The Top 3 Best Firewire Audio Interfaces (Updated 2024)

In the realm of audio interfaces, Firewire may strike you as an artifact from a bygone era, especially when stacked up against the latest USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt connections. However, let’s not write off this vintage tech just yet. Back in its prime, Firewire was highly acclaimed for its impressive bandwidth speed, edging out pre-USB 3.0 interfaces to provide reduced latency and dependable audio performance.

So, if you were looking to record several tracks concurrently without losing any hint of audio quality, a Firewire audio interface was your go-to equipment. In this review, we are taking a nostalgic trip back to some of the best Firewire audio interfaces that once ruled the roost, but that are still available today. Let’s get into it.

What are the Top Firewire Audio Interfaces in 2024? : Full Reviews Below



Taking a leaf from its acclaimed predecessor, the Fireface 800, the RME Fireface 802 makes a powerful impression with its remarkable blend of 60 audio channels, elite microphone preamps, exceptional converters, and a robust effects section. Despite the influx of new technologies, this audio interface retains a certain charm with its compatibility with FireWire and USB.

What sets it apart and secures its spot as the best overall, especially for those harnessing FireWire connections, is its marriage of outstanding sound quality and extraordinary versatility. This enduring staple in studios globally excels in facilitating seamless transitions between devices and delivering studio-grade recordings. Once you’ve conquered the initial learning curve, its exceptional preamps, direct monitoring abilities, and personalized mix options make it the linchpin of any serious audio setup. If you’re seeking an audio interface that brilliantly intertwines heritage, quality, and versatility, the RME Fireface 802 is a sound choice



Focusrite’s Firewire series of audio interfaces includes a number of awesome models, ranging from pro level gear to more enthusiast oriented electronics. Focusrite Saffire Pro 14 belongs to the latter group. It’s a fairly affordable piece of gear which is a true force multiplier in a home studio. It gives you plenty of width to express yourself as a producer.

The interface itself looks pretty industrial. It is a polar opposite of Focusrite’s more popular Scarlett series. With that said, it packs a set of awesome mic preamps, 8 inputs, 6 outputs and a Saffire MixControl low latency DSP mixer/router. It is also very simple to use, which really puts it ahead of the competition. Overall, it’s a winner.



MOTU Audio Express is a compact unit that offers quite a lot in terms of performance and features. Compared to most other models on the market, you could say that it is quite balanced. All things considered, it’s a great choice for those who want something functional yet simple, capable yet subtle. Especially if that someone is using a Mac.

The interface offers two dedicated mic channels which are wired to a very good set of mic preamps. These channels are dual use in a sense that you can push instruments through them. The back panel, where all of the I/O is, reveals additional line in and line outs as well as other ports. Overall, it’s a good package.

2024 Firewire Audio Interface Buyers Guide

More features, fair price

Firewire audio interfaces usually offer more than USB interfaces, but that means they’re a bit pricier. For a decent interface, you will need something in the range of $300-$500. But this is cheaper than a lot of Thunderbolt interfaces and will offer more features than USB interfaces.

Many Firewire interfaces come with pretty darn good software, too. A couple examples include the PreSonus FireStudio Mobile, which comes with its own PreSonus Studio One Artist DAW software, over 6 GB of virtual instruments, plug-ins, loops, and samples. Additionally, the Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 comes with Midnight Plug-in Suite.

Speed and reliability

The advantage of using Firewire, as I mentioned above, is the speed at which these devices transfer data. This can give you confidence in its reliability when you’re recording with several channels simultaneously. With the entry of USB 3.1, less computers are being made with Firewire ports, but if your computer has one, it’s one of your best options for an interface. Also, if your computer doesn’t have a Firwire port, you can buy adapters (i.e. Firewire to USB or Firewire to Thunderbolt).

Sending data differently, better

Firewire is also different, at least from USB, in that it streams data rather than packets data, meaning you have a more stable sync and overall better performance.

Plus, you can expand your recording setup with other Firewire devices (USB can’t do that), giving you more inputs and outputs. This is one of the most underrated features of Firewire devices. Imagine if you’re recording a full band, including a full drumset. You’ll need as many inputs as possible, and with multiple Firewire interfaces, you won’t need to worry about not having enough. Firewire devices typically have plenty of inputs to begin with, but having the option to add more is fantastic.


So when you’re in the market for a new Firewire audio interface, keep these things in mind before you buy: the types of inputs and outputs you’re using (XLR, quarter-inch, MIDI, S/PDIF or ADAT) and how many you want to use. Fortunately, the best Firewire interfaces out there provide most, if not all, of those types of inputs and plenty of them. And as I mentioned in the last section, you can always add another Firewire device to give yourself even more inputs and outputs.

Final Thoughts

So if you’re looking for a fast, audio interface for a fair price, look no further than a Firewire device. It’s faster than USB 2.0 interfaces, cheaper than Thunderbolt interfaces, and often transmits data better than both. If you have a decent sized budget (or maybe just some wiggle room in your DIY budget), Firewire is a safe and sure buy.