This is a true tail about two audio interfaces. One is a Steinberg UR22 mkii and the other, the Behringer U-PHORIA UMC404HD
Instead of testing both interfaces and give you my humble opinion, I’ll let time be the judge. Bear with me. A few weeks ago, I was shopping for an audio interface. Like many customers who are just about to make an important purchase, I too searched the net and read reviews. YouTube had a lot of helpful information and so I decided to buy a Steinberg UR22 mkii.
The sole purpose of that audio interface was to connect the stereo output of the Yamaha Genos to one of my computers. At only CAN $175.00, the Steinberg UR22 mkii was inexpensive and below what I had budgeted. So I bought it and was excited about being able to record the Genos.
I should mention that the Genos workstation also has an Audio Technika 2035 microphone connected to the mic input and the signal is mixed back into the main out.
A very happy start
Music gear can be weird at first. Sometimes it takes a few days to get the settings right and learn the ins and outs but I’ve spent years in the studio and the UR22 mkii didn’t need much setup. It worked well out of the box. Further more, the first test recordings sounded better than I expected.
Amazingly, the interface not only worked perfectly in Windows 10 but also under Linux using Reaper for a DAW.
The interface was perfect, the software was not
As smooth as the hardware setup was, registering and downloading the software from Steinberg was, at best, unpleasant. Like many net users, I have some browser plugins that give me a little bit of privacy and the Steinberg website was not able to deal with them. As a web designer I’d like to add that their way of issuing the bonus content is quite outdated and pointless.
I suppose that Steinberg was ripped of plenty in the last 20 years so let’s just say OK, they surely have a reason for why they do things that way.
Eventually, I got all the pieces installed and registered and spent the next week with tweaking various settings on the Genos. Steinberg gives away a limited version of their Cubase AI DAW which I installed to see if I can work with it. Cubase AI is OK for my simple needs and recognizes the extended voice structure in order to access my Genos.
Disaster struck two weeks later
A few days ago, I powered up my computer workstation which had just been updated to the latest Windows update which is 1903 or something like that. I don’t know if the update is to blame but immediately, Cubase wouldn’t start and needed to be re registered again. But that was just the beginning of my pain. Initializing the audio interface hung and after five minutes, I cancelled and rebooted.
The second try yielded the same results. I then searched for info on how to correct this and proceeded to remove the drivers for the Steinberg UR22 mkii and set it as as a new device.
I downloaded the firmware patch and just like earlier, it hung once again leaving me no choice but to kill the process after 10 minutes of inactivity. Please note that I have a very fast internet connection and the tiny download would have taken a few seconds at the most.
Return the device to the dealer
I purchased the audio interface from a local dealer. They were very friendly on the phone and told me to bring the unit in so that they can send it out for repair. That happened three days ago and I have not heard from them since. No problem, I understand how these things go.
Yamaha sent the device back to me yesterday, September 5th (2019) and today I hooked it up to the laptop which runs ArcoLinux. The UR22 mkii was instantly recognized and was on all afternoon. So far, no complaints. Let’s see how it records tomorrow.
One month later, the Steinberg UR22 mkii is still working perfectly and has become a handy asset to quickly adjusting the playback volume for amateur YouTube training videos.
Behringer U-PHORIA UMC404HD
This audio interface was on my shortlist and I bought it today. It’s unpacked but not hooked up yet. Sometime during the setup I begun thinking what would have happened if I bought the Behringer interface instead of the Steinberg one? Some people say that Behringer is not dependable while Steinberg is much more reliable.
How about a simple test
So here is a simple test. I will periodically update this blog post and list the good and bad I experience. In time, I will have valuable advice for anyone who is evaluating other entry-level audio interfaces. Will the Behringer break as well or will it pull trough? Time will tell and so will I.
I expect to get the Steinberg UR22 mkii interface within the next few days and once it’s back, I will use it with my second workstation here at the Little Composers Academy
Over the next days, weeks and months, we will record new online courses for gifted children and both, the Behringer as well as the Steinberg interface have to perform 100%.
If they do, I will honestly say so and if not, then I will try my best to describe what happened and a possible cause as to why. I am kind of excited to learn how these two brands perform for us. If one of the two brands proofs to be extremely reliable, then we will purchase more of them because I prefer to have identical equipment on all the machines.
Thank you for reading. If you have a good or bad user experience then I welcome you to comment. The more diversity and opinions the better. After all, the truth lies somewhere in the sum of opinions. Thank you for reading and stay tuned for the next update.
My Behringer UR22 MKii is in the repair shop. Almost two weeks have gone by and I haven’t heard anything regarding what’s going on.
Meanwhile, the Behringer audio interface performs much better than I could have imagined. If I could go back, I’d buy the UMC404HD and nothing else.
Hey Ernst – did you get your interface back and have you had a chance to measure the levels against the Behringer? (C.D.)
No, not yet. The interface is still out on repair and I was told that it can take up to six weeks to get it back. When I do, I won’t test because I fell in love with the Behringer UMC404HD. I regret that I didn’t buy it sooner. It exceeds my expectations every day. I’ll update when I get the Steinberg UR22 mkii back but most likely, it will end up on craigslist shortly after. – Ernst
As of yesterday, the device is back and working as expected.