Top 10 Best Audio Interfaces Under $1000 [2022 Editions]

If you’re a musician, then you know the importance of having a great audio interface.

There are a lot of different audio interfaces on the market, and they range in price from around $100 to over $1000.

I have got covered audio interfaces for under $100 and audio interfaces for under $200. But then I thought some people have a high budget and want to go with a higher range audio interface such as the $100 price range.

That’s why I came up with this listicle in that I have shared the top 10 best audio interfaces under $1000.

But, first off,

What is an audio interface and why do you need one?

What is an audio interface

An audio interface is a device that connects your microphone or instruments to your computer.

It converts the analog signal into a digital one so that it can be processed by your computer.

If you’re a musician or podcaster, an audio interface is an essential piece of equipment for you. It allows you to record high-quality audio directly to your computer.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that we recommended. Read more about Affiliate disclosure here.

Read also,

Types of Audio Interfaces

There are two main types of audio interfaces: USB and Thunderbolt.

USB audio interfaces are the most popular type. They’re affordable and easy to use.

Motu-USB-C

Thunderbolt interfaces are more expensive but offer lower latency and higher-quality audio.

I have written a lot about audio interfaces in these articles. So, I don’t want to add anything extra here. If you want to know more about this then refer to them.

What to Look for in an Audio Interface

When you’re looking for an audio interface, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

First, consider what type of connection you need.

If you’re just starting out, a USB interface will be sufficient. But if you plan on recording multiple tracks at once or need ultra-low latency, then you’ll need a Thunderbolt interface.

Next, consider the number of inputs and outputs you need. If you only need to record one track at a time, then a 2-in/2-out interface will be sufficient.

But if you plan on recording multiple tracks or using external audio devices, then you’ll need an interface with more inputs and outputs.

Lastly, consider the price. Audio interfaces can range in price from around $100 to over $1000.

As I have only covered audio interfaces for around $1000 so I won’t discuss the importance of price here.

The 10 Best Audio Interfaces Under $1000

1. Focusrite Scarlett 18i20

Focusrite Scarlett 18i20

The Scarlett 18i20 is a top-of-the-line audio interface that offers superior sound quality and features.

With eight best-in-class mic preamps, extensive simultaneous I/O and onboard speaker switching, the Scarlett 18i20 is perfect for professional studios.

Additionally, the included Hitmaker Expansion provides users with an unbeatable range of tried-and-tested studio tools.

If you’re looking for an audio interface that offers great sound quality and plenty of features, the Scarlett 18i20 is a great option.

With eight best-in-class mic preamps, extensive simultaneous I/O and onboard speaker switching, the Scarlett 18i20 is perfect for professional studios.

Additionally, the included Hitmaker Expansion provides users with an unbeatable range of tried-and-tested studio tools.

The Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 is one of the best audio interfaces under 1000 dollars on the market, offering superior sound quality and a host of features.

With eight best-in-class mic preamps, extensive simultaneous I/O and onboard speaker switching, the Scarlett 18i20 is perfect for professional studios.

Additionally, the included Hitmaker Expansion provides users with an unbeatable range of tried-and-tested studio tools.

Features

  • Superior sound quality
  • 8 best-in-class mic preamps
  • Extensive simultaneous I/O
  • Onboard speaker switching

Pros

  • Superior sound quality
  • 8 best-in-class mic preamps
  • Extensive simultaneous I/O
  • Onboard speaker switching
  • Hitmaker Expansion included

Cons

  • Can be expensive for some budgets

Verdict

The Scarlett 18i20 is a top-of-the-line audio interface that offers superior sound quality and features.

With eight best-in-class mic preamps, extensive simultaneous I/O and onboard speaker switching, the Scarlett 18i20 is perfect for professional studios.

Additionally, the included Hitmaker Expansion provides users with an unbeatable range of tried-and-tested studio tools.

If you’re looking for an audio interface that offers great sound quality and plenty of features, the Scarlett 18i20 is a great option.

2. Antelope Audio Zen Q Synergy Core 14×10

Antelope Audio Zen Q Synergy audio interface

The Antelope Audio Zen Q Synergy Core 14×10 is a bus-powered desktop interface that delivers premium sound quality.

It features 37 Synergy Core analog-modeled effects, 64-bit AFC technology, discrete console-grade preamps, and switchable inputs.

The interface also has a loopback function for streaming and a session recall feature. It is compatible with Windows and MacOS operating systems.

Zen Q Synergy Core 14×10 is a bus-powered desktop interface that delivers premium sound quality. It features 37 Synergy Core analog-modeled effects, 64-bit AFC technology, discrete console-grade preamps, and switchable inputs.

The interface also has a loopback function for streaming and a session recall feature. It is compatible with Windows and MacOS operating systems.

Antelope Audio Zen Q Synergy Core 14×10 is a bus-powered desktop interface that delivers premium sound quality. It features 37 Synergy Core analog-modeled effects, 64-bit AFC technology, discrete console-grade preamps, and switchable inputs.

The interface also has a loopback function for streaming and a session recall feature. It is compatible with Windows and MacOS operating systems.

It is a bus-powered desktop interface that delivers premium sound quality. It features 37 Synergy Core analog-modeled effects, 64-bit AFC technology, discrete console-grade preamps, and switchable inputs.

The interface also has a loopback function for streaming and a session recall feature. It is compatible with Windows and MacOS operating systems.

The Antelope Audio Zen Q Synergy Core 14×10 is a bus-powered desktop interface that delivers premium sound quality.

Features

  • Get high-quality audio with the Antelope Audio Zen Q Synergy Core 14×10
  • Enjoy 37 Synergy Core analog-modeled effects
  • Use the 64-bit AFC technology
  • Utilize the discrete console-grade preamps
  • Switch between inputs easily
  • Use the loopback function for streaming
  • Save session files with the session recall feature
  • Compatible with Windows and MacOS operating systems

Pros

  • Premium sound quality
  • 37 Synergy Core analog-modeled effects
  • 64-bit AFC technology
  • Discrete console-grade preamps
  • Switchable inputs
  • Loopback function for streaming
  • Session recall feature
  • Compatible with Windows and MacOS operating systems

Cons

  • None that we could find!

Verdict

The Antelope Audio Zen Q Synergy Core 14×10 is a bus-powered desktop interface that delivers premium sound quality.

It features 37 Synergy Core analog-modeled effects, 64-bit AFC technology, discrete console-grade preamps, and switchable inputs.

The interface also has a loopback function for streaming and a session recall feature. It is compatible with Windows and MacOS operating systems.

Due to it’s sound features I highly recommend the Antelope Audio Zen Q Synergy Core 14×10!

3. PreSonus Quantum 2626 26×26 Thunderbolt 3

PreSonus Quantum 2626 26x26 Thunderbolt 3

The Quantum 2626 is a blazing fast Thunderbolt 3 audio interface that can handle up to 26 simultaneous inputs and outputs.

The eight ultra-transparent XMAX mic preamps, two direct preamp outputs, and two line returns, makes Quantum 2626 is perfect for any recording situation.

And with a round-trip latency of less than 1 ms, you can record and monitor through your favorite plug-ins in real time with no delay.

If you’re looking for an audio interface that can handle anything you throw at it, the Quantum 2626 is the perfect choice.

With its eight XMAX mic preamps, two direct preamp outputs, and two line returns, the Quantum 2626 can handle any recording situation.

And with a round-trip latency of less than 1 ms, you can record and monitor through your favorite plug-ins in real time with no delay.

Features

  • Record and monitor through your favorite plug-ins in real time
  • Eight ultra-transparent XMAX mic preamps
  • Two direct preamp outputs and two line returns
  • Round-trip latency of less than 1 ms
  • Expand your system up to 26 simultaneous inputs and outputs
  • Streamline your recording process
  • Make better music, faster

Pros

  • The world’s fastest interface, with a round-trip latency of less than 1 ms
  • Record and monitor through your favorite plug-ins in real time
  • Eight XMAX mic preamps for pristine audio quality
  • Expand your system up to 26 simultaneous inputs and outputs

Cons

  • None

Verdict

The PreSonus Quantum 2626 is a blazing fast Thunderbolt 3 audio interface that can handle up to 26 simultaneous inputs and outputs. If you are searching for an audio interface with no latency and pristine audio quality, the Quantum 2626 is the best choice.

4. MOTU 828mk3 Hybrid Firewire Audio Interface

MOTU 828mk3 Hybrid Firewire Audio Interface

The MOTU 828mk3 Hybrid Firewire Audio Interface is a hybrid audio interface that provides flexible connectivity to any Mac or PC via FireWire or high-speed USB 2.0.

It has 10 channels of pristine 192kHz analog recording and playback, combined with sixteen channels of ADAT digital I/O and stereo S/PDIF.

You can expand your system by connecting additional MOTU audio interfaces or the 8pre mic input expander.

The 828mk3 is equally well-suited for studio and stage, with or without a computer. As an interface or standalone mixer, the 828mk3 provides 28 separate inputs and 30 separate outputs, including dedicated main outs on XLRs and two front panel headphone outs.

The 828mk3 has an on-board digital mixer with effects for monitoring and live mixing. You can connect all of your studio gear, including microphones, guitars, synths, keyboards, drum machines and even effects processors.

You can record, monitor, route and process all of these live inputs using the professional on-board CueMix FX digital mixer with no latency and no processor strain on your computer.

The 828mk3 also has advanced audio analysis tools, including a full-screen realtime FFT display, spectrogram waterfall display, full-featured oscilloscope, X-Y plot, and linear/polar phase analysis graphs.

The 828mk3 provides cross-platform compatibility with Mac and Windows and all of your favorite audio software and hosts.

It is also compatible with Thunderbolt-equipped Macs via the optional MOTU FireWire Expansion Cable (sold separately).

The 828mk3 is a powerful and versatile audio interface that will meet the needs of any recording or live sound situation.

Features

  • Get the best sound quality with 10 channels of pristine 192kHz analog recording and playback
  • Connect all of your studio gear, including microphones, guitars, synths, keyboards, drum machines and even effects processors
  • Record, monitor, route and process all of these live inputs using the professional on-board CueMix FX digital mixer with no latency and no processor strain on your computer
  • Apply hardware DSP-driven compression, EQ, and reverb to every input and output, independent of your host computer
  • The 828mk3 is equally well-suited for studio and stage, with or without a computer
  • As an interface or standalone mixer, the 828mk3 provides 28 separate inputs and 30 separate outputs, including dedicated main outs on XLRs and two front panel headphone outs
  • The 828mk3 has an on-board digital mixer with effects for monitoring and live mixing
  • Advanced audio analysis tools Analyze and scope your audio with advanced diagnostic tools, including a full-screen realtime FFT display, spectrogram waterfall display, full-featured oscilloscope, X-Y plot, and linear/polar phase analysis graphs
  • Standalone operation as a mixer After programming the on-board mixing in the studio, unplug the 828mk3 from the computer and take it on the road for operation as a standalone mixer with effects. All mixing and effects parameters are adjustable using the front panel backlit LCD
  • Cross-platform compatibility with Mac and Windows The 828mk3 is compatible with all popular audio software via FireWire or high-speed USB 2.0, including Pro Tools, Logic, Cubase, Ableton Live and more

Pros

  • 28 separate inputs and 30 outputs
  • Dedicated main outs on XLRs
  • On-board digital mixer with effects for monitoring and live mixing
  • Advanced audio analysis tools
  • Standalone operation as a mixer
  • Cross-platform compatibility with Mac and Windows

Cons

  • The 828mk3 is not as versatile as some other audio interfaces
  • The on-board mixer is not as powerful as a software mixer
  • The audio analysis tools are not as comprehensive as some other options

Verdict

The MOTU 828mk3 Hybrid is a powerful and versatile audio interface that will meet the needs of any recording or live sound situation.

It provides great sound quality, a wide range of inputs and outputs, and advanced audio analysis tools.

The only downside is that it is not as versatile as some other audio interfaces and the on-board mixer is not as powerful as a software mixer.

However, if you need an audio interface for your studio or live sound setup, the MOTU 828mk3 Hybrid is a great option.

5. MOTU Traveler-mk3 FireWire Audio Interface

MOTU Traveler-mk3 FireWire Audio Interface

The MOTU Traveler-mk3 FireWire Audio Interface is a great choice for those looking for a durable and lightweight audio interface that is ready to travel with them.

The interface is powered by the computer and has optional battery power for extended recording sessions.

It also features 28 inputs and 30 outputs, making it a great choice for mobile recording applications.

The interface also includes a built-in digital mixer with no latency and no processor strain on your computer.

The mixer includes effects processing, seven-band parametric EQ, and two forms of compression.

The signal overload protection on the interface gives you an extra 12 dB of headroom above zero with no clipping or harsh artifacts. The MOTU Traveler-mk3 FireWire Audio Interface is a great choice for those looking for a durable and lightweight audio interface that is ready to travel with them.

The interface is powered by the computer and has optional battery power for extended recording sessions. It also features 28 inputs and 30 outputs, making it a great choice for mobile recording applications.

The interface also includes a built-in digital mixer with no latency and no processor strain on your computer. The mixer includes effects processing, seven-band parametric EQ, and two forms of compression.

The signal overload protection on the interface gives you an extra 12 dB of headroom above zero with no clipping or harsh artifacts.

Features

  • Get the best sound quality with eight channels of pristine 192 kHz analog recording and playback
  • Connect all of your audio instruments and gear, including mics, guitars, synths, keyboards, drum machines and even effects processors
  • Record, monitor, route and process all of these live inputs using the professional on-board CueMix FX digital mixer with no latency and no processor strain on your computer
  • Apply hardware DSP-driven effects processing to inputs, outputs, and busses independent of your host computer
  • Add Classic Reverb with lengths up to 60 seconds
  • Further sculpt your sound with 7-band parametric EQ featuring filter types carefully modeled after British analog console EQs
  • Choose between two forms of compression: a conventional compressor and the Leveler, an accurate model of the legendary LA-2A optical compressor that provides vintage, musical automatic gain control
  • When recording from the four mic/guitar inputs, the Traveler-mk3’s signal overload protection gives you an extra 12 dB of headroom above zero with no clipping or harsh artifacts
  • Sturdy, lightweight construction ready to travel with you anywhere
  • Optional battery power for extended recording sessions

Pros

  • Sturdy, lightweight construction ready to travel with you anywhere
  • 28 inputs and 30 outputs
  • Optional battery power for extended recording sessions
  • Built-in digital mixer with no latency and no processor strain on your computer
  • Signal overload protection gives you an extra 12 dB of headroom above zero with no clipping or harsh artifacts

Cons

  • The only con of the MOTU Traveler-mk3 FireWire Audio Interface is that it is not USB compatible.

Verdict

The MOTU Traveler-mk3 FireWire Audio Interface is a great choice for those looking for a durable and lightweight audio interface that is ready to travel with them.

The interface is powered by the computer and has optional battery power for extended recording sessions.

It also features 28 inputs and 30 outputs, making it a great choice for mobile recording applications.

If you are looking for an audio interface that is USB compatible, this is not the interface for you.

6. Zoom TAC-8 Thunderbolt Audio Interface

Zoom TAC-8 Thunderbolt Audio Interface

The Zoom TAC-8 Thunderbolt Audio Interface is a rack-mountable audio interface designed to act as the central hub in both professional and home environments.

It provides 8 analog inputs and 10 analog outputs, 10 digital inputs and outputs (in both S/PDIF and ADAT Optical formats), and both Word Clock and MIDI I/O.

Whether you want to record large scale multi-channel 24-bit/192k sessions in your studio without worrying about latency or you want to bring your onstage performance to new heights, the TAC-8 allows you to take full advantage of today’s latest technology.

Features

  • 8 analog inputs and 10 analog outputs
  • 10 digital inputs and outputs (in both S/PDIF and ADAT Optical formats)
  • Word Clock and MIDI I/O
  • Near-zero latency audio streaming
  • Rugged metal housing
  • Rack mountable (1U)

Pros

  • The rack-mountable TAC-8 audio interface is designed to act as the central hub in both professional and home environments.
  • It provides 8 analog inputs and 10 analog outputs, 10 digital inputs and outputs (in both S/PDIF and ADAT Optical formats), and both Word Clock and MIDI I/O.
  • Whether you want to record large scale multi-channel 24-bit/192k sessions in your studio without worrying about latency or you want to bring your onstage performance to new heights, the TAC-8 allows you to take full advantage of today’s latest technology.

Cons

  • Some users have reported issues with the TAC-8’s drivers.
  • The TAC-8 is a bit pricey.

Verdict

The Zoom TAC-8 Thunderbolt Audio Interface is a great option for those looking for a high-quality audio interface that can handle a variety of input and output types. While it is on the expensive side, the TAC-8’s features and build quality make it worth the investment.

7. RME Digiface USB

RME Digiface USB

The RME Digiface USB is a digital audio interface with 4 optical ADAT / SPDIF I/Os, and an analog high-quality line/phones output via 6.3 mm TRS jack.

It is bus-powered for complete portability, and includes RME’s powerful TotalMix software for routing and monitoring.

Features

  • Get the best sound quality with RME’s Digiface USB
  • Portable and easy to use
  • Includes TotalMix software for routing and monitoring
  • 4 optical ADAT / SPDIF I/Os
  • Analog high-quality line/phones output via 6.3 mm TRS jack
  • Bus-powered for complete portability

Pros

  • RME is known for making high-quality audio interfaces, and the Digiface USB is no exception
  • The TotalMix software is extremely powerful and easy to use
  • The portability of the interface is a big plus

Cons

  • The Digiface USB is a bit more expensive than some of the other interfaces on this list

Verdict

The RME Digiface USB is a great option for those in need of an audio interface with plenty of I/O and powerful routing and monitoring software.

8. Apogee Duet 3

Apogee Duet 3

Apogee Duet 3 is one of the best audio interface under $1000 who are seeking for a tiny audio interface with lots of features. It has superior sound quality, world-class preamps, and on-board hardware DSP for low-latency recording with Apogee FX.

Duet 3 is USB-C compatible and comes with a USB-A adapter cable, breakout cable, and travel case.

You also get a free plugin with the purchase of this interface- the Apogee Channel FX.

Features

  • Get superior sound quality and world-class preamps
  • Eliminate latency while recording with on-board hardware DSP
  • Comes with a free plugin- the Apogee Channel FX
  • USB-C compatibility
  • Compact and portable design
  • Includes a USB-A adapter cable, breakout cable, and travel case
  • 2×4 USB Type C audio interface
  • Up to 24 bit / 192kHz recording
  • Low profile design with aluminum body
  • Input and output connections via breakout cable: 2x ¼” Instrument inputs, 2x Mic/line inputs, 2x ¼” Balanced outputs, ⅛” Headphone output, 2 USB Type C ports
  • Bus powered / External power optional via second USB Type C port as needed
  • On-board hardware DSP for low-latency recording with Apogee FX
  • macOS, Windows 10 compatible

Pros

  • Superior sound quality
  • World-class preamps
  • Onboard hardware DSP for low latency recording
  • USB-C compatibility
  • Compact and portable design
  • Free plugin included

Cons

  • Some users have reported issues with the software
  • Can be expensive for some budgets

Verdict

If you’re looking for a high-quality, compact, and portable audio interface with superior sound quality, then the Apogee Duet 3 is a great option and comes highly recommended. However, it can be on the expensive side for some budgets.

9. Universal Audio Apollo Solo Heritage Edition

Universal Audio Apollo Solo Heritage Edition

Universal Audio has announced the release of a new version of its popular Apollo Solo audio interface, the Apollo Solo Heritage Edition.

This special edition of the interface comes with a bundle of five UAD plug-in titles worth over $1,300.

The Apollo Solo Heritage Edition includes the same features as the original Apollo Solo, such as class-leading UA audio conversion, two Unison mic preamps, and SOLO Core realtime UAD plug-in processing.

It also comes with a software suite of five award-winning UAD plug-in titles, featuring Collections from Teletronix, Pultec, and UA.

Features

  • Get the best audio quality with top-of-the-line interfaces
  • Easily travel with your interface and have a studio at your disposal
  • Access a wide range of sounds and emulations with included UAD plug-ins
  • Bundle worth over $1,300

Pros

  • The best audio quality with top-of-the-line interfaces
  • Easily travel with your interface and have a studio at your disposal
  • Access a wide range of sounds and emulations with included UAD plug-ins

Cons

  • The bundle is only available with the purchase of the Apollo Solo Heritage Edition interface

Verdict

The Apollo Solo Heritage Edition is a special edition of the popular Apollo Solo audio interface. It comes with a bundle of five UAD plug-in titles worth over $1,300.

It is a great option for those who want the best audio quality and access to a wide range of sounds and emulations.

If you are looking for an audio interface with the best audio quality, then the Apollo Solo Heritage Edition is the right choice for you.

It comes with a bundle of five UAD plug-in titles, which will give you access to a wide range of sounds and emulations.

10. Arturia AudioFuse Rev2 USB Audio Interface

Arturia AudioFuse Rev2 USB Audio Interface

The Arturia AudioFuse Rev2 USB Audio Interface is a 14 x 14 audio interface created for the discerning professional who requires the sound of a high-end analog console with the flexibility of a solid mobile interface.

The AudioFuse was designed from the ground up utilizing DiscretePRO microphone preamps, which rely on a discrete component topology to achieve studio-quality performance.

A temperature-compensated oscillator controls the reference clock to ensure jitter free analog-to-digital conversion and provide remarkable transparency at sampling rates up to 192 kHz.

There are no menus to dive through as every function is a single layer with dedicated knob and button controls.

Inputs 1 and 2 feature combo XLR/TRS 1/4″ connectors for mic pres, line inputs, and instrument inputs. Inputs 3 and 4 share a set of stereo 1/4″ connectors with a stereo RCA RIAA phono preamp with ground for connecting a turntable.

Speaker output A and B offer two sets of stereo 1/4″ outputs for connecting two sets of monitors, while the two dedicated headphone outputs feature independent volume control and offer both 1/4″ and 1/8″ jacks.

The digital ADAT lightpipe ports add an additional eight channels of input and output, while two coaxial connectors offer S/PDIF and wordclock I/O.

Connect any hardware MIDI device with the included MIDI cable adapters, or use the USB hub to connect controllers and other devices.

The dedicated micro-USB port offers connections to your computer, tablet, or phone.

The AudioFuse offers 3 ms round trip latency into and out of your computer, while the direct monitoring function allows for the blending of a recorded track with the direct signal for true zero latency performance.

The built-in talkback microphone allows communication from the control room to musicians in a remote studio.

The output control section controls output level with VU meters, audio mix selection, mono mode, output dimming, mute, and speaker A/B selection.

Features

  • Get the best sound quality for your recordings
  • 14 x 14 audio interface for maximum flexibility
  • Studio-quality performance with DiscretePRO technology
  • Temperature-compensated oscillator for jitter-free conversion
  • No menus – every function is a single layer
  • Connect any MIDI device with MIDI cable adapters
  • USB hub for connecting controllers and other devices
  • 3 ms round trip latency into and out of your computer
  • Direct monitoring for true zero latency performance
  • Built-in talkback microphone for communication from the control roo

Pros

  • 14 x 14 audio interface for maximum flexibility
  • Studio-quality performance with DiscretePRO technology
  • Temperature-compensated oscillator for jitter-free conversion
  • No menus – every function is a single layer
  • Connect any MIDI device with MIDI cable adapters
  • USB hub for connecting controllers and other devices
  • 3 ms round trip latency into and out of your computer
  • Direct monitoring for true zero latency performance
  • Built-in talkback microphone for communication from the control room
  • Output control section for level, mix selection, mono mode, output dimming, mute, and speaker A/B selection.

Cons

The only con of the Arturia AudioFuse Rev2 USB Audio Interface is that it is a bit pricey, but it is worth the investment if you are serious about recording high-quality audio.

Verdict

The Arturia AudioFuse Rev2 USB Audio Interface is a top-of-the-line audio interface that delivers studio-quality performance.

It is packed with features and is very user-friendly. The only downside is the price, but it is worth the investment if you are serious about recording high-quality audio.

The AudioFuse is one of the best audio interfaces on the market and is a great investment for anyone who wants to record high-quality audio.

Conclusion

Audio interfaces are a great investment for any musician, whether you’re just starting out or have been playing for years.

They make it possible to record high-quality audio without having to purchase and set up a bunch of separate components.

And if you’re looking for an interface that won’t break the bank, we’ve got you covered.

The ten audio interfaces on this list all come in at under $1000, so you can find one that fits your budget. Have you tried any of these?

Let me know in the comments!

Read also,

Gautam Roy is a recording engineer and a blogger from India. He loves music, writing, and travelling. He is also an active investor and a successful entrepreneur.

You Might Also Like:

Leave a Comment