The time has come — you’re ready to take your favorite DAW to the next level to get that professional sound.
I know you only want the best equipment for your home studio.
As a Logic user, don’t fret, because the best audio interface for Logic Pro X is not going to cost you an arm and a leg.
After all, an artist should not have their creativity limited by the size of their bank account.
No matter what style of music you produce, this buying guide has you covered if you’re a faithful Logic user.
Let’s get right to it.
Logic Pro X: Best Audio Interfaces
1. Focusrite Clarett 2Pre USB
The Focusrite Clarett 2Pre is the clear winner in this buying guide of the best audio interface for Logic Pro X. This audio interface offers 8 Channel ADAT optical in, four lines out on the back, and 5-pin MIDI input and output ports.
The plugins included from Focusrite are all you need to get you started on Logic Pro X, without breaking the bank.
Front panel outputs are combi XLR/Jack sockets, each with a switch for gain and phantom power. The gain knob will light up in green when it detects an input signal and flashes red if it’s going to start clipping.
The mic preamps are quiet and clean. With the Thunderbolt interface, you can look forward to high speeds and low latency.
- Features four total balanced outputs; dedicated stereo pair, MIDI input and output, ADAT input, headphone outputs. You can also choose a model with up to 8 extra line inputs.
- It offers 24-bit A/D and D/A Conversion. It also offers high headroom instrument input.
- Software included are Softube Time and Tone Bundle, Ableton Live Lite, Focusrite’s Red Plug-In Suite, and 2 GB worth of Loopmasters samples. Buyers can also pick from one of the free XLN Addictive Keys Virtual Instruments.
- Has very low latency rates
- Build quality is superior, durable, and high quality
- Mic preamps are second to none and come with added “Air”
- Requires the use of an external power supply
- Does not include a Thunderbolt cable.
2. Focusrite Scarlett Solo (3rd Gen)
Best Beginner Audio Interface For Logic Pro X
The Focusrite Solo is one of the best audio interfaces on this list for portability. For such a compact device you still get all the necessary audio I/O on the front and rear panels
The appearance and build of the Solo are both durable and sexy. With sleek designs and an aluminum chassis, this device is both heavy-duty and easy on the eyes.
This plug-and-play audio interface is compatible with all the big DAWs on the market.
The mic preamp is of high quality, and the instrument line pickup generates an amazing sound quality.
The built-in preamp is clean for those of you that record and mix vocals in your music. It’s a matter of finding the right gain using the gain knob.
Near-zero latency levels and sample rates easily get up to 24 bits or 192 kHz.
In summary, the Solo is a perfect fit for the producers on the move and those with home studios on a budget.
- It features Air Mode, which allows you to record a bright sound and high headroom instruments. These inputs are optimal for bass and guitar sound. Two balanced outputs offer offer clean playback.
- The converters allow you to mix and record up to 24 bits or 192 kHz. The quick start tool will help beginners in their musical journey with little fuss.
- Pro Tools beginners will enjoy learning are also included; software included is Focusrite Creative Pack, Ableton Live Lite, Softube Time and Tone, Focusrite Red Plug-In Suite, and the choice of an XLN Addictive Keys Virtual Instrument
- There are three choices for mic presets: you may choose between 1, 2i2, or 4i4.
- Very small and portable
- Offers unprecedented sound quality at a beginner’s price point
- Playback buffers even at high buffer rates
- Focusrite Control software is not super intuitive
3. Universal Audio Apollo Twin MKII Duo
Best Professional Audio Interface
This is a scaled-down version, but I believe it still offers a top-quality performance audio interface.
You can power it from the wall or connect using only Thunderbolt connectivity.
On the back and front, you will see two combi Mic/Line ins, a ¼ in hi-Z guitar input, and four ¼ inch output jacks.
Add eight analog inputs via ADAT thanks to the TOSLINK port. If you can spare the coin, this is a tool that will help you achieve the professional-quality sound you’ve been looking for.
- 2×6 Thunderbolt audio interface works on Mac and Windows. Plus, it has a good analog design and excellent build quality
- Features two premium mic and line preamps, two-line outputs, front panel instrument and headphone output, and 2 digital-analog monitor outputs
- The LUNA recording system comes free with the audio interface. It includes the LUNA Application, LUNA Instruments, and LUNA extension, which will turn your audio interface into a full-fledged music production device.
- Console 2.0 software is easy to learn and allows drag and drop functions, easy-to-resize windows, and channel strip presets.
- Audio quality is superior to most others
- Unison plug-ins help you track/monitor in real-time
- UAD -2 plug-ins
- Easy to use
- Only connects via Thunderbolt
- The Thunderbolt cable doesn’t even come with it
4. Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (3rd Gen)
Best Budget USB Audio Interface
This next-gen Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface is an upgrade that offers a better preamp design.
The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface also has Air Mode, which enhances the detail of your music.
It also offers i/o’s that have better headroom. There is a USB-C port that helps keep latency low. You won’t even know it’s there.
The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface has a ¼ inch input jack and XLR combo. Line and instrument level switch, and phantom power among other features.
Vocals, especially on this audio interface will sound studio-quality. This is a USB audio interface that is worth its weight in gold especially for its very friendly price tag.
- AirMode, so your recordings have an open, vibrant sound.
- Two instrument inputs allow dual recording of instruments and microphones.
- Balanced mic line inputs allow you to connect line-level sources, so they sound perfect. There are also many Microphone preset options to choose from as well.
- The quick start guide allows users, especially beginners, to get started right away.
- Pro Tools included with your buy are Focusrite Creative Pack, Softube Time and Tone Bundle, XLN Addictive Keys Virtual Instrument, and Nugen Audio Monofilter Elements Plugin.
- High-quality ins / outs
- Widely used by professionals
- Convenient USB audio interface design
- Low latency USB-C port
- No MIDI inputs/Outputs
- Not the greatest for simultaneous vocal/instrument recording
5. Apogee One
Best Portable Audio Interface
This compact audio interface offers you 24-bit audio at rates of up to 48khz, plus a mic preamp that runs on phantom power.
You will need at least 34 MB of space and Mac OS 10.5.7 or better and installation is easy.
The Apogee One is a perfect portable audio interface. You still get the option for low latency monitoring, and all you have to do is set it up via the Maestro Control Panel.
The internal mic is not chintzy by any means and offers a clean sound. This is a professional audio interface that can fit in your pocket.
Check out my guide to see how the Apogee One compares to its big brother, the Apogee Duet!
- 2 in and 2 out Audio Interface complete with built-in mic
- This light and easy-to-carry audio interface will have your recordings at peak quality even when on the road.
- Mic included is omnidirectional and music can capture vocals with nothing getting missed. The D/A conversion allows the listener to hear every detail.
- Apogee One allows you to record guitars and mics at the same time, thanks to the AD/DA conversion plus mic preamps technology.
- The breakout cable has two analog inputs an XLR microphone and ¼” instrument connector. The One also offers uncompromised stereo quality from your Mac into your headphones.
- Great for on the road use
- Internal microphone audio quality delivers amazing sound where everything sounds as it should
- For an Apogee product, it is very affordable.
- The USB cables included are quite short
- Must use a breakout cable due to the size of the device
Complete Buying Guide
Logic Pro X is a Mac product, so make sure you have a Mac that can handle this beast of a program.
I’ve got the specs listed out for you below plus a link to Apple’s site so you can see firsthand what you need.
Logic Pro X
These specs are directly from Apple. I’ve trimmed down the full specs for brevity’s sake, so go check them out when you can.
Tech Requirements to run Logic Pro X
- 4GB of RAM
- macOS 10.15.7 or later
- Display with 1280 by 768 resolution or higher
- Min 6 GB of disk space or 72GB of storage space for full Sound Library installation
- 64-bit audio units plugins
- 1220 definable key and MIDI commands
- Full plugin latency compensation
- 1/3480 note resolution for MIDI events
- 200-step undo history
- 90 screen configs that are recallable
Best Audio Interfaces for the Budget
Not all Logic users have hit it big with their productions (yet!), so I understand the importance of staying on budget. You can spend anywhere from $120 to a $1000 price point on an audio interface.
This budget interface will give you what you need to start. That said, higher-end models have all the bells and whistles required for top-quality sound creation.
- Advanced – The Universal Apollo Twin Duo, which I reviewed above, is a superb choice. It’s loaded with features from the most basic to the very advanced for premium production.
- If you’re looking for an affordable audio interface, I recommend the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2. This budget model has all the stuff you NEED to get your feet wet. Best of all, you can upgrade as your skill and interest in the art grow.
Size and Weight
Do you have a whole room devoted to your work? If so, you can afford to be generous with the size of your audio interface.
If space is an issue, you may need to install a rack to save space since you are operating in limited quarters.
Size also matters if you plan on taking the equipment with you as you travel or work in new locations.
- Travel – Plan on taking the audio interface with you? Make sure to choose a model that fits in your carry bags or backpack. Make sure you can also pad it so it doesn’t bang around when in transit.
- Rackmount V Desktop – This is if you’re getting started with a desktop audio interface for your home studio. You likely don’t have heaps of equipment yet, so these models have lots of budget options. Rack-mounted audio interfaces are an excellent way to keep your home studio workspace clean and neat. These are also found most in professional studios.
Inputs and Outputs
Knowing what the outputs and inputs on your device are will help you use it better.
- XLR inputs – XLR inputs are for microphones. If you plan on recording with the use of a microphone, make sure you have one of these on your audio interface.
- Instrument line inputs – These are high impedance and perfect for passive instrument pickups. These are instruments that generate voltage levels at the same rate as line-level. But at a lower power.
- Balanced stereo output – The ability to connect a balanced cable to this audio interface. This will provide you with better audio sound and clarity.
- Headphone output – Headphone outputs offer enough power to drive your headphones. This helps you create the sound you desire.
You have to know the three main connection types so you can choose the one that works best for you and your home studio.
- USB – The greatest advantage of USB is that TONS of best audio interfaces are designed with USB bus power. It is especially helpful for on-the-road recording using your laptop.
- Firewire – Firewire is useful because the data transfer rate is more consistent compared to USB. It is helpful when recording multiple channels at once. Yet, fewer audio interfaces make use of Firewire as compared to USB. And even fewer computers nowadays have Firewire. You might need to buy a Firewire card.
- Thunderbolt – Thunderbolt has low latency and high speed. It is fast becoming the standard for audio interface connection. Thunderbolt 3 is two times faster than Thunderbolt 2, and 8 times as fast as USB3. It contains speeds up to 40 Gbps, and cables can be as long as 100 meters if using an optical cable.
- USB – You may hear this referred to as RetailUSB or USB+ Power. This lets high-power devices such as your audio interface get and use power via their USB host instead of using an external supply.
- External – These power supplies look like the laptop power supplies you might plugin. They power audio interfaces that do not have the necessary components to use the main power.
- Phantom Power – In layman’s terms, phantom power is an invisible power source. It derived from the same cord as the audio signal. If you see a switch with P48 on the interface, 48 represents a rating for 48 volts.
All audio interfaces come with recording software, whether it’s one of the best audio interfaces or not.
More often than not, this is an entry-level DAW version or plugin. Make sure you review the software that comes with your audio interface of choice.
- Free recording software – Some sound recording and DAW software are free if your audio interface doesn’t come with any. Software compatible with Mac includes Audacity, Ocenaudio, and Audiotool.
- VST support – VST means Virtual Studio Plugin. VST’s provide instruments (synthesizers, for instance). VST effects are also helpful as they process the audio as opposed to generating it. They can emulate outboard gear like compressors and maximizers, among others. So, make sure you have great support, and don’t miss out on this good stuff!
- Compatibility – All these audio interfaces work with Mac. Always make sure the software you download is compatible with Mac when using the Logic Pro X.
A DSP card mixes together differing input/output signals. DSP allows you to send them to specific outputs.
- There are cards for all budgets
- Allows you to add effects to your audio
- Expensive for those starting out.
Did you know some audio interfaces are better than others for recording?
- Recording – Looking to do podcasts or solo recordings? A 2-input, 2-output interface will be fine.
- Electronic Music – If you want to produce EDM, beats, and record live music. An interface with many line inputs/outputs and a high sample rate is essential.
Your music production and style will affect the type of audio interface you buy. You will need an audio interface with extras to make it sound great for EDM or other electronic music.
For those of you looking to do podcasts or solo recordings, you can get by using a 2i2 interface.
Don’t sell yourself short by trying to buy a cheaper or lower-rated model. It’s better to get a quality piece of equipment first even if you have to delay getting it while you save up some dough.
Also, don’t underestimate the importance of sound cards! A high-quality card can affect the recording quality of the mic. Look for a card that converts the analog sounds to digital. Look for a quality A/D converter to do this.
In my opinion, the Focusrite Clarett 2Pre USB is the best overall pick on this list. It’s a mid-range investment, can be bought with fewer or more USB ports, comes with free software, and is easy to take on the road.
I hope your home studios and recording sessions will benefit from this buying guide on the best audio interface for Logic Pro X!