4-channel audio interfaces strike a balance between portability and increased inputs, making them ideal for beginners and those on a budget.
The number of inputs you need depends on your use case, whether for professional studio work or home recording.
Here are the top factors to look at before buying a 4 channel audio interface. Detailed “Buying Guide“ has given below.
- Input and Outputs:- Look for a balance of input and output types (XLR, 1/4″ TRS, etc.) and output options (TRS, headphone, etc.) to connect a variety of audio sources and playback devices.
- Audio Quality and Resolution:- Prioritize audio interfaces with high-resolution support and excellent audio quality.
- USB Types and Cables: The selection of the USB cable and connector type hinges on the particular device and its compatibility. Generally, audio interfaces primarily support USB and USB-C connections.
Best 4-Channel Audio Interfaces Table
|Best 4-Channel Audio Interfaces||Input Options||Output Options||Resolution||Connectivity||Connectivity|
|Universal Audio 4-Channel Audio Interface||4-in, 2 pre + 2 line in||4-out, 4 line out||24-bit/192 kHz||USB C||Check On Amazon|
|Focusrite 4-Channel Audio Interface||4 Line Inputs, SPDIF 1 In, MIDI 1 In,||4 Line Outputs, SPDIF 1 Out, MIDI 1 Out||24-bit/192kHz||USB||Check On Amazon|
|Behringer 4-Channel Audio Interface||x MIDAS design Type- 4 x XLR/TRS combo connector
Input level attenuation 4 x Pad switch
|1 x ¼” stereo (Phones)
2 x ¼” TRS (Main Line Out),
2 x XLR (Main Line Out),
4 x ¼” TRS (Playback Line Out),
4 x RCA (Playback Line Out)
|24-Bit/192 kHz||USB B||Check On Amazon|
|PreSonus 4-Channel Audio Interface||2 line inputs||2 balanced ¼” TRS line output||24-bit/192 kHz||USB C||Check On Amazon|
|MOTU 4-Channel Audio Interface||XLR, 1/4″ TRS, 1/4″ TS||1/4″ TRS, 1/4″ TS, 3.5mm headphone||96 kHz with a 32 sample buffer||USB C||Check On Amazon|
Best 4-Channel Audio Interfaces Reviews
UA Volt 4 USB Audio Interface offers 4 channels of audio, this 4-in/4-out interface excels at capturing various sources simultaneously. Whether you’re connecting microphones, instruments, or line-level sources, the Volt 4 provides 48V phantom power, catering to condenser microphones for studio-grade recordings. The integrated studio-quality headphone amplifier facilitates clear and precise monitoring, allowing you to fine-tune your audio with confidence.
UA Volt 4 sets a high standard for audio quality and resolution. Its Vintage Mic Preamp mode emulates the rich sound of an iconic UA tube preamp, infusing your recordings with warmth and character, particularly ideal for vocals, guitars, and various instruments. The interface delivers class-leading 24-bit/192 kHz audio conversion.
|Audio Conversion||24-bit/192 kHz|
|Preamp Mode||Vintage Mic Preamp with Tube Emulation|
|Phantom Power||48V (for condenser microphones)|
|Connectivity||USB (USB-C to USB-A cable included)|
|Software Support||Ableton Live Lite, Softube, Celemony Melodyne Essential, Relab LX480 Essentials, and more|
|Compatibility||Mac, PC, iPad, iPhone|
- Versatile for music production, live streaming, and podcasting.
- Vintage Mic Preamp mode adds a professional touch.
- Analog compressor enhances audio quality.
- Built with durability in mind.
- Preamps may lack sufficient power.
Focusrite Scarlett 8i6 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface offers 4 line outputs and 4 line inputs, this interface is well-equipped to handle multiple audio sources and deliver top-notch sound quality. Additionally, the inclusion of SPDIF 1 in and 1 out ensures digital audio connectivity, while the MIDI input and output ports offer compatibility with MIDI devices.
Scarlett 8i6 excels in both audio quality and resolution, offering studio-grade sound. The high-performance preamps ensure that your recordings are pristine and free from unwanted noise. Furthermore, the interface supports up to 24-bit/192kHz audio resolution, preserving all the sonic details in your recordings. With MIDI inputs and outputs, you can seamlessly connect and control MIDI instruments and devices, expanding your creative possibilities.
Ensures seamless connectivity to your personal computer via USB. This ensures a hassle-free setup and integration into your recording environment. The interface is compatible with a wide range of audio software, providing you with the flexibility to use your preferred digital audio workstation.
|Input Channels||4 Line Inputs|
|Output Channels||4 Line Outputs|
|Digital Audio Connectivity||SPDIF 1 In, 1 Out|
|MIDI Ports||MIDI 1 In, 1 Out|
|Audio Resolution||Up to 24-bit/192kHz|
|Supported Software||Compatible with various DAWs|
|Compatibility||Personal Computer (PC/Mac)|
- Efficient for recording multiple XLR inputs simultaneously.
- Sound quality, preamps, bitrate, and sample rate are commendable.
- Simplifies workflow with all cables ready for immediate use.
- MIDI in/out support offers enhanced functionality.
- Easy setup with the Focusrite Control app.
- Internal routing and specific needs can be complex for some users.
Behringer 4×4 USB Audio/MIDI Interface offers a wide range of input and output options to meet your recording needs. With 4×4 USB 2.0 audio/MIDI connectivity, you can effortlessly capture microphones and instruments. On the output side, it provides 1 x ¼” stereo for headphones, 2 x ¼” TRS for main line out, 2 x XLR for main line out, 4 x ¼” TRS for playback line out, and 4 x RCA for additional playback line out.
Behringer 4 Channel audio interface stands out with its audiophile-grade audio quality, boasting a 24-bit/192 kHz resolution. This ensures that your recordings maintain a high level of detail and professionalism. Furthermore, it features four state-of-the-art MIDAS-designed Mic Preamplifiers, each equipped with +48V phantom power.
This offers seamless connectivity with your personal computer via USB, making it easy to integrate into your recording setup. It is compatible with both Mac OS and Windows XP or higher, ensuring it works with a wide range of systems. Moreover, it’s designed to harmonise with popular recording software, including Avid Pro Tools, Ableton Live, Steinberg Cubase, and more.
|Number of Channels||4|
|Bit Depth / Resolution||24-bit/192 kHz|
|Mic Preamplifiers||4 MIDAS-Designed Mic Preamplifiers|
|Headphone Output||1 x ¼” Stereo (Phones)|
|Main Line Output||2 x ¼” TRS, 2 x XLR|
|Playback Line Output||4 x ¼” TRS, 4 x RCA|
|MIDI I/O||1 x MIDI I/O|
|Compatibility||Mac OS, Windows XP or higher|
|Supported Software||Avid Pro Tools, Ableton Live, Steinberg Cubase, and more|
- Effortless installation, especially for Mac OS users.
- Competitive audio converters for smooth, detailed sound.
- Quiet and high-quality preamps comparable to API gear.
- Preamp bypass option for external gear.
- Front-facing A/B monitor switch for versatility.
- Phantom power switch activates all channels simultaneously.
- Limited headphone output volume.
PreSonus Studio 26c features two pristine XMAX-L solid-state mic preamps for capturing fine audio details. Additionally, the interface includes two high-headroom instrument/line inputs, perfect for recording your favourite instruments. For output, you have two balanced ¼” TRS line outputs for monitor mixing and two balanced ¼” TRS main outputs with front-panel level control.
This 4 channel audio interface incorporates a MIDI I/O with a standard 5-pin DIN connection, making it compatible with keyboards and other MIDI gear. As for preamps, it features the exceptional XMAX-L solid-state mic preamps, offering high-quality and transparent sound capture. The audio quality is top-notch, supporting up to 24-bit/192 kHz recording and playback.
It includes USB-C to C and USB-C to A cables for easy connectivity. Studio One Artist, the Studio Magic plug-in suite, and Ableton Live Lite software packages is provided with powerful recording and production capabilities, ensuring you have the tools you need to create music with ease.
|Connectivity||USB-C (bus-powered, includes USB-C to C and USB-C to A cables)|
|Mic Preamps||2 XMAX-L solid-state mic preamps|
|Instrument/Line Inputs||2 high-headroom instrument/line inputs|
|Analog Line Outputs||2 balanced ¼” TRS line outputs (monitor mix)|
|Main Outputs||2 balanced ¼” TRS main outputs with front-panel level control|
|MIDI I/O||Standard 5-pin DIN MIDI I/O|
|Audio Quality||Up to 24-bit/192 kHz recording and playback|
|Direct Monitoring||Low-latency direct monitoring|
|Cue Mix A/B Function||Toggle between two mixes while monitoring through headphones|
|Compatibility||Works with Mac OS and Windows XP or higher|
- Exceptional audio quality with up to 24-bit/192 kHz resolution.
- Two high-quality XMAX-L solid-state mic preamps.
- Versatile with MIDI I/O for connecting MIDI gear.
- Low-latency direct monitoring.
- Convenient Cue Mix A/B function for monitoring.
- Limited to two XLR inputs for microphones.
- USB-C connectivity may require an adapter for some devices.
- Front-panel level control for main outputs only.
Motu 4 channel interface, has 4 input channels, you can connect microphones, guitars, keyboards, and other sound sources simultaneously. This audio interface also offers four output channels, enabling you to connect studio monitors, headphones, and external equipment.
It is equipped with high-quality preamps that ensure your audio signals are captured with exceptional clarity and precision. These preamps deliver an ultra-clean performance, boasting a measured -129 dBu Equivalent Input Noise (EIN) on the mic inputs, providing a noise-free recording environment. The audio quality is further enhanced by ESS Sabre32 Ultra DAC Technology, delivering a remarkable 120 dB Dynamic Range on its main outputs.
MOTU M4 offers seamless connectivity via USB-C, making it compatible with both Mac and PC systems. This interface is plug-and-play, eliminating the need for complex setups or drivers, so you can start recording or streaming right away. It also supports a range of software options, including Performer Lite and Live Lite production software, giving you the tools needed to kickstart your creative projects.
|Input Types||XLR, 1/4″ TRS, 1/4″ TS|
|Output Types||1/4″ TRS, 1/4″ TS, 3.5mm headphone output|
|Preamp EIN||-129 dBu (measured on mic inputs)|
|Audio Resolution||High-resolution support|
|Latency||2.5 ms Round Trip Latency (at 96 kHz)|
|Metering||Full-colour LCD with level metres|
|Loopback||Yes, for live streaming and podcasting|
|Software Compatibility||Performer Lite, Live Lite production|
|Included Software and Sounds||Performer Lite, Industry-leading loops|
|Compatibility||Mac and PC|
- Exceptionally clean and high-quality audio recordings with minimal noise.
- Low-latency audio monitoring for rhythm games.
- Simplified audio routing without the need for external mixers.
- Direct monitoring feature for line inputs.
- Line inputs on the back of the M4 may have limited gain, requiring volume adjustments.
Buying Guide for Best 4-Channel Audio Interfaces
1. Input and Outputs Options
Input and output options refer to the available ports and connectors on an audio interface that allow you to connect various audio sources and playback devices. The choice depends on your intended use and the types of audio sources and devices you want to connect.
Here are common input and output options found on audio interfaces:
- XLR Inputs: These are commonly used for connecting microphones, providing balanced audio input.
- 1/4″ TRS Inputs: These are versatile jacks that can accept both balanced and unbalanced audio sources, such as instruments or line-level signals.
- 1/4″ TS Inputs: These are primarily used for instrument inputs and unbalanced audio sources.
- MIDI Inputs: MIDI ports are used for connecting MIDI controllers, synthesizers, and other MIDI-equipped devices.
- 1/4″ TRS Outputs: These are used for connecting studio monitors or external amplifiers for playback.
- 1/4″ TS Outputs: Similar to TRS, these are used for various audio output connections.
- 3.5mm Headphone Outputs: These allow you to connect headphones for monitoring and private listening.
- S/PDIF or Optical Outputs: These digital outputs are used for transmitting audio to other digital devices like audio processors or external converters.
- MIDI Outputs: MIDI ports for sending MIDI data to other MIDI-compatible equipment.
2. Audio Quality & Resolution
Check the bit depth and sample rate capabilities of the audio interface. Higher bit depths (e.g., 24-bit) and sample rates (e.g 96 kHz or 192 kHz) offer greater audio resolution.
- Pay attention to the preamps, as they play a vital role in capturing the initial audio signal. Clean and low-noise preamps are essential for high-quality recordings.
- A high SNR ensures minimal background noise in your recordings. Look for an audio interface with a low noise floor for clean audio.
3. USB Types and Cables
When choosing an audio interface, it’s crucial to understand the various USB types and cables available USB connections come in various types, such as USB-A, USB-B, micro-USB, mini-USB, and USB-C.
Most probably USB B and USB C are common connectivity seen in audio interfaces. Make sure you choose an audio interface with a USB type that matches your host device’s port.
- USB-A is common on computers,
- USB-B is used on audio interfaces, micro-USB is found on some mobile devices, mini-USB is less common,
- USB-C is becoming a universal choice for modern technology. Compatibility with your device’s USB port is essential for seamless audio interface connections.
4. Latency Performance
Latency is the small delay between when a sound is made and when you hear it.
- Low latency is important because it makes sure you hear the sound right away. It’s crucial for things like live music, recording, and using special effects, so everything stays in sync and sounds good.
- Lower latency figure, usually measured in milliseconds (ms), indicates better real-time performance. Some audio interfaces offer “zero-latency monitoring” features, which allow direct monitoring of the input signal without any perceptible delay.
Best 4-Channel Audio Interface – FAQs
Ans: Yes, you can use a 4-channel interface for solo recording or smaller projects.
Ans: You can connect microphones, instruments, synthesisers, MIDI controllers, and more to a 4-channel audio interface.
Ans: Line-level inputs are typically used for audio sources with stronger signals, like studio equipment or mixers. Instrument-level inputs are designed for instruments like guitars, which have weaker signals.
Ans: Higher sample rates (e.g., 96 kHz or 192 kHz) and bit depths (e.g., 24-bit) provide better audio quality and more detail. They’re important for professional recordings.
Ans: Most 4-channel audio interfaces come with basic recording software. You might want to invest in additional software or plugins for specific needs, like mixing or mastering.
Ans: Not necessarily. Some 4-channel audio interfaces can be powered through the USB connection, making them more portable.
- For a budget friendly 4-channel audio interface, the Behringer 4-Channel Audio Interface 4×4 USB Audio/MIDI Interface is an excellent choice. It offers a wide array of input and output options to cater to your recording needs.
- For high quality audio with low latency performance, PreSonus 4-Channel Audio Interface offers a unique feature with its MIDI I/O, featuring a standard 5-pin DIN connection. Additionally, it provides low-latency direct monitoring, ensuring that you can monitor your audio with minimal delay.
- For Exceptional Preamp Quality and Plug-and-Play Connectivity, MOTU 4-Channel Audio Interface offers-quality preamps. It boasts a measured -129 dBu Equivalent Input Noise (EIN) on the mic inputs, ensuring that your audio signals are captured with remarkable clarity and precision.