Best external sound cards 2018 – from cheap to worsting models

By | April 6, 2021


External sound cards in all price ranges
There are sound cards in all price ranges, from the thousand bucks to far much more than that. The first thing that is important to understand is that the difference in sound quality between these is marginal, regardless of what the average person claims. A sound card that costs SEK 40,000 thus sounds pretty much exactly the same as one that costs SEK 2,000, even though on paper it may look different. What you instead pay for is the number of inputs and outputs, the quality of the preamps, the actual build quality and so on.

That is not to say that you should choose the cheapest just because you can. Each sound card has its target group and here it is important to find out what suits you exactly. Quite frankly, you could say that: The smaller the studio, the smaller the sound card. The home studio often manages with only two inputs: one for instruments and one for microphone, while the larger studio must have significantly more than that.

Due to this, Studio has scraped together a list of no less than twenty sound cards in different price ranges, for you who are looking for a new year 2018. And no matter which you choose, you can feel confident that you get an excellent sound card for its price !

Focusrite Scarlett Solo 2nd Gen
Perfect entry-level model for the small studio or for you who need to be portable.1966403788_FocusriteScarlettSolo.png.6e401575ae7fe46d2f3b55a2a7feadb0.png
Award: SEK 983 at Thomann
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Audient iD4
High-class preamp in a very flexible format with two inputs and outputs.
Award: SEK 1,282 at Thomann
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IK Multimedia iRig Pro Duo (not available anymore)
A small power pack that can record two channels simultaneously in 24-bit / 48kHz
Award: 2,199 at Webhallen

Roland Rubix 44
Four preamps with XLR at a very reasonable price.
Award: SEK 2,449 at Webhallen
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Focusrite scarlett 18i20 2nd Gen
The bestseller in a new upgraded version with no less than eight premaps with XLR and awesome LED.
Award: SEK 4,957
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Arturia AudioFuse
Robust construction, many connections and high sound quality and specially designed preamps.
Award: SEK 5,125 at Thomann
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Focusrite Clarett 4Pre USB
A good all-round card with low latency and four high-quality preamps.

Award: SEK 6,152 at Thomann
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Apogee Duet 2
One of the most flexible and stylish sound cards on the market. Now also works for PC and iOS.604507970_ApogeeDuet2.png.acf7a14e11e1b054aafd42801831f02e.png
Award: SEK 6,546 at Thomann
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SPL Crimson 3
Fully loaded sound card with two high quality preamps, Phonitor Matrix and Talkback Microphone.
Award: SEK 6,944 at Thomann.
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Universal Audio Apollo Twin MKII Solo
The entry-level model in the Apollo series with which you can record and mix with UAD plugs.
Award: SEK 6,944 at Thomann.
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PreSonus Quantum 2
Fully loaded sound card with extremely low latency and the possibility of future expansion.
Award: SEK 7,937 at Thomann.
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Apogee Element 46
12 In and 14 Out Thunderbolt Sound Cards for Mac. Four analog sounding preamps.65931509_ApogeeElement46.jpg.e93973838cf9476ef2b0ba293fc9904c.jpg

Award: SEK 8,693 at Emusic
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Antelope Audio Discrete 4
Flexible sound card from the highly regarded Antelope with four extremely good preamps.
Award: SEK 8,930 at Thomann
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Prism Sound Lyra 1
Small sound card for the connoisseur where sound and build quality are at the top of the agenda.
Award: SEK 13,897 at Thomann
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Antelope Zen Studio +
No less than 12 high quality preamps combined with built-in hardware effects.986914603_AntelopeZenStudio.jpg.3bc89c79cb3dc91d87e9533d9602ce5b.jpg
Award: SEK 22,441 at Thomann
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RME Fireface UFX +
Upgraded version of RME’s flagship with MADI, USB 3.0, Thunderbolt and much more.1517120771_RMEFirefaceUFX.png.782cf4945300070a58e31ac5f75b314e.png
Award: SEK 26,723 at Thomann
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Focusrite Red 8 Pre
Eight remote-controlled, transparent and noise-free preamps, ultra-low latency, Thunderbolt and Dante technology.
Award: SEK 35,753 at Thomann
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SSL Nucleus 2
Perfect for you who want sound cards, DAW controller and analog SSL preamps in one.877702641_SSLNucleus2.png.4e2de5c8dc1db09758ff70bee4d203e1.png

Price: SEK 44,693 at Thomann
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Apogee Symphony I / O Mk II TB 8 + 8mp
Latest addition with even better AD / DA, expansion options, touchscreen and world-class preamps.
Award: SEK 54,627 at Thomann
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