USB audio interfaces for Linux


Tags: linux audio USB

USB audio interfaces for Linux

There’s a lot of USB audio interfaces available but many of them aren’t fully functional under Linux, or even don’t work at all.

Fortunately the situation is improving. As iOS and Android now support USB Audio Class 1 and 2 (UAC1 and UAC2), manufacturers are producing more standard USB Audio devices for use with iPhone and iPad music production software.

A good sign that an audio interface will work under Linux is if it lists iOS support.

Some devices may only be partially functional with basic UAC drivers - examples of this are Focusrite Scarlett devices with more channels - the 6i6 and above. These have an internal mixer that isn’t currently controllable from within Linux, so you have to boot into Windows to set the mixer.

A good starting list of devices that should work under the Linux USB Audio class driver is this list of devices supported by the Auria iOS app

There is also a list of devices supported by eXtream Software Development’s custom Android audio class driver here:

Device criteria

Ideally my audio interface would have:

Here is a list of devices that I believe should work well under linux, and meet most of my criteria:

UPDATE: In the end I purchased a Focusrite 18i8 Gen 2. The mixer is not supported under Linux, but this hasn’t proved too problematic.