Donner audio interfaces have recently launched into the market. Although the brand has shipping warehouses in the USA and Canada, the donner audio interfaces are selling worldwide. And this leads us to a question, why is there not a single Donner Livejack Lite Review that walks us through everything about the interface itself?
Therefore, I finally decided to review the Donner audio interface to see if it is worth the $119.
Or are there any better options than Donner Livejack Lite?
We are discussing it all, STEP-BY-STEP.
Donner Livejack Lite USB Audio Interface Review
If you are in a hurry and don’t have the time to read the entire article, check the article summary below.
The donner Livejack Lite is a pretty impressive audio interface for a price of $119. The sound quality is clear, and the noise levels are quite low as well. The audio interface contains two inputs and two outputs that perfectly capture the needs of any solo artist. It is very portable and falls right under budget. In addition, the Donner Livejack lite has clear LED indicators that help to know whether the input signals are clipping or not. In conclusion, it stands a chance to be your next audio interface. But keep your expectations, Lite.
I also recommend checking out the Audient Evo 4. It gives a very tough competition to the Donner live jack lite. These two stand very similar to each other in terms of audio quality. The advantage of buying audient Evo 4 is that it has got an extra instrument input. But, the disadvantage is that there is only one knob to control the gain levels of inputs and outputs.
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Donner Livejack Lite Specifications
- 1 Mic/Line inputs,
- 1 Hi-Z/ Instrument input,
- +48V Phantom powered,
- 1 Mic preamp,
- 24-bit resolution,
- 1 Headphone output with dedicated gain knob,
- 2 line-level/ Studio monitors outputs,
- Line output dynamic Range – not specified,
- Supported sample rates – upto 192 kHz,
- One USB-C port to connect to laptops/Desktop PCs,
- Direct Monitoring available,
- Windows/Mac/ M1 mac compatible.
[Also check: Audio interface setup diagram to connect different studio gears]
A Deeper Donner Audio Interface Review / Analysis
The Donner live jack Lite comes equipped with two inputs. One is suitable for recording microphones or line-level inputs and the other input to record Hi-Z instruments like basses and electric guitars. In addition, the interface has LED indicators that show whether the audio signal is clipping or not.
[Also check: Mic vs Line vs Instrument level inputs]
The phantom power switch is located at the front side of the interface in a push-pull button. The presence of phantom power makes Donner live jack lite compatible with both condensers and dynamic microphones.
Direct monitoring is also present on the front side of the audio interface. It is also given in the form of a push-pull button. The direct monitoring feature becomes essential when recording your vocals with a backing track with zero latency.
The Donner Livejack lite is pretty minimalistic in terms of the output options. There is a single headphone o/p and two studio monitors/ line-level output. Furthermore, both the headphone and studio monitor outputs have a separate gain knob. Although it does not make your studio sessions superb, it does add a little bit of convenience.
The Donner audio interface uses a USB-C to connect to your laptop or PC. Because it is bus-powered, it does not require any external power source.
Sound quality of Donner Livejack Lite USB Audio interface
The sound quality remains very clear, sharp and intact throughout the recording sessions. It is very comparable and similar to most of the audio interfaces under $100. In addition, the noise level are very low and unnoticeable.
However, you may hear some mic preamp noise when using a dynamic headphone.
[Also check: Beginner friendly audio interfaces with ultra clear sound quality]
Potential Use Cases
The Donner Livejack Lite has one mic input and a single instrument/Hi-Z input. It means that the Donner Livejack lite has pretty limited use cases. Unlike PreSonus Audiobox USB 96 which has got 2 mic/line/Hi-Z inputs as well as a MIDI port, the Donner audio interface falls short in terms of its use cases.
Lets see the use cases:
- Guitar, microphone,
- Keyboard, microphone,
- Any other instrument, dynamic or a condenser mic.
From the above use cases, it can be said that the Donner audio interface is not fit for collaborating purposes. But, it can turn out to be a great companion for solo recording sessions.
Gain Ranges of Donner Livejack Lite
|around 50 dB
|around 50 dB
|around 50 dB
Most of the dynamic ranges and some of the gain ranges are not present at the donner website. This makes it difficult to analyse the headroom present and how much the signal can peak before clipping.
Not much can be said here.
PROS of Donner Livejack Lite
- 2 inputs,
- better mic preamp than audio interfaces in a similar price bracket,
- Easy to set up,
- out of box paint,
- responsive and fast drivers,
- High portability,
- 24-bit resolution,
- Significant lower noise levels,
- Automatically adjusts gain levels,
- Windows/MAC-OS/iPad compatible.
These types of pros are very normal to see in a budget interfaces. But the thing that makes an interface better is what unique it has to offer. For example: PreSonus Studio 24c and AudioBox USB 96 has got LED metering display and a metering port. Similarly, the Evo 4 has got smart gain feature and Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 or solo have air mode in them. All in all, there is no particular feature that makes Donner livejack lite stand apart from the crowd.
CONS of Donner Livejack Lite
- No MIDI I/O,
- only a single mic preamp input,
- No LED metering display,
- limited options of inputs you can pair with it.
The cons of the Donner livejack lite are quite considerable. Let’s see them in detail.
Firstly, the Donner audio interface has a single mic preamp, limiting you to only one microphone at any given instance. It is where the other audio interfaces take the lead. Most of the audio interfaces that fall under the price category of $119 or under have two mic preamps. A huge drawback!
Secondly, there is no MIDI port to connect any MIDI instruments. Even a $100 audio interface like PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 has a MIDI port.
Lastly, there is no LED metering display. It may not be a huge drawback for most people. But, Checking the gain levels every time a new input is plugged into the interface can cause some inconvenience.
Donner Livejack Lite USB audio Interface – Who should get it?
The Donner Livejack lite is a perfect choice for solo artists like singers, guitarists, and even newbie producers. Also for touring artists, it can turn out to be quite a handy interface. It can fit in most backpacks withot taking much space. If you like Donner’s out-of-box color, you can still get it. However, I would recommend checking out Audient Evo 4 before you finalize your decision. Both these interfaces are equally awesome.
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In conclusion, the Donner live jack lite review ends here. At this point, it is pretty valid to say that the Donner live jack lite stands a chance to be your next budget audio interface. It has amazing sound quality, clear mic preamps, a very low distortion level, and a pretty solid design & color.
All in all, I hope you liked this article. Tell me in the comments qhat you liked in the Donner Livejack Lite the most.