I have used the PreSonus AudioBox USB for many small projects and not that it sounds bad, it is about as good as you are going to get in this price range. I have tried a few different microphones with this interface and none of them really out shined another one. The preamps in this mic are what concerned me the most because they seemed to be very noisy and they did color my sound. Now I didn’t expect to get studio quality with this interface but I didn’t expect to get a cleaner recording.
This interface is built very well though and is made out of solid material and the knobs on the face of the unit are made well and not out of plastic and they will not break off or “stick” easily. This interface is only a 2 in and 2 out interface that has 2 preamps, 2 ¼ outputs, MIDI in and MIDI out and it comes with recording software (Studio One).
It was very easy to set up, and working with it in Studio One was very simple and easy though I didn’t like that recording program much at the time because I felt like adding effects didn’t seem as fluid as they do in other DAW’s.
This interface is very affordable though and will get the job done, you will get an “ok” quality recording with it in your home/bedroom but I wouldn’t take it any farther than that. It will get your Demo quality at best and depending on your skills as an engineer you will need to really use some EQ’ing techniques in your DAW and boost some of the high end frequencies and cut a lot of lows to get a cleaner sound out of it. But at this price point it would be great for a first time home musician.
The presonus audio box usb works great with a Mac, just plug it in, select the Audiobox in the sound preferences, and then you are ready to record and monitor in full stereo.
Two downsides: 1) it does not have a line-level input, so you can only do instrument / midi / mic, and 2) USB + CPU under 1.5Ghz = noticeable latency. The faster your computer, the less problems you'll have with latency. To get around latency, you would have to monitor your input from the Audiobox rather than from the program you are recording with. For instance, if you plug in a guitar to distort with a software plug-in, you'll be monitoring the guitar's clean signal via the Audiobox before it reaches the plugin running on the computer. That is the only way to get zero latency monitoring, right at the source. Of course what gets recorded and played back is the guitar with full effects.
getting started was easy and the manual was very to the point. Construction and looks are fantastic, though. No cheap plastic cases or dials. All metal and a nice blue brushed aluminum faceplate. For the price, I recommend it. It works as advertised on a Mac (haven't tried it on a PC yet) and the mic preamps are pretty darn good. Meaning, good sound ... better than cheap mixers and way better than your stock computer sound car
Because it is bus-powered, the mic preamp gain is mediocre. Condensers are best for vocals with this, while for louder signals like a guitar amp you can get away with dynamic mics.
If you are on a budget but need a good sounding interface and have a decent computer, I recommend this Audiobox. Otherwise I recommend the next step up, the Presonus Firebox at double the price. So to get the best bang for your buck, try this one and you wont be unhappy. What more could you ask for .