Audient iD4 vs iD14: Which Interface Should You Choose?

The Audient iD4 is a basic USB audio interface unit that’s going to appeal to those who want to be able to record at the drop of a hat when inspiration strikes. Now that could, of course, include band members. But its intended audience is really solo musicians who travel with their laptop and want to be ready for anything. 

In some ways the iD14 is the heir apparent to Audient’s iD22. That unit provided robust multichannel functionality in a compact desktop unit and so does the iD14.

In some ways, comparing the iD4 with the iD14 is a bit of apples and oranges. But the two tend to attract a similar demographic. So apples and oranges it is.

Peerless Portability, High Performance  

Audient iD4 

Last update on 2020-10-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The iD4 does a commendable job of delivering baseline functionality. Solo musicians, podcasters, YouTube developers and more will appreciate its combination of portability and high-performance.

A Portable Studio for Collaborative Musicians 

Audient iD14 

Last update on 2020-10-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The iD14 is a well-considered, versatile desktop interface that’s built to last. It’s easily expandable to accommodate multi-mic setups via the ADAT input, and is compatible with all the most popular DAWs.

What’s in a Number? The iD14 Says “Plenty” 

Fans of the iD4 sometimes think of the iD14 as occupying a kind of “no man’s land.” The argument goes that both are actually targeting the lone wolf.

As such, the iD14 is too expensive and contains lots of superfluous bells and whistles. But is the 14 really just a solo box pretending to be something more? Or will it truly appeal to both the lone wolf and the collaborative creator?

We had to know.

What We Were Looking For

Is the iD4 all you really need to collect your creative musings in the form of digital files? Or does it pay to spend a little more and have the added functionality of the iD14 at hand, just in case?

We wanted to know: 

The Specs

First let’s breakdown the technical info for both audio interfaces.

24bit/96kHz Resolution

We’re not going to spend time rehashing the relative pros and cons of 96 vs 192kHz resolution. Suffice to say that you won’t notice the difference. As such, we have no problem with the 24Bit/96kHz resolution provided by both units.

iD4

For the solo musician, podcaster or videographer 24Bit/96kHz resolution is more than sufficient for capturing the nuances of your live performance, interview or voice-over narration.

iD14

Some might think that if you have the iD14 inputs maxed out, including 8 channels coming in via the ADAT input, that 96kHz won’t allow for subtle differentiation between instruments/voices. They’d be wrong.

Class-A Audient Mic Preamp

Audient’s Class-A mic preamps are without a doubt one of the shining stars of the Audient universe. They provide a world-class sonic experience by capturing both the subtleties and harsh realities of everything from smooth jazz to buzz saw metal.

Designed by audio legend David Deardon, they’re the preferred preamp of recording studios worldwide.

 

iD4 

The fact that such a compact and affordable desktop interface would feature such a high-end preamp is pretty unbelievable. But here it is.

iD14

While both units feature the amazing ASP880 preamp, the iD14 has a pair of them to handle the additional load generated by its wealth of inputs, including the 8 channel ADAT input.

Winner: iD14

Why? Because the presence of two ASP880s is what makes the iD14 a viable mini-mobile recording studio. And a damn good one at that.

Which one are you leaning towards?

Audient iD4 USB 2-in/2-out High Performance Audio Interface
  • USB 2.0 Audio Interface with 1 Class A Mic Preamp
  • 2 Headphone Outputs - Mac/PC/iOS
  • 1 JFET DI

Last update on 2020-10-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Audient iD14 High Performance USB Audio Interface
  • 10-in/4-out USB Desktop Audio Interface with 2 Class A Mic Preamps
  • Burr-Brown Converters
  • 8-channel ADAT Input

Last update on 2020-10-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Unique Features: Audient iD4

Lower Latency 

Audio geeks get all excited over things like 1/10 of a millisecond of latency. But in reality, such microscopic differences in audio perception are less than the ear can pick up anyway. So the slightly – and I mean slightly – lower latency of the iD4 won’t make any perceptible difference.

Lower Price

A lot of solo performers would like to get their hands on the iD14 just in case they decide at some future date they need the added functionality. But coughing up the extra C-note for it can be too much of a stretch. Rather than being a major step down, the iD4 is an outstanding option for an audio interface under $200 that’s a little short on features, but doesn’t compromise on quality.

Unique Features: Audient iD14

ADAT Input

The feature that really puts space between these two desktop interfaces is the ADAT input on the iD14. This enables you to set up a separate mic array for say, the drum kit, and feed it directly into the mix with up to 8 dedicated channels.

The amount of flexibility this provides is the stuff live performance capture dreams are made of.

2 Preamps 

While the ADAT input gets all the sexy press, that additional input capacity wouldn’t be worth much if it wasn’t for the pair of ASP880 preamps holding down the fort in the iD14.

They ensure every note of every instrument, along with the full flavor of each voice, gets the white glove treatment.

Winner: iD14

Why? Sorry, but while the iD4 is an outstanding value, it really is a matter of not being able to stand its ground against the feature-rich iD14.

Audient iD4 vs Audient iD14 : Pros and Cons

Below is a breakdown of the pros and the cons of each of these Audient audio interfaces. For a quick overview of the perks and downfalls read on and you’ll soon have a better idea of which interface is best for you.

Pros of the Audient iD4

Cons of the Audient iD4

Pros of the Audient iD14

Cons of the Audient iD14

Final Verdict

It must be said, that in some respects, this wasn’t a fair fight. The iD4 is an outstanding interface at a very agreeable price. And if you’re a solo performer or podcaster, it will serve you well.

However, if we consider that cost is not an issue then we have to conclude that the iD14 is the superior USB interface. Everything you can do with the iD4, you can do with the iD14. And, if you want to plug in a few friends, you can do that too with zero loss in the quality of the finished product.

So if it’s our money, we’re going with the iD14. Because flexibility is where it’s at.