Looking for the best sound cards for music? Well, you are not alone. There are plenty of other individuals who wonder how to buy the best sound card for music production. If you are one of them, the following content will be useful for you.
When it comes to a sound card, it is an essential device that should be installed on a PC. This specific device is mandatory when it comes to a task like music production. Having the best sound card for music production allows you to generate superb sound quality. If you are into music production, you will have to invest in a top-notch sound card. When you shop around for the best sound cards for music, you will find hundreds of products. Choosing one from such a collection can be difficult for any individual. However, to make things easier, we have created this list for you. We have done the research work and ended up finding excellent products. We considered various aspects in creating this list.
What is the best sound card for music production?
OKAY! Let’s get to the main point. Mentioned below is the list of best sound cards for music. Each of these products comes with some differences and prices as well. So, you may go ahead and choose what’s best for you.
PS: if you are experiencing the issues like spatial sound not working, here are the top solutions for you.
01. Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen
This product definitely has enough and more characteristics to reach the topmost position of this list. That means this is a perfect option for those who are looking for the best sound cards for music. This specific product comes with the assistance of applications like Ableton Live, Avid Pro, and so on.
One of the most significant features related to this application is that it has an upgraded preamp. It also has a great headroom as well as an “Air Mode” option that is useful for high-end work. On top of everything, this device has excellent design elements. You can find aspects such as inputs, gain knobs, USB-C ports, outputs, and so on.
This product has become our top choice due to several reasons. The excellent audio quality is one of the obvious reasons that makes it a special product. It delivers such an excellent quality due to the low latency, clarity, low noise, etc. Thanks to the new Air feature, you can expect the next-level audio quality from this device. This is particularly true if you record any vocals in your home studio environment.
The audio quality of this sound card is exceptional. It has undergone several thoughtful upgrades as well. There are plenty of features to make this sound card a dominating, powerful one. For a professional sound producer, this is one of the best sound cards for music, without any doubt. The other great thing about this device is that it shows excellent affordability as well.
02. Behringer UMC404HD
This is another well-known product that comes with four input and four output ports. You can find dedicated preamps (four of them). In fact, you don’t find many products with such performances under this price range. The overall sound quality of this sound card is perfect. You will find quality preamps with silent performance.
There is a panel that offers access to instrument switches and lines. It also offers access to gain knobs and pad switches. You will also find some jack inputs that are designated for the purpose of input and output channels. They are connected to Midas preamps. Each of these channels comes with dedicated controls, and they offer easy access with some great tweaks.
Behringer comes with an A/B switching. It also has a monitor mix along with a stereo/mono combination switch. This specific switch becomes exceptionally useful if you intend to take an audition of the mixes you have done. In addition to that, you can see some MIDI compatibilities with various LED indicators.
This is an excellent unit that comes with a large range of features, and that’s impressive. Compared to other products in this price range, that’s quite a lot. So, you can definitely expect some great features for the price paid. In addition to that, it has very handy software that comprises recording applications along with plugins.
All in all, this specific product is recognized by many professionals like podcasters, producers, and so on.
03. Universal Audio Apollo Twin X Duo
Well, Universal Audio has been an exceptionally popular name in the industry for several decades. The superior design as well as the technology they use to deliver an excellent product called Apollo Twin X Duo. This is one of the best sound cards for music, and it has a built-in DSP. It also has two more UAD-2 cores for processing.
You can find a large range of control panel supports several buttons along with a pretty larger dial. It also has a data-entry dial, and it works in the form of a volume button. Also, it works as a control for input gains. There are some side buttons and that allows you to go through the phantom power. You can toggle the phantom power and even mute the monitors. On top of that, the preamps can be controlled easily.
It also has input and output audio that delivers perfect signal paths. They are paired with very reliable and convenient applications. Nevertheless, the most impressive thing about this is that it has a UA Console application. It has a pretty unique and intuitive UI. That offers excellent control. It is always possible to check the Apollo Twin X Quad if you want extra processing abilities.
Well, this is a superb product that comes in the form of a powerful sound card for music production. It is known for its solid performance as well as the crystal-clear sound output.
04. Steinberg UR22 MK2
Here’s another great product for those who want the best sound cards for music. You can find a UBS cable (with a 2.0 version). Also, it is a great investment for those who want to record, no matter what your level of experience.
This specific product is known for its perfectly strong body. It is built with greater strength to match any harsh conditions. The chassis is made out of metal to provide better strength. The device is exceptionally versatile apart from its reliable function. The term versatility means that it supports both PC and macOS systems. Also, it is compatible perfectly with formats like Core Audio, WDM, etc.
In the front panel, you will find plenty of features arranged neatly. It also includes inputs for TRS/TS. These inputs come with gain controls a swell. On top of that, it has a +48V Phantom Power along with Hi-Z for the purpose of recording bass. You can also have the USB port in the front panel. You can connect that to an iPad or another PC if required.
Obviously, you can find plenty of competition under the price tag. However, MK2 shows greater functionality, compatibility, and build quality compared to others.
05. Native Instruments Komplete Audio 2
NI introduced two versions of this product. However, KA2 shows better performance compared to its predecessor. This is a device with a 2.0 USB connection. The overall design is sleek and modern. Also, it shows compact size.
This specific device comes with impressive features to stand head-to-head with leading, well-established names. One of the most impressive things related to this matter is that it comes at a very low price. That is one of the most prominent reasons for us to place it on this list.
There is a combination of two mics and lines, and you can see a headphone jack out. On top of that, you can see controls for input selections. You can also have input selector controls with level control.
This product was primarily intended to assure safety. Also, it is lightweight and compact in size. Regardless of the size, this is a very impressive design.
Things to consider when buying the best sound cards for music
Now that we have provided a list of the best sound cards for music. let’s dig deeper. In this section, we explain how to choose the best sound card for music production from many other products. This will let you record various instruments such as the guitar, keys, and bass. Also, you should be able to connect vocals no matter whether you are in the studio or at home. On top of that, it lets you enhance the overall playback quality.
No matter whether you are a producer or songwriter who prefers live instruments, the sound card should be compatible with that task. The sound card chosen should perform consistently. The choice of the audio interface will define how efficient it is.
Do you want a sound card for the purpose of recording?
It is always possible to get an external sound card to make your music production a more efficient one. If you don’t, your computer’s default soundcard will get activated. When the basic sound card works, you cannot expect superb performance from it. In other words, you will expect latency issues. However, if you have a good sound card, you will always expect excellent sound performance without any delay. So, in a nutshell, it is compulsory to use a soundcard if you are into music production.
Can the best sound cards for music improve recording’s audio quality?
Well, there is a close connection between your sound card and the quality of the sound recorded and played. So, if you expect professional performance from your audio, it is compulsory to have a good sound card. Also, a soundcard will be able to record the sounds of multiple instruments at the same time. This is compulsory if you are into professional audio making.
Main features to consider if you want to purchase the best sound card for music production
In general, there are several aspects to consider if you want to buy the best sound cards for music. They are;
- The quality of the sound
- Digital input and output
- Connection format
- Preamp capacity
However, we don’t encourage our users to make a decision based on the price factor only.
So, those are the options to consider if you want to buy the best sound card for music production.