Behringer U-Phoria UMC22 vs UM2 [2023 Compared]

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Behringer U-Phoria UMC22
  • Price to Performance: 10
  • Input / Output: 8.5
  • Sound Quality: 8
  • Connectivity: 7.5
  • Additional Features: 8
Behringer U-Phoria UM2
  • Price to Performance: 9.5
  • Input / Output: 8
  • Sound Quality: 7.5
  • Connectivity: 7.5
  • Additional Features: 7.5

Behringer U-Phoria UMC22 vs UM2 Features

Behringer UM2

Behringer UMC22

Connection

  • USB 1.1 Type-B
  • USB 1.1 Type-B

Design

  • 2-in/2-out
  • 2-in/2-out

Frequency Response

  • 10 hz-30 kHz ± 0.5
  • 10 hz-30 kHz ± 0.5

Dynamic Range

  • 100 dB
  • 100 dB

Max Sample Rate

  • 48kHz
  • 48kHz

Bitrate

  • 16-bit
  • 16-bit

Inputs

  • 1x Mic/Line XLR Combo
  • 1x ¼” Instrument Input
  • 1x Mic/Line XLR Combo
  • 1x ¼” Instrument Input

Microphone Preamps

  • 1x XENYX preamp
  • 1x MIDAS preamp

Output

  • 2x Unbalanced RCA Outputs
  • 1x Phone Output
  • 2x Balanced ¼” TRS Outputs
  • 1x Phone Output

Kensington Lock

  • Yes
  • Yes

Bus-Powered

  • Yes
  • Yes

Ultra-low Latency

  • ASIO, Core Audio
  • ASIO, Core Audio

Features

  • Phantom Power
  • Direct Monitoring
  • Free downloadable audio recording/editing software, plus 150 instrument and effects plugins.
  • Metallic Chassis
  • Phantom Power
  • Direct Monitoring
  • Free downloadable audio recording/editing software, plus 150 instrument and effects plugins.

Behringer U-Phoria UMC22 vs UM2 Scoring Model

Price to Performance

The UM2 is a phenomenal value pitted against most interfaces, but it isn’t quite the bargain that the UMC22 is. For instance, the unbalanced RCA outputs can be a cause of concern from an interference standpoint, and the XENYX preamps aren’t quite as pristine as the MIDAS ones on the UMC22. With lower sound quality and a plastic body, the Behringer UM2 earns a 9.5 at best.

The Behringer UMC22 is a much better deal than the cheaper UM2. The price tag is fractionally higher, but you get a lot more durability with the metallic body, and the balanced outputs and MIDAS preamps add up to a lot of difference to recordings. Factoring in the marginally better sound quality, the UMC22 earns a solid 10 in the category.

Input / Output

Behringer’s UM2 interface employs a 2-in/2-out design that includes an XLR and ¼“ instrument input each, as well as two unbalanced RCA outputs and a headphone jack. This is a pretty decent setup for beginners, however, it isn’t ideal for interference if you’re running long cables. We’d rate the device higher if it had a TRS connection, but as is, it earns 8 points in the category.

The Behringer UMC22 has a similar I/O design as the UM2 with the same types of inputs, however it does use better MIDAS preamps over XENYX. Another advantage of the UMC22 is the inclusion of balanced TRS outputs over unbalanced RCA, which puts it squarely ahead of its competition at 8.5 points.

Sound Quality

The Behringer UM2 has fantastic sound quality for the price. While it’s not amazing in the grand scheme of things, it sounds a million times better than a USB adapter solution. We recorded some guitar, bass and drums with the interface, and the result was surprisingly good for a home interface. We got similar results with XLR recordings as well. One downside here is that the XENYX preamps are astonishingly quiet for the price, but the headphone out is pretty loud so it drove our 250 Ohm DT990 with ease, earning 7.5 in the category.

In terms of sound quality, the Behringer U-Phoria UMC22 is just a bit better than the UM2. With our monitors connected, the interface didn’t produce any hissing or extra noises once you get the ASIO4ALL driver set up. The MIDAS preamp is similarly good, with crisp vocals, minimal latency and uncolored sound. While it’s not as clean or high-quality as a high-end interface, it’s perfectly acceptable for the price. Based on its performance, we rate the interface an 8 in the category.

Connectivity

The Behringer U-Phoria UM2, like most other Behringer interfaces has a USB-B connection. The connection would be much better if it didn’t employ USB 1.1, or even a modern connection such as USB-C, for which it scores 7.5 in the category.

Like the U-Phoria UM2, the Behringer UMC22 uses a dated USB-B connection. For its lack of a faster, more advanced host connection we give it an identical 7.5 in Connectivity.

Additional Features

As an ultra-budget friendly interface, the Behringer UM2 is pretty lean when it comes to features. Apart from 48V Phantom Power and Direct Monitoring, the interface comes with downloadable software, as well as 150 instrument/effect plugins. With such a limited toolkit, we can’t rate the interface any higher than 7.5.

The Behringer U-Phoria UMC22 has the same set of features as the UM2 down to the exact same software, however, the build quality is substantially better owing to its full metal chassis. If plastic isn’t your thing, the UMC22 has you covered with a score of 8 in the category.

Verdict

behringer um2 vs umc22 scoring model comparison, quantitative analysis

With the scores tallied, the Behringer U-Phoria UMC22 comes out on top with a total average score of 8.4 points. Our experience with the UMC22 has been mainly positive. At the price point it’s at, the interface isn’t expected to be as endowed with features, but is nonetheless a solid performer whether you’re doing voiceover/vocals or recording instruments. We had some issues with the UM2 here with a slight, distinct self noise in the upper register at max gain, but thankfully the UMC22 has no such problem.

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The form factor is practical as well so the interface fits neatly on our desk. The metal chassis is a bit distracting with its glossy reflections, but the knobs are buttery smooth to the touch. However, we would have appreciated bigger knobs here. Unlike most cheaper interfaces, the Behringer UM2/UMC22 both have Phantom Power, which gives us a much bigger range of microphones to experiment with. Our go to mic for testing both was our Rode NT2, and the results were excellent.

Apart from the upgraded MIDAS preamps, the UMC22 also has appreciably better I/O with balanced TRS output over the UM2’s unbalanced RCA. With the option of monitoring in real time and playback using headphones, the interface fits well into any beginner setup. Additionally, the metal frame gives a sense of confidence with stable mounts and rigid knobs. One issue on both devices was the trouble with ASIO drivers, which is something you’ll have to make peace with.

While you don’t get the best-in-class sound quality, the Behringer UM2 is a solid interface that just works and does a surprisingly good job for any recording setup. For what it costs, the interface is a must-buy!