There are so many reasons why a player would want to get an audio interface for guitar. One of the primary ones is to be able to record yourself playing the guitar. This is excellent for mixing, trying out new things, and even recording songs.
However, this isn’t the only possible option. Audio interfaces can serve as a replacement for the amplifier, and you can get similar results or even better. Of course, you will need to have the appropriate software, and there are numerous ones you can find for free.
This way, you’ll be able to use an audio interface as an app simulator and download any pedals or amps you like. Some programs will even allow you to try out legendary amps like Twin Reverb or JCM800.
But as with regular amps (and guitar equipment), audio interfaces can get rather expensive. If you are not willing to spend a fortune, I will cover some of the budget options that you might want to consider.
Top 5 Budget Audio Interface For Guitar Under $50
The first category I will discuss is the cheapest one. While some of these can be quite decent, they aren’t a good replacement for anything, and the only value is that you won’t need to buy an amp. It is an excellent solution for those unable to buy a real amp, and it will do the trick. However, you shouldn’t expect high quality from any interfaces in this category.
Behringer Audio Interface 1x XLR/TRS
- 2-channel USB Audio Interface with 1 XENYX Preamp
- Instrument Input
- Phantom Power
- 2×2 audio interface
- Can record mic and other instruments
- 48 kHz
- Compatible with popular software
- 2 inputs
- 2 outputs
- Modern design
- 9.1 ounces (257.98 grams)
- 5.04 x 4.65 x 1.97 inches (12.8 x 11.89 x 5 centimeters)
Behringer is an excellent company with numerous great products, and it isn’t surprising that they offer so many audio interfaces for a decent amount of money.
XLR/TRS is designed for all audiophiles out there, and it offers a maximum sample rate of up to 48 kHz. The interface also works great with all popular audio software like Steinberg Cubase, Ableton Live, Avid Pro Tools, and others.
It also has two inputs and two outputs, and it has a V-powered XENYX Mic Preamp that is comparable to boutique amps. Needless to say, if you plan on using programs like Cubase, you won’t get it for free, and you will need to buy them separately. But the great thing is that there are numerous programs you can get for free.
Behringer Guitar Link UCG102
- Plug in your favorite guitar and turn your pc or mac* computer into a...
- Stereo headphone output lets you jam with your computer and can also be...
- Directly works with your pc or mac computer-ultra-low latency ASIO* driver...
- Connect the guitar link interface to the camera connection kit of your iOS...
- Allows you to plug your guitar into your PC
- Stereo headphones output
- Works with Windows, Mac, and iOS
- USB output
- 3.2 ounces (90.72 grams)
- 3.76 x 2 x 0.97 inches (9.55 x 5.08 x 2.46 centimeters)
- Ultra-low latency
While others might be equally good, you won’t get the same quality as you will with a well-known brand such as Behringer.
Guitar Link UCG102 is an interface that allows you to plug your guitar into your PC. It has a guitar to the USB port, and you can use it on both Mac and Windows. Since you can easily find numerous different apps and pedal simulators online, you won’t need to spend a lot to get your hands on beautiful effects.
Once again, since this is the cheapest possible category, you shouldn’t expect mind-blowing quality and options. But considering the price, it’s a great option for beginner players that want to experiment a bit and record themselves.
Miditech Guitarface II
- Need to record from mics or guitars? Want something portable and easy to...
- Tired of delay with latency? Tracks not lining up? Soft synths not...
- The GuitarFace II will also work with an iPad when connected through the...
- The Guitar Face II is class compliant and bus powered, so you just plug it...
- Allows mic and guitar recording
- Aluminum case
- USB interface
- Low latency
- Works with iPad
- Modern design
- 9.6 ounces (272 grams)
- 1.46 x 4.33 x 3.07 inches (3.71 x 10.998 x 7.798 centimeters)
If you ever wanted to have a handy little device for recording mic and guitars, this might be a good choice. Naturally, the device is rather affordable, and it looks great. Miditech used aluminum for the outer case, and every part of the interface looks great.
Furthermore, you won’t need to worry about latency issues, and audio drivers will ensure that everything runs smoothly. While the device is meant to be used on Windows, you can still plug it into your iPad using the Apple Camera Connection Kit.
One of the main benefits of Guitarface II is that you don’t need to worry about anything. There is no external power supply, no drivers, and you don’t even need to install anything. Even though Miditech offers ASIO drivers, using them is completely optional.
Samson MDA1 Mono Active Direct Box
- All-metal, impact resistant design
- 2-position 0dB/-15dB attenuation switch
- Ground Lift switch
- 1/4" Input and Thru
- Metal case
- Two positions (0db and -15db)
- Ground Lift Switch
- ¼” input and thru
- Balanced XLR output
- Works on 9V battery
- 1.3 pounds (589.67 grams)
- 1.95 x 3.38 x 5 inches (4.95 x 8.59 x 12.7 centimeters)
One of the first things you’ll notice if you get Samson MDA1 is how great it looks. The entire case is made of metal, which makes it highly durable and sturdy. You won’t need to worry about potential damage if you put it in your pedalboard, and it has a similar size to regular pedals.
What makes MDA1 special (besides the price) is the design. There are two switches on the box. The first one is to choose between 0db and -15db. The second switch is for ground or lift. There are also two inputs both a quarter of an inch in size, and a switch if you plan on using the battery.
As with regular pedals, the battery is a 9V one. The box works with nearly any instrument including guitars, basses, synths, and others. The primary goal behind Samson MDA1 is to ensure that the signal coming out of your instrument is perfect for recording.
TC Helicon Audio Interface GO VOCAL
- Portable Recording Interface with Microphone Preamp
- Headphone Output - iOS/Android/Mac/PC
- +48V Phantom Power
- High-quality microphone preamp
- Works with iOS, Android, Mac, and PC
- XLR input
- 48 V phantom power
- Headphone output
- Adjustable gain
- 8.3 ounces (235.3 grams)
- 1.77 x 1.5 x 3.62 inches (4.496 x 3.81 x 9.19 centimeters)
TC Helicon is primarily designed as a microphone preamp for mobile devices. It supports iOS and Android, but you can also use it on your Mac or PC. The device offers a headphone output, and you can use adjustable gain if you are interested in real-time monitoring.
It also works really well with TC Helicon apps you can download for both iOS and Android, and it is also compatible with numerous other apps you can try out for your smartphone. GO VOCAL is a great tool for recording, and you can easily sync it with your mobile device.
Probably the best thing about GO VOCAL is the price, and you won’t need to spend a lot to get your hand on it.
Top 4 Budget Audio Interface For Guitar Under $100
So, let’s turn it up a notch and see what you can find in a higher price range. These audio interfaces are still in the affordable category, but we will take a look at those between $50 and $100. As you might know already, professional equipment can be quite expensive, so this is still something that might be worth your money.
PreSonus AudioBox USB 96
- Value-packed 2-channel USB 2.0 interface for personal and portable...
- 2 high-quality Class-A mic preamps make it easy to get a great sound.
- 2 high-headroom instrument inputs to record guitar, bass, and your favorite...
- Studio-grade converters allow for up to 24-bit/96 kHz recording and...
- Compatible with Mac and Windows
- 24-bit resolution
- 48V phantom power
- Software included
- 2.01 pounds (911.72 grams)
- 5.5 x 5.5 x 1.75 inches (13.97 x 13.97 x 4.45 centimeters)
PreSonus AudioBox USB96 is an interesting tool for recording. It’s simple and reliable, and you can carry it with you wherever you go. Needless to say, the device is easy to use, and all you need to do is plug in your instrument, and you’ll be ready to go. It is a great choice for songwriters and guitarists, and it is quite sturdy so you won’t need to worry about potential damage.
It is compatible with nearly all Windows and Mac programs for audio recording, and you will also get a free license for the PreSonus DAW program. But if you want, you can try out others that are free or more comfortable for you.
There are also a couple of knobs that allow fine-tuning, and you can also use headphones to monitor recording. It has MIDI input and output and supports up to 96 kHz sampling rates.
Behringer U-PHORIA UM2
- Compact, rock-solid interface with a studio-grade +48 V-powered XENYX mic...
- Combination XLR/TRS input and ¼ " input s lets you plug in your mic,...
- Compatible with almost all popular recording software including Avid Pro...
- Powerful headphone output with level control and direct monitor select,...
- +48 V-powered XENYX mic preamp
- Up to 48 kHz sampling rate
- XLR/TRS input
- ¼” input
- Compatible with popular software
- Headphone output
- Great design
- 3.82 pounds (1.732 kilograms)
- 12.01 x 10.63 x 6.85 inches (30.51 x 27 x 17.4 centimeters)
While other items on the list are still great, you usually know what you are getting with a well-known brand like Behringer.
U-Phoria is the more expensive version of the XLR/TRS interface, and it brings many improvements. It will allow you to record nearly anything from vocals to instruments, and it supports a sampling rate up to 48 kHz.
All you need to do is plug in your instrument, and connect it to your Mac or PC. Of course, as with the previous version, you can use a variety of popular programs like Steinberg Cubase, and you will also get Xpix TRS and XLR cables, 2RCA male to male dual cables, fibertique cloth, headphones, and others.
- 【Multiple Connections】SYNCO MC4 audio mixer includes 2 MIC/LINE Mono...
- 【Studio-Level Effects】EFX controlled reverb effects, REPEAT & DELAY...
- 【Multiple Professional Functions】Synco MC4 supports high pitch, bass...
- 【48V Phantom& USB Charging】Built-in 48V phantom power for XLR-plug...
- 4 channel mixing console
- Stereo input
- USB output
- XLR and RCA sockets
- Knobs for fine-tuning
- Bluetooth connection
- Works with iPad, iPhone, Android
- 1.4 pounds (635 grams)
- 9.25 x 8.78 x 2.76 inches (23.5 x 22.3 x 7.01 centimeters)
Synco MC4 is an interesting device that will allow you to record instruments. It has a built-in 48V phantom power supply, it supports Mp3 broadcast, Bluetooth, USB, and many others. MC4 also has four channels, and it has an option to adjust high pitch, bass, gain, reverb, and volume.
Thanks to Bluetooth, you can easily connect it to your smartphone (regardless of the OS), and you can monitor everything using headphones. There is also a small display that will allow you to check the working status of the mixer.
The frequency response is between 20 Hz and 20 kHz, and it can be so much fun. The price of this mixer is great, and it is quite low considering what you’ll get if you opt to buy it.
Pyle Professional Audio Mixer
- 4 channels
- USB support
- Compatible with Mp3
- Mic and stereo input
- Multi-voltage power supply
- Steel chassis
- FX analog effects
- 3.64 pounds (1.651 kilograms)
- 9.3 x 7.5 x 2.6 inches (23.62 x 19.05 x 6.6 centimeters)
It is a bit larger compared to your regular pedals, but it is a great option for those interested in recording. It has a steel chassis which is quite durable, and it is a mixer for DJs and recording musicians.
Pyre mixer has four channels, with analog effects and a 16-bit processor. It also offers an LCD display and has sound recordability. There are numerous knobs you can use for fine-tuning, that will ensure that you get the perfect tone you were looking for. These include gain, high, low, mid, FX/send, bass, level, tone, and others.
The Pyre mixer is also compatible with most devices you can find today, and it has Bluetooth 4.0.
Top 6 Budget Audio Interface For Guitar Under $200
The final category I will cover is audio interfaces between $100 and $200. As you can probably guess, these are the best ones you can find. At least out of the interfaces I mentioned here.
If you are looking for the best available interfaces in general, you might need to spend a bit more. As I said before, music equipment can be quite pricey, and the prices of high-quality gear can be quite high.
But when it comes to budget options, these might be your best option.
Focusrite Scarlett Solo
No products found.
- 24-bit/192 kHz
- 3rd generation Scarlett preamp
- Recording software
- OS X and Windows
- Samson SR360 stereo headphones
- 10 x 8 x 6 inches (25.4 x 20.32 x 15.24 centimeters)
- 2.97 pounds (1.347 kilograms)
Focusrite designed their Scarlett Solo model, which got the name for its color. They claim that it is the simplest USB audio interface you can find and that it is an excellent choice for songwriters, guitarists, and other musicians.
This is the third generation of Scarlett Solo models so far. One of the best things about the Focusrite interface is that it comes with everything you might need along the way. Firstly, you will get numerous programs you can use like Softube Time and Tone Bundle, Red Plug-in Suite, Plug-in Collective, Ableton Live, Avid Pro Tools, and many more.
But you will also get stereo headphones, cables, and even microfiber cloth for easier cleaning. All things considered, Focusrite is a great product, especially for the price. So, if you are looking for a great audio interface without busting the bank, you might want to consider Scarlett Solo.
Behringer Audio Interface UMC404HD
- 4x4 USB 2.0 Audio/MIDI interface for recording microphones and instruments
- Audiophile 24-Bit/192 kHz resolution for professional audio quality
- Compatible with popular recording software, including Avid pro tools,...
- Streams 4 inputs / 4 outputs plus 1x MIDI I/O with ultra-low latency to...
- 4×4 USB 2.0
- Audio/MIDI interface
- 24-bit/192 kHz
- Works with popular software
- 48V phantom power supply
- Designed in Germany
- 2.65 pounds (1.202 kilograms)
- 11.5 x 5.12 x 1.81 inches (29.21 x 13 x 4.597 centimeters)
It surprises no one that Behringer is in this category as well, and you can find even more expensive products by this company. UMC404HD is another audio interface from the U-Phoria class, and it is a lot better compared to the ones I already mentioned.
It offers a 24-bit processor with up to 192 kHz sample rate. There are MIDAS preamplifiers, and fast USB 2.0. You can use UMC404HD to record microphones, keyboards, guitars, and even MIDI devices.
As with many other devices from this list, it has a 48V phantom power supply and works on Mac and Windows. Behringer UMC404HD is an excellent option, especially if you consider the price. And if it’s of any importance, it looks quite good. Behringer claims that UMC404HD is impact-resistant, which means that you won’t be able to damage it by accident.
- Industry leading converters providing up to 32-bit/192 kHz audio resolution
- Super speed USB 3. 1 Gen 1 with USB-C for fast and reliable Connectivity to...
- Class-a D-PRE mic preamps to capture all the subtleties and expressiveness...
- Dspmixfx application for zero-latency monitoring with effects for every DAW
- Super speed USB 3
- 32-bit/192 kHz
- Class-A D-PRE mic preamp
- Supports ASIO, WDM, or core audio
- MIDI input and output
- Cubase AI
- 2.2 pounds (997.9 grams)
- 9.21 x 8.07 x 4.13 inches (23.39 x 20.498 x 10.49 centimeters)
Steinberg is a company behind Cubase, which is one of the most popular programs for audio recording and editing. This is the primary reason why you might want to go for their product since they are known to offer excellent quality.
The maximum sampling rate for UR22C is 192 kHz with a 32-bit resolution. It also has a D-PRE preamp, that offers incredible quality for this price range. Naturally, the device is compatible with the majority of audio programs, and it supports ASIO, WDM, and core audio, with almost any DAW you want to use.
UR22C also has two switchable modes D.J. and DAW. DAW works great with programs like Cubase, while DJ mode is designed for performances, backing tracks, and DJ software. Thanks to USB 3.0 and type C, you will be able to use it on any possible device.
Mackie Audio Interface Onyx Artist
- Boutique-quality onyx mic preamp with class-leading fidelity and dynamic...
- High-resolution 2 in x 2 Out 24-bit/192kHz recording zero-latency direct...
- Bus-powered for easy mobile recording with no power adapter needed USB 2. 0...
- Traction music production software included
- Onyx mic preamp
- 48V phantom power supply
- TRS input
- Easy recording
- Comes with software
- 1.2 pounds (544 grams)
- 4.4 x 6.4 x 1.9 inches (11.18 x 16.26 x 4.83 centimeters)
Onyx Artist is an excellent tool for those interested in learning more about recording. It is durable and looks great. Mackie Audio Interface offers high-resolution 24-bit/192 kHz, and it has analog circuitry.
It is perfect for singers, songwriters, guitarists, and it allows you to record using your phone. Furthermore, there is no latency which means that you can easily hear yourself in real-time and monitor the whole situation.
The device also has dedicated outputs if you want to use studio monitors, and it supports USB 2.0. If you decide to buy it, you will also get Tracktion Music Production Software and DAW Essentials Collection. It is also compatible with all major DAWs, and it works on both PC and MAC.
M-Audio AIR 192
- Capture Every Detail - Premium component selection and 24-bit/192kHz...
- Low Latency - Hi-Speed USB / USB-C circuitry gives you the fastest...
- Pristine Studio Grade Capture - Transparent Crystal preamps and...
- Connectivity - XLR+¼” TRS combo input, (1) ¼” instrument input,...
- Two inputs and two outputs
- USB and USB-C
- ProTools and Ableton Live
- Plus Studio-Grade FX
- 24-bit/192 kHz
- Low latency
- XLR and TRS input
- Rugged metal chassis
- Central volume control
- LED VU meters
- 1.76 pounds (798 grams)
- 8.04 x 6 x 2.76 inches (20.42 x 15.24 x 7.01 centimeters)
M-Audio AIR 192 sounds great and looks even better. It is an excellent choice for any solo performer or those looking to record in studio quality. AIR 192 supports 24-bit and 192 kHz recordings, and it is easy to use.
One of the main qualities of this audio interface is the amount of software you get with it. If you buy it, you will get Pro Tools, First M-Audio edition, Ableton Live, the Avid Effect Collection, Eleven Lite, Xpand!2, Creative FX collection, Vacuum, 2 GB of content from Touch Loops, and many others.
Thanks to low latency, you will be able to hear what you play instantaneously, and in high quality. AIR 192 supports USB and USB type C, and you can get a Vocal Studio Pro version that comes with headphones and a microphone. However, the pro version is a bit more expensive.
PreSonus Studio 24c
- Mobile-ready, bus-powered 2-in or 2-out USB-C audio interface; no power...
- Loaded with 2 pristine XMAX-L solid-state mic preamps to capture every...
- Studio-grade converters allow for up to 24-bit or 96 kHz recording and...
- Stay on top of your recording levels with ladder-style LED monitoring and...
- Two lines out
- XMAX-L solid-state preamp
- 24-bit/192 kHz
- Mac and Windows
- Easy to use
- Headphones output
- +48V phantom power supply
- Cables for USB-C to C and USB-C to A
- 1 pound (453.59 grams)
- 7.09 x 6.3 x 1.77 inches (18 x 16 x 4.5 centimeters)
PreSonus Studio 24c is a portable high-def audio interface, and it supports USB type C. It is a great choice for musicians, guitarists, and those looking to record music. PreSonus has two inputs and two outputs, with XMAX-L mic preamps.
There are also monitoring controls at the front, and it comes with the necessary software – PreSonus Studio One Artist. USB-C interface works with nearly any device, Mac or Windows.
If this sounds interesting to you, you can also check out 26c, 68c, 1810c, and 1824c versions, but they are a bit more expensive and don’t fall into this category.
If you are looking to buy an audio interface, it doesn’t mean that you will need to spend a fortune on it. You can still find great products that don’t cost a thousand dollars, and you will be able to record yourself playing the guitar.
Of course, these examples might not be perfect for those looking to go pro, but they might help them along the way. Some of the interfaces I mentioned on the list are quite good, especially if you consider that all of these are budget options.
Last update on 2023-11-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API