USB class-compliant and portable audio interfaces?

My old USB audio interface is acting up, and I’m thinking of getting a new one I could use with an iPad also.

  • class-compliant (so that it works with iOS and Linux)
  • Battery-powered or iPad bus-powered (I guess not possible for phantom powered mics?)
  • preferably but not necessarily two preamps
  • price less than 200 euros
@op1kenopi has the ART USB Dual Pre, which is only 90 EUR and satisfies my other requirements. However, based on some googling, the battery compartment is really badly designed. Have you tried changing the battery yet @op1kenopi? =)

Another one I’m considering is the Roland UA-22 Duo Capture-Ex, which is 155 EUR, but has MIDI too (which I don’t really need).

Any others? Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is nice too, but needs a powered USB hub, so I’m probably not gonna get that one.

someone on the auria board is using a 2i2 w/ an external cellphone battery (USB) and even using two phantom-powered mics. The batteries in the few thousand mAh range and under are pretty small. The 2i2 even works out of the box with ALSA from what I read on the wiki.

roland ua-11 mk2 might be a good option for you. I use it too, it’s entirely bus powered and pretty great. Big plus is that it is dirt cheap, you get the bare essentials: 1 line-in, 1 mic/instrument in, phone out and line out. No midi or fancy stuff but you can control pretty much everything on the unit itself.

rme babyface?

you can’t get a Babyface even used for 200 EUR @docshermsticks

lol my bad! i dunno how much 200 euros is…obviously

No worries. FYI it’s about $270.

ah ok. something was telling me that it was like twice as much. i was way off

Thanks for all the pointers!

@Erhenius, the UA-11 is pretty good, but lacks phantom power, so it’s a no-go for me. @KrisM, ok, thanks, I’ll have to look that up, so I guess the point is to power a USB hub with a cellphone battery. I guess that’s a possiblity, but there’s considerably more cords (and points of failure) involved in comparison with an integrated battery. @docshermsticks, yeah I’d probably get a Babyface if I had no budget constraints… =)

I’m on a Mackie Onyx blackjack. 2 preamps, with phantom power. USB-powered, and class-compliant.

I haven’t tried it with an iPad though.

I like the specs and the price of the Mackie Onyx Blackjack! Apparently it works on the iPad too, but didn’t find any information yet if it needs a powered USB hub for that (probably) as well. Hmm, I’ll have to think about this.

I can count on one hand the number of audio interfaces that have battery power built-in (and they use AA iirc) @vehka and they are from Apogee, and only work with iOS and OS X. And they are pricey. And a quick Google search does not show anything for Linux on the current models.

Chances are very low that you will get phantom power if you manage to find an interface that is powered by the meager 100mA that Apple allows the iPad to power something with. Phantom power is in the single digits mA-wise, but that’s going to take roughly 290mW to power one mic and you have 500mW total on the connection before any conversion/loss (V x A = W). It could take less power, I calculated off the high end I’ve seen of 6mA.

Someone on the Auria board mentioned the Blackjack worked ‘out of the box’ with their iPad, and didn’t mention powering it externally (doesn’t mean they didn’t).

Here’s the setup someone is using to power a Focusrite interface:

Sometimes you have to make a little sacrifice to get what you want :slight_smile:

I recently got the real tone cable for Rocksmith for my ipad. I assumed it works with my ipad 2. It works perfectly with my guitar and ipad for about 5 minutes then makes it crash. I assume its drawing too much power. such a shame because the sound quality while working is impeccable for my portable ipad…

hmm @KrisM I wonder if this would work-

@KrisM, in my original post I mentioned two cheapo audio interfaces that work with iPad and are battery powered: ART USB Dual Pre & Roland UA-22 Duo Capture-Ex. They both have phantom power also.

Still thinking about this, but probably I’ll go with the Roland one.

i don’t remember your original post being so long @vehka o.O