The Best Audio Interface For Podcasting – Top 7 Audio Interfaces

by Tracy Jackson

audio interface for podcasting

If you’re thinking of starting a podcast, then an audio interface for podcasting is something you should consider investing in.

Audio interfaces help you produce podcasts with excellent sound quality. An external audio interface produces a higher-quality audio output than a built-in sound card.

If you are looking for a perfect USB audio interface for your podcast setup, you need to understand the different types that are available in the market. You will be able to find audio interfaces with varied features, sound quality, and inputs and outputs.

Although all audio interfaces feature mic preamps with XLR inputs and an output that connects to podcast headphones or any other sound-monitoring speaker, they may differ in the build quality and the number of inputs/ outputs.

In today’s post, I’ve rounded up some of the best audio interfaces in the market so that you can choose the best audio interface for podcasting that suits your needs and preferences.

Without wasting any more time, let’s get into the post.

Disclaimer: If you buy something using the links in this article, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Know that I only promote stuff that I use and trust for the sake of my readers and the reputation of this site.

What Is An Audio Interface?

Audio interfaces, in simple terms, are external devices that connect your audio device to your computer and convert analog audio signals into a digital signal.

Although the basic function of modern audio interfaces is the same, each type can vary based on the number of mic inputs and the quality of the sound output.

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Best Audio Interface For Podcasting – Our Top 7 Choices

1. Focusrite Scarlett Solo (3rd Gen)

Best Audio Interface For Podcasting - Focusrite Scarlett Solo (3rd Gen)

The Focusrite series of audio interfaces are unmatched in terms of solid build quality at their price range.

If you’re looking for a single mic audio interface for podcasting that offers great audio quality within your budget, then Focusrite Scarlett Solo is perfect for you.

Key Features

  • Solid build audio interface with great sound quality
  • 1 XLR input with 48V phantom power and switchable line input
  • USB Type-C connectivity offers great speed for podcasting
  • 24-bit/192kHz sample rate
  • High-quality mic preamps with low device latency headphone jack that can be connected to studio monitors
  • Compatible with both Mac and PC

Price on Amazon

You can buy Focusrite Scarlett Solo (3rd Gen) on Amazon for $119.

2. Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (3rd Gen)

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (3rd Gen)

The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (3rd Gen) is for you if you’re looking for a compact audio interface with two XLR inputs for two microphones.

Just like other USB audio interfaces in this series, the Scarlett 2i2 has a solid build quality with clear, high audio quality and mic preamps built into the XLR inputs.

Key Features

  • The audio interface features a strong build with excellent audio quality
  • 2 XLR inputs with 48V phantom power and gain control
  • Direct monitoring through a headphone jack with gain
  • 24-bit/192kHz sample rate
  • Compatible with iOS, Mac, and PC

Price on Amazon

You can buy Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 on Amazon for $169.99.

3. Behringer U-Phoria UMC202HD

Behringer U-Phoria UMC202HD

Although Behringer U-Phoria UMC202HD is one of the more affordable audio interfaces you can get, this audio interface still offers a lot in terms of features and good quality audio.

The USB audio interface comes with access to Tracktion, software for recording, mixing, and editing audio.

Key Features

  • 2 USB mic preamps with 48V phantom power and switchable input for condenser microphones
  • 24-bit/192kHz sample rate for excellent audio quality
  • The USB audio interface streams two inputs/ outputs with reduced latency to your computer
  • Compatible with both Mac and PC

Price on Amazon

You can buy Behringer U-Phoria UMC202HD on Amazon for $145.

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4. Universal Audio Apollo Twin X DUO Heritage Edition

Universal Audio Apollo Twin X DUO Heritage Edition

The Universal Audio Apollo Twin Heritage series is a premium-range audio interface for podcasting based on its design and price point.

This audio interface is more suitable for music enthusiasts or podcasters who may feature music or vocals on their show, but not for regular podcasters.

Key Features

  • Record and mix with elite class A/D and D/A conversion with the widest dynamic range and the lowest noise among other USB audio interfaces
  • Unison-enabled preamps offer tracking with near-zero latency
  • Onboard UAD processing helps you track and mix in real-time
  • Thunderbolt 3 connectivity allows you to cascade up to 4 Apollo interfaces
  • LUNA Recording System turns your Apollo audio interface into a fully integrated recording system

Price on Amazon

You can buy Universal Audio Apollo Twin X DUO Heritage Edition on Amazon for $1099.

5. PreSonus AudioBox USB 96

PreSonus AudioBox USB 96

The PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 is perfect if you are a beginner and would like an entry-level audio interface to work with.

The PreSonus audio interface comes with free Studio One 3 Artist recording software that allows you to record and edit your audio files.

Key Features

  • Studio-grade converters for a maximum Sample Rate of 96kHz
  • 2 microphone/ instrument input jacks
  • Switchable 48V phantom power
  • MIDI in and out
  • Mixer control allows you to create a custom blend between inputs and playback for minimum latency

Price on Amazon

You can buy PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 on Amazon for $99.95.

6. Tascam US-4×4

Tascam US-4×4

The Tascam US-4×4 is one of the USB interfaces with a reasonable price and a simple channel interface.

However, it does come with a solid build and two digital audio workstations to choose from – Cakewalk SONAR X3 LE and Abelton Live Lite 9. It is also compatible with other editing software.

Key Features

  • 4 XLR mic input channels
  • MIDI IN/OUT terminals that allow control over external audio gear and devices like keyboards and drum machines
  • Loopback function and OBS support for podcasts and live streaming
  • Improved audio performance with implemented Ultra-HDDA mic preamp with 192 kHz support
  • Zero-latency direct monitoring function

Price on Amazon

You can buy Tascam US-4×4 on Amazon for $219.

7. Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 (3rd Gen)

Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 (3rd Gen)

Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 has four mic preamps with switchable Air mode for brighter and more open sound. It is a perfect solution if you need a separate audio interface to record and process high-quality audio files from multiple input sources.

Scarlett 18i8 also features four monitor outputs with anti-thump technology and speaker switching.

Key Features

  • Compact size with high channel count
  • Four mic/line inputs
  • Four balanced line-outs and speaker switching plus two independent headphone outs to monitor, mix and play back
  • Direct monitoring through a headphone jack with gain
  • 24-bit/192kHz sample rate
  • Compatible with iOS, Mac, and PC

Price on Amazon

You can buy Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 (3rd Gen) for $419.99.

FAQs

1. How is an audio interface different from a sound card?

An audio interface acts as an external sound card for your computer. Audio interfaces offer better sound quality and the flexibility to connect multiple sound input devices to your computer.

2. How to connect podcasting microphones to an audio interface?

Podcasting microphones are usually connected to an audio interface using a three-pin XLR input cable. The best USB audio interfaces generally have anywhere between one and eight XLR inputs.

You will need to choose a USB audio interface depending on the number of microphones you will be using for your podcast. That will determine how many inputs your audio interface should have.

If you have multiple guests on your show, you will need a separate microphone for each guest for the best audio quality.

3. How does an audio interface connect to a computer?

There are many ways an audio interface can connect to a computer, but the most popular and affordable way for podcasters is a USB cable.

4. What is Phantom Power on an audio interface and is it required for podcasting?

Phantom power is a power source for professional microphones connected to an audio interface via an XLR cable. It is a sort of built-in audio interface power source for and is also called 48V phantom power.

Most audio interfaces with XLR input jacks have phantom power, indicated by a ’48V’ symbol on the body of the device. Some audio interfaces automatically detect when a microphone requires phantom power and provide it, whereas others need the user to turn on a phantom power switch.

5. What is Direct Monitoring? Is Direct Monitoring necessary for podcasting?

Direct monitoring helps minimize distractions due to sound latency (the delay caused by sound traveling from the microphone to the audio interface to the computer and again through the audio interface to your headphones).

Direct monitoring makes the sound travel from your mic to the audio interface and directly to your headphones, reducing the lag.

Conclusion

These are my recommendations for the best audio interfaces for podcasting. Choosing the right audio interface for your business boils down to how many mic inputs you need for your podcasting studio and what your budget is.

In my honest opinion, the Focusrite Scarlett series is your best bet as they offer professional audio quality, a solid build, and multiple input/ output channel choices at a reasonable price.

I hope you found this post useful. If you did, don’t forget to share it with your friends! 🙂

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