When making a decision on which audio interface is right for you, the main things to consider are:

  • Latency - This is clearly a big one. The audio processing latency of your computer + interface is a big piece of the total latency you'll experience in sessions. 
  • Cost - Also obviously important to weigh in your decision.
  • Features - The main differentiating features for most users are going to be: (a) how many audio input ports and what connector types do these ports accept; and (b) is it important to you to have MIDI in/out connectors on your interface. Beyond this, it's a matter of personal preference on brand and associated build quality and aesthetics. There are definitely design details that vary between the interfaces, but these are lesser issues.


All three of the bullets above are addressed in the comparative table below, in which you will find JamKazam's gear recommendations for audio interfaces for Windows computers. To be clear:

  • JamKazam isn't selling these audio interfaces to you, and we don't have an interest in which interface you buy, so we don't have any conflict of interest or ulterior motive to push you in a particular direction. We are making recommendations to be helpful to our user community - because we've spent a good deal of time messing around with different interfaces, and we'd like you to be able to benefit from our experience. Our hope is that we can help you spend less time conducting product research, save money on your purchases by getting a product with great performance combined with a lower price, and also get a good quality product that will last.
  • In the interest of full disclosure, JamKazam has set up an Amazon affiliate account, and the links to the products below use our affiliate code. This means that if you use the links in the tables below and buy any of these products, JamKazam will get a small % of the Amazon sale. The does not cost you anything, and it can help contribute a little money to helping us keep JamKazam running and improving. 
  • Finally, the latencies listed below are the *actual* audio processing latency numbers that JamKazam has measured using a scientific/mathematical method that leverages loopback testing and waveform analysis. The latency figures reported for these audio interfaces in the JamKazam application are numbers reported back to us by the Windows system, but these numbers tend to be a little bit inaccurate. The table below is the real/actual audio  processing latency numbers for each interface, with the Windows software driver installed for each interface, and with configuration settings optimized to minimize latency for each interface.



OK, so on to the actual audio interfaces. In the table below, we list some of our favorite interfaces based on latency, price/performance, quality, and feature set. If you have a modern Mac with Thunderbolt 3 ports, the Motu M2 is hard to beat, delivering an extremely low 3ms of audio processing latency (requires installation of driver software) at a price point of about $180, and all the features you'd expect. If you don't have Thunderbolt 3 ports on your Mac or just want something less expensive, then the Presonus Audiobox delivers 5ms latency for just $100, again with all the features you'd expect. You can read through all the details below, and decide what audio interface is best for you.



Audio InterfaceLatencyApprox. CostFeatures
Motu M2
3ms
USD$180
Amazon Link
Offers two audio input ports that can accept either XLR or 1/4" TS connectors. Headphone jack on front plus L/R 1/4" and RCA audio outputs on rear. 48V phantom power for condenser mics. MIDI in/out on rear.
Presonus Audiobox USB 96
5ms
USD$100
Amazon Link
Offers two audio input ports that can accept either XLR or 1/4" TS connectors. Headphone jack on rear plus L/R 1/4" audio outputs on rear. 48V phantom power for condenser mics. MIDI in/out on rear.
Behringer UMC202HD8msUSD$120
Amazon Link
Offers two audio input ports that can accept either XLR or 1/4" TS connectors. Headphone jack on front plus L/R 1/4" audio outputs on rear. 48V phantom power for condenser mics. 
Behringer UMC204HD8msUSD$150
Amazon Link
Similar to the UMC202HD above, but also adds MIDI in/out on rear and RCA outputs on rear.
Focusrite
Scarlett Solo
9msUSD$110
Amazon Link
Offers two audio input ports - one that can accept an XLR connector, and one that can accept a 1/4" TS connector. Headphone jack on front plus L/R 1/4" audio outputs on rear. 48V phantom power for condenser mics.
Focusrite
Scarlett 2i2
9msUSD$160
Amazon Link
Offers two audio input ports that can accept either XLR or 1/4" TS connectors. Headphone jack on front plus L/R 1/4" audio outputs on rear. 48V phantom power for condenser mics.
Steinberg UR22C4msUSD$190
Amazon Link
Offers two audio input ports that can accept either XLR or 1/4" TS connectors. Headphone jack on front plus L/R 1/4" audio outputs on rear. 48V phantom power for condenser mics. MIDI in/out on rear.