Are you looking for an audio interface for recording vocals? Acheiving a quality sound recording is at a premium when it comes to vocals. So buying a quality audio interface is of utmost importance!
In this article, we’ll provide our most recommended audio interfaces for vocals. There are many interfaces on the market ranging from $40-$50 all the way up to $1,000. But we've come up with the top 6 based on their sound quality, value, build quality, and processing speed. Jump to the list here. But first, let's cover what to look for.
You may be asking yourself, what should I be looking for in an audio interface? What makes an audio interface good for vocal recording? These are extremely valid questions!
The right audio interface for you will depend on a few factors. Here are the best questions to ask yourself:
Audio interfaces that are meant for home, or small, studios typically come in 1, 2, 4, or 8 input options. If you are solely using your audio interface for recording vocals then all you will ever need is 1 input. However, if you ever want to say, record a guitar track at the same time as your vocals. Then you'll need two inputs.
For a begginer, going with 1 input is fine. But if you plan on being in the world of music production for longer than a year or two, then I'd probably say to start off with a two input audio interface. They only cost around $50-$100 more and will be worth it if you ever need a second input in the future.
One of the biggest reasons for purchasing an audio interface is to improve the sound quality of recordings. Even in 2022, laptops aren't designed for high-quality sound recording. The sound processing and converters found in an audio interface will dramatically improve the quality of your recording capabilities.
There is no one specific measure of "sound quality" when it comes to audio interfaces. So mostly you have to rely on reviews. All of the audio interfaces included in this guide have been heavily tested and reviewed. They are the leaders in the industry and thus why we've included them on our list.
Another big thing to look for is latency. Latency is one of the biggest frustrations you can have when recording vocals. If the sound you hear in your headphones is slightly delayed, your going to have a tough time staying in rhythm. Which is why low latency is very important.
You will want to look for something called "round-trip latency". This is the time it takes for the audio to be received, sent to your DAW or recording software, and sent back to your headphones. Anything under 5-10ms is typically accepted as low-latency.
There's a lot to like about the Motu M2. It has a wide dynamic range, extremely low latency, and excellent sound quality. Motu employs the same converter technology seen in high-end audio interfaces in the M2. So it provides some of the best sound quality in it's category!
But what we really love about the M2 is it's low latency. It offers round-trip latency of just 2.5ms. Which is very fast for an audio interface at this price point. This means that you shouldn't experience any delays while you are recording and be able to hear your recording in near real-time.
Another thing we love about the M2 is its color LCD display on the front of the unit. No other audio interface under $200 offers this. So that's a huge pro. The biggest things the M2 has going for it are:
The Motu M2 isn't the absolute cheapest audio interface you can find. But at under $200 it's still one the lower end of the price spectrum.
Scarlett makes some of the most reputable audio interfaces on the market. Their Solo model is a perfect entry-level model for a begginer or someone simply looking for a solid interface for under $100.
The Scarlett Solo only offers 1 input but packs in some great features! High-performance converters allow you to record, mix and play back audio in studio quality, anywhere. It also offers 48v phantom power used for condensor mics that require electricity to run.
But what we love most is it's "Air" mode. When in Air mode, the Solo adds a subtle high-end air to your recording which sounds great on vocals. The Scarlett Solo is undoubtedly a good audio interface for vocals.
The biggest things the Scarlett Solo has going for it are:
The Apollo Volt line of audio interfaces are more tailored to vocals than your average audio interface. This is because it has two recording modes that no other audio interface on this list provides. 1176 compression and a Vintage Mic Preamp tube mode.
With 1176 Compression enabled, you can easily add punch to vocals with an analog compressor based on UA’s renowned 1176. And with Vintage mode enabled, you get a tone that has more character than any USB interface in its class.
We love these options on the 176 because they sound great on vocals! And unlike the famous Apollo line, the Volt doesn't cost an arm and a leg.
Oh and did we mention it's looks? All in all, the Apollo Volt audio interfaces are a great, unique option for vocal recording. The 176 costs $240. If you don't have have the budget, then check out the Volt 1 model.
The biggest things the Volt 176 has going for it are:
The Scarlett 2i2 audio interface may be the most used interface in the industry. The 2i2 is a tried-and-true instrument that has been used by tons of professional and amateur vocalists for a long time. Focusrite has recently introduced the Scarlett 2i2 3rd Generation, which offers even greater performance.
The biggest things the 2i2 has going for it are:
For the price, there isn't a lot to criticize the 2i2 on. It's a fantastic audio interface for recording vocals because of it's low latency and superior sound converters. It's a strong competitor with the Motu M2. The only reason why we pick the M2 over the 2i2 is due to it's slightly faster processor and LCD screen.
The PreSonus Studio 24c is another quality audio interface for recording vocals. The Studio 24c records and mixes at up to 192 kHz for ultra-high-definition sound. It's professional-grade XMAX-L mic preamps and high-quality converters on every input and output allow you to record vocals smoothly and organically with no audible distortion.
The XMAX-L mic preamps are intended to work best with bus-powered audio interfaces, letting you to record with outstanding sound wherever you go.
The biggest things the PreSonus Studio 24c has going for it are:
The Apollo Twin is the Gucci of audio interfaces. Designed to be the absolute best in the industry, the Apollo Twin is as good as it gets. It features Next-generation Apollo A/D and D/A conversion and 2 Unison mic preamps that offer stunning models of classic tube and transformer-based mic preamps and guitar amps. What does that mean? Basically it sounds amazing and has different modes that add subtle characteristics to your recording.
The Apollo line of Audio Interfaces is used in professional studios all over the world and is certainly a beast in it's category. But it does come with a price...
The Apollo Twin is about 5 times the price of other 2 input audio interface competitors. So if you're not making your full time living from music, then the Apollo Twin is probably not worth it. But if you want the best of the best, here it is.
The biggest things the Apollo Twin has going for it are:
We hope that this guide has helped. If you have any feedback, comments, or tips that you’d like to share feel free to get in touch with us on social! @VoclioOfficial. Or drop us an email at email@example.com