Best Sounding "As Portable As Possible" Class Compliant Audio Interface

I currently have a MOTU M2 interface that I am very satisfied with sound and performance wise, but it is almost the size of the Digi boxes. Stacking gear for airplane travel gets out of hand quickly. I wish to purchase a more portable audio interface with very good sound quality. Possibly one that I am able to actually buy, since the best option seems to be the RME Babyface Pro FS (waiting time unknown) and preferably it would be cheaper than that.

Any advice would be appreciated, thanks!

BR, Gral

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I would also say the babyface pro FS is the best option, or one of the small UAD boxes (even more expensive).

Quality is not cheap!

however you could look at the babyface pro (older version, nearly identical) on the second hand market.

Would help if you stated what your needs are when it comes to ins/outs, if you’re on osx or windows. I am very happy with my audient id14, but it might not be as portable as you wish it to be, and depending on your OS there might be better options available. Apogee jam plus is really portable for instance, but I don’t think it works on windows.

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Hi anokah,

I need it to be class compliant to also work with the iPad and iPhone (understandably, I am willing to power it via a power brick for the iPhone). Good Windows drivers are not a priority, but also would help. I need two recording tracks in and at least two inputs that accept line (stereo zero lat. monitoring) and one that can be XLR mic/inst. I am looking at the IK multimedia offerings with the Pro Duo, but am unsure of the quality. I might go with the used babyface pro in the end.

I would look into the Apogee Duet if you want to use it with your iPad. It is Mac only though so if you have a home PC it could be an issue.

I don’t mind that it does not work on Windows, but the duet 3, I read a lot of reviews, and supposedly it has many issues and quirks. Will look more into it.

Arturia minifuse 2, and Audient Evo4 (this one has no midi thou) are quite small.

I have the Element 46 and love it. I can’t speak for the new Duet, but the Element has been rock solid for me. May want to see if you can find one, though it is a little bigger than the Duet.

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This one.

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Does anyone have the Arturia Minifuse? How is the sound quality. For example I also have the Focusrite Scarlett 8i6 gen 3, a Komplete Kontrol 6 and also recording straight from Syntakt class compliant USB option, or other Digi boxes sounds much worse that pluging it into my MOTU M2. Might as well stick with this for now, but would truly appreciate a smaller footprint, hence this thread.

Regarding ID4, it only has 1 recording channel.

Would be amazing, but thunderbolt only, as far as I can see… meaning no class compliancy.

I meant evo line not id line of audient interfaces

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TE TX-6 is pretty small and does all the things

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I also use the Zoom U-24. I’m not sure about audio quality, but it does everything I need including MIDI.

Another even smaller option could be the Tascam DR-05x. It’s more of an audio recorder, but also functions as a class compliant audio interface too.

I think both I mentioned can be powered by an iPad (at least a USB-C model), so you don’t even need batteries.

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All the iConnectivity interfaces are class compliant and bus powered, and they all work with iPad and iPhone. They have MIDI, some of them contain an USB host, most allow for 2 devices connected at the same time, and support streaming audio and midi between them. Take a look at their legacy devices, too, not just the current models.

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Thanks guys…

For the following trip I will just take stuff my MOTU M2 somewhere, but in the end decided to wait for a good deal on RME babyface pro FS.

BR, Gral

That’s a good choice. In terms of converter quality in mainstream audio interfaces, RME, UAD and (a step to the side) Apogee have the best (to my ears), so you can’t go wrong with any of these brands.

In terms of preamps, Audient interfaces are amongst the best value-for-money devices I know. RME & UAD are equally transparent (with some UAD devices you get the Unison technology which offers quite a bit of flexibility in regard to preamp sound).

MOTU interfaces tend to be good all-rounders with good feature sets. The M2 is a good device and decent in terms of portability (if you’re looking for higher quality conversion and preamps).

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The K-mix is small, has lots of I/O, is bus-powered, sounds great, and uses proper 1/4 in jacks and XLRs. I love mine.

I’m gonna suggest against this one. I had it for years. It’s not bad, but it’s definitely not something I’d ever suggest or buy again. It also isn’t fully class-compliant as it doesn’t work with Android.

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MOTU M2/M4. Small, usb powered, built tough, light weight and has AD/DA conversion that is way too good for its price and size. The mic pre-amps are solid as a rock too and sound excellent.

I keep my M4 around for when I travel and it fits the job perfectly.

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