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Arturia MiniFuse 1 & 2

USB Audio Interfaces By Robin Vincent
Published December 2021

Arturia MiniFuse 1 & 2

Do Arturia’s MiniFuses go off with a bang or fizzle out with a whimper?

When Arturia revealed the AudioFuse back in 2015, it made a statement. It was oozing with features and projected conscious style and functionality choices that raised eyebrows and nailed the desktop audio interface form factor. So, it is with a little bit of disappointment that I pull the cookie cutter forms of the MiniFuse 1 and 2 from their boxes. They appear on first glance to be the same as so many other entry‑level audio interfaces I’ve reviewed in these pages. I often wonder if the 1U form factor, favoured by audio interface manufactures, is prevalent because it’s popular or only popular because most of them are like that.

However, once the MiniFuse is out of the box and into your hands things start to brighten up. They have a nice metal surround and decent rubber feet to resist cable‑drag. The knobs are tapered, shaped and rubberised and have a solid, meaningful feel. The main large Monitor knob is a nine‑sided nonagon that feels nice beneath the fingers and those edges give you a little bit of positional feedback. The metal case makes them very solid and there was no give no matter how much I squeezed or poked the boxes. They would survive a drop, being bounced around in a rucksack and being trodden on.

So, they are not lightweight but they are also not heavy enough to pass my cable hang test. This is where I plug in some headphones and an XLR cable into each mic socket to see if the box tilts forward when on the edge of a desk — they both fail, but this is not uncommon and I should note that the MiniFuse 2 was able to stay still with a single mic plugged in. As soon as you plug cables in the back to your speakers, or if you place the interfaces further back so the desk takes some of the cable weight, then it’s all good.

Hardware

In terms of physical differences between the MiniFuse 1 and 2, the MiniFuse 2 has two combi inputs for mic, line or guitar, whereas the MiniFuse 1 has a single combi input. The 2 also has the very welcome old‑school MIDI In and Out ports on the back. On the MiniFuse 1 you get a Direct Monitoring button for switching between software or direct monitoring whereas on the MiniFuse 2 you have a knob that mixes between software and direct sound plus a Direct Mono switch to let you listen to inputs 1 and 2 in mono rather than in stereo with one either side. Both interfaces get a six‑segment LED output level meter, +48V phantom power, single headphone output and a Hi‑Z switch for each input. On the MiniFuse 2 the +48V switch turns on power for both inputs rather than individually. The USB connection on the back is USB‑C and they come with a USB‑C to regular USB cable for which I’m grateful. One killer feature borrowed from the AudioFuse is that on the back there’s an extra USB hub socket into which you could...

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