In July, Audient introduced the compact and affordable iD4, a bus-powered 2-in/2-out audio interface (for OS X, iOS and Windows). A few weeks ago we received a test unit, so we’ve temporarily placed our bigger audio interfaces in the closet and took the iD4 for a spin.
Cool packaging – The devil is in the detail, right?
Metal Look, Smart Features The Audient iD4 may be the smallest of the series, but retains the same look of its bigger siblings. It boasts an all-metal construction with hand finished aluminium knobs. It truly feels built to last, a refreshing change from the plasticky feel of many of its competitors.
Speaking of knobs, I’m a sucker for big ones and I’ve found the fatty volume knob a nice touch. Actually, this is more than a volume knob. Pressing the iD4’s volume encoder activates DIM, enabling you to quickly reduce the playback volume (-15 db). Also, this knob doubles as a virtual scroll wheel. Just press the iD button, point your mouse and you will be able to control DAW hosts (see here for a list of compatible DAWs), levels, plug-in parameters, etc.
Sound Expectations were high and the Audient iD4 doesn’t disappoint. Specs obsessed readers could point out that this unit doesn’t feature the same Burr Brown converters of other Audient iD models, but considering the price point, I won’t complain. The iD4 uses the well-respected AKM converters (the Japanese company also provides the DAC for the brilliant Keith McMillen K-MIX) and the unit sounds as good as it gets for a quality 2016 device. I’ve played a wide range of tunes in these past few weeks and the Audient iD4 always did a great job at reproducing the nuances I’m used to.
Mic and DI Inputs The British company is known for using the same Class-A mic pre design throughout its entire product range, iD4 included. As seen in other iD audio interfaces, the mic pre is clear and quiet, with plenty of gain, up to 58 dB. This, along with the discrete JFET Instrument Input (resembling the sonic characteristics of audio tubes), makes the iD4 a little gem for singer-songwriters. You can record your vocals and guitar/piano/etc. simultaneously. Also, the unit features dual headphone outputs (another nice touch!).
Wondering about the round trip latency? This is what Audient claims: 44.1kHz 1.583ms 48.0kHz 1.458ms 88.2kHz 0.792ms 96.0kHz 0.729ms
In my real-life tests (using Logic on OS X with 128/256 buffer) I found the latency to be negligible (gimme anything under 6ms and I’m a happy camper!).
Conclusion I hear you, there are cheaper 2-in/2-out USB Audio Interfaces on the market, but if you care about quality I would still recommend checking out the Audient iD4. It’s built to last, compact, well designed and with a ‘higher class’ sound – basically everything you need to make some great recordings both on the road and in your studio. Bonus feature for mobile users: as said the Audient iD4 also supports iOS, but it needs a powered USB hub to work (this Anker 10-Port 60W gets our thumbs up).
Compact and warm sounding – Add a plaid and you’re covered for Fall!
Price and Availability $199 / 149 € / £135 (approx.). Buying the Audient iD4 on Amazon you’ll support our efforts, thank you!
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