Famous for their microphones, Rode seem to be branching out a little. Into the world of audio interfaces. Designed to give you studio quality audio performance at home the new Rode AI-1 Audio Interface plugs into your computer, supplies 48v phantom power to microphones, and the whole thing’s powered through USB. It also comes packed with a free copy of Ableton Live Lite audio software.
It’s an impressive looking little unit. But let’s have a look at the specs.
- Computer connectivity: USB Type C
- Simultaneous I/O: 1 x 2
- Preamps: 1
- Phantom power: Yes (48v)
- Bit depth: 24Bit
- Sample rates: 44.1Khz, 48Khz, 88.2Khz, 96Khz
- Analogue inputs: 1x Neutrik XLR-1/4″ combo
- Analogue outputs: 2x 1/4″ (impedance balanced), 1x 1/4″ (headphones)
- Direct monitor: Yes
- Bus powered: Yes
- OS requirements: Windows 7 or later, Mac OS 10.10 or later
The 20Hz to 20Khz frequency response and 104dBu dynamic range is quite impressive. Overall, it looks to be a great little unit, and if the audio quality in the video above is anything to go by, it sounds like it, too.
While the Rode AI-1 is being marketed towards musicians, it’s a great looking solution for things like voiceovers, vlogs or other videos recorded at the computer. I’ve been using a similar setup for years with a Rode NT1a going into an Alesis mixer into my sound card’s line input. But, that mixer and the sound card can introduce some slight noise.
Going to a purpose-built unit with a USB interface eliminates almost all of that. I think whenever my mixer dies, the Rode AI-1 will be in the running as its replacement.
For the music fans, it’ll happily take regular instrument level inputs like a guitar or bass. Or, you can bump it up to line level for things like keyboards and synthesizers.