Nowadays, If you want to record music, you absolutely must have an audio interface. Gone are the days of old recorders. No matter if you are recording in your bedroom or if you’re recording in a fancy studio like Taylor Swift does, you have to have an audio interface to turn your sound into digital files that your computer can work with.
But what kind of audio interface is right for you?
Today, I’m going to review the Behringer UMC204HD USB audio interface to let you know if this audio interface is right for you. Here is the review!
The reviewer – Who am I? I’m David, a songwriting geek. I started writing and recording music in my bedroom over ten years ago, so I know what it’s like to record music on a budget. That’s why I wanted to write this review for the Behringer UMC204HD.
My Review: Here’s My Thoughts and Opinions On the Behringer UMC204HD
When I first started recording music at home, I got a cheap Guitar Link USB audio interface. It was probably the cheapest audio interface that you could find. I quickly found out that the cheapest option wouldn’t be any good for you. But the Behringer UMC204HD is pretty cheap. Does that mean it isn’t a very good audio interface?
For an entry-level audio interface, the Behringer UMC204HD isn’t that bad. First off, the headphone output is pretty great. When you are recording, you need some kind of monitor to hear yourself, and the Behringer UMC204HD really does a great job here.
However, there is one bad thing about the headphone output on the Behringer UMC204HD.
If you are cranking it up loud, and I mean really loud, you might hear a little hiss – at least that’s what happened when I did. But in actual usage, you probably won’t have this problem as you won’t have your headphones that loud unless you are playing with a full band and are having trouble hearing yourself. Even then, you’d probably be using a much bigger audio interface than the UMC204HD, so I wouldn’t worry about it too much.
Another great thing about the outputs on the Behringer UMC204HD is that you can control the volume for the headphones and the volume for the monitor’s output separately.
The preamps on the Behringer UMC204HD aren’t too bad either. They work fine for a small studio setting. There’s not much more to say here.
Like I said in the introduction, the biggest problem I had with the first-ever audio interface I bought was latency. I mean… It was really bad. If you don’t have experience using an audio interface, then you might not realize how important latency is. But I can safely say, the latency with the Behringer UMC204HD isn’t bad at all!
Pretty much all audio interfaces are going to have some kind of latency, but the latency with the UMC204HD won’t be an issue with 99% of recordings. I really wouldn’t even really worry about it.
Inputs on an audio interface are very important as they are what connect your guitar to the machine! The inputs on the Behringer UMC204HD, however, do have some problems. Passive pickups don’t really sound all that great on this audio interface.
If you are using a lot of virtual instruments in your recordings, you might have to worry about CPU load or usage. I know I usually have Addictive Drums, Massive, and some other VSTis from Komplete going on when I’m recording. The Behringer UMC204HD does have a lower CPU load than some other audio interfaces. So, this audio interface does a pretty good job in this regard.
If you are recording with a condenser mic, you will need phantom power. And this audio interface provides phantom power. So that’s another plus in the pros column for this little guy.
The Behringer UMC204HD will work with PC or Mac and should work with any DAW. I’m pretty sure it will work with all DAWs, but I don’t want to say that I’m 100%, you buy it, it does not work, and then you get mad at me! So I’ll say I’m 99% sure it will work with any DAW.
Some bigger audio interfaces require a specific power cable in addition to the USB connection.
Not with the Behringer UMC204HD.
This audio interface is completely powered by USB. That means that there is one less cord that you have to plug in or carry around. However, if you have a lot of devices getting power from your machine, maybe you have a MIDI keyboard and some other devices, you may need to buy a separate powered USB hub to make sure everything is getting enough juice.
What’s Included With the Behringer UMC204HD
There’s not a whole lot that comes with the Behringer UMC204HD. You get the audio interface and a USB cable. There’s also an option to get a bundle that includes an XLR cable. But if you are already recording or using a microphone at shows, you probably have enough XLR cables. Otherwise, if this is your audio interface and you want to record a mic, then go ahead and get the bundle.
Behringer umc204hd specs
Here are the specs for the Behringer UMC204HD:
- 2×4 USB 2.0 Audio/MIDI Interface – these inputs are what allow you to record instruments like guitars and microphones.
- 24-Bit/192 kHz resolution
- Midas Mic Preamplifiers with +48 V phantom power
- Analog Inserts
- Zero-latency direct monitoring while recording
- Streams 2 inputs / 4 outputs plus 1x MIDI I/O with ultra-low latency
- Ability to use with pretty much any modern DAW
- Status, Signal and Clip indicators
- USB port for connection and power
- Free audio editing software, VSTis, and VSTs from Behringer.
- Impact-resistant metal chassis
Behringer UMC204HD Compared With Scarlett Focusrite 2i2
The Scarlett Focusrite 2i2 is another popular audio interface for smaller studios. How does the Behringer UMC204HD compare? Almost everyone I have talked to says that they prefer the Behringer UMC204HD over the Focusrite 2i2. You can also usually find the Behringer UMC204HD for a cheaper price as well.
But the Scarlett Focusrite 2i2 does have that nice red color…
Behringer UMC204HD Pros & Cons
Here are the pros of the Behringer UMC204HD:
- Great price
- Small and doesn’t take up much space
- Phantom power
- Low latency
And the cons:
- Not enough inputs for recording a full band or a full drum set
- Some hissing with the headphone monitors are cranked up too high
Behringer UMC204HD Price: Is it worth it?
The Behringer UMC204HD can usually be found for a steal. Because this thing is so popular, the price is always changing. But you can check out the price on Amazon.
Conclusion: Behringer UMC204HD is a great first audio interface
If I could go back and buy a different audio interface for my first audio interface, I think I would be satisfied with this one. Now, I have a bigger audio interface to take all my inputs and everything, but the Behringer UMC204HD is great for a first-time producer or for someone looking for something small and portable to fit in a small space like a bedroom.
You can check out the price and more specs on Amazon.
Josh is the founder and main author of Songwriter Nation. He has played music for over twenty years and even studied music at university earning a minor in music.