Review: Presonus AudioBox USB96 Audio Interface

Since the jive Turkeys at Native Instruments no longer support my Kontrol Audio interface, I was looking for another decent audio interface. I found my AudioBox used, but even the new price of a Presonus Audiobox USB96 is the least expensive “2 Mic/Lin inputs, Stereo Output” interface at $99.

By comparison the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is the same features and it’s $170US.

There are a TON of them for sale used as well for $60 or less.

I’m using it for a live laptop setup with Shure Beta 87A microphone input and it seems solid down to 128 samples. I’m going to try and tune it to get to 64 samples for live sampling. Luckily I built enough slop into my aesthetic that I can live with a bit of latency!


I love my little usb96. Never had any problems on WIN 10. But on WIN 7 I had driver installation issues. Mind you, there hasn’t been a driver update in a while, I think they are focusing more on the Audiobox Go. I only wish that it had a stronger headphone amp, and that it had Line inputs. Mic and instrument inputs are fine though.

My ancient Audibox USB still works like a charm, and bonus, on a Mac no driver needed for any of this stuff, plug in and all works. Why can’t windoze get that one right?


because windows runs on a much more varied ecosystem of hardware. And now they are kind of used to drivers. One could easily argue that window’s mania for running on all hardware has yielded a user experience that’s overall worse then the walled garden of the mac. Or one could argue the opposite. I’ve certainly head plenty of both opinions.

well, given the large quality variance of drivers, this is a flawed way of doing things. If one party would ensure all drivers are of equal high quality then fine, but like this it’s hit and miss (I have also had the AudioBox on widoze and I can tell you it’s driver was not of high quality, so I am glad it could be ditched. Never looked back after moving to the M1 Mini. To each their own.

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yeah, I was not intending to present that opinion as “wrong”. I’ve used mac exclusively at work for many years. I happen to use a windows PC at home, can’t say why really - habit. Of course when I shopped for a new audio interface I paid quite a bit of attention to the quality of the device drivers. Ended up getting a Steinberg/Yamaha, which works fine. so - shrug?

There was a (long) time where macs had a pretty steep price premium, but that doesn’t seem to be the case any longer. for sure the M1 laptops are super nice compared to some windows boat anchor (or the Intel macbooks, for that matter, which were heat generating monsters).

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I’m on Windows 11 with the latest Audiobox USB96 drivers and it seems to work fine. What kind of problems did you encounter?

well, you know how this stuff goes - there’s a lot of luck involved with these things. It will probably continue to work fine for you. Then for someone else - blamo!

I don’t know a single audio interface that no one bitches about.

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Oh, that ancient driver often forgot it’s default sample rate, and/or blocksize, so it was fine some time then all of the sudden it went to 44.1 1024 samples, so hav to keep track and reset quite semi-regularly. But your box has quite a newer driver so maybe they finally got their driver stable and good? Mine hadn’t been updated for ages, so that is likely why, was abandoned a long time back…

If you still have the Audiobox, it might be interesting to try it with the new drivers.

I think there’s something a bit wonky about the Rack audio device. It seems to always take the current (default) audio driver settings when you load a patch. I wish it would just override with the stored settings in the patch.

Though I haven’t really tried it out. @Vortico, at what point does Rack configure the audio settings on startup? This isn’t a simple question, I know because there are several driver types. But for ASIO in particular, does Rack set the sample rate/buffer settings when it creates the Audio Driver, and if it doesn’t, could it?

given I have moved to the Mac and need no more driver and have rock solid performance with it, I had only tried later driver once to no avail, so gave up and lived with it until 1.5ish years back .

given I have moved to the Mac and need no more driver and have rock solid performance with it

My experience is with Windows. It’s a class-compliant USB device, meaning that the only reason to load the Presonus driver is for ASIO. I installed the driver because that’s what one does. It would probably do ASIO with ASIO4All but that’s a whole other can of worms…

That’s odd because on my system it always loads with the stored settings. Also USB96 asio drivers. Win 10. :person_shrugging: (Well at least the block size, I rarely change the sample rate)

actually, my UR22C does something similar. I try to run everything at 44.1, and have set the driver set to 44.1, but for some reason it will jump to 48k. Then I need to set the driver back to 44.1

Set the audio module how you like, right-click and save as default preset? Then it always start with those settings. I my audio-2 module I have 3 presets for the 3 audio devices I use and the right config is never more than 1 click away.