You know, it’s hard not to love a brand as affordable and reliable as Behringer. They continue to deliver hardware that seems tailor-made to for beginners yet, somehow still manages to impress studio veterans around the word. Forget their instruments and headphones for a second and let me turn your attention to a device that lives up to their accessible reputation. Audio Interfaces continue to play a vital role in the recording process is an essential component of any beat studio.
Even if you’re not trying to record at home, it’s a compact tool that’s portable enough for you to take it on the road and do some on-the-go recording anytime, anywhere. Whether you’re rocking Ableton Live, Reason, FL Studio, Cubase, Logic, Pro Tools or even Magix Music Maker, it should start working immediately but for those still in need of a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW), they’ve got a free one for you to download so you can get started on the right foot.
Making your first purchase of anything can be daunting and with so many interfaces out there to choose from, it gets harder to find the one that’s going to satisfy all your recording needs without making a giant dent in your wallet. So if you’re working on a budget or looking for a great mobile device, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s my Behringer U-PHORIA UM2 review.
Cheapest Place To Buy: Amazon.com
Operating Systems: Mac OS and Windows
Rating: 4.0 out of 5 stars (Based on 208 ratings)
What Can It Do?
The first thing that stands out to me is this interface’s incredibly compact size. It almost looks like it could fit into my back pocket which takes its portability factor through the roof. And without an excess of knobs, it really seems like it was really made with the minimalist in mind. Behringer’s Xenyx mic preamps are some of the most talked about and they made sure they fitted one on those bad boys in this little device with 48v Phantom Power that can be turned on and off with the flick of a switch.
So whether you’re making hits with a condenser or a dynamic microphone, they’ve got you covered. Speaking of which, your main input is a combination of an XLR and 1/4″ jack, meaning that it supports both microphones and line instruments. Right next to it is another 1/4″ jack so you can easily record a mic and instrument simultaneously. This honestly makes a lot more sense than the RCA inputs on other Behringer interfaces like the Xenyx 302USB.
Keep it in the family…
Even though that device also has a combo input, it would’ve helped to have the more common 1/4″ jack along with it as it’s a more common necessity. Sitting neatly on top of this box are the volume (or gain) knobs for your inputs and outputs. I personally think their positioning is a genius move as not everybody (including me) keeps their interface at eye level and that easy-to-reach-ness is definitely a bonus.
The output itself comes in 2 forms, the normal RCA output for your monitor speakers and a 1/4″ jack for your headphones. One thing people underestimate is just how long the audio takes to travel from the microphone to your computer and back out again. Thankfully you can listen to the audio coming straight out of the microphone with the ‘Direct Monitor’ button so latency will never get in the way of your creative freedom.
What Can’t It Do?
Plug and Play? Maybe not! You’re probably better off buying this if you’re NOT a PC user. It works almost immediately when I’ve seen it plugged into a Mac but I can’t say the same for peeps rocking Windows. This little guy only runs on ASIO drivers and you’ll have to download it from their website before you can get started. Who’s got time for that?
One thing it’s also missing is an independent volume control for the headphone out like you see on the PreSonus Audiobox. I may just be fussy but to me, it’s become an essential feature that you need on a good interface.
I’m also not a fan of the plastic material they used on the case. I mean, it’s definitely not built like a tank but assuming you don’t use it like a soccer ball, it should make a lasting addition to your setup.
For anybody still needing a DAW, look no further than the Behringer website. Once you’ve registered your UM2, you’ll get a complimentary download code for the full version of Tracktion. It features a single-screen interface that challenges the norms of DAW design and gives you all the pro features you need to start composing, recording, mixing and mastering from the word ‘Go’. There are plenty of tutorial videos available as well as 150 (yes, 150) extra virtual instruments and effects plugins to help you get to know your new favourite DAW
Should I Get It?
Yes, but only if you’re a beginner or a hobbyist at best. This is definitely not a professional tool in my opinion. If you need something affordable and still of great quality, I’d suggest the Behringer Xenyx 302USB but if you’ve got a little more room in your budget, why not take a look at the Focusrite Scarlett Solo. It’s built to last and comes highly recommended by many music professionals. At the end of the day, you want your first purchase to be one you’re happy with and if you feel the UM2 has got what it takes, then don’t be afraid to add it to your arsenal.
Got any more questions about this device? Wanna tell me more about what you think? Feel free to share your thoughts and comments below.
Ryan C. Voller, Recording Artist – Producer – Lead Contributor for HowToMakeHip-Hop.com
The Short Version
- 2×2 USB audio interface for recording microphones and instruments
- Audiophile 48 kHz resolution for professional audio quality
- Compatible with popular recording software including Avid Pro Tools*, Ableton Live*, Steinberg Cubase*, etc.
- Streams 2 inputs / 2 outputs with ultra-low latency to your computer, supporting Mac OS X* and Windows XP* or higher
- State-of-the-art, +48 V-powered XENYX Mic Preamp comparable to stand-alone boutique preamps
- Powerful Phones output with Level control and Direct Monitor select
- Status, Signal and Clip indications for perfect overview
- USB port for connection and power
- Free audio recording, editing and podcasting software plus 150 instrument/effect plug-ins downloadable at behringer.com
- 3-Year Warranty Program*
- Designed and engineered in Germany