MOTU M2 2×2 USB-C Audio Interface

(10 customer reviews)


  • Sabre32 Ultra DAC Technology: Equipped with the same ESS Sabre32 Ultra DAC Technology found in audio interfaces costing thousands, the M2 delivers an astonishing 120 dB Dynamic Range on its main outputs. ESS converters also drive the headphone output, which rivals dedicated headphone amplifiers costing hundreds. Ultra-clean preamp circuits produce a measured -129 dBu EIN on the mic inputs. Capture and monitor your audio with pristine clarity
  • Best-in-class Speed: The M2 provides best-in-class speed for monitoring live inputs (mic, guitar or keyboard) through your computer, thanks to MOTU’s expertly engineered USB drivers, which deliver class-leading, ultra-low 2.5 ms Round Trip Latency (at 96 kHz with a 32 sample buffer)
  • Best Metering: When recording and mixing, nothing is more critical than achieving optimum levels. The M2 is the only audio interface in its class with a full color LCD featuring clear, detailed level meters for all inputs and outputs. Enjoy professional-level volume control and feedback to get your sound just right
  • Live Streaming Loopback: The M2 driver provides convenient loopback channels to your host computer, so you can easily route computer output back to the computer, where you can mix it with live mics and/or guitar inputs from the M2 in your host software for live streaming or podcasting. Streaming and podcasting has never been easier and better-sounding
  • A Tradition of Engineering Excellence: Decades of award-winning product engineering for hit songs, mega tours, primetime shows and blockbuster movies goes into every MOTU audio interface


ESS Sabre32 Ultra DAC technology Offers superb analog sound Ultra-low 2.5 ms Round Trip Latency Best-in-class speed for monitoring live inputs Full color LCD with detailed meters Live streaming loopback feature

Additional information

Weight 1.35 kg
Dimensions 7.5 × 4.25 × 1.75 cm
Item Weight

1.35 pounds

Product Dimensions

7.5 x 4.25 x 1.75 inches



Item model number


Date First Available

November 6, 2019

Compatible Devices

Personal Computer

Operating System




10 reviews for MOTU M2 2×2 USB-C Audio Interface

  1. The Dude Abides

    Slightly noisy preamp AND your cable mattersI wanted to drop a small review. I LOVE this unit its really great it runs off USB power without a giant wall wart.Two minor gripes.1. I hear a little static when the gain is over 50% on the inputs. Not a deal breaker but not top of the line2 YOUR CABLE MATTERS – If you use a cheap USB cable you are going to have issues. Splurge on a Thunderbolt 4 cable and thank me later for the hour of troubleshooting that lead me to this conclusion.

  2. Wayne

    Hands down, the best mid-level interface for a very realistic cost, unexpectedly audiophile quality.I’ve been an audiophile for over five years and stepped up the costly ladder of “the audio experience” spending thousands on equipment.Don’t think I’m trying to say the Motu M2 is comparable to a high-end setup all-in-one, but dang it had me impressed.My pre-disposed view on ESS Sabre DAC’s utilizing their stock internal filters is a negative one. I expect delta-sigma typical ring from the mediocre oversampling filters and a blatantly colored response.Fortunately, I wasn’t disappointed when I used the integrated ESS DAC from the Motu on my main system (driving Hifiman He1000v1’s with a restored Harman Kardon HK770). The DAC is actually pretty good! Not unjustly sibilant or colored, very impressive for a DAC, especially one that’s integrated into an audio interface!Now the pre-amp. For the actual monitor outs, the pre is very clean and low noise floor. It’s easy to say this because outputting into a speaker amplifier to drive headphones doesn’t create static galore. Other than low noise floor, the pre is fairly linear. Not perfect, but great for a passive potentiometer that’s integrated into an interface.The pre-amplifier for the microphone is… Interesting. I love it, but I must clarify that it clearly has a warm, tube-like tonality to it. This isn’t muddy. For better perspective, it takes my condenser and sustains the resolving quality that condensers are known for, but gives a tubey or dynamic (diaphragm) like tonality which is very rich and sweet. There doesn’t seem to be clear delineation, yet there is still this slight tonality change. I am very open arms to it, and it is apparently a commonly known thing to people that have used Motu equipment in general.In summary of that, if you want a tubey sounding solid state mic pre, this is actually a perfect fit. That wasn’t my intent when I’ve purchased it, but it made me much happier with how my voice is picked up (no EQ) anyways, so it’s a win.Now the headphone output. I haven’t actually played with it! I do know it has 3x the power of a Focusrite headphone out, and seemingly even more dynamics potential than those possible “under-ratings”. Basically, if you’re going to drive low impedance closed dynamic driver cans for voice sampling or anything else where you need real-time mic feedback and sample audio, the integrated amp is actually decent! A friend of mine says it can drive his Hifiman Aryas surprisingly well. I still haven’t messed with it but I trust his word.If you have a strong focus on studio use or streaming use even, and are told you need an amp and DAC for your headphones that is separate from your interface, normally, those people are right! However, the Motu M2 is super practical as an alternative unless you have very hard to drive planars.If you want a temporary solution and need to upgrade the headphone amp alone, you can utilize the DAC without passing through the potentiometer if you get the Motu M4 and use the fixed line out to utilize the DAC and mic pre directly.I have previously owned (and still have) a Focusrite Scarlett Solo 2nd Gen. In no way does that interface have any strong suits for an audiophile like myself, and every part of it, including the software, is fairly bad and not worth its value.If you’re skeptical of spending a little more for a SOLID all-around interface like the Motu M2/M4, heed this. It is ABSOLUTELY worth it. I say that in utmost confidence, based on all aspects of its’ functionality.There’s more I could say, but it’s really just better to not look the gift horse in the mouth. The fact that this interface performs this well for its’ cost is fantastic and I couldn’t recommend it more.No, this isn’t a sales pitch, I don’t work for Motu nor am I affiliated with them. I’m just a happy audiophile that was really impressed by entry-mid level gear that shouldn’t be as good as it is.Trust me. If it matters to you at all, once you know how great these are, you’ll shill them too.

  3. JY

    MOTU is the Company to Work With!I’ve had this unit for like less than a week. I am using a brand new PC laptop with Windows 10, Intel CORE i7 10th Gen, and 16 GB of Ram with plenty of SSD hard drive space. I am running the M2 with the Cubase Pro 10.5.Here are the issues I’ve had.One, the unit keeps shutting off and on its own during the sessions (like every 5 minutes or so). I contacted Motu support and they told me it was a power issue. My USB wasn’t supplying enough power to the unit. So they helped me to go to the Control Panel basically to supply all the available power to the USB ports. I carefully followed all their troubleshooting guide. The problem didn’t get fixed. I then went bought a Powered USB 3.0 hub so that hopefully this will supply enough power to the unit. This didn’t help so I now have a nice powered hub for something else that might come my way in the future? My question to MOTU is, why didn’t you guys just provide a unit that can be plugged in? I understand the portability issue, but if the unit is going to have power issues, then just solve it with a power supply. Apparently, I must not be the first person to have this issue because they had a troubleshooting guide just for my type of issues. Hmm…Two, after the device turns off and powers on again, numerous times it gets stuck on the start screen. It wouldn’t go the “ready” to use screen. I followed their troubleshooting guide for this issue which is to reset the unit and learned to press MON1 while holding the button down for a little while until the device powers on and you see like 3 or 4 dots below where the letter M is in MOTU. This means that the device is resetting. The device was still stuck on the start screen! I don’t know how much time I wasted trying to get this to work…The good part of all this is that MOTU’s support was pretty good about communicating with me. There was a guy named Brendan who was very supportive. Finally, he told me to either return it from where I bought it or send it to MOTU to get a replacement. If I chose MOTU, I would have to pay for the shipping to MOTU. He said that they would pay for the shipping to get it back to me. I am choosing to get a refund from Amazon. I don’t want to spend extra money to ship this to MOTU. Besides, I don’t even know if the replacement M2 is going to have the same issues. I am considering another device at this time. This unit had all the bells and whistles of what I wanted but that doesn’t mean anything if it simply doesn’t work. I hope you found this review useful.Update: 2020.05.08 (The next day)I got a message from MOTU that they will send me a replacement unit and ship it overnight and I can send my unit when I receive the replacement. They will pay for shipping both ways! Yay! I was considering returning my device, but with such great support and service, I am deciding to go with MOTU again. MOTU, I am raising my review stars! I will raise one more if everything works better. I just pray and hope that the replacement won’t have any issues. I will give an update when I receive my replacement. Have a great day!Update 2020.05.11The new replacement unit arrived! It was shipped via Overnight Shipping and MOTU is paying for all the shipping costs! It was a weekend so it arrived on Monday. They placed a UPS return label inside so all I had to do was send my unit back in that same box and drop it off at a UPS store. I canceled my return with Amazon. I had no dead time with my project because MOTU was able to do this. I immediately replaced it with the new unit and now it works great! I just finished my first project on M2 and it sounds great! I hope this unit works well for a long time. I will post any updates.

  4. Mverovoy

    It’s excellent, but my Asus motherboard is just noisyUnfortunately, this external sound core did not fix my noisy Asus motherboard prime, 590A I’m not sure of the other ones do that, but now I have a Mac mini, that’s pretty low on noise. In fact I can use its audio out Jack with my Yamaha speakers without issue by the sounds pretty low so I’m gonna have to get this soundcard again.

  5. Ted

    Great audio interface after one upgrade.TL;DR: If you have the M2 and are getting the playback failure error, try switching to a quality USB cable. Spending 10 bucks on a cable is far cheaper than buying a whole new audio interface.Longer review: Like many other people who bought the MOTU M2 USB interface, the playback signal would quit working for me on a pretty regular basis, at least a handful of times per week. I would have to cycle the power switch and then wait a few seconds for it to work again. I tried plugging it into several different USB ports on the back of my PC to no avail, and updating the driver/firmware didn’t help either. Eventually, I was able to finally solve the problem completely by accident. How? Well, read on!MOTU gives you a painfully short USB cable with the M2. It’s only 40 inches long (a little over 3 feet) and barely reached from my PC on the ground to the M2 sitting on my desk. So, I ended up ordering a new USB Type-A to Type-C cable ( that was over 6 feet long and gave me more freedom to place the M2 where I wanted it. The new cable was much thicker and better quality than the included cable, but it still came as a surprise to me that lo and behold, the cable switch fixed the issue of the mysterious playback signal failure! I’m no electrical engineer, but I assume based on what other reviewers here said about the M2 playback failure is that the new cable is able to provide more and/or better power to the M2 than the original cable did. Since the switch, I haven’t had a single issue with the M2 and it’s finally able to be the great USB interface that it is.On a final note, make sure that you are plugging the USB Type-A end of the cable into a USB 3.0 outlet on your computer. USB 3.0 is capable of providing more power output than USB 2.0 (900 milliamps vs. 500 milliamps) and is more power efficient than the older version. This gives the M2 the maximum available power to work with.If I had to do it all over, I would buy the M2 again. The inputs and outputs are just what I need, with my Sennheiser static microphone using the front XLR input, my studio monitors using the 1/4″ outputs, and my subwoofer using the RCA outputs. The front controls are easy to use and the knobs feel solid to turn, with just the perfect amount of resistance. If I had to say something negative, it would obviously be that I wished MOTU gave you a longer and better quality USB cable, especially considering this price of this interface.

  6. hi

    Good multipurpose for casual useNot a streamer but wanted a streamer setup for XLR mic + it’s a headphone dac / amp.The headphone amp is good enough to power most headphones. I think the sound quality is fine (nothing to compare it to).The mic aspect has low noise, and enough amp where I don’t need a cloud lifter. But it’s close.My main complaint is the audio drivers will crash from time to time, it requires restarting the motu. Not a big deal but not great. New drivers came out recently so hoping it fixed it.Otherwise the little display is pretty but useless and not configurable.Tech support was responsive the one time I asked about warranty and configuring the display.

  7. CB

    Very high qualityFor the price this audio interface cant be beat. It performs as well or better as audio interfaces 3 times the cost. It was a huge upgrade from my previous audio interface, the sound quality through the preamsp is loud and chrisp. The construction is sturdy and solid. The leds on the front are functional enough to be used for leveling on the fly. No compliants with my monitors or headphones. I have had nothing but positive experience with the MOTU, the sound quality is amazing and well worth the price.

  8. Seth O.

    Works well; Improve manualVery happy with the product. However, when I attached my Shure MV7 compression mike, the phantom power (“48” button) would not engage. After searching the web, I stumbled on a spec sheet that gave an answer. I was using a XLR/TRS cable with the mike. However, the unit requires XLR input. Once I bought a XLR/XLR cable and hooked it up, phantom power engaged, the button lit up, and everything was fine. Would have been nice if the mini-manual had this information.

  9. Nat M. Zorach

    Great product with a couple of small, but important, caveatsI’m not sure if it’s cheating to say that I’ve been using MOTU products for literally twenty years, basically as long as I’ve been using computers, because I got an abandonware copy of their Mosaic software on my parents’ Mac as a kid. So that was my familiarity, and it was down to this, the Focusrite Scarlett, and an M-Audio interface. I was attracted by a few ergonomic elements of the MOTU over the other two.Setup is super easy. I’m using this with an SM58 (XLR) and a pair of super cheap headphones that I plug into the front monitor port. The 48V I haven’t used but it’s convenient if you are using a condenser mic or some other mic that specifically needs it. RCA and 1/4″ outputs make it easy to plug this into external monitors or other speakers if you need something other than headphones. USB connectivity is easy, but I suggest using this with a powered USB hub, NOT plugging it directly into your computer– if you have a Mac (more on this below).The included PerformerLite software is easy to use but fairly powerful for a free software. It’s really easy to do basic stuff like recording different tracks. I haven’t messed around with it enough to understand much about editing, but it seems like it can do all of the stuff it needs to be able to without too much trouble. It is somewhat frustrating that MOTU’s support resources are mostly video, because I don’t like watching videos when I can read, but they’re fairly good at explaining stuff. The cross-compatibility issues aren’t fantastic– I was kind of hoping for easier import/export features, but it’s also a free software, so whatever.THE ONE THING that didn’t work, and this is a pretty major issue (but a fixable one), was that when you turn off the device, once in awhile it’ll cut off all of your USB connectivity. This is NOT an issue that is unique to the MOTU device, as I’ve had this happen with other bus-powered USB devices. Apple has notorious hardware issues with USB bus power– it claims that its USB-C ports are all capable of power delivery, for example, but, at least in the case of my iMac, it DEFINITELY is not. So, avoid this by getting a powered USB hub *or* by just only turning your device off when you turn your computer off.Tech support: I called about this issue and got in touch with someone within five minutes (immediate callback from remote, US-based tech support staff).

  10. Hilton Jones

    The Metering…Pros, it was easy to setup with my Studio One rig, the latency is OK, but I solved that with a Mackie 802 mixer to handle monitoring. Clean preamps and a very healthy headphone amp on the M2, the metering is wonderful and better than most interfaces at this price point and truly makes a difference zeroing in levels, even though it’s not numerically scaled on the meters, just look at your DAW’s meters and you’ll be fine regarding this. Finally, it’s transparent however, light on the low end and character so you’ll want something analog (i.e. mixer, preamp or compressor) with character before your inputs to avoid things being too “clean” if it’s modern music you’re recording. All in all a solid 4 stars audio wise, and 5 stars on the metering, 4.5 stars overall…

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