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The 3 Best Audio Interfaces for 2024

Updated: Feb 14


 

Best Audio Interfaces for 2024


 

As a professional classical and flamenco guitarist with over 21 years of experience, I've tried a LOT of audio interfaces for recording at home. Here are my 3 favorite audio interfaces for acoustic instruments for 2024.


(*Please consider buying with the affiliate links below to support my free education blog and YouTube channel.)


 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 


BEST PROFESSIONAL AUDIO INTERFACE Apogee Duet 3, 2-Channel USB ($649)


Apogee Duet 3-2 Channel USB Audio Interface

REVIEW

To date, Apogee has always been my favorite audio interface for studio recording. I had the Duet 2 for years and immediately upgraded to the Duet 3 as soon as it came out. This interface delivers an unbeatable sound because of its pristine A/D (analog to digital) and D/A (digital to analog) conversion. As a classical or flamenco guitarist, the cleanliness of sound from an audio interface is paramount, which is the main reason I chose the Duet as my favorite interface. It also has onboard DSP (digital signal processing) hardware which lowers the latency to zero when monitoring.


In terms of quality, the 2 pre-amps are high-end studio quality which, again, results in pristine sound. This is the kind of interface you can use with any kind of mic and get the best sound possible. And since the Duet supplies 48V of phantom power in each channel, that means I can easily use my Neumman KM184 when recording guitar. My only 2 complaints are quite minimal: 1) it's a bit hard to see the display lights and, 2) the Duet 3 is on the pricey side.


Final thoughts: If you need the best possible, studio-quality interface that allows you to record 2 channels simultaneously, the Apogee Duet 3 is absolutely the way to go.


HIGHLIGHTED SPECS

  • Mic Pre: Gain up to 65dB

  • 48V Phantom power for each channel

  • Up to 24 bit / 192kHz recording

  • 2×4 USB-C audio interface

  • 2 USB Type-C Ports

  • 2x ¼” Instrument input

  • 2x ¼” Balanced outputs

  • 1/8” Headphone output

  • Bus-powered

  • On-board hardware DSP for low-latency recording with Apogee FX





 




Focusrite Clarett+ 2Pre USB-C Audio Interface

REVIEW

I really love my Apogee Duet 3 (above), but when I used this Focusrite Clarett, I was surprised at how amazing the sound was. Like the Duet, this Focusrite also has 2 studio-quality preamps built in plus the option to use "Air mode" which makes the Clarett sound almost identical to the Duet 3 in terms of clarity and presence. It's super easy to use and the lights on the front are very clear.


This interface also offers 48V of phantom power for each channel making it ideal for recording with premium condenser mics as well as dynamic mics. Like the Duet, this interface also has pristine A/D & D/A hardware built in and tons of headroom (if needed). My only 2 critiques -- and these are really minimal -- are 1) I'm not crazy about the software and 2) I don't particularly like the inputs in the front but this realy just a personal choice that doesn't affect the quality of the interface.


Final thoughts: If you want a truly excellent audio interface that won't break the bank, get the Focusrite Clarett+ 2Pre.


HIGHLIGHTED SPECS

  • 2 Line-in channels: XLR or 1/4"

  • Mic input up to 18dBU

  • Max gain of +57dB

  • USB-C Powered

  • Low distortion, 24-bit/192 kHz converters with up to 124dB dynamic range.

  • 4 Outputs




 


Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 4th Gen ($199)

REVIEW

This (very) small audio interface is an amazing choice for beginners and intermediate home-studio producers who want more of a plug-and-play experience. The 4th Gen upgrade from the 3rd Gen model offers a huge 120dB dynamic range and up to 69dB of gain, allowing for a much cleaner sound from yor acoustic instruments. It's very easy to use and, like all Focusrite interfaces, offers its analogue "Air mode" which boosts clarity and presence closer to studio quality. My only 2 critiques: 1) the XLR inputs are in back and 2) it's a bit too light for my taste which makes it move around on my desk easily. That said, if you're starting out, and don't want to mess around with a steap learning curve, this is the interface to get.


HIGHLIGHTED SPECS

  • 2 Channels: 1/4" & XLR

  • USB-C Powered

  • 69dB of gain

  • 120dB dynamic range

  • Auto Gain and Clip-Safe modes (to prevent clipping)

  • "Air" mode to model higher quality preamps.




 

The Links above are affilaite links. Although I have personally tried and recommend all of the items above, I also earn a very small commission from each of them. Commissions support my free YouTube channel and free educational blog. Please consider buying with the links above. Thank you for your support!


 

© 2024 Diego Alonso


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