5 Best Audio Interface for Mac: Expert’s Pick

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Best Audio Interface for Mac

An audio interface is crucial if you’re a budding musician trying to record great beats or songs on your Mac.

Picking the best audio interface means you get the best audio quality and sound levels to work with on your Macbook to make your work more accessible and convenient.

A good audio interface for Mac should be compatible and deliver utmost performance, and with so many models to choose from, it may be pretty confusing to settle onto one which ticks all the boxes in your requirement list.

It is essential to consider that your choice of audio interface for Mac should be compatible with other musical instruments like microphones, synthesizers, headphones, amplifiers, and many more to make your recording sessions worthwhile.

In this guide, we will take you to every important detail to note down to get the best recording interface for Mac and our top picks, so read ahead to know all about it!

Best Audio Interface for Mac

1. M-Audio M-Duo USB audio interface

M-Audio M-Track Duo – USB Audio Interface for Recording, Streaming and Podcasting with Dual XLR, Line & DI Inputs, Plus a Software Suite Included

With the M-Audio, make your studio recording, podcasting, and live streaming simple and effective for the best audio interface for Macbook.

It makes to be an excellent audio interface for recording your guitar sessions or jamming moods and effectively gives a great outcome with dual microphone inputs and a USB-type connection.

The USB sound card works with the Mac and delivers 48KHz audio resolution for natural sound output and recording every single time.

The M-Audio interface has two combo line/XLR/instrument inputs with phantom power that provides more versatility in recording audio, including voice and instrumental.

The crystal preamps of the M-audio interface give transparent audio from your microphone with minimal disturbances, so it is excellent for recording podcasts or live streaming.

You get every feature from this audio interface for hassle-free usage that includes 1/4″ headphone output and stereo 1/4″ outputs for audio monitoring and a USB switch for latent monitoring.

The M-Audio also provides you with a complete set of two audio software that proves to be a great digital audio workstation. Pro Tools and MPC beats to allow you to create podcasts efficiently and beats right from your Macbook.

Overall, M-Audio M-Track Duo has everything that a beatmaker or a podcaster would need to complete his production setup. The best part is the lightweight design that makes it portable and easy to transfer from one location to another.

This may be the best recording interface for Mac at a very affordable rate.

Pros:

  • Easy setup
  • Free audio softwares
  • Great for recording podcasts, music, and live streaming
  • Compact in size
  • USB connectivity
  • 48KHz audio transmission
  • Clear Audio

Cons:

  • No operating light
  • USB and audio share the same line
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2. BEHRINGER Audio interface

BEHRINGER Audio Interface, 1x XLR/TRS 1x 1/4

The 2×2 audiophile by BEHRINGER lets you explore more with your music and creativity right from your Macbook.

With a 48KHz sample rate, you get to experience crystal clear and pristine audio without any glitches or lags, making it an excellent choice for recording music and podcasts. If you want the best audio interface for MacBook Pro, the BEHRINGER audio interface is your pick.

It comes in a cabinet box shape with all the essential buttons and knobs present on the top and the front side of the audio interface.

An ultra-low latency gives you more control over your recording sessions and reduces the time delay in the audio.

It is one of the cheapest models available in the market that guarantees optimal functioning and a smooth working period in your jamming sessions and works excellent for people looking to breakthrough in the music industry.

The interface is compact in size and design with dimensions 6.3 x 8.27 x 3.54 inches and weighs only 0.57 pounds making it lightweight and portable.

The audio interface is compatible with popular audio software, namely AVID Pro Tools, Ableton Live, Steinberg Cubase, etc.

It comes with two input and two output ports, 1x XLR/TRS and 1x 1/4″ 2X RCA USB ports with a single channel. +48 V-powered Xenyx Mic Preamp is the best preamp for condenser mics to provide direct voltage to your mic for clear audio output. 

Pros:

  • Lightweight and portable
  • 48KHz audio output
  • Clean Audio
  • Compatible with popular software 
  • +48 V-powered preamp

Cons:

  • Faulty drivers
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3. PreSonus Studio Audio interface

PreSonus Studio 24c 2x2, 192 kHz, USB Audio Interface with Studio One Artist and Ableton Live Lite DAW Recording Software

If you are looking for professional audio quality for your works in your studio and which is easy to carry, then PreSonus may be the right pick for you as the best music interface for Mac.

This portable audio interface comes with the bus-powered Studio 24c 2-in, a 2-out audio interface, which features two front-panel combos for mic/line/instrument input.

A PreSonus XMAX-L-solid-state mic preamps give a more transparent sound, but some harmonics sometimes add to the audio quality. It also comes with two rear-panel line output and MIDI I/O, making it a versatile audio interface for the Mac.

With an onboard direct monitoring panel, you can adjust the interface’s settings and get your desired audio quality.

The PreSonus audio interface can function on up to 125KHz to give ultra-high defined audio quality and sound mixing through the professional graded input/output system and preamps.

The USB-C interface works with all macOS and Windows devices, and its compact build and small size make it easy to carry and work on the go.

Although it works with possibly every audio software, PreSonus provides us with the Studio Artist One, which is entirely Mac-friendly, affordable, and simple to use.

Pros:

  • Clean and deep preamp sound
  • Variety of ports
  • USB-C based connection
  • Portable and compact design
  • Good frequency response

Cons:

  • Input gain lower than normal
  • Small frequency distortion
  • Connectivity problems
  • Expensive
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4. M-Audio Air 192

M-Audio AIR 192|4 - 2-In/2-Out USB Audio Interface with Recording Software from ProTools & Ableton Live, Plus Studio-Grade FX & Virtual Instruments

The M-Audio Air 192 is perfect for solo performers looking for quality sound outputs and a great audio experience. The Air 192 allows you to create studio-level 24-bit/192KHz audio recordings with an easy-using audio interface.

The digital audio interface for Mac has an excellent metallic chassis and a box-cabinet-shaped build making it quite premium and elegant to look at when working.

The middle of the front panel has a significant volume button knob to quickly adjust your instruments’ volume input. The exclusive crystal low-noise low-preamp gives you the highest quality performance via the converters.

The M-Audio Air 192 allows you to record up to 2 channels with its dedicated combo input and the 0.25inches instrument input to provide the most accurate sounds when you plug in your guitar or bass.

The digital audio interface for Mac features the lowest latency of 2.59ms, and a high-speed USB connection reduces input lags and output delays.

The monitor mix allows you to listen and judge your sound inputs directly, and the accessible inputs give you flexibility when working on different devices and instruments.

The Air 192 comes with a complete software package to get you started, including Pro Tools, Ableton Live, Eleven Lite, Avid Effect collection, Creative FX collection, and many more, making it a great external audio interface for Mac to start with.

Pros:

  • Cheap audio interface for Mac
  • Two-channel recording
  • dedicated combo input
  • Low-preamps
  • Great audio quality

Cons:

  • Unit crackles and pops
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5. PreSonus AudioBox 25th Anniversary edition

PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 25th Anniversary Edition with Studio One Artist and Ableton Live Lite DAW Recording Software

The AudioBox USB 96 is a portable and roadworthy audio interface well suited to perform anywhere in a studio and even on the road, making it a good audio interface for Mac in the budget cut.

The AudioBox can be used by anyone from a rookie just getting into music to even a veteran music producer. It has a two-channel USB interface with two high-headroom instrument inputs to record your favorite line-level devices.

Built with two high-quality Class-A mic preamps, getting great sound with AudioBox is always a given. This interface comes with studio-level converters with upto 24-bit/96 kHz recording and playback, giving crystal clear audio.

The AudioBox is accessible to power with USB bus-power via USB 2.0, making it easy to power even when you are up and about.

The audio interface is geared to be used on the road with a heavy-duty steel chassis so it can take a beating and still work perfectly.

Also, it is USB-bus powered, so using it while on the go is a piece of cake as it can be powered by simply connecting it to a laptop.

The AudioBox USB 96 comes with a complete package of professional-grade audio software by PreSonus to get you started on your recording journey.

The software works well with both Windows and Mac making it a versatile audio interface. The included PreSonus Studio One software also has an active online community to help you with any problems you may face.

Pros:

  • Secure line signal
  • Dual preamps
  • Great build quality
  • Easy to install

Cons:

  • Faulty softwares
  • White noise
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Things to Consider While Buying Audio Interface for Mac

To choose a good audio interface for Mac, there are a few essential criteria one has to stress before selecting the one suitable for your needs and requirements. Here we have given a small guide to consider before buying a digital audio interface for Mac.

Sound Quality

A dedicated audio interface works better than your computer’s sound card in delivering excellent audio quality and sound performance.

Choosing an audio interface gives you more benefits during sound recording, and with more input and output ports, it is a better choice than simply recording on your Mac. Most of the digital audio interfaces have a 44KHz sample rate to give a clear and pristine audio quality.

If you need better audio quality with more channels, then a bit more investment will give you a 192KHz recording experience which is excellent for home studios, recording podcasts, and songs.

Build

If you are looking for an affordable and mobile audio interface for Mac, you should opt for mini and compact models with simple knobs and channel ports to use.

Now, one should note that such models may have a good variety of ports and size features but may be underperforming in some aspects unless you are willing to invest a few more bucks for a better audio interface.

Regardless, compact models have the plus point of coming with premium finishes and metallic chassis, and some affordable ones may be of complete plastic builds.

Setup/Installation

The digital audio interface for Mac comes with standard connections, namely Thunderbolt, USB Type-C, FireWire, and PCle.

For Mac, you can set your audio interface via the Lightning cable, which works with the USB port. Most audio interfaces are universally compatible and are plug-and-play types making them easy to install.

The best audio interface for Mac will be the Thunderbolt that delivers data 2x times faster than USB or PCle. FireWire is also a great pick to transfer data faster than the USB connection but may give you trouble when setting up on your Mac.

Tech Support

It is a must to look for technical support available on your audio interface for Mac. The manufacturer will fix any technical problems if you face any problems with connectivity or sound quality.

This is essential because most users look to buy an audio interface on a one-time investment as such devices are expensive for those with great features and audio performance.

The audio interface should come with a good warranty and technical support for you not to have any problems with the device in the future.

Verdict

With many audio interfaces available in the market for Macbook, it is no doubt users may be pretty troubled to choose one that suits their interests.

Keeping that in mind, we brought you our top picks for the best music interface for Mac and summed up the details you need to focus on before picking the best one for you. Suppose you still cannot judge from our list.

In that case, the best choice we would say is the M-Audio M-dual audio interface which gives you both excellent audio quality, easy installation, free software, tech support, and an affordable rate. We hope this article was a helpful read to you!