Best Audio Interface For Mac & Apple [The Top 6 Picks For 2022]

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MacBook’s and iMac’s have become a standard among music producers, and it’s easy to understand why that is. They’re ultra-powerful and seamlessly compatible with most external hardware, including audio interfaces. So, what is the best audio interface for Mac users? What device should you look for to compliment your top-notch computer?

Luckily for you, that’s exactly what we’ll be covering in this article. We’ll first go over all the things to consider when looking for the best audio interface for your Mac, then I’ll give you my top picks.

First and foremost, let me clarify that pretty much all audio interfaces are compatible with both Windows and macOS. The differences in these audio interfaces is their connectivity options and their ability to integrate with Logic Pro, GarageBand, or any other DAW that works with macOS.

Let’s not get too ahead of ourselves here though. All of this will be explained in the following sections. With that, let’s get into the factors to consider when looking for the best audio interface for Mac computers.

Related: Studio Computer Guide

Quick Picks

ImageProductScorePrice
TOP PICK
Universal Audio Apollo Twin X DUO Heritage Edition
Universal Audio Apollo Twin X DUO Heritage Edition

Computer Connectivity: Thunderbolt — Form Factor: Desktop — Simultaneous I/O: 10 x 6 — A/D Resolution: 24-bit/192kHz — Number of Preamps: 2 x mic, 1 x instrument — Power Supply: 12V DC power supply (included)

9.8
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RUNNER-UP
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (3rd Gen)
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (3rd Gen)

Computer Connectivity: USB-C — Form Factor: Desktop — Simultaneous I/O: 2 x 2 — Number of Preamps: 2 — A/D Resolution: Up to 24-bit/192kHz — Power Supply: USB bus powered

9.7
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WELL-ROUNDED
Audient iD14 MKII
Audient iD14 MKII

Computer Connectivity: USB-C — Form Factor: Desktop — Simultaneous I/O: 10 x 6 — Number of Preamps: 2 x mic — A/D Resolution: Up to 24-bit/96kHz — Power Supply: USB bus powered

9.6
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PREMIUM PICK
Antelope Audio Orion Studio Synergy Core
Antelope Audio Orion Studio Synergy Core

Computer Connectivity: Thunderbolt — Form Factor: Rackmount — Simultaneous I/O: 14 x 24 — Number of Preamps: 12 — Phantom Power: Yes — A/D Resolution: Up to 64-bit/192kHz

9.9
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UNIQUE FEATURES
Solid State Logic SSL2+
Solid State Logic SSL2+

Computer Connectivity: USB-C — Form Factor: Desktop — Simultaneous I/O: 2 x 4 — Number of Preamps: 2 — A/D Resolution: 24-bit/192kHz — Power Supply: USB bus powered

9.5
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SIMPLE & POWERFUL
PreSonus Studio 24c
PreSonus Studio 24c

Computer Connectivity: USB-C (3.0 compatible) — Form Factor: Desktop — Simultaneous I/O: 2 x 2 — Number of Preamps: 2 — A/D Resolution: Up to 24-bit/192kHz — Power Supply: USB bus powered

9.3
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What Is An Audio Interface?

At its core, an audio interface is the main hub of your studio. It’s the centerpiece of most of your studio equipment, and it’s where everything connects and communicates. Audio interfaces are by no means simple little devices either. They’re extremely powerful, and they can vastly improve the recording and playback capabilities in your studio.

To better understand audio interfaces and how they work, we first need to understand what it is that they do.

So, to start out, think of a typical sound card that you’d find in any old tablet, laptop or smartphone. Those little sound cards have the difficult task of converting digital signals into audio signals.

Now, the basic sound cards found in most computers are pretty limited. They can only handle a certain number of channels and signals simultaneously. They simply weren’t made for the level of audio recording and playback requirements that come with music production.

Related: 9-Step Home Recording Studio Setup Guide

Why Are Audio Interfaces So Important?

That’s where audio interfaces come in. An audio interface is essentially an external sound card that’s vastly superior to those found in a computer. Their level of conversion is more complex. They can convert signals two-way, meaning in both analog to digital (ADC) and digital to analog (DAC). Also, the sampling rate of audio interfaces is exponentially better than basic sound cards. That means better audio quality and recording quality.

That’s not all though. Most computers don’t offer nearly enough connectivity options for producers. If you want to connect your studio monitors, microphones, guitars, and even headphones in one place, then you’re going to need an audio interface.

On top of that, most audio interfaces come equipped with microphone preamps and Phantom power capabilities so you can record high-quality audio. Along the same lines, audio interfaces can bring certain external instruments and devices — such as guitars, studio monitors, etc. — up to line-level. There’s a lot of power packed into these things.

All in all, we’re talking about an essential piece of equipment in any studio, and probably the most important investment you’ll make in your music-making ventures.

Related: Ultimate Studio Equipment List: The 50 Essentials

Additional Resource: Home Recording Studio Packages Guide

How To Choose The Best Audio Interface For Mac

As I mentioned earlier, most audio interfaces are compatible with Mac or PC devices. That being said, there are a few key differences to look for in an audio interface for Mac specifically. Let’s break those down a bit.

Connectivity

Most Windows PCs give you a wide range of connectivity options. In terms of connecting an audio interface, you’ll likely use USB 1.1, USB 2.0, USB 3.0, or USB-C/Thunderbolt.

Conversely, on MacBooks and iMacs, you really only have Thunderbolt/USB-C ports at your disposal. To that point, you’re looking for audio interfaces that have an onboard Thunderbolt port. I mean, you can use an adapter if you want, but you’re just adding more potential interruptions in the signal flow that way.

That’s why I recommend looking for a Thunderbolt audio interface or an interface that has a USB-C port. That way you can avoid having to use any adapters and you’re not introducing any unnecessary disruptions to your signal flow.

Keep in mind that USB-C ports and cables are fully compatible with Thunderbolt, in fact they’re pretty much one in the same nowadays. As long as the protocol of the audio interface supports it, you can use a USB-C to USB-C cable to connect to the Thunderbolt port on your MacBook or iMac and it will be compatible.

For example, the Focusrite Scarlett (3rd Gen) line of audio interfaces feature a USB-C port as its main form of connecting to a host computer. You can use a USB-C to USB-C cable from the audio interface to your Mac device and everything will work just as it’s supposed to. 

Related: Thunderbolt Audio Interfaces Guide

Operating System & DAW Compatibility

As a universal standard, manufacturers of audio interfaces tend to make their devices fully compatible with any OS it comes across. The trick here is to find an audio interface that won’t create any hassles during installation and initial setup.

As far as DAWs go, it’s pretty much the same standard. Most audio interfaces integrate very well with all of the most popular DAWs on the market.

As a Mac user, I can assume that you use Logic Pro. Well you can rest easy knowing that Logic Pro is one of the most widely used DAWs out there, and audio interface manufacturers know it too.

The main thing to keep in mind here is that you should always double check the compatibility of the audio interface with your OS and DAW before buying. The best audio interface for Mac computers should be able to easily integrate with the OS. I will make sure to include options on the list below that check all the boxes in that regard, so no worries on that front.

Related: Ableton vs. FL Studio Guide

Inputs & Outputs

This is definitely the most important factor to consider when looking for the best audio interface for Mac devices, and really any audio interface in general.

This is the point where you need to consider what your plans are with your future recordings. For example, if you’re just planning on recording your own vocals and that’s it, then you can easily get away with an I/O count of 4. That would translate to two XLR mic inputs, and two line-level outs in this particular example. 

Things get a little more complicated if you plan on recording entire bands. You’ll need mic inputs for drum microphones, XLR inputs with preamps and 48v Phantom power for multiple vocalists, DI or line-level inputs for guitars, you get the idea.

I always recommend going for an I/O count that’s quite a bit higher than you might initially think you need. That way you’re planning for the future and your USB audio interface is ready to evolve with you as your journey progresses.

The I/O count isn’t the only factor here though. You also need to decipher what types of I/O’s you need as well. To make things simple, I’ll give you a quick break down of the most common inputs and outputs you’ll come across and what their intended uses are:

Related: The 3 Main Types Of Microphones Explained

  • XLR Inputs – XLR inputs are mainly used for connecting microphones. Usually, every XLR input has a mic preamp giving it some juice as well.
  • Hi-Z Instrument & DI Inputs – “high-impedance” inputs are generally used for connecting certain external hardware instruments like electric guitars and basses. You can use standard ¼” TS connectors for these inputs.
  • 1/4″ Line Level Analog I/O’s – line-level devices require line-level inputs to properly power and produce audio. Line-level outputs produce line-level signals. You’ll need line-level outputs for studio monitors and hardware effects processors.
  • S/PDIF I/O’s – Sony/Philips Digital Interface is most commonly used to connect consumer devices via RCA, coaxial, or fiber optic cable with Toslink. On an audio interface, S/PDIF is a handy way to expand your I/O count. These I/O’s can carry up to two channels of compressed audio, so you can chain together certain compatible devices out of one single S/PDIF port. 
  • Headphone Outputs – most audio interfaces can also double as a headphone amplifier. This means that you can properly power high-impedance mixing headphones through the interface without needing a separate amp. The only thing to consider is whether or not you want dual headphone outs in case you use both open-back and closed-back headphones.

Again, the number of inputs and outputs and types of I/O’s you need is very important. Don’t limit yourself from the get go here.

Related: Studio Monitors Guide

Related: Studio Subwoofer Guide

Related: Studio Microphones Guide

Latency

As was mentioned in the connectivity section above, Mac computers nowadays really only offer USB-C/Thunderbolt connectivity for most external devices. Luckily for you, that’s exactly what you need to avoid excessive latency in your signal path.

Latency refers to the amount of lag there is between the audio signal and source reproduction. In other words, the amount of time it takes for the signal to reach your computer from your audio interface. 

Higher latency in an audio device (like an audio interface) can spell disaster in a recording studio. That’s why it’s always best to invest in high-quality devices that won’t introduce any sort of delay in the signal flow. You can see how this can quickly turn into a snowball effect.

A good way to combat latency is with connectivity options that offer faster transmission speeds, like Thunderbolt/USB-C. So, since you’re a Mac user, you’re in the clear here.

One thing to keep in mind is that some manufacturers claim that their devices are “zero-latency” or “ultra-low latency.” The truth is that it’s nearly impossible to completely eradicate lag and delay in a studio environment. There are so many factors that can contribute to latency among all the pieces of equipment that exist in a studio. 

The trick is to try and keep your latency as low as possible, and the first step is to invest in well-made gear. The goal is to give yourself the ability to process, record, and edit audio in your studio as close to “real time” as you can get.

Related: Open-Back vs. Closed-Back Headphones Guide

Additional Resource: Overhead Drum Mics Guide


Best Audio Interfaces For Mac List

Well, I think we covered just about everything there. If you’re looking for a more in-depth guide on these types of devices, then head over to my other article through the link below. I go over everything there is to know about audio interfaces in that piece, so be sure to check that out!

In the meantime, it’s time to dive into my list of the best audio interfaces for Mac users on the market today! Let’s dive in.

Related: What Is An Audio Interface?


Universal Audio Apollo Twin X DUO Heritage Edition

TOP PICK
9.8/10Studio Frequencies Score

Features & Specs:

Computer Connectivity: Thunderbolt — Form Factor: Desktop — Simultaneous I/O: 10 x 6 — A/D Resolution: 24-bit/192kHz — Built In DSP/FX: UAD-2 Duo Core Processing, Realtime UAD Powered Plug-ins — Number of Preamps: 2 x mic, 1 x instrument g Phantom Power: Yes — Analog Inputs: 2 x XLR-1/4" combo (mic/line), 1 x 1/4" (Hi-Z) — Analog Outputs: 2 x 1/4" (monitor), 2 x 1/4" (line out) — Digital Inputs: 1 x Optical Toslink (ADAT,S/PDIF) — Headphones: 1 x 1/4" TRS — Thunderbolt: 1 x USB-C (Thunderbolt 3) — Software: UAD Realtime Analog Classics plug-ins (VST, AU, AAX 64), 5 Heritage Edition plug-ins — OS Requirements - Mac: macOS 10.12 or later, Quad Core i7 Processor or higher — OS Requirements - PC: Windows 10 Anniversary update or later, Quad Core i7 Processor or higher — Power Supply: 12V DC power supply (included) — Height: 2.60" — Width: 6.31" — Depth: 6.20" — Weight: 2.35 lbs.

Reasons To Buy: 

+ Thunderbolt 3 connectivity

+ Includes an premium suite of great software

+ Great I/O options

Reasons To Avoid:

- No Thunderbolt cable included

9.8out of 10

Build Quality9.7
Sound Quality9.9
Features9.8

The clear winner on this list of best audio interfaces for Mac computers is the Universal Audio Apollo Twin X series of Thunderbolt devices. Universal Audio is a company that puts out top-tier studio equipment, and this particular audio interface has become deservedly famous among producers around the world.

For this roundup, I included the DUO, but you can go for the QUAD if you need more I/O’s.

Now, I quickly want to clear the air on the difference between the Universal Audio Apollo Twin MKII and the Twin X models. The Apollo Twin MKII is the Thunderbolt 2 model and the Apollo Twin X is the newest version that supports Thunderbolt 3. That’s it.

That’s really a major reason why the UA Apollo Twin X is the better option for Mac users. Thunderbolt 3 is simply more relevant for modern MacBooks and iMacs, so in that regard, you have no need to worry about getting top-notch speed and performance out of this interface. 

Now, there’s a list of reasons why this audio interface has the reputation of being one of the best options on the market. For one, it’s loaded with UA’s amazing mic preamps that are clear and free of any distortion. For two, It has a clean and straightforward interface that’s easy to understand, even for beginners. Also, each interface comes bundled with an extensive suite of professional-quality software that includes 5 of UA’s best plugins. DSP right at your fingertips, right out of the box.

On top of that, the UA Apollo Twin X series gives you plenty of I/O options, including Hi-Z for instruments which is always a great thing to have. The only thing that’s weird is that this audio interface doesn’t come with an included Thunderbolt 3 cable. They’re affordable enough to buy separately, but it’s just strange it’s not bundled with the interface.

All in all, the Universal Audio Apollo Twin X series of audio interfaces is a wonderful choice for Mac users. You have a few different I/O count options to choose from as well so you can find the right one for your needs. If you’re looking for a top of the line interface that’s capable of recording high-quality audio, then this device is a no-brainer.


Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (3rd Gen)

RUNNER-UP
9.7/10Studio Frequencies Score

Features & Specs:

Computer Connectivity: USB-C (USB 2.0 Protocol, compatible with Thunderbolt via USB-C to USB-C cable) — Form Factor: Desktop — Simultaneous I/O: 2 x 2 — Number of Preamps: 2 — Phantom Power: Yes — A/D Resolution: Up to 24-bit/192kHz — Analog Inputs: 2 x XLR-1/4" combo (mic/line/Hi-Z) — Analog Outputs: 2 x 1/4" TRS — Headphones: 1 x 1/4" — USB: 1 x Type USB-C — Software: Ableton Live Lite, Plug-in Collective access, Hitmaker Expansion Bundle, 3-month Avid Pro Tools Subscription — Compatibility: iPad Pro, iPad with Lightning (adapter required) — OS Requirements - Mac: macOS 10.12 or later — OS Requirements - PC: Windows 7 SP1 or later (Scarlett), Windows 10 v1809 or later (3-month Avid Pro Tools Subscription) — Bus Powered: Yes — Power Supply: USB bus powered

Reasons To Buy: 

+ Very easy to set up & simple to use

+ Excellent build quality

+ Loaded with some great features

Reasons To Avoid:

- Preamps aren’t as clear as other higher-end interfaces

9.7out of 10

Build Quality9.8
Sound Quality9.6
Features9.7

Next up we have one of the most popular, and most sought after audio interfaces in the industry. The Focusrite Scarlett series of audio interfaces are the true definition of the word “value” by being both affordable and give you top-notch performance second-by-second.

In this particular case, I decided to focus on the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen as the best audio interface for Mac users out of the bunch. The Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 is a great choice as well if you need more I/O’s. I mean, it’s the same interface but with more connectivity. Or, if you’re just looking to start a podcast or you just want to record yourself, then you can just as easily opt for the Focusrite Scarlett Solo. Again, the Focusrite Scarlett Solo is essentially the same interface, but with less I/O’s.

Moving on to the build quality, which is really one of the standout aspects of this USB audio interface. The chassis is virtually all metal, and all of the knobs and switches feel sturdy and well-made. Outside of that, the Scarlett 2i2 gives you all the right inputs and outputs, and USB-C connectivity.

Now let’s actually hone in on the USB connectivity for a second. Focusrite states that the USB-C port uses USB 2.0 protocol, which seems to confuse some potential buyers. To make things a little bit clearer, I will direct you to this support page on Focusrite’s site. As you can see, they state that the device is compatible with Thunderbolt 3/4 ports, making it a great audio interface for Mac computers.

So now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk about the performance of the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2. Just like all other audio interfaces in the Scarlett line, the 2i2 gives you a number of useful features like it’s “Air” function for detailed vocal and guitar recordings, or it’s loopback function for recording multiple sources simultaneously. It also has a sampling rate of 24-bit 192kHz, which is more than adequate for high-quality audio recordings.

Although the mic preamps aren’t the most “professional-grade” out there, they still are great performers and they have 48v Phantom power. 

At the end of the day, the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 sits on the list of best-selling audio interfaces of all time, and it’s easy to see why. So, if you need an well-rounded, affordable audio interface that does it all, then look no further than the Scarlett 2i2.


Audient iD14 MKII

WELL-ROUNDED
9.6/10Studio Frequencies Score

Features & Specs:

Computer Connectivity: USB-C — Form Factor: Desktop — Simultaneous I/O: 10 x 6 — Number of Preamps: 2 x mic — Phantom Power: Yes — A/D Resolution: Up to 24-bit/96kHz — Analog Inputs: 1 x 1/4" (instrument), 2 x XLR-1/4" combo (mic/line) — Analog Outputs: 4 x 1/4" (2 x stereo) — Digital Inputs: 1 x Optical Toslink (ADAT) — Headphones: 1 x 1/4", 1 x 1/8" — USB: 1 x USB-C — Software: ARC software suite — OS Requirements - Mac: OS X 10.11.6 or later — OS Requirements - PC: Windows 7 SP1 or later — Bus Powered: Yes — Power Supply: USB bus powered — Height: 2.44" — Width: 6.81" — Depth: 4.72" — Weight: 1.69 lbs.

Reasons To Buy: 

+ Incredibly easy to use with seamless integration

+ Fully compatible with Thunderbolt via USB-C

+ Exceptional value

Reasons To Avoid:

- Limited in terms of included software

9.6out of 10

Build Quality9.7
Sound Quality9.6
Features9.4

It really was hard for me to decide between the Audient iD14 MKII and the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 as the second best audio interface for Mac users. I owned the 2nd Gen Scarlett 2i2 a number of years ago, and I recently upgraded to the Audient iD14 MKII, and boy do I love it! 

The one and only reason the Audient iD14 MKII lost a spot was because it doesn’t come with the same level of bundled software as the Scarlett 2i2, and that’s really it. Also some users might be concerned about the max resolution being only 96kHZ, but that’s still plenty good enough for most recording scenarios.

Outside of that, I’ve really fallen in love with the iD14 MKII. It performs very well. This USB audio interface actually has a leg up on the Scarlett series in terms of its headphone amp. It powers my 250Ω DT 990 Pro’s with ease and there is no distortion to speak of.

Now, I decided to include the iD14 MKII audio interface in this list not only because I’ve used it extensively, but because it offers the perfect amount of I/O’s. Also, the USB-C port is fully compatible with Thunderbolt 3 and 4, which is obviously necessary for Mac users needing near-zero latency in their signal flow. Installation and setup is a breeze as well, and the iD Mixer App is actually quite handy.

I mentioned that the I/O options are pretty much perfect on this audio interface, so let me prove it to you. You get a JFET instrument input, dual headphone outputs, 2 XLR combo (mic/line) inputs, 4 total Line output, and best of all, an Optical Toslink (ADAT) input. As we all know, you can expand your I/O count through the ADAT. All in all it’s a 10in/6out interface that gives you room for expansion.

The mic preamps on the Audient iD14 MKII audio interface are also very good, even if they aren’t quite up to the same standard as the UA Apollo Twin X. To be fair, those are some big shoes to fill, and the preamps on the iD14 MKII still come with 48v Phantom power. 

To sum up, this is an all-around excellent audio interface and it gives you all the speed you’ll need to compliment your Mac computer.

Related: DAC Amp Combos Guide


Antelope Audio Orion Studio Synergy Core

PREMIUM PICK
9.9/10Studio Frequencies Score

Features & Specs:

Computer Connectivity: Thunderbolt 3 — Form Factor: Rackmount — Simultaneous I/O: 14 x 24 — Number of Preamps: 12 — Phantom Power: Yes — A/D Resolution: Up to 64-bit/192kHz — Analog Inputs: 8 x Mic / Line Inputs / Direct In 4 x Mic / Line / Hi-Z Inputs / Direct In 2 x Inserts on TRS (inputs 1,2) — Analog Outputs: 2 x Monitor Out on TRS 1/4 Jacks: Can work both simultaneously and in A/B mode 2 x ReAmp Out on TRS 1/4 Jacks 2 x Line Out (16 channels) on DB25, +20 dBu max, impedance balanced 2 x Stereo Headphone Outputs — Digital Inputs: 2 x ADAT (up to 16CH) 1 x S/PDIF on RCA — Digital Outputs: 2 x ADAT (up to 16CH), 1 x S/PDIF on RCA, USB 2.0 Hi-Speed, USB 2.0 Type B connector (up to 24 channels), Thunderbolt™ 3 I/O, Thunderbolt™ 3 connector (up to 32 channels) — Software: 50 real-time effects, Accusonic, Auto-Tune Synergy

Reasons To Buy: 

+ Thunderbolt 3 connectivity & plenty of I/O’s

+ Loaded with top-notch features

+ Professional-grade sound quality 

Reasons To Avoid:

- Expensive

9.9out of 10

Build Quality9.8
Sound Quality10
Features9.9

Here we have the only rackmount audio interface on the list, and one crosses into the realm of ultra-premium. This thing comes packed with all the I/O’s you could ever need, and it’s loaded with pro-grade mic preamps that you’ll have to hear to believe.

The Antelope Orion Studio Synergy Core is a full-on Thunderbolt 3 rackmount audio interface with 12 discrete preamp channels with Phantom power that can each handle mics, instruments, and line-level devices. Not only that, but the AD/DA converters are beasts with a dynamic range of 130 dB and they utilize Antelopes famed Acoustically Focused Clocking (AFC) technology.

What really makes this one of the best audio interfaces for Mac users is it’s DSP processing capabilities. Right out of the box you have the Orion Control Panel at your fingertips. This software allows you to control up to 32 effect strips with up to 8 effects per strip. In fact, you can load up to 256 plugins simultaneously and the Orion won’t miss a beat.

What’s more is that you get 50 real-time analog-modeled plugins included with the interface, the Orion Studio Synergy Core’s Accusonic 3D mic modeling engine, and even Antelopes own Auto-Tune Synergy system for pitch correction on the fly.

If that wasn’t enough, the Orion audio interface comes with a DB25 port for even more expansion should you need it. Even without it, you have more than enough I/O’s for low-latency recording of full band sessions.. 

Now, as you’d expect, this amazing USB audio interface comes with a heavy price-tag. That being said, that’s really the only downside to this device. For what you get in terms of software and performance, the price is definitely understandable.

Again, the Antelope Orion Studio Synergy Core is meant for serious producers with Mac devices. The number of inputs and outputs alone is astonishing, especially when you consider expansion. It pairs perfectly with Logic Pro, and it’s sheer power is sure to suit your needs in the studio and then some.

Related: Studio Racks Guide


Solid State Logic SSL2+

UNIQUE FEATURES
9.5/10Studio Frequencies Score

Features & Specs:

Computer Connectivity: USB-C — Form Factor: Desktop — Simultaneous I/O: 2 x 4 — Number of Preamps: 2 — Phantom Power: Yes — A/D Resolution: 24-bit/192kHz — Analog Inputs: 2 x XLR-1/4" combo (mic/line/Hi-Z) — Analog Outputs: 2 x 1/4" TRS (L/R), 2 x Dual RCA Stereo (2 x paired out/1-4) — Headphones: 2 x 1/4" — MIDI I/O: In/Out — USB: 1 x USB-C — Software: SSL Production Pack, 3rd Party Bundled Software — OS Requirements - Mac: OS X 10.11 or later — OS Requirements - PC: Windows 8.1 or later — Bus Powered: Yes — Power Supply: USB bus powered — Height: 2.75" — Width: 9.21" — Depth: 6.18" — Weight: 1.98 lbs.

Reasons To Buy: 

+ Unique features

+ Extremely versatile

+ Healthy amount of I/O options

Reasons To Avoid:

- Chassis is partially made of plastic

9.5out of 10

Build Quality9.3
Sound Quality9.6
Features9.7

As we get closer to rounding out the list, we have another USB-C audio interface option from a notable brand in the industry. Solid State Logic is known for making excellent hardware processors, most notably being their bus compressors and mixing consoles. This is a brand that doesn’t shy away from including a touch of analog sound quality to their devices, and the SSL2+ is no exception.

The Solid State Logic SSL2+ is a USB-C audio interface that’s fully compatible with Thunderbolt 3 ports. Yet again, if you have any concerns about it’s compatibility with Thunderbolt, then check out this statement on Solid State Logics site. 

The connectivity isn’t the only reason why this is one of the best audio interfaces for Mac computers though. It comes loaded with a number of unique features that Logic Pro users, and really producers of any kind will love. For one, the 4K switch is something you’ll never see on any other USB audio interface. 

This feature uses a combination of high-frequency EQ boost and subtle harmonic distortion to add some analog personality to the signal. This is a cool little feature for those of you who love making lo-fi music or those of you that just want some vintage flair added to your mixes.

Outside of that, the SSL2+ comes with MIDI inputs and outputs (which is always a nice touch), dual headphone outs, and two of the four coax outs are unbalanced. Although the I/O count doesn’t leave much room for expansion, it’s still just right for recording medium-sized projects.

The only downside here is that the chassis is partially made of plastic, which raises some concerns about it’s fragility. 

Overall, the Solid State Logic SSL2+ is a solid audio interface for Mac users. If you’re looking for an audio interface that’s unique and very capable, then the SSL2+ will check all the boxes.

Related: Studio Mixer Guide


PreSonus Studio 24c

SIMPLE & POWERFUL
9.3/10Studio Frequencies Score

Features & Specs:

Computer Connectivity: USB-C (3.0 compatible) — Form Factor: Desktop — Simultaneous I/O: 2 x 2 — Number of Preamps: 2 — Phantom Power: Yes — A/D Resolution: Up to 24-bit/192kHz — Effects: Studio Magic Plug-in Suite — Analog Inputs: 2 x XLR-1/4" combo (mic/line/Hi-Z) — Analog Outputs: 2 x 1/4" (main out) — Headphones: 1 x 1/4" — MIDI I/O: In/Out — USB: 1 x Type C — Software: Studio One Artist, Studio Magic Plug-in Suite
OS Requirements - Mac: macOS 10.13 or later — OS Requirements - PC: Windows 10 or later, Chrome OS (limited features) — Bus Powered: Yes — Power Supply: USB bus powered — Height: 1.75" —Width: 7" —Depth: 5.5" — Weight: 2 lbs.

Reasons To Buy: 

+ Comes with Studio One Artist & Studio Magic plug-in suite

+ Mic preamps are surprisingly good

+ Includes MIDI I/O’s

Reasons To Avoid:

- Installation and setup might be a pain

9.3out of 10

Build Quality9.1
Sound Quality9.4
Features9.5

If you’re looking for simplicity, then this is probably the right audio interface for you. The PreSonus 24c is a straightforward device that does it’s job well, and won’t put a hole in your wallet. This USB audio interface doesn’t cut corners though. It still offers a great sampling rate of 24-bit 192kHz and gives you all the I/O’s you need to start recording right out of the box.

As opposed to it’s sister device, the PreSonus AudioBox 96, the Studio 24c connects to your Mac via USB-C. Also, the overall sound quality is marginally better on the Studio 24c. Those are just a couple of the reasons why I decided to include this particular audio interface over the PreSonus AudioBox 96.

Moving onto features. This audio interface isn’t what I would call “feature-rich” but it does offer low-latency monitoring via the mixer knob. On top of that, you get an amazing suite of software bundled with the audio interface. This suite includes PreSonus’ Studio One Artist DAW, and the Studio Magic plug-in pack. Of all the audio interfaces on this list, this is probably the best offering in terms of included software. At the very least, it gives the UA Apollo a run for its money in that regard.

The only problem I have with this audio interface is it’s initial installation and setup process. There are a number of reports from users that the Studio 24c drivers are a pain to install on Mac, and the same can be said for the included software. There are some tips and tricks out there to help you out, but it’s worth keeping in mind.

If you’re looking to save even more money, then you can opt for the PreSonus AudioBox USB 96, but keep in mind that you’ll need an adapter in order to connect it to your Mac. Also, you will be sacrificing a little bit in terms of audio quality on the PreSonus AudioBox USB 96.

There’s not a whole lot more to say about the Studio 24c. Like I said, it’s a streamlined audio interface that does it’s job very well, and it’s simply an exceptional value for the money.


Conclusion

I think that about wraps things up here guys. Choosing an audio interface to use with your Mac computer is no small feat, but this article was designed to help you along in the process. 

As a dedicated Mac user, you desire speed and clarity from your new audio interface. To that point, I think the best audio interface for Mac computers is easily the Universal Audio Apollo Twin X. You get a very powerful audio interface that’s equipped with some of the best mic preamps ever made. Additionally, you get a handsome bundle of included software. Most importantly though, you get a device that’s fully compatible with Thunderbolt 3/4 and one that’s a breeze to set up.

Really though, all of the audio interfaces on this list are excellent choices for Mac users. There are options here to suit any budget. Not only that, but each device on this list of best audio interfaces for Mac has the ability to suit your studio needs, whatever those may be.

My only hope is that this article has provided you with some useful information as you do your research. As always, feel free to reach out with any questions you may have. My line is always open.

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Jeremy Bongiorno
I have been a musician and producer for over 15 years. My goal is to provide reliable, honest information and hopefully help to improve the quality of life in your studio.

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