Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6 Reviews4.6/5.0 based on 25 customer reviews
The Komplete Audio 6 is a seriously heavy-duty interface. If you were blindfolded and held it in one hand and had any other similarly-sized interface in the other hand, you'd choose this because it has some serious weight and a high-quality feel to it. The convertors in this are a night and day difference between almost ANY other interface in its category. I would put this head to head with almost any interface under $1000 dollars and I guarantee it would come out with flying colors in specs, performance, and customer satisfaction. This is the best interface for the price, it's the best interface if it were double the price. Do yourself a huge favor and add this to your rig, you will not be dissappointed. (BTW, it has Cirrus Logic convertors.)
from Seattle, WA USA
March 17, 2013Music Background:
Slick Physical Hardware, Great Audio InterfaceI was using the TASCAM US-144MKII before this for about two years. It worked well, but was extremely finicky at times and you had to choose between low latency and higher sample rates. Since it was the first interface I bought, I thought these trade offs were normal, because I could bare some dropped samples when I was recording and switch it back while I editing/doing something that doesn't require low latency.
Then I bought the Komplete Audio 6 and realized what a piece of crap that old interface was. This interface just look plain beautiful, which isn't a big deal, but if you look at same photos of the TASCAM US144MKII you'll see what a difference it is. The large volume knob in the middle is brilliant. All the knobs and controls on the interface are very solid, the build quality is top-notch. I like to play my guitar through my computer since I live in a small-ish apartment. I have a pair of headphone monitors with a telephone cord. The old interface didn't weight much, so if I moved away and try to extend the cord, the whole interface would move; not ideal. The Komplete Audio 6 has some nice weight to it, and this isn't a problem anymore.
The installation was a snap, never had to mess with the settings to get it to sound good and have low latency. And boy, is the latency low. I use Ableton with a number of the NI VSTs, especially Guitar Rig 5 and the Maschine. This beast process the audio so fast you think you are plugging directly into a amp. Amazing. Same with the Maschine. With the old interface, there was a little lag so my finger drumming was always a little sloppy. Now it feels like I am playing on whole new hardware. The audio is very good too, but what makes it sounds good or how much better it sounds than other device is outside my knowledge. I just know it sounds very crisp along side my M-Audio BX5 monitors.
Bottom line, it's a little pricey, but it breathes new life into your desktop recording experience. Such low latency, crisp audio, and a really solid piece of hardware.
from Mnpls. MN USA
November 13, 2012Music Background:
Ditto, Ditto, Ditto!I don't really have anything to add that hasn't already been covered in the other reviews, but I'm SO impressed with KA6's performance that I'm more than happy to take a minute and give NI some well deserved props. Also, Sweetwaters customer service is truely second to none!
from Orlando, FL
October 23, 2012Music Background:
Professional masochist (er, I mean musician...)
High quality in a small packageThis box is well-designed and well-constructed. The push tabs at the tops of each XLR jack make plugging and unplugging cables refreshingly easy. The build is solid, and the drivers are too.
I have never owned a USB audio interface -- this is the first one that I have ever bought. I'm impressed with the sound and its relative low-latency. Playing virtual instruments is more fun to play than using the on-board chipset in my PC.
I recommend the Komplete Audio 6. It is easily competitive with FireWire boxes that cost twice as much, and that offer less connectivity.
from Olympia, WA
September 14, 2012Music Background:
SuperbInstallation on Win 7 64 was a breeze and it performs flawlessly at all but the very lowest latency settings. Crystal clear sound, simple and intuitive functionality.
Why are you still reading this review? BUY IT!!!
September 5, 2012Music Background:
ExcellentNo question you should buy it
from Malden MA
July 26, 2012Music Background:
solidThis audio interface is perfectly German and perfectly perfect. Everything has been thought of, and every part of it has been manufactured with precision. The low latency is particularly appreciated. The result is crystal clear sound and logical controls that can mastered with a little attention to the manual. Even the manual is perfectly written, with no errors in the English.
from Baltimore, MD
July 10, 2012Music Background:
Komplete Audio 6 ReviewReally dont have anything to say that isnt in the other reviews. This product is great and sturdy. I love it.
from Seattle, WA
July 7, 2012Music Background:
BLOWN away!I run this little guy through my XP SP2 system (shut up, it runs flawlessly!) and it works perfectly, even though it is not certified for XP. The converters SMOKE my M Audio & Echo cards. Can't believe I was using that crap after hearing the NI 6. Super stable, super sounding, and for a couple hundred bucks. I feel like I robbed Sweetwater! I was prepared to spend far more for a converter upgrade.... I won one for a change : )
from Germantown, Maryland
June 21, 2012Music Background:
30 years of composing
Sweetwater is Sweet and as good as advertisedPurchased a Native Instrument's Komplete 6 Audio/Midi mixer for my new Apple IMac OSX 10.7.4. This deal sounded too good to be true. The software Cubase 6AI/Le Traktor, Komplete Elements was worth the money without the Hardware and really I was purchasing the unit for the updated Cubase 6, so I can use it with my MotifXS Rack and Fantomxr Rack. Ok, the deal was great! I received my order in 2 days (although without candy in the box), but that has to be related to it being 100% outside.
Installed everything, but ran into a problem with my Komplete 6 audio inputs not working with Cubase. I reported the problem to Ryan, my sales assistant and received a phone call from him before I had my coffee, no less being ready to compose music. He listened, requested some ideas to get it going and then said "Our Tech Department will get you right". I thought he was just passing me off, but I was way wrong!
In this world where people don't care, respond and don't solve problems, but make them bigger, Sweetwater Tech Department was a welcomed surprise!
First I received an e-mail from Chris suggesting what the problem could be while holding the phone just to double my chance of fixing a software configuration problem, when I was positive it was faulty hardware.
John picked up the phone in. Soft welcoming voice and had me download a program where he could not only see my Mac, but control the curser as well. Two minutes later, everything was working and I felt stupid because it was my error, not N.I. nor Sweetwater! I told John I loved him, sent an e-mail to Ryan saying I loved him.
Bottom line is Sweetwater really deliver's on the promise to make their customers feel important, get immediate assistance from people that really know what they are selling!
This has been an experience that really make's me feel there are competent people that really cares about the customer, not the sale!
Advertising a 2 year warranty included in the sale's price is really priceless!
Ryan, John, Chris, I thank you and hope this 5 star review can help you after you have helped me so much! As Ryan, my Sales Assistant would say, Cheer's Sweetwater, you have not only a customer, but a fan!
from Boston, MA
June 11, 2012Music Background:
Composer, Producer, & Sound Designer
Just Do ItI'm an audio professional who has gone through a bunch of $300-600 audio interfaces over the past decade that just weren't up to the task. For my work, I need something simple (single XLR, MIDI, line, headphone), but solid. I've been looking (for years) for an affordable interface that sounds great, is low-latency, and has reliable software and firmware that's not going to crash with my CPU and DAW working hard. This bad boy is awesome. It sounds clean and clear, the software and hardware was (actually!) a cinch to get up and running, and it's small and compact on my desktop. The knobs are smooth to turn, and there are no weird volume jumps (I've had that on a few interfaces). I can't get over that it was only $229 after paying $500-600 for hardware that gave me nothing but headaches. Rock on, Native Instruments.
from Los Angeles, CA
March 24, 2012Music Background:
Studio Owner, Recording Artist
Excellent BuyI love this interface: rock solid and plenty of routing options while running flawlessly via USB. The audio quality if clean with lots of signal getting to your DAW.
from Bay Area, California
February 25, 2012Music Background:
This thing is AwesomeSpecs are one thing, real world is another.
we have listened to a lot of mixes on a lot of different systems over the years and . have owned and used the full gamut in our studio from
1) Seasound Solo(ist)
2) Echo Layla
3) SSL Madixtreme w/ AlphaLink
4) Profire 2626
5) Lexicon converters
6) Avid converters
7) M-Audio Project Mix IO
8) A&H Zed-R 16
9) Komplete Audio 6.
10) MOTU 2408MK3
11) Ao0gee Rosetta
We have worked in such a way that we have had to move around from different recording and mixing environments depending on what studio we are working in, who is recording, mixing, etc...and then finally take the final mixes back to our studio (and final mix, master and monitor on OUR convertors),
Those that sounded best and translated the most from memory and feel, are:
1) Seasound (no more drivers, sadly)
2) Komplete Audio 6
3) Apogee Rosetta
4) Echo layla (horrible drivers btw)
4) A&H Zed
5) Profie 2626
7) Project Mix (again, drivers just are NOT good on this)
9) Avid (sound like mixing through a tin can. Hard to believe every major pro studio in the world runs these horrible sounding digi converters. Thank GOD for mastering engineers)
I kid you not, a 300 dollar audio interface that sounds better than the higher end, higher priced Apogee, Digi and SSL stuff? ABSOLUTELY in the Ball park with the SSL and Apogee for 1/10th the price.
Add to this little guy, a good monitoring system (such as Dangerous D box or [SPL Phonitor-if you mix only in headphones *sic we feel the Dangerous better than the overpriced Phonitor but both are outstanding monitoring systems] and you have a setup that will allow you to mix release quality records ITB
from Seattle, WA USA)
January 13, 2012Music Background:
from Seattle, WA USA)
January 13, 2012Music Background:
from Flagstaff, AZ
December 6, 2011Music Background:
Artist, Producer, DJ, Leathersmith!
Rock solid!Bought it originally for my MacBook Pro. I liked it so much I bought a second on for my iMac setup! This thing is bad-a** and full of possiblities!
from Woodbridge, VA
August 11, 2011Music Background:
Excellent Audio deviceI purchased this device from Sweetwater. Cheers to my Sweetwater engineer Chris Lewis. This is a very user friendly audio interface. This replaces my M-Audio Fast Track Pro USB. If you have an existing internal card (PCI or PCIe), this will not conflict with the cards. This audio interface will install with no issues. If you have an onboard card, make sure to disable it from the BIOS. Low latency and excellent sound. If you experience dropouts, pops, and crackles, make sure to turn off non-essential programs running in the background. The less background software you are running, the more you can allocate CPU resources. Overall, this device is great for recording and generating softsynths, or any type of audio medium you wish to use it for. Highly recommended.
from Eugene, OR
July 15, 2011Music Background:
Musician, Audio and Recording Enineer, Computer Engineer, Music Technology Expert, Student, Horn Player
Lowest latency out of any audio interface I've used.I defiantly like this audio interface a lot. I was shocked about how low the round trip latency between the card and the PC is. At 256 samples/sec, there was just barely a faint hint of phasing when running the signal into Live and back out and I was able to track vocals with software effects without a problem. The headphone output is just loud enough, but not blaringly loud... I expected it be a bit louder, but it is sufficient for DJing. Its defiantly not weak, just not defining. As for the mic-pres, same thing, just enough gain. They are very quiet though and very transparent. There is a small bit of noise that come from them when the gain is cranked all the way up but its a lot quieter then the background noise the mic is picking up and is not distinguishable from it because of the transparency of the pres. Its actually rather pleasing. As for the converters, the specs list it at being around 101 dB dynamic range, which is low for on paper, but specs on paper do not equal real life performance... they use Cirrus Logic converters, which are FAR superior then most of the other converters on the market. Most companies list the specs of the converters on paper, but do not distinguish between the connection straight into the chip and the actual full circuit, which is something that a German engineer would not do... There are other components in between the ADC/DAC and the actual audio input/output that reduce the on chip specs. When you turn volume and speakers all the way up with no audio playing, there is absolutely no noise, which is a very good thing. Its a very beautiful audio interface though. Defiantly a product of German engineering. Very elegant looking and feels very well built. It can also direct monitor the audio inputs so you can hood an external audio device into inputs 3/4 and not convert from analog to digital and back to analog, which is critical. And best of all, it has a SPDIF IO and its bus powered. I would have given it 4 1/2 stars, but the low round trip latency makes up for any deficiencies in the audio interface. Its way better then any of the other USB options anywhere near this price point. If your looking for a mobile interface that does what you need it to do, this is defiantly it.
January 2, 2013Music Background:
Ex-member of a crappy band, now doing home recordings.
No fuss, no muss, just plug and record.Took me all of 10 minutes to get it up and running. Everything I record sounds just like it did on my Yamaha mo6. As for the Cubase le6 that comes with it........If i was able to make the disc more pliable so I could wipe my bum with it, that'd be the most use I got from it. I'm using it with Adobe Audition now and it works great. Also works well with Audacity. Don't try and use it with Cubase and you won't be disappointed.
November 13, 2012Music Background:
Hobbyist and musician
Good interface for homeI had been using an older M-Audio interface that was... fine. I would probably still be using it if its original owner didn't need it back! The NI Komplete Audio 6, however, feels like a totally different level of equipment. It is a solidly built device that feels far sturdier than the M-Audio product, with controls that feel silky smooth and down-right professional. It sounds great. For simple home recording, I feel the Komplete Audio 6 is a step above most of the other (slightly less expensive) devices in its price range, and totally worth it.
To make the deal better, the Native Instruments plug-ins and software that ship with the interface (versions of Guitar Rig, Reaktor, Kontakt) are astoundingly good.
If it helps, my prior experience goes back a ways in the simple home recording world: old Delta 1010L sound cards in PowerMacs with BIAS Peak, lots of Garageband, some Logic, now more Propellerhead Record.
from New York City, USA
August 19, 2012Music Background:
Great box!Just upgraded from the Presonus USB box, to this bad boy. Am extremely happy with it. Everyone rants and raves about Presonus interfaces but this one blows them out f the water. The audio gain in the inputs are great (unlike the presonus that clips your E guitar signal at its lowest volume). Never had latency problems. Love NI, and trust them. Good solid box. I do with the headphone amp was just a little louder... I also wish it had the signal lights for each channel on the front of the box instead of the top, but if you have you studio set up right, I guess this would not be a problem. Over all, love it. Strongly suggest it. NI Rules.
from dayton, ohio
April 4, 2013Music Background:
wanna-be free lance producer.
good valuethis interface is probably good enough for what you want to do in your home studio. pretty darn satisfactory solid state pre-amps, good ADCs, works pretty seamlessly. i couldn't hear any real difference between recording my access virus analog through the TRS inputs, and it's own USB digital interface.... biggest issue, is probably the DACs. for my monitoring, i found them to be a little too punchy with bass transients, and spatially narrow. would make it difficult to mix, so i use the DACs on the virus... it's a good tool for plugging in a cheap microphone, and outputting internal instruments to the access virus to use it's static/dynamic input modes, or atomizer. and, the issues i have with the DACs, are possibly a preferential matter. it's a good value, and will probably serve you well.
from United States
December 30, 2012Music Background:
40 year Pro
Aluminum brickSuper clean, fast, and great software bonus!
from United States
November 19, 2012Music Background:
singer songwriter hobbyist
solidI've been using the NI Komplete Audio 6 for a few months now. I've yet to have any problems with it. It's solid device with all the necessary features. If there was one thing I would improve it would be the monitor volume. There are cases where I wish the volume would be a little louder while monitoring vocals.
This replaced my Line 6 POD Studio UX2 which constantly buggy and required the awful podfarm software. In comparison, the UX2 seems like a toy.
December 25, 2012Music Background:
Such great potential, too buggy for meUnfortunately NI didnt write very good drivers for windows, I know there are plenty of people who are running it fine on their windows machines, but myself, and plenty of others are having lots of trouble. Ive used a few other interfaces in the past and none behaved as erratically as this one. The preamps were clean, and noise free but tended to make the signal a little "hot" for my tastes. The output sound quality was great, I liked how it was built, in terms of style and in terms of being solid and build somewhat like a tank.
It worked great.... when it worked. 70% of the time I was dealing with crashes, driver issues, system not recognizing the device etc etc. Other people are having similar problems. If you have a MAC, or you get lucky, this is a pretty good interface for the money, with 4 physical ins and outs, but if you have windows and also have bad luck, I might steer clear.
from Crystal Lake, IL
December 10, 2012Music Background:
Be aware of the shortcomings....I've had the Komplete Audio 6 for three months now. I use it for a variety of purposes: as the audio interface between my Axiom controller and my Macbook Pro, running Ableton Live, and as a mixer for analog instruments. If we are running short on circuits, I'll plug in my mandolin and guitar into the front panel inputs. So I bought it to serve as an audio interface for my keyboard controller, and also as a mixer if I needed to plug in additional instruments.
This week we were going to have an extra guitar, keyboard and my mandolin. I figured no problem, I can plug them all into my Komplete 6, saving the audio techs from having to run extra circuits just for this one event.
Here's the problem: Inputs 3/4 and 5/6 cannot be direct monitored. This means you have to route the inputs from those feeds to your computer - they have to go through A/D conversion and then D/A conversion and get routed back out via Live or some other DAW. This applies even if all you want it to do is route these inputs directly to the output channel. The result: too much latency for a real instrument.
So, if you are using this in a live setting, be aware that inputs 3/4 and 5/6 are basically worthless to you if you plan to use them for instruments.
The reason I am quite frustrated by this is that nowhere in the manual does it state this. It implies that when you hit the Direct Monitor switch, all inputs are routed out the appropriate output channel. Only on the Native Instruments web site, in the knowledge base section, do they indicate that direct monitoring is only applicable to inputs 1/2.
So I guess it depends what you want to do with the Komplete Audio 6. On the plus side, it's been rock solid for me these three months. It just doesn't have the flexibility I thought it had.