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Best Audio Interface for the Shure SM7B

The Shure SM7B is an iconic microphone. It is widely used not only for music production, but also for content creation, radio shows, voice acting, and anything that requires professional-grade sound quality.

One of the best dynamic mics in the market, it has been used to record famous artists such as Michael Jackson, Anthony Kiedis, and Eddie Vedder. The SM7B is also very popular for recording acoustic instruments, drums, and guitar amps.

However, the Shure SM7B needs to be paired with a decent audio interface to give your recordings the best quality possible.

That’s why today, we bring you a roundup of 7 products to decide what is the best audio interface for Shure SM7B.

Tip: also check our Best Audio Interface for even more product options.

Top Picks

SSL SSL2 2-In/2-Out USB-C Audio Interface

Best Overall Audio Interface for the Shure SM7B – Solid State Logic SSL2

We tested 7 products and found the Solid State Logic SSL2 to be the best overall audio interface Shure SM7B. Packed with amazing features, it will perform amazingly with the Shure SM7B.

M-Audio M-Track Duo

Best Budget Audio Interface for the Shure SM7B – M-Audio M-Track Duo

The M-Audio M-Track is our pick for the best budget audio interface for the Shure SM7B due to its low cost, quality, and value for the money.

Keep Reading

Below, we’re going to review in detail each of the 7 audio interfaces that we’ve tested, as well as give you some valuable tips and explain our topics.

The 7 Best Audio Interfaces for the Shure SM7B Reviewed in Detail

List of Contents

  1. M-Audio M-Track Duo
  2. Native Instruments Komplete Audio 1
  3. Solid State Logic SSL2
  4. Focusrite Scarlett 2i2
  5. M-Audio AIR 192|4
  6. Roland Rubix 22
  7. IK Multimedia iRig Pro

1. M-Audio M-Track Duo

M-Audio M-Track Duo

The M-Audio M-Track Duo features two combo XLR/instrument inputs that you can use to record with either your Shure SM7B or musical instruments such as guitars and basses.

Product Specifications

  • Two Combo XLR/Instrument Inputs
  • Headphone Output
  • Line Outputs
  • +48V Phantom Power
  • USB Connectivity

Advantages & Disadvantages

Pros

  • M-Audio preamps are very crystalline. We consider this a pro as a lot of singers and music producers like to have the cleanest signal possible coming in their DAW, but this is relative.
  • The combo XLR/instrument inputs will allow you to plug in either another XLR microphone or instruments while you record with your Shure SM7B.

Cons

  • We’ve considered M-Audio very neutral preamps to be a pro. However, this may also be a con to some people due to them preferring a preamp that translates more character into the mic signal.
  • The signal/clip LEDs are very small and sometimes hard to see while recording.

Verdict

The M-Track Duo will work for any basic recording and monitoring tasks. It will pair well with the Shure SM7B. However, as we said before, the very neutral preamps may not please everyone. This is very relative, but if you like your audio signals with a bit more grit and character, we wouldn’t recommend it.

Check the Price on Amazon

2. Native Instruments Komplete Audio 1

Native Instruments Komplete Audio

The Komplete Audio 1 from Native Instruments is one of the greatest-looking audio interfaces on the list. It will perform very well with the Shure SM7B and any other condenser or dynamic microphone.

Product Specifications

  • One XLR Input
  • One Instrument Input
  • Headphone Output
  • Line Outputs
  • Stereo RCA Outputs
  • +48V Phantom Power
  • USB Output Connectivity

Advantages & Disadvantages

Pros

  • The Komplete Audio 1 is the audio interface with the best design on the list. It looks very professional and neutral.
  • The LED VU meter/input gain indicators on top of the audio interface look very good and are easy to keep an eye on while you’re recording.
  • It comes bundled with an Ableton Live Lite so even if you don’t already have a DAW of choice, you can start recording right away.

Cons

  • The XLR microphone input is not a combo-style one like in most audio interfaces nowadays.
  • The RCA outputs on the back of the audio interface may not be compatible with every audio monitor.

Verdict

The Komplete Audio 1 is an amazing choice for your first audio interface. It offers very good audio quality, amazing design, and some degree of portability. The only thing we didn’t like was that the RCA connectors are the only type of output present in this interface, which may not be compatible with a lot of audio monitor models.

Hey producers!
Looking for fresh new sounds?
You’ll find a bunch in our sample pack marketplace.

Check the Price on Amazon

3. Solid State Logic SSL2

SSL SSL2 2-In/2-Out USB-C Audio Interface

Solid State Logic is a synonym with quality. The brand’s mixing desks, preamps, and compressors are present in pretty much any professional studio out there.

Product Specifications

  • Two Combo XLR Inputs
  • Headphone Output
  • Stereo Line Outputs
  • 4K Legacy Mode
  • +48V Phantom Power
  • USB Connectivity

Advantages & Disadvantages

Pros

  • The Legacy 4K mode will give your vocal recordings the classic SSL sound, based on the manufacturer’s analog consoles. The processing is based on a high-frequency EQ boost and subtle harmonic distortion.
  • The SSL2 comes bundled with the SSL production pack including the brand’s famous Vocalstrip & Drumstrip plugin, as well as an extended trial of SSL’s complete suite subscription.
  • The design of the audio interface, inspired by SSL’s classic consoles, looks very great.
  • The high-current headphone output will allow you to use this interface with high-impedance headphones without the need for a separate preamp.

Cons

  • The construction quality may feel a bit cheap as it is mostly made out of plastic.

Verdict

You can’t go wrong with a household name like Solid State Logic. The Legacy 4K mode and the brand’s production pack that comes bundled with the unit make this audio interface one of the best in terms of money value.

The only downfall we found was that the unit is mostly made out of plastic. We were expecting better quality materials from a household brand like SSL. Still, the design inspired by the classic consoles looks very good.

Check the Price on Amazon

4. Focusrite Scarlett 2i2

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2

Focusrite has been around for ages and is a reputable name both between audio professionals and home recording artists. The brand had their come of age in the ‘90s, with the boom in digital audio recording at the time, and have been improving their products ever since.

Product Specifications

  • Two Combo XLR/Instrument Inputs
  • Headphone Output
  • Line Outputs
  • +48V Phantom Power
  • USB Connectivity

Advantages & Disadvantages

Pros

  • Focusrite audio interfaces and products have some of the best preamp models in the market, as well as high-quality converters.
  • The outer casing is of very good quality, mostly made out of metal.
  • It comes bundled with both Pro Tools FIRST and Ableton Live Lite, as well as various plug ins that will help your vocal recordings shine such as the Softube Time and Tone Bundle and the Focusrite’s Red Plug-in Suite.
  • The input gain LED indicators around the gain knobs are very bright and easy to monitor while recording.

Cons

  • We haven’t found any significant cons with this audio interface.

Verdict

An amazing entry-level audio interface with all of the basic features you will need for common home recording tasks. It also comes bundled with two basic DAW licenses: Pro Tools FIRST and Ableton Live Lite as well as various audio plugins. This is one of the strongest points with this interface since beginners can start recording with their Shure SM7B right away.

Check the Price on Amazon

5. M-Audio AIR 192|4

M-Audio AIR 192|4

The M-Audio AIR 192|4 is one of the most popular budget audio interfaces in the market. It is packed with great features and a design inspired by vintage mixing desks and channel strips. An awesome option for Shure SM7B users.

Product Specifications

  • Combo XLR/Line Input
  • Instrument Input
  • Headphone Output
  • Stereo Line Outputs
  • Free Recording Software Bundle Included
  • +48V Phantom Power
  • USB Cable Connectivity

Advantages & Disadvantages

Pros

  • The materials used in this audio interface are of high quality. The outer case is made of metal while the top is made out of a very sturdy kind of plastic.
  • Just like its brother, the M-Track Duo, it has very crystalline preamps and high quality converters.
  • It can be connected using a traditional USB or USB C cable for added performance and less latency. Both cables are included with the product.
  • The design of this audio interface, featuring most controls on top of the unit, can be easier to operate for those who are often multitasking by recording themselves and operating the equipment at the same time.

Cons

  • Lots of users have related problems with crackling and pops in their recordings, especially when using the USB C cable. I (the author of this article) have owned this audio interface for quite some time and personally never had any problems.

Verdict

The M-Audio AIR 192|4 is guaranteed to serve any professional home studio or home recording enthusiasts very well. It is bundled with great free audio software such as 20 AVID effect plugins and AIR Creative Effect Collection, so lots of value for the money.

Upon researching, we’ve found lots of users complaining about cracklings and pops on their sound while recording with the M-Audio AIR 192\4. We don’t know exactly what the cause, but we suppose it may have to do with CPU processing power and buffer range. Speaking for myself, I’ve personally never had any problems of that kind with my unit.

Check the Price on Amazon

6. Roland Rubix 22

Roland Rubix 22 USB Audio Interface 2 in/2 out (RUBIX22)

Roland is well-known for its amazing keyboards and synthesizers, but they make audio interfaces too. At first glance, it looks like a very sturdy, well-designed unit. Let’s check where it stands regarding audio quality.

Product Specifications

  • Two Combo XLR/Line Inputs
  • Headphone Outputs
  • Stereo Outputs
  • MIDI In/Out
  • Ground Lift Switch
  • +48V Phantom Power
  • USB Cable Connectivity

Advantages & Disadvantages

Pros

  • This model’s case is extra shielded meaning it has a very low noise floor.
  • The Hi-Z button will match the impedance of your audio interface with the one on guitars and basses, if you’re also planning to record these instruments.
  • The Rubix 22 features a switchable ground lift in the back, useful for solving most noise problems.
  • It is also fully compatible with smartphones and tablets, so you can easily record with your mobile device using a separate adapter.

Cons

  • Some users related that the unit has a weaker input signal than most other audio interfaces around the same price tag.

Verdict

The Roland Rubix 22 surprised us in terms of building quality and noise floor. This is a good audio interface, from a quality manufacturer, but it brings nothing new to the table. It may be a trustworthy option for those looking for a basic unit, but that’s it.

Regarding downfalls, the only con we’ve found was that some users related the unit to have a lower volume, weaker input signal than other interfaces. We suppose this could be due to isolated manufacturing problems.

Check the Price on Amazon

7. IK Multimedia iRig Pro

IK Multimedia iRig Pro

The last interface on the list is from IK Multimedia. The iRig PRO is a portable device that can be used with computers, smartphones, and tablets. It leaves nothing to be desired compared to its larger counterparts regarding features and sound quality.

Product Specifications

  • One XLR/Instrument Input
  • Headphone Output
  • Stereo Output
  • +48V Phantom Power
  • USB and Lightning Cable Included

Advantages & Disadvantages

Pros

  • It is a very portable interface. You can record Shure SM7B wherever you wish, be it on a computer, smartphone, or tablet.
  • Comes bundled with both a standard USB and a lightning cable. No need for separate adapters when connecting it to mobile devices.

Cons

  • It seems like a fragile device. It would be better to carry it around in a case.
  • Due to its reduced size, the line outputs are for ⅛ jacks. Standard ¼ jacks are not compatible.
  • The preamp is a bit too weak to be able to drive the Shure SM7B.

Verdict

A small audio interface that can be taken with you anywhere you go, with the iRig Pro you will be ready to record in a matter of seconds. For a device that small, it has a very decent sound and lots of professional features. 

But, the preamp present in the iRig Pro is a little weak for driving the Shure SM7B. Will it work? Yes, but the sound quality will probably not be 100%. The unit also requires a little bit of extra care, especially when carrying it around, due to it being fragile.

Check the Price on Amazon

Tip: If you still couldn’t find an interface you like, make sure to check out our Best Audio Interface for Ableton for more product options. 

Buying Guide: What Should I Look For When Buying an Audio Interface for the Shure SM7B?

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As you could see in the article, different audio interfaces offer different features. All of the participating audio interfaces in this list will perform just fine with the Shure SM7B. However, that are some things you should pay attention to when choosing the best unit for your use case:

Preamp Maximum Gain

The Shure SM7B is a microphone that requires a lot of power from your audio interface’s preamp due to its low output. With that being said, a cheap interface may not be able to provide it with enough gain. This would have a negative impact on your mic quality.

All audio interfaces reviewed in this article have enough gain to drive the SM7B and produce a good signal, except for iRig Pro. The mic may even work with the unit, but as said before, the quality of the audio will be impacted.

Preamp Quality and Character

The pre amp is one of the main components of an audio interface. They will take low-level analog signals and bring them up to line level. Many preamps will also add a certain level of coloration to the sound.

Depending on the audio interface, its preamps may be more focused on delivering a clean gain, transparent sound VS adding character to your signal. The SSL2 Legacy Mode 4K, for example, will use subtle harmonic distortion and a high boost to enhance your recording. A unit such as the M-Track Duo, on the other hand, will have a more neutral sound and clean gain. The choice will be a matter of preference.

Noise Floor

Generally speaking, Noise floor (also known as noise ratio), means how much noise an audio interface will produce by itself while operating at normal conditions. Of course, the lower the noise floor the better. All these interfaces reviewed in our list will produce very low noise, but we’ve found the Roland Rubix 22 to be the quietest.

Tip: If you’re having problems with noise in your recordings, a noise gate plugin may be able to solve the problem or at least attenuate it.

Bonus: Is It Worth It Buying a Shure SM7B for Vocal Recording?

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Absolutely. The Shure SM7B has been one of the best dynamic microphones in the industry for quite some time: audio professionals and home recording enthusiasts of all kinds swear by this microphone. It works very well with the human voice and for professionally recording vocals and other instruments in your music studio such as a guitar amp.

As it is a dynamic mic, the SM7B is very good at ignoring background noise. Therefore, you will acquire great results with this microphone even if you don’t have a sound-treated and isolated room or the budget to build one.

Alternatives for the Shure SM7B

Since the Shure SM7B is an expensive microphone, those on a budget may want to go for a cheaper option. Here is a list of dynamic mics that are a great alternative to the SM7B:

FAQs

Do I Really Need an Audio Interface to Record With the Shure SM7B?

Yes. The sound card in most computers is not potent enough and may produce high noise levels. Audio interfaces have a dedicated mic pre to ensure the best recording quality for your Shure SM7B microphone.

Which Audio Interface Is the Best For the Shure SM7B?

In our tests, the Solid State Logic SSL2 and the M-Audio M-Track Duo were decided to be the best audio interfaces for Shure SM7B.

Why Do I Need a Preamp for My Shure SM7b Microphone? How Will It Sound Without Amplification?

Without a preamp, the Shure SM7B will sound too weak for most audio applications. The frequency response and the sensitivity of the mic would be greatly affected. A preamp, be it as an external unit or built-in in your audio interface, will give your Shure SM7B audio signal the right amount of preamp gain.
A computer’s sound card alone, for example, wouldn’t have the necessary power to make a microphone of that kind sound good.

Does the Shure SM7B Need Phantom Power?

No. As the Shure SM7B is a dynamic microphone, it won’t need +48V Phantom Power. However, most audio interfaces nowadays come with this feature for recording vocals with condenser mics.

Conclusion

After reviewing 7 different audio interfaces, we’ve decided to pick our favorites in two categories: best overall and best budget. All of the units will work just fine with the Shure SM7B, but in terms of recording quality, our top pick was the SSL2.

Our Favorites

SSL SSL2 2-In/2-Out USB-C Audio Interface

Best Overall Audio Interface for the Shure SM7B – Solid State Logic SSL2

The SSL2 is your best bet when it comes to recording instruments and vocals with the Shure SM7B. This audio interface has some unique features such as the Legacy Mode 4K that will take your recordings to the next level.

It also comes packed with the SSL Vocalstrip and Drumstrip: two very acclaimed channel strip processor plugins; As well as an extended trial of the complete Native SSL Bundle. You can’t go wrong with a renowned brand like Solid State Logic.

M-Audio M-Track Duo

Best Budget Audio Interface for the Shure SM7B – M-Audio M-Track Duo

M-Audio M-TRACK Duo is a good choice for those recording on a budget. The unit will sound great with the Shure SM7B and it features two audio channels for added versatility. It is also compact enough to be taken with you for portable recording. One of the best sound devices when it comes to value for the money.

How to Buy

You can find the link for each unit’s Amazon product page in their respective titles on our review list. Be sure to research extensively before making your choice.

We hope we have helped you decide what audio interface will pair best with the Shure SM7B microphone. If you have any more questions about audio interfaces and audio devices in general, please feel free to contact us!