Tascam is a well-known audio brand that does things the right way – as is apparent with the Tascam US-2×2. For reasons that will soon become clear (if you read the following review!), the Tascam US-2×2 is among one of the best audio interfaces under $200 on the market at the moment. Let’s dive in for a closer look!
Even from initial glances, the design of the US-2×2 says it means business. It retains the traditional audio interface setup, and is relatively similar in size to many others (with a portable 7.3” width and 6.3” depth), yet it inspires more confidence than the rest. This is largely down to the sturdy aluminum chassis being mounted onto two diecast ‘bio-cell’ side panels, which support the device and give it a slightly upward angle.
Tascam hasn’t completely redesigned the wheel here. Instead, they have taken a standard design and optimized it to its fullest potential. It looks great, it feels solid and – for the price – is already looking like good value for money.
When it comes to features, the Tascam US-2×2 sticks more with convention. Starting with inputs, it offers two instrument/microphone inputs (in the form of combined TRS/XLR ports). Everything in the hardware department points to a very solid build that can withstand whatever kind of abuse you’re capable of dishing out. This interface boasts an Ultra-HDDA microphone preamp, which is undoubtedly one of the best preamps in this budget price range. The addition of +48V phantom power means it can take condenser microphones in addition to dynamic and ribbon mics.
It’s not the most versatile device in terms of output options, although you will find both standard TRS line outputs as well as MIDI I/O. Ultimately, it’s the little details that make Tascam’s US-2×2 an interesting choice. For example, both inputs are capable of handling microphones, yet phantom power is dedicated to just one of them. In practice, this means you can record a condenser microphone in addition to an acoustic guitar without having to worry.
Finally, the US-1×2 features some advanced DAW software, coming with a copy of both Cakewalk Sonar X3 LE and Ableton Live Lite 9 – solid additions at this price. The grouping of hardware and software here makes for a great combination that works pretty flawlessly.
Once everything is hooked up and ready to go, the Tascam US-2×2 opens up with consistency and sonic clarity, especially when you focus on the microphone lines. It feels like there is no coloration with the sound (or maybe we just couldn’t find any!). The US-2×2 also handles hot guitar pickups with ease, perfect for capturing those face-melting riffs! Compatibility-wise, this interface is fully usable with both Windows machines as well as Apple products, not to mention a wide range of DAWs.
The Tascam US-2×2 represents a near-perfect version of your standard audio interface. The combination of the hardware, software and that awesome industrial design all point towards outstanding performance – and this is exactly what the Tascam US-2×2 offers.