10 Best Audio Interface For Mac Under $500 (2023 Reviews)

audio interface for mac

Are you looking for the best audio interface for mac under $500? Audio interfaces are one of the essential components in a modern recording studio.

Whether creating electronic music with Ableton or recording an entire band with Logic Pro, you will need an audio interface to play and record your instruments or microphones.

There are so many options in audio interfaces, and it can be challenging to find the best one for your needs. So how do you choose the right audio interface?

In this blog post, I’ll talk about how I found my favorite interface under $500 when I was shopping around, what features it has, and choose the right audio interface.

By the end of this article, you can better understand the different audio interfaces and models on the market. You can also expect to know which features you should look for when buying an audio interface.

In a Hurry! Then this is my Best Pick

RME Digiface USB Digital Audio Interface is the Best Audio Interface For Mac Under $500. Because of its comes with plug-and-play technology. It has 4x DAT/SPDIF inputs and outputs, 32 Input/34 output channels, HDSP Digiface legacy, TotalMix FX, etc., at a reasonable price.

It records up to 24-bit/192 kHz sample rate. That is why I selected this. If you don’t have much time, you can go with this. Please read more information about it below.

rme digiface usb digital audio interface

How To Choose The Right Audio Interface For Your Needs

Before looking at audio interface reviews, you should first know what to look for. Here are some of the essential characteristics you should consider when buying an audio interface.


In many cases, you might need only one input if you’re recording a single voice or an acoustic guitar that’s plugging directly in, or something like that. One input may cover what you need, but in most cases, you’ll need at least 2.

So you could record a guitar and a voice simultaneously or a stereo instrument. If you’re working with a band or more than one instrument simultaneously, you want to have enough inputs to cover all of these sources simultaneously. There are audio interfaces that are offering even more inputs than that once.


The number of outputs is essential if you are recording more than one speaker or microphone. So, for example, if you plan to record a band with several singers and instrumentalists, you’ll need at least eight analog outputs on your interface.

However, most interfaces have two outputs combined into a stereo signal. Some models offer more advanced connectivity options, like insert cables or digital optical outputs.

No matter how many analog outputs you need, make sure your interface has enough headphone outputs. Multi-channel headphones are essential when recording several musicians or monitoring the sound during the creative process.

Microphone preamps

If you plan to record more than two people simultaneously, then having a couple of preamps is a must. If you only plan to record guitars and vocals, you don’t need many.

Sample rate & Bit depth

The sample rate determines how fast the audio interface can read data from the Mac. The bit depth controls the dynamic range of your recordings (from loud sounds to soft ones). Choosing an interface that can support at least 24 bit/96 kHz rates would be best.


If you are looking for an audio interface that can be easily integrated into your studio set-up, you should consider its design. The size and shape of the inputs and outputs matter a lot when choosing a suitable model.

Desktop vs Rackmounted

Desktop audio interfaces are usually very compact, allowing you to keep your desk clean. They have a small number of analog outputs, headphone outputs, and digital inputs or outputs, so they are great for home studios or musicians who need a simple interface to record vocals and instruments.

While Rackmounted audio interfaces are larger and more complex than desktop ones, they usually come with many analog outputs, microphone preamps, and digital inputs or outputs to be connected to many sound cards at once. If you plan to record heavy guitars with several effects, you should go for a rack-mounted audio interface.


There are 3 types of connectivity options that you should consider when buying an audio interface. USB, Firewire, and Thunderbolt are the best for Mac, working great with Windows PCs.

USB audio interface

USB audio interfaces work great if you have a laptop or a desktop PC with at least one USB port. These are the most portable audio interfaces, but they also offer fewer features than Firewire and Thunderbolt models. So, if you don’t plan on working outside your home studio, then a USB is perfect for you.

Firewire audio interface

Firewire audio interfaces are great if you have a Mac or PC with a Firewire port. You can use low noise preamplifiers and better conversion options with these interfaces. However, they are more expensive than USB models, they need to be powered by an AC adapter, and most computers don’t come with a Firewire port anymore. It has a maximum speed of 3200 megabits/sec.

Thunderbolt audio interface

Thunderbolt audio interfaces are the most popular interface options right now. They offer low latency, high speed, and maximum affordability. These models come with software suites that include effects, virtual instruments, and other features that give your recordings a professional sound. Thunderbolt delivers up to 40 gigabits/sec of speed which is excellent for recording and editing audio data.

OS and DAW compatibility

Before buying an audio interface, check whether it is compatible with your computer or not. USB, Firewire, and Thunderbolt models are usually compatible with Mac and PCs, but you should check the model’s specifications to be sure.

Most audio interfaces are compatible with many DAWs. If you are using an older version of Logic Pro, then you’d better check whether your audio interface is compatible with it or not.

Special features

Finally, you want to look at special features that might be important for what you’re doing in your particular applications, e.g., a ramp output that allows you to send a guitar level signal back out. So you can either run the signal into a guitar amplifier or route it into guitar pedals and then bring that back in when you’re mixing.

Some audio interfaces also offer onboard DSP or digital signal processing chips. Now, these chips allow for latency-free monitoring using a built-in mixer. They can also allow you to run proprietary plugins and special processing effects inside the audio interface without loading down your Mac or computer.

10 Best Audio Interface For Mac Under $500

1RME Digiface USB DigitalView on Amazon
2Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd GenView on Amazon
3MOTU M4View on Amazon
4PreSonus Studio 1824cView on Amazon
5Steinberg UR-RT2View on Amazon
6BEHRINGER U-Phoria UMC1820View on Amazon
7M-Audio AIR 192|14View on Amazon
8Komplete Audio 6 Mk2View on Amazon
9Tascam US-16×08View on Amazon
10Audient iD14View on Amazon

Now, let’s see my top picks for the best audio interface for mac under $500.

See our other reviews and buying guides of audio interface:

1. RME Digiface USB Digital Audio Interface

rme digiface usb digital audio interface

Key features

  • Plug and play technology
  • RME’s robust drivers
  • 4x DAT/SPDIF inputs and outputs
  • Analog high-quality line/phones output via 6.3 mm TRS jack
  • TotalMix FX includes a 2244 channel mixer with 46-bit internal resolution
  • HDSP Digiface legacy
  • No external power supply required
  • 32 Input/34 output channels
  • 66 Channels I/O via USB 2.0

This year’s best audio interface for mac under $500 is the RME Digiface. The RME Digiface USB Digital Audio interface has a compact design to allow you to record with ease. It’s lightweight and comes with a low profile to provide excellent stability when recording. The drivers are robust for Mac and PC, which offer lower latency.

The headphone amp is included to do mobile recordings without carrying a bulky mixing desk around. 4x DAT/SPDIF inputs and outputs are available, which means that this interface would work well with other interfaces and keyboards.

This interface has a TRS jack for headphones or other speakers that you might want to use while being recorded if needed. This interface has the latest Plug’n’Play technology, which provides quick installation for users of Mac and PCs to plug in and start recording.

This interface is specifically made to work with Logic Pro, making it a great choice if your recording software is Logic Pro. It will also work well with other DAWs since it has a Plug’n’Play driver installation, but you might need to check compatibility with different interfaces first.

An RME Low-Latency driver is included so that lower latency can be achieved. This interface has a total of 66 Channels I/O via USB 2.0, which provides for 32 input and 34 output channels which means you can connect your monitors, keyboards, and more to this interface.

This audio interface has TotalMix FX included, which features a 2244 channel mixer with a 46-bit internal resolution, full dynamics, and very low latency.

It supports sample frequencies of 28-bit/192 kHz, which means you can easily record audio at different sample rates and edit those files.

This interface isn’t battery-powered and requires no external power supply, which is excellent if you need to be mobile while recording.


  • 32 Input/34 output channels
  • USB powered
  • HDSP Digiface legacy
  • TotalMix FX
  • Solid drivers
  • Compact and portable
  • 66 Channels I/O via USB 2.0


  • No stand-alone or class-compliant modes
  • It doesn’t work with iPhone / iPad

2. Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen Audio Interface

focusrite scarlett 2i2 3rd gen audio interface

Key features

  • 24-bit/192kHz converters
  • Switchable Air mode
  • 2 high-headroom instrument inputs
  • 2 balanced line inputs
  • Level indicators
  • Super-low latency
  • Headphone output with independent level control
  • USB bus-powered
  • Includes Pro Tools

The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen Audio Interface is one of the best mid-level interfaces on the market, featuring quality components with great interfaces. The interface has two channels that can be combined into an output for stereo operation or used separately for different input sources.
It also offers excellent performance with its 24-bit /192kHz A/D conversion.

It also has a digital monitor controller with level control which allows you to set the volume of your headphones during playback. It also features a high-speed USB connection and a single front panel multifunction jack enabling you to simultaneously use a guitar, microphone, line-in, RCA, or S/PDIF input.

The interface comes with an exclusive version of Pro Tools: First Focusrite Creative Pack, Ableton Live Lite music-making software, the Softube Time and Tone Bundle. This is an excellent value for money on this one.

The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen Audio Interface also offers two upgraded third-generation Scarlett mic preamps that have been designed to ensure the finest quality of sound. A newly-designed instrument input can handle even the hottest guitar pick-ups.

You don’t need to use batteries or a power supply. All you need is your Mac and this interface, which means minimal set-up time.

Included with every Scarlett 2i2 (3rd Gen) is a free three-year warranty, ensuring that your investment is adequately protected.


  • High-resolution recording up to 24-bit/192kHz
  • Low latency
  • Good headphone amp
  • Direct monitoring
  • Air mode
  • Bus-powered
  • Excellent value


  • Not compatible with Windows
  • It doesn’t offer a hardware mixer

3. MOTU M4 Audio Interface

motu m4 audio interface

Key features

  • 2x mic/line/Hi-Z guitar inputs
  • 2x balanced 1/4-inch line inputs
  • 4x balanced 1/4-inch TRS out
  • 4x RCA analog out
  • 1x stereo headphone
  • 1x MIDI in/out
  • 120 dB dynamic range on output
  • -129 dBu EIN on mic inputs
  • 48V phantom power
  • 44.1 to 192 kHz sample rates
  • Bus-powered USB-C
  • Include MOTU Performer Lite 10
  • 6 GB of free loops, samples, and libraries

The MOTU M4 Audio Interface is a Thunderbolt and USB-C compatible interface with rugged metal construction and 44.1 to 192 kHz sample rates. The M4 features two mic/line inputs with 120 dB dynamic range, four 1/4″ balanced TRS outputs with 129 Db EIN, and one 1/4″ stereo headphone output with volume control.

M4’s metal casing is as robust as it looks and feels, protecting the interface from accidental damage. You can confidently place it on a stand or in a rack in virtually any stage environment.

The M4 supports USB Type-A and is compatible with both Mac and PC laptops. It also comes with MOTU Performer Lite 10 and Ableton Live Lite 10 software which offer 6 GB of free loops, samples, and libraries. This audio interface will be a great addition to any studio setup.

This audio interface has ESS Sabre32 Ultra DAC technology which provides a high-resolution D/A converter. This can deliver near-perfect playback into any studio or recording environment, improving sound quality and reducing ear fatigue.

The MOTU M4 audio interface has a MIDI in/out feature, which allows you to connect your DAW to control surfaces, keyboards, and other MIDI-compatible equipment.

The M4’s compact, bus-powered design makes it easy to connect to any laptop or desktop computer. It is equipped with a USB-C port that supports native USB-C computers like the MacBook Pro and other Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) enabled Windows laptops.


  • Ultra-high-speed USB-C interface
  • Rugged design
  • Bus-powered USB-C design high sample rate
  • ESS Sabre32 Ultra DAC technology
  • Mic Preamps deliver crystal clear audio
  • Compatible with both Mac and PC laptops


  • Not compatible with older Logic Pro

4. PreSonus Studio 1824c Audio Interface

presonus studio 1824c audio interface

Key features

  • 18 inputs/20 outputs
  • 8 mic inputs with XMAX Class A mic preamps
  • 8 channels of ADAT Optical I/O
  • 8 balanced ¼” TRS main outputs
  • 2 stereo headphone outputs
  • 1 MIDI In/Out
  • 1 USB-C compatible 2.0 port
  • BNC word clock output
  • Zero-latency DSP based monitor mixing
  • 48V phantom power
  • 10 ladder-style 8-LED level meters
  • High-definition 24-bit/192 kHz converters

The PreSonus Studio 1824c Audio Interface is a dream come true for many musicians and producers. This interface supports up to 18 inputs or 20 outputs simultaneously, providing more than enough options for any studio setup.

The interface features 2 mic/instrument/line inputs with XMAX Class A Mic preamps, 6 mic/line inputs with XMAX Class A Mic preamps, and 8 channels of ADAT Optical I/O in addition to two balanced ¼” TRS main outputs and eight balanced ¼” TRS line outputs for monitor mixing.

It includes 2 stereo headphone outputs, MIDI In/Out, S/PDIF digital I/O, 1 USB-C compatible 2.0 port, and BNC word clock output.

This audio interface has zero-latency DSP-based monitor mixing, which empowers you with a no-latency monitoring interface that lets you take full advantage of your studio monitors’ capabilities and hear the subtleties in your mix.

It comes with Studio Magic Plug-in Suite, consisting of 13 pro-quality classic effects plugins, including reverbs, delays, modulation effects, amp simulators, and EQs.

It has a 48V phantom power with 10 ladder-style 8-LED level meters and high-definition 24-bit/192 kHz audio with a 114 dB dynamic range.

Innovative USB Type C connectivity provides power and data transfer from your Mac to Studio 1824c for maximum speed, stability, and reliability.


  • High-definition 24-bit/192 kHz audio
  • 114dB dynamic range
  • Support up to 18 inputs or 20 outputs
  • 8 balanced ¼” microphone line outputs for monitor mixing
  • USB-C compatible
  • MIDI In/Out
  • S/PDIF digital I/O
  • Zero-latency


  • Mic pre amp gain is very low output

5. Steinberg UR-RT2 Audio Interface

steinberg ur-rt2 audio interface

Key features

  • Hight resolution 24-bit/192 kHz converter
  • 2 Class-A D-PRE mic preamps
  • Rupert Neve Designs
  • Zero-latency DSP-powered monitoring
  • 48 V phantom power
  • Loopback function
  • 2 front-panel Mic/Line/hi-Z instrument combo jacks
  • 2 additional rear-panel Line Inputs

The Steinberg UR-RT2 Audio Interface with Cubase AI and Cubasis LE music software is a perfect choice if you want modern connectivity options, Class-A preamps, a high-resolution 24-bit/192kHz converter, plus a whole lot more.

This audio interface is designed to provide the best possible sound quality. The D-PRE mic preamps offer high headroom, wide dynamic range, and low noise level.

Rupert Neve Designs input transformers to improve the audio signal without adding noise or coloration. Thanks to its Zero-latency DSP-powered monitoring, you can hear what you are recording.

With +48V phantom power, you can use studio condenser microphones with the UR-RT2. Its 2 front-panel Mic/Line/hi-Z instrument combo jacks with metal casing and rubber protection will impress you.

On top of that, there are 2 additional rear-panel Line Inputs for your guitar/bass, synths, or any other line-level source.

Cubase AI DAW is included in the package, so you can start recording right away. You will also receive Steinberg’s Cubasis LE music software that offers 48 audio tracks and 44 MIDI tracks.

This audio interface supports both Windows and Mac OS thanks to its USB 2.0 port. You have MIDI input and output, which is essential if you use MIDI controllers.


  • Hight resolution 24-bit/192kHz
  • Excellent build quality
  • Solid recording quality
  • Neve transformers
  • Cross-platform compatibility


  • No optical ports
  • Only one Hi-Z input

6. BEHRINGER U-Phoria UMC1820 Audio Interface

behringer u-phoria umc1820 audio interface

Key features

  • 18 inputs and 20 outputs
  • 24-Bit/96 kHz resolution
  • Ultra-low latency audio to your Mac
  • MIDAS designed Mic Preamplifiers
  • +48 V phantom power
  • Zero-latency cue mixes
  • Dual headphone outputs
  • High-quality components and rugged construction

The U-Phoria UMC1820 is designed to be rack-mounted. It is an Audio/MIDI interface with ADAT I/O for multi-channel applications.

The Behringer U-Phoria UMC1820 Audio Interface is a powerful and versatile solution for routing sound in any environment. It has 18 inputs and 20 outputs to connect plenty of gear.

The audio interface offers a dedicated MIDI input and output and a separate USB port for connection to your Mac or PC so that you can have simultaneous 2-way communication with recording software.

With a 24-bit/96 kHz resolution, it will record with excellent detail and clarity. It is compatible with USB 2.0, giving you a high-speed connection to your Mac.

The ultra-low latency audio will also give you zero-latency monitor mixes while recording and playing. The 32-bit floating-point DSP effects guarantee an ultra-low noise level on all outputs, even at the highest settings.

The direct monitoring feature will allow for zero-latency cue mixes. The TRS, XLR, and RCA outputs can be used as separate monitor outs or mixed to send the signal to your active speakers.

With MIDAS-designed Mic Preamplifiers, you can adjust the Gain Control and the two-band EQ (Bass and Treble Control) to get vocals sounding exactly how you want them. You can start recording quickly because the Behringer UMC1820 comes with Cubase Artist DAW production software for Mac and Windows computers included.

When you need a powerful, versatile, and simple-to-use-all-in-one solution, the Behringer U-Phoria UMC1820 is a perfect fit.


  • Zero-latency direct monitoring
  • Stereo and mono switch option
  • Rugged design
  • 18 inputs and 20 outputs
  • Gain control
  • Dual headphone A/B monitoring
  • MIDI I/O


  • No mono direct monitoring

7. M-Audio AIR 192|14 Audio Interface

m-audio air 19214 audio interface

Key features

  • 24-bit/192kHz resolution
  • Rugged metal chassis
  • 4 XLR+¼ TRS combo inputs
  • 2 ¼” instrument inputs
  • 2 ¼” Line inputs
  • Stereo ¼” outputs with direct mono/stereo switch
  • 2 ¼” assignable auxiliary Outputs
  • 2 ¼” headphone outputs
  • MIDI in/ out
  • USB/direct knob
  • Inlcudes premium software

The M-Audio AIR 192|14 audio interface offers the perfect solution for professional audio recording. It delivers 24-bit/192kHz resolution with low latency, Hi-Speed USB (USB-C) connectivity, and rugged metal chassis.

The audio interface offers 4 XLR+¼ TRS combo inputs, 2 ¼” instrument inputs, 2 ¼” line inputs, stereo ¼” outputs with direct mono/stereo switch, 2 ¼” assignable auxiliary outputs, and 2 ¼” headphone outputs.

It also features 5-pin MIDI input/outputs for DAW control and all premium software bundle. You can purchase this audio interface at an affordable price without compromising quality.

This audio interface has USB/direct KNOB for zero-latency monitoring, an excellent feature for guitar players. The M-Audio AIR 192|14 comes with preamp control that allows you to take mix control of their preamp levels right from the front panel.

The software included with this audio interface includes Ableton Live Lite, AIR Music Tech Xpand, AIR Music Tech Hybrid 3, and AIR Music Tech Strike. Also compatible with A-type USB 2.0 ports if you don’t have USB-C.


  • Solid build quality
  • Value for money
  • Phantom power
  • Plug and play
  • Powerful headphone amp


  • It doesn’t work properly on a Ryzen pc
  • Poor tech support

8. Komplete Audio 6 Mk2 Audio Interface

komplete audio 6 mk2 audio interface

Key features

  • 24-bits/192 kHz recording
  • 4 analog inputs and outputs
  • 2 digital stereo input and output
  • MIDI in/out
  • 2 headphone outputs
  • USB 2.0 Bus-Power
  • 48-volt phantom power
  • High-quality preamps

The Komplete Audio 6 Mk2 audio interface is a perfect way to balance the performance of an audio interface with the desire for a versatile system. It provides a variety of connections and levels of functionality that can accommodate any music project.

The inputs and outputs on the Komplete Audio 6 Mk2 are great for microphones, guitars, keyboards, or any other instruments that you might need. The fact that it has a simple design improves its usability and durability.

The Komplete Audio 6 Mk2 has a sample rate of 192 kHz and 24 bits. It allows for uncompressed operation and is an ideal choice if you’re looking for an excellent audio interface that can record at high quality.

The USB 2.0 Bus-Power means that this audio interface can be used by those who don’t have a power source nearby because all it needs is a USB port to work without plug-in separately.

The Komplete Audio 6 Mk2 also minimizes latency and can handle a variety of sample rates.

It has 4 analog inputs and outputs for balanced analog connections. There are 2 digital stereo inputs and outputs and S/PDIF for optical connectivity. The interface features MIDI I/O.

It also has dual headphone outputs with independent level control for monitoring with zero latency.


  • Excellent build quality
  • MIDI ports
  • Phantom power
  • High-quality preamps


  • Ony monitors for headphones

9. Tascam US-16×08 Audio Interface

tascam us-16x08 audio interface

Key features

  • 16 input and 8 output
  • 24-bit/96kHz resolution
  • 8 Ultra-HDDA microphone preamps
  • 8 balanced line-level outputs
  • MIDI I/O
  • DSP Mixer for low-latency digital mixing
  • Includes removable rack ears
  • +48V phantom power

The Tascam US-16×08 Audio Interface is a professional audio interface that has 16 inputs and 8 outputs. It also supports 24-bit/96kHz resolution and offers you 8 Ultra HDDA microphone preamps with up to 56dB of gain.

This interface also includes 2 of the 8 line inputs that offer switchable instrument-level. The 8 balanced line-level outputs accommodate multiple monitor mixes while having a maximum combined output level of +28 dBu.

The audio interface also features a DSP mixer for low latency digital mixing with a built-in, free monitoring mix. It also includes a MIDI I/O port and racks ears for easy installation.

This audio interface also has +48V phantom power for microphone compatibility.


  • Lots of I/O
  • Excellent recording/playback quality
  • Good build quality
  • MIDI I/O



10. Audient iD14 Audio Interface

audient id14 audio interface

Key features

  • 2 Class-A Mic Preamps
  • Burr-Brown converters
  • 1 discrete JFET DI instrument input
  • 2 Neutrik combo connectors
  • 8-channel ADAT input
  • Balanced 1/4″ main outputs
  • +48V phantom power

This is one of the best interfaces manufactured by Audient, and it has many features that show its quality.

The Audient iD14 Audio Interface is a 2-channel interface that features two Class A microphone preamps driven by two high-performance Burr-Brown converters for professional quality sound.

It also features one discrete JFET DI instrument input, 2 Neutrik combo connectors for mic/line inputs, 8-channel ADAT input, balanced 1/4 main outputs, and a separate headphone amplifier output stage.

The Audient iD14 has +48V phantom power, all of which make it one of the best interfaces in its price range.

Overall, the Audient iD14 Audio Interface is an excellent choice for both home and professional studio recording, as it provides a superb sound along with a wide range of connectivity options.


  • Good build quality
  • Class-A Mic Preamps
  • Burr-Brown converters
  • Great sound quality


  • Phantom power work only on DC power


What is the best audio interface for Mac under $500?

RME Digiface USB Digital Audio Interface is the Best Audio Interface For Mac Under $500. Because It has 66 inputs and outputs channels, including 32 input and 34 output, it doesn’t require an external power supply. With RME, you will get excellent audio quality and easy-to-use products for your Mac.

What are the most popular audio interface brands?

The most popular audio interface brands in the market are Audient, Focusrite, MOTU, Native Instruments (NI), PreSonus (PreSonus Audio Electronics), and RME Audio (RME) Company.


The audio interfaces offer a wide range of input and output options to meet your needs. Whether you’re recording vocals, guitars, or even an entire band at once, these models provide the connectivity and features to get the job done right.

The microphones preamps are often designed with studio-quality sound in mind, and they will give you more control over levels than typical computer mics would allow.

Overall, these models should handle any project from solo artists to bands looking for affordable yet reliable enough for professional use.

So if you are looking for an audio interface that can capture every nuance in your music, you won’t go wrong with any of these models.

Just make sure you pick the one with enough inputs and outputs to meet your needs at a price you are comfortable paying.

Also, you can follow our buying guides to find a perfect audio interface for your Mac.

Now, I want to know which audio interface is your favorite.

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