The Behringer UM2 boasts an impressive achievement; it is the cheapest audio interface on the market, coming at just under $50. It is also on the smaller side and is made out of what feels to be very cheap loose plastic. But, more importantly – is it any good?
What Is An Audio Interface?
An Audio Interface is a piece of hardware that allows you to plug in a musical instrument or a microphone directly to your laptop/Desktop and record your music with ease into your Digital Audio Workstation (DAW), which is your recording software. Audio Interfaces are critical to professional musicians, as it establishes a link between music and modern technology. It is also essential for independent artists to record their music in the confines of their own homes.
Appearance, Color, And Feel
On the first impression, the Behringer UM2 has a good color scheme. The black-and-white color scheme does make it look smaller, which may or may not be the point. But immediately, when you pick it up, it feels a bit shaky, which doesn’t inspire much confidence, and its plastic covering doesn’t help it much. So, with that being said, you probably shouldn’t travel with it much because it feels so delicate. It is an in-home audio interface, but for its price, it may surprise you.
Features And Components
Now, what I didn’t expect was for this interface to have two inputs (Two separate areas to plug in your musical instruments), with one information doubling as both a microphone (XLR) input as well as standard input. There is also a direct monitor, where you can hear yourself play your instruments (if you choose to, you can also switch it off). There are small LED indications in the same area that let you know how loud your input instrument is and will turn bright red when the sounds start clipping (getting too loud).
There are two massive knobs on top of each information that can increase or decrease gain and a third knob that increases/decreases volume on the direct monitor for both inputs.
Now, for $50, you can’t expect fantastic quality in line with top-of-the-line studio equipment. However, the quality is decent. You can genuinely record good music with these interfaces, although post-production may be a bit more tedious than using a standard audio interface. The ambient noise that the UM2 emits is slightly higher than more expensive models isn’t inherently wrong. For the price, that is shockingly good. A phantom switch can shift to use more power, allowing more heavy-duty microphones to be used using the interface.
The Behringer U-PHORIA UM2, for its price, is nothing short of spectacular! Although points do get cut for its shoddy build and very loose feel, the functions and services it provides are up to par with the industry, and with you just shedding just $50, it more than lives up to its price range.