The RE-20 & SM7B microphones are great dynamic solutions for audio engineers. Many podcasters and broadcasters rely on them to record audio. Most of us can’t afford expensive mixers or audio interfaces though. Besides, some of those expensive mixers are not compact or easy to carry around. Here are 5 portable USB Audio Interfaces / preamplifiers with enough gain for the EV RE-20 and Shure SM7B microphones:
Focusrite Forte: a pretty awesome USB interface for Mac and Windows platforms. It has 2 remote-controlled mic preamps from the RedNet range with phantom power, HPF and polarity reverse. It offers 75dB in gain.
RME Babyface Audio Interface: a premium audio interface with sample rates up to 192kHz on all I/O. The included software is pretty sophisticated too. The preamps are very clean.
Apogee Duet: a pretty popular audio interface among Mac fans. It offers up to 75dB of gain. You get clean output and compatibility with Logic, Soundtrack Pro, Final Cut, or GarageBand.
Sound Devices USBPre 2: another premium audio interface for your dynamic Microphone. It is compatible with Windows and Mac. It has limiters and high-pass filters. You get 15dB pad.
Echo USB: the most affordable audio interface in this group. It offers up to 75dB of gain, which should be more than enough for your RE-20 or SM7B. The Echo interface has 2 ¼” TS/TRS inputs with selectable microphone, balanced line, or high-impedance instrument.
We also use a CloudLifter to improve the quality of our audio. It offers up to 25 dB of clean gain for your microphone. Some folks have had more success with Firewire solutions. But if you need to connect your XLR microphone to your computer using a USB interface, you should check the above products.