The PreSonus AudioBox offers a great variety of features for the money. There are few interfaces in its class that offer the same features for $150 or less (the Audiobox is very easy to find used for less than $100). For Apple users, the Audiobox is practically plug-and-play, and the proper software is provided for PC users as well.
For beginners, it's a perfect entry level interface for basic mono/stereo recording, but it also makes a great "on-the-go" interface for experienced musicians and engineers. The preamps are very usable and the interface is bus-powered via USB, so your band could literally record an acoustic demo of a new song while sitting in a tour van with a microphone and laptop computer.
Now this is not to say that the PreSonus Audiobox does not come with its own set of limitations.
Pros and Cons
While the Audiobox is a great value, it will be easy to outgrow if you choose to expand your setup (I say this from personal experience). Having 2 hybrid XLR/TRS inputs and 2 TRS outputs may keep your setup compact, but it certainly limits your options for recording a multi-instrument setup (full band, drum set, orchestra, etc). You may have to be more creative with microphone choice and placement if you intend to use this box for one-take full band recording, but it is possible.
The preamps are fairly clean, with a decent amount of 'headroom,' but they are definitely not the best out there. The 24-bit converters are on par with its price point, and there's nothing a little "studio magic" can't improve in post-production The control pots are very sturdy, and the unit itself is built into a durable metal casing (again, making it perfect for on-the-go applications).
It's also worth mentioning that the latency of this unit is a little more than noticeable. The interface includes a mixer control which can be adjusted between input and playback. This is a fancy way of saying that you can choose between monitoring the signal going into the box or the actual recording taking place in your DAW...or a blend between the two (which I have found to be kind of pointless).
I leave the mixer control on the playback setting 99% of the time, because I prefer to hear the actual recording going into the DAW in real time, but the latency for this interface is a bit high if you choose to record that way. Conversely, there is no latency at all if you switch the mixer control to input, but then you're unable to monitor the signal for possible clipping or software effects in your DAW as you record. As I have mentioned before, though, this unit makes up for its limitations in value and price. The latency issue is just something to adjust to as you get used to the Audiobox.
The PreSonus Audiobox is an ideal, affordable interface for the beginner who wants to explore the endless possibilities of audio engineering, or the performing musician who wants a quick and easy way to record demos and ideas. As I continue to expand my own setup and graduate to more versatile interfaces, I intend to keep my AudioBox because it's an invaluable tool for portability and quick, no-fuss recording.
Imac running osX snow leopard 10.6.8
MIDI guitar and piano
Very stable drivers without updates. Latency OK.
I use garageband primarily and only with looping.
With Mac, I connected it, turned it on and that's it.
I never had the need of a manual, it's very easy to use.
I've used it since 2010 and it's my first soundcard. I don't need much. I use it to record my guitar, listen to music and make some demos here and there.
My only regret is that Presonus didn't make this audiobox mountain lion-compatible, so I'm stuck with snow leopard and I'm afraid it will not work correctly If I decide to upgrade.
I would definitely buy it again.
It's a good USB soundcard. What I don't like about it is that you can't go beyond 44.1 kHz. I replaced it with one that allows me to go up to 96kHz. The converters are all right. Otherwise, it works very good.
Very stable, I never had a problem. I still use it.
Easy to use, no need of a driver for mac.
I used until one year ago. It must be five years since I have it. What I like the most is that it's portable and performs better than an M-Audio of the same price. What I like the least is that it's limited to 44.1 kHz.
I bought this soundcard for its price and for its solid metallic aspect.
I use it mainly to record guitar and vocals over usb on windows 7 pro 64 bits.
I haven't had any problems with the drivers.
I usually use it with Presonus studio one 2 professional with almost no latency.
The installation and the setup couldn't be simpler. It is so easy to use that I haven't used the manual in two years of good and loyal service, during which this small blue box hasn't given me any compatibility nor any other sort of problem.
I've used this soundcard for two years.
I didn't try any other model before, the solid impression it gave me was enough to convince me.
What I like the most are its looks, ease of use and, especially, its price.
There is nothing I don't like. In my opinion, it is perfect in every respect. With such a price, what else could you ask for?
Excellent value for money. I don't have it anymore because I got a top range soundcard, whose price is obviously not the same.
If I had to buy another one, I'd buy this one again with my eyes closed. I would even by two at the same time to be sure I have one in case it doesn't work correctly, which I doubt, considering the quality of Presonus products.