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USB audio interface dilemma Studio Headphones
View Poll Results: Which one to buy?
M audio 2×2m
0 Votes - 0%
Steinberg ur22 mk.2
5 Votes - 55.56%
Roland rubix22
0 Votes - 0%
Tascam us2×2
0 Votes - 0%
Mackie producer
0 Votes - 0%
Zoom uac-2
4 Votes - 44.44%
Audio box 96
0 Votes - 0%
Voters: 9. You may not vote on this poll

Old 13th February 2019
  #1
Here for the gear
 

USB audio interface dilemma

First of all since this is my first thread here,I would like to start my first post with a warm hello to everyone here!!

Now,for the problem at hand.I recently built my first pc with the following specs:-
i7-9700k
32 gb 3000mhz ram
Asus rog hero xi maximus
2tb. Intel 660p storage

I also bought a pair of Mackie cr4s ,a rode nt1a mic,audio technica ath-mh40x,novation launch key 25 mk.2,and am looking to buy an usb audio interface.Here are my current options:-
1.Steinberg ur22
2.Presonus audio box 96
3. Mackie producer
4.Tascam us 2x2
5.Zoom uac-2
6.Roland rubix22
7.M audio 2x2m
I excluded the 2i2 and id14 due to lack of midi inputs.


So,as you can see there are quite a lot of options.I am currently leaning towards the Mackie since it comes with a full daw,whereas others are paired with stripped down versions of daws.
So, please suggest the best among these ones.
Another thing,also suggest some open back headphones that can be driven using the headphone out of the interface itself.

Thanking you in advance for any and all answers!!
Old 13th February 2019
  #2
Lives for gear
 
kuasalogam's Avatar
Hello, and welcome to the club.

In my experience:
- Mackie, Tascam, and M-Audio were very late in updating driver or addressing bugs. I don't know if they had improved in their current generation interfaces or not.
- Steinberg UR22 and Scarlett 2i4 (this one has MIDI i/o) are updated regularly and very solid performers.
- Presonus seems great as well. My band member uses Presonus 22VSL for live performances and we have no single trouble ever, but I have no first hand experience.
- I have no idea about Zoom, ROland, and Audient

As for headphones, for around USD 100 I'd recommend Sony MDR7506 or Sennheiser HD280 Pro. I prefer the Sony for working but the Senns are more comfortable to use in extended period.

Last edited by kuasalogam; 4 weeks ago at 06:53 PM.. Reason: added headphones
Old 14th February 2019
  #3
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kuasalogam View Post
Hello, and welcome to the club.

In my experience:
- Mackie, Tascam, and M-Audio were very late in updating driver or addressing bugs. I don't know if they had improved or not in their current generation interfaces.
- Steinberg UR22 and Scarlett 2i4 (this one has MIDI i/o) are updated regularly and very solid performers.
- Presonus seems great as well. My band member uses Presonus 22VSL for live performances and we had no single trouble ever, but I have no first hand experience.
- I have no idea about Zoom, ROland, and Audient

As for headphones, for around USD 100 I'd recommend Sony MDR7506 or Sennheiser HD280 Pro. I prefer the Sony for working but the Senns are more comfortable to use in extended period.
Thanks for the input regarding the interfaces!!

Regarding the headphones, could you suggest some open back options as the one you mentioned are closed back.
Old 14th February 2019
  #4
Lives for gear
 
kuasalogam's Avatar
Ah yes.... I missed the open back part. The ones I like are: AKG K240 (old version), Beyer DT880, and Sennheiser HD600/650.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #5
Lives for gear
Regarding Interfaces what is your usage mainly?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #6
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alndln View Post
Regarding Interfaces what is your usage mainly?
Mainly making youtube vida, streaming and maybe a bit of music production as somewhat of a hobby
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
Lives for gear
 

For streaming and (pod/video)casting, is very useful to have an interface with audio loopback functionality. That means, its hardware mixer can loop what you're hearing (likely mix of audio from computer apps and voiceover) back to computer for streaming app input.

Zoom UAC-2 has mixer with loopback and arguably best low latency performance from your listed budget interfaces, which might be beneficial for your music production.

Michal
Old 4 weeks ago
  #8
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by msmucr View Post
For streaming and (pod/video)casting, is very useful to have an interface with audio loopback functionality. That means, its hardware mixer can loop what you're hearing (likely mix of audio from computer apps and voiceover) back to computer for streaming app input.

Zoom UAC-2 has mixer with loopback and arguably best low latency performance from your listed budget interfaces, which might be beneficial for your music production.

Michal
Thanks so much man!!
Also,how are the mic preamps and the headphone out on the zoom?And how exactly can I use audio loopback?And any other suggestions for interfaces not in my list?

Please suggest some open back headphones as well.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
Gear Addict
 

D-pre on the Steinberg is great.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #10
Lives for gear
 

Hi and you're welcome.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blitz22 View Post
Also,how are the mic preamps and the headphone out on the zoom?
I'd say, it's fine for asked price.
You shouldn't have any issues with gain, when recording from RODE NT-1 condenser mic.
With regards to hp amp, it's again very similar to what you get at given category of interfaces - eg. it's O.K for many uses, albeit not great, if you upgrade to some more demanding cans.

If you encounter such situation, you'd better to look for some standalone HP amp like Schitt Magni.

Quote:
And how exactly can I use audio loopback?
Essentially, I've described that in my prev. post.
Say you're playing some audio from game or app - this is coming from a computer to interface, then you speaking some voiceover. This two sources can be mixed in interface (you have knobs for levels and pans available, plus low cut filter to remove possible rumble from mic input). Everything is controled from app called Zoom MixEfx.
Normally that mix is send just to headphones and speaker outs, but if you enable loopback switch at MixExf, then this mixed audio is looped back to your computer, where it appears at input of Zoom audio device.
If you then use some streaming app (say like OBS, but it's generic, it can work for example in Skype or whatever) and select the particular audio input from Zoom audio interface, then mentioned mix can be streamed or recorded together with video.

Quote:
And any other suggestions for interfaces not in my list?
Hard to say.. mentioned Zoom really stands out from others with its low latency performance.
Of course I can imagine, some more expensive choices (like RME Babyface Pro, UAD Twin etc.) can have additional bells and whistles, however if you're just starting out with one mic and multimedia speakers.. mentioned your main use case for streaming, I'm not really sure, whether it's really so important to spend money there for now.

In my experience, lot of people would like to achieve "professional" sounding VOs, but bottleneck isn't really at their audio interface or mic pres there.
Room acoustics, early reflections from desk and walls.. suboptimal stand and mic position is almost always much more audible (especially as significant part of audience listens to streamed content with headphones).

Quote:
Please suggest some open back headphones as well.
It's certainly very subjective and better to listen to what you prefer.

My takes.. Audio-Technica ATH-AD700X for very affordable ones.. Sennheiser HD600, HD650 as a step-up.

Michal
Old 4 weeks ago
  #11
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by msmucr View Post
Hi and you're welcome.



I'd say, it's fine for asked price.
You shouldn't have any issues with gain, when recording from RODE NT-1 condenser mic.
With regards to hp amp, it's again very similar to what you get at given category of interfaces - eg. it's O.K for many uses, albeit not great, if you upgrade to some more demanding cans.

If you encounter such situation, you'd better to look for some standalone HP amp like Schitt Magni.


Essentially, I've described that in my prev. post.
Say you're playing some audio from game or app - this is coming from a computer to interface, then you speaking some voiceover. This two sources can be mixed in interface (you have knobs for levels and pans available, plus low cut filter to remove possible rumble from mic input). Everything is controled from app called Zoom MixEfx.
Normally that mix is send just to headphones and speaker outs, but if you enable loopback switch at MixExf, then this mixed audio is looped back to your computer, where it appears at input of Zoom audio device.
If you then use some streaming app (say like OBS, but it's generic, it can work for example in Skype or whatever) and select the particular audio input from Zoom audio interface, then mentioned mix can be streamed or recorded together with video.


Hard to say.. mentioned Zoom really stands out from others with its low latency performance.
Of course I can imagine, some more expensive choices (like RME Babyface Pro, UAD Twin etc.) can have additional bells and whistles, however if you're just starting out with one mic and multimedia speakers.. mentioned your main use case for streaming, I'm not really sure, whether it's really so important to spend money there for now.

In my experience, lot of people would like to achieve "professional" sounding VOs, but bottleneck isn't really at their audio interface or mic pres there.
Room acoustics, early reflections from desk and walls.. suboptimal stand and mic position is almost always much more audible (especially as significant part of audience listens to streamed content with headphones).



It's certainly very subjective and better to listen to what you prefer.

My takes.. Audio-Technica ATH-AD700X for very affordable ones.. Sennheiser HD600, HD650 as a step-up.

Michal
Thank you so much for the detailed explanation.Other than that,the ur22 mk.2 also has audio loopback and better drivers as I have read Zoom drivers don't work on 64 bit windows.Other than that all my doubts are now cleared.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by blitz22 View Post
Thank you so much for the detailed explanation.Other than that,the ur22 mk.2 also has audio loopback and better drivers as I have read Zoom drivers don't work on 64 bit windows.Other than that all my doubts are now cleared.
Zoom drivers work perfect on Win 64. Zoom has excellent drivers and in this budget category stand out from other interfaces.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #13
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by blitz22 View Post
Thank you so much for the detailed explanation.Other than that,the ur22 mk.2 also has audio loopback and better drivers as I have read Zoom drivers don't work on 64 bit windows.Other than that all my doubts are now cleared.
Nope, it works well on 64 bit Windows (7 up to 10).. of course, you can find some reports from people experiencing issues, like with frankly any interface, as you can have many factors involved, but it's not because of non-working 64 bit drivers.
And no, UR22 it's not a better interface IMO.. Zoom has lower latency with the same buffer lengths and also slightly better audio specs, especially with regards to dynamic range.

Michal
Old 4 weeks ago
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by msmucr View Post
Nope, it works well on 64 bit Windows (7 up to 10).. of course, you can find some reports from people experiencing issues, like with frankly any interface, as you can have many factors involved, but it's not because of non-working 64 bit drivers.
And no, UR22 it's not a better interface IMO.. Zoom has lower latency with the same buffer lengths and also slightly better audio specs, especially with regards to dynamic range.

Michal
Which will likely go unnoticed unless one has the gear and the ear to go along with it.

Sorry mate, couldn't resist!

But yeah, agreed on everything else. Lower latency gives Zoom the nod if both drivers are equally stable.

How's the build quality on that UAC2? The UR22 is a sturdy little tank. Feels quite solid. Quite a heavy unit for its size - heavier than a Babyface Pro actually!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Diogo C View Post
Which will likely go unnoticed unless one has the gear and the ear to go along with it.

Sorry mate, couldn't resist!

But yeah, agreed on everything else. Lower latency gives Zoom the nod if both drivers are equally stable.

How's the build quality on that UAC2? The UR22 is a sturdy little tank. Feels quite solid. Quite a heavy unit for its size - heavier than a Babyface Pro actually!
The UR is a panzer indeed, I had a unit in my bag and actually got stuck between subway doors with it, not a scratch.
The Zoom is built very well as well, not as sturdy, but still with a metal chassis. I also think its headphone amp sounds better than the UR22 (original). Didn't try the newer UR units.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #16
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DAW PLUS View Post
The UR is a panzer indeed, I had a unit in my bag and actually got stuck between subway doors with it, not a scratch.
The Zoom is built very well as well, not as sturdy, but still with a metal chassis. I also think its headphone amp sounds better than the UR22 (original). Didn't try the newer UR units.
So zoom is the way to go then?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #17
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by msmucr View Post
Nope, it works well on 64 bit Windows (7 up to 10).. of course, you can find some reports from people experiencing issues, like with frankly any interface, as you can have many factors involved, but it's not because of non-working 64 bit drivers.
And no, UR22 it's not a better interface IMO.. Zoom has lower latency with the same buffer lengths and also slightly better audio specs, especially with regards to dynamic range.

Michal
So the zoom for the win then?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #18
I've never owned the Zoom UAC-2 and I gotta say it looks very good! USB-3 is a big plus. Anybody know who makes their preamps and converters? They all seem pretty similar in that price range, and things on the lower end are all way better than they used to be, so I'm sure they're perfectly fine. Just curious.

I own and very much like the Steinberg UR-22 so that's my official recommendation. As others have said, it's a solid little tank, easy to use, good build and design, easy on the wallet. The Yamaha preamps sound great to my ears.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #19
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by blitz22 View Post
First of all since this is my first thread here,I would like to start my first post with a warm hello to everyone here!!

Now,for the problem at hand.I recently built my first pc with the following specs:-
i7-9700k
32 gb 3000mhz ram
Asus rog hero xi maximus
2tb. Intel 660p storage

I also bought a pair of Mackie cr4s ,a rode nt1a mic,audio technica ath-mh40x,novation launch key 25 mk.2,and am looking to buy an usb audio interface.Here are my current options:-
1.Steinberg ur22
2.Presonus audio box 96
3. Mackie producer
4.Tascam us 2x2
5.Zoom uac-2
6.Roland rubix22
7.M audio 2x2m
I excluded the 2i2 and id14 due to lack of midi inputs.


So,as you can see there are quite a lot of options.I am currently leaning towards the Mackie since it comes with a full daw,whereas others are paired with stripped down versions of daws.
So, please suggest the best among these ones.
Another thing,also suggest some open back headphones that can be driven using the headphone out of the interface itself.

Thanking you in advance for any and all answers!!
GET the ZOOM UAC 2 and start making great music!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #20
Gear Maniac
 
ilikefruit's Avatar
For your needs I would go with the Zoom.

I think most people here are into recording music so most would choose differently.

I just wondered why you excluded the Audient interfaces?
You say it's for lack of MIDI interface but you have not listed any equipment that needs it.
Your keyboard connects via USB to your computer, not via MIDI.

Anyway, just wanted to point that out. But since you have another need than me and you got a really amazing reply from msmucr I think you're all set.
Good luck!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #21
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Savana Violenta View Post
GET the ZOOM UAC 2 and start making great music!
I have decided to get the uac-2 already!! Really excited!!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #22
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ilikefruit View Post
For your needs I would go with the Zoom.

I think most people here are into recording music so most would choose differently.

I just wondered why you excluded the Audient interfaces?
You say it's for lack of MIDI interface but you have not listed any equipment that needs it.
Your keyboard connects via USB to your computer, not via MIDI.

Anyway, just wanted to point that out. But since you have another need than me and you got a really amazing reply from msmucr I think you're all set.
Good luck!
It said on the Amazon sales page that it was a midi controller,but on further research I found it had only usb connection.
But now there are two further reasons preventing me from buying the audient interfaces:-
1.No audio loopback
2. I actually decided to get a launchkey instead of the oxygen

I really want to buy it but freeing up a usb slot is more important to me,not to mention that the loopback function is crucial to stream!

Anyways,thanks for the reply!!
Old 3 weeks ago
  #23
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by blitz22 View Post
Thanks so much man!!
Also,how are the mic preamps and the headphone out on the zoom?And how exactly can I use audio loopback?And any other suggestions for interfaces not in my list?

Please suggest some open back headphones as well.
I can recommend you the ZOOM UAC 2 strongly,great sounding AI,great clean pres,zero latency,you will be having fun recording.Here is how the ZOOM UAC 2 sounds Listen to White Dreams by Savana Violenta #np on #SoundCloud
White Dreams by Savana Violenta | Free Listening on SoundCloud ,Check my other song above like Dreamin' Creatures etc. they are all made with the ZOOM.
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