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Best interface for ~€350 with good headphone amp Audio Interfaces
Old 29th June 2017
  #1
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Best interface for ~€350 with good headphone amp

I'm in the market for a good audio interface. Ideally it should have at least 6 stereo inputs but these are quite expensive and I don't mind using my 10 input mixer, so I'm guessing even 1 input would be enough.

I don't care about mic pres as I won't be connecting any. I want separate headphone volume knob and a decent headphone amp to drive my Sennheiser HD 600's. Another output for monitors too. And obviously the best sound quality I can get for my money.

I'd prefer not buying used. Been looking at the Scarlett range, the 6i6 mostly (due to not being only bus powered, ac adapter should drive headphones better). If there aren't any interfaces with good amps I can always add a dedicated headphone amp, although I would prefer to avoid it.

What are my options?
Old 29th June 2017
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Anyone?
Old 30th June 2017
  #3
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Originally Posted by starmanwarz View Post
Been looking at the Scarlett range, the 6i6 mostly
Not much out there with 6 inputs under $350.00 except possibly one of the Steinberg interfaces like the UR44. I'd go with the Scarlett for lower latency and with the UR44 for more stable drivers.
Old 30th June 2017
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I'd pick an interface based upon your requirements for ins/outs/latency and feed it into a separate headphone amp.

These are very good for the money:

https://schiit.com/

If you need to drive multiple phones on a budget Behringer has a couple of rack mount units that will drive most headphones louder than you will ever need.
Good bang for the buck IMHO.
Old 30th June 2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alndln View Post
Not much out there with 6 inputs under $350.00 except possibly one of the Steinberg interfaces like the UR44. I'd go with the Scarlett for lower latency and with the UR44 for more stable drivers.
Don't need 6 inputs, 2 are enough since I already have a 10 input mixer.

Can go a bit higher if needed, for something better.
Old 30th June 2017
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loopy View Post
I'd pick an interface based upon your requirements for ins/outs/latency and feed it into a separate headphone amp.

These are very good for the money:

https://schiit.com/

If you need to drive multiple phones on a budget Behringer has a couple of rack mount units that will drive most headphones louder than you will ever need.
Good bang for the buck IMHO.
Yeah I was looking at the magni, it's really popular.

I'll get an audio interface first and if it's not enough I'll add an amp later. For now I'll just focus on getting the best interface I can get.

Looks like those UAD appollos and RME are very popular but out of my price range, is there something in between those and the scarlett/Steinberg lines which is worth the extra cost?
Old 30th June 2017
  #7
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How does the audient ID14 compare to the scarlett range?
Old 30th June 2017
  #8
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Originally Posted by starmanwarz View Post
How does the audient ID14 compare to the scarlett range?
Better converters and better preamps but the drivers are not there if you wan't low latency. If low latency is a priority for amp sims or virtual instruments go with the Zoom UAC-2 or a used RME BabyFace. If you are just recording external instruments through your mixer go with the Audient. If you require a little of both go with the Scarlett or the Zoom.
Old 30th June 2017
  #9
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I'm not concerned about latency, I'll just be recording (very rarely) my samplers/synths into the PC.

I've been planning how I'm going to connect everything with the ID14 and I've run into a small issue. Everything (samplers/synths/turntables) is connected to my 10 channel mixer. My mixer's output goes into the input of the interface and my monitors are connected to it's output. So far so good. Now, with this setup I won't be able to record from my PC into my samplers, unless I'm missing something.

Hmm, I'm a bit confused
Old 30th June 2017
  #10
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Originally Posted by starmanwarz View Post
I'm not concerned about latency, I'll just be recording (very rarely) my samplers/synths into the PC.

I've been planning how I'm going to connect everything with the ID14 and I've run into a small issue. Everything (samplers/synths/turntables) is connected to my 10 channel mixer. My mixer's output goes into the input of the interface and my monitors are connected to it's output. So far so good. Now, with this setup I won't be able to record from my PC into my samplers, unless I'm missing something.

Hmm, I'm a bit confused
Use the headphone output from the ID14 to feed your samplers? It's 10x4 interface, so those headphone outputs have their own path.
Old 30th June 2017
  #11
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Originally Posted by diogo_c View Post
Use the headphone output from the ID14 to feed your samplers? It's 10x4 interface, so those headphone outputs have their own path.
Yeah, I guess I could do that. It's a bit inconvenient but it's better than nothing.

I think that another solution would be to connect the interface's outputs back to my mixer (not sure which input though) and my monitors to the mixer, although I think I will be losing on quality this way, not taking advantage of the ID14's converters?
Old 30th June 2017
  #12
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Originally Posted by starmanwarz View Post
Yeah, I guess I could do that. It's a bit inconvenient but it's better than nothing.

I think that another solution would be to connect the interface's outputs back to my mixer (not sure which input though) and my monitors to the mixer, although I think I will be losing on quality this way, not taking advantage of the ID14's converters?
The converters would still be in play since the signal has already left the interface, but you could get added noise/yuck from the mixer since it's adding one instance between the interface (converters) and the monitors. You're okay doing that depending on the mixer. Some are pretty harmless in this regard, but others aren't really.
Old 30th June 2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starmanwarz View Post
Yeah, I guess I could do that. It's a bit inconvenient but it's better than nothing.
The iD22 is still under budget and has a spare set of outputs that could feed your sampler.
Old 1st July 2017
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Originally Posted by stella645 View Post
The iD22 is still under budget and has a spare set of outputs that could feed your sampler.
Under budget? His budget is $350.00 and the ID22 is over $500.00.
Old 1st July 2017
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I considered stretching my budget so I can get something like the Scarlett 18i8 or 18i20 (or even the ID22) and have everything hooked there but I think I could make the mixer setup work.. Probably not ideal though.
Old 1st July 2017
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diogo_c View Post
The converters would still be in play since the signal has already left the interface, but you could get added noise/yuck from the mixer since it's adding one instance between the interface (converters) and the monitors. You're okay doing that depending on the mixer. Some are pretty harmless in this regard, but others aren't really.
Well I'm just a hobbyist so a little extra noise wouldn't hurt that much, I think. The mixer is a Yamaha MG10/2, got it about 10 years ago.

Now that I think about it I could still use either my PCI or my onboard sound card for sampling (also connected to the mixer).

Hmm, I think the ID14 is the best option, there are a few workarounds it seems.
Old 1st July 2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alndln View Post
Under budget? His budget is $350.00 and the ID22 is over $500.00.
Thread title says euros not dollars here.

iD is £325 in UK so I assumed could be had under €350 though having had a quick search of some European stores it does look like €399 is cheapest price
Old 1st July 2017
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I think the Zoom is in / near your price range. I've never used one but fellow slutz and posts on other boards claim it's a sleeper so it might be worth a try.

My opinion is that it's all about the quality, stability and to a lesser degree the update frequency / support of the drivers.

The best interface, best converters, best sound isn't worth a hill of beans if the user is constantly fiddling around with poor drivers. It creates a lot of tension in the studio as well. Most interfaces have ins/outs so you can add pre-amps etc later.
Old 1st July 2017
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loopy View Post
I think the Zoom is in / near your price range. I've never used one but fellow slutz and posts on other boards claim it's a sleeper so it might be worth a try.

My opinion is that it's all about the quality, stability and to a lesser degree the update frequency / support of the drivers.

The best interface, best converters, best sound isn't worth a hill of beans if the user is constantly fiddling around with poor drivers. It creates a lot of tension in the studio as well. Most interfaces have ins/outs so you can add pre-amps etc later.
Are you saying that the ID14 has driver problems?
Old 1st July 2017
  #20
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Considering you have said latency is not an issue and decent headphone amp is important, I'd say the iD is a much better fit here.

FWIW, I own both devices and I use the Audient exclusively on my main DAW and the Zoom gets used only as a midi interface or for portable use with the laptop.

There has been no great tension created in my studio because I'm constantly fiddling with poor drivers
Old 1st July 2017
  #21
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Thanks everyone. The ID14 looks like the best choice for me, I'll be ordering one on Monday. This and my mixer should be fine, for now. I might add something like a Behringer ADA8200 in the future, if I need to (or a better/bigger mixer).
Old 1st July 2017
  #22
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Originally Posted by starmanwarz View Post
Thanks everyone. The ID14 looks like the best choice for me, I'll be ordering one on Monday. This and my mixer should be fine, for now. I might add something like a Behringer ADA8200 in the future, if I need to (or a better/bigger mixer).
Good choice. That's the best sounding choice in that price range. While the drivers are not low latency they are pretty stable by most reports. While the Behringer is a decent choice for expansion also be aware that Audient has the ASP800 which will give you 8 preamps and the same converter quality as the ID14 for a reasonable price.
Old 2nd July 2017
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starmanwarz View Post
Are you saying that the ID14 has driver problems?
Not at all. I've never used an Audient interface. It doesn't have the lowest latency (it's decent though) but it has a reputation for a solid build, very good sound and decent drivers as well as support. The Audient guys hang out on GS BTW. I think you made a good choice.
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