Best Audio Interface For Mac

best audio interface for mac

If you want to take your music production to the next level, and audio interface will be an essential pice of equipment. And if you’re a Mac user, you’ll obviously need an audio interface that’s compatible with Mac OS.

But with so many different audio interfaces out there, all the options can get a bit overwhelming. But don’t worry, we’ve compiled a list of the best audio interfaces that are compatible with Mac OS.

So keep reading to learn about the top 3 best audio interfaces for Mac, including budget picks, high-end picks, and other selections.

Below is a comparison table of the best audio interfaces to use with your Mac. You can compare them all here, and then scroll further down to get a more detailed overview of each one.

Image Name XLR/Microphone Inputs Line/Instrument Inputs Why It's Good Check The Price
Focusrite Solo 3rd Gen
1
1
Our Top Choice
M-Audio M-Track Solo
1
2
Our Top Value Choice

MOTU M4 4x4 USB-C
2
2
Our High End Choice
Pros
Cons

Product Highlights

The Focusrite Solo is a Mac/PC-compatible interface for vocalists, instrumentalists, producers, and podcasters.

It’s our top pick because it provides studio-quality recording and all of the software you need, as well as Easy Start, so that you can begin recording immediately.

Features

  • Low-noise balanced outputs with hi-fi listening
  • Switchable Air mode improves vocal clarity
  • 24-bit/192kHz
  • Gain Halos minimize distortion and clipping

What We Like About Focusrite Solo

We particularly like that this USB audio interface is compatible with so many audio sources – vocals, drums, guitar, and more. It also includes high-quality features, such as the high-performance converters and improved mic pre-amps.

And of course, we like the inclusion of Easy Start, an online tool that makes it simple to begin recording and playing back your audio.

What We Don’t Like About Focusrite Solo

Although this interface features high-quality pre-amp features, it only includes one pre-amp. It also only has two balanced ¼” line outputs compared to other Scarlett models that have four.

Further, it features only one instrument/line input. Overall, the quality is high, but it’s lacking in quantity of features.

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Pros
Cons

Product Highlights

This portable audio interface is an ideal for Mac users who want a budget-friendly product that’s still highly rated and well-reviewed. 

It’s designed for streaming, podcasting, and recording with high audio resolution (48 kHz), zero-latency monitoring, and the MPC Beats software suite. 

Features

  • Choice of 1 or 2 mic output
  • ⅛” headphone output and stereo RCA outputs
  • Includes one combo XLR/Line Input with Phantom Power

What We Like About the M-Audio M-Track Solo

We really like that this interface has a USB/Direct switch to adjust the balance between the direct inputs and playback from your computer software. It also has a useful included software package that includes three virtual instruments, 80 FX plugins, and 2GB of factory content. 

What We Don’t Like About the M-Audio M-Track Solo

One downside of this interface is that the audio quality isn’t quite as good as some of the higher end models. And the volume of the headphone output is a little low. 

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Pros
Cons

Product Highlights

This is our high-end choice due to the sheer quality you get, paired with the average 4.7/5.0 stars it has earned on Amazon. 

It has one of the highest-speed USB drivers, as well as a full-color LCD displaying levels. The interface also provides loopback channels for streaming and podcasting at 96 kHz. 

Features

  • Ultra-low latency (2.5ms)
  • Professional-level volume control
  • Performer Lite and Live Lite production software
  • Lucidsamples and Loopmasters one-shots and loops

What We Like About the MOTU M4

This interface stands out because it’s the only interface in its class featuring a full-color LCD display. 

We also like that this brand of interfaces is trusted by industry professionals and used for producing high-quality recordings. It brings optimal speed, resolution, and convenience into one product.

What We Don’t Like About the MOTU M4

While this interface is high-quality, it certainly isn’t as budget friendly as the other two options. Additionally, its extra features and capabilities mean it is slightly larger than the others, which may be an inconvenience if you’re pushed for space or looking for something portable.

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What To Look For When Buying An Audio Interface For Mac?

High Audio Resolution

When you record audio, you want it to be as clear as possible. We look out for Mac audio interfaces that have high kHz numbers. It’s also important that customer reviews point to high resolution in the products. 

Clear Playback

Playback should be free of humming, screeching, and distortion. We check to see if these products have features that cut out these interruptions. We also check to see that the interfaces provide clear playback via their headphone jacks.

Low Latency

An interface with low latency minimizes the amount of delay you experience when audio is going in or out of the device. This is especially important for music makers, as you want all of your sounds to sync up to the same tempo when recording.  

Final Verdict - The Best Product

We chose our top interface based on its overall quality, ease of use, and inclusion of special features. 

After reviewing the top-rated options out there, we found that the Focusrite combines the most important aspects necessary in an audio interface. 

Focusrite Solo 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface

Not only is this audio interface compatible with macOS; it’s also inclusive of high-quality recording software, Easy Start, and new and improved pre-amps. 

It features high-fidelity listening, minimal distortion, and a high kHz output. If you want a versatile interface that records vocals and instruments, check out the product here

FAQ

Do you need an adapter to use an Audio interface with a Mac?

Most audio interfaces plug into your computer via USB A (a regular USB port). So if you have a desktop Mac, a Macbook Air made prior to 2018, or a MacBook pro made prior to 2016, you should be able to plug the audio interface directly into your computer without any adapters.

But, if you have a more modern Macbook, you’ll need either a USB-C hub or USB A to USB-C adapter to plug the audio interface into one of the USB-C ports on your laptop.

What type of cable comes with the Focusrite Solo?

This interface comes with a type-C to type-A USB cable. The USB-C end of the cable will plug into the audio interface, while the USB A end of the cable will need to plug into your computer.

So if you’re using a modern Macbook, you may need an adapter as explained above.

Does the Focusrite Solo let you listen to Mac audio through the headphone jack?

Yes, you can listen to computer playback and monitor inputs at the same time so that you can make overdubs with minimal latency.

Do audio interfaces come with monitors?

Typically, audio interfaces do not come with studio monitor sets, and you have to purchase them separately.  

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