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Avid Mbox with Pro Tools Express Reviews

4.0 stars based on 23 customer reviews
  • Douglas Niedt
    from Leawood, KS November 26, 2014Music Background:
    Professional classical guitarist

    Great interface. Ilok a pain

    The interface is fantastic. Great sound and features for the money. But downloading and authorizing Pro Tools Express is another matter. The instructions are incorrect and ilok is a royal pain. But eventually you'll get get it installed and all works seamlessly.

  • Darwin and Don Coker
    from Central Texas May 11, 2014Music Background:
    Pickin' and grinnin' since diapers. We are in our 80s.

    Mbox, Pro Tools Express.

    The Mbox interface has been perfect for our need. We could not have asked for a better product. The sound is crystal clear. The mark of a good interface is that it doesn't draw attention to itself---it just does it's job as the sound passes through. That's what the Mbox does. As to Pro Tools Express, we're still on the learning curve. We have been using Cakewalk Sonar since the young bucks now were in diapers. But what we've found so far is that Pro Tools is quality.

  • Michael Zupa
    from Yorktown Heights, NY January 30, 2014Music Background:

    Avid MBOX + Protools express = L.O.V.E.

    Sound quality is amazing. Easy installation/use and Sweetwater could not have been more helpful during this purchase. If you are unsure if you want to buy the entire protools experience this is a great way to get your feet wet and learn with the option to expand later on.

  • MrPete
    from Santa Cruz, CA January 17, 2014Music Background:
    Pro Musician, Recording Engineer

    Great Interface

    Great interface. I have a professional studio, but sometimes just want to noodle around in the living room, or go to a friends house to do some tracking. The MBox allows me to track musicians with zero latency monitoring AND has built in reverb to help vocalists feel more confidant while singing. Quick and easy. With just my laptop and the MBox, I have a full featured tracking setup. Nice.

  • Customer
    from USA November 24, 2013Music Background:
    Former Professional Musician

    M-box 3

    The M-Box 3 is working awesome! It is easy to understand the inputs and outputs. The sound quality is super! I have used it in my musical recording pursuits with flawless operation. Thank you Sweetwater for youe excellent sales staff who answered all my questions before my purchase. Thank you.

  • Ian Melchinger
    from New Haven, CT September 1, 2013Music Background:
    Music Teacher, Movie Sound Editor, Composer

    Just Right

    Okay, the GEAR is fine. The 5 stars are for the thoughtful customer service. I hadn't used ProTools in years, I couldn't tell what to buy, and I was scared of the iLok. Not only did Sweetwater's people talk me through a sensible purchase, they even rescued me when my worst fears came true and my iLok dongle failed. They popped a replacement in the mail that day, and I'm back in business with no charge. Superlative.

  • Kevin Jackson
    from Baton Rouge, La. May 20, 2013Music Background:
    Home Engineer, Keyboardist, Hobbyist

    ProTools/MBox 3

    I love it. I had to bump up my computer "horse power" but it was worth it. Plus I can become mobile and use it with my notebook.

  • Paul McNeely
    from Washington, Pa March 28, 2013Music Background:

    Amazing product

    Steep learning curve, but this does everything well. Covers all my needs.Fun to use.

  • Cory Olsson
    from Alpena, MI February 28, 2013Music Background:
    Recording my one man band for 15 years.

    Blows Presonus out of the water!

    I was absolutely stunned. First by my next day delivery(I live in Michigan) and then by the very noticeable difference in sound quality, and ease of use. I installed this onto my Windows 8 computer. I did not find it all that hard at all. I did what Sweetwater recommended and just changed the permissions to Windows 7 and ran as administrator. BOOM! No hassles, no errors. The ilok thing was no big deal as well. The only thing I do not like about the system is that I have to keep the ilok in, which cuts down on my USB real estate. Overall though, I love this thing and it is built like a tank.

  • Phil Panczuk
    from Lynwood, IL USA May 22, 2014Music Background:
    pro musicians

    so far. so good.

    Much better than Pro Tools SE I struggled with for over a year. Excellent featured, works well. I don't need full recording capes, just preproduction guitar and vocals this product is one I would recommend to anyone who was working in this capacity and I believe you could start a project and hand it off to the next contributor seamlessly.

  • Carl Stephenson
    from Rochester, MN May 5, 2014Music Background:
    Professional musician and instructor


    Decided to upgrade my recording hardware and wanted to at least dip my toes in Pro Tools. I'm very happy with this purchase.
    The MBox provides fantastic audio quality with solid and convenient functionality.
    Pro Tools Express is a great program. Powerful but easy to use, suprisingly intuitive.
    The only downside is you must be aware of how you install the hardware and software. The digital rights management (iLok) requires that you step through the installation properly.
    Fortunately the documentation available is good. Avid's website is very helpful and I was able to set everything up perfectly the first time.

  • Glenn Conley
    from St. Louis MO April 4, 2013Music Background:
    Voice over talent and producer


    Nothing better than an affordable protools solution backed by experts who know what they're doing!!!

    from St. Louis, MO January 25, 2013Music Background:
    Producer/Engineer, Musician

    A Huge Improvement from Mbox 2

    I have to say I was thoroughly impressed with Avid's new Mbox. I've had the Mbox 2, 003, Apogee Ensemble, and Lynx Auroras. The Mbox 2 left a lot to be desired. I use the new Mbox for my portable rig, and it is a completely different beast. The convertors are great! I usually use external pres, but I could use the Mbox if I had to. It's also built like a tank which is great for transporting. Great unit.

  • Cecilia B. Calderon
    from Matyland, USA January 9, 2015Music Background:


    easy to install . Support tech at Sweetwater, great . Tech support is fantastic in spite of the holding wait time at the phone for them to come which is much longer and the least to be desired. I recommend Sweetwater Music company for sales compared to other establishments. The return policy is hassle free and no stocking fee or other hidden frivolous fees . Still honesty is the best policy.

  • Simone
    from Alabama October 16, 2014Music Background:

    Good Stuff

    Great software and easy to use however a real pain to download and activate software. I am reasonably intelligent and use Creative Suite Adobe products often so I know my way around my Mac but I have never experienced such a frustrating process. Once installed though I was well-pleased with functionality.

  • Tom Sennes
    from Long Island ny August 12, 2014Music Background:
    50 years guitar. Also bass, keyboards, pedal steel

    m box pro tools express

    still getting used to it after using my old LE 6.7 or I probably would have given it a 5. little tough to install but I am more of a misician than engineer. Support was great. price was great. would definitely deal with sweetwater again

  • Kip Fritcher
    from Mid-Michigan March 24, 2014Music Background:
    Semi Pro / Enthusiest / Singer/Songwriter

    Avid Mbox with Pro Tools Express

    Everything I need for software. Many things the same as my old system LE6. Along with changing to a Mac from windows I was anything but fast getting used to the change. Some frustration uploading from net and the key lock system. Folks at Sweetwater were there for me and after some reading and hands on clicking I'm up and running and recording music.Thanks to all involved. Kip

  • Grant
    from Nashville, TN September 29, 2014Music Background:
    Pro Artist/Producer

    Really good but ...

    ... be aware (Mac users) that the Pro Tools Express software is not supported if you're using OS 10.9 Mavericks... and Mavericks is about to get another overhaul! I'm not sure why Pro Tools would allow this product to be so far out of step, but something that I wish I had known before I spent the money. Still, I like the Mbox (that I'm suing with Garage Band for now). This was a very affordable way of making my home recordings sound A LOT better.

  • bstrunke11
    from West Michigan January 4, 2014Music Background:
    Guitar Player and Singer

    Know what you want to do, and how you want to work

    I really wish I could rate this higher. Let me give you the facts and be your own judge.
    1. SweetWater got the product here FAST - 5.0
    2. The installation(iLok and Mbox) and registering ProTools with AVID was Ok. The best doc on the web regarding same is really the PDF's I found for the M-Audio line - 4
    3. ProTools Express AIRCHORUS plugin simply will not load. AVID or SweetWater NO HELP. Pity, because I love chorus effect. - 0
    4. Installing on Dell Studio 1737 laptop Win7 64bit was ok, had to troubleshoot a conflict with my wi-fi card. Now just disable the wi-fi in device manager before recording. That's ok. - 3.0
    5. MBox has to be plugged in for ProTools to work at all. I find this to be inconvenient, but not the end of the world. - 3.5
    6. MBox essentially becomes your "speakers" on your computer when plugged in, so you have to have the head phones with you all the time. Again - 3. ( would like to be able to just sit on my chair and mix without the hardware attached).
    7. Pro Tools and MBox both work as advertised. Both quality products. - 4.5

    I'm an experienced musician and singer that just wanted to try my hand at recording and enjoy the experience. So far I am able to do that. If I stay with it, I'll probably look at upgrading to an Apple computer and a stand alone release of Pro Tools, but have a ways to go yet.

    I think patience is the real key. Are you making music, or learning software, well really you're doing both for a while.

    Lastly, and maybe this is effecting the rating haha, I have found it to be a humbling experience (I thought I played better than that)... Any way hope you found this useful. Take enough time to sit back and picture yourself doing it, and how you envision yourself working.

  • James Acosta
    from United States November 1, 2013Music Background:
    48 years alto sax and vocalist playing with local bands

    work in progress cannot rate until laptop arrives

    Waitng for my new 8G laptop in order to begin using the Avid Mbox.

  • Customer
    from February 5, 2013Music Background:
    Semi-pro musician (sold less than a dozen songs)

    Sweetwater is fantastic (5), Avid Mbox is OK (2), together (2.5)

    Starting with the Sweetwater experience, everything about the Sweetwater process was superb. The Internet store was easy to use. The product arrived two days later. The Mbox was perfectly packaged and even included some candy in the box! Sweetwater even called me a few days later to ensure that all was well. Well done Sweetwater!

    Now onto the Avid bundle. First, be aware that this product uses a USB dongle to authenticate the product, and its a tempermental beast. I fought on and off for three weeks, struggling to install the drivers and the iLok software on my music PC to no avail. When I contacted the iLok folks, they basically told me the translation was that the iLok doesn't necessarily work on every machine technically meeting the specs. Ugh! So, I ended up getting a new 64 bit machine with Win7. I figured that maybe it was time to upgrade. After another couple of days, I was able to wrestle the iLok software onto the brand new machine. It still took three cycles of install, fail, uninstall, a d try again. Second, the Pro Tools Express (PTE) installation was complicated. I had to purchase a trouble ticket from Avid to have them explain to me that the native HP software on a theoretically listed compatible machine (there are not many by the way) had to be disabled and uninstalled to allow PTE to properly install, even though there were no error messages indicating issues with the PTE installation. The problem was that the Mbox simply would not talk to PTE. Just a slight issue in a bundle product one might suppose! At long last, I was ready to start using the PTE & Mbox bundle. Third, PTE takes some significant getting used to. It is not intuitive to use. You'll have to devote a fair number of cycles to downloading the plug-ins, updates, etc. rom Avid. Also, just in case you didn't know, PTE doesn't work with all of the VSTs, etc. that you've bought over the past decade of music producing. So, I bought a $45 book on the basics of PTE. Fourth, that is when I found out the pre-amp internal to the Mbox is ... What is the technical term ... Um, oh yeah, aweful! You have to crank the gain on the mic to almost the limit and put your source within inches of the mic to get a good enough SNR even with 24 bit quality for a vocal or drum session to be useable. (I bought some high end mics for use with the new interface, and yes, I have three different mics and three cables and tried them all. Yes, the phantom power was on.) I would have sent it all back even several thousand quid in red from the lost time, new external gear, computer, etc., but online in the user community I found that this is a common issue. Apparently most folks use another pre-amp if they use the Mbox. Caveat emptor. All in all, Sweetwater is a fabulous company. PTE is an empire onto itself that you'll either love or hate once you invest a significant amount of time learning the new DAW and getting the software to chat with the iLok dongle, and the Mbox is not so great for live recording.

  • K. Kimmel
    from Frederick, MD February 12, 2015Music Background:
    Voice Actor

    Pro Tools Express

    This was a package deal with an Avid MBox. The MBox works great and I am very pleased with it. The ProTools Express needed to be upgraded to the full version of ProTools (11) due to the lack of Windows 8 support for the Express version. Together, the MBox and Protools 11 work great. This review is only for the Express version of ProTools.

  • Will Baker
    from United States December 29, 2014Music Background:
    recording & performing artist

    why create such a download fiasco????

    been trying for 4 days to download, still no luck..... the whole Iloc thing then bouncing back and forth from websites is ridiculous!!!!! then try and contact Avid for support... GOOD LUCK. Very disapointed, ready to return it.

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