5 Best Audio Interface For Streaming 2022 – Complete Guide

audio interface for streaming

When it comes to streaming, one of the first things you’ll need is an audio interface. An audio interface allows you to send your sound out into the world, and it’s a great way to get started with streaming video or voice. 

That said, you don’t have to go out and spend hundreds on something expensive if you aren’t sure what you want. I’ve done this before and seen what some people are interested in regarding interfaces. So, here are the 5 best audio interfaces for streaming.

In a Hurry! Then this is the Best Audio Interface

This year’s best audio interface for streaming is Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen because it has solid sound quality, phantom power, air mode, low latency, 2 balanced line inputs with adjustable input levels, 2 balanced output, 2 mic preamps, easy to set up at an affordable price.

It’s a powerful audio interface for doing more than just streaming. It comes with plenty of software and plugins to create and record music. That is why I selected this. If you don’t have much time, you can go with this. If you want more information about it, you can read it below.

focusrite scarlett 2i2 3rd gen

What is an audio interface?

An audio interface is a hardware device that allows you to connect your computer to your music studio and record or playback audio. It lets you capture input from various sources such as microphones, instruments, keyboards, and more.

An audio interface can also turn your computer into a virtual instrument. This means you can connect any MIDI device (such as a keyboard) to the interface and use it as if it were an actual sound source.

The best audio interfaces allow you to record multiple sounds simultaneously on your computer, which helps record multitrack sessions with numerous musicians in the same studio space.

Why do I need an audio interface?

Many people think of an audio interface as something that’s explicitly used for recording purposes, but it’s quite versatile. Audio interfaces can be used for recording, but they’re also great for streaming.

The biggest reason to get an audio interface is that it makes streaming easier. You can use the computer’s built-in mic and speakers, but they don’t have the same quality as a dedicated microphone and audio interface.

A microphone is essential if you want to record yourself talking or if you want to play back streaming audio through a computer’s speakers.

The second reason to get an audio interface is that it gives you more control over your sound. Most computers only have one microphone input, so you’ll need an external microphone if you want to broadcast while recording. 

Finally, an audio interface lets you use higher-quality microphones than what’s built into your computer. This can be important if you’re recording instruments or vocals because those require more power than simple voice files.

Buying Guides

Before buying the best audio interface for streaming, you should consider these things. If you don’t want to read buying guide, you could go to the review section.

1. Budget

If you are looking to buy an audio interface for streaming, the first thing you need to do is decide how much money you want to spend. There are many options available, ranging from $10 to $1,000+ in price, but the most important thing is getting one that fits your needs.

Most people will want to buy an interface with more connections than they need to use the extra ports for future expansion. However, this may not be your best option if your budget is tight.

The main purpose of an audio interface is to connect two pieces of equipment to work together. The more expensive the interface, the better it will be at this job. 

However, if you’re starting and don’t have much money, don’t worry about getting one with some great features. You can save money and buy something later when your career takes off!

2. Inputs

The first thing to consider is input. Knowing what type of input will be available on your audio interface is essential. Some audio interfaces have only one XLR input, while others have two or more XLR inputs. This is an essential factor because some microphones require phantom power, which the power supply in the box can only provide.

The number of inputs on your audio interface is also important. You may want to buy an audio interface that has more than one input so that you can record from multiple instruments simultaneously. If you use multiple microphones simultaneously, ensure that your audio interface has three separate inputs.

3. Headphone output

You might think this is just a meaningless feature, but it’s not. If you want to make sure that your output sounds good in headphones, you will need a way to monitor the sound while you record.

The headphone output is essential for streaming because it allows you to monitor your audio without having the computer speakers turned on. The headphone output is also essential if you want to record audio from your computer because it allows you to hear what’s going on in the recording while you’re streaming on Twitch, Youtube, Facebook, etc.

4. Balanced stereo output

You must ensure that the interface you buy has balanced stereo output. Unbalanced outputs are the standard for headphones and earbuds. 

Mono doesn’t offer any additional benefits over this configuration. The most common example of an unbalanced output is a simple 3.5mm plug on an audio cable that connects to a smartphone or tablet.

Balanced outputs can be found on almost every audio gear these days – they offer two separate channels in one cable, with one side carrying the left signal and the other carrying the right signal. This means there is no chance of a ground loop effect occurring between the two channels. 

An audio interface with balanced outputs will ensure your audio stays clean and clear when streamed through different devices like computers or smartphones with built-in speakers or headphones.

5. Mic preamps

A microphone preamp (also known as a “mic pre”) is a piece of hardware or software that boosts the signal coming from your microphone, making it louder and clearer.

Some interfaces offer multiple mic preamps, and some offer only one. But having more than one mic preamp is crucial if you want to record several people at once or need a high-quality recording that can be edited later.

A good mic preamp will make your recordings sound more professional. It will also give you more options when editing your audio files in software like Audacity or Adobe Audition.

A good mic preamp will also help prevent feedback from occurring when recording close to other people or equipment that might produce annoying sounds, such as fans or air conditioning units.

6. Phantom power

Phantom power is the ability of an audio interface to supply a positive voltage (in the range of +12V) to a microphone, allowing it to be powered. 

This is useful if you want to use your mic with an electric guitar, as without phantom power, you might end up with distorted sound when using a condenser mic and an electric guitar.

You may be wondering what this has to do with streaming, but it’s also essential in this case. 

No matter what software or hardware you’re using to record your music or input your audio into your DAW, any time anything plays through that interface, it will automatically be affected by its built-in effects. 

This can make all the difference between having usable recordings and ones that sound like garbage!

7. Power supply

The power supply will determine the maximum output of your audio interface, and how much current it can supply to the device you are using it with.

The higher the number, the more powerful your audio interface will be. If you have a high-end system, then you might need to use an external power supply to provide enough juice for your system to run smoothly.

The audio interface can be powered by USB or an external power supply if you use a computer with a built-in sound card. USB is usually more convenient since it lets you connect your audio interface directly to your computer. 

If you are using a laptop, you should also use an external power supply. The reason is that laptops do not have enough power to support high-end audio interfaces like those found on desktop computers, and laptops with integrated sound cards offer poor-quality sound.

8. Build quality

Build quality is the most important factor when choosing an audio interface for streaming. A high-quality interface will have a sturdy design that can handle the rigors of daily use. That’s why it’s important to spend time researching the different options before purchasing.

Some of the more expensive interfaces might offer a better build quality than their cheaper counterparts, but it’s not always the case. There are plenty of affordable options on Amazon and other websites that are still pretty sturdy and durable. 

The best approach is to look at the price tag and how much abuse your interface will take before buying it. Some users prefer these devices because they don’t mind spending a bit more on something that looks good but won’t break as easily as another option.

If used frequently or dropped accidentally while being transported from place to place, make sure the audio interface is sturdy enough so it won’t break easily.

9. Software and drivers

Software is essential because it determines how the audio interface will behave. If you’re using a dedicated audio interface, your computer’s operating system should be able to support it without any additional drivers. 

It may require drivers to work correctly if you’re using a USB audio device that isn’t made by a major manufacturer (such as Focusrite or Presonus).

Drivers can be downloaded free from the manufacturers’ websites and installed on your computer. Some USB audio devices will come with their drivers included in the box, but if not, you’ll have to download them separately.

10. Latency

Latency is the time it takes for an audio signal to travel from the input side of an interface to the output of an interface. Latency is measured in milliseconds (ms), but most people are familiar with latency as the delay time between when you press play on a song and when it starts playing.

Low latency ensures that your audio is as accurate as possible, while high latency can cause problems in recording or streaming.

Low latency is ideal if you want to use your computer as a digital audio workstation (DAW). A low latency connection allows you to perform advanced editing tasks without losing track of what you’re doing or causing any dropouts in your performance. 

It also allows you to record multiple tracks simultaneously, which is very difficult with high latency connections.

High latency can affect professional recording sessions, especially with complex instruments like guitars and drums, requiring accurate timing across multiple channels. 

High latency may also make it difficult for people who stream live music via Twitch or YouTube Live because they can’t keep up with what’s happening on screen.

11. Size and weight

The smaller the interface, the more likely it is to be portable and easy to carry. The size of your interface should be proportional to the number of inputs and outputs you need. 

For example, if you only need a couple of inputs and outputs, then an interface that is small and lightweight will work best. If you need a lot of inputs and outputs, then an interface with more space may be better.

The weight of your audio interface should also be considered when choosing a product. Some interfaces are made with metal, while others are made with plastic or wood. 

Metal is generally heavier than plastic or wood but can be more durable since it’s not susceptible to moisture damage or other environmental factors such as heat and cold. 

Plastic or wood may not last as long as metal, but they can be lighter weight, so they won’t hurt your back when transporting them from place to place or carrying them from one location to another in your home studio or office space.

12. Connection type

The most common are USB, FireWire, and Thunderbolt. USB is the universal connection type, but it is not as fast as FireWire or Thunderbolt.

USB has a standard rate of up to 12Mb/s, which can be used to connect to a computer or laptop. 

FireWire 800 has a rate of up to 800Mb/s, which can be used to connect to a computer or laptop. However, many devices do not support FireWire 800, so you must know what your device will support before making purchase decisions.

Thunderbolt is designed primarily for high-speed data transfer between computers and peripherals such as audio interfaces, displays, and cameras. 

It also provides two channels of audio I/O (input and output) so that you can record from multiple sources simultaneously on your computer or laptop.

5 Best audio interface for streaming 2022 – Glance

#Product
1Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd GenView on Amazon
2TC-Helicon GoXLR MiniView on Amazon
3MOTU M2View on Amazon
4M-Audio AIR 192|14View on Amazon
5Behringer U-PHORIA UM2View on Amazon

Let’s see the review of these audio interfaces. I hope this may help you to choose an audio interface.

1. Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen – Overall best audio interface for streaming

focusrite scarlett 2i2 3rd gen

Specification

  • Computer Connectivity: USB 2.0
  • Simultaneous I/O: 2 x 2
  • Number of Preamps: 2
  • Phantom Power: Yes
  • A/D Resolution: Up to 24-bit/192kHz
  • Analog Inputs: 2 x XLR-1/4″ combo (mic/line/Hi-Z)
  • Analog Outputs: 2 x 1/4″ TRS
  • Headphones: 1 x 1/4″
  • USB: 1 x Type USB-C
  • Compatibility: USB-C iPad Pro
  • OS Requirements – Mac: macOS 10.12 or later
  • OS Requirements – PC: Windows 7 SP1 or later (Scarlett), Windows 10 v1809 or later (3-month Avid Pro Tools Subscription)
  • Bus Powered: Yes
  • Power Supply: USB bus powered

The first element that attracted us was the appearance of this interface. Indeed, the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen has a minimalist and very interesting look. Its glowing rings around the gain control add charm to the British manufacturer’s interface.

Then, we must mention its small size (175 x 47.5 x 98.8 mm). Thanks to this, Focusrite’s device requires little space and is easy to store. Naturally, this third generation is ultra-light, namely 470 grams.

It should be remembered that it is one of the sound cards whose weight does not exceed 500 grams. Its transportability is indeed a point that professionals who link services will not fail to appreciate.

However, this compact side does not prevent the console from being perfectly solid, thanks to the choice of aluminum for the case.

Connectivity is another essential dimension of any console. In this case, we must salute the excellent balance of Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen. Given its small volume, we logically expect somewhat limited connectivity, which is not the case here.

The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen first features two balanced line inputs with adjustable input levels. In addition, it has two balanced outputs for monitoring. Another advantage: the combo inputs are compatible with XLR microphones and 6.35 guitar jacks.

To summarize, even if the number of channels is relatively modest, the console allows you to connect various elements. Thus, everyone can find their perfect combo (bass, guitar, synthesizers, vocals, etc.) according to their needs.

During our test, we identified several other advantages. Starting with a phantom power supply that works perfectly.

Similarly, it is absolutely necessary to mention the two Scarlett microphone pre-amps. Beyond unparalleled efficiency, the interface incorporates an unprecedented feature. This mode, dubbed “Air,” adds a layer to the console’s recording capability. Its main contribution is to allow the sound engineer or producer to add treble while recording.

This console’s ergonomics and general ease of use are also very significant. The layout of the buttons and potentiometers themselves allows for intuitive handling. But Focusrite makes it even easier by providing a “starter kit.”

In short, whether you are a novice or an experienced musician, you should have no problem getting started in your first sessions.

Focusrite doesn’t stop there. The British manufacturer provides a whole series of software, including the well-known Ableton Live Lite.

The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen offers a very detailed sound image. Clarity and nuance are at the rendezvous thanks to a maximum sampling frequency of 192 kHz and a resolution of 24 bits. Whatever the instrument or the microphone is connected, the small machine from Focusrite does not have to be ashamed in front of the competition.

No more annoying hiss and noise with this very versatile console. The studio or stage adapts without problem to the various frameworks of use.

All in all, the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen is a real treat. And it had no difficulty becoming one of the best consoles of this type. Because of its performance and its solidity, it must be said that the price chosen is another considerable advantage.

Pros

  • Great sound quality
  • Affordable
  • Solid preamps
  • Air mode
  • Low-latency monitoring
  • Easy to set up and use

Cons

  • No MIDI I/O

2. TC-Helicon GoXLR Mini – All in one

tc helicon goxlr mini

Specification

  • Type: Streaming Mixer with USB Interface
  • Channels: 4
  • Computer Connectivity: USB 2.0
  • A/D Resolution: 24-bit/48kHz
  • Faders: 4
  • Inputs – Mic Preamps: 1 x XLR, 1 x 1/8″ TS
  • Phantom Power: Yes (switchable via app)
  • Inputs – Line: 1 x 1/8″ TRS (stereo)
  • Outputs – Main: 1 x 1/8″ TRS (stereo)
  • Headphones: 1 x 1/8″ TRS
  • USB: 1 x Type B
  • Other I/O: 1 x Optical Toslink (Xbox/Playstation)
  • EQ Bands: DSP EQ
  • Signal Processing: Compression, Gate
  • Software: Go XLR Mini App (required for operation)
  • OS Requirements – PC: Windows 7 SP1 or later, Intel Core 2 Duo Processor or Higher, Ethernet Port
  • Power Source: USB bus powered
  • Weight: 1.5 lbs.

You can choose between a 3.5mm headset microphone on the front, a dynamic microphone without phantom power, or a condenser microphone with phantom power on the XLR input on the back. There is also a noise gate, an equalizer, and a compressor. All with a reduced simple setting option and advanced settings for advanced users.

In addition to the physical inputs, you have five virtual playback devices that you can set up as the default device in the respective applications. In this way, independent control of up to four sources is possible. All others can be controlled at least digitally in the software.

In addition, there are also three recording devices to which you can assign the sound sources via a clear routing matrix. For example, a streaming mix that includes all sources and a chat mix that only plays the mic, so you don’t bother your teammates.

Of course, the comprehensive RGB lighting can also be set specifically so that the device blends in perfectly with your setup.

The GoXLR Mini has just a USB cable to connect to the PC. Fortunately, nothing more is needed here.

The device feels high quality from the start, with a mix of metal and plastic all in black. The only major disadvantage is the high-gloss surface. Every single fingerprint is visible here. Otherwise, there is also an RGB color spectacle. But that comes later.

All credit to the various settings, but what about the sound quality? The playback works excellently and is in no way inferior to common gaming sound cards. However, what is missing here are features such as an equalizer and 7.1 sound.

After all, both can be used via Windows settings, and if it is very important to you, you can also connect a gaming sound card to the line-in.

The GoXLR Mini also sounds clean and high-quality in the recording. Condenser mics amplify it easily, but dynamic mics can be more difficult.

My Rode Procaster sounded good in the test, but strangely enough, a hissing sound could be heard in the monitoring. I would be particularly careful with more difficult microphones and primarily rely on condenser microphones.

Pros

  • All in one product
  • High-quality preamp
  • Effortless mixing
  • Compatible with most microphones
  • Great build quality
  • Built-in audio processing

Cons

  • Expensive

3. MOTU M2 – Best buy

motu m2

Specification

  • Computer Connectivity: USB 2.0
  • Simultaneous I/O: 2 x 2
  • Number of Preamps: 2
  • Phantom Power: Yes
  • A/D Resolution: Up to 24-bit/192kHz
  • Analog Inputs: 2 x XLR-1/4″ combo (mic/line/Hi-Z)
  • Analog Outputs: 2 x 1/4″ TRS (DC coupled), 1 x Dual RCA Stereo
  • Headphones: 1 x 1/4″
  • MIDI I/O: In/Out/USB
  • USB: 1 x USB-C
  • OS Requirements – Mac: OS X 10.11 or later
  • OS Requirements – PC: Windows 7 SP1 or later
  • Bus Powered: Yes
  • Power Supply: USB bus powered

With its 610 g, the MOTU M2 feels valuable. The aluminum case contributes significantly to this impression. This is completely matt black and a little roughened. The simple, white print makes it look timeless and elegant at the same time.

The MOTU M2 audio interface is equipped with two rubber elements on the underside, which have four little feet. The device stands securely and non-slip, even on smooth surfaces. In addition to the audio interface, a USB cable and a quick start guide are included.

It doesn’t need more. A large software package is available for download after registration on the manufacturer’s website. This includes Performer Lite, Ableton Live Lite, 100+ virtual instruments, and 6GB of loops and samples.

A special feature of the MOTU M2 is the LCD screen. This shows both the input and output levels. And with its 160 x 120 pixels, it has a fine resolution and is in color. The signal level is okay if the bars remain in the green area. If they turn yellow to orange towards the top, it’s getting critical. Clipping represents the audio interface with a red area over the respective channel.

Both input channels of the MOTU M2 are equipped identically. Each has a combo jack, gain control, and a button for 48-volt phantom power (“48V”) and direct monitoring. The gain controls here are not detented and have little resistance when turned. This means that a pre-amplification degree cannot be accidentally changed so easily. 

On the back of the MOTU M2, there is a MIDI In and Out. For example, a synthesizer can be controlled via the audio interface, and its signal can be recorded directly.

The manufacturer specifies the input-to-output latency as 2.5 milliseconds (with a 32-sample buffer and a sampling rate of 96 kHz). This is definitely decent and well below the audible range, and we could confirm it in the test, sometimes even in less than 2.5 milliseconds.

With the M2, MOTU relies on the same ESS Sabre32 ultra digital-to-analog converters that are built into much more expensive audio interfaces. And you can hear that! The playback quality impresses above all with a neutral, unadulterated sound. A dynamic range of 120 dB is achieved on the output side. 

Clean working preamps shine at the inputs. As usual from MOTU, these sound very sober and clear. One searches in vain for coloring of the signal. If this is nevertheless desired, there is nothing to be said against plug-ins that simulate analog preamplifiers, for example. 

What is particularly positive here: Even with higher gain values, no background noise of the preamps can be heard. The same applies to the monitor or headphones on the output side. There is no hissing on the monitor without a signal and with the controllers fully open. 

The combo sockets automatically detect whether a line or guitar signal is present. In other words: the gain controller does not necessarily have to be used.

This is practical because the peripherals can be repositioned as desired, and the potentiometer can remain at the left stop. So you don’t have to worry about not being able to reconstruct the pre-amplification level of a previous recording.

Pros

  • Individual phantom power and monitoring buttons
  • Excellent DAC
  • Great preamps
  • Jack and RCA outputs

Cons

  • No USB-C cable included

4. M-Audio AIR 192|14 – Best for monitoring

m audio air 192 14

Specification

  • Computer Connectivity: USB 2.0
  • Simultaneous I/O: 8 x 4
  • Number of Preamps: 4 x mic, 2 x instrument
  • Phantom Power: Linked Ch 1/2, 3/4
  • A/D Resolution: 24-bit/192kHz
  • Analog Inputs: 4 x XLR-1/4″ combo (mic/line), 2 x 1/4″ (Hi-Z), 2 x 1/4″ (line)
  • Analog Outputs: 2 x 1/4″ (L/R), 2 x 1/4″ (3/4 out)
  • Headphones: 2 x 1/4″
  • MIDI I/O: 1 x 1/8″ (in), 1 x 1/8″ (out), USB
  • USB: 1 x Type USB-C
  • OS Requirements – Mac: OS X 10.8.5 or later
  • OS Requirements – PC: Windows 7 SP1 or later
  • Power Supply: 12V DC power supply (included)

The M-Audio Air 192|4 is an interface with which to record up to two channels simultaneously. One will most likely be a guitar or bass with a dedicated input with the right impedance on the front, and the other a microphone or second line instrument via jack or XLR cable.

With low latency and gain potentiometers to adjust the input gain (the LEDs will guide you not to have a signal too weak or too distorted), it is the right interface for beginners, solo musicians, or those who are at most need two channels, guitar and voice type.

I really like the large knob for controlling the master volume, and also the gain knobs for the headphone channels and volume, although not hyper-modern in design, are large and practical. The LEDs for the level of the two inputs are just a reference to avoid clipping, you will never use them to calibrate the gain of the recording, but it is good that they are there.

If the dynamic range of around 103 dB is good but consistent with the Air 192 | 4’s home-studio or entry-level indication, what amazed me is the detection of internal noise that is below -130dbU. This means you will have a very good dynamic depth of the recordings and a good quality of the takes even if you raise the gain a lot. Even sources that are not too powerful can therefore be recorded in high quality.

Finally, if we talk about headphone monitoring, I tried the interface with Audio-Technica M50 headphones and KRK-8400 headphones which, although they cost as much as the interface itself, are consistent with this home-studio level project studio recording. 

Both headphones are rated at around 32-36 Ohms of impedance. With around 40mW of power at this impedance, the Air 192 | 4 has adequate headphone output volume, not exaggerated but enough for all classic home-studio applications.

Professional headphones above 150 Ohm impedance can take advantage of only 14mW output. Therefore the volume will be quite low, and a dedicated amplifier would be indicative, even if, in principle, the advice is to use it with headphones that do not exceed 80-100 Ohms.

Last but not least, with this interface, a respectable software bundle is included, considering the hardware part’s extremely competitive price. Here you will find Pro Tools First entry-level recording software, the gateway to the world’s most widely used professional recording software. 

Plus, a full set of effects and virtual instruments is included that will allow you to start playing and producing right away without the need to buy anything else. But that’s not all. You’ll also find Ableton Live Lite recording/sampling software and 2GB of free audio samples/loops there.

Pros

  • Solid build quality
  • Software bundle
  • Transparent preamps
  • Low latency
  • Budget-friendly 

Cons

  • No S/PDIF connectors
  • No USB bus-powered

5. Behringer U-PHORIA UM2 – Best cheap audio interface for streaming

behringer u phoria um2

Specification

  • Computer Connectivity: USB 2.0
  • Simultaneous I/O: 2 x 2
  • Number of Preamps: 1
  • Phantom Power: Yes
  • A/D Resolution: 16-bit/48kHz
  • Analog Inputs: 1 x XLR-1/4″ combo (mic/line), 1 x 1/4″ (Hi-Z)
  • Analog Outputs: 1 x Dual RCA Stereo
  • Headphones: 1 x 1/4″
  • USB: 1 x Type B
  • Bus Powered: Yes
  • Power Supply: USB bus powered

The Behringer U-Phoria UM2 audio interface is small and portable. Like any audio interface you can find on the market, and it has a black finish with silver accents. It is made mainly of plastic, which is understandable considering its price. There are no metal parts on the outside, but all the pieces feel solid and are well built.

Plastic reduces the weight of the Behringer UM2. It’s designed to go anywhere thanks to its size and weight, just like the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2. Store it carefully when you take it out since plastic is not as resistant as metal. The build quality is very solid, but we recommend that you do not put other heavy equipment on top of it when carrying it in a bag.

The potentiometers are located at the top. Most audio interfaces, including other Behringer models, integrate them on the front. However, this position allows the Behringer U-Phoria UM2 body to be smaller. The switches and controls respond perfectly. In addition, they are intuitive, and you can easily handle them to get the necessary adjustments.

This audio interface integrates two inputs on the front. The first is a combo XLR/TRS (6.35mm) connection and the second only offers the ¼-inch option. The XLR connector is used for professional microphones and the TRS for instruments such as MIDI keyboards, basses, or guitars.

Each input has two associated LED lights on the front panel. The orange light detects the signal and the red light when the sound is very loud (clipping). The Behringer U-Phoria UM2 also integrates two additional lights. The orange tells you when the device is on, and the red labeled +48V if the phantom power is on. Phantom power is used to power condenser microphones.

In this price range, the Behringer U-Phoria UM2 has no competition. The UM2 is a very low latency interface, something that pleasantly surprised us. This is very important for those who need to record vocals and instruments. The only significant drawback, when compared to more expensive models, is that it is limited to 16-bit/44 kHz resolutions.

It’s a perfect resolution for recording podcasts and streaming online, but professional musicians should look for 24-bit capable devices. Hardware that offers 24-bit is necessary if you want to hear your DAW samples much more deeply, and the differences are noticeable compared to 16-bit interfaces.

However, the Behringer U-Phoria UM2 sounds very clear, and gain levels are kept in check thanks to clipping indicators.

The sound quality is fantastic. The audio is perceived as very clear and detailed in all frequencies. Also, it can keep all gain levels under control without any problem. If you push the limit, the power can start to sound a bit noisy, but this can be prevented if you pay attention to the levels and manage them efficiently.

For beginning music producers and engineers, the Behringer U-Phoria UM2 is ideal. It is a very cheap audio interface and allows you to start working on serious projects without spending a lot of money.

If you have a home studio, you will most likely need a few channels: an input for mic, instrument, headphone output, and two outputs for studio monitors.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Good sound quality
  • Great preamps
  • +48v Phantom power
  • Gain control knob
  • Clipping indicator light

Cons

  • Knobs/buttons feel a bit cheap

FAQs

What is a good audio interface for streaming?

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen is a good audio interface for streaming and recording. This audio interface is optimized for mapping to digital I/O devices, and the included software allows you to capture, edit easily, and mix all your audio tracks.

The Scarlett 2i2 features two mic/line inputs (1/4″ jack) that can be used simultaneously or individually. Both channels are equipped with phantom power so that you can connect a condenser mic or guitar with an XLR cable. You can also use a 1/4″ TRS adapter cable to connect your guitar directly to the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2.

Can I use an audio interface for streaming?

You can use any audio interface you want to stream. It’s up to you and your budget. If you have an audio interface, it’s easier to get started with streaming. You will need to select the right audio interface for your needs and choose the right cables if you want to connect multiple instruments or devices.

What is the best audio interface for live performance?

MOTU 624 is the best audio interface for live performance. It can be used in studios, on stage, and in any other environment to record, mix and master your music.

The MOTU 624 is a 24-bit/96kHz USB interface that features ESS Sabre32 DAC technology, which delivers superb audio quality sound with a single USB cable connection. It includes 2 analog inputs and 4 analog outputs plus 2 balanced XLR mic/line inputs with 2 channels 48V phantom power.

Can you live stream with Focusrite?

You can live stream with Focusrite. Focusrite has a range of products that allow you to live stream. The Focusrite Scarlett range of USB audio interfaces is perfect for this, as they offer high-quality mic preamps and digital converters. They also have attractive features such as Sends, FX Send and Mixer Controls.

Are high-end audio interfaces worth it?

An expensive audio interface is a better investment than a cheap one because of its durability and slightly better sound quality. It also has features like plugins and better components, which may be unavailable on more affordable models.

Conclusion

Whether you’re streaming on Twitch or just talking to your friends on Discord, you’ll need an audio interface at some point.

You can probably get away with using one of your motherboard’s onboard audio interfaces. 

Still, as soon as you try something of higher quality, such as a microphone or personal headset, you’ll notice a big difference between it and the sound output from your motherboard. 

Suppose you want to avoid discordant audio and skips during recordings. In that case, we recommend that you invest in a good audio interface.

Finally, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen is the best audio interface for streaming. If you have a tight budget, then I recommend Behringer U-Phoria UM2.

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