Building your own home recording studio can be quite the venture, and many don’t know where to start. One of the best ways to get started is with a recording studio bundle, a package that includes everything you need to get started with basic at-home recording.
We’ve compiled an ultimate guide to the best home recording studio bundles currently available. These are our 10 favorite bundles, perfect for all sorts of recording scenarios. Whether you’re a singer/songwriter just getting into recording or you have some more niche interests or needs, you’ll find a bundle below that will get you up and recording quickly.
Who Should Get a Home Recording Studio Bundle?
If you’re new to at-home recording and don’t have much or any equipment, you’re a good candidate for purchasing a home studio bundle. Doing so is the easiest and most foolproof way to start recording quickly.
The same goes for those who aren’t exactly sure what all equipment and software they need to get started. By choosing a home studio bundle, you get everything you need to start up your at-home recording. You won’t need to worry about making extra trips back to the music store or waiting on additional components to arrive in the mail. Everything you need to get started with the basics is in the box (or available as a download with purchase).
A prepackaged bundle is the simple answer to the beginner, giving you pretty much everything you need to get started. Also, home recording studio bundles tend to be very reasonable in terms of cost, allowing you to get started with recording at home for just a few hundred bucks. In fact, every bundle reviewed below — even the high-end ones — comes in well below $1,000.
Are There Any Downsides to Choosing Premade Recording Studio Bundles?
Yes, there can be. Most bundles are built around a specific audio interface, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Those interfaces should work very well, and all the interfaces included in this review are good quality interfaces.
But with the focus being on the interface, some of the other stuff in the bundle might not be the highest quality. Some bundles feature off-brand or low-level microphones, nondescript cables, or fairly flimsy microphone stands. Now, all of these things will work just fine. It’s just that, down the road, you might start to chafe at some of these elements and want to replace them.
This isn’t true of every bundle. Typically, the more you pay, the higher the quality of the individual components. But it is something to be aware of on the lower end of the spectrum.
Another concession here is the included software. Most bundles come with a version of one of the main digital audio workstations, or DAWs, but it tends to be limited. When you see terms like Pro Tools First or Ableton Live Lite, the “First” and “Lite” mean that you’re not getting the full, high-powered software.
Similarly, with the plugins and instrument packages — what’s included in these bundles is meant to get you started, not turn you into a platinum artist. Pros are going to move on to a different and better set of plugins.
All that said, we’re still huge fans of home recording studio equipment packages like these. Again, if you’re just starting out or aren’t sure what all you’d need, you should definitely go with a bundle. It’s the best way to get started, even if you’ll eventually want to upgrade certain components or software.
Who Should Build Their Own Kit?
If you’re a studio pro who’s just getting started with an at-home setup, you probably don’t need a bundle. The same is true if you already have an existing setup or already own a hodgepodge of recording gear that you intend to use in your setup. Chances are, any bundle you’d choose will have duplicate stuff you won’t use.
If you already have a solid handle on the process of recording and you already have some equipment, use what you’d spend on a bundle to build out your equipment and software complement.
And if everything in this section scares you to death— that’s OK! That means you’re better off buying one of the bundles reviewed below.
Top Budget or Solo Recording Studio Equipment Packages
If you’re looking for a general or budget-oriented home studio recording bundle, choose from one listed in the section below. These are some of the best options on the market for solo artists, singer/songwriters and beginning recording musicians.
Focusrite Scarlett Solo Studio
One of the most popular beginning home recording studio bundles on Amazon, the Focusrite Scarlett Solo Studio is worth a look. In fact, it takes the crown as our best home recording studio package in the budget/solo category.
This Scarlett Solo Studio bundle includes everything you need to get started with basic recording. The Scarlett Solo audio interface has two inputs: the first is an XLR input with a high-quality Scarlett Air preamp, one the company describes as the best in this price tier. The second input is a quarter-inch high-headroom instrument in so you can plug in your guitar or bass directly.
If you’re a guitar-playing vocalist and want to record both at once, this unit will do a fantastic job. That said, other interfaces in this review feature dual combo inputs, which give you a greater degree of recording flexibility than the Focusrite Scarlett Solo.
Also included in the bundle: high-quality Scarlett studio headphones and a large-diaphragm Scarlett condenser microphone. One XLR and one USB cable are included, as well.
On the software side, you get all this:
- Pro Tools First
- Focusrite Creative Pack
- Ableton Live Lite
- XLN Audio Addictive Keys
- Softube Time and Tone Bundle
- Focusrite Red Plug-in Suite
- Focusrite Plug-in Collective
- Waves Musicians 2
- iZotope Mobius Filter (exclusive)
That’s a generous array of software, FX, plugins and instruments— more than enough for the beginning recording artist.
PreSonus AudioBox iTwo
Mobile recording — that is, running your recording from an iPad — isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. But there are times when you need portability more than power or need to take your recording efforts on site. If you suspect you’ll have the need to run a session off your tablet, the PreSonus AudioBox iTwo bundle is the best choice we’ve found for mobile recording.
The PreSonus AudioBox iTwo is a highly capable audio interface that’s similar to other small boxes (like the Focusrite Scarlett) in terms of feature set. Included here are two identical combo jacks, which can each accommodate either an XLR or a quarter-inch input.
As far as controls, there’s a phantom power toggle as well as instrument gain toggles, plus gain knobs for each line, an input/playback mix knob, an overall volume knob and a headphone knob.
The bundle includes PreSonus HD7 studio monitoring headphones and the brand’s M7 studio condenser microphone, plus a USB and XLR cable.
PreSonus favors its own DAW software, called Studio One 3 Artist, which is included in the bundle. You also gain access to over six GB of additional plugins and other resources.
But the showstopper here is the Capture Duo app for iPad. This powerful app allows you to capture session data from just about anywhere using your iPad as the device interface. When you’re done capturing your session, you can transfer everything wirelessly back to your PC or Mac for editing in Studio One.
Mackie Onyx Artist Bundle
Sometimes the difference between recording studio bundles comes down to brand and software preferences. The Mackie Onyx Artist 2-2 interface bundle is quite similar to the Focusrite Scarlett Solo Studio: It offers one XLR input, one line/instrument input, dedicated gain knobs for both, monitor control, and headphone control. It comes with a microphone and headphones and all the wires you need.
But instead of the Focusrite preamp and bright red finish, you get a “boutique-quality” Onyx mic preamp and a sleek black finish. There’s also a different set of software here, as Mackie favors Waveform OEM from Tracktion. Waveform OEM isn’t a Lite or First product, either: there are no track limits here.
This bundle also includes Pro Tools First and the DAW Essentials Collection, 16 FX plugins that can be used in any DAW. The plugin front is weaker than the Focusrite bundle, but the included DAW is arguably much stronger— if you’re OK learning Waveform.
There are a couple of hardware bonuses in this bundle, too: you get a microphone stand, pop filter and shock mount in the kit. You’re likely to need all three if you want to do vocal recording, so it’s nice that they’re included here.
Midrange Home Recording Studio Bundles
If you’re looking for a bit more than what we’ve reviewed so far, check out the following midrange bundles. Each of these bundles steps up in terms of hardware quality or adds additional hardware, like studio monitors — or both.
PreSonus AudioBox Studio Ultimate Bundle 25th Anniversary Edition
The PreSonus AudioBox is a stalwart in the home recording studio bundle space — it has to be to earn a 25th Anniversary Edition! For more than 25 years, PreSonus has made a name for itself by producing very high-quality studio recording gear that sells at confusingly low price points. It’s a budget brand that consistently punches above its weight.
We’ve reviewed the AudioBox 96 USB before in our Best Cheap Audio Interfaces round-up [[link?]], but it’s so good that it’s making a reappearance here. This bundle steps up with additional hardware, namely, a set of Eris E3.5 compact 2-way active studio monitors. If you want to hear what you’re laying down on something besides headphones, you’re going to need studio monitors. And this pair from Eris will perform solidly.
Besides the monitors, you’re getting a two-input audio interface with two combo jacks, phantom power, gain controls with clip lights, a mix knob, and headphone and main controls. The AudioBox 96 also includes MIDI in/out, something the budget boxes don’t have. It’s powered and controlled via USB 2.0, so it will work easily even with older hardware.
You get the same microphone and headphones as the previous PreSonus bundle, plus the following software:
- Studio One Artist
- Ableton Live Lite
- Studio Magic Software Suite
All together, it’s an impressive bundle that barely costs more than some with no monitors and less compelling hardware and software. Highly recommended, and a close competitor for best home recording studio package. If there’s a downside, it’s that the core components here haven’t changed much in 25 years. There are newer designs on the market. But hey, if it ain’t broke…, right?
Steinberg UR22C USB 3.0 Studio Bundle
Steinberg is, plain and simple, a higher-end brand. This UR22C studio bundle is pretty much the least amount of money you can pay to get into the Steinberg world. Even though this bundle contains less than many others, we’ve included it here for its quality and craftsmanship.
Of course, Steinberg is also responsible for Cubase and Nuendo, powerful DAW and MIDI sequencing tools used by many professionals. If you already have a foundation in either program, sticking with Steinberg for your hardware makes a lot of sense.
This is a slim home studio bundle consisting of just three items: the UR22C audio interface, a Steinberg ST-M01 condenser microphone and a pair of Steinberg ST-H01 monitor headphones. Though not pictured, the necessary cables are also included here.
On the software side, you get Cubase AI, the light version of Steinberg’s iconic Cubase music production suite, plus Cubasis LE for iPad and dspMixFx for monitoring and effects control.
The UR22C is a USB-C audio interface with pro-grade features and build quality. On the front you’ll find two combination inputs with gain knobs, peak and phantom power indicators, and a Hi-Z switch for the second input. Both jacks include a class-A D-PRE preamp, as well. Around back, in addition to the standard power and main output, there’s MIDI in/out, too.
For being such a slim bundle, the price is a bit higher than the others, placing this recording studio bundle in the midrange tier. But for the price, you get that legendary Steinberg quality. It’s well worth the premium, especially if you’re already well-versed in using Cubase.
PreSonus Studio 24C 2×2 USB C Bundle with Mackie Monitors
Our second midrange PreSonus bundle is the Studio 24C 2×2 USB-C Bundle. The footprint is pretty similar to the AudioBox, but there are some key significant differences here. You get the same two combination inputs and the same five adjustment knobs, but those knobs have been consolidated to the right. In the middle you gain onboard direct monitoring control. You can monitor gain levels in real time using the green-yellow-red light meters directly on the device.
The other major change, of course, is the upgrade to USB-C. It’s a newer and more robust protocol and is certainly preferable if your hardware supports it. Any recent Mac will, as will many recent PCs.
The bundled components and software are different, as well. The monitors included here are Mackie CR3-X, which is a nice addition. On the other hand, the microphone and headphones are Lyx Pro— a brand that’s not exactly a regular feature in pro studios.
In addition to the appropriate complement of wires, you’ll also get a microphone stand, pop filter and shock mount for the condenser microphone. It’s a nice touch that gets you up and singing sooner.
The software included in this bundle is a little vague but, at a minimum, includes Studio One Artist. Studio Magic appears to be included as well.
Mackie Big Knob Studio Bundle
At the upper end of midrange sits an impressive studio bundle from Mackie. This home recording studio bundle includes the Big Knob Studio, a powerful audio interface that gives you control over three inputs (two combination XLR jacks and a stereo pair of quarter-inch jacks) as well as two distinct sets of monitors.
There’s also a 2-track output and a stereo in (perfect for tracking audio in from your smartphone), plus dual independent headphone jacks. The controls here are also more complex than the rest, including input select, 2-track source select, monitor select, trim controls, talkback controls with built-in mic and more. You also get dedicated button controls for mono, mute and dim, located just under the main control knob.
On both microphone lines, you’ll find “boutique-quality” Onyx preamps as well, plus a phantom power toggle, independent gain knobs, and a stereo pan toggle.
Complementing the Big Knob Studio are an EM-91C Condenser mic, an EM-89D dynamic mic, CR3-X dual monitors, MC-100 headphones, and mounts and cables to connect everything together.
On the software side, you get Tracktion, a powerful and unique DAW.
If you’re looking for more professional-grade functionality and more flexibility than the previous models allow, jumping up to the Mackie Big Knob Studio Bundle could be the answer you’re looking for.
Advanced or Specialized Bundles
Are you looking for even more capability than what’s available in the models reviewed thus far? Perhaps you’re looking for something a bit more specialized to your particular use case. If so, consider the three bundles below. Each is more advanced, complex and costly, but these three deliver rich and sometimes specific features that the previous bundles can’t match.
Focusrite Scarlett 18i8 Large Home Studio Bundle
Some of you want to do more. Like, way more than what a solo or 2×2 audio interface can handle. We get it, and so do the equipment manufacturers! While most musicians who want even more aren’t looking to start with a bundle, Focusrite has put together a very powerful bundle in its Scarlett lineup for those who are.
It starts with the Scarlett 18i8 USB audio interface. This beast of an interface can handle as many as 18—yes, 18—inputs. You’ll find four combination inputs on the front of the unit, each with its own gain knob. Around back is where it gets interesting, with four line inputs and four line outputs, MIDI in/out, optical in, and even SPDIF in and out.
The four front inputs have great preamps with switchable Air mode, too.
There’s a ton more equipment in this bundle, too:
- 2 Lyx Pro studio condenser microphones
- 2 microphone stands, pop filters, shock mounts and XLR cables
- Lyx Pro headphones
- Pair of Eris E3.5 Studio Monitors
- Assorted other cables
Pro Tools First with Focusrite Creative Pack and Ableton Live Lite are both here, plus Softube Time and Tone, Focusrite Red Plug-in Suite, one of four XLN Audio’s Addictive Keys, and three months’ free Splice Sounds subscription.
Rode RODECaster Pro Integrated Production Console Studio Bundle
If you’re getting into the home studio scene with podcasting in mind more than music recording, the RODECaster console bundle is a no-brainer. But even for the music scene, it’s worth a look if you want to do hands-on mixing yourself. This is one of the only audio interface devices that features physical sliders and RGB drum pads, giving it some unique and interesting applications for music production. There’s even a large color touchscreen for controlling elements of the device or of your DAW.
If you’re doing more electronic drum tracking and less acoustic recording — but you don’t have your own dedicated drum controller — the RODECaster might do everything you need.
Rounding out this bundle are two sets of studio headphones and two Zoom ZDM-1 microphones with desk mounts, plus all the cabling you’ll need.
One big downside: no software is included with this bundle. The unit will work with any DAW you already have, though.
Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 Gen 3 with Shure DMK5752 Drum Recording Bundle
This one’s for all the drummers out there. Recording live drums is notoriously difficult. But it’s far more manageable when you have the right setup. This bundle combines great tech from two well-known audio brands, Focusrite and Shure, for a complete drum recording package that will produce impressive, clear tracks.
The audio interface is beefy, with 18 inputs and 20 outputs. There are two front-facing combination jacks, and the rest are instrument and other inputs on the rear, similar to the 18i8 reviewed earlier. To be clear, this interface is more than most at-home musicians would ever need. But if you plan to record drums and anything else, your need for inputs climbs quickly.
The microphone bundle includes three Shure SM57 microphones, perfect for snares and other drums, plus one Beta 52A for your kick drum. Also included here are four high-end XLR cables to get everything connected.
Focusrite delivers a very similar software experience as with previous models, adding in an additional set of Focusrite Red plug-ins to what was included in the 18i8 bundle above.
Check Sweetwater for current pricing on the Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 Gen 3 with Shure DMK5752 Drum Recording Bundle:
An Alternative Solution: Build Your Own Bundle
If you’re anything like me, you want the best of both worlds – high quality recording gear WITHOUT breaking the bank. For the last few years, I’ve been piecing together my own home recording studio equipment and I’ve pulled it all together for you in this blog post:
Don’t get me wrong – if you purchase one of the above-mentioned bundles you’ll get some great gear and it will be really easy for you to start moving forward with recording music. That’s the easiest path. But, if you’d prefer to pick and choose the best individual pieces, I’ve laid everything out for you that you will need and even included links to purchase.
In some cases I try to recommend more cost-effective options (for example, if you’re worried about the budget, start out with a Scarlett Focusrite instead of the UAD Apollo Twin X). Check out this blog post and pick-and-choose what you need most. For just starting out I’d recommend getting an audio interface, a studio microphone, studio headphones, and a mini midi keyboard.
As always, hope this helps, and would love to hear your thoughts, recommendations, & questions in the comments below!