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Audient iD22 Audio Interface Review

audient id22 review


Audient iD22 Review. The iD22 is a brilliant USB monitor controller and audio interface. Featuring conversion found with the ASP880 and preamps from the ASP8024 console, this is a brilliant interface with amazing sound quality and function.

Review Preface:

As of late the British manufacturer ‘Audient’ have turned their attention towards full professional quality equipment that can be used in more modest environments. For three years Audient has tickled the project studio owner taste buds with the release of the MiCO, but late this year they released an audio interface; the iD22.

Intended to be a game changer, the iD22 has the same flexibility and quality as the MiCO. This is undoubtedly one review you don’t want to miss!

Build Quality:

Straight out of the box the Audient appears to hold a ground of its own. Made from both steel and aluminium, the external enclosure appears to be strong, entirely suitable for a project studio owner, and certainly will survive the test of time in a professional studio. As an added bonus, the iD22 is pleasing on the eye, but it has to be said that it is smaller than what we had expected. Nevertheless, it is still packed with all the features to satisfy a demanding environment.

Referring to the top of the unit, this is the area that should be referred to as the centre console because it clearly is modelled on the convenience, and form, of a traditional analogue desk. This metal centre console plate presents the user with a number of quick-draw processes that become invaluable after the first time you use them. Half of the selectable functions are in the form of metal flick switches, however the buttons are plastic, and this is our only trivial criticism. The reason for the minor notoriety is that their quality feels a touch more inferior to the overall housing of the unit.

Taking a more in-depth look at the unit features, from the left we have the two mic pre channels. The mic channels are clearly the same as those used within the award winning ASP8024 desk, and on the unit, beneath that control Phantom power, there can be found -10dB pad, Phase reversal, and high-pass filter selectable toggle switches. The switches feel solid and have that satisfying metallic click to the touch.

Additionally the iD22 has a dedicated DIM and CUT switch bellow the master monitor control knob, this is a pleasing hardware tool that was quickly missed by myself when switching to another interface. If you refer back to the centre console you will find three assignable plastic function button selectors. It is very handy to have the ability to flip phase and sum to mono because these are features that are severely lacking from other interfaces. So well done Audient for this addition! Reverting back now to the selectable switches on their own, all of the functions can be programmed via the software, which, in fact, arrives on a beautiful chrome ‘Audient’ branded key. For the sake of argument, this USB key can store up to two gigabytes of data, and can be used for your personal use. The software/drivers are not locked onto this device.

On the rear of the unit you will find your standard USB 2.0 & power supply connections. Adjacent to these are your two pairs of outputs, 1-2 & 3-4, then your send and return inputs/outputs. Lastly you will find your ADAT I/O for a maximum of eight channels input and eight channels output, and a dedicated instrument (DI) channel that is hard-wired to channel two.

Software and Drivers:

The iD22 software is crisp, clean, and simple. Like where the Audient interface clearly has ties to an analogue mixing desk, Audient have created the user interface to replicate the look of an analogue desk with routing written on electrical tape. This sounds messy, but it actually works really well. Perhaps it might seem patronising to a select few professionals who do not care for hand-finished touches, but we like it and have absolutely no issues with it whatsoever. We also believe that the routing is intuitive, and this labelling makes for fast set-ups without having an engineering degree. Like we mentioned before, here you can assign your 3 switches to Phase Flip, SUM To Mono or Alternative monitors. During use we did not experience any issue, and the integration worked seamlessly between hardware and software.

Sound Quality:

Straight away the iD22’s inbuilt DAC is pure, crisp, and clean. Audient are known for their purity of sound, and this comes through within the overall output signature of the device during playback. Because of this critical listening is a real joy when working with the iD22. It offers exactly everything that you could want. It has a precise transient undertone that allows fast timing instruments to sing without becoming fluffy, and we all agree that the iD22 also can punch well above its weight. Personally, we were easily able to drive and array of different monitors in my collection, without all the hassle.

The two inbuilt microphone preamps perform great, and sound identical to the MiCO, or ASP008 channel strip that we have previously reviewed. An overview of their performance is that they have low noise, high headroom and they translate well over a vast range of instrumentation; seamlessly. With this being said, if your looking for massively coloured preamps, then this is not your best option, but it's not down and out. The inputs are beautifully pure, and you still do have the option of inputting any mic-pre that you would want, to then use the iD22’s astonishing ADC to translate the signal into beautiful 1’s and 0’s.

Review Conclusion:

Extensive thought has clearly been put into the design of the iD22, and as Audient’s ‘debut’ audio interface, they have most certainly hit the nail on the head. High quality pre’s combined with an excellent and customisable hardware interface as well as a first class sonic signature. The Pro Audio Web Blog proudly gives the Audient iD22 our highest merit; a five star rating.

Edd Harris & Chris Pavey

Edd Harris & Chris Pavey - 2nd December 2013

US RRP: $699.00 | UK RRP: £449.00

Editors Rating:

Five Star Award
Audient iD22
5/5 stars
Audient iD22 Review. The iD22 is a brilliant USB monitor controller and audio interface. Featuring conversion found with the ASP880 and preamps from the ASP8024 console, this is a brilliant interface with amazing sound quality and function.
Editors Choice Award - The Pro Audio Web Blog