The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Gearslutz - Nominate your favorite audio interface under $300
Old 16th June 2016
  #1
News Desk Editor
 
The Press Desk's Avatar
 

Gearslutz - Nominate your favorite audio interface under $300

Nomination stage
When it comes music & audio there is never a ‘one-piece-of-gear-fits-all' solution, but we'd like to point Gearslutz readers looking for answers in a good direction. To do this we need this community's help suggesting their recommendations.

Today we’re looking for your recommendations for audio interfaces costing under $300.

Simply type in your suggestion and post!

Nominations run for 30 days and then we compile the results into a poll to shortlist Gearslutz’ most popular. Join in!

PS: Check out our previous buyer's guides and participate in more nomination threads!
Old 16th June 2016
  #2
Lives for gear
 
login's Avatar
Steinberg UR44, best drivers and features in that price range.
5
Share
Old 16th June 2016
  #3
Lives for gear
 
skiltrip's Avatar
Focusrite Scarlett 6i6.

RocK solid across the board in my experience.
3
Share
Old 16th June 2016
  #4
Lives for gear
Audient ID 14
8
Share
Old 16th June 2016
  #5
Lives for gear
 

The Audient looks cool, but I have to break away from the pack and nominate a little gem no one ever seems to notice. The Tascam Us-366. I bought one on impulse after testing it out in stores for over a year. It lists at $299, but here is the reality of the pricing and its features.....

Released in 2013....Street at around $150... but the price seems to be going up at retail
192k 24 bit
adc ak5359
dac ak4384
Six inputs or six outputs... defineable. Daw sees all i/o (Cubase, Reaper etc)
Reasonably powerful headphone amp 18-30mw.
Externally syncable.
Optical or coax in/out.
Balanced and unbalanced lines in/out
Great sounding pres ... when cranked full open, there is absolutely NO noise. Distortion is basically unreadable. Nice discrete design.
My occasional in-store tests of the us366 with Neumans, Royers, SM57, 414s, and even inexpensive little mxl ribbons show plenty of clean gain. No need for a cloudlifter for ribbons imo.
Lots of headroom.
low latency. Great drivers. Fully supports Win xp,7,8,10 .... can't speak for the Mac drivers as I don't personally support Mac
a few dsp functions on the us366 control panel but I don't personally use them. Input compresson, reference reverb, eq.... stuff like that.
Bus powered.
Metal chassis, feels very solid
LINE INPUTS 3-4 COMPLETELY BYPASS THE PRES........ pretty much unheard of on inexpensive interfaces.
The usual 1megohm input for guitar/bass

Like I say, for $150, this was sort of a no-brainer after about my sixth time of trying the box out in stores with my laptop. I routinely switched between the Steinberg and Focusrite interfaces in the same price range and the Tascam was still the very clear winner in all areas of sound, gain, i/o, ease of integration with windows daws.

I keep bugging Takfat to do some latency tests but I believe he doesn't really take this box seriously.
3
Share
Old 16th June 2016
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Native Instruments Audio Komplete 6 (don't pick presonus lol).
3
Share
Old 17th June 2016
  #7
Lives for gear
 
DistortingJack's Avatar
 

Nothing remotely compares to the iD14 in that price range. No contest.
8
Share
Old 17th June 2016
  #8
iD14 for sure. Audient's a wonderful company IMHO
6
Share
Old 17th June 2016
  #9
Lives for gear
 

A RME 9652 PCI card (get the newer version with 2 midi I/O) $300 used. It's an interface only but nothing listed in this thread is going to touch it for I/O, lowest latency, best software mixer, and stable drivers. Rock solid, proven under full load and can be expanded with additional cards (running 3 in a computer here for 72 channels in combination with an analog desk). 24 channel ADAT, 2 channel Spdif, 2 midi I/O, wordclock in/out, ADAT Sync, S/Mux. Teams up nice with using an Alesis HD24XR for it's converters to get you one of the best bang for the buck high channel count converter / interface options. Plenty of ink here in the forums to do your research on this combo. This RME card is truely a legend that simply works for many everyday. The newer RME Raydat is basically this card in PCIe form. Given you can easily find new motherboards for using the prefered DAW CPU's with PCI slots, the 9652 still is and will continue to be a safe bet.

As for an interface with converters an E-MU 1820M at around $125 used is one of the better options with 8 decent converters if you can live with it's 7.5ms latency and older drivers (will do Windows 7). Two channels mic pre - DI, six channels line in (does not go thru a mic pre circuit), for a total of eight channels in. Eight channels line out. Midi I/O, wordclock, additional ADAT in-out to add an external eight channel converter so you can run 16 channels I/O thru this interface (something like the 8 channel Behringer unit works fine for that). If you are on an extreme budget and want to record a band at the same time, this may be your solution.

Last edited by Bassmankr; 17th June 2016 at 02:21 PM..
3
Share
Old 17th June 2016
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Ol' Betsey's Avatar
Wow. That's quite a review with substantial back-up technical info! I kind of am but at the same time kind of not looking for another little interface and this is a great little heads-up. Might have to read up on how the Tascam drivers in general play with Mac.

Cheers Noodle!

R.



Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
The Audient looks cool, but I have to break away from the pack and nominate a little gem no one ever seems to notice. The Tascam Us-366. I bought one on impulse after testing it out in stores for over a year. It lists at $299, but here is the reality of the pricing and its features.....

Released in 2013....Street at around $150... but the price seems to be going up at retail
192k 24 bit
adc ak5359
dac ak4384
Six inputs or six outputs... defineable. Daw sees all i/o (Cubase, Reaper etc)
Reasonably powerful headphone amp 18-30mw.
Externally syncable.
Optical or coax in/out.
Balanced and unbalanced lines in/out
Great sounding pres ... when cranked full open, there is absolutely NO noise. Distortion is basically unreadable. Nice discrete design.
My occasional in-store tests of the us366 with Neumans, Royers, SM57, 414s, and even inexpensive little mxl ribbons show plenty of clean gain. No need for a cloudlifter for ribbons imo.
Lots of headroom.
low latency. Great drivers. Fully supports Win xp,7,8,10 .... can't speak for the Mac drivers as I don't personally support Mac
a few dsp functions on the us366 control panel but I don't personally use them. Input compresson, reference reverb, eq.... stuff like that.
Bus powered.
Metal chassis, feels very solid
LINE INPUTS 3-4 COMPLETELY BYPASS THE PRES........ pretty much unheard of on inexpensive interfaces.
The usual 1megohm input for guitar/bass

Like I say, for $150, this was sort of a no-brainer after about my sixth time of trying the box out in stores with my laptop. I routinely switched between the Steinberg and Focusrite interfaces in the same price range and the Tascam was still the very clear winner in all areas of sound, gain, i/o, ease of integration with windows daws.

I keep bugging Takfat to do some latency tests but I believe he doesn't really take this box seriously.
1
Share
Old 17th June 2016
  #11
Audient iD 14

Audient iD 14
2
Share
Old 17th June 2016
  #12
Gear Head
Steinberg UR22
2
Share
Old 17th June 2016
  #13
Lives for gear
 

I like my Audient 14 quite a lot!
1
Share
Old 17th June 2016
  #14
Lives for gear
 
login's Avatar
How good are audient drivers in windows?

I think maybe this category (audio interface) should have "best for Windows" and "best for mac" since there are so many offers only for mac and others that run badly in Windows.
Old 18th June 2016
  #15
Gear Head
 

Steinberg UR44.
1
Share
Old 18th June 2016
  #16
Gear Maniac
 
Justin Case's Avatar
Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6.
2
Share
Old 18th June 2016
  #17
Lives for gear
 
kuasalogam's Avatar
I'll nominate Steinberg UR44

But this review of Tascam unit makes me wanna grab one for....reasons

Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
The Audient looks cool, but I have to break away from the pack and nominate a little gem no one ever seems to notice. The Tascam Us-366. I bought one on impulse after testing it out in stores for over a year. It lists at $299, but here is the reality of the pricing and its features.....

Released in 2013....Street at around $150... but the price seems to be going up at retail
192k 24 bit
adc ak5359
dac ak4384
Six inputs or six outputs... defineable. Daw sees all i/o (Cubase, Reaper etc)
Reasonably powerful headphone amp 18-30mw.
Externally syncable.
Optical or coax in/out.
Balanced and unbalanced lines in/out
Great sounding pres ... when cranked full open, there is absolutely NO noise. Distortion is basically unreadable. Nice discrete design.
My occasional in-store tests of the us366 with Neumans, Royers, SM57, 414s, and even inexpensive little mxl ribbons show plenty of clean gain. No need for a cloudlifter for ribbons imo.
Lots of headroom.
low latency. Great drivers. Fully supports Win xp,7,8,10 .... can't speak for the Mac drivers as I don't personally support Mac
a few dsp functions on the us366 control panel but I don't personally use them. Input compresson, reference reverb, eq.... stuff like that.
Bus powered.
Metal chassis, feels very solid
LINE INPUTS 3-4 COMPLETELY BYPASS THE PRES........ pretty much unheard of on inexpensive interfaces.
The usual 1megohm input for guitar/bass

Like I say, for $150, this was sort of a no-brainer after about my sixth time of trying the box out in stores with my laptop. I routinely switched between the Steinberg and Focusrite interfaces in the same price range and the Tascam was still the very clear winner in all areas of sound, gain, i/o, ease of integration with windows daws.

I keep bugging Takfat to do some latency tests but I believe he doesn't really take this box seriously.
1
Share
Old 18th June 2016
  #18
Gear Nut
 
Ben01930's Avatar
Audient iD14 will be the clear winner here for sure.
Old 19th June 2016
  #19
Gear Addict
 
Syphax's Avatar
 

FOCUSRITE Scarlett 18i8. I love the 8 inputs plus expansion capabilities. it's the new age Sapphire.
Old 19th June 2016
  #20
Here for the gear
Audient ID14
Old 19th June 2016
  #21
I have to cast my vote for the Audient ID14. Used this interface for a few months on Mac and PC and it's solid.
Old 19th June 2016
  #22
Gear Maniac
 
harness's Avatar
Another happy Audient ID14 user here
Old 19th June 2016
  #23
If the Audient iD 22 gets a lower score on the https://www.gearslutz.com/board/11591001-post771.htmlthan the N.I. KA 6?

It does make one wonder what the latency of the iD 14 is like,as so many have nominated it?

Last edited by rksguit; 20th June 2016 at 08:36 AM.. Reason: No Reason except TB3 may change things?
Old 19th June 2016
  #24
Lives for gear
 
DistortingJack's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rksguit View Post
Fine buddy,but you were the "one word starter"

Anyway if the Audient iD 22 gets a lower score on the https://www.gearslutz.com/board/11591001-post771.htmlthan the N.I. KA 6?

It does make one wonder what the latency of the iD 14 is like,as so many have nominated it?
I'm assuming the same as the iD22.
The reason why people nominate it is because of build and sound quality more than anything else. Drivers have been great to me and I've used it on both Mac and PC.
I have no latency problems on either but if I did I'd just get a Thunderbolt interface anyway.
Old 19th June 2016
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by DistortingJack View Post
I'm assuming the same as the iD22.
The reason why people nominate it is because of build and sound quality more than anything else. Drivers have been great to me and I've used it on both Mac and PC.
I have no latency problems on either but if I did I'd just get a Thunderbolt interface anyway.
Fair enough,as at least you have an intelligent explanation.

I was wondering if their are any positive reports from users of the Zoom UAC-2 USB 3.0 on Windows 7?

The 2 reviews here at GS are making it seem more up to date than my Native Instruments Komplete 6[which performs well],with the Zoom users saying somehow it may be able to have almost RME like latency,anyone care to concur?

Last edited by rksguit; 20th June 2016 at 08:59 AM.. Reason: I'm into music,not chaos
Old 19th June 2016
  #26
Here for the gear
 
Miltop's Avatar
 

got to be id14 for me. or a second hand focusrite Scarlett 18i8 if you're lucky, as they're a bit more versatile.
Old 21st June 2016
  #27
Lives for gear
 
dickiefunk's Avatar
I love the Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 DSP. Great rock solid drivers, very low latency, superb audio quality and extra features such as built in DSP Reverb for monitoring + spdif and ADAT I/O.
Old 21st June 2016
  #28
Gear Head
 

Steinberg UR44
Old 21st June 2016
  #29
Here for the gear
Being fairly new to Ableton and recording and mixing on my own, I have found Focusrite's 6i6 to be extremely user friendly, and a great learning tool for a newcomer like myself.
Old 22nd June 2016
  #30
Lives for gear
 
Inca's Avatar
 

I have both the id14 and id22 and they are great. So, for under 300, the id14 is amazing!
Topic:
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump