The Best Audio Interfaces For Mac Monday October 18 2021, 12:09 PM
Yona Marie
Singer, Songwriter, Producer.
The Best Audio Interfaces For Mac

Audio Interfaces That Work With Mac

The top audio interfaces that many musicians and engineers use for their projects work well with both Mac and PC setups. When setting up your studio, the important thing is what type of equipment is compatible and what will not work together.

Some microphones don't need audio interfaces, while some need interfaces with specific settings.

Some audio interfaces are just too cheap to work well with any computer, and you want to do your best to stay away from those if you don't want anything taking away from the quality of your recording. 

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Do I Need An Audio Interface To Record?

If you are recording or streaming with a microphone with a USB hookup, you will not need to have an audio interface to record successfully.

The thing about USB mics is that they are only really good for starters in the recording and content-streaming world.

The quality of USB mics pales in comparison to microphones that require an audio interface. Be sure to check out all the specs on the mic you have or are considering purchasing to see if it will be compatible with an audio interface. 

Best Audio Interfaces For Mac

The highest quality audio interfaces that are compatible with Mac will cost you at least $100. If you are tempted to go lower when it comes to an audio interface, do know that you will be at risk of hurting your audio quality.

It's not commonly known that the interface can mess up the mic's audio quality, but it has a large effect on it, especially when it comes to gain-staging. 

Focusrite Scarlett Solo

Focusrite Scarlett Solo 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface

  • Elevate your recordings with the single 3rd Generation Scarlett mic preamp, offering a pristine sound out of the box and the iconic Air mode for legendary Focusrite ISA mic pres effect, known and loved by professionals worldwide
  • Capture your guitar or bass with unparalleled clarity using the high-impedance, high-headroom instrument input, guaranteeing distortion-free, professional-quality recordings every time
  • Simplify your workflow and achieve optimal recording levels effortlessly with the iconic Gain Halos, providing visual feedback for quick and precise adjustments
  • Experience the true essence of your audio with two balanced outputs, ensuring hum-free monitoring, mixing, and mastering sessions that meet the highest studio standards
  • Enjoy seamless integration and ultra-fast data transfer with USB 2.0 connectivity, allowing you to stay focused on your music and creative process
  • Embrace the freedom of a bus-powered Scarlett Solo, eliminating the need for an external power supply and giving you the flexibility to record anywhere with ease
  • Immerse yourself in top-tier audio fidelity with the 24-bit/192 kHz resolution, delivering crystal-clear recordings that capture every nuance and detail

The Scarlett Solo is one of the best-performing mic preamps and interfaces and is commonly bought by independent musicians on a budget.

One thing to note is that this interface comes with a type-c to type-a cable. If you have type-c ports, you will need to purchase a type-c to type-c USB cable separately.

Pros: Easy to set up, works with Mac apps like Garageband and LogicPro, good preamp for quiet mics

Cons: Sound is decent but slightly robotic 


MOTU M4 4x4 USB-C Audio Interface

  • Speed: The M4 provides best-in-class speed for monitoring live inputs (mic, guitar or keyboard) through your computer, thanks to MOTU's expertly engineered USB drivers, which deliver class-leading, ultra-low 2.5 ms Round Trip Latency (at 96 kHz with a 32 sample buffer)
  • Metering: When recording and mixing, nothing is more critical than achieving optimum levels. The M4 is the only audio interface in its class with a full color LCD featuring clear, detailed level meters for all inputs and outputs. Enjoy professional-level volume control and feedback to get your sound just right
  • Loopback: The driver provides convenient loopback channels to your host computer, so you can easily route computer output back to the computer, where you can mix it with live mics and/or guitar inputs from the M4 in your host software for live streaming or podcasting. Streaming and podcasting has never been easier and better-sounding
  • A Tradition of Engineering Excellence: Decades of award-winning product engineering for hit songs, mega tours, primetime shows and blockbuster movies goes into every MOTU audio interface

This is a really good audio interface for Mac at its price. It can record up to 4 tracks at the same time and has advanced gain, and volume controls that really help the quality of the recordings for live and studio performances.

The preamps are clean in comparison to mics you'll find around the $100 range. 

Pros: Great preamps, volume controls, easy setup, works with Mac apps like Garageband and LogicPro

Cons: Some reported issues with drivers compatibility with PCs

PreSonus Studio 68c 6x6, 192 kHz, USB Audio Interface

PreSonus Studio 68c 6x6, 192 kHz, USB Audio Interface with Studio One Artist and Ableton Live Lite DAW Recording Software

  • Compact and feature-rich 6-in/6-out USB-C audio interface (USB-C to USB-C and USB-C to USB-A cables included)
  • Loaded with 4 pristine XMAX Class A mic preamps to capture every detail.
  • Studio-grade converters allow for up to 24-bit/192 kHz recording and playback (limited to 4 tracks at 192kHz).
  • Equipped with 2 high-headroom instrument inputs to record guitar and bass and 4 balanced TRS line inputs to connect your favorite synths.
  • Over $1000 of recording software included: Studio One Artist, Studio Magic plug-in suite, and Ableton Live Lite.
  • Keep an eye on your recording levels with professional input and output ladder-style LED level meters.
  • Cue Mix A/B function allows for toggling between two mixes while monitoring through headphones—perfect for DJs and electronic musicians.
  • Contains 2 DC coupled, balanced, TRS line outputs for monitor mixing, as well as 2 DC coupled, balanced,  TRS main outputs with front-panel level control.
  • S/PDIF and MIDI I/O to connect digital devices.

Here's another popular audio interface that works well with Mac recording software. Many claim this to be a great entry-level interface, although the price range may be a little steep for some.

It comes with PreSonus Studio One Artist music production software. Still, most people just use it with their preferred software (which, unfortunately, is not Studio One), but I admire the efforts in their marketing. 

Pros: Good preamps, easy setup, works with Mac apps like Garageband and LogicPro, comes with Studio One

Cons: Pricey for the quality, some report bugs when ordering online, and slow customer service 

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SSL SSL2+ 2-In/4-Out USB-C Audio Interface

SSL 2+ Audio Interface

  • 2-In/4-Out USB Audio Interface
  • 2 x SSL-designed microphone preamps with unrivalled noise performance and gain range for a USB-powered device
  • Legacy 4K - analogue colour enhancement for any input source, inspired by classic SSL consoles
  • 2 x Professional, high-current grade headphone outputs
  • USB 2.0, bus-powered audio interface for Mac/PC - no power supply required

Here's another interface that will wow you at its price level. SSL is renowned among audio engineers for its great sound quality mixing consoles that can be found in many major recording studios.

If you're using a Mac, it shows up and lets you switch your sound preferences with no issues. This is my most recommended option on this list for anyone that is looking for an affordable interface, especially if you're recording vocals. 

Pros: Great sound, easy setup, works with Mac apps like Garageband and LogicPro, 

Cons: Not as much gain as other preamps, subpar visual/button design


In conclusion, choosing a compatible and high-quality audio interface is essential for optimal recording quality on Mac.

The Focusrite Scarlett Solo offers a budget-friendly option with easy setup and compatibility with popular Mac apps. The MOTU M4 provides advanced controls and clean preamps.

The PreSonus Studio 68c offers entry-level excellence with bundled software. For affordability without compromising sound quality, the SSL SSL2+ impresses with great sound and seamless Mac integration.

By investing in one of these audio interfaces, Mac users can elevate their recording experience and ensure compatibility with their preferred recording software.


Bonus Tips For Buying Your Audio Interface

Consider Your Connectivity

Before purchasing an audio interface, check the available ports on your Mac. Some Mac models only have USB-C ports, so ensure that the interface you choose is compatible, or be prepared to purchase the necessary adapter or cable.

Read User Reviews

Take the time to read user reviews and feedback for the audio interfaces you're considering.

This will give you insights into the experiences of other Mac users and help you make an informed decision based on their feedback regarding compatibility, performance, and reliability.

Check Software Compatibility

While most audio interfaces work with popular Mac recording software like Garageband and LogicPro, it's always wise to double-check compatibility.

Ensure that the interface you choose is officially supported by your preferred recording software to avoid any potential compatibility issues.


Consider Your Recording Needs

Assess your specific recording needs before selecting an audio interface. Determine how many inputs and outputs you require, whether you need advanced control features, and the desired recording quality.

This will help you narrow down your options and choose an interface that suits your specific requirements.

Budget Wisely

While it's important to invest in a quality audio interface, be mindful of your budget. Determine how much you're willing to spend and focus on interfaces within your price range.

Remember that higher-priced options may offer additional features and improved sound quality, but you can still find excellent interfaces at more affordable price points.

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Yona Marie

As a session singer, writer, and producer that has worked with over 300 clients to provide high-quality jingles, singles, and features, Yona spends her time creating and marketing new music and helpful resources for creators. Check out Yona’s latest releases on her Spotify, her Youtube and share if you like it!

If you are in need of singer, songwriter or song producer services, see what Yona Marie can offer you on her services page.

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