If you love to create music, this list of the top 6 best audio interface for windows will help you choose which one to get for your studio.
If you are new to recording audio, whether it is music recording, podcasts, youtube videos, or even online streaming, you will need a microphone, at least some headphones, and an audio interface. A recording studio package offers an easy way for beginners to start, defer the cost of a home studio a bit, and further down the line, you can upgrade your setup to meet future needs. In this post, we review our best home recording studio packages or bundles (though don’t forget to soundproof your recording space as well). Be sure to check out our buying advice below for an informative read.
|STUDIO PACKAGE||A/D RESOLUTION||POWER||INST. INPUT||COMPATIBILITY|
|Focusrite Scarlett 2i2||192kHz/ 24 bit||USB Powered||2||Mac/PC|
|M-Audio AIR 192|4 Vocal Studio Pro||192kHz/ 24 bit||USB Powered||2||Mac/PC|
|PreSonus Audiobox iTwo||96kHz/ 24 bit||USB Powered||2||Mac/PC/iOS-2|
|Tascam Trackpack 2×2||96kHz/ 24 bit||USB Powered||2||Mac/PC|
|Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (Full)||192kHz / 24-bit||USB Powered||2||Mac/PC|
|Presonus AudioBox 96 (Full)||96kHz/ 24 bit||USB Powered||2||Mac/PC|
|Mackie Studio Bundle||192kHz / 24-bit||USB Powered||2||Mac/PC|
|PreSonus Studio 24c||192kHz / 24-bit||USB Powered||2||Mac/PC|
A/D RESOLUTION – Audio interface resolution
INST. INPUT – Instrument input
In the Package: 3rd-generation Scarlett 2i2 USB audio interface, Scarlett Studio HP60 MkIII headphones, CM25 MkIII condenser microphone, 3-meter XLR microphone cable
DAW: Ableton Live Lite, Pro Tools First Creative Pack
Focusrite and particularly Focusrite audio interfaces have had a solid reputation on the audio market over the years. The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Studio (3rd Gen) is an upgrade from the 2nd generation model. The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Studio (3rd Gen) studio bundles include the Scarlett 2i2 audio interface that is an upgrade of the previous model. The bundle also comes with a Scarlett CM235 MKIII cardioid microphone, HP60 MKIII closed-back studio headphones, an XLR cable, and lastly, some audio recording software and plugins.
Everything about the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Recording Bundle works well and easily. Set up is very easy, and there are also many tutorials you can use to set up with Mac or PC for either of the DAWs included (Both Ableton live and ProTools first). The Version of the DAWs are limited but offers a good starting point. Should you want the full versions, you can upgrade later.
The Scarlet 2i2 studio audio interface is compact, and the build quality is very good for the price. The unit comes with 2 XLR inputs, 2 1/4″ TSR analog outputs, 1/4″ headphone output, and a USB-C port upgrade from the previous USB B connector. The interface also comes with a new ‘Air Preamp feature’ for a brighter and more spacious sound. The latency is also very low, which is evident when recording vocals and monitoring through the headphones.
The Scarlett CM235 MKIII microphone included feels sturdy and has a good quality to it. It comes with a stand mount that has threads to attach the microphone. However, the stand mount has no shock mount, which makes the microphone susceptible to noise and interference. A mic stand also needs to complete the setup. The headphone included, the HP60 MKIII is are nicely padded and feel comfortable. The headphone is rated studio-reference by Focusrite, and they seem to do the job just well. The design of the headphone has an ATH-M20x or MDR7506 style.
Overall, the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Recording Bundle is one of the best if you are looking to set up a small studio in your home. The overall studio bundle holds its own against the competition in terms of the overall quality and features. The audio interface, microphone, headphones are all solid, sound good, and set up is very easy for beginners with guides from Focusrite.
In the Package: M-Audio AIR 192|4 interface, Nova black condenser microphone, shock mount, XLR cable, and hdh40 headphones
DAW: Pro Tools | First M-Audio Edition, Ableton Live Lite
The M-Audio recording bundle is one of the budget-friendly recording bundles you get to buy and start recording your music or podcast. This recording bundle features everything you need to get started. From home studio equipment gear, DAWS, and software that you will need to set you in the right path.
From the package, first, you get the AIR 192|4 2-In/2-Out 24/192 USB Audio Interface. The build quality of this interface is amazing. It is made of metal and feels very sturdy and nice to touch and feel. The audio interface is very easy to set up and plugs right into the USB port of a laptop or computer. The M-track 2×2, as the name suggests, comes with 2-inputs and 2-output ports. A large knob at the center of the interface controls the output level. There is also gain knobs for both inputs, a dedicated headphone amp, and an output knob so that you can get ready with the included headphones. Of importance is the USB/DIRECT knob that when recording voice or instruments turn it up to “Direct” to hear instruments and voice with low latency. When playing back, dial it back to USB.
The condenser mic included, the Nova Black, is a lovely microphone that feels solid (and a good microphone will help eliminate microphone hiss), and the sound quality does not disappoint. Condenser microphones are more sensitive and typically pick up more details that common microphones. The mic comes with a shock mount so you don’t have to worry about bumps, pops, or when you accidentally knock it.
The HDH40 headphones are lightly padded but feel comfy and should not get fatiguing easily. They sound neutral with a good bass extension to them.
Other than the gear included, you also get a comprehensive list of software included in the package. Pro Tools First M-Audio Edition, Ableton live lite, eleven lite, the avid effect collection, AIR’s Creative FX collection, 2GB of sample content from Touch Loops, and Xpand! 2, just to mention but a few. This is more than everything you need to get set up and running.
Overall, the M-Audio Complete Recording Bundle is a great budget choice. The build quality of the gear is good, and setup is easy. The list of software included makes this package even more worth the value.
In the Package: Audio box iTwo interface, PreSonus HD7 Monitoring Headphones, M7 condenser microphone,
DAW: Studio One V3
The Presonus Audiobox iTwo Studio Package comes with Audio box iTwo Audio interface, M7 studio condenser microphone, PreSonus HD7 Professional Monitoring Headphones, interface and microphone cables. Apart from the physical gear you also get the software to get you started with Windows, Mac, and mobile iOS devices.
The Audio box iTwo interface is the nerve of this recording bundle. It is a small box and is made from an aluminum chassis that wraps a plastic block of electronics. It has a blue metallic finish that is synonymous with Presonus. Controls and inputs on the front panel include 2 XLR sockets (Channel 1 and 2) – one for the mic and one for instruments. Each channel has its gain knob that has both positive and negative adjustments. An LED light accompanies each channel and lights up green but changes to red if frequencies go beyond the safe range. There is also a 48v mic channel boost for some types of microphones and direct monitoring when you are recording and mixing between playback and input signal. A large volume knob and a separate headphone knob and 1/4 inch headphone socket are also on the front.
On the rear, you get two USB sockets (Type A for power and B for external power sources and desktop PCs). There is also a socket for third party lock and two 1/4 inch TS sockets for active monitors.
Where you get value for money is in the software included in the form of Progression 3 and Studio One 3 Artist Edition. The Studio One v3 is the main software that comes with the bundle. It lets you do anything with the supplied soundbanks but unfortunately does not support third-party VST or common format plugins unless you upgrade. Other than that setback, you also get Capture duo for iPad that is a two-track recording app for mobile devices. You also get about 5gb of instruments and effects in the form of add-on soundbanks.
The Hd 7 Headphones included sound natural, a little warm, and well-controlled. The build is all plastic but extremely flexible. The comfort of the headphone is good with a headband that automatically adjusts itself to fit the head size. The pads can feel a little cheap, but they isolate and are also comfortable.
The M7 mic is a large-diaphragm condenser that is good for vocals and most instruments. It has a good sound quality for a beginner, but upgrading in the future is recommended. It does not come with a pop filter, windscreen or shock mount.
Overall, the Presonus Audiobox iTwo Studio Package is a good place to start and does not have significant cons. Bundled with Capture and Studio One V3, you get what you need plus more to get you going. Setting up the gear is also easy, and the sound quality is good.
You might want to check this article where we compared two of the best DAWs, Pro Tools and REAPER.