AudioBox Go from PreSonus proffers pocket‑sized portability.
Suppose you want a tiny, lightweight, portable ASIO‑driven audio interface for recording voice and guitar. In that case, the AudioBox Go from PreSonus could be the one to slip into your jacket pocket. It’s cheap and made of plastic but has grown‑up audio connections that make it simple to plug in and start recording. It’s so small that you have to stick the rubber feet over the top of printed text on the underside. The feet are worth it though; they give it a slightly more ‘pro’ vibe and stop it sliding off your desk.
The front panel has gain knobs for both channels, a mix knob for balancing direct and software monitoring and a nice big Main knob to control the output volume to your speakers. A full‑sized headphone jack with its own level control is very welcome, and so is the super‑bright USB power LED which will tell you that it’s on no matter how far away you are. A 48V phantom power switch lights up a cool blue when you need to power capacitor microphones.
You’ll find all the connections on the back, which would probably be awkward in a larger interface, but with the AudioBox Go you’re most likely to pick the thing up whenever you plug or unplug a cable. There’s an XLR combi socket for microphone and line‑level sources, and a second input that’s only for instruments like guitar and bass. The microphone preamp is the PreSonus XMAX‑L which has very low noise, high headroom and up to 50dB of gain. The interface sports a USB‑C socket and comes with a slightly too short USB‑C to USB‑A cable, making it widely compatible if it can reach far enough to plug it in.
Setting it up on my computer was easy enough via the installation of the PreSonus Universal Control app. I was disappointed not to see any on‑screen monitor mixer, and there’s no loopback driver for podcasting or live streaming, which I think should be mandatory these days. It shows up in music software as an ASIO device (in Windows) and can handle 24‑bit recording up to 96kHz at very playable latency figures. I also tested it with my iPhone, which worked without too much bother, although as with most audio interfaces, you’ll need to power it from somewhere by either having the phone plugged in or using a powered hub, which takes a shine off the portability in that scenario. Hooked up to a laptop, it works fine.
In use, its more basic nature starts to emerge. There’s no signal indication other than a bright peak light once you’ve gone too far. I found my guitar humbuckers were a little too hot for the instrument input, even with the gain turned all the way down. Setting the right level for a capacitor mic required the tiniest adjustments to find a spot between nothing and everything. But once I’d got my levels it was dead easy to use in any DAW, and had really good recording quality and very low latency. The bundled software is Studio One Prime, the free version, which feels a little stingy. You also get the Sound Magic collection of samples and instruments though, so there’s plenty there to get you started.
Good To Go
On the whole, AudioBox Go’s a decent, wedge‑shaped box with basic but adequate connections and features for a bedroom musician or a simple setup for live performance. Its lightness, simplicity, portability and price are the key features, although for a little bit more money, you can get the AudioBox USB 96, with twin front‑mounted mic preamps, MIDI I/O and the much more capable Studio One Artist. However, it is twice the weight...
The AudioBox Go is basic and affordable, lightweight and portable, and great for recording a singer and their guitar with minimal fuss.
£66 including VAT.