Best Cheap Audio Interfaces for Guitar in 2021

With the continuous development of cheaper and cheaper decent quality options for musicians out there to use for recording themselves at home, the markets for these products are just booming. I remember my first audio interface to this day – I was 11 and I was extraordinarily curious about recording myself play guitar so I got a small Behringer Xenyx mixer which came with a USB audio interface. There weren’t many options for a guitarist back then if you just wanted a simple interface for your instrument. Nowadays, it is a whole different story and throughout this article we will be looking at some amazing products you can find and buy – and we will be looking especially at those that give you a lot of bang for your buck.

What To Look For In A Guitar Audio Interface

When buying an interface with the sole purpose of using it to record guitar to your computer many of the standard parameters relevant for an audio interface are no longer relevant. For example extended i/o and connectivity is not very relevant as theoretically you will only need one line ¼ inch input for your guitar. However, good A/D converters are still relevant. Background noise is very relevant. A preamp is relevant as well and its dynamic range is very relevant. One of the most important aspects in my opinion is value for the money you spend on such a unit.


Best Audio Interfaces For Guitar

Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the coolest audio interfaces for guitar that you can find on the market today:

Apogee Jam For Mac And Windows

Currently on Sale
Apogee JAM 96k Guitar and Instrument Interface Input for iPad, iPhone and Mac, Made in USA
  • Upgraded sound quality with punchy, clean-amp tone
  • Designed for electric guitar, bass and acoustic instrument with a pickup
  • Up to 96 kHz/24-bit HD recording
  • Works with iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Mac. Lightning and Mac USB cables included.
  • Powered by connection to iPad, iPhone or Mac (no batteries or external power required)

*Price from:  2021-04-20 at 05:39 EST

Apogee is a well-known company in the audio interface market. They make great audio interfaces and this one is no exception. It can convert analog signal to digital signal at up to 24 bit / 96 kHz. What I like about this product is its immediacy and ease of use. You just plug it in and it is ready to go, no driver installation, no messing around with settings. Plug in your guitar, plug the interface into your computer, and raise the gain slider on the side of the unit to raise the level.  The background noise on this is very low and the level you get from it is high enough. Overall, I believe this product delivers excellent value for the money you spend on it. ✔️ Let's get it NOW! 

IK iRig HD 2 for iPhone, iPad, Mac

Currently on Sale
IK Multimedia iRig HD 2 digital guitar interface for iPhone, iPad and Mac (IP-IRIG-HD2-IN)
  • 1/4" Instrument input for guitar, bass, and other instruments
  • 1/4" Amp output for use with an amplifier or mixer
  • 1/8" Headphone output for silent practice; distortion (THD): 0.007%
  • Adjustable input gain and FX/Thru switch
  • Unlocks exclusive content inside amplitude iOS and Includes amplitude 4 for Mac/PC

*Price from:  2021-04-20 at 05:39 EST

The iRig is very similar in shape and size to the Apogee Jam – one of the main differences between them is that the iRig only works with Apple devices. It comes with a decent preamp and a 24 bit / 48 kHz analog to digital converter. The input noise is very low (the manufacturer says it is -97 dB RMS, which I haven’t checked but judging by how it sounds, I tend to believe them) and the preamp has a dynamic range of 26 dB. The product comes with some amp modeling software to use with your Apple tablet, phone, or computer which is pretty cool. Similar to the Apogee, it is very easy to use – plug it in, grab your ax, and shred away. ✔️ I'm sold, let's get it! 

M-Audio M-Track Duo

M-Audio M-Track Duo – USB Audio Interface for Recording, Streaming and Podcasting with Dual XLR, Line & DI Inputs, plus a Software Suite Included
  • Podcast, Record, Live Stream, This Portable Audio Interface Covers it All – USB sound card for Mac or PC delivers 48 kHz audio resolution for pristine recording every time
  • Be Ready for Anything with this Versatile M Audio Interface - Record guitar, vocals or stereo line input signals with two combo XLR / Line / Instrument Inputs with phantom power
  • Everything you Demand from an Audio Interface for Fuss-Free Monitoring – 1/4” headphone output and stereo 1/4” outputs for total monitoring flexibility; USB/Direct switch for zero latency monitoring
  • Get the best out of your Microphones - M-Track Duo’s transparent Crystal Preamps guarantee optimal sound from all your microphones including condenser mics
  • Whether you’re a Podcaster or Beat Maker, this software suite won’t disappoint - Includes: Pro Tools, First M-Audio Edition, MPC Beats, Xpand!2, Eleven Lite guitar amp plugin and 20 AVID plugin FX

*Price from:  2021-04-19 at 20:51 EST

This unit from M-Audio differs dramatically in shape and size from the previously mentioned products – but in a great way! The first thing that strikes me is how cool the design for this thing is. It looks absolutely fabulous. I digress; Looks are not the only thing this product has going for it. It sports a very cool A/D converter that can convert the analog signal to digital at up to 24 bit / 192 kHz which is just wow for this kind of money and size. The preamp is really good as well and it sports two inputs: two combo XLR / Line / Instrument Inputs with phantom power. So if you fancy mic-ing up your amp, you can do it very successfully with this unit.

In my opinion, this can very well work as a full-fledged audio interface for your home studio given the fact that it has such a great converter, such good preamps, and very good monitoring options, with both a headphone output and two ¼ inch line outputs to connect to your speakers. It also has direct monitoring so you can easily record without latency. I’d say that the value for the money with this product is simply amazing. ✔️ Yes! I want it! 

Line 6 POD Studio GX

Line 6 POD Studio GX,Black
  • GX provides the lowest noise for recording guitar with 12dB more dynamic range than similar interfaces
  • ToneDirect monitoring virtually eliminates latency and allows you to record and monitor a fully processed tone
  • POD Farm plug-in provides 18 guitar amps, 24 guitar cabs, 5 bass amps and 5 bass cabs, 29 essential stompbox and studio effects and 6 mic preamps in Mac AU/RTAS/VST and Windows RTAS /VST formats
  • Cubase LE Recording Software
  • 1/4-inch guitar input; 1/8-inch guitar headphone/line output, 44.1/48 kHz 16-/24-bit recording (88.2/96 kHz with sample rate conversion), Compatible with USB 1.1 and 2.0

*Price from:  2021-04-20 at 05:39 EST

Line 6 is a very well-known manufacturer in the world of guitar effect pedals and processors and this audio interface proves that they know the needs of their customers well – one ¼ inch line input, one 1/8 inch headphone output, and a volume knob – as simple as it gets. The A/D is standard at 24 bit/ 48 kHz and the preamp is also decent. What makes this special is the way it is bundled with POD Farm 2.5 which a great amp/ effect pedal modeling plug-in which you can use standalone or with a DAW. It also sports direct monitoring so you do not have to worry about latency. ✔️ Let's get it NOW! 


Conclusions

In my opinion, the above-presented items are some of the best cheap audio interfaces for guitar. Because of the flexibility, the build quality, and the overall integration and sound, the M-Audio M-Track Duo  is my favorite. It can be used as a guitar interface solely and it will work awesome. But what if one day you want to record guitar and vocals? – you can do so without a sweat. The fact that it can serve as a full-fledged audio interface for a small home studio setup is just amazing for the money. Having owned several M-Audio products, I recommend this with a lot of confidence.