204HD Audio Interface

Behringer U-Phoria UMC204HD Audio Interface

  • 2-in/4-out USB 2.0 audio interface
  • 2 MIDAS mic preamps
  • Phantom power
4.7
Check Price
Top Pick
PreSonus Studio 24c Audio Interface

PreSonus Studio 24c Audio Interface

  • 2-in/2-out USB-C audio interface
  • 2 XMAX-L preamps
  • Studio Magic plug-in suite
4.6
Check Price

Related Article: How To Set Up A Home Recording Studio For Beginners


The Top 5 Best Audio Interfaces Under $200

Focusrite produces some of the best-selling audio interfaces worldwide, and the Scarlett 2i2 is no exception. Behind its sleek exteriors, this interface features two ultra-transparent, low-noise, and low-distortion preamps and phantom power for your mics. Its instrument inputs can handle scorching hot pickups, while its switchable Air mode breathes life into your recordings, providing a clearer and brighter sound. The Scarlett 2i2 also features intuitive halo indicators, a Quick Start tool, and an exclusive software bundle you don’t want to miss out on!

Pros
  • Supports iPad Pros with USB-C ports
  • Super-low latency and enhanced ease of use
  • Wired analog protection circuitry to prevent power surge damage
Cons
  • Isn’t equipped with MIDI I/O

Creating professional music productions, live streams, and podcasts has never been easier than with Universal Audio Volt 2. Its “plug and play” operation allows you to record on the go on your Mac, PC, iPhone, and iPad with its USB bus power and 24-bit/192kHz AD/DA conversion. It even comes with a Vintage mic preamp mode to infuse your vocals and instruments with fullness. You’ll also have stereo analog outputs, convenient input metering, direct monitoring, and access to industry-leading software at your fingertips. What more can you ask for in an audio interface?

Pros
  • Rugged and retro design
  • Includes a studio-quality headphone amp
  • Packaged with premium software including Marshall, Ableton, and Ampeg
Cons
  • Some of the accompanying software isn’t compatible with iPads

The SSL2 Audio Interface from Solid State Logic blends never-before-seen features, a wallet-friendly price, and legendary sound in one portable unit for your home or studio. It features a set of professional preamps, reliable 24-bit/192 kHz converters, and a unique Legacy 4K button, which allows you to inject SSL’s signature 4000 series sound into your recording. There’s also a high-current headphone amp for accurate monitoring and built-in loopback functionality that live streamers will surely appreciate.

Pros
  • Sleek and attractive chassis design
  • Intuitive front panel design and easy-to-read meters
  • Heavy-duty chassis, Alps pots, and Neutrik connectors
Cons
  • Some users report compatibility issues with Windows

Whether you’re a solo vocalist, guitarist, podcaster, or live streamer, the PreSonus Studio 24c has everything you need to capture even the most intimate sonic details of your source. With two vibrant XMAX-L preamps, two rear-panel line outputs, MIDI I/O, and low-latency monitoring, it delivers outstanding sound quality without sacrificing affordability! To top it all off, this high-performing interface comes with the Studio One Artist DAW software and Studio Magic plug-in suite to take your sound to the next level, adding lots of value to this extraordinary unit.

Pros
  • Ladder-style LED monitoring for your mix
  • Top-notch digital converters with 115 dB of dynamic range and 192kHz resolution
  • Includes USB-C to USB-C and USB-C to USB-A cables
Cons
  • Limited aftersale technical support

The Behringer U-Phoria UMC204HD offers unbeatable value for money with two world-class Midas mic preamps that deliver the purest and clearest sound without missing out on headroom. The preamps come with +48 phantom power for your condenser microphones, and convenient connectivity options are available for your instruments and MIDI devices. This studio-in-a-box also features a direct monitor function, so you can enjoy zero-latency input monitoring that brings out the best in your performance—minus the frustrating lags and delays.

Pros
  • Studio-grade 24-bit/192kHz resolution
  • Includes MIDI In and Out ports for keyboard controllers and other gear
  • Comes with switchable input pads that can handle hot line-level signal
Cons
  • Bulkier and less portable than other models

Related Article: 10 Best Audio Interfaces Under $500 | What Should You Get?


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is an audio interface?

An audio interface is a device that connects audio gear to a computer, converting analog signals to digital and vice versa, allowing for recording and playback.

Are cheaper audio interfaces of lower quality?

While budget-friendly, many audio interfaces under $200 offer impressive quality and functionality, suitable for various recording needs.

Are these audio interfaces compatible with all computers and DAWs?

Most audio interfaces are compatible with both Mac and Windows and work with various Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs), but always check product specifications to be sure.

Can I connect multiple instruments to these audio interfaces?

Many audio interfaces have multiple inputs, but the number and type vary. Check the product specifications to ensure it meets your connectivity needs.

Can I use these audio interfaces for live streaming?

Yes, most modern audio interfaces can be used for live streaming, podcasts, and other online broadcasting needs, offering clear and quality sound.

Product Recap

Although it may seem hard to believe, there is an audio interface for every need and budget—including yours! Among all the value-packed interfaces we’ve mentioned, the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 tops our list due to its powerful converters, top-notch sound, and coveted Air mode at an extremely accessible price point. The Universal Audio Volt 2 is another strong contender, featuring retro aesthetics, a vintage preamp mode, and excellent conversion circuitry. The Behringer U-Phoria UMC204HD may be the lowest priced, but it offers the most connectivity options and world-class Midas preamps that can turn your PC into a full-fledged studio.

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"Some of the links within this article are affiliate links. These links are from various companies such as Amazon. This means if you click on any of these links and purchase the item or service, I will receive an affiliate commission. This is at no cost to you and the money gets invested back into Audio Sorcerer LLC."

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