Audient EVO Start Recording Bundle Review (Worth It?)

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Audient EVO Start Recording Bundle Review (Worth It?)
VERDICT
The EVO Start Recording Bundle simply eliminates any difficulty in the recording process, creating an easy, efficient, and cost-effective option regardless of your experience as a musician.
Build Quality
8
Ease Of Use
8
Value
9.5
PROS
Excellent for both beginners and experienced music makers
Great value for money
SR1 mic offers a super-cardioid polar pattern which is ideal for singing or podcasts
CONS
Mac users will need an adapter for the USB cable
8.5
OUR SCORE
READ REVIEWS

Audient are world-class leaders of pro audio equipment. But aside from making some of the industry’s most loved top-end gear, recently we’ve been really excited about their venture into the home recording market with the release of their EVO audio interface.

We got our hands on the EVO 4 last year and were really impressed with this USB audio interface. The sound quality was superb and with ease of use really at the forefront of people’s minds (particularly for those just starting out recording), the EVO proved to be one of the best budget interfaces available.

We won’t go into the nitty-gritty as you can read the full EVO 4 review here but we will say that it’s definitely worth checking out if you’ve been thinking about getting a new interface or upgrading your existing one.

The EVO 4 comes with two EVO preamps (capable of a 58dB gain range), 2 mic inputs, instrument input, and (perhaps one of the biggest USPs) its own ‘Smartgain’ mode which allows you to simply test your signal while the EVO accurately gain stages itself.

However, Audient has gone one step further and introduced their own Start Recording Bundle which we recently put to the test.

Audient EVO Start Recording Bundle

The Audient EVO Start Recording Bundle is a value-packed entry into the world of audio production, arming you with the outstanding EVO 4 audio interface, a detailed SRI condenser microphone, and a set of excellent SR2000 headphones. 

View Price on Sweetwater View Price on Thomann

EVO Start Recording Bundle: What’s Included?

In keeping with the EVO 4 packaging, the EVO Start Recording Bundle arrived in our hands in a super cool black box that looks very sleek indeed.

Open this up and you’ll find the full recording bundle neatly packed away. This includes:

  • EVO 4 Audio Interface
  • EVO SR1 Condenser Microphone
  • EVO SR2000 Monitoring Headphones (including 1/4 inch adapter!)
  • EVO Schockmount
  • XLR Microphone Cable
  • USB-C Cable

As you can see, this is everything you need to get recording. Ok, maybe a mic stand would be the only thing missing, but it just makes everything too bulky. Audient includes a simple bullet-pointed sheet with the bundle showing you the EVO features and how to activate the Smartgain feature.

There are also some handy instructions that fold out explaining how to set the hardware up (including your features and setting volume) but really it couldn’t be much easier than simply plugging in and hitting record. If you still need more info, you’ll find some really useful videos on Audient’s website that go into even more detail.

(For a crash course on using external gear with your DAW, check out Using External Hardware With Your DAW (Step By Step Guide))

SR1 Condenser Microphone

The first thing we’ll take a proper look at is the included SR1 condenser mic. The EVO audio interface itself retails at around $129 with the full EVO Start Recording Bundle coming in at $249. So there was some concern about the quality of the mic and headphones that we’re only paying an extra $120 for.

However, the mic is heavy and reminiscent of an AKG C414 look (and weight) which is instantly reassuring with so many budget mics that feel a bit light and flimsy. There’s no pad or option to change polar patterns on the mic but really, why would we need this? The recording bundle is aimed at home producers and content creators after all.

The mic offers a super-cardioid polar pattern which is great for singing or podcast recording. It fits snugly into the rugged shock mount which screws easily onto our RØDE PSA100 mic stand.

The ”1-2-1-2” check on the SR1 shows a superior off-axis rejection with a really warm but clear timbre. The polar pattern worked great for us as our home recording setup happens to be next to a busy road (with the noise coming from the off-axis direction), but whether a cardioid option would be better is up for debate here.

For the great price, however, we really feel there is nothing to complain about and can’t foresee any issues recording that couldn’t be rectified with some acoustic foam panels if really necessary.

SR2000 Monitoring Headphones

To reiterate our price concerns, there was a worry that the headphone quality may be questionable but again we felt they were at least as sturdy as you’d expect from, say, the budget end of the Sennheiser range. With a frequency response of 12Hz – 22kHz, they are more than adequate for monitoring.

The on-ear design is comfortable and they block out plenty of unwanted noise. They easily adjust and we were really pleased to have a quarter-inch jack adapter included (if you’re like us, these things go missing on a regular basis!).

Monitoring while recording was great as well with no noticeable latency. Just nice, warm smoothness from the EVO preamps which we really loved in our review of the EVO 4.

Extras

Audient could have easily shaved a few dollars off their production costs by not including a USB lead and XLR but it’s great to have them ready and new when we opened the box.

It’s worth mentioning that the included USB-C to USB-A lead might require you to buy an adapter if you’re a Mac user but (as we mentioned in our last review) that’s not really any fault of Audient.

Included as well is a selection of software and plugins which are really handy if you’re just starting out and unsure of what DAW to buy or where to being with music-making.

Currently included are (deep breath): Cubase LE, Retrologue 2, M-Tron Pro LE, Torpedo Wall of Sound, Subito Piano, 2GB of free Loopcloud samples, and 3 free online courses from Produce Like A Pro.

With all this included, it really is great value for money and will be handy for both beginners and experienced music makers.

One item we think could have been a nice addition would be a pop filter. Whilst many of us have one or two lying around, anyone who is new and looking to start recording might find this beneficial.

We’d happily pay an extra $10 to have one included – but again we’re probably splitting hairs here as the Start Recording Bundle packs so many awesome features.

Audient EVO Start Recording Bundle

The Audient EVO Start Recording Bundle is a value-packed entry into the world of audio production, arming you with the outstanding EVO 4 audio interface, a detailed SRI condenser microphone, and a set of excellent SR2000 headphones. 

View Price on Sweetwater View Price on Thomann

Final Thoughts

After being really impressed with the Audient EVO 4 last year (check out our initial review here) we’re really pleased to see them expand with the EVO Start Recording bundle.

Knowing where to begin with recording is really tricky with so many options on the market for microphones, headphones, interfaces, etc. But the EVO bundle makes this really simple – buy the bundle, plug in, and record!

We’re really impressed with what you get for the amount you pay. Factoring in a couple of extras you might need you can easily get recording with this bundle for under $300. Really the only things missing are a pop shield and a mic stand but it’s understandable why they are excluded.

The recordings done with this kit sound great, the shock mount and XLR cable are of good quality and the mic simply sounds impressive.

The EVO itself is intuitive and makes recording your voice or instruments super easy and compared to other audio interfaces on the market (in a similar price bracket) the product design and functionality are excellent.

We’d highly recommend checking out the EVO bundle (or if you just need the interface the EVO 4 can be bought on its own). If you’re after more inputs and outputs then the EVO 8 is also available over at Audient’s website.

For more information head to Audient or purchase the EVO Start Recording Bundle here.