AUDIENT iD14 | REVIEW

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What is it?
The Audient iD14 is a compact, USB 2.0 bus powered, audio interface that provides high quality large-format console sound at an affordable price. Packed in a super sturdy full metal construction, the iD14 offers an extremely versatile and futuristic set of controls that cannot be found anywhere else within this price bracket.

Who is it for?
This interface is ideal for recording engineers, music producers & singer-songwriters who aim to achieve high quality sound recordings but cannot afford the exorbitantly priced analogue mic-pre amps and signal converters.

Style
When I first heard that this interface gives you 2 Class A Console Mic Preamps coupled with world-class Burr Brown A/D & D/A Converters, 10 Channel ADAT Expansion and high quality JFET DI for less than INR 25,000/-, I just assumed that the manufacturers must have compromised on the build quality. But I was wrong!

The Audient iD14 is a neat, and minimally designed, audio interface that packs some interesting features. It has a silver & matte, black finished metal jacket, that’s built to last. The hand-finished aluminium knobs, retro style phantom power switches & 16 LED monitoring meters go very well with the overall design scheme.

Usability
In my humble opinion, the ultimate purpose of this audio interface is to provide you with high-quality studio-grade sound recordings, and if that is your requirement, it won’t let you down. However, if you’re a performing artist who requires MIDI capabilities or Digital signal outputs, this may not be the right interface for you.

After comparing it with a couple of other audio interfaces that fall under the same price bracket, I discovered that there is an apparent difference in the sound quality, especially in the high-mids & high frequency areas. There is relatively less harmonic distortion in the high end and the overall sound is less shrilly and well-rounded.

iD14 comes with two combo inputs, each with a dedicated phantom power switch and Audient’s Class A Analogue Console Preamps. As far as signal conversion goes, this interface uses Burr Brown converters which are arguably one of the best signal converters in the world, to ensure that there is no compromise on sound quality. Additionally, it also provides you with a high quality JFET D.I., which enables you to directly plug in instruments such as guitars, keyboards, synthesizers etc. As far as expansion possibilities go, the iD14 comes with an ADAT optical input that enables you to expand your rig to up to 10 input channels using an 8-channel mic pre.

In the output section, the iD14 provides you with 2 TRS outputs to directly connect your monitors, and an independent Class AB headphone jack that is capable of providing separate headphone mixes via the iD14 mixer application. To top this, iD14 gives you professional-grade monitoring features such as Dim, Cut, Polarity Switch, Mono Sum & Talkbalk, all accessible at the touch of the ID button.

Lastly, the unique ScrollControl feature that this interface provides, is an interesting add on. Basically, with the touch of a button, you can convert the main volume encoder into a virtual scroll wheel that can be used to adjust parameters in your DAW, Plug Ins, iD14 mixer app or even your iTunes library!

Upside
• Great quality at a great price
• High quality sound on both input & output stages
• Expandable to 10 channels
• Good software/hardware integration
• Full monitor control functionality
• ScrollControl utility

Downside
• No Phantom Power LED status indicators
• Phantom Power only available on 12V DC
• No MIDI I/O
• No digital outputs

Final Call
This interface delivers what it promises. It will make a good addition to your gear inventory if your requirement is high quality sound recordings. However, if Audient had included MIDI I/O & at least a 2 channel SPDIF digital out, this interface would have been perfect for live performances as well.

What’s in the Box Tech Specs
• Audient iD14 Interface
• USB 2.0 Cable
• Power Adapter + Universal Power Plugs
• Quick Start Guide
• 2 Analog Inputs (Expandable to 10)
• 4 Analog Outputs
• 1 Discrete JFET Input
• Independent Headphone Output
• Latency Free Direct Monitoring
• USB 2.0 Bus Powered
• Sample Rates – 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96 KHZ
• Bit Rate – 16, 24 Bit
Approximate Price: INR 23,500/-. 

 

Special Thanks to The Inventory for hooking us up with the gear.

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