USB Microphone vs Audio Interface

USB Microphone vs. Audio Interface: Know the Difference

Recording sound or music at home is much easier than before with the help of new tools and devices. It is easy to say that the right microphone can record anything, but it will not work without an audio interface. An audio interface is an important device to connect your microphone to your computer.

Various computers have built-in audio interface in the shape of a 3.5mm jack (microphone). You can spend money on a separate input method. People often get confused while thinking about USB Microphone vs. Audio Interface. Both devices has its own importance and to decrease your confusion, we are going to explain the difference between both devices.

USB Microphone vs. Audio Interface

The audio interface is available in different sizes and shapes to connect to your computer via FireWire or USB. They contain an incorporated microphone preamps to amplify the signal of your mic to the level of the line. This interface is quite simple to use in order to record a good sound. You can improve the results of recording by mixing sounds and give different effects. You can use any laptop, computer or tablet for basic recordings because these devices has built-in sound cards. A good quality microphone is required to improve the quality of sound and for professional recordings.

On the other hand, USB microphones are designed for plug-and-play use. They have an analog-to-digital converter and internal preamp to amplify your voice and convert it into a digital stream. It is suitable for podcasters and iPad users to share all your domestic productions on YouTube or other online channels. A USB microphone can reduce the need for any extra hardware between your computer and microphone. It can capture a good range of human voices with timbres, tones, flaws, quirks, and pitches. It enables you to upload your work without any fine-tuning.

An audio interface and the sound card often do the same job because you have to process the sound recorded by your tablet, Mac, PC, and laptop. The audio interface is just like an exterior sound card and it is perfect for tablets and laptops. With the help of audio interface, you can give a professional touch to your videos. This onboard sound card offers easy access to the input options. For instance, the XLR mic input can be used for the ¼ guitar jack input. The audio interfaces enable you to feature amazing quality sound and high-quality audio. You will need a MIDI to connect your keyboard controller.

USB Microphone vs. Audio Interface: Which one is the best?

Most of the audio interface is regarded similar to USB soundcards. To connect your device, you will need a USB adapter or port. The USB interfaces are standard, and you can easily find them depending on your budget and requirements. USB microphones with some additional features are regarded as USB soundcards. You will need USB cards to connect your audio interface to your computer. The selection of your audio interface will depend on your recording situation. Both devices have their features and facilities. A newbie can use a USB microphone because there is no need to worry about mixing technical aspects of the sounds.

  • A songwriter/singer and guitar player may find it easy to use an audio interface with two outputs and two mics. This system enables them to record on guitar and vocals. For a podcaster, one microphone is enough.
  • A band will require extra input because they want to record their instruments on different tracks. They can record with a mixer, but the individual editing of each singer and player will not be possible.
  • A computer DJ and laptop user will need an audio interface with two stereos or 4 mono outputs. The DJ can choose a software to configure all settings. For instance, the DJ can mix through headphones and main mix via speakers.

USB Microphones

The USB microphones require no extra audio equipment to plug in to your computer. You can use your desktop computer or laptop to connect USB microphones. These mics have built-in digital interface, and it is an affordable option than purchasing a separate interface and microphone. If you want something within your budget, you can buy these receivers without breaking your bank.

There are some limitations of USB microphones. You can’t find USB inputs on audio interface and mixing boards. Some USB mics have XLR connectors to manage this problem. A mixing board offers maximum control over mixing and EQ of microphone signals. You may get similar power with the help of mixing software. It is an important downside of USB microphones that you can’t connect them to a traditional digital interface or a mixing board. Fortunately, there is a solution of this negative side. Some new microphones adapters enables your XLR microphones to work like USB microphones.


A home recording studio should have the audio device, and the audio interface is an essential equipment to handle audio output and input from your computer. It is a common belief that USB interface (audio) is not a particular sound card, but is much more than that. It is a useful thing in the music industry. This unique and professional device gives a professional touch to your videos and recording that will be enjoyed by companies for a long time.

The USB Microphone vs. Audio Interface enables you to understand the importance and difference of both devices. A good USB interface can improve the quality of your work. To record professional videos, you will need an audio interface connected to your computer. Audio devices are available in different sizes and styles. You can buy one as per your budget. USB interface enables you to improve the quality of your sound. The selection of your audio interface will be based on the nature of the recording. If your budget allows, it will be good to spend on an audio interface. It will help you get maximum input channels, durability, and body construction.

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