steinberg-ur22-review

Recently, I picked up Steinberg’s new UR22 USB audio interface. This interface is a 2-in/2-out, bus-powered audio and midi interface aimed at the home studio and mobile markets. Although it is the smallest unit in the Steinberg’s UR series, the UR22 does come with a fair amount of features including a pair of Yamaha’s much touted “D-Pre” mic preamps which incidentally can also be found in Yamaha’s MGP Series mixers.

Steinberg/Yamaha interfaces have scored very well with many users for their stability and consistent reliability. Although this is my first experience with Steinberg hardware, I’ve been running Cubase as my preferred DAW of choice since SX1.0, so I am coming at this as a user who’s only dealt with Steinberg products from a software point of view. Even though I have been a loyal customer for over 12 years, it has not been without its low points, but with the recent glowing praise for releases like Cubase 7 and Cubasis for iOS, it seems Steinberg can do no wrong at the moment. Suffice it to say, I have been on the fence about upgrading to a new audio interface and the UR22 definitely seems the business.

Out of the Box

steinberg-ur22-interface-unboxedThe Steinberg UR22 USB Audio Interface

The UR22 comes bundled with the usual suspects mainly consisting of drivers disk, operations manual and a redeemable voucher for a full version of Cubase AI 6 which can be downloaded directly from Steinberg.net. It should be noted that this download is only accessible by registering your UR22 via the Steinberg website and you will need to register your UR22 before doing so. Take care that you don’t accidentally throw this voucher away as your redeemable download access code is printed on it.

Registration

steinberg-ur22-manual-voucher-drivers-discUR22 manual, Cubase AI voucher and driver disk

The registration process is straight forward. I logged into my existing “MySteinberg” account, clicked on the Product Registration link, selected UR22 from the “Hardware” dropdown and then entered my serial number (which can be found on the bottom of the unit under the “SER No.” barcode). You can also enter your Cuabse AI 6 download access code in the same page. Once registered, you will find your activation code by clicking the “Registered Hardware” tab under the “Show Registered Products” link.

Installation

The UR22 is a bus-powered unit which means all the power that is needed to run the unit is done through a USB cable.  If you’re a Mac user, installation of the UR22 should be a relatively simple plug & play scenario. For Windows users, the UR22 comes bundled with a set of 32-bit and 64-bit drivers which can be found directly on the drivers disk. Running the disk application setup will automatically detect what version of Windows you are running and install the appropriate driver. One thing I would like to note which I found disconcerting was the lack of downloadable UR22 drivers on the Steinberg website. Normally, I check a manufacturer’s website when installing new hardware on my system in order to download the latest drivers. At the time of this review, no driver links could be found on the Steinberg website. This could be a real pain in the ass if a customer loses their driver disk so keep that in mind if you’re one of those people who throw away installation disks out of preference for downloading the latest and greatest drivers for the manufacturer’s website. (Looks like downloadable UR22 drivers are now available on the Steinberg website)

steinberg-ur22-asio-driver-control-panelASIO driver Control Panel

The Yamaha Steinberg USB Driver has a control panel allowing you access to sample rate and buffer settings as well as version information of the audio driver (currently v1.7.1). Typically, most audio interfaces give you access to a quick launch icon in the notifications area of your taskbar in Windows. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case when installing on Windows7 and I had to manually create a quicklaunch shortcut for it (the executable for the control panel can be found under your “Program Files > Yamaha” directory). Sample rate settings range from 44.1 kHz to 192 kHz, with ASIO buffer size settings ranging from 64 samples to 2048 samples.

Build Quality

The UR22 is encased in a full metal chassis and is substantially heavy for such a small unit, weighing in at 2.2 lbs. The front of the unit has two Neutrik Combo A Series hybrid connectors combining a 3 pole XLR receptacle and stereo ¼” phone jack in one XLR housing. Although the housing itself is made from injection molded plastic, Neutrik is a well known high-quality connector manufacturer which adds a bit of reassurance that these will support substantial wear and tear. There are also five rotary knobs for gain control, all made of what appears to be durable plastic. The knobs themselves feel very solid with no wiggle room and an extremely smooth range of motion that does not give too easily. This is definitely reassuring for someone who may be using the unit in a live setting and can do so without fear of accidentally turning a volume knob to abrupt levels easily. One thing I will note is that the knobs do protrude just over a ¼” from the unit’s housing.  This could potentially make it easy to break them off if something heavy where to land on them with enough pressure or if the unit where to be dropped accidentally. However, they do feel rugged enough to withstand substantial force. The front of the unit also contains a small plastic impedance switch and a ¼” phone jack that have some wiggle room which shouldn’t be too disconcerting but is worth mentioning. The remaining connectors located in the back of the unit also appear to be built from durable plastic but are mounted firmly to the unit.

Features

steinberg-ur22-interface-frontUR22 front panel

So what’s all the fuss about the UR22? Well, lets take a look at its key features:

  • 24-bit/192 kHz USB 2.0 audio interface
  • 2 Class-A D-PRE mic preamps supporting +48V phantom power
  • 2 Analog XLR/TRS combo inputs (Hi-Z switch on input 2 for electric guitar), 2 TRS line outputs
  • MIDI In/Out
  • Headphones jack with independent level control
  • Zero-latency hardware monitoring with mix balance knob
  • USB-powered for mobile recordings

Most of the features that come with the UR22 are pretty standard and are what to be expected for a unit in this price range. But there are several features that will tip the scale for most users when making a decision to purchase this unit. For me, it was the inclusion of MIDI In/Out, the “D-Pre” mic preamps, compatibility with existing Steinberg software and up to 24-bit/192 kHz of recording quality.

The traditional MIDI In/Out connectors are not something I currently have any use for since I’m using a USB controller… BUT they are nice to have if at some point I decide to upgrade my current controller with something more full featured and need to free up a USB slot.

As far as stability goes, it seems that most Steinberg interface users are in accord that their interface drivers are dependable and very stable, at least from what I’ve read. There’s also the compatibility between Steinberg products which they are well known for.  Steinberg does mention that existing Cubase users will benefit from the UR22′s auto-setup functionality, enabling the complete I/O setup to be handled directly from within Cubase and automatically embedding it into Cubase’s production environment. After having mediocre luck at best in the stability department over the last two years (won’t mention any names but it rhymes with Wackie Flapjack), this is one extremely welcome feature.

steinberg-ur22-interface-backUR22 back panel

Next up we have 24-bit/192 kHz of recording quality. With most compact USB powered interfaces capping off at 48 kHz, this is a first for an audio interface in this class. But is this really necessary? For some, this is a purely subjective argument. While it is true that there is a substantial difference in audio resolution between a waveform recorded at  44.1 kHZ and 192 kHz, the likelihood that you will hear the difference is minimal. That’s not to say that some users can’t or won’t, but if you’re simply looking to use the UR22 for basic recording and playback purposes, this should be a moot point. However, if you work in a field that requires recording resolutions from 96 kHz or higher, then the option is nice to have.

Lastly, I’m a huge fan of well built mic preamps and Yamaha’s “D-Pre” preamps are somewhat of mystery to me. I’ve owned a fair bit of Yamaha gear over the years and they are definitely one of my favorite manufacturers of audio equipment. It’s hard to say this without sounding like a fanboy, but if you’re a Yamaha fan like I am, then you know there’s a certain sound that is associated with Yamaha gear. So I found myself intrigued by the inclusion of these “D-Pre” preamps in the UR22.

In Use

steinberg-ur22-asio-latencyI/O latency in Cubase 7

For basic everyday use such as listening to music or streaming audio online, the UR22 works very well. Nothing special going on here but it is nice to have an audio device stable enough to use in the simplest of scenarios without dealing with occasional pops or drop outs. In my case, having dealt with this kind of behavior for over two years, it’s hard not to feel spoiled. Switching between different sample rates during playback will cause dropouts but this is to be expected. The nice thing is you don’t have to unplug and replug the unit back in for it to resync. Just double click on the media file you were playing or reload the page you were streaming from and you’re back in business.

For recording and DAW audio playback, this is where the UR22 really shines. I opened up several large Cubase 7 projects and adjusted the ASIO driver settings. A sample rate of 44.1khz with a buffer size set to 64 samples resulted in an input latency of 3.991 ms and output latency of 4.966 ms respectively. I’m on a fairly dated 2.13 GHz Intel Dual Core system with 4 GB of memory using Windows 7 x64, and at the lowest buffer settings, the UR22 ran flawlessly. One thing I will mention is that results may vary for users running large projects at low settings on the UR22 in versions of Cubase 6.5 or earlier as well as other DAW’s. In Cubase 7, Steinberg recently extended its audio engine with ASIO-Guard technology allowing for buffer blocks to be pre-calculated and have them available for the next ASIO block cycle. This stabilizes and improves overall performance for audio processes, and in the lowest buffer settings can add as much as 11.61 ms of buffer latency without any audio stuttering or dropouts. So as you can imagine, already existing low latency in the UR22 coupled with ASIO-Guard technology in Cubase 7 is truly a beautiful thing.

steinberg-ur22-asio-buffer-settingsASIO driver buffer settings in Cubase 7

Tracking live recordings to Cubase with the UR22 was also a pleasure. Putting the “D-Pre” mic pres to the test resulted in some interesting results. Both available line inputs come with 48V switchable phantom power in the event you need to connect a condenser mic, but  because I mainly use an SM57 for voice tracking, phantom power was not needed. With the input gain set to halfway, the UR22 did an excellent job capturing voice over vocals with minimum background noise resulting in a very clean and transparent recording. Yamaha does mention that the “D-Pre” mic pres in the UR22 help maintain low distortion regardless of the signal level and I was impressed that even when the input gain was set to max, the UR22 did record very consistent signal levels with minimal distortion over a broad amplitude range. As far as overall impression of the “D-Pre” mic preamps go, they are no-frills and transparent mic-pres that do exactly what they were intended to do. Are they mind blowing? Not at all. Will they help you record very clean and uncolored signal? You bet your ass they will and as far as I’m concerned, I can definitely respect that.

*Update – I was recently asked if the internal preamps on the UR22 could be bypassed as well as if the pres have enough gain to run ribbon mics. I verified from Steinberg directly that when connecting through the ¼” TRS input it still goes through the mic pre (to control the gain), so the pres can not be bypassed.  The UR22 pres do have enough gain for ribbon mics but per Steinberg’s advice, you need to be sure to have Phantom Power off (which turns it off on both inputs) so you don’t damage your ribbon.

Critiques

There are a few flaws which I found somewhat irritating with the UR22. My biggest gripe would have to be the mix knob which adjusts the signal level balance between the signal from the analog input jacks and the signal from the system. Although this may fall under the “nice to have” category for some users, I find it completely unnecessary. But worst of all is that it has been implemented so poorly because even with the mix knob turned completely to the input side, system signal still bleeds through even with the output knob turned to low levels. In my opinion that’s a shame because although I personally have no need for this feature, there are many users who do. If you’re going to add a feature like this, the least you could do is implement it correctly.

The other irritating feature of the UR22 is ergonomics. The interface just doesn’t feel as comfortable to work with as it could. The level knobs are small and placed fairly close to one another or too close to the line ins. There have been several occasions working with the unit at low light settings where I found myself fumbling to find the right level knob to adjust headphone or output volume. Although I understand there are a lot of features to fit into such a compact interface, I still feel the ergonomics of the UR22 could have been designed and implemented better.

Conclusion

Mobility seems to be the name of the game these days as manufacturers scramble to create hardware that is portable, feature-rich and easy to use. Because of this, compact audio interfaces continue to improve while bridging the gap between professional quality and affordability. There are plenty of choices available when choosing a compact audio interface and finding one that fits your needs can be a bit cumbersome when making comparisons. It seems that most interfaces fall under manufacturers who throw everything and the kitchen sink into an interface or manufacturers who streamline features in order to reduce costs. Steinberg’s UR22 falls neatly in the middle providing plenty of essential high-quality features without the overkill while keeping things affordable. At a street price of $149, you’d be hard pressed to find other interfaces in its class with as many features. Add seamless Cubase integration with solid reliability to boot and its a very hard deal to beat. My final verdict: solid purchase. If you’re in the market for a compact portable USB interface, you won’t be disappointed.

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115 Responses to Steinberg UR22 USB Audio Interface Review

  1. Loca says:

    Me lo compro seguro..pichita ya que eres Español, podias haber puesto un enlace con este analisis para los que no sabemos ni papa de ingle…hay que pecha de traductore..salu2

    • Joel says:

      Hola, en este momento no tengo planes de publicar el artículo en español, pero quizás en el futuro o si suficientes lectores lo solicitan. Si tienes alguna pregunta con respecto al UR22 yo estaría encantado de ayudarte.

  2. JaroS says:

    Ciao Joel.
    Interesante quelo che hai scrito. La schieda audio sembra molto buona. Apropossito il tuo web e splendido :-) Bravo.

  3. Nick says:

    Hey Joel,
    I recently bought a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, and I’m thinking of trading it in for The UR22. The reason is, that for recording electric guitar through the instrument input, the signal easily clips, making it pretty useless for this. Do you know if this is an issue too with the UR22?
    I added the specs for the instrument inputs of both:

    Focusrite 2i2:
    Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz +/- 0.1dB
    THD+N: 0.005% (measured with -8dBu input and 22Hz/22kHz bandpass filter)
    Noise: -87dBu (22Hz/22kHz bandpass filter)
    Gain Range: +10dB to +55dB
    Max Input Level: -3dBu

    Steinberg UR22:
    Maximum Input Level: -4dBV
    Input Impedance: 470k Ohm
    GAIN Range: +8dB – +52dB

    Thanks in advance

    • Joel says:

      Hi Nick, there’s no way for me to say if this is an issue with the UR22, since there are a lot of variables involved with recording from one user to the next. Being that a guitar is such a high dynamic range instrument, things like the type of microphone you use, how close you are to the mic, gain level settings or how enthusiastic your performance is when recording are all factors.

      My personal experience recording with the UR22 has been problem free so far. I record mostly voice overs and instructional content using a cardioid mic and adjust my gain levels accordingly to minimize distortion. If you’re recording directly into your DAW, you might consider adding a compressor plugin on the line in bus to control peaks. I’ve done this before with great success when recording bass guitar and vocals.

      The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 from what I’ve read seems to be a pretty solid audio interface, but the chance that you may have a faulty unit is also a possibility. If you’re still having doubts, I suggest demoing the UR22 and the Scarlett side by side to see what works best. Hope that helps and best of luck. Let me know how it goes.

      • Nick says:

        Thanks for the reply Joel,
        What I was talking about is using the instrument line as a Direct Input for the electric guitar. I did some more research, and it seems like the UR22 will probably have the same clipping issues. The max gain input on the Focusrite is -3dBu, while on the UR22 it is (converted) -1.8dBu. It is a known issue that the Focusrites have clipping problems (they even admitted to it on a forum) because of the high gain output some guitars have, and they recommend using a DI box with their product. Since the UR has only a little dBu more, I guess it will be the same. I think it’s definitely something that should be looked into more when reviewing this kind of products, since with the Focusrite I only read about the issues from other users. It seems like a major downside, since the products are promoted on being for multiple purposes
        I will go to the musicstore and ask them more info about it

        Kind regards,
        Nick

      • Joris says:

        The Scarlett 2i2 (which I have too for 8+ months, and just ordered the UR22 as replacement for) has known problem that it has _no_ Hi-Z input. Yes, you can plug a 1/4 jack into the inputs at the front, but a prober guitar input should have an impedance of 0.5 mega-ohm to 1.0 meta-ohm. There are audio-interfaces which have 250 k-Ohm (0.25 mega-Ohm).

        The scarlett 2i2 has .. 20 k-OHm. That’s it. So what happens is that the signal can easily clip if you plug your guitar directly in, specially if you have high-output pickups. I have a Squier Stagemaster, known for it’s subpar muddy cheap pickups :P, and plugging it straight into my 2i2 with the gain _all the way_ down (but the input set on ‘instrument’ level) and the input still clips every now and then.

        The Scarlett 2i4 for example has a ‘pad’ button next to the inputs. Tadaah, that makes it usable. A Focusrite community manager (or somethin’) said on a forum even that they didn’t realize that’s how it should have been and admit it’s a mistake in the 2i2. It simply doesn’t have a high-z input, even though every site thinks it does. 20 kOhm is NOT HiZ, it’s just line-level.

        That can be fixed (as I have done) with a DI box. But even a cheap one costs 25 to 35 bucks, and can alter the sound a lot (as it does on one of my guitars, hence the new interface for me). The ‘good DI boxes’ that everyone recommends can go for 200 dollars easily. Since you need a DI box with Scarlett 2i2, it makes the unit way to expensive compared to, for example, the UR22.

        For example, the UR22: The Mic inputs have 4 kOhm resistance, the Line inputs have 20 kOhm resistance, but input #2 with the HiZ switch on becomes 470 kOhm resistance.

        • Joel Carlo says:

          Hi Joris,

          Thanks so much for your input on the Focusrite Scarlett. I know it will help many users trying to make a decision between the UR22 and the Scarlett. Cheers.

    • Rod says:

      Hi Nick

      I was in the same dilemma and it was solved buying the Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 which has an 8 to 10 dB pad for hot signals. It solves your problems with the electric guitar. The UR22 looks nice but knowing Steinberg, drivers are going to be non existent in two years.

  4. JS says:

    No entiendo muy bien como funciona el control de mix. Dices que no cancela el sonido?

    Al 50% tendria 50% de volumen de cada uno y completamente a un lado 100% de uno, o solo quita volumen y no mezcla?

    • Joel says:

      Exacto. Con el control de mezcla en el medio, se puede oír la señal de los canales de entrada y la señal de el ordenador. Si tienes el control de mezcla ajustado completamente hacia la izquierda o hacia la derecha, sólo debe ser capaz de escuchar sólo audio de las entradas o sólo desde el ordenador. El problema es que se puede escuchar el audio de ambos canales. No es un problema cuando estás grabando por ejemplo en tu DAW, pero en una situación real donde tienes que mezclar entre los dos canales y sólo desee escuchar el audio de un solo canal, esto podría ser malo.

  5. Sotiris says:

    Is it possible to use “more than one” audio interfaces in Cubase simultaneously? I have two, one connected through USB and one through Firewire, and would like to combine them with more USB audio streams from synths in one setup based on Cubase 7, but cannot do it. How can i add a new soundcard to Cubase 7 without desellecting the previous one?

    • Joel says:

      Hi Sotiris, if I’m not mistaken, you can only use a multiple card setup if they are using the same ASIO driver. Otherwise I don’t think its possible. What interfaces are you running?

  6. Marvin Saez Tate says:

    hey joel, we talked earlier today. thanx for the (padshop cubase5 ) information please keep in touch. (401-266-9464) my steinberg ur22 will arrive 1-22.2013.

  7. Ismael says:

    Hola, estoy interesado en el análisis que has hecho sobre el ur22 pero he utilizado el traductor y muchas cosas no tienen mucho sentido.Yo quería saber si puedes poner el analisis en Español y de paso aprovecho para saber sí el ur 22 graba hasta 192khz 24 bit en cubase 6 y además el programa se actualiza a la versión 7. Gracias y que no te falte el trabajo..que esta la cosa muy mal….

  8. Wayne says:

    Thanks for the review — I’m considering the UR22 and the not-yet-available Tascam US-322. DAW is Sonar, so I won’t get the Cubase-integration goodness. But I think I’m leaning toward the UR22. No useless onboard DSP effects, but the US-322 does have an onboard DSP mixer — though I’ve little use for that to tell the truth, I find such stuff a bit annoying.

    • Joel says:

      Hi Wayne, Im not a fan of onboard dsp effects either but the US-322 definitely looks like a nice interface. For what its worth, the UR22 has been rock solid the entire time I’ve had it and I’m extremely pleased with it. Let me know which one you decide on.

      • Wayne says:

        I went ahead and ordered the UR22. The main need for this is an outboard audio interface for the DAW. I could use my Rig Kontrol, but it’s just too inconvenient, and I’d need an outboard mic pre and too much juggling. Last interface was Firewire on a Windows PC and that was just trouble, and the DSP mixer for that just got in the way. Looking forward to getting back into fooling around with recording. Thanks again for the review!

  9. Mick Seven says:

    Hello Joel, excellent review- I am currently looking to get an interface to record vocals as my Korg Krome would usb as a vst into Cubase.

    I am also looking at a Akai EIE (the regular one, not the pro) which comes with Pro Tools Express. Would there be any disadvantage to this setup?

    A friend of mine reccomends cubase over PTE but of course it is all subjective.

    I would only be doing vocals (using a MXL V67G) and anywhere from 2-12 tracks from the Krome.

    (Currently I am using the Roland Juno Gi which has a built in digital recorder)

    • Joel says:

      Hi Mick,

      Protools vs Cubase:
      As far as a preference for Protools or Cubase goes, I’m partial to Cubase only because I’m a long time user. I’ve used Protools in the past and although it is a popular DAW, I not a fan of the its workflow or the lack of significant updates (no support for 64-bit). Cubase has had a 64 bit support since version 4 and it was released in 2006 and every update since then has been packed full of features. Cubase7 also comes bundled with ASIO-Guard technology which is an added bonus for low latency use.

      Regarding differences between the UR22 and the EIE:
      I have no experience with the AKI EIE but from its features it certainly looks like a good interface. As far as recording quality goes, you’re capped off at 96kHz which isn’t something to be concerned about unless you’re in need of recording at a higher resolution, and it is also a key difference between the EIE and the UR22. The EIE has more inputs including a built in usb hub which is very convenient for things like dongles, hardware controllers and external hard drives. Its also equipped with four microphone preamps with phantom power but I could not find any information regarding type and quality. I would assume that being bundled with Pro Tools Express, the EIE should work with it right out of the box. But if you’re going to use your Korg Krome, you may want to see if there are any limitation/compatibility issues with PT Express first.

      In terms of physical features, the EIE definitely has more to offer in the I/O department, especially with the built in usb hub. Its a bit bulky though so if you’re on the go, portability could be a pain in the ass. I don’t know much about driver stability with the EIE which is a concern because a quick google search turned up lots of issues. If this is more than isolated incidents then the EIE definitely takes a hit as dealing with unstable drivers is not something I am fond of (or anyone else for that matter). In comparison, this is an area where the UR22 really shines in my opinion. It is a very streamlined interface that comes with essential features and rock-solid stability/performance. IMO, this is what an audio interface should be. Not to mention it integrates flawlessly with Cubase which is another huge plus if you’re going to use it as your preferred DAW of choice.

      • Mick Seven says:

        Hello Joel, thanks for your reply. I had 2 more questions:
        The UR22 comes with the AI6 version of Cubase; would I be missing anything? The upgrade to the Artist version would be a under $200 and to the full version $400.
        As with many light versions; the MP3 encoder expires after a month or so many uses.
        I did read many reviews about the Akai drivers having compatibility issues.
        Also, I assume it would be easy to deauthorize Cubase on my laptop and install it on a new one? Reason being it is almost time for a new machine. Currently I am at 4GB ram, but how much do you recommend- I am looking to get a 6gb-8gb machine.
        I probably wouldn’t need the USB hub on the Akai; could you confirm this is what my setup would be for the UR22?

        Microphone>>>>UR22>>>>usb to>>>>>PC
        Krome>>>>>USB to>>>>> PC.

        Would I even need the MIDI? Also, would I need any dongle or the UR22 to the PC would verify Cubase AI I assume.

        I have been using standalone 8 tracks and my Juno but wish to change now.
        I am leaning toward the UR22 for $127.50 vs. $116.33 for the EIE based on the Steinberg/Cubase interface and unit size as well

        • Joel says:

          Hi Mick,

          Your set up diagram is correct.

          As far as Cubase AI MP3 encoding goes, yes it does come with an mp3 encoder trial with, however you can download various free mp3 encoders such as LAME which is probably the best mp3 encoder available (its what I use): http://lame.sourceforge.net/. Just export your WAV file from Cubase AI then encode with LAME.

          If you’re using Cubase AI, then you don’t have to worry about a dongle, that’s mainly for full licensed versions of Cubase. As far as midi goes, if you plan on using VST instruments or plugin automation in your projects, just run MIDI OUT from Krome to MIDI IN on the UR22 and you can then configure Krome as a control interface.

          If you want to compare Cubase features between each version, check out these links:

          Cubase, Cubase Artist, Cubase Elements:
          http://www.steinberg.net/en/products/cubase/line_up.html

          Cubase AI:
          http://www.steinberg.net/en/products/partner_products/steinberg_yamaha/cubase_ai_6.html

          Keep in mind that Cubase AI is a really scaled down version of Cubase but you can record and arrange up to 32 audio tracks and 48 midi tracks (that’s more than most people ever use and substantially more than the 8 tracks you’re currently using) so there is no reason why you couldn’t put together studio quality productions with it.

          BTW, I’m in the process of setting up a dedicated tutorial site for audio engineering and music production. It will also have plenty of “How To” Cubase tutorials, so if youd like to be notified when its up and running, add your name to my newsletter. Thanks – J

  10. Blaise says:

    Hello there !
    Great review !
    2 comments :
    -you CAN bypass the pres by putting the level to “0″and engage the pad.
    -the pres don’t have enough gain for recording with ribbon mics unless it is very loud source, 70 db gain is a minimun for them.

  11. jc021 says:

    Hi Joel.
    Brilliant review thanks for posting it, you have convinced me to order the UR 22, just organizing a complete new set up, so it was valueable information.
    Thanks again.
    John.

  12. Johanan says:

    I was researching which interface to get for my home-based studio and the UR-22 was on the top of the list but until I read your review, I was still uncertain. Your thorough and professional review was very helpful, especially the info on the reliability and stability of the unit. After reading your info I now plan to buy the UR-22 and will give you and the other readers my feedback after I have a chance to try it out.

    Thank you for your insights and info.

    Johanan

    • Joel says:

      Hi Johanan,

      Glad you found the review useful. I’m definitely interested in hearing others opinions of the UR22… I am still very happy with mine. Keep in touch! – J

      • johanan says:

        As advertised in my last post, I did buy the ur-22, installed it in my system and have used it for the past week and here is my feedback:: I had tried several interfaces recently and none would work properly with my Mixcraft 6 DAW. I am sold on this DAW because I have invested time and money in it and feel comfortable with it, so I wanted to keep using it. After reading your review, I ordered the UR-22 and am very glad I did.

        All that you said about it and its stability is true! I have a rather complex system (complex for me) set up with a rack of old analog modules like the JV 1010, hooked into a Behringer mixer and am coming out of the mixer into the UR-22. I also have a Yamaha SO-8 and wanted to use its many great voices as well as using the SO-8 as a midi controller. No other interface seemed to work out with this system, but the UR-22 worked just fine. One note for others who are using a similar rig, I found that with the USB hookup form the SO-8 to the computer, I could not record both SO-8 voices and the virtual instrument voices at the same time. However, with the midi set up, I could record both together, but could only hear it all through the UR-22 headphones, which is just fine. Since I am coming out of a mixer, two inputs are just dandy and I use them as R/L stereo inputs.

        So far, so good, and I am getting great sound and great results from using this unit as the interface.

        Thank you for your info and good luck to all those who will try the UR-22. It is a simple, yet professional-quality interface that gets the job done! I have been in the music business since the early 60′s and can appreciate a device that works without complications, right out of the box!!!

        Johanan

        • Joel says:

          Hi Johanan,

          That’s great to hear and thank you for providing your input! I’m glad the UR22 is working out for you. I couldn’t agree more with you on how simple and professional the interface is. Cheers! – J

  13. Marcello says:

    Hi Joel,

    First of all, splendid review. Nicely detailed, and it answered some of my questions.
    But there’s this one thing that still bugs me: I plan on buying the UR22 mainly for guitar/bass (through amplitube 3) and vocals. I’m not too worried about the vocals (since you tried it yourself), but I searched online and some people are complaining that on lower-end interfaces (like the scarlett 2i2) the guitar is clipping very easily, and for me this is a no-go.

    Did you happen to try playing a guitar through the UR22? Does it have the clipping issue I refered?

    Cheers!

    • Joel says:

      Hi Marcello,

      Thank you for your comment and I’m glad it helped answer some of your questions. I record bass guitar regularly and I’ve found that using Input 2 on the UR22 with the gain set to a little over half way with Hi-Z switched off gives me clean signal without any clipping. Ive also found that with the impedance switch turned on, the signal will only start to clip if the gain knob is turned a little over a quarter of the way. Obviously, clipping issues will vary depending on the instrument, input gain and how aggressively you play but for my personal experience, the UR22 handles just fine for how I play.

      • Marcello says:

        Thank you so much! You know, I think Steinberg should hire you man… you just convinced yet another person to buy one of their products.

        Keep it up!

        • Joel says:

          Haha! Thanks man :)

          Not sure at what capacity I could help Steinberg, but I definitely wouldn’t mind reviewing some of their upcoming products. I’ve been a loyal customer for a pretty long time and as I stated in the review, it hasn’t always been sunshine and smiles BUT they really have kicked some ass the last couple of years. Cubase 7 is just an absolute pleasure to work with and the UR22 works seamlessly with it. They really have put a lot of effort thinking about what they present to consumers and as a first time Steinberg hardware owner, I wouldn’t hesitate purchasing from them again in the future.

          Let me know how you get along with the UR22 when it arrives. Cheers – J

  14. Andon Rogers says:

    I was actually looking into the focusrite 2i2 originally but being’s this is my first studio that im setting up I came into issue’s of course with trial and error to say the least! :(
    The first thing I would like to say is if there is anyone that is thinking about getting the MLAN16E for the Motif DO NOT DO IT! It is a BIG waste of time! I’ve been a huge fan of Yamaha since I was knee high to a grass hopper and that’s all I’ve ever seen in multimillion dollar studio’s. Yamaha , Yamaha and Yamaha! I never thought I would see the day that when I got a enough money to start my own studio that Yamaha of all things would of keep me from recording! So as far as Mlan and firewire goes FUCK YAMAHA! However I am very forgiving so of course I am still a fan of Yamaha. After over a 100+ hours of research I found the Mlan as I previously stated was nothing but wasted time and money! Now back to square one. Im looking into getting a interface. I am happy however that I didn’t purchase the focusrite 2i2 originally cause after talking to one of the engineers at Yamaha whos been working there for 30 yrs.+(bad mister) and his advice for what I am doing was to get this interface and now after doing more research and reading this AMAZING review I am completely Convinced not only on purchasing the UR 22 but also completely convinced that this interface will put the focusrite and any other interface in its class to complete shame!! Thanks again for this AMAZING review it was more then informational and helpful! Have a blessed day!

    • Joel says:

      Hi Andon,

      Thanks for the compliment! I am a big Yamaha fan, and its hard not to be biased sometimes but at the end of the day it all comes down to what works. I used to be a big Mackie fanboy right up until I experienced just how awful their driver support was for the Blackjack. Its a shame too because it really is a gorgeous sounding little interface but riddled with stability issues until their last driver update 3 YEARS after it was released… WTF?!

      When Yamaha acquired Steinberg back in 2004, I was elated. Up to that point the only experience I had with Steinberg was dealing with software issues in Cubase but gradually as Yamaha began to incorporate their hardware integration its made a huge impact. The Steinberg of 10 years ago is not the same Steinberg of today and it wouldn’t be without Yamaha. Yamaha isn’t exactly revolutionizing much in this industry these days, but generally when it does something, it does it well in a no frills fashion. They make shit that works, and as a consumer that’s the most important thing for me.

      Let me know how you get along with the UR22 :) – J

  15. Bob says:

    Joel,

    Thanks for the review. I am currently using a Heil USBQ preamp to connect my Rode Procaster to my MacBook Pro for voice recordings. It works alright, but I don’t know if I am getting enough gain on the mic, it always sounds soft. I admit I’m a newbie, but I would like to have more control over the mic and was wondering what you thought of the UR22 with a dynamic mic like the Procaster?

    • Joel says:

      Hi Robert,

      I use a SM57 which is also a cardioid mic. Generally speaking, you need to be closer to a cardioid mic in order to get good volume. I find that the mic positioned somewhere between 6 to 8 inches from my mouth tends to get nice clean signal without having to crank the gain knob on the UR22. I do voice work occasionally as well as skype calls using the SM57 with the UR22 and I haven’t experienced any volume issues, so my guess would be you should be ok. However, my suggestion is always to try before you buy. Try to visit your local music store and have them set up a UR22 with the Procaster so you can test for yourself, just to be on the safe side.

      • Bob says:

        Joel, thanks so much for the quick reply especially since it’s the middle of the night in your neck of the woods. I will try to find a place who has one of these to test out. Thanks again.

          • Bob says:

            Joel,

            I just wanted you to know that based on your review (the best of all I had read) I went out and bought the UR-22. I’m glad I did. Turns out (at least in the U.S.) no retail stores offer “try and return” since the UR-22 includes software, but it works really well with my mic. I was worried about the gain, but it has so much gain for my dynamic mic there are no concerns there. Thanks again for your in depth review. All the other “reviews” I found were nothing more than summaries from the Steinberg brochure.

            Also, in a response to one commenter you mentioned you were putting together a Cubase tutorial and you offered to add their name to your newsletter. Can you add my name too? I have a really limited knowledge of Cubase and also I need it really for nothing more than voice editing, but it is not a simple product to use and I am sure that some of the features that would benefit me are being completely missed due to my lack of understanding. Thanks, I look forward to seeing your tutorials.

          • Joel says:

            That’s great to hear Bob and thank you for the compliment on the review!

            I have to agree, Steinberg really did an excellent job with the UR22. It’s just a really well thought unit. Perfect balance of features, everything is straight forward… no frills, just plug it in and go. And best of all, its incredibly stable… I haven’t had a single issue with it. To me that’s the kind of hardware I love. It does what its supposed to do.

            I’ll add your name to the newsletter today. Thanks again for checking back!

  16. Mick Seven says:

    HelloJoel, I am close to getting the UR22 for a nice price- $150- 15% off minus $50 in Amex gift cards to make it a net cost of $77.
    I am due for a new computer sometime this year. How many GB should one have?
    I have 4GB Ram on my current machine, but am looking at 6 or 8. Do I really need 8

    Also, I assume I would be able to uninstall Cubase off of my current machine when it is time for a new one?
    Currenty I have some sort of decent Pentium processer (not a celeron) so think I would be okay, but it is close to 4 years old so i am looking at an I5

    • Joel says:

      Hi Mick,

      Sorry for the late reply. System requirements for the UR22 state at least 2GB of ram. If you’re looking to upgrade to a new system, I would take a look at what requirements are listed for the DAW of your choice and go from there. More ram is better than less ram but to give you some perspective, I’m running Cubase7 with the UR22 on an old 2.3GHz Intel dual core system with only 4GB of ram and everything runs smooth for me.

      As far as Cubase, if you plan on keeping Cubase on your old system, you can just swap the usb dongle between systems as needed. But if you require more than one usb dongle, you’ll need to purchase an additional license through Steinberg. You can learn about it here. Hope this helps – Joel

  17. Juan plaza says:

    Buenos días, quisiera saber si es compatible con ipad y si la versión de Cubase 7 es operativa para siempre o versión trial.Un saludo desde España.

    • Joel says:

      Hola Juan,

      No sé si el U22 es compatible con un ipad, aunque considere que no lo es. Sin embargo, le recomiendo ponerse en contacto con Steinberg directamente para asegurarse. El UR22 viene con Cubase AI6, no Cubase7. Cubase AI6 es una versión reducida de Cubase6. Espero que esto te ayude. Saludos desde Barcelona!

  18. Mark says:

    Hi Joel!

    Enjoyed reading your review. Thanks for the time and effort.

    I figured I’d give it a shot and ask your opinion as I’m trying to make up my mind and figure out what interface to go with: Saffire 2i2 or UR22.

    I won’t be doing any audio instrument recording any time soon. With that said I’m looking for interface that would let me monitor with headphones and/or monitors (both of these interfaces do that). All I’ll be doing is working with multiple MIDI tracks with various effects plug ins, VSTs and so on. So I definitely need something that has a decent A/D converter and won’t slow me down in the latency department. Even though I’ll be mostly using MIDI there still will be some audio in the mix: samples, loops etc.

    As far as DAW, I’ll be using Studio One & Reason. I’ll be running: Win 8 (64bit), SB-E i7, 16gb of RAM.

    Hopefully that gives you an idea of what my needs are. I would really appreciate your input.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Joel says:

      Hi Mark,

      You shouldn’t have any issues with latency provided you meet system requirements (you can find those here). From the looks of your set up, you more than meet them. As far as your choice of DAWs, I believe the UR22 is compatible with all major DAWs including Studio One & Reason. Since you are mainly working in the box, the UR22 is more than substantial.

      My personal opinion is to do your best to demo both the IR22 and the Saffire. If you have a music store near by that would be willing to let you compare them, it will make a huge difference on your final choice. That being said, I would like to state that I’m very happy with the UR22. It’s a tough “no-frills” unit and I haven’t had a single stability issue with it since I purchased it. It just does what its supposed to do and it does it extremely well. For me, that’s an enormous plus. Either way, I hope this helps with your final decision.

  19. Paulo says:

    Hi there Joel, i´ve been searching for reviews on the web regarding the ur22 and i would like to ask what do you think about the headphone output of the interface, as i´m intending to use it not only as an input source to my laptop, but also as a more substantial quality device to listen internet radio and music stored in my laptop. I have a pair of sennheiser 555 rated at 50 ohms and sony 7506 also and im kind of worried if the ur22 has enough power to drive both well. Thanks and best regards

    • Joel says:

      Hi Paulo,

      The specs on the UR22 state that the maximum output level on the UR22 is 6mW+6mW, at 40 Ohms so you should be fine. I’m using a pair of Audio-Technica ATHM50′s which are at 38 ohms. I use the unit for streaming audio and skype calls on a regular basis with headphones and I haven’t experienced any issues with sufficient gain. My recommendation is to test one out at your nearest music store if you can just to make sure you’re happy with it. Hope this helps.

  20. Andon says:

    Joel I need your help PLEASE…. as you know I bought the UR 22 and am still waiting to give it a review because I want to at least own it for a while so I can give it a fair review…..

    I am using the Cubase AI 6 I believe that’s what came with the UR 22.

    I got my motif es as the heart of my studio but the problem that im having is that when I record to Cubase with the motif regardless if I use it as a midi track or a midi instrument track im getting these spikes in my midi data!?!?! I have tried everything I can think of to get rid of them, checked my connections, uninstalled and reinstalled the usb midi drivers, readjusted project synchronization setup, adjusted countless device settings and no luck. I even hooked up my akai mpd18 midi control and recorded midi with it but it still does the same thing so I know its not the motif.

    So im really beating my head against the wall trying to figure this out.
    Any ideas or suggestions would be REALLY appreciated!! Thanks in advance and have a blessed day.

    • Joel Carlo says:

      Hi Andon,

      Sorry to hear about that, not sure what could be causing it. My suggestion would be to contact Steinberg support to see if it is a known issue. Just be on the safe side, I would post on the Motifator forums as well to see if anyone else has run into the same issue. It doesn’t sound like its a problem with the ES but you never know.

  21. Miklos says:

    Hi there, nice review, thanks!
    I consider to buy an external sound card, (+ a midi keyboard) for composing at home, and 3 cards remained on my list: the UR22, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 and PreSonus 22VSL. What important is, that I also like to buy an AKG K242 or K272 (both 55 Ohms) and I’d be happy if the sound card could drive them approppriately. Do you know anything about the headphones amp of the mentioned cards ?
    Generally, could you give me some advices in this topic ?

    Thank you!
    best regards

    • Joel Carlo says:

      Hi Miklos,

      The only one I know about is the headphone amp on the UR22 which you should have no problems running the headphones you mentioned. My advice is to visit your local music store and test any audio device before you make a decision.

  22. Zafrius says:

    Got one yesterday.Drivers worked perfect.Recorded at 192 kHz all night long.Recorded a thunderstorm.Testing the range.Used a SP50.Wow.I would say, don’t tell another how great it is.Because if everybody used this gear, we would all sound pro.Till I have a month to finish my new songs using the UR22, I cant say much, but I am hearing things I never heard before in a entry level interface? Not knowing what it was, I bought it just b/c is was $129.00.And 192 kHz.Then I Googled it….Nothing but this page.Yamaha it said? I almost cried in happiness.Used Yamaha for years.I am back in my territory.Quality hardware.Bicker over small issues with it, I find this cup half full.And the miss conception of no one needing 192 kHz? Come on man….Just buy it.I have read flat out lies about this UR22 on forums at Gear SL*#ts.Pissed me off.I was using the Presonus Audiobox.It is a work horse, but not enough Pre and rez.My demos are online, under Zafrius.Loved the many years with the Presonus.And it will always be in the studio, but UR22 is King of the little interfaces.I stopped my projects with my lil presonus and UR22 is my ticket to a quality sound.At this price, they are giving the UR22 away.It’s worth every bit of 300.00.

    • Joel Carlo says:

      Zafrius, thanks for your comments and I’m glad you’re enjoying the UR22. As you say, it is definitely worth every penny and then some. One of the best gear purchases Ive ever made.

  23. Kevin says:

    Hola, muy buena reseña, realmente me estoy animando a adquirir esta interfaz, se ve mucho mejor que las Focusrite Scarlett en latencia.

    Mi pregunta, que puede parecer algo rara, es si el número de serie es visible en la caja. Esto lo pregunto porque algunos usuarios tenían problemas de ruido al usar phantom, y Steinberg publicó una lista de los números de serie afectados en esta página: https://www.steinberg.net/en/support/knowledgebase_new/show_details/kb_show/ur22-audio-interface-notification-regarding-low-frequency-noise/kb_back/2020.html

    Quiero saber si el número de serie está impreso en la caja, pues en las tiendas mi localidad no he encontrado esta interfaz en existencia, y me veo tentado a ordenarla por Internet, pero quiero solicitar primero el número de serie al vendedor para evitar problemas.

    Espero puedas ayudarme. Gracias!

    • Joel Carlo says:

      Hola Kevin,

      Sí, el numero de serie está impreso en la caja y la interfaz. Yo vivo en Barcelona y compré el UR22 a través http://www.alfasoni.com/. No sabia sobre el problema de ruido al usar phantom, pero es bueno saber y gracias por traer a nuestra atención. Esto es importante para muchas personas que están contemplando a comprar esta interfaz.

      Si decides a comprar el UR22, dime lo que piensas. Saludos!

  24. Steve Fual says:

    Nice review. I have found a lot of low end interfaces use cheap AD convertors or cheap preamps and from your review this seem to be using high end for both. 192Khz does require significantly more processing which either means more processing power required in the convertor or much more latency for the same processing so the quality of the AD is very important . I have three interfaces that have been made obsolete in windows 8, Two by lack of driver support and the other which was orphaned by an acquisition of the company and quietly they abandoned support for it. I would be interested to know what other peoples experience is with long term support from Steinberg. With every interface offering the same thing the drivers are going to be the key differentiator.

    I’ve also had variable experiences with guitars on low end interfaces and this is typically ignored on reviews so it would be good to see peoples opinions of guitar support.

    • Joel Carlo says:

      Hi Steve,

      Lack of development support on older hardware is really a roll of the dice. The most any of us can do is be as informed as possible before we make a purchase since there are no guarantees. Years back I bought an Edirol UM-880 midi patchbay which was released in 2002. Since that time, Roland had re-written the drivers for subsequent OS updates all the way up to Vista/Windows 7. I felt pretty fortunate to have had a piece of hardware supported at all for that long and definitely put Roland in my good graces. On the other hand, after years of brand loyalty with Mackie, they lost my patronage after the half ass support they provided with their Blackjack interface… an interface that wasnt even functioning properly on Windows systems when it was originally released and barely functioned after software updates 3 years later.

      Unfortunately, technology changes and I think we just have to accept that if we are lucky enough to have ANY long term support for a piece of hardware, then this is OUT of the norm. I hate saying that but in the day of mass consumer marketing, its just the way things are. Finding a company that provides stellar support for their product is like trying to find a unicorn, and when you do it comes as a surprise.

      Ive never been a huge fan of external audio interfaces but I do have to say that I am won over by the stability of Steinberg/Yamaha drivers for the UR22. Everything is just seamless and integrates flawlessly with Cubase. The only other time I have ever experienced this kind of stability is with internal soundcards.

  25. Luis Vieira says:

    Hi Joel, i recently found your website when searching for review on the Steinberg UR22, and really wanted to ask some advices on someone that wants to enter the music production world.

    At the moment i’m trying to find some hardware to work with, for a keyboard i think i’m going for a Axiom 25 MKII, i dont need something too expensive and for real pros in the industry, i just want something to start with.

    But what i really dont know what to choose is a audio/midi interface, from what i’ve been reading firewire is better than usb for those devices, lower latency i guess and i’m glad my motherboard has 2 of those ports.

    Can you give some advices? The UR22 is USB i think and in my country i can get it for 140€ and the keyboard for 155€.

    You think i should look for something else? Like i said it’s only to get started.

    PS: Oh and the DAW i’m going to use will probably be Cubase.

    Hope you can give me a reply, thanks.

    • Joel Carlo says:

      Hi Luis,

      I guess it boils down to preference. Ive used firewire interfaces before and they are definitely great to use. I work on a laptop and dont have firewire ports available to me, so the next best thing would be a USB interface. USB interfaces have come a long way since the late 90′s. While most are generally stable, you definitely want to make sure you check for compatibility with your current system. Ive had issues in the past with interfaces that are built beautifully but the drivers have been written poorly making them nearly unusable (Mackie Blackjack on Windows is an example).

      If you’re on a desktop and can afford a firewire interface, chances are you would probably be happier going this route. My personal favorite manufacturer for audio interfaces is Echo Audio and they make some of the most stable interfaces I have ever used. If you’re looking for more portability, USB interfaces are great and provided you verify that there are no existing compatibility issues with your current set up, I don’t think you would be disappointed. My personal experience with the UR22 has been very positive and I don’t hesitate recommending it. With most gear, the general saying is you get what you pay for so whatever you decide, make sure that you research/test it thoroughly before committing to a final purchase.

      • Luis Vieira says:

        Thank you very much for your reply.

        It really helped.

        Now comes another question, my current sound system is a logitech 5.1, and i connect 3 cables into my current sound card. But those sound cards all have RCA outputs, so while i dont buy good monitors, would a simple adapter that logitech provides that allows me to connect it with RCA cables work?

        About the keyboard, i saw some people recommend an Acorn Masterkey 61, that it is a good keyboard for beginners like me, less features than the Axiom 25 MKII, but also very good for its purpose. I acctually liked it.

  26. alexikus says:

    PHONES
    Maximum Output Level 6mW+6mW, 40 Ohm… What headphones should I buy for this output? How many ohms? I want to buy 250Om. Card support?

  27. Mark says:

    Great info. Thank you for taking the time to write and answer questions. Mine is probably simple…
    I am new to this whole audio/PC interface stuff. I am looking for a device that I can use to connect my Yamaha edrums to, in order to trigger sounds in a package like Addictive Drums on my PC.

    It seems like inputs for guitar/mics have pretty specific requirements. Could the input on this device be fed by something other than guitar/mic – like my drums? Thanks!

    • Joel Carlo says:

      Hi Mark,
      Normally you would just plug your edrums into the MIDI IN of whatever audio device youre using. The UR22 has MIDI In and OUT for triggering and playback so as long as your edrums are recognized as a midi device in your DAW, you should be fine. If you need help setting up your kit with Addictive Drums, here is a tutorial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwAgNAwz_oY

      Hope that helps.

      • Mark says:

        HI, It did help, thanks.

        I picked up a UR22 yesterday, installed the drivers per the instructions, plugged in my drums and indeed, away it went. I did have to play with the drivers & settings in the application stack to remove the latency, but now it is very, very close to real time – and I finally have decent cymbal sounds courtesy of Addictive Drums.

        The unit is probably overkill for what I need – but it is fairly inexpensive, solidly built, and I am sure someday someone will need to plug something in the front. I am happy with it.

        Thanks again.

        • Joel Carlo says:

          Hi Mark,

          In today’s clusterfuck of choices when it comes to audio interfaces, it can be incredibly difficult to boil things down to what is relevant. I agree with you that the UR22 is fairly inexpensive and solidly built which at the end of the day makes all the difference. And to some, the UR22 may be more than what we need BUT… the fact that it is an affordable and incredibly stable interface considering the cost makes our choice so much easier to make.

          I’m an Addictive Drums user as well so I completely understand were you’re coming from. At the end of the day all I want is an audio interface that works without any hassle and the UR22 does exactly that… unassuming and does what its supposed to do. No flashy stuff or extras… it just gets shit done. Period.

          Glad you are happy with it. – J

  28. Ethan says:

    Hello there =) I got a UR22 a few months back and its been a reliable piece of kit since =) It’s easy to use and has all I need =) I’m just wondering if anyone here possesses a Shure SM7B Dynamic Mic and if it is able to work well with the UR22 because I do plan on getting it for recording vocals. I’ve done some digging and I’ve heard that there might be potential issues pertaining to the gain and its advisable to have +60dB of gain. Any help or advice regarding whether or not I’m able to get that microphone would be very much appreciated thanks!

    • Joel Carlo says:

      Hi Ethan, Im using an SM57 without any issues but the SM7B has a lower output. So really at the end of the day it boils down to what you are recording. If youre using it for vocals, particularly with loud singers or even voice over tracks, I think you’ll be fine. But if you’re using it to record lower amplitude signal, you might be disappointed. Take a look at this thread: https://www.steinberg.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=260659

      Hope this helps.

      • Ethan says:

        Thanks so much for the advice. I think I’m all set for getting the SM7B. In any case if I require more clean gain I’ve been told I can use a Cloudlifter to boost the signal. I’ll try to get back to you once I get all the stuff to share on exactly how compatible the UR22 and SM7B is when put together.

  29. Craig Masaki says:

    Hello I just bought this device and while just initially testing it, I noticed that when making a test recording using Acid Music Studio 7 and a microphone (with an xlr jack), if the mic is plugged into the left (#1) jack, it records only the left audio channel. And if I move the mic to the right jack (#2) it only records audio on the right channel. Is there a way I can get this to record both left and right channels simultaneously without using 2 microphones? I’m guessing it’s a setting somewhere as the last usb recording device I had did not have this issue. Thanks.

    • Joel Carlo says:

      Hi Craig, no there is no setting to sum both channels to mono since you are only recording a mono signal (if there is no signal coming in from the opposite channel, whats the point since its not a stereo track and its going to be mono regardless). If youre recording and are left with a stereo track that has signal panned left or right, you can do two things. Either convert that stereo track to a mono track in Acid in your edit audio settings, or just set up a mono audio track in your daw first to record to and then record the signal from whatever channel its coming from. Hope this helps.

      • Craig Masaki says:

        Yes! This was of great help! Thank you very very much!

      • Tony Ross says:

        I would like to be able to play my mic through a voice problem such as teamspeak or skype but people can only hear me in the left opr right ear. is thjere a way to fix this?

        • Joel Carlo says:

          Hi Tony, your mic line in is a mono channel input, not a stereo input. That’s why you will only hear it on either the left or right channel, depending on which line you have your mic plugged into.

  30. Szasza says:

    Hi Joel!
    Just got the urr-22 yesterday. Was very happy its work well in cubase and with minimal latency but i have a big issue. Im mainly a guitar player and using active EMG pickup. If i use the hi z switch than its distorts and clips even at the smallest gain setting. if i turn off the hi-z than the audible guitar sound is much quieter but it doesnt distort if its at 15 precent gain. The problem is that the signal i record than is very weak and if i try more gain it will distort. Any suggestion? i checked that the hi-z has 470KOhms but some guitar input is 1MOhms or even higher and it semms like its not enough for it. Its a shame because otherwise it is a very good interface.

    • Joel Carlo says:

      Hi Szasza, not sure if I can help with this. My suggestion would be to make a post on the Steinberg support forum to see if they have a solution or if any users have run into a similar problem. If you find a solution, please let me know. Good luck.

  31. Sam says:

    I just got the UR22 and have a relatively basic question: what type of headphones are you using? The jack is larger than typical earbuds/everyday headphones. Will a more professional pair of studio headphones fit the jack? Without a pair of properly-sized headphones/monitor speakers, I have no way of hearing what I record!

    Thanks so much in advance and thank you for the informative article!

  32. Adelmo says:

    Hey Joel ! thanks for this great review man !
    I m trying to find out if this interface is usb 3.0 compatible… If you have the opportunity to test it on usb 3.0 port and give us feedback (if it works, if it noisy,…) it would be so great !!
    Thanks and good luck
    PS: some nice work in your curriculum !

  33. Kykc says:

    Hi! You mentioned, that in “full direct” knob position DAW signal still bleeds through, which is kind of sad, but acceptable (As I’ll not use direct feature anyway). But what about “full DAW” knob position, direct signal bleeds or not? Thanks in advance.

  34. Dimitris says:

    Hey Joel,

    Firs of all I would like to thank you for this useful review. I am planning to buy UR22 soon and i wanna know if it will work fine for me and cover my needs.

    I am just looking for a clean and stable sound for firstly for edit / mixing (samples) and mastering my own stuff on my home studio and secondly for better audio sound quality for listening music. I do not need to record live instruments like guitar, bass or voice…only recording from a midi keyboard when is needed.

    I am using 3 basic programs.
    for editing / mixing / recording : Magix Music Maker 2013 premium and Cubase 6
    for mastering : Cubase 6 and SoundForge 6

    My basic machine is a notebook : Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo Xi3650 (Amilo X Series)
    Intel Core 2 Duo T9400 (2.53 GHz) , 4 GB Ram , Windows Vista 32 Bit.

    It has 1 RJ45, 1 USB/e-SATA, 3 USBs, 4 mini-jacks of which 1 is optical, 1 memory card reader, 1 FireWire, 1 HDMI and 1 VGA. Here you can see images from the on board sound card (using realtek hd audio driver ).
    http://www.digitalversus.com/laptop/fujitsu-siemens-amilo-xi-3650-p4567/test.html#full-review

    I also have a midi keyboard M-Audio Oxygen 25 and pair of Yamaha HS 5 Studio Monitors.

    ( Sorry for all that details )

    Do you think UR22 could cover my needs?

    Thanks a lot for your time
    Dimitris

  35. Jimmyboy says:

    Hi Joel, thanks for taking the time to do the review.

    Can you tell me how this audio interface handle multimedia audio such as gaming? I will use it mainly for ableton but do like to game on occasions. Hope i wont have to keep switching in between onboard sound and the UR22. Thanks again.

    • Joel Carlo says:

      Hi Jim,

      Shouldnt make a difference. Once the drives are installed on the UR22 and you have it set as your default soundcard, its pretty much set it and forget it. I play games on my system and the UR22 is the only audio device I use. I havent found any reason to switch back to onboard sound.

  36. DJ Gary B says:

    I currently have the UR22 but I’m having a lot of driver issues with it right where the driver isn’t loading even though it’s installed but it’s just not recognizing the hardware and that annoying light just keeps blinking so I’m thinking of switching to something else to get away from the driver issues with it but overall everything you said about it is true.

  37. Tom says:

    Hi Joel, I just bought the UR22 and got the Cubase AI 7 with it. And there’s a problem i just can’t seem to solve. I hook it up, install the drivers from the disk i got with it. Using phantom power aswell because I use a condensator mic. But when I record there’s sound in my headset (monitor)
    But when I click play, it won’t play the audio I recorded. I was able to get sound abit later after looking around on cubase, but just in the left speaker of my headset. Do you have any tips for me to solve my problem?

    • Joel Carlo says:

      Hi Tom,

      If youre recording from a single mic, then youre recording a mono source. You’ll only get the signal from whatever channel your mic is plugged into ( left or right ). If you want to record vocals using one mic, create an audio track in cubase and set it as a mono track recording directly from whatever channel your mic is connected to. Hope that helps!

  38. Riccardo says:

    Hi, I just read your review and I have a question about this device. I want to buy it to use with an electric guitar and the the software guitar rig 5 for playback effects. Any known issue with this kind of pairing? Thank you

    • Joel Carlo says:

      Hi Riccardo, its more important to verify if your system has driver support for the UR22 first. Once that’s established, youll need to verify if your system has enough memory to run Guitar Rig 5. If it does, you’re pretty much in the clear.

      • Riccardo says:

        Thank you for your reply Joel. I checked my system requirements and they are ok. On my searching I stumbled upon the M-audio M-track plus and it looks a good piece of hardware, I saw there is a dedicated plug in for guitar, that is not present in UR22 which also has some driver problems and input impedence of 470 kOhm, that could be an issue with guitar as I read in some posts before in this thread. I feel confused now about what should I buy to connect my guitar to the laptop. Any good suggestion? Thank you very much

        • Joel Carlo says:

          Riccardo, you can always visit your local music store and request a demo. Most places will allow you to test the gear first before purchasing to make sure its compatible with your set up. Bring your guitar, hook it up and see if it works. Let me know how it goes.

  39. David says:

    Hi, what a great review! I’m about to buy one of these myself but there’s something I haven’t been able to figure out. Can I connect the output to a stereo amp? According to reviews it’s supposed to be used with monitor speakers. I don’t have those, so it’d be important to know if the stereo amp is ok or not. Sorry for the rookie question :S Thanks!

  40. gus says:

    Hi Joel,
    do You know which is the noise level of the UR22?
    for example, I have a Behringher mixer and I have an -34db noise hum without playing anything.
    the UR22 has a very low noise?

    thanks for your reply.
    Gus

  41. Xabi says:

    hi Joel,

    I’ve noticed you mentioned sound bleeding through when panned to Input. I also just got this device and noticed even when output and phones are turned down to zero, sound still bleed through if i have music playing through youtube, wmp etc (regardless if panned to input or daw) A small level of sound will still come through both monitor and headphones. This is a worry I highly doubt other devices are as clumsy as this.

    The only way to completely mute is by not playing any media in windows and mute the volume control through windows. Think I’am going to try out other devices in the same price point and see how they fair before deciding if i want to keep this Ur22.

  42. Mick Seven says:

    Hello Joel, I have a couple question more based on the headphones/monitoring on the system. Now, please note in some instances I found out I might not have needed the interface in the first place– only because I found out my Roland Juno Gi serves as BOTH a midi and audio interface!
    I am using the Juno Gi a lot to play addictive keys and BFD Eco Drums. With 1 usb cable I am getting both the Midi and Audio and using Audio Technica ATM50′s- which in my opinion are superb.
    Today I used the UR22 and to be honest was not getting a pleasant sound out of the UR22 from the headphones. What do you recommend I do in approaching EQ etc..- should I depend more on the VST itself?
    I am planning on using the Steinberg for my 2nd laptop which is coming soon

    • Joel Carlo says:

      Hi Mick,

      Not sure what you mean by “pleasant sound”. What are you trying to do? Are you using the interface for simple audio playback? Are you using it for tracking?

  43. Edward Corrado says:

    I just picked this unit up and it sounds great.

    The nice thing about it is that it is really solid, Well built and the sound is great.

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