Best Sound Card for Recording in 2023

The best approach to enhance your music creation is with an external best sound card for recording (audio interfaces), but they might be pricey. There are plenty of excellent choices available, which is wonderful news. Yet it might be challenging to decide which option is best for you and your budget when so many options are available.  So that you can save time doing your research, we’ve compiled this list of the best sound card for recording based on price and performance.

Best Sound Card for Recording

What To Look For When Buying a best sound card for recording

A good song can be recorded for a little bit of money. Spending more money makes more sense when you don’t know what you’re looking for.

How could a $1,000 sound card be inferior to a $100 card?

It makes sense. But your decision is based on your needs. You likely won’t need a sound card that costs $1,000. Fortunately, some of the top external sound cards are affordable and simple. Here are some things to consider when choosing an external sound card.

24 bit at 96 kHz, 32 bit at 192 kHz, 16 bit at 44.1 kHz

They speak of a sound signal’s resolution. You need the greatest sound resolution for the best quality; easy enough. With your PC or Mac, you transform an analog signal into a digital one when you record a vocalist. An audio signal is converted into digital data. The sound will sound more like the original sound the more information you have stored. While it’s not the end-all-be-all, the sampling rate is nevertheless crucial. Thunderbolt against USB 3 versus USB-C

Why is the connection so important?

An audio interface sends sound data to your computer via a USB cable. A quick connector is necessary for the best possible data transfer. Most of the top sound cards have USB-C ports. But double-check the USB type while purchasing because several cables seem alike. Thunderbolt and USB 3 are both great options but choose USB-C.

Comparison Table:

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Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 (3rd Gen) With Pro Tools

Focusrite Scarlett 4i4

Why do you think our first choice is so obvious? Does everybody consider the Scarlett to be the greatest external sound card? The Scarlett is only among the top selections available, after all. It has been for a while and most likely will continue to be. Am I now asserting that it is flawless? Of course not, never. Everything has shortcomings. But the third-generation Scarlett device is too fantastic to pass up and offers incredible value. We’ve come to expect high-quality external sound cards that will only force you to go with rent and food from Focusrite’s Scarlett series. Before I updated, I had a Scarlet 8i6 of the original generation, which served me well for years. This is a great option if you’re just getting started.

Universal Audio Apollo Twin MKII Duo

Universal Audio Apollo Twin MKII Duo

The Apollo Twin MkII is identical to the original Apollo Twin at first glance, save for the color. You can fire it up, connect it to your PC (don’t worry, Mac users, it works with PCs), and use it to record studio-quality voices. Just a heads up: no bus power, I’m afraid, as this gadget consumes a lot of electricity.

The game-changing preamps on the sound card are identical to those on the prior model. The Mic/Line and Hi-Z ins supply power to the Unison preamps. You can make your modest home studio seem genuinely professional even if you don’t have the greatest microphone for at-home recording. Because of this, Apollo Twin earns a high ranking on our list of the top external sound cards.

Audient iD4 MKII

Audient iD4 Mk2

Search for Audient iD4. Search online for a while. Visit YouTube and check out some reviews. While you’re at it, stop by a couple of other forums. Just go ahead; I’ll wait. Done? Great! What are the opinions? Most would agree that the Audient iD4 is at least one of, if not THE greatest, sound cards available for under $200! Also, with the introduction of the MK II, the iD4 has just undergone a facelift.

The hardware for the iD4 is straightforward. Both its inputs and outputs are two. It features a fantastic mic preamp with phantom power, which is useful for using a condenser mic. If you wish to plug in your bass or guitar and record some riffs or song ideas, there is also an instrument input. It uses no more power. It will function if you plug it into a USB port.



Do you desire slick audio for your recordings? Aren’t you trying to find that high-end studio sound? Yet, you don’t want to shell out six figures for a studio, correct? I have a treat for everyone searching for the enigmatic “SSL sound.” The SSL 2+ is the SSL 2’s elder sibling. The SSL 2+ comes with two extra outputs, a MIDI input, and an additional headphone out, despite the two cards being identical. The final one is helpful when attempting to monitor various combinations.

The “4K button” is an additional feature that offers you more presence and improves the quality of your vocals. Thanks to the high-end boost, you’ll have the impression that you’re watching a signed performer in a professional studio. It would help if you also exercise your creativity. Moreover, there is the Mic/Line input combination. Using its impedance choice, you can quickly transition from bass/guitar sounds like drumming machine inputs. Moreover, you can power a condenser microphone with the +48v preamp.

Native Instruments Komplete Audio 2

Native Instruments Komplete Audio 2

A set of identical microphone/instrument inputs are included with the 2-imput/2-output sound card. The connections are located on the individual switches-equipped, space-saving XLRs. You can select and deselect individual instruments using these switches. A nice-sized balancing knob is located on the front of the card in addition to the inputs. This controls your main output levels.

Input meters and USB indicators are in a good, vibrant font at the top of the display. The headphone output is also located here. A USB connector, two TRS jacks, a single Kensington Security slot, and a USB connector are all on the back. With the addition of some quality software, you can get a lot for less than $150. Native Instruments KA2 came to be on our list of the top external sound cards in this way.


Realizing how fortunate we are while writing this post. We can get the necessary equipment, travel home, record a song, and produce a smash for less than a few hundred bucks! It was sometimes complicated, though. A half-century ago, the first in-home recording studios debuted. Yeah, even in the 1970s, you could record a song at home. Yet, doing it required a lot of blood, sweat, and tears.

It has excellent build quality, amazing audio quality, zero latency, and superb software. As you can see from the list above, plenty of excellent solutions are available to fit most budgets. You should be able to locate the ideal one.

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