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MOTU M2 vs M4 – Audio Interface Shootout [WORTH The Upgrade?]

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An audio interface is a specific computer hardware piece that allows the output and input audio signals to go to and from a recording device or a host computer.

It primarily converts instrumental and microphone waves into a format the software and computer can comprehend and understand.

On top of that, it routes or redirects the computer audio to the studio monitors and headphones. 

When it comes to audio interfaces, you may have heard about MOTU M2 and MOTU M4. They are budget-friendly choices that provide numerous benefits.

However, there has been significant debate on MOTU M2 vs M4 due to their similarities and differences. 

The two audio interfaces have their unique and valuable features. Fundamentally, MOTU M4 has all features of MOTU M2. In addition to that, it has a few additional characteristics and attributes. 

In this article, let us delve deeper into the topic.

What Does MOTU M2 vs MOTU M4 Entail?

MOTU M4 has more features and performance attributes than MOTU M2. However, it does not imply that the former is better than the latter.

It merely means that your choice or selection of either of the audio interfaces will depend on what you prefer and require. 

MOTU M2 has a significantly interactive design. It provides a high level or degree of accessibility. It, in turn, makes the entire process of handling the audio interface effortless and efficient. 

MOTU M2 works with USB-C cables. It allows it to remain compatible with almost all notable devices of today’s market.

Moreover, the port will permit you to connect to multiple devices and record audio and vocals for numerous things such as podcasts. 

Additionally, you can use MOTU M2 for record jamming sessions using an instrument like a guitar. Overall, the audio interface is considerably durable, efficient, and cost-friendly.

It makes it a suitable choice for almost all recording artists, editors, studios, or bands. On the other hand, MOTU M4 has a few additional features and utilities. It may help increase your overall satisfaction after using the audio interface. 

The primary difference between MOTU M2 and M4 is that the latter is noticeably broader. Thus, it serves an essential purpose.

Furthermore, it is highly compatible with various devices, allowing for simultaneous connection between four outputs and input audio devices. 

Although the mentioned features are significant benefits MOTU M4 provides, you may not seek them if you want to go with a basic setup. Additionally, it is more complicated and costlier than MOTU M2.

Thus, you may not consider MOTU M4 if you want to work on a small scale or are an independent artist. 

What Do We Know About MOTU M2?

MOTU M2 is a user-friendly, interactive, and accessible audio interface that offers users two visual screens. They come at the front and allow you to see and check the output and input levels.

It, in turn, permits you to understand whether the processing on the recorder progresses accurately and in the desired manner. 

In addition to that, MOTU M2 provides individual controls for the output and input. It allows you to adjust and regulate their levels.

Furthermore, it permits you to change and control their master volume level and have complete and general command over the entirety of the interface. 

MOTU M2 ensures that the audio dynamic you record has and retains perfect tune and clarity. Another beneficial aspect of this audio interface is that it is compatible with MAC iOS and Windows. 

What Do We Know About MOTU M4?

MOTU M4 has a unique design that allows you to use it for extended periods. It proves beneficial on its 4-by-4 interface channel. In addition to that, it supports and works with an audio recorder. 

MOTU M4 is highly compatible and can connect to four output and input audio devices each. It can do so flawlessly at one time. You can use them together and gain individual control commands over them. 

MOTU M4 is a suitable choice if you handle and work in a professional studio. For instance, you can use it for revamping purposes. On top of that, you can utilize it to evolve and improve your current sound using hi-tech equipment. 

The audio interface does not provide any apparent limit to its channel compatibility. This feature can aid you in more ways than one. 

What are the Similarities Between MOTU M2 and MOTU M4?

MOTU M2 and MOTU M4 share several features and attributes in common, a few of them including the following:

LCD Level Meter

Both MOTU M2 and MOTU M4 have full-color LCD as their level meters. It works for all the outputs and the inputs. In addition to that, it adds a nice touch to the system. 

Class Compliance

MOTU M4 and MOTU M2 are class-compliant. It means you can use them to work on macOS of version 10.11 and up, iOS, and Windows of version 7 and up.

On top of that, they possess a software package that encompasses Ableton Live 10 Lite, 6 GB of samples and loops, and MOTU Performer Lite.

USB Connection

Both MOTU M2 and MOTU M4 are USB bus-powered audio interfaces. It implies their power sources and supply lies with their USB connection.

In addition to that, their USB class compliance indicates you do not need a driver to get the system running. 


MOTU M4 and MOTU M2 have one stereo headphone with adjustable volume and a MIDI output and input. On top of that, both come with a hardware monitoring system. 

Features Comparison: Is the MOTU M4 better than the M2?

MOTU M4 and MOTU M2 get compared in several instances. It may be on the basis or footing of their differences, features, similarities, or some other parameter.

In the following table, let us see what the MOTU M2 M4 comparison entails. 

Serial NumberBasis of ComparisonMOTU M2MOTU M4
1.USB-CMOTU M2 uses an audio interface of two input and two output USB-C.MOTU M4 uses an audio interface of four input and four output USB-C.
2.Weight and DimensionsMOTU M2 weighs 1.4 pounds or 0.6 kg. Its chassis has a dimension of 7.5 x 4.25 x 1.75 inches or 19.1 x 10.79 x 4.45 cm.MOTU M4 weighs 1.6 pounds or 0.7 kg. Its chassis has a dimension of 8.25 x 4.25 x 1.75 inches or 20.96 x 10.79 x 4.45 cm.
3.Blend KnobNo such component exists.A dedicated blend knob exists to control and adjust the balance between the live inputs and the computer mix. Thus, it can help you monitor the regulation between the software and direct output.
4.TRS Line InputsNo additional TRS line inputs.MOTU M4 has two extra TRS line inputs. They remain present at the back together with the additional output pairs.
5.RCA Analog OutputsMOTU M2 has two RCA analog outputs mirroring the TRS outputs.MOTU M4 has four RCA analog outputs mirroring the TRS outputs.
6.System and SetupMOTU M2 has a comparatively less demanding system and setup.MOTU M4 has a comparatively more demanding and complicated system and setup.
7.CostMOTU M2 is cheaper compared to MOTU M4.MOTU M4 is more expensive compared to MOTU M2.
8.Input Monitor Mix Control or AdjustmentThe component remains absent in MOTU M2.The component remains present in MOTU M4.

MOTU M2 or MOTU M4: Which One of These Two is Better For Filming?

MOTU M4 and MOTU M2 are both exceedingly suitable audio interfaces for recording and filming purposes. Nevertheless, the former is better than the latter. It stands true by comparing some aspects and factors. 

For instance, the primary downside or disadvantage of using MOTU M2 is that it cannot support heavy-duty applications related to filming and recording.

It is predominately due to its lack of outputs and inputs. On the other hand, MOTU M4 has two more of each of these components. 

Thus, you would find it difficult to film a 5-mic drum kit using MOTU M2. Such issues disappear with MOTU M4 because of its additional outputs and inputs. 

On top of that, MOTU M4 helps achieve the optimum levels of mixing and recording.

In other words, it can aid you in achieving the best possible outcome. It stands true in terms of sound clarity and quality. 

In addition, MOTU M4 gives the option and feature of professional-level feedback and volume control. It can help you to adjust the sound output and alter it to the desired state. 

Which Drum Machine is Better: M2 or M4?

You cannot use just any audio interface to record drums. It must have an appropriate ability and quality to perceive and take in even the loudest sounds and sessions.

On top of that, it should have enough input points for all the drum mics. On that note, both MOTU M2 and MOTU M4 can get used for recording sound from drums or as a drum machine.

However, the former suffices in most cases if we move on to compare the two. In other words, you can choose MOTU M2 for drum recording sessions. 

MOTU M2 comes with two front-panel instruments or mic preamps. Thus, it can record a broad range and scope of sounds. It can consist of those produced by condenser or dynamic microphones, drum machines, electric guitars, etc. 

MOTU M2 can perceive the sounds produced by the instruments or vocals and record them with the highest quality. In addition to that, they remain distortion-free. Thus, it is a suitable choice for drum machines. 

However, you should go with MOTU M4 if you require more input points for drum mics. 

What Does MOTU M2/M4 vs Audient/Apogee Entail?

MOTU M2/M4 and Audient/Apogee are all audio interfaces. However, they differ from each other based on a few parameters. Let us look into them. 

First comes the point of their control interface. On a comparative basis, MOTU M2/M4 does not come with the mentioned component. You will not find any software control since all commands remain stored in the hardware. 

On the other hand, Audient/Apogee has a simple and user-friendly control interface. On top of that, it has a mute control option. Furthermore, you can adjust or regulate its gain power within Ableton. 

Next comes the parameter of drivers. MOTU M2/M4 drivers have exceedingly low latency and are decent. However, you may sometimes find their USB drivers acting up or malfunctioning. 

Such problems generally do not occur with Audient/Apogee drivers. Their components are of the highest standard. It implies that they do not usually act up. 

Are MOTU Interfaces Any Good? 

Since the release of its first products, MOTU has made a name for itself in the industry.

They have produced several items, many of which have garnered fame and reputation all across the globe. MOTU interfaces are no exceptions to this case. 

MOTU interfaces have always maintained an appropriate standard. They have sustained suitable quality parameters and elements.

On top of that, they have ensured a beneficial balance between their hardware and software components. 

MOTU offers a substantial range and variety of practical options for their interfaces. They are all of the highest eminence, superiority, and excellence, irrespective of their number.

Furthermore, they vary depending on a few factors. For instance, the diverse interfaces may have varying numbers of input and output points. In addition to that, their price and type may differ.

Otherwise, you may find that a specific interface remains more suited for a particular application or purpose, more so than the others of its kind. 

Besides the mentioned elements and aspects, MOTU has a reputation for being reliable and trustworthy in matters that involve their software support maintenance.

In other words, you can immediately contact and receive help from the customer service platforms if you face any issues with your interface. 

Another notable aspect of MOTU interfaces is the considerably low latency of their drivers. Besides that, the hardware can help you get exceptional sound quality and clarity.

Overall, the interfaces are available at low prices, making them accessible and affordable to many people.