If you produce a regular podcast, you want to ensure high-quality audio for your listeners. Choosing the right audio interface for podcasts is essential for ensuring that your podcast runs smoothly every time. The following tips can help you choose the best audio interface for podcasting studio system.
Best Podcast Audio Interface
If you are in a hurry and don’t have time to read this entire review guides article featured here, I would recommend that the Focusrite Scarlett Solo is the top choice among other models that sound best. An awesome deal too!
- It works great!
- Has little to no latency
- Plenty of different options for several inputs.
- Just select the size you need.
A good quality podcast recording design is a must-have for podcasters. The good news is there are many in the market. However, the bad news, most of these products are worthless if you want good audio. You could end up wasting your money on buying a poor-quality audio interface product. As such, it becomes essential to check out a thorough overview of a top-notch podcasting audio interface such as the Scarlett solo instead of a podcast mixer ensures you get the product for your particular needs.
Specifications and features
It includes a signature mic preamp of Scarlett with even ample gain. You also get one instrument input for handling top guitar pick-ups. The package also includes stereo line outputs for connecting home speakers. For gain control, the audio interface features one pair of headphones. Other inclusions are:
- Softube time and tone bundle.
- Loopmasters samples (2GB).
- A red plug-in suite.
- Various pro tools.
Podcasting with Scarlett solo is pretty straightforward. Ideal for songwriters and singers, it sports the legendary audio interface and the crystal-clear DI for a guitar, bass, and keys. The unique gain halos of the device make it effortless to control your podcast levels. In addition, the direct monitor switchable switch, large volume dial, and headphone jack make monitoring a breeze.
It features a super-low latency for enhanced performances. It’s a known fact that podcaster performances get better when you have an excellent sound monitor mix with all that you need for staying inspired – for example, delay and reverb on a guitar solo. The super-low latency feature of the Scarlett solo allows monitoring with native plug-in effects in real-time. As such, you can hear parts while you envision them and eventually record better performances.
The Scarlett solo is well equipped with a pristine and vibrant preamp. It lets you capture great podcasting audio. Aside from this, the front panel indicators keep an eye on your levels. The innovative halo indicators let you know when you have a good signal level for recording. Above all, the audio interface comes with a sturdy built that can test time and constant usage.
While it comes with many amazing features, not including a mic stand or pop filter, some users also say that the podcast audio interface does not work well with MacBook. Other than that, there are hardly any drawbacks.
Picking the best device is the key to a successful sound recording in your studio. With a top-rated studio product such as the Scarlett solo, you could enjoy seamless recording. Sturdily built, effortless recording audio interface for podcasting, economical price, cost, etc., are a few of the perks of the Scarlett solo design. On account of these reasons, the majority of podcasting enthusiasts use this. If you are serious about enjoying an effortless sound recording system without any hindrances, take a look at the features and benefits of Scarlett solo, and you will never repent of your purchase decision.
The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is a USB version that improves on its predecessor on quite a few fronts. The name 2i2 indicates the two-input and two-output setup. The input jacks accept both 1/4″ instrument cables and XLR analog microphone cables. These two audio interface inputs let you record two instruments or two microphones simultaneously, or one instrument and one mic. In the following paragraphs, let’s talk more about the hardware and other aspects of the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Second Generation.
The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 doesn’t come with any SPDIF or MIDI inputs/outputs. It’s a pretty basic audio interface with a couple of balanced outputs that connect the 1/4″ TRS cables with the speakers. Also, it includes a 1/4″ analog audio-in jack at the front with a dedicated volume dial to adjust the signal.
Both the inputs channels or tracks are switchable between instrument and podcast line channels. You must set it to line and instrument for mics for the excellent podcaster sound with direct input (DI) guitars.
One of the improvements seen in this 2nd generation 2i2 is the 8dB improved headroom attached instrument inputs that facilitates hot pickups. This addresses the clipping issues there were with the first-gen 2i2. Other upgrades include increased surge safeguard circuits for the outputs and inputs and upgraded converters that handle 24-bit, 192 kHz sampling.
Increased sample rates and lower latency are other significant changes that come with this. Let’s understand the latency part of the equation with some numbers. The first generation 2i4 latency would not go lower than 12.4 ms at 48 kHz and 64 DI guitar recording samples. The latency would go further down to 9.5 ms at 96 kHz; however, this latency achieved at the double the hit on the CPU.
The identical 48 kHz and 64-sample audio settings on this second-gen 2i2 offer latency as low as 7.79 ms – quite an improvement. Moreover, with the added assistance of higher rates, settings can be dropped down to 48 kHz, and 32 samples go further down to 5.17 ms. Lower latency assists with total CPU usage since you could employ increased buffer settings without sacrificing much latency.
Sound Quality, Drivers and Software
Sound quality has been much better than the previous generation, with clear sound with zero noise made possible. But the podcasting audio interface may not be similarly superior compared to multiple other studio audio interfaces in the same class.
As far as Windows drivers go, you may come across a few hiccups initially. However, once the updates come through from Focusrite, sailing should be smooth. Podcast audio playback would be glitch-free and clear even when you run the CPU at 90 percent.
It comes with class-leading software. The Pro Tools pack and Live Lite 9 add some cool pedal effects. Both DAWs are slimmed-down versions but still offer quite a few features. Some plugins are packed in, too, with the podcast software package.
- Lower latency signal
- Solid build quality
- Quality sound
- Zero clipping
- No S/PDIF or MIDI outputs or inputs
- Headphones cannot be set for monitoring individual output
If you’re looking for an inexpensive yet potent podcast product with a solid build, low latency, and clear sound, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 second-generation – a serious audio interface option above mixers. A podcaster could face specific issues with drivers, but those aren’t unprecedented or non-remediable.
PreSonus AudioBox iTwo is a USB-enabled device made for two-channel track recording apps. It comes with a couple of Class A instrument/mic preamps and 96kHz/24-bit recording quality for your production convenience. This enables your setup for stereo podcast recordings and instrument/vocal combinations. Also, it includes a MIDI input and PreSonus software that shall help you record and mix podcasting episodes.
Weight and Connectivity
The PreSonus AudioBox iTwo is light and small, weighing a scanty 1.35 pounds. The USB audio interface works with a PC, Mac, and iPad. The front panel has a couple of XLR/1/4″ combo analog jacks, including line, instrument (like guitars), and mic inputs. To connect an instrument, you must press the instrument button with a small guitar sign. There’s also a 1/4″ audio jack at the front. The back panel comprises MIDI out and in jacks, 1/4″ primary right and left outputs, an audio interface device port, and a USB port. You may connect your computer as well, using a USB B cable.
Setting Up and Usage
Setting up the unit is quite simple and also fairly intuitive for a podcast. Mix control is one feature that may baffle you a bit initially. But once you understand how it works, you shall be fine. Make use of the instructions manual that’s bundled in. There’s the free Capture Duo app for iOS studio recording. The mic preamps are pretty good as well, especially for an audio interface within this price range.
Comparing this with a more expensive audio tool such as the FMR Audio 8380, you would not see much standing between the two. The PreSonus may not sound as rich as the FMR, but it would still be more than just comparable. For critical tracking requirements, you may always hook up an external microphone channels pre if needed.
This compact tabletop audio interface offers good value to computer production and recording podcaster—everything functions as advertised. The audio quality would be better than what you can realistically expect in this Class—also free software thrown in.
It would set you back by another $30 when buying, compared to the previous studio model, but you would also be getting an additional mic preamp for that money. Moreover, the Mixers audio control more than justifies the extra money you’re paying.
- Starting value for money
- 96 kHz, 24-bit audio support
- Both inputs take in instrument or podcast vocals, mic, and line-level signals
- Mix control offers an easy solution for monitoring low latency
- iOS compatibility isn’t full-fledged
- A MIDI controller cannot be bus-powered
- The included guide doesn’t offer much information
The iTwo is undoubtedly not your high-end podcast studio equipment. However, it’s still potent enough for churning out good quality audio recordings, which shall satisfy most home or beginner users. By the way, if you do not have recording equipment currently, you can buy the PreSonus’ iTwo Studio pack that comprises a microphone, a pair of headphones, and an XLR cable.
Top Audio Interface For Podcasting – Buying What Sound Best
When searching for the right audio interface, you will quickly find that they vary widely in price and functionality. The first thing you must consider – your podcast budget. These can range in price from $100 – $2,500. The right audio interface for you will depend on your budget restrictions and how much you can spend on this podcast technology. However, keep in mind that purchasing one in the affordable lower price range will leave you with fewer options in your selection.
Mic Inputs Required
The next consideration is the number of mic inputs on the audio interface. The mic inputs are the part of the device that connects the analog microphone to the computer. This gives your sound a crisp and clear sound through your audio recording software. When purchasing, how many mic inputs are needed. The number of mics you need will depend on whether you are doing solo podcast vocals or having other people on the show with you. If you are doing podcast vocals with someone or have guests joining you for interviews or discussions, you will need additional microphones. Ideally, each podcast participant should have one microphone and one input in the audio interface, so be mindful of this. You should also be aware that line-in inputs can be used for instruments used by podcasters creating their audio recorded on the podcast.
Audio Phantom Power
It would help if you also considered the volt phantom power that’s needed for your microphones. Some microphones are charged by 48-volt phantom power, helping them run properly and deliver clear podcast sound, so you should look for an audio interface that has 48-volt power.
Type and Number of Outputs
When choosing the right audio interface for your podcast, you should also consider the type and number of outputs required. Some podcasters record and then playback the audio – check for clarity. This requires different input and output functions because the sound is recorded on your computer when you record the podcast. But to play podcast audio back, the sound travels from your computer and be processed before the sounds can be transmitted at your headphones or speakers. Most audio interfaces will have a headphone output and studio speaker outputs so that you can perform both functions—still, something you will need to check when comparing different recording audio interfaces.
Some have midi as well, but you probably won’t need that.
The sound quality of these audio interface options varies widely. Sometimes, you won’t know the difference until you purchase a couple and try them out on your computer. Most buyers discover that there’s often a trade-off between having the better sound quality or having more channels. This is because the fewer mic inputs an interface has, the better the sound quality. The most expensive audio interfaces, such as those costing thousands of dollars, are usually the exception, as they have the capacity for combining high sound quality with more input and output models. However, at a high cost, they are often out of the price range of many buyers. If you are affordable budget planning under $1,000, you will likely get better podcast sound quality with fewer audio inputs.
You may be interested in knowing how metering signals are sent with the audio interface. This is typically done with a USB cable, thunderbolt cable, or FireWire that connects to your computer. Remember, audio interfaces that use thunderbolt cables must usually be only compatible with McIntosh computers, so watch out for this if you have a PC. Most standard products will work with a Mac computer, but for podcasters who have a PC, a bit of additional research is required when choosing your audio interface.
Some Other Quick Audio i/o Options
Some other honorable mentions in the audio interface for podcasts category:
USB Mobile Podcast Audio Interfaces
Some podcasters do all of their recording in a single room or studio, making it easy to set up your equipment. However, some podcasters are constantly traveling and record their podcasts on the road. These people will be glad that portable audio interfaces can be purchased that can work with Ipads and other ios devices. These recording interfaces provide good sound quality without the bulkiness of carrying heavy equipment along with you when you are traveling.
In conclusion, there are many consideration factors when choosing an audio interface model for your podcast. Your budget will be the main deciding factor that will limit specific affordable ranges in buying. But it is also essential to consider how your podcast works and what your individual audio needs are.
This means asking yourself questions such as how many mic audio inputs it has and whether the cabling is compatible with your Mac or PC. If you are unsure which audio interface is right for you, speak to some other podcasters and ask them which interface devices they use and whether they have any recommendations.
Possibly use their system for testing out the interface to see if it will work for you. It would help if you also read reviews online before purchasing an interface. With a little careful research, you should select an excellent audio quality audio interface that will make you sound excellent addition to buying any podcasting kit. Check out our other example guides and reviews too!