Lets review external professional sound card Behringer U-PHORIA UMC204HD. It is designed for studio work and has everything, that is needed for this. Its frontal panel has : combined XLR/TRS ( 1/4″ jack ) inputs for microphone, instrumental Hi-Z or linear work modes ( +48 V phantom power can be switched for them ); amplification level controls, instrumental/linear and Pad switches and clip indicators; TRS ( 1/4″ jack ) output for monitor headphones, their volume control, Direct Monitor switch, stereo and mono switch, main outputs volume control, card work modes selector and input, output, power and phantom power indicators. Its back panel has : USB Type B port, through which it is powered and communicates with computer; MIDI input and output; Kensington Lock slot and phantom power switch; 4 RCA outputs; 2 TRS ( 1/4″ jack ) outputs; and 2 TRS ( 1/4″ jack ) inserts.
Inputs of Behringer U-PHORIA UMC204HD have following characteristics : frequency response is 10 Hz – 50 kHz ( 0 / -3 dB ); impedance of microphone inputs is 3 kOhms, of instrumental Hi-Z – 1 MOhm; maximal level of input signal of microphone connectors is -4 dB, of linear is 20 dB and instrumental is -3 dB. Outputs have following characteristics : frequency response 10 Hz – 43 kHz ( 0 / 3 dB ); maximal volume level of signal is 3 dB; dynamic range is 110 dB ( A-weighted ). Inserts specifications are : 100 Ohms Send and 10 kOhms Return impedance; maximal input signal level is 3 dB. All connectors of audio interface are unbalanced.
MIDAS preamplifiers are connected to card’s inputs; it can work with sampling rates up to 192 kHz and with 24 bits per sample precision ( it also supports 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96 and 176.4 kHz frequencies ); card’s body is made from metal and it is eligible to 3-year manufacturer warranty. Behringer U-PHORIA UMC204HD is bundled with codes for DAW Tracktion 4 and different effects and plug-ins downloading. All functions of DAW are located on 1 screen : for sounds recording, tracks editing and mixing; from advanced functions it supports dynamic automation, unlimited tracks amount for work, MIDI signal recording and connection of VST/AU plugins of instruments and effects.
For it drivers for Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 and newer are released, in Mac OS X it works without additional drivers, with support of ASIO 2.0 and Core Audio interfaces. Via which it tightly integrates with modern DAWs : Cackewalk Sonar, REAPER, Avid Pro Tools, Ableton Live, Steinberg Cubase, FL Studio and others. Device sizes are 46.45 x 185 x 130 mm and mass is 0.6 kg; it is powered only from USB port without additional power adapter input; maximum it draws 2.5 W of energy.
Package contains : Behringer U-PHORIA UMC204HD sound card itself, USB cable, optical disk with drivers, 3-years warranty card and user’s guide. After purchase there is ability to register it on Behringer site for applications and plugins downloading and support receiving in case of device breakings; if nearby from you there is no authorized service-center, then you can directly call manufacturer for audio interface repair or replacement. There is ability to connect to Behringer U-PHORIA UMC204HD microphone and analogue instrument or linear signal, MIDI device and work with them in DAW, which opens wide possibilities for studio music creation and its playback on small concerts and lessons on master-classes. Audio interface’s price is around 80 USD.
As usual : sound cards of Steinberg and Behringer have no competitors and, if professional studio sound card is needed, then there is need to look on devices of these manufacturers. However among other audio interfaces of Steinberg, Behringer, Focusrite, Roland, ESI, M-Audio, Alesis and other companies there are also good devices, which worth attention, when required interface is being chosen.
Behringer – is a company, which was founded in Germany in 1989 year, currently its offices are located in many countries of the world and it is a multinational corporation; main production facilities of Behringer are located in China. Currently it is one of the leading world manufacturers of audio interfaces, microphones, loudspeakers, instruments and other sound devices.