Avid revives the Mbox: Pro Tools-friendly Mbox Studio promises ‘more I/O than any other desktop audio interface’

Launched around the turn of the century, Avid’s original Mbox was a relatively affordable audio interface designed specifically for use with its Pro Tools software. Over the next decade, it resurfaced in several guises, before being discontinued.

Now it’s back in the form of Mbox Studio. Compatible with Mac and Windows, this USB-C audio interface comes with a one-year subscription to Pro Tools Studio, but is also compatible with other DAWs.

When factoring in the analogue, digital and MIDI connectivity, Mbox Studio offers a total of 21 inputs and 22 outputs, which Avid claims is more than any other desktop audio interface. It features the same mic preamps as you’ll find in the company’s S6L and Pro Tools Carbon system.

Mbox Studio operates at 24-bit/192kHz quality and includes DSP-powered EQ, delay and reverb. There’s also independent cue mixing and low-latency tracking.

For guitarists, Mbox Studio offers variable Z impedance switching on the instrument inputs, so you can change the tone of your guitar when recording direct to complement your effects chain. There’s a handy built-in tuner, and amp emulations come courtesy of  the Eleven MK II and bx_rockrack plugins. There are stompbox effects, too

Avid Mbox Studio

(Image credit: Avid)

The assignable buttons are intended to be used by podcasters, streamers and other content creators who want quick access to their most essential functions or to trigger sound effects or bring in other audio sources. There’s an audio loopback feature, too.

There are outputs for two sets of headphones and two sets of speakers, and you can also send audio via Bluetooth so that mixes can easily be checked on other devices. There’s a built-in talkback mic as well.

Other supplied software includes a one-year subscription to the Sibelius Artist notation software and the Mbox Ignition Pack. This includes Brainworx Megadual, Ampeg SVT-VR Classic and many other plugins and tools.

“We’re thrilled to bring Mbox back to the music creation community, who are a very big influence upon Avid’s continuous surge of hardware and software innovation,” said Francois Quereuil, Vice President, Product Management for Audio and Music Solutions, Avid.

“Our re-creation of Mbox is uncompromising,” he continued. “It’s overflowing with an amazing array of software tools and takes advantage of the same high-performance components found in Avid’s professional-grade audio solutions, guaranteeing best-in-class sound quality and production for anyone, from entry-level performers to the most accomplished artists.”

This new Mbox certainly looks like the most capable model yet, but that does mean that it’s priced higher than some of its predecessors - it’s available now for $899. Find out more on the Avid website.

Avid Mbox Studio

(Image credit: Avid)
Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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