Building your first home studio has never been easier and today we review the best home recording studio packages available. These bundles give you everything you need to start producing your tracks – without leaving your house!
At a Glance: Our Pick of the Best Home Recording Studio Packages
- Editor’s Choice: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Studio 3rd Gen Package
- Best Value: M-Audio AIR 192|4 Vocal Studio Pro
- Best Premium Pick: Mackie Home Recording Studio Bundle
- Best For Beginner: PreSonus AudioBox Studio
- Best Budget Pick: Behringer Voice Studio Bundle
- Best Bundle With Pro Tools: Mackie Producer Bundle
- Best Bundle With Condenser Mic: Neumann TLM 102 Studio Set
- Best Complete Studio: PreSonus AudioBox 96 Audio Full Studio Kit
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Studio 3rd Gen Package – Editor’s Choice
- Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen audio interface
- CM25 MkIII
- HP60 MkIII
- XLR cable
This bundle from Focusrite is the best home recording studio package available. The crown jewel of this bundle is the bestselling Scarlett 2i2-interface, which in my opinion is the best audio interface for Mac. It’s a portable professional-grade interface featuring Focusrite’s award-winning preamps.
The audio interface is USB-powered and you can switch the impedances from Mic to Line with a push of a button. The preamps are amazing and they add depth and warmth to the recording from the start.
It lacks a Direct Monitoring input dial so if you want to adjust the monitor level, you’ll have to adjust the output levels in your DAW or the Scarlett Mix application. It’s not a deal-breaker but it would be nice to have.
The HP60 MkIII Studio Headphones have almost 0 impedance, giving you a lot of headroom before the sound gets distorted. They do lack some bottom end but overall the sound is smooth, crisp, and loud. The headphones have a solid and durable feel with comfortable cups. I have small ears so the cups fit perfectly for me. If you have bigger ears they probably not going to fit over your whole ear.
The CM25 MKIII condenser microphone has an attractive sleek design and a solid metal casing. It’s a clear-sounding and versatile microphone that works great on vocals, guitars, and string instruments. It lacks some bottom-end and low-mids but my recordings don’t sound thin or harsh. For best results, you might want to buy a pop shield or mic windscreen, as it’s not included.
Overall, this is an excellent all-in-one recording solution for Mac or PC owners! At some point, you may want to upgrade the microphone, as I believe it’s the weakest link in this bundle. The package also includes Pro Tools First, Ableton Lite, and a lot of plugins, samples, and VST-instruments that will get you started!
- Scarlett 2i2 – one of the best audio interfaces available
- AIR mode on the Scarlett 2i2 gives your preamps an additional boost
- Focusrite Creative Pack with 500MB of loops and effects
- All-in-one recording solution for Mac or PC owners
- The microphone adds some compression to the sound by default
- The cups of the HP60 MKIII are small
M-Audio AIR 192|4 Vocal Studio Pro – Best Value
- AIR 192|4 interface
- HDH40 headphones
- Nova Black condenser microphone
- XLR cable
- AIR Series Software Suite
M-Audio AIR 192|4 is a complete home recording bundle as it includes everything you need to get started. Everything is easy to set up and the recordings sound great. It’s simple and affordable for complete beginners and experienced producers.
This package builds on the praised USB-powered M-Audio AIR 192|4 interface. This is one of the most valuable interfaces on the market with two 24-bit/192kHz channels for optimum audio resolution. It also features A/D converters and low-noise preamps which gives the recordings a smooth and natural sound.
At the front, you have a Direct input for guitar or bass which you can emulate with the including Eleven Lite FX suite. Overall, this is a fantastic low-latency interface.
The Nova Black is a cardioid microphone and it surprised me with the amount of headroom and proximity compared to other entry-level studio microphones. Cheaper microphones usually have less headroom, making the sound compressed even without processing. This is nothing I heard in my recordings with the Nova.
The HDH40 studio headphones have a great bass reproduction and they are very comfortable. They fit over my ears perfectly and I can imagine it’s the same for people with bigger ears as well. You can easily wear these headphones for long sessions without ear fatigue.
This bundle also includes a premium software suite with Pro Tools First, Ableton Lite, Eleven Lite (guitar amp simulator), sound loops, VST-instruments, and effects. All this software delivers everything you need to be able to transform the ideas in your head into tracks you can share with your fans.
- High quality of all the units
- Super easy to assemble and use right out of the box
- Included shock-mount
- USB-interface only have one line-level input
- Simple controls without much room for tweaking
Mackie Home Recording Studio Bundle – Best Premium
- Big Knob Studio
- CR3-X 3″ Monitors
- EM-91C condenser microphone
- EM-89D dynamic microphone
- MC-100 Headphones
The Mackie Studio Bundle is an all-in-one package of recording and studio equipment. This kit has everything you need to get professional recordings at home with tons of room to grow. Besides the standard studio equipment included in all recording packages, you also get stereo monitors and an extra dynamic microphone
The Big Knob Studio 3×2 USB audio interfaces record at 24-bit/192 kHz for high-resolution audio. The two Onyx mic preamps onboard provide a clear and smooth recording without any unwanted noise. One thing to mention is that the knob is very sensitive so be careful when adjusting volumes.
This recording package includes both a condenser and a dynamic microphone. This is great and in my opinion a big advantage. With the EM-91C condenser microphone, you can record delicate sounds like acoustic bass guitars, acoustic guitars, or vocals. The EM-89D dynamic microphone is great for louder sounds like electric guitars, bass, or drums.
The MC-100 headphones have a powerful bass performance, similar to models twice or three times as expensive. On the contrary, I find it to have weaker reproduction on higher frequencies.
- Large package
- Great recording possibilities with both a condenser and dynamic microphone
- The knob on the interface is very sensitive
- The interface runs warm during longer sessions
PreSonus AudioBox 96 Studio – Best For Beginners
- AudioBox USB 96
- Studio One Artist
- M7 condenser microphone
- HD7 headphones
The PreSonus Audiobox 96 Studio bundle includes everything you need for assembling your first home recording studio. Besides the priceworthy hardware, it also incorporates a full version of the PreSonus Studio One Artist with some great effects and samples.
The bundle includes the Audiobox 96, which is one of the most commonly used audio interfaces for beginners. It’s incredibly user-friendly with features useful to more advanced producers as well. The interface record at 24-bit audio and 96kHz resolution, and offers twin combo inputs that can be used for both microphones and instruments.
The MIDI inputs and outputs are rare for an audio interface within this price range. They can be extremely useful if you use external MIDI devices or if you don’t have any free USB ports on your computer.
The HD7 headphones are lightweight and offer a detailed sound reproduction with little harshness. The bass response is enhanced to some extent, which is not ideal while monitoring as you would want a natural sound reproduction.
The M7 microphone is a large-diaphragm condenser that works well for vocals and acoustic instruments. It’s extremely budget-friendly and will get a beginner started. However, if you’re serious about recording yourself, you should upgrade at some point.
What makes the PreSonus Audiobox 96 Studio bundle one of the best recording studio packages? The DAW ‘Studio One Artist’ and ‘Studio Magic Suite’. With this software, you can record with unlimited audio tracks and get creative with 10GB of third-party samples and loops.
- Great package for beginners
- A full version of Studio One included
- MIDI inputs and outputs let you connect external devices
- You’ll need to upgrade the microphone at some point
- 96kHz resolution is low compared to other bundles
Behringer Voice Studio Bundle – Best Budget Pick
- Tube Ultragain MIC500USB
- Studio-Grade C-1 Mic
Behringer Voice Studio is the best home recording package if you are on a tight budget. Don’t be fooled by the extremely affordable price – With a tube preamplifier, this bundle packs some serious punch.
The Tube Ultragain MIC500USB preamp delivers a high-end tone to all connected sources. Tube preamps work extremely well with voice recordings as it adds much more warmth and capture details better than digital preamps. Analog preamps also provide a softer clipping, making them much more forgiving in case distortion occurs.
The MIC500USB doubles as an audio interface and you can record guitar, bass, keyboards, and microphones straight into your computer. It records at 16-bit/48kHz and features a low-cut filter, a phase switch, and a 20dB Pad.
The C1 Mic is a budget medium-diaphragm condenser microphone that provides a lot of clarity and presence. I’m not very happy with the treble response but overall this mic can handle most recording sources. It’s worth mentioning that I don’t think you’ll find a better option at $50.
At some point, you may want to upgrade the C1 mic to something better. In my opinion, you’ll get the most value from the Audio Technica AT2020.
- The MIC500USB offers some real tube warmth
- Portable setup
- 150 downloadable instruments and plug-ins
- The C1 Mic has an unpleasant treble response
- Recordings sound a bit thin with the C1
Mackie Producer Bundle – Best With Pro Tools
- Onyx Producer 2•2 USB Interface
- MC-100 Professional Headphones
- EM-91C Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone
- EM-89D Dynamic Vocal Microphone
- Pro Tools First
- The Musician Collection for ProTools
- The DAW Essentials
The Mackie Producer Bundle includes everything you need for your home studio setup. This is a big package that provides you with a lot of options when it comes to recording. The bundle includes both a dynamic microphone and a condenser microphone, allowing you to record a wide array of instruments and sounds.
The Onyx Producer USB interface gives you high-resolution audio and is built on premium analog circuitry. You can record at 24-bit/192 kHz which I believe is the highest resolution you can get from a bundle.
The preamps are just what you’d expect. They’re clean and transparent, ready to do their magic on any color of preamp or instrument you choose. Both inputs have a signal/overload indication as well as a Hi-Z switch for recording directly from things like a guitar.
The one drawback is that Onyx Producer 2•2 only has one global 48V switch for both inputs. If you simultaneously recording with the dynamic and the condenser microphones, you’ll need to be careful not to fry one of the signals.
Both the EM-91C and EM-89D are entry-level microphones. The EM-91C lacks some aggressive presence but consider its price it’s very versatile. Overall I was able to achieve some very credible results when recording vocals and acoustic guitars. Although the high-end needed some taming when placed in front of an electric guitar amp.
If you want a Pro Tools rig, this bundle includes everything you need. Pro Tools First is a stripped-down version of the industry-standard DAW that allows you to record and mix commercial-grade productions.
- Plug and play with the Onyx Producer 2•2 USB Interface
- MIDI I/O gives you the ability to connect additional hardware
- Includes two great entry-level microphones
- The bundle includes a lot of useful accessories, including a shock mount and mic clip
- Onyx Producer 2•2 only features one global 48V switch
- There are better budget microphones on the market
Neumann TLM 102 Studio Set – Best Condenser Microphone Bundle
- Neumann TLM 102
- AKG K 240 Studio Pro Headphones
- XLR cable
- Shock Mount
The Neumann TLM 102 Studio Set differs from the other recording studio packages featured in this list. Why? It doesn’t include an audio interface. However, it does include a microphone from the legendary manufacturer Neumann.
Neumann TLM 102 feels like a piece of art to me. It has a body completely made of metal with a nice matt finish. When I opened the box I was surprised by its small size. The mic has a cardioid pickup pattern and can record audio from 20Hz – 20kHz.
All around this microphone sounds fantastic. It performs great on acoustic guitars, keyboards, and vocals. It has an incredible build quality and it’s completely incomparable with the other mics included in bundles. My recordings have a smooth low-end and a great amount of high-frequency and presence, without sounding harsh.
This is an expensive microphone for sure. If you’re a beginner you probably don’t need to make this kind of investment from the get-go. You probably would benefit from the TLM 102 if you’re an experienced vocalist with a larger budget and looking to upgrade. I was a little disappointed that there was no protective case included. That’s something you would expect within this price range.
Some thoughts on the AKG K 240: They’re a great choice if you’re a budget audiophile. The semi-open design gives the sound a neutral response and you hear a more realistic representation of sound. They fit my small ears perfectly and the ventilation is better than with closed-back headphones. They feel kind of plastic and less durable compared to my metal-reinforced AKG K371.
- Neumann TLM 102 manage everything you throw at it
- It’s affordable, for a Neumann…
- Incredibly clear sound
- No protective case included
- The heavy price tag
- AKG K371 is not very portable
PreSonus AudioBox Studio Ultimate Bundle – Best Complete Studio
- AudioBox USB 96
- Studio One Artist
- Eris 3.5 monitor
- M7 condenser microphone
- HD7 headphones
The PreSonus AudioBox Studio Ultimate bundle is literally an entire recording studio for about $300.
The AudioBox USB 96 interface is one of the best affordable audio interfaces available. This was the first interface that I owned and I probably used it as a centerpiece in my studio longer than I should’ve. And I mean that in a good way. There are not many audio interfaces that offer two XLR-inputs and MIDI outs in this price range. The all-metal casing is built to last a lifetime.
The Eris 3.5 monitors are probably the best extremely (!) budget-friendly monitors available. They produce a sound you’d expect from monitors double the price. They have a relatively neutral frequency response ranging from 80Hz-20kHz. They also feature acoustic tuning controls which allow for fine-tuning according to your studio acoustics. They lack some bass response which is most noticeable when mixing kick drums or synth basses.
Condenser microphones are sensitive to dirt and dust, so the protective case along with the M7 microphone is great. It feels quite sturdy, but not too solid. It’s a microphone that is cheap and okay. So how does its sound pair up against other mics included in recording studio packages? It has a very big pickup on the high-ends with a very tinny noise.
The HD7 studio headphones are lightweight, comfortable, and offer a good low-frequency response mixed with a crispy high-end. Because of the semi-open design, the sound escaped and entered my microphone when recording vocals. They’re not ideal for critical listening and mixing since they don’t offer a flat frequency response. Overall, they are a decent pair of headphones considered the price.
Choosing the Best Home Recording Studio Package
An audio interface is the heart of every home studio. Using an A/D converter, audio interfaces convert microphone and instrument signals into a format your music production computer understands. Most interfaces connect to your computer via USB cables but some are built with Thunderbolt connectors
The best home recording studio package includes a 2 channel USB audio type interface that can handle different kinds of inputs like mics, instruments, and line-level instruments. You would also want some tweaking options, like the ones featured in the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2. It allows you to tweak the input and gain levels and activate the ‘AIR-mode’ for additional boost.
There are audio interfaces with built-in DSP effects (Digital Signal Processing). With DSP effects you can add delay, EQ, reverb, and compression to the sound before it reaches your DAW. While I prefer computer-based effects, this is a feature that many producers enjoy. An audio interface with onboard DSP is far more expensive. This is primarily useful for more advanced producers and is not included in any of the studio packages above.
Dynamic Vs Condenser Microphones
A dynamic microphone is excellent for capturing loud, powerful sounds like drums or strong vocals. It’s the most common type of microphone in live performances. A condenser microphone is the best choice if you want to record more delicate sounds, as it’s more sensitive with better sound reproduction on higher frequencies. It’s preferably used in studio environments when you want to record voices, acoustic instruments, and overheads.
Most recording packages include a condenser microphone, because of its ability to capture quieter, more complex sounds with a greater range of frequencies. Dynamic mics have a higher sound pressure limit, but for most cases that would be an unnecessary feature for home studio setups.
If you need more recording flexibility I would consider the Mackie Home Recording Studio Bundle as it includes both a dynamic and a condenser microphone.
A studio monitor is a loudspeaker designed for professional audio production purposes. So what’s the difference between a studio monitor and regular loudspeakers?
A studio monitor is built for short-distance listening and produces a flat frequency response without enhancing the sound. Hi-fi speakers are meant to sound good with any sound and in any space, often enhancing bass and treble in the process.
When you’re mixing you want to have an accurate, natural, and uncolored sound
Some recording packages like the ‘Mackie Home Recording Studio Bundle’ include a pair of monitors. They are extremely affordable but they don’t offer the same qualities as dedicated stand-alone monitors.
Studio headphones are primarily used for recording and mixing. Unlike consumer-grade headphones, they are not designed to sound pleasing. They are designed to reveal flaws in your production so you can make the necessary adjustments.
When you’re wearing a pair of studio monitors, the sound should not leak out into the recording space. If a hot microphone would pick up the leakage, that could cause major issues. In a worst-case scenario, you can end up with useless recordings.
Most recording packages include a pair of studio monitors that help you listen as you record and mix your tracks. They will do their job if you just want an uncolored sound while mixing your tracks.
If you are into recording I would recommend investing in a standalone pair. Studio bundles usually don’t include premium models and they have superior performance when it comes to isolation.
Home Recording Packages Vs Buying Everything Separately
Many of the best home recording packages include all you need to get started in one box. These bundles are perfect for both beginners and those building a home studio on a tight budget. The setup is easy and the microphones will work seamlessly with the audio interface.
If you are a more experienced producer on a decent budget, you could benefit from buying everything separately. Most bundles include budget equipment and don’t contain top-of-the-line gear. Buying everything separately also allows for mixing and matching, as you can pick and choose your setup to make a better overall kit.
I would be careful to pick the cheapest bundle available as they usually contain no-name components with zero quality. The bundles featured in this review include all of the top packages on the upper end of the price range.
And there you have it. The 8 best home recording studio packages available. Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Studio 3rd Gen Package is the best studio bundle. The centerpiece is the Scarlett 2i2 audio interface as it offers impressive pro-quality. Besides the Neumann TLM 102 Studio Set, the CM25 condenser mic is one of the best microphones included in packages.
If you want the most gear for your money I recommend the PreSonus AudioBox Studio Ultimate Bundle. The included Eris 2.5 monitors are great considered the price tag.
To sum things up
I feel that the weakest link in every studio bundle is the microphone. They will introduce you to audio recording, but that’s about it. If you continue to learn and grow as a producer you should upgrade at some point.