PreSonus Studio 24c is an audio interface that comes out of my mouth every time someone asks for a high quality, feature-loaded and portable audio interface. Why is it so special is the point we are going to discuss in this PreSonus Studio 24c Review.
We are going to look at all the features, audio quality, Cons, and pitfalls of the PreSonus Studio 24c. This article is going to be so much exciting as Studio 24c is a direct competitor to all the industry-leading audio interfaces like Evo 8, Scarlett 2i2, or the M-audio.
All in a step-by-step way.
Related: Best budget audio interfaces that offer a very high cost to performance ratio!
PreSonus Studio 24c USB-C Audio Interface Review
PreSonus Studio 24c Specifications
- 2 Mic/Line/Instrument inputs,
- +48V Phantom powered,
- PreSonus’ professional-grade XMAX-L mic preamps,
- 4 ladder-style LED level meters,
- One MIDI Port available,
- 1 Headphone output with dedicated gain knob,
- 2 line level/ Studio monitors outputs,
- Direct Monitoring Available in Mono and Stereo,
- Line output dynamic Range – 104 dB,
- 24-bit resolution,
- Supported sample rates – 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, 192kHz,
- One USB-C port to connect to laptops/Desktop PCs,
- Wide range of softwares included,
- Windows/Mac compatible.
[Also check: Audio interface setup diagram to connect different studio gears]
A Deeper PreSonus Studio 24c Analysis
Whenever we hear about PreSonus Studio 24c Review, a direct competitor comes to mind, and, if you guessed it as Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, you’re 100% correct. We will look at the famous PreSonus Studio 24c vs. Focusrite Scarlett 2i2. But, firstly, let us have a detailed look at the USB Audio interface.
Also check: Best budget portable audio Interfaces]
The PreSonus Studio 24c USB audio interface comes equipped with two inputs and two outputs, in general. These inputs can be used to connect two Mic/Line/Hi-Z instruments. It means that you can use these two inputs on the front panel of the interface to connect two mics, two Hi-Z or two line-level inputs. However, the use cases differ from person to person. But that’s what you can do with the interface itself.
However, there is a bonus you are getting here. And that is the availability of a MIDI port. Very few audio interfaces in this price category have got a separate MIDI port in addition to the two regular inputs.
One more thing!
The LED ladder-styled gain metering is another handy feature. It lets you see your gain levels on certain inputs without going back and forth from interface to DAW. You can see everything on the interface itself with the gain range telling where your gain levels are jumping. It is so convenient to see everything on the interface itself.
[Also check: Best audio interfaces under $200]
Both the input ports in the PreSonus Studio 24c are +48V phantom power. Phantom power allows the inputs to use both types of microphones, i.e., condenser and dynamic mics. I love that the PreSonus Studio 24c delivers ultra-low latency and a very high-quality pristine audio, all thanks to the mic preamps. We’ll talk more on this in just a bit.
The PreSonus Studio 24c has a unique way to engage the Direct monitoring feature. A mixer knob at the front panel of the USB audio interface mixes up the direct monitoring audio and audio from the DAW in a 50:50 ratio when it is in the middle.
Once you pull the Mixer knob to playback, you have only the direct monitoring feature of the PreSonus Studio 24c in action. I think it is far more convenient than having just a button like in Scarlett 2i2.
[Also check: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd gen USB audio interface]
Unlike PreSonus studio 26c which has got four outputs, Studio 24c has got only two main outs.
On the rear side of the interface, you are going to get two output ports that can connect to a pair of studio monitors. In addition, there is one headphone o/p port available to gain the benefits of the direct monitoring feature making it one of the best portable USB audio interfaces.
On the backside of the studio, 24c is the USB-C port using which you can connect your interface with the computer/Laptop. It uses the power of your PC / Laptop to power itself and generate desirable outcomes, that is, to produce sound.
Nothing much to talk about here but the next section is critical and it is all about the sound quality.
Sound quality of PreSonus Studio 24c USB Audio interface
First of all, the PreSonus Studio 24c supports a 24-bit resolution with the highest sampling rate of 192 kHz.
The sound quality is pretty much good for an audio interface of such a size and price lower than $200. The PreSonus Studio 24c comprises professional-grade XMAX-L mic preamps that lets you record high-definition sound.
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In addition, I found the overall harmonic retention to be pretty good. The dynamic range is pretty much above average that gives a high headroom space. This, in turn, limits chances of noises or Hum. Therefore, no to very little noise or distortion.
All in all, the point, I want to drive home is that the sound quality of the PreSonus Studio 24c is one of the best in class when compared to Scarlett 2i2 or Evo 8.
Potential Use Cases
One benefit I can clearly see with the PreSonus 24c over Scarlett 2i2 is that it has a MIDI port. Focusrite 2i2 does not have a MIDI port and you will have to connect your keyboard to one of the two inputs.
In PreSonus Studio 24c, you have the advantage that you can plug your MIDI instrument into the MIDI port available on the backside of the 24c interface. However, you do not have such a privilege in the Scarlett 2i2 because you have no MIDI port. And that is why your MIDI keyboard will use one of your two inputs of the 2i2 interface. This hugely limits the use cases. We’ll see this in a moment.
Our little but important observation means that you have a far more use case available in PreSonus Studio 24c. You can keep your MIDI instrument plugged in and have two inputs accessible for other devices like guitars or maybe even microphones.
That said, these are the different combinations you can possibly try:
- Two Guitars, one MIDI instrument,
- One Guitar, one Microphone, one MIDI instrument,
- Two Microphones, one MIDI instrument,
- Other instruments, one MIDI instrument.
As you can see above, there are a lot of permutations and combinations of instruments that you can possibly have in PreSonus 24c.
Therefore, looking at the combinations, it is possible to record a small band on the PreSonus Studio 24c. But, it is not one of the most significant interfaces to record a band on, but the door of possibilities do open up.
However, I recommend any of these top-class studio interfaces that work well with anything. Be it a huge studio or a band in a live setting.
Gain Ranges of PreSonus Studio 24c USB audio Interface
Now, an equally important part that most people don’t care about is the gain or the dynamic range of the inputs.
The dynamic range should be as high as possible because it leaves you a good amount of headroom without introducing any noise or distortion.
The dynamic ranges in the PreSonus Studio 24c are very good and higher than most of the portable audio interfaces.
You can see tech specs in more detail, here.
The gain ranges are less than those offered by 2i2. But, the difference is not that high. And it completely okay, you’ll not hear much of a difference in qualities either.
PROS of PreSonus Studio 24c
- Sturdy Metal body,
- MIDI port is available,
- LED Metering for input and output gains,
- very low to none noise levels,
- High definiton audio quality,
- 24-bit resolution,
- Numerous sampling rates available,
- high portability,
- great for beginners,
- Windows/Mac compatible.
CONS of PreSonus Studio 24c
Here is a list of disadvantages I incurred while using Studio 24c.
- Comparatively low dynamic ranges,
- Gain knobs are very close to each other,
- Firmware Issues.
I think you must know the disadvantages well enough to be prepared to encounter them if you plan to get the Studio 24c. One thing that could have been better is dynamic range. I feel it is a bit less at 44dB. It had expected it to be at around 60 ish dB. But the problem can be solved by using your DAW to increase the gain of the recorded signal of that feels too low for your song.
The firmware issues are what most people can solve themselves and if not the customer care is always available.
Another one is that the gain knobs are all in one part of the audio interface. It makes the knobs very squishy and it sometimes feels so frustrating when you cannot grab the whole knob.
PreSonus Studio 24c USB audio Interface – Who should get it?
The PreSonus Studio 24c provides a great value for what it is priced. For someone who is new to music production, I will say get the Studio 24c without any hesitation because of the features you are going to get. You have all the standard features plus the LED gain metering and the MIDI port. The MIDI port is a huge point to consider because there are only two inputs other than that.
Besides beginner artists, I would love to encourage touring artists to try it out. It might be the only audio interface that you’ll need on tours. Think about that moment when you just want to plug and play! The Studio 24c is perfect for those moments.
Lastly, it is an excellent option for people setting their home studio and having many instruments at their disposal. You can connect one MIDI instrument and two other instruments as per your wish. If you want to enter a bass and a mic, do it. And if you have other plans, do it too.
All in all, I hope you liked our PreSonus Studio 24c USB-C Audio Interface Review. It may have provided you with a bit of knowledge about the interface.
Also, check out our guide on best audio interfaces for beginner. It may provide you with more valuable audio interfaces that may be best for your needs.