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Digidesign Mbox 2 Reviews

3.5 stars based on 22 customer reviews
  • Kevin Duarte
    from california November 24, 2010Music Background:
    Recording engineer


    I'm starting my own home studio im only 19 but i have about 5 friends that also have one and 2 of them run this device its super clear and reliable and protools takes it above and beyond can't wait for mine to arrive customer service is ridiculously good with sweet water its my first order and before i could read my confirmation email i got a call from an actual person working i was amazed can't go wrong here guys buy buy buy

  • Arthur Stuckman
    from Fremont,ohio May 26, 2009Music Background:
    pro musician

    My Personal Recording Studio and more

    I have the factory version and i'm very happy with this product!,I'm new to pro tools and it took me an short time to learn how to use it but now I cant see myself without it.my next move is to upgrade to an 003 complete.thanks brian vandekeere for all his help and professionalism.

  • J. Patrick
    from West Union, Ohio USA October 23, 2008Music Background:
    Bass guitar player, vocalist, recording/mix engineer and hobbyist.

    Incredible Value

    Wow. The first thing I have to say is that I love this product. Being able to take my laptop and Mbox 2 anywhere has been priceless. I can record, edit and mix on the go without limitations. The 2 mic preamps sound fantastic and s/pdif is perfect for adding a small piece of outboard gear or another mic preamp. Getting the hardware i/o, Pro Tools LE and all the extra added features of the ignition pack (#2) is an incredible value that you just can't find anywhere else. I would suggest this product for anyone and for use in any application.

  • Bruno
    from Framingham, MA USA October 21, 2008Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Pro Musician, Musical Director

    Great Professional Equipment

    I've been using digidesign mbox products for more than 3 years and all I can say is: It's an amazing piece of gear. If you are a professional or if you are really serious about learning the REAL deal, then you should buy this product. In my own words I'd say that the Pro Tools software (which is an industry standard) is the closest version of a real world large scale console I've seen around. The preamps are decent, and I've done quality professional vocals with it along the years. I've MIXED and MASTERED using an mbox2, It's also perfect for editing. Above all, it does what it says it does, and I love it. If you know what you're doing, this piece is amazing !

  • Gustavo Renovalez
    from Louisville, KY November 28, 2006Music Background:
    Recording Musician, Producer

    MBOX is a good interface!

    This is a nice piece of studio hardware,
    you have a Pro Tools(industry Standard)inside a portable recording unit. Some negative comments about this unit just make me sick!! if you have the right computer hardware, OS updated, USB with the right drivers, enough RAM, you wouldn't have any issue with it. Keep using the original "USB" cable with the ferrite (provided with the unit) to avoid interference during the AD conversion. You wouldn't find in the market a hardware/software piece like this for that money (M BOX-MINI only beats that price and is a DIGI unit too)add an Apogee Mini Me for million dollar studio sound and you are done!!

  • Dan B
    from Upstate New York October 4, 2006Music Background:

    Best in Class!

    For the money you can't beat this unit! Portability, compatiblity with pro studios, features and price. I've been using this for a while now and it's the perfect unit for a home studio scenario. Small learning curve and you're on your way!

  • Zach Dumais
    from Sabattus, ME September 12, 2006

    Great Interface!

    I purchased the mbox 2 with mediocre expectations for the mic pre-amps due to some somewhat negative customer reviews. So far however, the mbox has given me really clean results. The software that comes standard is also very cool. This is a perfect buy for those that want to build a semi- professional studio without spending a huge ammount of money.

  • Dontae Dynamite
    from Richmond,VA December 2, 2008Music Background:
    Recording/Mix Engineer, Music Producer

    The Mammoth Power Of Pro Tools In A Small Box!

    If you don't know by now, Pro Tools is the industry standard DAW out these days. This is a great introduction to Pro Tools or a great foundation for a mobile recording setup. You can record,compose,sequence,edit,mix and master all in the same program. The Mbox2 comes with 2 pristine preamps, SPDIF in/out,phantom power, and much more that in my opinion out performs anything else in its price range. If you want pro level results buy an apogee or mytek a/d converter, a "real" tube channel.
    These are only suggestions. It is really just fine right out of the box. the only downfall would be using a slow/single core PC with less than 2 GB of ram.FYI...I have experienced less problems running Pro Tools on PC than Mac.

  • Ricardo Rey
    from Netherland Antilles November 27, 2008Music Background:
    Recording Engineer

    Read first and Install after

    I switch from Digi 001 to M Box2, at the beginning you can face some problems with the instalation; in my case due to the fact that I didn't review well all the proper procedures for my Mac. Sound is good, box is very simple to use and if you are use to Protools you'll have no problem. This package is great for the price

  • Bird
    from Irvine, CA October 21, 2008Music Background:

    Perfect for home recordings!

    This is a great piece of gear with just the right amount of options for the price if you are on a semi-tight budget. A step up from the Mini with the added MIDI interface and an extra set of inputs, but not overkill. Perfect for recording your own stuff when something sparks your mind to either work on later, or bring int a studio.

  • Eric
    from Anderson, IN USA November 7, 2007Music Background:
    Musician, Recording Engineer, Student

    Mbox 2 Great!!!

    This Product is great. When I recently bought the Mbox 2 I was a little sketchy about it I thought I wasn't going to really help me with only 2 inputs. But I've loved it. I've done a few projects with it and it works great does what I need it to do.

  • Sanchez
    from December 30, 2006

    Pro Tools For Everyone!

    I love this little box dearly. Very good entry level digital recording interface. A tad pricy, but hey, it's Pro Tools. The mic pre's are rather cold, but clean and well rounded, especially on the budget. If you don't absolutely NEED Pro Tools (like me) then perhaps you should look into something else. Setup was difficult, and I still haven't gotten the Melodyne Lite thing to work (after 8 months). Once again, it's a great little box to jump start beginners into Pro Tools

  • Charlie
    from Indiana July 21, 2006

    Love my Mbox

    Clean preamps and great software for a good price are the best things about the Mbox. Offers a great practice ground for Pro Tools and high-quality on-the-go recording when combined with a laptop. There other options in the same price range with more channels, but there's no Pro Tools. Great package.

  • Rowdy
    from Seattle, WA August 2, 2009Music Background:
    musician/studio and live sound engineer.

    Only get this at student discount...

    I like Pro tools. I know it better than any other DAW so I have a bias on it, but not on the Mbox. I am runnin a white Macbook with 2.4ghz dual core and 4GBs of RAM. I have an external firewire 7200rpm Oxford FW drive to keep the stress off my system drive. This is critical, due to that recording with the Mbox was essentially impossible. Mixing, editing... no problem--just increase the buffer size and I didn't have any overload issues, but that also increased latency beyond useable for recording (particularly overdubs). This was attributed to it being a USB. USB is burst data, rather than streaming data (like firewire), so it is not ideal for audio. Secondly, it is powered by the bus on your computer, meaning that along with audio data, the cable is also being taken up with power. The only pros to the Mbox are its portability and ability to trade-in to Digi for a reduced price on their more capable products (which is what I did with the 003 factory). I've been able to take my laptop on the road with me to edit and mix a bit. It is also good if you are using it as a live tool for MIDI, also because of its portability, but sometimes it has made clicks and pops (it only did this after PT 8, however...)
    I only recommend this for somebody who can get it at the student discount, downloading the software, then upgrading to the 003 through the buy-back program, or going for the used market.

    In conclusion: if you want a cheap way to record, save yourself the trouble and get something with firewire. If you need something portable, get the micro.

  • jeffrey james
    from minneapolis June 19, 2009Music Background:
    qualified opinion procurer

    do not buy this (unless you need pro tools for as little cost as possible.)

    there are a lot of interfaces out there right now. This is certainly not the best choice. In fact, with pro tools m-powered on the market now, there really is no reason to get such a mediocre piece of hardware.

    you can get a 4CH interface that does 24-bit/96kHz. the mbox will only go to 48kHz. the output power is weak sauce too. its convenient to be buss powered, but get an interface with it's own power supply, you won't regret it. I noticed a HUGE difference in volume output. it didn't make sense to me at first, because the monitors have their own amps, but trust me, the output of the interface matters a great deal. you wont have to crank the output on your monitors and m-box to get a decently loud monitoring signal.

    and 450 bucks?! really? do yourself a HUGE favor. save 50 bucks more and get an ECHO audiofire8 or Tascam US-1641. or spend $150 bucks less and get an audiofire4. you get 6 ins and 6 outs for 150 less, and up to 96kHz digital conversion.

    There are a TON of products that are so much better than this. if you need protools, get something from m-audio. consider using an m-audio device for a while with some other software while you save up for pro tools m-powered.

    and if you can do firewire there is absolutely no reason to go with an mbox 2, not even the firewire version. there are just too many good firewire interfaces out there. focusrite, motu, m-audio, apogee duet (if you're on osx), tapco, and lots more. sweet water doesn't carry a few of these brands, and the ones they do they only carry a couple of the models that the company sells.

    I would say, if pro tools is not a concern, don't even think about this interface. If pro tools is a concern, think about a 610, solo, or fastrack from m-audio instead. you'll have to buy pro tools separate, but it's worth paying for hardware to be good hardware. with the LE system it's like paying for hardware to use software. what's the incentive to make good hardware under that paradigm?

  • K. Osborne
    from Oklahoma June 4, 2009Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Mix Engineer, Producer

    MBox 2 - Right for you?

    I think the MBox is cool. Pro Tools 8 is INCREDIBLE.
    The Preamps are alright, and the MIDI is decent, and the latency is pretty low. HOWEVER...I have a few complaints.

    The MBox is a hog. If you're using it on a system with another audio interface, good luck. It wants to be the ONLY audio interface you have. Overrides your driver settings in control panel and sets it as the default and unchecks your other interfaces as being the main audio output device---I run a MOTU 24i/o system on a custom Quad Core / 4GB RAM PC, and I wanted to have this so I could transfer sessions from clients, not actually to mix all the time with.

    Let me tell you, there are some weird things about this box--you MUST plug it into the motherboard USB ports--tried plugging it into a card reader and the port overloaded.

    Another thing--beware if you have a native system with a lot of plugins (both commercial and free downloads from independent creators). Some of the plugins I had, ProTools didn't like, and it wouldn't even load until I uninstalled the plugins. One of those plugins I really wanted one time on a session, and I couldn't use it. It wasn't that ProTools wouldn't let me, it's that if the plug was even INSTALLED, then ProTools wouldn't even start up at all.

    ASIDE FROM ALL OF THAT...to me, this product was exactly what I imagined, but I really think it's worth it for laptop users, and it's totally worth it just to get your hands on a copy of PT8.

  • Kevin B.
    from New Orleans, LA USA June 12, 2008Music Background:
    Electronic Musician

    So-so...not the best with OSX

    It is a good interface for beginners, but comes with some catches:
    -you can only use it if you have installed ProTools...lots of PACE things to worry about.
    -if you care to reduce pops & clicks, you have to go hi-latency
    -compatibility issues with OSX Tiger (caused kernel panics)
    -died when interrupted during a firmware update

    I liked how portable this unit was and the preamps are better than many in this price range. However, the issues mentioned above would prevent me from ever buying this interface again. If you want your DAW to be ProTools (and nothing else) and if you're on PC, you may have better luck.

  • A. Guillen
    from Portland, OR USA September 14, 2007Music Background:
    Musician, Former Tascam 4-Track God

    NOT as easy as 1-2-3

    Hey Everyone! Please know that in order to use ProTools and its plug-ins effectively you will have to dedicate HOURS and HOURS of your time to this software. This is not an exaggeration. Here are the other items you should have before purchasing ProTools:

    * Windows XP WITH service pack 2(not yet compatible with Vista).
    * 2GB of RAM as ProTools is resource intensive.
    * A quality set of active monitors for accurate playback and mixing (although your desktop speakers will work despite what the manual states).
    * A motherboard that does NOT use the VIA400 chipset. The samples from the BFD drumming software would only snap, crackle, and pop on my system because my board used the VIA400 chipset. Do the math with me:
    New Motherboard = New Computer!
    * Midi keyboard controller for synth and drum software.
    * Great microphone if you want quality results.

    The point: You may have to invest hundreds of dollars in computer upgrades and recording equipment before the MBox2 works for you. Go to digidesign's website for all of their compatibility specs before buying this item.

    Good Luck!

  • Johnny
    from Seattle, WA USA June 22, 2006Music Background:
    10 years performing musician

    bad first impression

    I bought my mbox2 no more than 2 hours ago. Upon attempting to install it on my Computer I ran into problems. I am not a computer guy and the way the instructions read is counter intuitive for a person of my back ground. My computer is brand new and top of the line and it was giving me contradictory messages and freezing up at random times. Finally I decided to repackage the whole thing and take it back. If your looking for a product that will be a shove into the world of pro audio, this is a worthwile purchase. However, if It's just to have a device to store multi layered song ideas, better stick with a good old fasioned 4 track....

  • Devin D
    from Chicago, IL February 16, 2009Music Background:
    Recording and Mix Engineer, Composer, & Sound Designer

    Well if you actually like recording music...

    Well if you actually like recording music...
    don't buy it
    Really poor bang for the buck.
    Pathetic pre's... passible at best
    The whole bus power thing barely works (hilariously bad with phantom power)
    The pro is worth the extra buck for the firewire capability alone
    Not bad if ya need to do locational stuff or ya just need protools on a tight budget... but there are many better options

  • Donovan Murphy
    from Sacramento, CA May 25, 2006


    The prices of the original Mbox are dropping fast and with good reason. I too thought about buying a used original Mbox and am very pleased to have been able to get not only the ability to record 4 tracks at once but the factory bundle as well.

  • Michael
    from SC January 14, 2006

    So easy!

    After using Pro Tools TDM system at school for over a year, I decided to make the investment and purchace an mbox 2 for home use. It was up and running right out of the box. It was so easy to use and set up, and it looks great next to my MacMini.


  • Ryan Scherb

    This unit was very easy to setup and start using. The instruction manual is well written and easy to follow. Each step is laid out for you, to include optimizing your host computer system for the best audio performance. This is great for someone who knows little about audio recording devices and is on their own to figure it out.
    Working with the hardware was a breeze. The control panel is laid out in a logical, user friendly way. The beginner will find this feature of particular benefit. This is also great for the professional working on the clock who won't have to waist valuable time searching the manual trying to learn the unit.
    With the sturdy construction, compact size, and handle, this unit is ready to travel from the studio, to the practice space, to the live show. If you need to take your tracks from your bedroom studio to the pro studio, no problem, the Pro Tools Software is the industry standard. This is great for the beginner who creates tracks at home and then goes to a professional studio to mix on a Pro Tools HD rig, the LE tracks will transfer easily into that HD system.
    With the essential I/O on board, the beginner has all they need to make professional sounding recordings and mixes. The mic pre's are of the highest quality, and for the guitar or bass player there are two direct inputs. Even the pro who needs a mobile solution for those quick "on the spot recordings" will find the features on the Mbox 2 professional.
    Whether it's the home studio or the professional studio, the Mbox 2 has the quality and features to find its place in each. I would recommend this product to anyone of any level as a mobile recording solution.

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