PreSonus AudioBox USB Review | Joe G.
The PreSonus AudioBox USB recording interface is a bus-powered system designed to enable that roving poet the ability to transform ideas into music. The AudioBox features 2 microphone / instrument inputs equipped with 48V phantom power and 2 TRS outputs. The unit also has MIDI I/O and comes with a nice 48-track software offering from the Cubase LE 4 package that comes along with it.
The PreSonus AudioBox is a solid, stable recording system for your home or project studio. It’s easy to use with plug-n-play flexibility and great for both seasoned home recording veterans and novices just starting out. I have a Mac G4 desktop and a PC running Windows 7 32-bit OS and had no problems using the Presonus AudioBox with either system. There were no latency issues and no sound drop-outs and the preamps are pretty high quality as well. The PreSonus AudioBox does a great job for vocalists using condenser microphones. One of the major advantages the AudioBox has is that it captures and reproduces sound that mirrors what the source emitted without adding to or detracting from the authenticity of the sound. Competing interfaces can’t say the same thing.
The PreSonus AudioBox is made well for portability, cased in a sturdy blue metal with metal knobs. Everything about its construction feels solid, so there’s no anxiety about transporting it from place to place.
There are just a handful of challenges I faced with the AudioBox though. It does not offer line-level recording, which is a bit of a challenge for me personally because I keep a Meizu mp3 player with me that I used to record ideas and I’d ideally love to be able to just run them directly into the AudioBox with a TRS and call it a day. I could do it carefully with low-level recordings through the instrument input, but that complicates my life just a bit. Another thing is when I first used the interface, there was no support for Windows 7 64-bit OS, which I actually run on my laptop. So that stomped on my portability a bit because my AudioBox works well with both my desktop computers but not my laptop. Next, the preamps sound great, but they’re a little sensitive and can be a real pain in the neck when dealing with high output instruments like a guitar. Even with the gain turned down, there was clipping and if you plan on doing a lot of direct-in guitar work, that can be a problem and hinder the feel of your playing.
All in all, it’s a good external sound card and represents PreSonus quite well. If you can deal with the issues listed above, for around $150 you’re probably going to be happy with the PreSonus AudioBox USB 2×2.