Audient iD14 vs Focusrite 6i6 are some great options for a reliable audio interface with versatile connectivity and clean sound. These two models are available in the same price range. However, they do have several major differences, such as the way they are powered up and their software. So, which one is the best audio interface for you?
Continue reading the discussion below to learn further about:
- The size and weight of each audio interface here
- Whether these audio interfaces have robust build or not
- Which model that can run on bus power
- Which model that has a wider range of inputs and outputs
- The sound quality of Audient iD14 vs Focusrite 6i6
- Which audio interface that is generally more recommended
Audient iD14: Design & Build
The Audient company’s first attempt in the world of audio interfaces was Audient iD22. It was definitely quite successful. It is a smart, powerful desktop unit that offers high-quality mic preamps with a variety of advanced features. However, not all people need the extras of Audient iD22. That’s why the company has released Audient iD14, a smaller and lighter desktop unit that has been streamlined, yet still with a similar core functionality.
We previously discussed about Lexicon Alpha Vs Focusrite 2i2, two audio interface devices which can run on bus power. Audient iD14 is also able to run on bus power from its USB port. This can be a valuable ability when you are on the go. However, if you want to use condenser mics, the bus power won’t be able to support the phantom power. In this case, you have to resort to the power adapter that comes with the unit.
Audient iD14 is small and light, but the build is very robust. This unit measures 5.9″ x 4.7″ x 1.8″ and weighs about 3.26 lbs. If we compare the dimensions of Audient iD14 vs Focusrite 6i6, this unit is indeed more compact and perhaps more portable. Obviously, it has been built with the same standards as its predecessor, Audient iD22. Yet, the top panel is uncluttered, making it easier and more intuitive to use.
Audient iD14: Features & Connectivity
Audient iD14 comes with two combo inputs for XLR or 1/4-inch TRS jacks. The two input channels have dedicated phantom power switches and gain level controls, located on the top panel. Then, there is a large silver dial that is accompanied with three buttons for controlling different functions. Hit the speaker button for adjusting the main volume, or hit the headphone button for adjusting the headphone output volume. The “iD” button serves as a function key for accessing certain functions.
On the front side, there is an instrument socket that will send signal to Input 1. There is also the headphone output for direct monitoring. Audient iD14 does have an ADAT optical input which will allow you to add up to eight more input channels, but it lacks an optical output. The only output ports are the two 1/4-inch TRS jacks on the rear side.
The “iD” button that was mentioned previously is quite interesting. It will allow you to access mono, dim, or talkback functions. You can also use it to enable or disable ScrollControl, which, when enabled, will allow the large knob to function like a mouse’s scroll wheel. Also, after pressing the speaker or headphone button, the “iD” button will act as a mute button.
Perhaps the only annoying thing about Audient iD14 is the way the unit keeps resetting the speaker and headphone volume levels to zero whenever it is starting up. Having to re-adjust these settings repeatedly can be tiresome.
Audient iD14 comes with its own software. The UI of the software is similar to that of Audient iD22’s software. The only difference is that this software only has a single cue-mix bus. The software is quite easy to use, and you can show or hide different sections so that you can focus on the ones that you use.
Audient iD14: Performance
The overall performance of Audient iD14 is very good. Although there are some quirks in the operation of the hardware and software, you can get used to them. Audient iD14 still feels quite simple and straightforward to use.
A notable difference between Audient iD14 vs Focusrite 6i6 is the maximum sample rate. Audient iD14 has a 24-bit resolution with a maximum sample rate of 96kHz, which is definitely good. However, the latest generation of Focusrite 6i6 also has a 24-bit resolution but with a maximum sample rate of 192kHz.
Nevertheless, the preamps provide crystal-clear, warm, and open sounds. They have very low noise. In addition, the latency is consistently very low. Audient iD14 has impressive audio conversion capabilities, as it always delivers rich recordings.
Focusrite 6i6: Design & Build
Focusrite 6i6 is a USB audio interface with six inputs and six outputs. It is quite versatile with its connectivity, as it is known to work well with Windows and Mac platforms. It can also work with iPad devices if you have the Apple Camera Connection Kit.
The design of Focusrite 6i6 is very beautiful. If you are already familiar with some Focusrite Scarlett models, you probably already expect Focusrite 6i6 to come with a tough hard-anodized aluminum chassis with a red finish. The chassis is really robust and durable; it ensures that the audio interface will last for a long while. Unfortunately, the knobs are made of plastic, which may feel cheap in contrast with the premium-looking chassis.
Focusrite 6i6 has a larger body compared to Audient iD14, as it measures 8.26″ x 7.08″ x 1.96″. So, it will eat up more space. Yet, it is slightly lighter at 2.6 lbs.
When choosing between Audient iD14 vs Focusrite 6i6, you may need to consider how they are powered up. In the case of Focusrite 6i6, you can only power it up by using the power adapter that comes with the device. It can’t run on bus power, which means that it will always require a power outlet in order to operate.
Focusrite 6i6: Features & Connectivity
Focusrite 6i6 features two combo inputs for mics and line-level signals, located on the front panel. These combo inputs are equipped with high-quality Scarlett mic preamps. You can switch on phantom power for these inputs by pressing a switch on the front panel; the switch will light up whenever phantom power is active.
On the rear, there are two more line inputs, along with a pair of S/PDIF I/O ports, a pair of five-pin MIDI I/O ports, and two pairs of line outputs. There is no ADAT support, so you can’t expand the number of inputs, but most people find the available ones already sufficient.
The line inputs can accept high-Z instrument signals. But you need to switch it manually via the MixControl software.
For monitoring, you get two built-in headphone outputs which are equipped with separate volume controls. The company has taken a stylish approach to gain level metering; each gain level knob on the front is fitted with an LED ring that will light up green when the level is good, or red when clipping occurs. If the level is too low, the ring will stay dark. This enhances the appearance of the device while also making the operation very intuitive.
There is a large knob for adjusting the monitor level. However, the MixControl software will also allow monitor muting for the left or right channels independently or both, as well as monitor dimming. You can also change the monitor feed to be mono through the software.
Although you can use Focusrite 6i6 as a stand-alone audio interface, the MixControl software is certainly quite handy and useful. In addition to the advanced controls mentioned above, the MixControl software also has a routing section and a DSP mixer that has an extremely low latency.
There’s still more. The bundle also comes with several software programs that are really nice. Focusrite 6i6 includes Ableton Live Lite, Scarlett Plug-in Suite (which provides plug-ins in VST, AU, and RTAS formats), Softube Time and Tone Bundle, one free XLN Addictive Keys virtual instrument, and 2GB of Loopmasters samples. The value of the bundle is really good.
Focusrite 6i6: Performance
In terms of sound quality, Focusrite 6i6 is exceptionally good. Mics always sound clear, accurate, and open. The mic preamps have lots of power, hence working with low-output dynamics and ribbons won’t be an issue. Meanwhile, instruments like guitars and basses consistently sound solid, rich, and uncolored.
The outputs provide so much detail. You can even monitor at a low volume level and still hear all the subtle notes. Hence, this audio interface is really good for mixing.
The latency is really low. You can work very smoothly without any delay. The only quirk is that, if you switch off the audio interface while it is still connected to your computer and then switch it on again, it won’t work. The computer will need to be restarted in order to reconnect the unit.
Audient iD14 vs Focusrite 6i6
Both of them are good audio interface devices. However, Focusrite 6i6 is generally more recommended. It has a wider range of inputs and outputs, and the software is really good. The overall performance is excellent, and the sounds are consistently clear, accurate, and detailed.