The Best Audio Interfaces for Schools

The Best Audio Interfaces for Schools

In this audio interface best-of list article, we examine the best audio interfaces for use in your school or university.

Any school recording studio setup requires an audio interface, so if your students create music on a PC or Mac, you should get one. Every one of our top 4 best audio interfaces will allow you to connect other studio equipment and instruments during your lessons as well as receive high-quality audio into and out of your computer, be it a Mac or PC.

Steinberg UR12

Steinberg UR12

An excellent audio interface for beginners, or those with a lower budget with it being the second cheapest on this list. The UR12 is compatible with Macs, PCs and iOS devices, powered via the USB connection on a computer but by a separate (included) cable on tablets.

Compact yet rugged with a metal case, this unit will survive whatever the education environment has to throw at it. The small size also makes the Steinberg UR12 very portable, so if you are going to be taking this audio interface around with you a lot from classroom to studio to office then you needn’t worry.

The UR12 also includes an upgradeable copy of Cubase AI, an easy to use digital audio workstation (DAW) software package that has everything you need to start your music production journey. Finally, the UR12 also has the ability to stream audio production live online using the loopback function, so your students can perform live for family and friends around the globe.

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Steinberg UR4

Steinberg UR44C

If you’re looking for more than the UR12 can offer then Steinberg also offers the UR44C, a USB-C audio and midi interface designed for both musicians and producers. Compatible with any Mac, PC or iOS device with a USB-C port such as the iPad Pro. The UR44C can be powered by it’s single USB connection, making it ideal for people who want as few cables as possible, or might be recording with a laptop or iPad in multiple locations.

The UR44C offers increased options for input and output, with four balanced combo inputs (supporting XLR and TRS for microphones and instruments) each feeding into a D-PRE preamp plus two headphone jacks on the front panel. There are two additional balanced line inputs, four balanced line outputs plus a main stereo output and MIDI in and out on the backside.

Included with the UR44C is the Cubase AI DAW and Cubasis LE for iPad, and new for 2022 is Steinberg Plus, a set of free VST instruments and sound loop sets.

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M-Audio M-Track Solo?

M-Audio M-Track Solo?

The cheapest interface on this list, the M-Audio M-Track Solo is an excellent option for those with a limit on either price or space. It’s got a USB connection that’s compatible with Macs and PCs, and enough inputs that you can record vocals and an instrument or two instruments at the same time. The M-Track Solo is also powered via the USB connection to your computer, making it a great portable option if you need to take your audio interface from room to room or maybe even to a venue.

The M-Track Solo can also do real-time monitoring using either headphones or monitors, with no latency whatsoever, so your students can either record their new ideas or add to existing productions without any lag at all. A simple toggle switch on the front allows you to change from a wet to a dry signal and vice versa.

Included with the M-Track Solo are several pieces of music software that will help you get started on your music production journey, including Eleven Lite - a virtual amp emulator, and Xpand!2 a synthesizer with over 2,500 instrument presets.

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Focusrite Scarlett Solo

Focusrite Scarlett Solo

Designed to be the best interface for a singer-songwriter, the Scarlett Solo is as easy to use as possible and the most compact interface that Scarlett offers. If you’re looking to create studio quality recordings with a guitar then this interface is an excellent option. The trademark “Air” recording mode breathes new life into vocals, adding unique high-end detail to your students’ music.

Despite it’s small size, the Scarlett Solo is a versatile interface. It’s got XLR inputs for a mic, line in for a guitar or bass and can output directly to headphones for a latency-free monitoring experience. It’s got a USB connection too, which will connect to a Mac or a PC.

Added to this, the Scarlett Solo comes with a suite of software to help you make the most out of the interface’s capabilities, including Ableton Live, Avid’s Pro Tools and several others. They also have an extended 2-year warranty for your new interface and a global support team in case you run into any issues.

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The above are our picks for the best audio interfaces for schools across a few different budget and feature ranges. Hopefully this has helped you make your decision, but if you are looking for something that these don’t offer then you should take a look at our full range of audio interfaces for schools. If you're looking at music Keyboards or Midi Keyboards, take a look on our blog. 

Or you could get in touch with our team, who can recommend the best one for your particular needs.

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