Like Fender and the electric guitar, Tascam is one of those brands that’s synonymous with quality audio recording and editing. In the lower-end of their catalog sits the US-1X2 – an affordable audio interface that offers users on a budget a great way to get started. Worth a closer look? We think so!
The entry-level US-1X2 features the same attractive design as the rest of the US Series, including its slightly pricier bigger brother, the US-2×2. This includes a solid black aluminum chassis flanked by chunky diecast ‘bio-cell’ side stands, giving it a raw industrial appearance – pretty cool! The side stands support the device and give it a slight upward angle, which makes it easy to see while you are sitting at a desk.
The build quality is also very commendable, and feels capable of surviving whatever a busy home studio could throw at it. The rest of the design is quite standard for audio interfaces in this price range, with the controls and inputs on the front of the device and outputs around the back.
Starting with the I/O options, the US-1X2 features an XLR mic input hooked up to an Ultra-HDDA microphone preamp, which is certainly one of the best preamps in this budget price range. It also features +48V phantom power, so it’s suitable for condenser microphones in addition to dynamic and ribbon mics. Next to the XLR is a TRS line-level input, which can easily be switched to instrument level. There’s also another TRS jack for headphones, with its own level control.
Around the back you’ll find the USB port that acts as both power for the device as well as data exchange, in addition to stereo RCA analog inputs and outputs. Finally, the US-1X2 features some advanced DAW software, coming with a copy of both Steinberg Cubase LE and Cubasis LE. It’s nothing too exceptional, but for under $100, this versatile offering makes for a very solid package!
The US-1X2 offers very good performance that all users will be able to appreciate. Off the bat, this device works well with both Windows and Mac (including iPads and iPhones), and – as Tascam themselves confirm – it is compatible with popular DAWs including SONAR, Pro Tools, Cubase, and Studio One. Thanks to the superb Ultra-HDDA microphone preamp, the sound quality is great – clear and detailed with no coloration, and offers high-res recording at up to 96kHz/24-bit resolution with direct monitoring for no latency.
Sometimes you have to remind yourself that the Tascam US-1X2 is actually an entry-level audio interface. Due to the modern style, build quality, functionality and overall performance, it feels like something that should cost more than a hundred bucks. For beginners and experienced producers alike, this is a solid choice!