Mackie Onyx Artist 1-2 Review – Get the Perfect Sound at a Great Price

There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing the right audio interface. You want one that offers great sound quality, but you also need it to be affordable. When I was looking for my first audio interface, I found myself in a difficult position because most interfaces had expensive price tags. That is why the Mackie Onyx Artist 1-2 Audio Interface caught my eye – it has all of the features that I wanted and more! In this review article, we will discuss how well it performs and what other users have said about their experience with this product.

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Mackie Onyx Artist 1-2 Review

Our Mackie Onyx Artist 1-2 Review

Making music is a passion for many, but it’s not always easy to get your tracks heard. 

The Mackie Onyx Artist 1-2 audio interface makes getting started easier than ever with its plug-and-play USB connectivity and zero-latency monitoring. With 24/192kHz converters and premium analog circuitry, the sound quality is top-notch. You can even hook up your studio condenser mics thanks to the built-in boutique-sounding Onyx mic preamp.

If you’re serious about making music then you need an audio interface that will take care of all the technical stuff so you can focus on creating great art. That’s why we created this affordable 2-in/2-out USB 2.0 audio interface with fast speed and low latency so you can record professional sounding tracks every time!

What Is the Mackie Onyx Artist 1-2?

The Mackie Onyx Artist 1-2 is an onyx mic preamp and audio interface that is perfect for home studios and small studios. The company is known for making high-quality electronics that are also very affordable, and this audio interface is no different. At around $120, this interface is affordable for everyone and comes with two channels and a compact, lightweight design that people love. It is only 4.4” x 6.4” x 1.9” in size and weighs a mere 1.2 pounds. This device looks great and works great, especially because it is well-made and built to last for a very long time. This is clearly an interface that can take a lot of abuse and keep on going.

If you take a look at the front of the device, you’ll notice two inputs. One is an XLR and the other is a line/instrument input. The XLR output has a gain knob and a phantom power button, and the line input has a gain knob and a Hi-Z switch. Keep in mind that this interface isn’t just a single-input interface; instead, it’s a single microphone input interface, which is great for musicians who expect both a microphone and an instrument input. You also get a master volume knob and headphone jack with the volume knob, and it offers direct monitoring as well.

With the direct monitoring, just keep in mind that you can’t control the wet/dry output from the device itself unless you change the gain of the inputs, which means when it comes to the direct monitoring, you’ll either have it or you won’t. In addition, there is no MIDI support with the Onyx Artist 1-2. That might be disappointing to some fans, but it’s not really surprising considering the price of the interface. Instead, you’ll only find stereo master outputs for either your monitors or the monitoring system, as well as a USB 2.0 port, which you’ll use for both powering the interface and for exchanging data.

Top Benefits of the Mackie Onyx Artist 1-2

The Mackie Onyx Artist 1-2 is strong and designed to be smart and user-friendly. When all is said and done, the main thing you want from an interface is for it to work properly all the time, and that’s what this interface does best. The Onyx mic preamps have been used for a while in Mackie’s products, and they always deliver a very clean, full sound without any static in it. This particular interface is able to record up to 24-bit 192 kHz, and when you compare that to other brands of equipment, you’ll realize that it is a lot better than they are. In fact, when it comes to interfaces in this price range, you simply can’t beat the Onyx Artist 1-2.

The Onyx Artist 1-2 interface is bus-powered and therefore allows for easy mobile recording without the need for a power adapter. You can use the USB 2.0 port to connect various devices, and the same port gives you a very fast transfer speed and low latency. Customers of this interface have said they appreciate the two high-resolution In and Out ports, as well as the fact that the converters are great and they had no problems with latency. You also get dedicated outputs for connecting studio monitors and powerful headphone outputs, and of course, a super high-quality unit that sounds great, looks great, and is very user-friendly.

The Onyx Artist 1-2 is also lightweight and compact, so transporting it from one location to another is a breeze. It is only 4.4” x 6.4” x 1.9” in size, and while transporting the interface isn’t something you’ll likely need to do on a regular basis, it’s still a good benefit to have should you ever need it. While there are other interfaces on the market that offer similar benefits, this one can record up to 192 kHz, costs only around $120, and has excellent recording quality. If you don’t need MIDI or the extra mid preamp and you’re on a budget, this is definitely an audio interface that is worth considering.

The Mackie Onyx Artist 1-2 audio interface has a crisp, clear sound that is never filled with static and can be paired with numerous other devices, including either an iPhone or an Android phone. It is a very versatile device even though it is small and compact, and it is made for small and even some medium-sized studios. With amazing recording capability and built-like-a-tank construction, this interface is able to handle a lot of wear and tear and still keep going, and at a price of around $120, it can fit anyone’s budget.

Mackie Onyx Artist 1-2 Review of the Pros and Cons

The Mackie Artist 1-2 audio interface has a 4.3-star rating on Amazon out of a possible five stars, and a full 85% of users gave it either four or five stars. Still, everything on the market has pros and cons, and below are some of them for the Onyx Artist 1-2.


  • Very quiet but powerful interface
  • Very reasonably priced
  • Extremely well-made and built to last
  • Lightweight and therefore easy to transport from one area to another
  • Bus-powered so no need for a power adapter for mobile recording


  • When you unplug it and plug it back in, it sometimes doesn’t connect with Windows
  • Some claim it lasted less than a year before it broke
  • Some say the plugs get in the way because they’re in the front

Customer Reactions

  • “Typical Mackie quality – it’s awesome!”
  • “This is a solid interface that sounds loud and clear.”
  • “Outstanding value for what you get in return.”
  • “This is the first interface I’ve bought from Mackie, and the only one I’ll ever use.”
  • “It sounds great and is built like a tank.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can the PC output its audio to studio monitors through the Interface over USB?

A: Yes, it can.

Q: Is the interface compatible with an iPhone, provided I use the Apple Lightning to a USB3 camera adapter?

A: Yes, it is, but make sure you always use the adapter.

Q: Does the interface work with Linux?

A: Yes, it does.

Q: Can you operate the interface without a PC?

A: Yes, you can.

Q: Are there two balanced 1/4-inch outputs or only one?

A: You get two 1/4-inch outputs and both are able to work either balanced or unbalanced.

Conclusion – Mackie Onyx Artist 1-2 Review

People are amazed by the Mackie Onyx Artist 1-2 audio interface not just because of the way it works, but also because it looks great and is so versatile that you’ll soon wonder how you ever lived without it. It works with studio mics’ 1/4-inch TRS input and even comes with a Hi-Z switch so that you can easily hook up guitars, basses, and anything else you need.

Mackie Onyx Artist 1-2 Review

One thing is certain – you can’t go wrong with this interface unless you work in a large studio and you have additional production needs. It is an easy-to-learn unit that adds a little pizzazz to any studio you’re in, including home studios, and it provides you with a high-tech interface that is made of high-quality, long-lasting components, which means you’ll be able to use it for a very long time.

Thank you for reading our Mackie Onyx Artist 1-2 Review!


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