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As an audio engineer and music producer, the one issue I have had to deal with is low latency issues.
Audio latency which is that minute second delay that happens when a signal is recorded and when it’s heard can cause some huge issues when not properly fixed or dealt with
With this issue at the back of my mind, I always made sure that all my audio equipment comes with in built features to deal with audio latency issues
Most especially my audio interface
While doing research for audio interfaces for low latency, I found out that most of the articles out there were not really detailed about getting an audio interface for low latency
Buying the best audio interface for low latency is crucial for getting awesome audio and crisp clear sounds when recording
In this article I will be showing you the top 5 best audio interface for low latency and what you need to do to ensure that you get the best deal out there.
Related: Here is an article I wrote showing you the best audio interface for chromebook
Our Winner After Careful Research
5 Best Audio Interface for Low Latency
1. Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface
This is most likely been referred to as the World’s best selling audio interface and it is ideal for use with low latency issues.
Made by the industry leading manufacturer in audio interfaces and related products, this bad boy delivers crisp, clear sound when used.
It comes with a 2 in and 2 out interface with 2XLR/ TRS combination inputs, which makes it ideal for you with different options to connect either two microphones, two different instruments or one of each.
It also comes with an impressive specifications with a sample rate of 192KHz / 24 bit which makes it ideal for delivering audio and sounds without any issues.
It is very compact and versatile and comes with two awesome sounding mic preamps.
This ensures super low latency and the same class leading sound quality and digital conversion that the Scarlett line of products is known for.
2. UA Apollo Twin MKII Solo
While most Universal Audio products can be quite expensive, if you are really serious about getting quality audio sounds without any latency issues then the UA Apollo Twin MKII Solo will definitely grace your audio interface cabinet.
Besides its impeccable build and design, what makes this product really great is the pristine “roominess” of its preamps
If you have been used to recording with crap audio interfaces, then this is a complete game changer for your recordings
Muddy audio sounds much clearer
The dynamic range is clearer
It also comes with amazing plugin support
UA has its own software for controlling the interface that’s separate from your DAW.
You can easily load a lot of external plugins into this bad boy which can help you emulate some of the best compressors, preamps and channel strips out there.
If you want to sound like the true professionals out there, then you really need to get this audio interface.
You get excellent Thunderbolt connectivity making it ideal for use with your Macbooks
3. Presonus Studio 24C Audio Interface
This is an ideal audio interface with low latency that delivers amazing sounds when used.
Looking at this product, it’s interface is designed to look very sleek with its black center chassis surrounded by deep blue side compartments
It has two combinations of XLR/TRS inputs at the front and also comes with five control buttons for general volume/ mixer parameter changes
At the back, it has a MIDI input and output which allows you to easily connect your MIDI device without any issues
Additionally it has 2 TRS outputs alongside a phone TRS output
All these extra specs make the Presonus Studio 24C Audio Interface an ideal candidate for low latency issues
This bad boy is bus powered and is compatible with both Mac and Pcs via a USB cable
If you are looking for an audio interface that will deliver clear and crisp sound while dealing with your latency issues, then you need to check out this product.
4. Audient iD4 USB Audio Interface
The Audient iD4 Audio Interface is a step up from the regular Focusrite products and has all the bells and whistles a serious beginner will need without burning a serious hole in your bank accounts.
It is the smallest audio interface on this list but do not be deceived by its size cos it delivers awesome sounds when used.
It has 2 inputs and 2 outputs which is ideal for you as a solo musician to add a backup musician or instrument to your setup
Although it is a USB powered device, it is also very compatible with Macbooks
Its unique Class A ic preamps is very roomy and smooth giving you that crisp and clear sound that you desire.
One unique thing this product has is the JFET D.I input. What this does is that it mimics the input stage of a valve amplifier which results in a richer and warmer sound right out of the box.
One slight worry about this product is that it does not have as many features and knobs as the other products listed in this review.
But one thing you can count on is it’s 48V phantom power which delivers when used.
It’s scroll function button allows you to use the rotary knob to scroll through settings, parameters, faders and EQ settings
This is ideal for access and for ease of work while recording.
5. M Audio M – Track Audio Interface
This is an upgrade of the popular M – Track 2X2 C series and comes with the same rugged metal chassis that you are used to.
It is packed full of functionality and has more inputs, outputs and upgraded technology inside, with M – Audio boasting their newly developed crystal preamps.
It has 4 XLR/TRS combination inputs located at the back and 4 TRS inputs which helps in easy connection to other devices.
It comes with a MIDI I/O which allows it to be easily connected to your Mac and PCs
However this product is not bus powered and requires a 12V power supply
All in all, this product is an ideal choice for providing super low latency times and also delivers crisp, clear sounds when used.
What is a Low Latency Audio Interface?
Simply put, these are audio interfaces that are equipped to deal with latency issues that occurs when recording audio.
Usually this delay is in micro seconds and as such most people neglect this
However, the ear and brain is particularly good at recognizing delays and differences in sounds.
Anything above 10ms starts to become a problem
Low latency is commonly caused during the following stages
- Recording stage
- During playback
- Digital signal processing
- During transit
It is very important that you use a low latency audio interface especially when recording because most people usually like to listen to their sounds in real time.
When this happens and there is a delay between the input signal and the heard signal, it can be really distracting.
Best Audio Interface for Low Latency – Buyers Guide
Before you make any purchase especially for audio interface, there are some things you need to be aware of.
First, obviously you need an audio interface that deals with any latency issues.
Basically you want something that is at 10ms or lower
Also it is advisable that you only stick with known brands just like the ones mentioned in the review above
Sticking with known brands, usually helps with customer support and warranty ensuring that nothing happens if you run into issues.
Lastly stick to reviews and customer opinions when making a choice.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Will an audio interface reduce latency?
An audio interface will help reduce latency issues. This is why it is advisable to get an audio interface that already deals with latency issues.
And all the products listed in this review all have latency issues dealt with.
2. How do you reduce latency?
Latency when it occurs can be reduced following the issues listed below
Here is a Youtube Video showing you how it is done
3. What is the best latency?
When it comes to audio recordings and music production, a latency of 10ms or below is usually required