Buyer's Guides

Best audio interfaces for podcasting on any budget

The world of podcasting has grown exponentially, to the point where it feels like one in five celebrities has a podcast now (not an official statistic). If you’re a budding podcaster, what this means for you is that it’s more important than ever to get your podcast to sound as pristine as possible. But do you need to sign a $100 million podcast exclusivity deal with Spotify as Joe Rogan did, in order to compete with said famous people and afford the best podcasting microphones and audio interfaces to get you set up?

Absolutely not — the technology has moved along so much that there are now audio interfaces for podcasting to suit almost every budget under the sun. And yes, you should definitely go for an audio interface as well as a microphone if you can for the best sound results (more on this at the end). But with so many interfaces to choose from, you can be left confused and overwhelmed. Fear not, Headliner has assembled this premier league table of the best audio interfaces for podcasting, whether you want to pinch the pennies or splash the cash. Let’s get vocal!

Focusrite Vocaster One

  • Light and portable

  • Great bundled software provides all you need to make your podcast

You won’t be discussing the best audio interfaces for podcasting without Focusrite joining the party. And the Vocaster One is their dedicated offering for those wanting to get set up with their podcast in the most user-friendly and hassle-free way. Especially as it plugs right in via USB. It has great connectivity to microphones, smartphones, a headphone jack and even an output to feed a camera. The front panel options are fantastic, including a mute button, microphone gain, four presets and more.

The brilliant software bundle includes SquadCast, Hindenburg, Acast and Focusrite's Vocaster Hub. In other words, everything you could possibly need to get your pod up and running quickly. Being so light and portable, it’s a great consideration if you ever get out and about to record. Best of all? It’s cheap as chips, as you should be able to get it well under £100 (and approximately $100).


PreSonus Revelator io24

  • Brilliant sound, brilliant price

  • Built in EQ, compression, reverb and more

In this list of the best audio interfaces for podcasting comes something of a revelation: The Revelator io24 from PreSonus. With its dual-channel input, podcasters can connect two microphones simultaneously. Throw into the mix phantom power, the inclusion of which means you don’t need an external power source if you want to plug in the best quality condenser microphones.

Effects wise, built-in are an EQ, reverb plugins and a compressor, as well as Studio One Artist bundled to help you fine-tune your sound to perfection. Its ease of use is bolstered by its control panel which has some lovely and intuitive controls. It’s also very adaptable, whether you wish to connect via MIDI, XLR or USB-C.


Focusrite Scarlett 4i4

  • Highly professional preamps

  • Price point and quality have seen it become the bestselling interface

Here Focusrite is again and for good reason. The Scarlett 4i4 is quite simply the most popular audio interface out there, and it just so happens to be perfect for all podcasting purposes. There are several reasons why so many people reach for it, perhaps the biggest being that it sounds as good as interfaces three or four times the price.

The ‘zero-latency’ feature is quite formidable; if you’re working on a big, memory-consuming project with lots of plugins, usually the sound would slow right down, but the Scarlett will kill that latency on sight. And while it’s a more affordable interface, it’s very solidly built. The option for two microphones, excellent pre-amps and built-in loopback software make it a podcasting dream.


Solid State Logic 2+

  • One of the most durable interfaces on offer

  • Display lights function very well

Solid State Logic is a very weighty name in the interfaces multiverse, and their 2+ puts them firmly in the best audio interfaces for podcasting conversation. While being under £200 and approximately $200, it’s nonetheless brilliantly built; strong and solid, while being portable enough for you to take it with you. It’s also very strong on the sound front, with a lovely EQ boost button that adds some lovely analogue-esque warmth and colour to your recordings.

Some of the display lights on the interfaces on this list aren’t as useful as they purport to be, but the SSL 2+ gain lights found on the front panel are actually a great asset for setting your microphone levels. It’s highly connective, with MIDI, two XLR inputs and two monitor outputs. The two preamps are great also. Note there is not a loopback option included, if that is important for you. But otherwise, a true all-rounder and brilliant piece of kit.


Universal Audio Apollo Solo

  • Exceptional UAD plugins included

  • Apollo line is regarded by some as the very best audio interfaces money can buy

If you have a big chunk of change to play with in your hunt for the best podcasting audio interface, make sure Universal Audio’s Apollo Solo catches your eye. UAD’s Apollo line of interfaces is very well regarded indeed. The Solo is the baby sibling of the Apollos, but still proudly sports the same phenomenal preamps and analogue to digital converters. And goodness gracious me, it sounds brilliant.

If you invest in this interface, it will easily match your podcasting needs, but you’ll also have a unit that is a pro-standard music studio sound card. Latency will be non-existent and the audio results will be about as professional and flawless as you can conjure up in your mind. The virtual channels allow for audio loopback of other computer applications, like Zoom, for example.

A USB-C cable is not included, which is something of a pain when spending this much money already. But you’ll likely forgive this once you sink your teeth into the exceptional bundled plugins: Teletronix LA-2A compressor, Pultec EQ and the UA 610-B.


Rode RODECaster Pro II

  • Touchscreen is a great size and intuitive

  • Live mixing possible with six volume faders on front panel

What a wonderful sight to behold. If you’re happy to spend well over £/$500 on your audio interface for podcasting, Rode’s RODECaster Pro II is a beauty. If it feels like a hefty investment, rest assured all the bases will be covered; four XLR inputs with phantom power and loads of controls and four headphone outputs. The Pro II is also incredible for live-streaming as well as recording a podcast. The eight beatpad-style pads mean you can trigger sound effects, jingles and other audio clips as you go — you can channel your inner Charlie Sloth at will.

We love the substantial touchscreen display, which puts you in full control of the production, with de-essing, EQing and compression at your fingertips. There is also so much connectivity, with USB, SD cards and Bluetooth syncing up. You can even connect remote callers via USB-C or Bluetooth.


Sound benefits of using an audio interface for your plugin

You might be reading this in the knowledge that you could just record your podcast using a USB microphone and forget about this whole audio interface-for-podcasting thing. But when we say the above are the best interfaces for podcasts, we don’t simply mean this on their own merits — they will truly elevate the sound of your podcast so that you can compete with the Adam Buxtons of the world.

If you’ve instead been using the internal sound card on your computer or laptop, plug in an interface and you will notice a very tangible difference straight away. First off, thankfully, is a vastly upgraded sound quality. Expect a much cleaner sound with a lovely clarity you couldn’t get before in voice recordings. You can thank the interface’s preamps and professional quality analogue-to-digital converters and preamps, combining to deliver brilliant audio.

On that final note, it’s time to materialise your podcast and get it out there into the world. Armed with the best audio interface for podcasting, your conversations will be supercharged.