The Best Audio Interfaces Under $200

The Best Audio Interfaces Under $200

Audio interfaces are a necessary part of a podcaster's setup if they've elected to move away from smartphone, app-driven podcasting and get a little bit more "big time" in their production value. Below are my three suggestions for audio interface devices at or below $200 (all of which provide phantom power and all of which are USB).

The Scarlett 2i2 by Focusrite (~$170)

This thing has become as much a standard in the podcasting world as the Shure SM58 microphone has in the live music world – they are absolutely everywhere. That's probably because they are reliable, they are rugged, and they will last a number of years. I've had mine since 2015 and I still use it when I'm on the road. Buy the Scarlett 2i2 here.

The Multimix 4 USB FX by Alesis (~$150)

In my opinion a step up from the Scarlett 2i2 in that it provides you with the ability to control some aspects of your audio live and has the added benefit of forcing you to learn a bit more about what you're doing than the Scarlett 2i2 does. Youv'e got single dual knob EQ for the low and high frequencies, allowing you to manually set a low-frequency roll-off and a hi-frequency shelf. The Alesis Multimix 4 USB (non-FX) was my first ever audio interface device. Buy the Alesis here.

The U-Phoria UMC204HD by Behringer ($199)

The U-Phoria is a nice little number as it combines some features of the Scarlett with some features of the Alesis as well as adds a few of its own. The U-Phoria UMC204HD has input pads as well as MIDI input/output – both things which neither the Alesis or Focusrite have. I have found it to be just as good as the other two options listed here however, if you do not need the MIDI capability, I don't believe it is worth the additional $50-$100 dollars. Although it is always smart to have more functionality than you need, in the event you find yourself growing into it. Buy the U-Phoria here.