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4 USB audio interfaces that won’t break the bank

Akai EIE Pro

The cost of a home studio has come down a long way with software taking over the vast majority of tasks, but to get the best audio recording and playback quality you can, you will need to spend a little money on a dedicated audio interface.

Here are our picks for five of the best USB audio interfaces available for well under £200, so you won’t have to pin your hopes on winning a hand of blackjack at Red Flush casino to be able to be able to buy one.

Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6 (£180)

The Komplete Audio 6 is both and audio/MIDI interface that offers digital I/O, four analogue inputs and outputs, and a MIDI in and out.

It’s well built with sleek colouring, but most importantly as it is a Native Instruments device it comes bundled with Komplete Elements, which includes 3GB worth of instruments and effects, Traktor LE 2, and Steinberg Cubase LE 6 – which should be enough for anyone to get started making music.

Akai EIE Pro (£200)

Akai has been making audio equipment for decades, and with the EIE Pro they make use of some of that vintage heritage in the design with the analogue VU meters on the front.

The audio/MIDI interface offers four inputs and outputs and four inserts so you can add hardware effects pedals, as well as three USB outs on the back so the device can work as a USB hub for other devices. The EIE Pro comes bundled with Avid Pro Tools Express.

Steinberg UR22 (£120)

Steinberg’s parent company Yamaha has produced a basic 2-in/2-out audio/MIDI interface that is built with a sturdy metal chasis, but may not have the stylistic flair of some of the other options.

However, at just £120 and coming bundled with a copy of Steinberg Cubase AI, the UR22 is excellent value for money and a good, compact option.

Roland Duo Capture EX UA-22 (£175)

Roland uses the same VS preamps in their budget UA-22 as they do on their expensive Octa-Capture interfaces, and the device feels like a sturdy piece of studio equipment.

There two audio inputs and outputs alongside MIDI in/out ports and the device comes bundled with Cakewalk SONAR LE.

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