The Best external sound cards Review (2021)
In this article we are going to do a detailed analysis of the best external audio interfaces . But as we know that many of you do not want to read much, the first thing we leave you is our selection:
Are you setting up your home studio and need a sound card? Surely you have searched the Internet but in the face of so much information, you have quickly lost yourself. Do not worry, I have bothered to consult forums, specialized websites and put my grain of experience to tell you which are going to be the best sound cards this 2021.
After seeing the best microphones for recording, I think it was time to do this article. If you already have a microphone selected, you will almost certainly need a card or previous to connect the microphone to the PC, if you are a bit lost in this aspect I will tell you that condenser microphones cannot be connected directly to the computer (unless it is a USB microphone) so you will need a sound card. I leave you a super simple scheme to give you an idea:
As you can see, the card will allow you to connect a microphone and a computer, but not only that: headphones or headphones, mixing consoles, MIDI keyboards, amplifiers, etc. … It is the central element so to speak. And now yes, let’s go with the list that I have prepared.
External PC sound cards
I love Focusrite as it was the brand I trusted when I bought my first sound card. During all these years it has worked perfectly for me and I have given it a lot of work, so I can assure you that it is a good brand. The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 stands out for:
. It connects via USB 2.0 to the PC and has 2 inputs and 2 outputs. This will be used for example to connect 2 microphones and 2 headphones/speakers at the same time.
. It already comes with the Phantom 48V so you don’t need any more devices to connect the microphone.
. It comes with Ableton Live Lite 8 included and a number of Focusrite’s own plugins.
. 2 preamps from the brand that have enjoyed a very good reputation in recent years. This will directly influence the sound quality.
If you are only going to record with a microphone and you are not going to connect more instruments, that is, if you are only going to use one input, you can save a few euros by buying the same model but with a single input: Focusrite Scarlett Solo.
See on Amazon: Audient iD14 High Performance USB Audio Interface
This card is having a lot of sales even though it is not the best known. Its characteristics and price have made it earn a niche in the market. Audient is doing really well.
The main features of this audio interface are:
. 2 Class a preamps. Very good quality indeed.
. 8-channel ADAT input.
. Balanced 1/4” outputs.
. Control over polarity, mono, cutoff, gauge mix, and conversation.
. It has a separate headphone pre-out stage.
Users who have tried it say that the quality of its preamps is above even the Focusrite Scarlett 2i4.
See on Amazon: Focusrite Clarett 2Pre USB 10-In/4-Out Audio Interface
We return to the Focusrite brand but this time with a model superior to the previous one, much more professional and with many more possibilities. The price obviously goes up a lot, but it will be worth it if it is the type of product you are looking for.
On the Amazon website, you will see several models, some even superior in terms of characteristics. These are the specifications of the top model:
. 8 air-activated mic preamps
. Low noise level (-128 dB EIN)
. Ultra-low distortion and 118 dB dynamic range.
. 10 inputs and outputs.
If this year I had to buy a new external USB sound card without hesitation it would be one of these. My recommendation is that you take a good look at the budget you have and above all, the use that you are going to give the card.
I hope this list is useful for you and that your home studio is going great. Any questions you have about these cards you can ask me what you want in the comments and I will answer you as soon as I see it.
Finally, if you liked this article you can share it on social networks with the buttons that you have just below, the truth is that it has been difficult for me to investigate in-depth which were the best sound cards so I would appreciate it very much :)1`