USB Audio Interfaces bis 150€ im Test und Vergleich 2021 - Top 8 Kaufempfehlungen für Home Studios, Podcaster & Musikproduzenten

USB audio interfaces up to 150€ in test and comparison 2021 - top 8 purchase recommendations for home studios, podcasters & music producers

Would you like to know which audio interfaces are currently the best on the market? Then you are exactly right here! Regardless of whether you want to produce music professionally in the home studio or record instruments or vocals, the sound cards discussed here are inexpensive and of high quality.
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You want to know which audio interfaces are currently (2021) the best on the market? Then you are exactly right here! Regardless of whether you want to produce music professionally in the home studio or record instruments or vocals, the sound cards discussed here are inexpensive and have high-quality features.

These sound cards are also ideal for podcasters and streamers, for example thanks to the automatic gain function of the EVO 4, but more on that later..

Let's start with the best beginner and entry-level audio interfaces in the low price segment!

One more tip: Many dealers offer you an exchange guarantee, so that you can return your products if the audio interface you ordered does not meet your expectations or you feel uncomfortable with the buttons on your new keyboards.

The best audio interfaces in comparison 2020/2021 - which USB audio interface should you buy?

An external for professional audio application is not a big purchase, because nowadays you can get really good devices for less than 150€!
In this article we test and compare entry-level audio interfaces from Focusrite, Steinberg, Audient and EVO.

The best audio interfaces up to €150 from my test

1st place: Audient iD4 MK2

Many producers are familiar with the English company Audient, because in addition to large 16-channel mixing consoles, Audient also produces audio interfaces for home use.

A few years ago, Audient released a new version of the popular Audient iD interface, featuring a faster USB-C connector and a new minimalist design.

What makes these devices so special? Very strong converters and high-quality workmanship! It's not for nothing that the reliable Audient iD4 took first place in my test.

The metal housing of the Audient iD4 is very stable and has all the important controls on the top. It also has a large main out knob with detents for volume control.

  • LED display
  • Mic Gain
  • DI Gain
  • Monitor Mix
  • Speaker Mute Button
  • iD Control Button
  • 2 LEDs for +48V & USB

On the back are the following elements:

  • Microphone or instrument input (combo socket, Amphenol plug)
  • Main output
  • USB-C port

The following elements are located on the front:

  • Another JFET instrument input
  • 2 headphone outputs

The monitor mix potentiometer can be used to switch between the input and the DAW signal, and thanks to the speaker mute button, the main output can be muted at the push of a button. You can also swap the panning of the monitors.

Another smart advantage is the practical ScrollControl mode, in which the large button is integrated into the DAW and can be used for navigation.

Owners of the iD4 can also download free software plugins, such as Steinberg's software synthesizer Retrologue 2! You can find all changing and current offers in the so-called ARC Center on Audient's homepage.

If you need two microphone inputs, you can use the slightly more expensive big brother Audient iD14.Current offers for Audient sound cards can be found here:

Specifications (Audient iD4):

  • 24bit / 44.1-96kHz
  • 1 mic/line input (XLR/jack combination socket from Amphenol, Class A Audient console microphone preamp and 48 volt phantom power)
  • 1 JFET instrument input
  • 1 main speaker output: 6.3 mm jack
  • 2 headphone outputs: 1x 6.3 mm jack, 1x 3.5 mm jack
  • Powered by USB
  • Mac/PC and iOS compatible
  • incl USB-C cable (1m) and Audient ARC download software package
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 133 x 120 x 40.7 mm
2nd place: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2

The standard entry-level interface that everyone has probably seen before. Focusrite's brightly colored Scarlett 2i2 interface has a number of advantages, not to mention the price. At currently €151, the interface is just above the price limit, which is why I have also linked the solo version with only one microphone input.

The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 has all the controls on the front panel. The top is completely flat. Only the USB-C connection, a Kensington lock and the line outputs are on the back.

Of course there is also a comprehensive software package and to celebrate the 3rd generation even three (3) months of splice included!

Specifications (Focusrite Scarlett 2i2):

  • 24bit / 192kHz
  • 2 mic/line inputs (XLR/jack combination socket from Amphenol, Scarlett microphone preamps and 48 volt phantom power)
  • 1 main speaker output: 6.3 mm jack
  • 1 headphone output: 1x 6.3 mm jack
  • Powered by USB
  • Mac/PC compatible
  • incl. USB-C to USB-A cable (1m)
  • Ableton Live Lite, Pro Tools First, Focusrite Red 2 & Red 3 Plug-in Suite, Softube Time & Tone Bundle and your choice of XLN Audio software instrument
  • 3 months splice free
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 175 x 47.5 x 98.8 mm
3rd place: Steinberg UR22C

A classic. The Steinberg UR22C is the new version of the UR22 - thanks to the USB-C connection, the interface now transfers data even faster and is ready for today's requirements.

As with the Focusrite Scarlett, there is a small minus point here for the supplied USB cable: If you use a MacBook with USB-C connections, for example, you must also use a USB-C adapter with this model, since the supplied one Cable is a USB-C to USB-A cable..

The housing of the Steinberg UR22C is similar to that of the Focusrite Scarlett Solo. All important controls are on the front. The top is flat and the back has the usual suspects: USB-C connector

I have also added the "older" version with USB-B connection for the sake of completeness.Current offers for the audio interface from Steinberg can be found here:

Specifications (Steinberg UR22C):

  • 32bit / 192kHz
  • 2 mic/line inputs (XLR/jack combination socket from Neutrik, Class A D-PRE microphone preamplifier and 48 volt phantom power)
  • 2 MIDI inputs/outputs
  • 1 main speaker output: 6.3 mm jack
  • 1 headphone output: 1x 6.3 mm jack
  • Mono button
  • latency-free, DSP-supported monitoring with
  • selected plugins
  • Power supply either via USB or
  • Power supply
  • Mac/PC compatible
  • incl USB-C to USB-A cable (1m) and Cubase AI and Cubasis LE DAW app for iPad
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 159 x 47 x 159 mm
4th place: EVO 4

The EVO 4 is a very special audio interface and a completely new model from Audient. The EVO is particularly suitable for podcasters, streamers and anyone who wants to use the quick and time-saving "smart gain" function: With just one push of a button, all connected microphones are correctly adjusted so that you can start right away.

The cheapest model in my comparison is the only model with a plastic case. Although it could be damaged in a fall, it still seems very stable and of high quality to me.

All important controls are on the top of the EVO 4. Only the microphone and instrument inputs or loudspeakers and headphone outputs are on the front and back.

Specifications (EVO 4):

  • 24bit / 96kHz
  • 2 mic/line inputs (XLR/jack combination socket from Amphenol, microphone preamplifier with 58dB gain and 48 volt phantom power)
  • 1 JFET instrument input
  • 1 main speaker output: 6.3 mm jack
  • 1 headphone output: 1x 6.3 mm jack
  • Smartgain function
  • Loopback function
  • Powered by USB
  • Mac/PC and iOS compatible
  • incl. USB-C to USB-A cable (1.5m) and Audient ARC download software package
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 140 x 55 x 60 mm

My conclusion

The test showed me that you can get really good audio interfaces for little money these days. My favorite is and remains the iD4 from Audient - the strong converters, the user interface and the design convinced me the most. If you need two microphone inputs, I can recommend the Audient iD14 or one of the other audio interfaces presented here. Leave us a comment below – what interface are you using in Home Studio?

All audio interfaces in a list

On Thomann.de I have created a list of all the audio interfaces that are being tested here. Click through or see the opinions of other buyers to choose your new interface!

Click here to get to the list on Thomann!

What was important to me in this test

In this test, it was important to me that the selected models were durable and suitable for professional studio applications. A stable housing, high-quality D/A converter and microphone preamplifier as well as stable potentiometers, connection options and the scope of delivery were an important part of the final assessment in this test report. In addition, all audio interfaces tested here should have a maximum price of 150€.

Buy audio interfaces with USB-C or USB-B connection?

With USB-B

The USB-B connection is often still standard. Such cables are also used for printers and have a maximum speed of 5 Gbit/s.

A USB cable is usually included with new interfaces. If you only have USB-C ports on your computer, but a USB-B interface, then I recommend using a single USB adapter instead of an adapter hub.

With USB-C With a speed of 10 Gbit/s, USB-C guarantees significantly faster data transfer than USB-B and has already arrived at some manufacturers.

Many manufacturers are already in the process of updating their models, such as Audient and Steinberg, who recently introduced more contemporary versions.

Use audio interfaces for podcasters, for streaming and with the smartphone

All audio interfaces recommended here are also suitable for podcasters and streamers without any problems. With the EVO 4, thanks to the Smartgain feature, the microphone can be leveled automatically and with an adapter the interface can even be connected to smartphones!

Why do I need an interface for my home studio?

Your PC or laptop may have a built-in sound card, but with an audio interface you can record vocals, control your monitor monitors, and record instruments like your guitar.

The audio interfaces presented here all have an additional output for headphones and some models have useful functions such as LED displays.

How to properly connect microphones, speakers and instruments

You can connect microphones to your audio interface with an XLR-male-to-XLR-female cable. Instruments are connected with a TRS-To-TRS cable. You can also connect studio loudspeakers (near-field monitors) with XLR-Male-To-XLR-Female as well as with a TRS-To-TRS, depending on which outputs your audio interface offers.
Headphones require a 6.35 mm jack or an adapter for 3.5 mm plugs.

Here's the page with studio equipment accessories: the right cables and adapters for monitoring monitors, instruments and headphones

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