The Best Audio Interfaces for Podcasting: Our Top 2023 Picks

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If you are looking for the best audio interfaces for podcasting, you have come to the right place. In this blog post, we will review our top 2023 picks for podcasting audio interfaces, based on sound quality, features, compatibility, and price. Whether you are a beginner or a professional podcaster, you will find the perfect audio interface for your needs and budget. Read on to discover the best audio interfaces for podcasting in 2023.

 

1. Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (3rd Gen)

TOP PERFORMER

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2. PreSonus AudioBox USB 96

BUDGET-FRIENDLY OPTION

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3. Behringer U-Phoria UM2

AFFORDABLE CHOICE

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4. M-Audio AIR 192×4

VERSATILE AND HIGH-QUALITY

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5. Tascam US-2x2HR

PROFESSIONAL-GRADE PERFORMANCE

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6. Audient iD4

COMPACT ELEGANCE

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1. Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (3rd Gen)

TOP PERFORMER

Improved mic preamps, better clarity.Air mode enhances voice brightness.
No-latency monitoring with different options.Bundled software enhances sound quality.
Picture by Focusrite

Picture by Alesis

PROS

  • If you’re in search of the perfect audio interface for podcasting, consider the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen. This device offers a simple yet powerful solution by connecting to your computer via USB-C and providing two inputs for microphones or instruments. Let’s explore four key advantages of the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen that make it an excellent choice for podcasters.

    Firstly, the 3rd Gen version of the Scarlett 2i2 features upgraded mic preamps, offering improved headroom, reduced noise, and enhanced clarity and detail. This enables you to capture your voice and your guests’ voices with utmost accuracy and minimal distortion.

    Another notable feature is the Air mode, which discreetly boosts the high frequencies of your audio signal. This adds brightness and presence to your voice, resulting in a more lively and engaging sound.

    Furthermore, the Scarlett 2i2 allows for low-latency monitoring directly from the inputs, giving you real-time audio without any delays caused by your computer. You can choose between mono or stereo modes depending on your preferences, eliminating latency issues that may impact your performance or communication.

    Lastly, the Scarlett 2i2 comes with a range of bundled software to enhance your podcasting experience. With programs like Avid Pro Tools | First, Ableton Live Lite, and the Focusrite Red plug-in suite, you can record, edit, and produce your podcast with professional-quality sound and enhanced creativity.

    Overall, the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen is a versatile and dependable audio interface that takes your podcasting to new heights. It’s effortlessly set up and used, while delivering top-notch sound at an affordable cost. For more information, refer to our in-depth review of the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen.

CONS

  • The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (3rd Gen) is a top choice for podcasters due to its excellent sound quality, user-friendly setup, and sleek appearance. Nonetheless, no audio interface is flawless, and there are a couple of downsides to consider prior to purchasing the Scarlett 2i2. Here are two drawbacks to keep in mind:

    1. Limited connectivity options: With only two XLR/TRS combo inputs and two balanced TRS outputs, the Scarlett 2i2 restricts you to connecting just two microphones or instruments simultaneously, and it doesn’t support multiple monitors or speakers. If you require more inputs or outputs, it may be wise to explore alternative audio interfaces that offer greater flexibility.

    2. Lack of MIDI support: The Scarlett 2i2 lacks MIDI ports, preventing you from connecting MIDI devices such as keyboards, controllers, or drum pads. This may not be an issue if you solely rely on audio sources for your podcast, but if you intend to incorporate music or sound effects using MIDI, you’ll require an additional device or software to facilitate this feature.

2. PreSonus AudioBox USB 96

BUDGET-FRIENDLY OPTION

Compact, durable, portable audio interface.Two combo inputs with phantom power.
High-resolution audio recording and playback.Powerful software bundle included.
Picture by PreSonus

PROS

    • If you are in search of a reliable and reasonably priced audio interface specifically designed for podcasting, the PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 is definitely worth considering. This device offers several impressive features and benefits that can greatly enhance your podcasting experience. Here are four key advantages of the PreSonus AudioBox USB 96:

      1. The device has a strong and compact design. With its small size, the PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 can easily fit into your backpack or laptop bag, enabling you to carry it around and set up wherever you desire. It also boasts a robust metal chassis that can endure bumps and drops without affecting its performance.

      2. The PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 is equipped with two combo inputs featuring phantom power. This allows you to connect two microphones or instruments simultaneously, offering greater flexibility and versatility in your podcasting setup. Additionally, it provides 48V phantom power for condenser microphones, which results in higher quality sound compared to dynamic microphones.

      3. This audio interface supports high-resolution audio. The PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 has the ability to record and play back audio at up to 24-bit/96 kHz resolution, surpassing the standard CD quality of 16-bit/44.1 kHz. Consequently, your podcasts will sound crisper, fuller, and more detailed, especially when paired with high-quality headphones or speakers.

      4. A noteworthy aspect of the PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 is its inclusion of a powerful software bundle. With this interface, you receive two software suites to aid in creating and editing your podcasts: Studio One Artist and Studio Magic. Studio One Artist is a professional-grade digital audio workstation (DAW) that facilitates effortless recording, mixing, and mastering of your audio tracks. Studio Magic is a collection of audio plugins that can add effects, instruments, and sounds to amplify the appeal of your podcasts.

      These advantages merely scratch the surface of what the PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 audio interface offers. To delve deeper into the capabilities of this device, you can explore the web search results below.

CONS

  • The PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 is a popular audio interface for podcasting, but there are a few drawbacks to be aware of before purchasing it.
  • Firstly, the sound quality may not be as impressive as other audio interfaces in the same price range. Users have noticed a noticeable drop-off in frequency response at both ends of the spectrum, resulting in recordings that sound dull or thin.
  • Additionally, some users have experienced issues with noise and distortion when recording at higher levels. Secondly, the location of the headphone output on the back panel is inconvenient compared to most audio interfaces that have it on the front panel. This makes it troublesome to plug in and adjust headphones while recording or monitoring. Before deciding on the PreSonus AudioBox USB 96, it’s worth considering these cons and exploring other options in the market that offer better sound quality and convenience for a similar price.

3. Behringer U-Phoria UM2

AFFORDABLE CHOICE

High-quality XENYX preamps, 48V phantom power.Compatible with popular recording software.
Simple and compact design.Free download of Tracktion software.
Picture by Behringer

PROS

  • If you are in need of a budget-friendly audio interface for podcasting, the Behringer U-Phoria UM2 is worth considering. Despite its low price, this device offers impressive features and performance. Here are four notable advantages of the Behringer U-Phoria UM2:

    Firstly, it boasts high-quality XENYX preamps that deliver clear and natural sound for both microphone and instrument inputs. These preamps are designed to accommodate dynamic and condenser microphones, with the option for 48V phantom power for the latter.

    Secondly, it is compatible with popular recording software such as Avid Pro Tools, Ableton Live, and Steinberg Cubase. The device can be effortlessly plugged in and used with Mac or PC platforms without requiring any drivers or installation.

    Thirdly, its simple and compact design makes it user-friendly and easy to transport. The interface includes two inputs, two outputs, and four knobs for adjusting gain and output levels. Additionally, it is equipped with LED indicators for clipping and phantom power.

    Lastly, it comes with a complimentary download of Tracktion, a powerful and user-friendly digital audio workstation software, allowing you to record, edit, mix, and master your podcast episodes. Furthermore, Behringer’s website offers access to over 150 virtual instruments and effects.

    Ultimately, the Behringer U-Phoria UM2 is an excellent choice for podcasters seeking a dependable and cost-effective audio interface. It delivers high-quality sound, seamless compatibility, and convenient portability. For more information and reviews, visit Amazon.

CONS

  • The Behringer U-Phoria UM2 is an affordable USB audio interface with two inputs, a XENYX preamp, and phantom power. It is suitable for podcasters who need to record their voice and an instrument simultaneously. However, there are a couple of drawbacks to be aware of before making a purchase.
  • Firstly, the UM2 is constructed with plastic parts and controls which feel cheap and less durable compared to interfaces made with metal components. Being cautious when handling or transporting the UM2 is essential as it can easily break if dropped or crushed.
  • Furthermore, if you increase the gain levels too much, the UM2 may produce noise and distortion that could compromise the professionalism of your recordings. Careful volume adjustments and the use of noise reduction software may help alleviate this issue. These disadvantages should be considered before buying the Behringer U-Phoria UM2. For a more reliable and high-quality audio interface option for podcasting, you may want to check out our top 2023 picks listed here.

4. M-Audio AIR 192×4

VERSATILE AND HIGH-QUALITY

Ultra-low-noise preamps, dynamic range 114 dB, frequency response 10 Hz to 20 kHz.High-resolution recording for podcasts.
No-latency monitoring with adjustable balance.Generous software bundle with effects/plugins.
Picture by M-Audio

PROS

  • If you are in need of an audio interface for your podcasting endeavors but are on a tight budget, the M-Audio AIR 192×4 is definitely worth considering. This device boasts a range of impressive features that can help enhance the overall quality and workflow of your podcast production. Let’s take a closer look at the four key advantages of the M-Audio AIR 192×4.

    Firstly, it comes equipped with ultra-low-noise preamps that ensure pristine and transparent sound. These preamps offer a dynamic range of 114 dB and a frequency response of 10 Hz to 20 kHz, guaranteeing accurate and detailed capture of your voice.

    Secondly, this interface supports high-resolution recording of up to 24-bit/192 kHz, which is perfect for podcasting. Utilizing this feature allows for top-quality podcast recordings, improving headroom, reducing noise, and enhancing overall clarity.

    Thirdly, the M-Audio AIR 192×4 boasts a direct monitoring feature, enabling you to monitor your input signal with zero latency. Adjusting the balance between your direct input and computer playback is made easy with the dedicated knob on the top panel, ultimately averting any potential recording delays or echo issues.

    Lastly, this device comes with an impressive software bundle, including Pro Tools First M-Audio Edition, Ableton Live Lite, Eleven Lite, Avid Effects Collection, and AIR Music Technology Creative FX Collection Plus. With these tools at your disposal, you can effortlessly edit, mix, and refine your podcast using a range of professional effects and plugins.

    The M-Audio AIR 192×4 is an exceptional audio interface specifically designed for podcasting, offering unparalleled sound quality, low-latency monitoring, and an extensive software collection. Portable and straightforward to use, it also comes at an affordable price point.

CONS

  • The M-Audio AIR 192×4 is a decent audio interface for podcasting, but it does have limitations that should be considered before purchasing.
  • Firstly, it has limited inputs and outputs. With only one XLR/TRS combo input, one instrument input, and two balanced TRS outputs, you can only record one microphone and one instrument simultaneously, and connect two monitors or speakers at a time. If your podcast requires more inputs or outputs, it would be advisable to explore other interfaces with greater flexibility.
  • Secondly, the instrument input lacks a line-level option, making it unsuitable for connecting line-level sources like keyboards or mixers without risking distortion. Only the XLR/TRS combo input supports line-level sources, but this means sacrificing the ability to record a microphone concurrently. It’s important to be aware of these drawbacks, but if you’re seeking a simple and affordable interface with good sound quality and low latency, the AIR 192×4 might still be a suitable choice for you.

5. Tascam US-2x2HR

PROFESSIONAL-GRADE PERFORMANCE

2 Ultra-HDDA mic preampsUSB-C supports high-resolution audio.
Sturdy, ergonomic design for transport.Software bundle with powerful tools.
Picture by Tascam

PROS

  • If you are searching for a reliable and cost-effective audio interface for podcasting, the Tascam US-2x2HR is worth considering. This device offers numerous remarkable features that can significantly improve your podcast production and overall quality. Here, we highlight four crucial advantages of the Tascam US-2x2HR audio interface.

    Firstly, it boasts two Ultra-HDDA mic preamps that provide exceptional sound clarity with minimal noise. These preamps can accommodate a wide variety of microphones, ranging from dynamic to condenser, and offer phantom power when necessary.

    Secondly, it is equipped with a USB-C connection capable of supporting high-resolution audio up to 192 kHz/24-bit. This enables you to capture fine details in your voice and provides greater accuracy and flexibility during editing. Moreover, the USB-C cable supplies bus power, eliminating the need for an external adapter.

    Thirdly, it features a sturdy and ergonomic design that ensures ease of use and portability. The interface’s metal casing safeguards it from damage, while the angled front panel enhances access to controls. Furthermore, the interface is equipped with MIDI in and out ports, facilitating connection with keyboards and other MIDI devices.

    Lastly, the Tascam US-2x2HR includes a comprehensive software bundle to aid in podcast creation and editing. This bundle comprises Cubase LE, a robust digital audio workstation (DAW) for recording and mixing; Waveform OEM, a user-friendly DAW suitable for beginners; IK Multimedia SampleTank 4 SE, a virtual instrument library; and Antares Auto-Tune Access, a pitch correction tool.

    These are just a few of the benefits provided by the Tascam US-2x2HR audio interface. To gain further insight, you can explore reviews and testimonials from other users. Recognized as one of the finest audio interfaces for podcasting in 2023.

CONS

  • The Tascam US-2x2HR is a compact USB audio interface with two mic/line inputs, two balanced outputs, and a headphone jack. It boasts a rugged metal design, low noise preamps, and high-resolution audio conversion. However, it does have a couple of drawbacks worth considering.
  • Firstly, the lack of switchable phantom power per channel means you may require an external power supply for condenser microphones, or risk damaging dynamic microphones with the interface’s phantom power.
  • Additionally, the RCA outputs are not balanced, making them susceptible to interference and noise over long cable runs or from other electromagnetic sources. Despite these drawbacks, the interface offers excellent sound quality, durability, and affordability. To learn more about the Tascam US-2x2HR and other audio interfaces for podcasting, check out our blog post: The Best Audio Interfaces for Podcasting: Our Top 2023 Picks.

6. Audient iD4

COMPACT ELEGANCE

Clear and detailed Class A sound.JFET input adds warmth.
Large volume encoder with LED.Compatible with iOS devices
Picture by Audient

PROS

  • If you are in need of a high-quality audio interface specifically designed for podcasting, the Audient iD4 is definitely worth considering. Despite its compact size, this device boasts some remarkable features that can greatly enhance your sound quality and overall workflow. Here, we will delve into four key advantages of the Audient iD4:

    1. The Audient iD4 is equipped with a Class A mic preamp that ensures crystal-clear and detailed sound. Derived from the same sophisticated design utilized in Audient’s top-of-the-line consoles, this mic preamp guarantees professional-grade results. Additionally, it offers phantom power for condenser microphones, which are particularly well-suited for podcasting.
    2. With its JFET instrument input, the Audient iD4 adds a delightful touch of warmth and character to your audio signal, making it the perfect choice for capturing guitar, bass, or other instrument recordings alongside your voice. Moreover, the JFET input has a high impedance, enabling it to handle high-output pickups without any risk of clipping.
    3. The Audient iD4 comes with a generously sized volume encoder that can be utilized to control multiple functions. From adjusting the output level, muting or dimming the speakers, balancing input and DAW signals, to even manipulating plugin parameters in your software, this encoder does it all. Additionally, it incorporates an LED ring that displays the current level and mode.
    4. Offering compatibility with iOS devices, such as iPhones and iPads, the Audient iD4 enables you to record on-the-go. All you need is an Apple camera connection kit and a USB power supply, and you can make use of your favorite apps to effortlessly capture your podcast. Moreover, the iD4 effortlessly pairs with both Windows and Mac computers via USB.

    These are only a few of the notable advantages associated with utilizing the Audient iD4 for podcasting endeavors. All of this exceptional performance and functionality can be obtained at an affordable price of around $199, making the Audient iD4 a fantastic value for money.

CONS

  • The Audient iD4 is a feature-rich audio interface designed specifically for podcasters, boasting a Class A mic preamp, a JFET instrument input, and a large volume knob. However, it does come with a few drawbacks to consider prior to purchase.
  • One disadvantage is its requirement for a USB 3.0 connection, which may cause issues with power supply, latency, and stability if your computer or device is not compatible. Supplementary hardware, such as an adapter or upgraded system, may be necessary for proper usage if you possess an older device equipped with only USB 2.0 ports.
  • Additionally, the iD4 offers limited inputs and outputs, comprising a single mic/line input, a singular instrument input, and only two outputs. This might prove insufficient for podcasters desiring simultaneous recording of multiple sources, such as interviews, co-hosts, or sound effects, and restrict monitoring options to one pair of speakers or headphones alone. As you contemplate the pros and cons, ascertain whether the Audient iD4 aligns with your individual podcasting requirements.

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