When it comes to studio gear, audio creators are truly blessed with a bountiful array of tools to use for their craft. Nowhere is that more apparent than in the world of audio interfaces. With brands like Universal Audio, Antelope Audio, Solid State Logic and Focusrite continuously improving upon their designs, the current crop of interfaces is infinitely better than what was industry-standard just a few years ago.

To cap off 2021, Vintage King is delving into our top 10 best sellers in the audio interface category. We'll be covering what makes each of these releases stand out from the pack, as well as talking about some of the software that comes with each interfaces. Let's get started with Number One!

1. SSL SSL2+ Audio Interface

With the SSL2+, Solid State Logic brings its classic console heritage to a small, portable USB audio interface. Two analog mic preamps with 24 bit/192kHz conversion gets you started, and the Legacy 4K button injects the flavor of SSL consoles with a sound reminiscent of the legendary 4000 console. Connectivity allots for two independent headphone mixes, and outputs come in the form of both TRS and RCA. To sweeten the deal, SSL throws in included software like Pro Tools First and the SSL Drumstrip plug-in. The overall feature set makes this interface a slam dunk, and the SSL heritage ensures an instantly recognizable sound.

2. Universal Audio Apollo Twin X DUO Heritage Edition Audio Interface

The beloved Apollo Twin X is once again on year-end list and for good reason. The interface's two Unison mic preamps allow users to choose between tracking with crystal clarity or award-winning emulations of classic preamps like the UA 610 and more. The stylish one knob control makes the Apollo Twin X incredibly easy to use, in addition to front panel metering and input controls like pads and HPF for quick access to what's essential. Not only does the Apollo Twin X comes with the Analog Classics Bundle, the interface also comes with its namesake Heritage Edition plug-in bundle. This package includes the UA 1176 Classic Limiter Collection, Fairchild Tube Limiter Collection, Helios Type 69 Preamp & EQ Collection and so much more.

3. Focusrite Scarlett Solo Gen 3 Audio Interface

The Scarlett Solo brings fan-favorite Focusrite tech to a small format that will fit in your backpack. The interface features one Scarlett mic preamp and a second channel for instrument DI, which sits right next to it. Halo style gain metering provides easy monitoring of signals, while the “Air” button adds top end brilliance inspired by the classic Focusrite ISA. A host of thoughtful plug-ins come with the Scarlett Solo, including the Focusrite Red plug-in suite and XLN’s Addictive Keys. Perfect for traveling songwriters, the Scarlett Solo is ready to capture sounds when you need it.

4. Antelope Audio Zen Go Synergy Core Audio Interface

As a desktop sized portable interface, the Antelope Zen Go delivers incredibly competitive sound quality paired with Synergy Core onboard processing. The interface features two combo jacks, which make it easy to plug in either a mic or your instrument cable, and the included FX plug-in bundle processes with ultra low latency due to the powerful Synergy Core. Antelope Audio’s award-winning conversion and clocking are what make this unit special, giving musicians access to studio quality sounds from a sleek, portable sized form.

5. Universal Audio Apollo X8 Heritage Edition Audio Interface

Universal Audio’s rackmount Apollo platform gets even better with the X8 edition, as the interface utilizes better conversion than ever before. The Apollo X8 features four Unison enabled mic pre and an additional bank of four inputs are allocated for external line inputs from outboard gear. Thanks to HEXA Core onboard processing, the interface allows engineers to load up on plug-ins during recording and mixing sessions. Just like the Apollo Twin X, you'll receive the Analog Classics Plus and Heritage Edition bundles, featuring plug-ins like the Pultec Passive EQ Collection, V76 Preamplifier, Teletronix LA-3A Audio Leveler and more.

6. Antelope Audio Discrete 8 Synergy Core Audio Interface

Loaded with eight console grade mic preamps, the Antelope Discrete 8 delivers pristine sounding audio conversion in a robust, 1U audio interface. Antelope Audio’s class leading A/D conversion comes standard, as does the Acoustically Focused Clocking technology. Each of the eight discrete mic preamps offer combo jack connectors for usage with XLR or 1/4” style connections, and each channel boasts an incredibly clear 121 dB of dynamic range. To get you started with great tools, a bundle of 37 plugins comes with, including the Gyraf Gyratec mic preamp emulation and the infamous sounding VCA160. An excellent choice for mid-sized studios, the Antelope Discrete 8 will churn out big tracks from a small footprint.

7. Avid Pro Tools Carbon Hybrid Audio Interface

As the newest Avid audio interface to hit the market, the Carbon is one of the brand's most powerful designs yet. Avid equips this unit with the best A/D conversion they have to offer, and the eight onboard preamps ensure the natural, detailed capture of sounds. The Carbon uses a combination of onboard HDX DSP processing and native CPU power to ensure ultra low latency, while the Ethernet connectivity streams audio at a precise 32 bit float level. The interface comes with a host of premium plug-ins clike the Purple Audio MC77 and the McDSP 6050. With the Carbon, Avid ensures working in the Pro Tools environment becomes even more powerful than ever before.

8. Apogee Duet 3 Audio Interface

When it debuted in 2007, the Apogee Duet become one of the most beloved interfaces on the market. Now, Apogee’s back with the Duet 3, which offers bigger and better features in an even smaller, ultra-compact form factor. The interface includes a breakout cable that allows users to connect two mic inputs, two instrument inputs, and two balanced output cables simultaneously. The bus powered design ensures you can simply plug into a USB C port and get to working. Those wanting high end sound in an ultra small package will find the newest Duet to be a perfect choice, just like its predecessors.

9. Apogee Symphony Desktop Audio Interface

Bringing Apogee’s renowned Symphony line of features to a smaller footprint, the Symphony Desktop jam packs high end features into a sleek, compact form factor. Two elite level preamps are equipped with 75 dB of transparent gain for a brilliant sound, or use the included Neve and Ampex inspired preamp emulations to dial in vintage color from the source. The same level of pristine A/D conversion found in Apogee Symphony rack units is found here, and the intuitive touch screen input display makes for easy, one knob functionality. The complementary Apogee FX plug-in bundle gets you to work quickly, while the unmistakable crisp sound of the Symphony Desktop is sure to remind you you’re using an Apogee.

10. MOTU M2 Audio Interface

The M2 comes in a simple, sleek package that positions it as a great choice in the compact interface segment. It features two preamps with combo jack inputs, which allow users to plug mics or instruments directly into the MOTU, and it’s best in class LCD display provides intuitive monitoring of inputs. The M2 is totally USB bus powered, so users on the go will have no need to carry clunky power cables. Ultra clean input circuits and conversion impart natural clarity to your sounds; the M2 easily samples up to 192 kHZ and features ultra low latency of an astonishing 2.5 ms. Loopback channels allow users to record sounds via host computer while merging live mics, making podcasting a breeze.

Whit FinebergIf you're interested in any of the audio interfaces mentioned in this blog, please reach out to us! Contact a Vintage King Audio Consultant via email or by phone at 866.644.0160.