Top 10 Cheap Audio Interface Under $100 in 2021

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If you are an indie composer, songwriter, or instrument player searching for a cheap audio interface under $100 that helps you in your daily recording needs, then this is the right article for you.

I have compiled the top 10 cheap audio interfaces for under 100 dollars in this article, especially for indie artists and music composers.

You know that audio recording is now very popular, and a big credit goes to budget audio interfaces. However, choosing a good audio interface in between hundreds of options is not easy.

That’s why I thought to compile a list of the best budget audio interfaces. The result is this article, in which I came with the top 10 cheap audio interfaces, especially for indie producers.

Additionally, you can check out my article, “How To Choose Audio Interfaces [Ultimate Guide],” to make it easy for you to choose the best one.

Well, let’s start the list.

1. M-Audio M-Track Duo

M-Audio M-Track Duo

M-audio M-Track Duo is one of the popular audio interfaces by M-Audio. This portable recording interface delivers a 48 kHz audio sampling resolution.

It’s easy to use and ideal for indie composers who are not tech geeks. This USB-powered device is compatible with Mac, PC, or iOS devices so that you can use this anywhere. That’s why I introduced this to you as a portable audio interface.

Let’s have a look at the features of this audio interface.

M-audio M-Track Duo Features

  • This is a 2-Channel USB recording interface compatible with both Mac and PC.
  • You will get 2 (Amphibious) inputs with Crystal clear audio quality and powerful Preamps.
  • You can enable any microphone, instrument, or line-level device with the dedicated switches given below the inputs.
  • +48V phantom power suitable for condenser microphones.
  • Stereo 1/4” outs and 1/4” headphone out.
  • Independent level knobs for headphones and stereo outs.
  • For monitoring mic, line, or instrument inputs in stereo or mono, USB/Direct Mono/Direct Stereo switch is provided.
  • This audio interface comes with these software – Pro Tools First, M-Audio Edition, MPC Beats, AIR Music Tech Xpand!2, Eleven Light guitar amp plugins, and 20 Avid effects

Pros and Cons of M-Audio M-Track Duo

Pros

  • USB Powered
  • Compatible with Mac, PC, and iOS devices
  • Easy to use
  • Dedicated line, instrument, and mic switches
  • USB/Direct Mono/Direct Stereo monitoring switch
  • Pro Tools First Included

Cons

  • Supports only up to 48 kHz sample rate
  • No MIDI connectivity

2. Behringer UMC22

Behringer UMC22

Behringer UMC22 is a 2X2 audio interface that supports up to 48 kHz. It’s one of the cheapest audio interfaces in the world.

Behringer UMC22 features one professional-grade Midas-designed Mic Preamp with combination XLR/ TRS input so you can use both mic and line-level instruments from the same connection. The other is a phono input which can be used to record guitar and synths.

This audio interface is best for songwriters, indie music composers, and artists.

Behringer UMC22 Features

  • It is a 2-channel USB recording interface that supports both Mac and Windows PC
  • Combo input with MIDAS preamp technology ensures precision audio recording when you plug in any microphone or line-level gear
  • +48V phantom power is given in the first input that allows you to use condenser microphones
  • Dedicated instrument-level input for guitar and bass instruments
  • Headphone and stereo 1/4″ outputs

Pros and Cons of Behringer UMC22

Pros

  • Durabel metal chassis
  • Compact size best for mobile recording
  • Midas Preamp
  • Direct Monitoring
  • Low latency
  • Free Tracktion DAW
  • Under budget

Cons

  • Only up to 48kHz/16-bit sampling rate
  • A little noisy may be due to low bit depth

3. IK Multimedia iRig 2

IK Multimedia iRig 2

IK Multimedia iRig 2 is a compact guitar interface that allows you to record guitar anywhere, anytime. It is a very compact audio interface with just one input and output.

You can connect this audio interface with anything from mobile phone to iPad. It is a dedicated guitar interface, so you will get only one input.

IK Multimedia iRig 2 features

  • It is the upgraded version of the best-selling iRig interface
  • Features 1/4” instrument input to use with guitar, bass, etc
  • You will get 1/4” amplifier output to connect with an external amplifier
  • 1/8” TRRS output to connect with iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac
  • 1/8” headphone output
  • Extremely Compact and lightweight design
  • Input gain adjustment thumbwheel control
  • Microphone stand Velcro strip is included in the package
  • Comes with AmpliTube FREE for iOS (free download on the App Store)

IK Multimedia iRig 2 Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Very portable and durable
  • Decently affordable
  • Zero-latency
  • Great sound quality

Cons

  • No onboard volume controls
  • A bit muddier sound
  • Feedback issues

4. Lexicon Alpha

Lexicon Alpha

Lexicon Alpha is a compact yet professional audio interface. It comes with a dual-input, 2-bus, 2-output USB I/O mixer with an extra high-impedance instrument input.

You can use this USB-powered audio interface anywhere with Laptop. You will also get Cubase® LE 5 with Lexicon Alpha audio interface. So there is no need to buy a separate DAW.

Lexicon Alpha features one mic input and the other 3 line-level inputs.

Lexicon Alpha Features

  • This audio interface features separate mic and line level input controls and individual peak indicators to control the signals.
  • Monitor mix control knob for audio balancing between live input and playback mix level during recording. The output can be switched to stereo or mono.
  • The headphone amp offers high power ultra-clear fidelity, which can tackle any headphones.
  • RF-filtered and TRS balanced Line outputs are given.

Lexicon Alpha Pros and Cons

Pros

  • It’s very cheap below $70
  • Separate Cubase LE DAW comes with it
  • USB powered

Cons

  • Only one XLR microphone input.
  • The sample rate is low which is unacceptable for professional-grade recording.
  • No Phantom power for condenser mics

5. Behringer U-Control

Behringer U-Control cheap audio interface

Another cheap audio interface for songwriters and music enthusiasts is Behringer U-Control. It allows you to easily connect line-level instruments and other audio devices to your computer or laptop.

It has 2 RCA inputs, 2 RCA outputs, a headphone out, and a S/PDIF digital output. So you need a phono to RCA adaptor to connect this device with your instrument.

As it is USB powered, you can use it anywhere with a laptop without the need for electricity. However, the 16-bit/48kHz sampling rate is not sufficient to record professional projects.

Behringer U-Control Features

  • 2 In/2 Out USB Audio Interface with a headphone out and a S/PDIF digital output.
  • Compatible to Mac and PC, no drivers required
  • 16-bit/48kHz audio converter
  • Low latency
  • Separate headphone output
  • S/PDIF optical out
  • USB powered
  • Free DAW Software

Behringer U-Control Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Comes with audio/MIDI sequencer compatible with both PC and Mac
  • One stereo headphone output
  • DAW included
  • Cheap price
  • Compact size
  • Great for mobile users

Cons

  • Low-quality audio
  • No phono or XLR inputs

6. Shure X2U

Shure X2U

Shure X2U is an incredible audio interface just built for microphones. It is a tiny audio interface with a built-in XLR male slot at one side that connects to the mic directly and a USB output port on the other side that connects to the computer.

You can also connect the condenser microphone with this audio interface. It has 48-Volts phantom power, which powers up the condenser mic.

You get 3 control wheels, i.e., mic gain, volume, monitor, and one switch to on-off the phantom power.

It is a 16-bit/48 kHz audio interface, so you would be a little disappointed if you want to record in 24-bit HD format.

Shure X2U is compatible with Windows Vista, XP, 2000, 7, 8, 10, and Mac OS X (10.1 or later), and you can plug and play it without any software.

Shure X2U features

  • It is a USB audio interface with Plug and Play connectivity
  • Shure X2U is compatible with Windows Vista, XP, 2000, 7, 8, 10, and Mac OS X (10.1 or later)
  • It features integrated pre-amp, and independent Microphone Gain Control to control the mic input gain
  • Zero Latency Monitoring in real-time playback
  • Separate headphone jack and monitor volume control
  • Monitor Mix Control feature
  • 48V phantom power to use condenser microphones
  • Zippered pouch and 3 Meters USB cable

Pros and Cons of Shure X2U

Pros

  • Incredibly portable
  • Durable build quality
  • 0-latency direct monitoring
  • Monitor Mix Control feature
  • +48v Phantom Power
  • USB bus-powered
  • Fairly cheap

Cons

  • Preamp is a little noisy
  • Only 16 bit/48kHz recording format
  • Limited to a single mic input

7. Audient EVO 4 USB

Audient EVO 4 USB cheap audio interface

Audient Evo 4 is a 2in/2out audio interface with +48 Volts phantom power. It supports multiple audio recording formats up to 24bit / 96kHz.

It comes with all the software you need to start audio recording with your laptop. Mic preamp features world-class JFET Instrument Input technology, which provides more accurate audio recording for guitars and other instruments.

Audient Evo 4 is a USB 2.0 bus-powered audio interface, so you can use it with ant laptop or computer anywhere without needing a power outlet.

Audient Evo 4 USB features

  • 2 x EVO Mic Pres
  • World-class audio converters
  • Smart gain technology lets you dial in your channels automatically
  • Smart Touchpoints for intuitive and fast control
  • JFET Instrument Input
  • Speaker Outs
  • Separate Headphone Out
  • Compatible with Mac, Windows, and iOS
  • Ultra-low latency Monitor Mix control
  • Monitor Pan
  • Audio Loop-back feature
  • USB2.0 Bus Powered
  • +48 Volts Phantom Power
  • DAW Controlled Mic Preamps
  • Supports multiple formats up to 24bit / 96kHz
  • Lots of free Software + Plugins

Pros and Cons of Audient Evo 4 USB

Pros

  • Clean sound
  • Single dial control
  • Monitor Mix technology
  • Durable build quality
  • JFET Instrument Input
  • 24bit / 96kHz is the best in the class

Cons

  • Single Mic input

8. M-Audio AIR|HUB

M-Audio AIR|HUB

M-Audio AIR Hub is a digital audio interface that would be beneficial for those who play digital instruments such as digital drum machines, synthesizers, etc.

Also, it acts as a hub for multiple audio interfaces. So you can connect multiple audio interfaces with a single computer.

M-Audio AIR HUB provides 24-bit/96kHz resolution for a professional monitoring solution, which means you can record audio in HD quality.

However, it’s useless for those who want to connect mics and guitars with their audio interfaces. You need a separate audio interface or preamp to do this.

Key Features of M-Audio AIR HUB

  • It supports 24-bit/96kHz true resolution for professional monitoring
  • It features Stereo ¼” outs; ¼” headphone out, and independent level controls for both the outputs
  • 3 USB ports for connecting any USB gear
  • Perfect for studio or stage if you are using USB supported gear
  • Rugged metal chassis provides extra durability
  • Supports both standard USB and USB-C cables

Pros and Cons of M-Audio AIR|HUB

Pros

  • 24-bit/96kHz resolution
  • ¼” stereo and headphone outs
  • 3 USB ports for connecting any USB gear
  • Supports both USB and USB-C cables

Cons

  • No mic or instrument inputs
  • Supports only Windows 7 and Mac 10.8

9. Zoom U-22

Zoom U-22 cheap audio interface

Zoom U-22 is a portable and mobile audio interface with the 2-in/2-out feature. It is compatible with Windows laptops, iPhones/iPad.

Zoom U-22 audio interface provides 24-bit/96 kHz audio recording and playback resolution, which is better than most of the same price range audio interfaces.

It is a USB bus-powered device, so you can use it with any device having a USB connection, such as a laptop, iPhone, or iPad.

Zoom U-22 has one XLR/Phono amphibian input with 48V phantom power and Hi-Z support. The second one is 1/8″ phono input.

It has 1 headphone out, and 2 RCA L/R outs to connect external monitors with this.

Key Features of Zoom U-22

  • Compatible to iPhone/iPad and Windows/Mac Laptop
  • Optional 2 AA batteries and AC adapter for external power
  • XLR/TRS amphibian input with mic preamp
  • Up to 24-bit/96 kHz resolution
  • Ableton Live 9 Lite free license
  • Hi-Z support
  • Direct monitoring with zero latency
  • RCA L/R outs and headphone outputs
  • Gain control knob for Mic/instrument
  • +48V phantom power

Pros and Cons of Zoom U-22

Pros

  • Optional power source with 2AA batteries
  • 24-bit/96 kHz HD resolution
  • Hi-Z support
  • Compact and durable build quality

Cons

  • The phono input is 1\8″
  • Requires Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit or Lightning-to-USB Camera Adapter to connect with Mac devices

10. Shure MOTIV MVi

Shure MOTIV MVi cheap audio interface

If you are a guitarist and want to record your creations on your laptop, this audio interface is built for you. Shure MVi is a single input audio interface that features one Amphibion XLR/TRS input with +48volts phantom power. That means you can use condenser microphones with this audio interface.

Well, it’s not useful for stereo instruments like synthesizers and octopads. However, you can use it to record your vocals and guitar.

This compact audio interface is USB bus-powered, so you can use it anywhere with your laptop without the need for any external power source.

Shure MOTIV MVi Features

  • It has 5 DSP preset modes (flat, acoustic instrument, loud, speech, singing,) which adjust the EQ, compression, and limiter settings 
  • Touch panel control for gain, mute, and headphone volume levels
  • You can use this device with the ShurePlus MOTIV app with any Mac device. It’s also compatible to Windows-based computer and laptops
  • JFET Class A buffered instrument preamplifier provides exceptional tone and clarity in the recordings
  • Combined XLR/TRS input
  • 48Volts Phantom power
  • 24-bit/192kHz audio recording resolution

Pros and Cons of Shure MOTIV MVi Features

Pros

  • 5 DSP preset modes for quick operation
  • Touch panel control
  • JFET Class A instrument preamplifier
  • 24-bit/192kHz audio recording resolution
  • Well priced

Cons

  • Mini-USB connection

Wrapping Up

So, here were the 10 budget audio interfaces for singers, songwriters, and indie producers under $100. However, there were so many audio interfaces available in the market under this range, but I chose all the good quality interfaces from reputable companies.

If you ask me my choice, I will go with M-Audio M-Track Duo or Audient EVO 4.

Now it’s your time to decide which one to choose; whatever your decision will be, let me know in the comments so that others can get some genuine help in choosing the best audio interface among them.

You may also like these articles,

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.

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