Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB Audio Interface [Review]

Mackie has been known for their outstanding Hardware!

Mackie pc and micA Compact Lightweight USB audio Interface…

Just enough channels for a small home studio setup

Rotary Controls on the front make it easy to use!

Too Little, But Too Good!

Day in day out, there’s always a new USB audio interface that promises to give you excellent quality, low latency and a tasteful understanding of what you need from an audio interface.

We’ve already heard these lines from many top-line manufacturers and sure enough, we can find something much better than the Mackie Onyx Blackjack. So why give this a chance?


Features of the BlackJack

Front and Back BlackjackNow, you’ve got those really portable USB audio interfaces that allow you a great deal of success recording through your laptop anywhere even if you’re on tour or something.

Let me tell you right now that this audio interface is specifically designed for desktop use. It even has a rear leg that says it’s not designed for walking.

Also at the rear, you’ll find a USB data cable connection, two monitor outputs for quarter-inch jacks and just two ‘combi’ jacks that support both quarter-inch and XLR jacks for microphones.

Unfortunately, the S/PDIF digital input we all know and love isn’t present.

This certainly isn’t your deal when it comes to recording a full studio setup even for guitars. You can’t even record MIDI with this little tank. So why bother, you might ask?

Read more about: The Top Cheap and Affordable Audio Interfaces Review


The Onyx Series

Picture of BlackjackYou’ve probably heard of the Onyx series of mixers that Mackie has and you have to say they really kick the competition with their sound.

“Suffice” it is to say, this little interface was designed for those who needed something simple but has that Onyx-preamp flavour I’ve come to know and love.

The Onyx mic preamps have a simple metering with a dual colour signal LED, which tells you if you’re clipping and if your signal is still good.

Of course, the Onyx preamps aren’t really analog. They’re made from Cirrus Logic chips that allow you about 114db dynamic range, which well, maintains the organic sound of your recording.

It also has awesome gain staging in the little unit, which allows you to match the right A-D conversion for your recording as it minimizes noise and distortion.


Using this Audio Interface with USB connection

How big is this MackieWhat’s the biggest trouble you’ve had so far with an audio interface?

I could guess that it has something to do with installing and registering your hardware.

The Onyx Blackjack registers itself as an available device. It doesn’t even need any drivers. It’s just plug and play, which makes it extremely convenient.

Using the microphone gain at a sample rate of 96khz, the playback quality was just truthfully excellent.

Of course, you could always revert to 44.1Khz. While the difference might be ill-noticeable, you may find the 96khz sampling quality more “analog” at best.

Given that it’s a mid-priced interface, it certainly focuses on what it’s good at: delivering excellent quality, analog sounds.

Mackie Onyx Blackjack design


The Verdict With these Final Words

Onyx In the BoxIf you’re planning to buy an Onyx Blackjack Interface, you’re probably within a tight budget.

But, aren’t we all?!

This is probably one of the best deals I’ve ever tested. The ouput headphones give lots of good clean signal.

But this unit may not have all the professional ports you want.

If you’re a beginner, this is the real deal. If you’re wanting to do some recording without the complications most modern units have, then this is your ticket!

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