The Motu M2 Vs Audient iD14 compact audio interface are perfect for users who will connect at least an XLR microphone to the computer. These models are similarly capable and offer a similar set of features. However, they also have some noticeable differences that may affect your decision. If you wonder which model will be the better choice, let’s see what they can offer below.
In this comparison, we are going to talk about:
- Do you Need an Audio Interface
- What are Motu M2 and Audient iD14
- How are the Build Qualities of Motu M2 and Audient iD14
- How is the Frequency Response of Motu M2 and Audient iD14
- How is the Dynamic Range of Motu M2 and Audient iD14
- How is the Gain Range of Motu M2 and Audient iD14
- How is the Noise Performance of Motu M2 and Audient iD14
- How is the Headphone Amp in Motu M2 and Audient iD14
- What else Motu M2 and Audient iD14 can offer
- Motu M2 Vs Audient iD14
- 1 Buying an Audio Interface
- 2 About Motu M2 and Audient iD14
- 3 Motu M2 and Audient iD14 Build Quality
- 4 Motu M2 and Audient iD14 Frequency Response
- 5 Motu M2 and Audient iD14 Dynamic Range
- 6 Motu M2 and Audient iD14 Gain Range
- 7 Motu M2 and Audient iD14 Distortion
- 8 Motu M2 and Audient iD14 Headphone Amp
- 9 Motu M2 and Audient iD14 Features
- 10 Motu M2 Vs Audient iD14
- 11 Conclusion
Buying an Audio Interface
An audio interface is no longer a new thing because it has been around since people are moving to computers to process their audio. Computers are getting more powerful, and software is becoming more capable, making the system accessible to many users, from beginners in their bedroom studio to professionals working on a large-scale project. An audio interface is a converter that works with your analog input from microphones or other sources to digital information for the computer and software.
An audio interface is a much simpler version of a mixer without all the bells and whistles. Many options are very compact, especially those designed for users with a simple setup or only one microphone. The best way to get an ideal interface is to match what they can offer and what you need from the product. The first point is choosing the inputs and outputs. Let’s say you are using two XLR mics simultaneously, and then it is necessary to have two XLR inputs as well.
Additionally, do you only monitor through headphones or speakers? Most models offer both options, but some may want more since they have or use different equipment, so another 3.5mm jack or another pair of balanced output can be necessary. Some people may also have to consider what they are using the interface for. The newer models’ software may only be compatible with newer operating systems. At the same time, if you have a gain-hogging dynamic microphone, the interface gain range is also essential.
|Motu M2||Audient iD14|
|Shop now at Amazon||click here||click here|
|Product Dimensions||7.5 x 4.25 x 1.75 inches ||5.91 x 4.72 x 1.77 inches
|Shipping Weight||1.76 pounds||3.3 pounds|
About Motu M2 and Audient iD14
Like with a microphone, it is wise to buy the model that fits best in the application. We usually recommend getting one from well-known companies because they are more reliable and readily available. The preamp quality is typically good, and most people won’t have an issue using them for typical applications like voice recording and demos. The price matters, but a good interface doesn’t have to be expensive. Affordable models like Focusrite Solo are working well for many people.
But, if you want more features, it is wise to invest more. The Motu M2 and Audient iD14 are some of the popular options for users who require double XLR connectors. These models are very similar, and around the same price, so you may wonder which to go for. The iD4 has been around since 2015, and the model we are talking about here is the first edition because they launched a MkII last year, which initially also cost more. Features-wise, the MkII has some improvements over the original.
The Motu M2 is a more modern setup with all essential features and ease of use. One of the most noticeable differences between Motu M2 and Audient iD14 is that M2 provides MIDI in and out while the iD4 only has instrument input. Looking at these interfaces, they are tailored for musicians, especially the M2. If you only use one mic, the Elgato Wave XLR Vs Focusrite Solo are much cheaper and work amazingly with great simplicity.
The performance of Motu M2 and Audient iD14 are impressive, some of the best in the price range. We recommend getting the M2 because it is a newer model than the original id14. We also find the software they provide handy if you are just starting a setup and don’t have any preferred recording software. The iD4 is an excellent choice, but the MKII is more interesting and comes at sub $200.
Motu M2 and Audient iD14 Build Quality
Before checking what the Motu M2 and Audient iD14 can offer, let’s look into the unit and build quality first. The housing is metal which is a nice touch and makes them look more durable. The overall interface looks very convenient because each feature is labeled, so you don’t need to switch between modes. We like M2 because its input is at the front while speaker outputs are on the back to achieve a more streamlined setup.
What to note is that Audient iD4 is using bus power too rather than all-in-one through USB. The interface can work well with just the USB, but you won’t be able to use its phantom power without the power cable. This issue is addressed in the MkII by combining bus power with the USB, so the interface is more portable. The knobs and buttons are easy to use without being overly firm to adjust. You get a short USB-C to USB-A with M2 and both the USB2 and a power adapter with iD14.
Motu M2 and Audient iD14 Frequency Response
Next, let’s see the frequency response of Motu M2 and Audient iD14 because there are some crucial differences. The M2 can record up to 192kHz, which is already above what a human hears. The overall frequency response is also flat, so it won’t color your audio to provide an accurate result. What’s impressive is that this frequency response stays flat even at a high gain setting, which does not always happen. We also see the same result with Audient iD4.
The slight drop-off is on the low end, but this is normal and negligible. What’s a bit different is that M2 maintains its flat response through its higher frequency range while iD4 starts to drop at around 20,000Hz when the gain is at max. Both models will maintain an incredibly flat response at a lower gain setting. The iD14 frequency response is up to 45,000kHz, while the sample rate is 96kHz.
Motu M2 and Audient iD14 Dynamic Range
Dynamic range is also an important part of an interface that compares the highest signal the interface can capture to the noise floor. In general, we want it as high as possible so there is some headroom while recording and not suffer from additional noise. The dynamic range of M2 is 115dB, but each product may have a slight difference of around 1-2Db. The Audient iD14 also has a similar 114db dynamic range which is incredibly high. Overall you should find the two have plenty of headroom.
Motu M2 and Audient iD14 Gain Range
Depending on your microphone, the gain we set will affect the noise in the recording, and it is very prominent in mics with low sensitivity like SM7B. Users have to crank the gain pretty high, all the way to around 90% or even 100%. The gain range of Motu M2 and Audient iD14 is 60dB and 58dB, so they should be able to drive the most dynamic microphones. The noise from the interface is very low, and in this part, iD14 is lower than M2, even though the latter is also excellent.
Motu M2 and Audient iD14 Distortion
On the distortion part, both interfaces are also working impressively. Overall, the distortion is negligible and unnoticeable by ears. However, the M2 has a slight concern even though it is not affecting the performance. There seems to be an issue when you activate the phantom power and max the gain on an unused port. The interface will produce a very low hum when no microphone draws the phantom power, which instantly disappears as you plug the mic or deactivate the 48V.
The issue is unlikely to affect the recording unless you use a dynamic microphone with very low sensitivity that requires a high gain setting and forgets to turn off the phantom power. We recommend always deactivating the phantom power whenever the condenser mic is unavailable.
Motu M2 and Audient iD14 Headphone Amp
We also want to talk about the headphone amp in Motu M2 and Audient iD14. Most users who buy these interfaces may use a hi-fi system or high impedance headphones, and we think it is a must for iD14. The iD14 is not very good with low impedance headphones, especially on the lower frequency as it rolls off the bass range. We recommend using 300 Ohms headphones for these interfaces for better performance, but the M2 can work well with cheaper headphones too.
Motu M2 and Audient iD14 Features
Lastly, let’s see the additional features in Motu M2 and Audient iD14. We love the decent display in M2, which is very helpful in giving you an idea of how much to crank the knob. The M2 has balanced an unbalanced output, MIDI in and out, and a loopback feature. Loop-back allows you to route the audio from the computer back to the interface. We also find the loopback feature in Audient software, and this interface has optic input that expands the number of channels you can record.
Motu M2 Vs Audient iD14
Both Motu M2 and Audient iD14 are exciting options in the price range. They perform well and are suitable for most people. The slight differences in performance will not affect your recording quality, and they will fit most people. We consider the power bus requirement of iD14 more important to notice if you need to move the interface often. They can power SM7B and are best when using high impedance headphones, especially for the iD14. But, the iD14 has an optical input, which widely expands the number of inputs we can record.
The decision is yours, depending on what you want to connect with the interface. We recommend the iD14 if you need the optical input, but M2 is more affordable and works similarly well. The M2 is also a better choice if you don’t have a high impedance headphone.