Behringer UM2 Review – Is it Good for Recording?

Behringer UM2

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Current testing methodology is v1.2

Release Date
August 2, 2013
Price
$59.00
Model:
UM2
Weight
9.2 oz
Size
8.45 x 6.25 x 3.6 in

With social media becoming an integral part of our daily lives, more and more people are also hoping to become the next famous internet personality.

From vlogging, streaming, and podcasting to recording covers and own compositions, high-quality audio has been an integral part of attracting people to watch your work.

This is why having a so-so camera and microphone won’t cut it.

For you to achieve high-quality audio, it would be better if you’re going to use an audio interface, such as the Behringer UM2.

Budget Pick

Behringer UM2

One of the best entry-level and budget-friendly audio interface.

4/5
Price Range: $
Brand: Behringer
Behringer UM2 buttons

TL:DR;

The Behringer UM2 is an affordable audio interface that produces great sound quality for recording.

It has a solid build that feels sturdy. I’ve had mine for a couple of years now and it still works perfectly even if I’ve accidentally dropped it a few times.

There’s some latency and noise in the output, which can be a downside for the UM2, but they’re not much of an issue for me given its price.

If you’re on a tight budget but would love to enter the world of recording tracks, the Behringer UM2 can help you get started until you can buy more expensive and better audio interfaces.

The Specs

  • Channels:  2
  • Input:  1 x XLR-1/4” combo & 1 x ¼”
  • Output:  1 x Dual RCA Stereo
  • Resolution:  16-bit/48 kHz
  • Power Supply:  USB (Type-B)
  • Phantom Power:  Yes
  • Headphone Output:  Yes

What’s in the Box?

  • Audio Interface
  • USB Cable (Type-B)
  • User Manual

Stuff I like

  • Affordable
  • 48 kHz resolution
  • Individual gain level knob
  • Phantom Power

Stuff I like less

  • High noise when set at higher gain levels
  • Slippery and rough knobs
  • Slippery and rough knobs

Comparable products to consider

M-Audio M-Track Solo
M-Audio M-Track Solo

The M-Audio M-Track Solo is also an excellent option if you are looking for a budget-friendly interface with features similar to the Behringer UM2. It is also a little bit cheaper compared to the latter.

Focusrite Scarlett Solo
Focusrite Scarlett Solo 3rd Gen

This entry-level audio interface is one the best in the market; however, it is also one of the most expensive ones out there. Though many love it, you should expect to pay a hefty price.

Although I know that there are better audio interfaces in the market, the UM2 is one of the cheapest models. I’m on a tight budget so I didn’t hesitate to get it. 

Being a wannabe audio engineer on a budget, I was immediately impressed with its performance after my first use, as it delivered way beyond what I expected.

Here are some of the things that I’ve noticed after using the Behringer UM2 for more than two years.

Build Quality

When talking about the Behringer UM2’s build quality, this thing can last long unless you destroy it on purpose. 

Although it has a body made of plastic, it still feels a little bit heavy for a compact audio interface, giving you some feeling that it has an interior armor of some sort, ready to protect it any time.

Honestly, I’ve already dropped it a few times by accident and it still works well. Every time this happens, I gain more and more trust that this audio interface can take a beating.

While all its control knobs are also made of plastic, they don’t feel smooth when you turn them clockwise or counterclockwise. Plus the knobs’ surfaces can easily get slippery, especially if you have oily hands.

Lastly, its input jacks are reliable enough to do their job without that annoying crackling noise that usually comes from a poor audio connection from the cable’s plug to the jack.

Behringer UM2 buttons
Behringer UM2 controls | Make Life Click

Controls

For compact audio interfaces, such as the Behringer UM2, you must have better control over the important things in getting the best audio quality recording you can, even with its limitations.

With the UM2, you get enough control options to squeeze out the ideal recording output that you are hoping for.

With the gain knobs, it’s essential that when you have two inputs in your audio interface, you should have two separate gain controls and not the usual single master gain that comes from budget audio interfaces.

Thankfully, the UM2 comes with two so you can adjust the gain output from one channel without affecting the other input’s gain level.

With its setup, I enjoyed recording covers using my microphone and guitar, as I can balance out the loudness from the two devices without affecting the overall mix of the recorded output.

The audio interface also has a level knob for headphone monitoring, which is nice, especially if you want to listen to the mix while recording.

It even has a 48V phantom power switch in its back, allowing you to connect a condenser microphone to it. This is ideal for podcasts or recording musical instruments, such as drums or guitars.

Once again, for a budget-level audio interface, the only downside to it is the roughness of the knobs. It can give you a heavy feel while turning them in any direction.

Compatibility 

Excellent compatibility is essential when choosing an audio interface. 

With the Behringer UM2, compatibility is not an issue. Aside from being compact, another thing I like about this audio interface is that it works well with different setups.

Being compatible with PC and Mac is a good start for the UM2. From what I’ve experienced, I just installed the ASIO driver and I’m good to go.

It can also work on many famous Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs), such as Avid Tools, Steinberg Cubase, Ableton Live, and more. 

UM2 with cords
Behringer UM2 cables | Make Life Click

Personally, I’ve only tried it using Audacity and Reaper as my DAWs, which are also very common for artists and streamers, and I never had any issues with it.

These things are also free to download, install, and use, which is an advantage, especially if you don’t want to break the bank.

The only drawback I noticed in this audio interface is that I can’t do a multitrack recording with it. But this can also be pretty understandable for its price. 

Considering the price that I have paid for this little beast, it’s still so much worth it.

Sound Quality

Even though it’s one of the cheapest audio interfaces in the market today, the Behringer UM2 can still deliver a full-range frequency performance that’s way better than what you’d expect.

You can get a near-professional audio recording quality out of it, as it supports a 48 kHz resolution.

It can produce high-detailed recorded tracks that would be perfect for streaming, podcasting, or even if you want to hear yourself singing.

There are just two things that I notice that Behringer UM2 has some disadvantages: its latency and its noise, especially when the gain level is cranked-up.

It has a little latency when monitoring yourself using its headphone output, making it hard to play along with backtracks when covering a song. 

This can be expected for budget-friendly models, but I still have difficulty adjusting to it.

There’s also noise in the recorded output when you crank the gain output close to 75 percent. But in a typical setup, you rarely have to boost it more than half, so it’s not something you should worry about.

Bass

I’ve used this audio interface for two years now, primarily for streaming church services and recording tracks, so I have heard plenty of bass performances with it.

I can say that it delivers more than what’s expected.

Either with the bass drum or bass guitar, I don’t have to put too much mixing on the track, as this audio interface can give me the natural bass I’ve heard live.

Behringer UM2 top view
UM2 build design | Make Life Click

Mids

Musical instruments that live in the midrange, such as the guitar, can cut through the mix cleanly, so there’s not too much I have to do in post-processing the recorded track.

It can also replicate the vocals naturally, even if you’ve added some effects to the mixer, which I loved, especially if I wanted to add some reverb to give a livelier sound to my recorder track.

Treble

This is where the Behringer UM2 feels a little bit lacking for me. 

It sounds a little bit dull when listening to the cymbals, as it lacks the brightness I’m looking for. But with some tweaks on the EQ, it can still be fixed.

However, with the price I have paid for this audio interface, I really can’t complain. 

I’d still say this is a good purchase even if I’d need to do some tweaking on the EQ for its highs.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS ONE?
Behringer U-Phoria UM2 USB Audio Interface
Behringer U-Phoria UM2

Conclusion

People would never want to watch or listen to anything with a noisy audio track, so having clean audio is an essential part of the job. 

This means that adding an audio interface to your setup is a no-brainer.

If you’re a starting podcaster, vlogger, artist, musician, or planning to become one, the Behringer UM2 would be excellent gear to start your journey with.

Of course, you can go for higher-quality audio interfaces with more inputs and outputs, but they can also be way more expensive.

Not only is the Behringer UM2 affordable, but it can also deliver high-quality recording output, making it one of the best when it comes to budget audio interfaces in the market right now.

Behringer UM2 top view
Behringer UM2
Build Quality
Sound Quality
Value for money
Reader Rating0 Votes
4.5

Elijah is a geodetic engineer but would love to be an audio engineer someday. He has also been a musician for more than half his life. His love for playing music, audio mixing, and production give him the desire to search for the best audio equipment in the market constantly.

This post was last updated on 2024-04-18 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.


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