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MOTU M2 Desktop 2x2 USB Type-C Audio/MIDI Interface

BH #MAM2 • MFR #3120
MOTU M2 Desktop 2x2 USB Type-C Audio/MIDI Interface
Key Features
  • Musicians, Podcasters, and Producers
  • 2 Mic/Line/Instrument Preamps
  • 1 Headphone Out, 2 RCA & 1/4" Line Outs
  • High-Performance 24-Bit / 192 kHz Audio
Pristine, versatile, and portable, the MOTU M2 desktop 2x2 USB Type-C audio/MIDI interface combines high-class audio performance, a robust bundle of DAWs, virtual instruments, loops, and samples, and a feature set that makes it equally powerful and user-friendly for musicians, podcasters, and producers, all at a highly affordable price point.
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MOTU M2 Overview

  • 1Description
  • 2Professional-Level Audio Quality
  • 3Mirrored Monitoring
  • 4Loopback Channels for Podcast Recording and Live Streaming
  • 5Low Latency
  • 6Hardware Monitoring and Input Mix Knob
  • 7Integrates with MIDI Gear and Analog Synths
  • 8Audio Interface or Standalone Operation
  • 9Software Included
  • 10Key Features at a Glance
By B&H Photo's

Pristine, versatile, and portable, the MOTU M2 desktop 2x2 USB Type-C audio/MIDI interface combines high-class audio performance, a robust bundle of DAWs, virtual instruments, loops, and samples, and a feature set that makes it equally powerful and user-friendly for musicians, podcasters, and producers, all at a highly affordable price point.

With its two front-panel mic/line/instrument preamps, the M2 can record anything from dynamic and condenser microphones to electric guitars and drum machines in distortion-free, sparkling clarity. Equipped with top-notch ESS digital-to-analog converters that drive the main outs and the headphone jack, the M2 lets you monitor through your speakers and headphones with the dynamic range normally found only on much more expensive interfaces.

Use the M2's digital loopback channels to easily route audio from your computer directly into your host software—record remote podcast guests from Skype or any other VoIP software without incurring horrible feedback, or livestream a mix of live inputs and the computer's output.

The M2 is equally suitable for producers, thanks to its MIDI 5-pin I/O. Plug in a MIDI keyboard to control virtual instruments such as the selection of over 100 VIs included with the M2. Or, run MIDI from the M2 to your favorite hardware synth to capture its glorious tones through the M2's pristine analog preamps.

No matter what you do, the M2's specially engineered drivers ensure ultralow-latency monitoring, so you can rehearse and record in real time without hearing any distracting echo. And with the full-color LCD screen, you can view high-resolution metering for all inputs and outputs at all times. Take the M2 anywhere you need to work; it is bus-powered and compatible with Mac/Windows computers and iOS mobile devices.

Professional-Level Audio Quality

Equipped with the same ESS Sabre32 Ultra DAC technology found in audio interfaces the pros use, the M2 delivers 120 dB of dynamic range on its main outputs. ESS converters also drive the headphone output. Ultraclean preamp circuits produce a measured -129 dBu EIN on the mic inputs; this means while recording, you'll only hear the mic, not the mic pre.

Mirrored Monitoring

The M2 has balanced 1/4" outputs for professional-level monitoring, and also features mirrored RCA outputs for feeding receivers and other unbalanced gear. With a 1/4" headphone output, you can also monitor your work privately.

Loopback Channels for Podcast Recording and Live Streaming

The M2's included driver provides convenient loopback channels to your host computer, so you can easily capture your computer's output. Combine computer audio with live mics while recording in your DAW, allowing you to capture guests over Skype or other VoIP programs. You can also use the loopback function while streaming live to sites like Twitch.

Low Latency

The M2 provides ultralow latency for monitoring live inputs through your computer, thanks to MOTU's expertly engineered USB drivers. These deliver 2.5 ms of round-trip latency, measured with a 32-sample buffer at 96 kHz.

Hardware Monitoring and Input Mix Knob

The M2 gives you one-touch hardware monitoring for both inputs. You'll also note the mix knob for balancing live inputs with computer playback; this lets you secure your perfect monitor mix, so you can hear your playing without latency, as well as any playback tracks, all at the same time.

Integrates with MIDI Gear and Analog Synths

The M2 includes traditional 5-pin MIDI input and output ports, so you can connect a MIDI controller, a sound module, or even a keyboard workstation without having to get a separate MIDI interface. The 1/4" outputs on the M2 are DC-coupled, allowing you to send MIDI data from your DAW as CV to hardware analog synthesizers, Eurorack modules, and sequencers.

Audio Interface or Standalone Operation

The unit is bus-powered over USB for optimal portability and convenience. It includes a USB Type-C to Type-A cable for compatibility with most computers. If your computer has USB Type-C ports, simply use a USB Type-C cable (available separately) to connect the two.

Alternatively, by using a USB Type-C power adapter, the M2 can be used as a standalone preamp and basic mixer, no host computer required. Simply engage the monitor button for each input (and 48V phantom power, if needed), and adjust the preamp gain. Connect the main outs to any line-level destination, such as a PA or patch bay.

Software Included

The M2 includes Ableton Live Lite and MOTU Performer Lite, popular and capable DAWs geared for music recording and production. Also included are over 100 instruments for Performer Lite, as well as 6GB of loops, sounds, and one-shot samples for either DAW.

Key Features at a Glance

  • USB Type-C audio interface with professional-level sound, two inputs, and two outputs
  • Easy-to-read metering for all inputs/outputs, with a full-color LCD
  • Two XLR-1/4" mic/line/Hi-Z guitar inputs
  • Individual preamp gain and 48V phantom power for each input
  • Two balanced, DC-coupled 1/4" TRS outputs for feeding monitors, outboard gear, or even hardware synthesizers and sequencers
  • Two mirrored RCA unbalanced outputs
  • One stereo headphone output, driven by ESS converters, with independent volume control
  • Supports resolutions up to 24-bit / 192 kHz
  • USB audio class compliant for plug-and-play operation on Mac or iOS (driver required for Windows)
  • Driver loopback for capturing host output, live streaming, and podcasting
  • MIDI I/O on 5-pin DIN jacks
  • Rugged metal construction
  • Kensington security slot
UPC: 839128006119

MOTU M2 Specs

Form FactorTabletop
DisplayColor LCD
Channels of I/OAnalog:
2 Inputs / 2 Outputs
Maximum Sampling Rate192 kHz / 24-Bit
Number of Microphone Preamps2 Preamps
Built-In MicrophoneNone
Input Level Adjustment2 x Knob
Expansion SlotsNone
Signal Processing
Gain/Trim RangeMic Inputs:
0 dB to +60 dB
Line/Hi-Z Inputs:
0 dB to +57 dB
High-Pass FilterNone
Analog Audio I/O2 x Combo XLR-1/4" TRS Balanced/Unbalanced Mic/Line/Hi-Z Input
1 x 1/4" TRS Unbalanced Headphone Output
2 x 1/4" TRS Balanced Line Output (DC-Coupled)
2 x RCA TS Unbalanced Line Output
Phantom Power48 V, Selectable On/Off (Selectable on Individual Inputs)
Digital Audio I/ONone
Host Connection / USB1 x USB Type-C (USB 2.0)
USB (Non-Host)None
Sync I/ONone
Network I/ONone
MIDI I/O1 x DIN 5-Pin Input
1 x DIN 5-Pin Output
Wireless ConnectivityNone
Frequency ResponseMic Inputs:
20 Hz to 20 kHz +0/-0.1 dB
Line, Hi-Z Inputs:
20 Hz to 20 kHz ±0.15 dB
Line Outputs:
20 Hz to 20 kHz +0/-0.1 dB
Maximum Input LevelMic Inputs:
+10 dBu (Min Gain)
Line/Hi-Z Inputs:
+16 dBu (Min Gain)
Maximum Output LevelLine Outputs:
+16 dBu (Balanced)
Line Outputs:
+9.5 dBu (Unbalanced)
Headphone Outputs:
+12.5 dBu
ImpedanceMic Inputs:
2.65 Kilohms
Line Inputs:
2 Megohms
Hi-Z Inputs:
1 Megohm
Line Outputs:
100 Ohms
Dynamic RangeMic Inputs:
115 dBA
Line/Hi-Z Inputs:
114 dBA
1/4" Line/Monitor Outputs:
120 dBA
RCA Line Outputs:
119 dBA
Headphone Outputs:
115 dBA
THD+NMic Inputs:
< -97 dB / < 0.0014%
Line/Hi-Z Inputs:
< -100 dB / < 0.001%
1/4" Line/Monitor Outputs:
< -110 dB / < 0.00032%
RCA Line Outputs:
< -105 dB / < 0.00056%
Headphone Outputs:
< -110 dB / < 0.0003%
EINMic Inputs:
-129 dB A-Weighted (150-Ohm Source, Max Gain)
Digital Audio
Sample RatesUp to 192 kHz
Sample Rate ConversionNone
Bit Depths24-Bit
LatencyZero-Latency Direct Monitoring2.5 ms at 96 kHz (Dependent on Buffer Size, Input to Output)
Sync SourcesInternal
Audio Storage & Playback
Memory Card SlotNone
OS CompatibilitymacOS 10.11 or Later
Windows 7 or Later
iOS 9 or Later
*As of November, 2021: check with manufacturer for the most up-to-date compatibility
Included SoftwareAbleton Live Lite
Digital Performer Lite
Compatible Software (Not Included)Any Core Audio (Mac) Compliant Software
Supported Drivers/API & Plug-InsmacOS Class-Compliant (No Driver Needed)
Processor RequirementMac:
1 GHz Intel
1 GHz Intel Pentium
RAM Requirements2 GB, 4 GB Recommended
Required HardwareAvailable USB 2.0 Port
USB Cable (Included)
Internet ConnectionRequired for Software/Driver Download
Power RequirementsUSB Bus Power
Anti-Theft FeaturesKensington Security Slot
Dimensions7.5 x 4.25 x 1.75" / 19.1 x 10.79 x 4.45 cm (Chassis Only)
Weight1.4 lb / 0.6 kg
Packaging Info
Package Weight1.8 lb
Box Dimensions (LxWxH)10 x 7.45 x 2.75"

MOTU M2 Reviews

Stellar performance

By Austin
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2022-06-28

This device is unbelievable. I measured the SNR and it's even better than the manufacturer specified! This thing should cost $800 for this level of quality.

a really nice interface relative to price

By Petronella
Rated 4 out of 5
Date: 2022-02-26

i really like this interface - the only complaint is that the amp is a bit weak - it would've been nice if there was a port to supply power to the unit beyond what bus power can deliver that said, it drives my Sundara's well enough and the controls are velvet smooth - the quality is quite good given this price point, i think it's a great product

Works Great

By Ken
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2022-02-22

Not a professional, but I like to release the occasional YouTube video, and I wanted to do voice-overs. Started out with a Rode PodMic and a Moto M2. My voice sounded terrible! I wasn't sure where the problem was, so I tried adding a Cloudlifter; no luck. Next I swapped in the Shure SMB7, and that completely fixed the problem. FYI, I needed to keep using the Cloudlifter to get loud enough recordings. Finally, I am happy with my setup.

This is the best!

By Angeleen
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2022-02-15

I was going to buy the scarlet 2 but realized it's been on the market for a while. The MOTU m2 has 32-bit float! That's a big deal. Don't believe me? Google it! It's worth every penny!

Simple to use...and sounds great!

By Jonah
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2022-02-01

This was a great addition to my video editing system. It has vibrant clean sound and attractive interface and display. Solid construction also.

so sweet it's sassy

By Dustin
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2022-01-15

does exactly what you need and records a very good quality sound. just take note that if you only record 1 channel, it will record mono, and you'll need to replicate the track in your software

Perfect Interface for my Needs

By Jason
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2022-04-15

This interface has all the features I need and I love how it has an on/off toggle switch. I'm very happy with this purchase.

Works well until it doesn't

By Daniel
Rated 1 out of 5
Date: 2022-04-05

I bought this device to replace an old presonus interface I've had for years. Figured it would be nice to treat myself to something more modern with nicer preamps and a clean design. Out of the blue after about a year of ownership it refused to be noticed by my ipad pro. Ok, time to check the firmware/drivers. I plug into my PC and even it won't recognize it. This is apparently not an uncommon issue after some google searches. They are just liable to die after a number of months apparently. I've tried all the troubleshooting available on their site (which is very sparse and not easy to find information). Now it's just a $200 2 channel mixer.

See any errors on this page? Let us know


I'm using these with Genelec 8010 monitors. Can I ...

I'm using these with Genelec 8010 monitors. Can I add a Genelec 5040 subwoofer to the red/white RCA outputs simultaneously?
Asked by: Paul
Hi you connect the motu first to the sub and from sub out front you connect your 8010
Date published: 2022-08-06

Will this work on a 2015 iMac?

Will this work on a 2015 iMac?
Asked by: Twain
This should connect to a 2015 iMac via the included USB C to A cable. Your macOS will need to be 10.11 or higher in order for this unit to operate.
Answered by: Daniel
Date published: 2020-09-24

Does this transmit both MIDI and audio over the ...

Does this transmit both MIDI and audio over the USB-C cable, or do you have to use the 5-pin DINs?
Asked by: Nick
The back of the M2 interface has 2 normal 5 pin DINs on the back, one marked IN the other OUT. As far as I know that's the only way it deals with MIDI devices.
Answered by: James
Date published: 2021-03-25

I noticed that the front connectors say ...

I noticed that the front connectors say XLR/LINE/Guitar yet I dont see a switch to change it from line to instrument. How does this work?
Asked by: Leonil
The interface adjusts automatically based on what input connection is used. Please note, the XLR connection is only meant for mic level sources, any +4 line level input should be connected to the TRS input of the interface.
Answered by: Daniel
Date published: 2020-10-15

Does this come with any software?

Does this come with any software?
Asked by: Pete
This interface includes Ableton Live Lite, MOTU Performer Lite, over 100 instruments for Performer Lite, as well as 6 GB of loops and one-shot samples.
Answered by: Daniel
Date published: 2020-09-17

What are the impedance/power specs for the ...

What are the impedance/power specs for the headphone out?
Asked by: Javier
Headphone output is 18 mW @ 300 ohm, 24 mW @ 33 ohm. That's according to measurements at ASR: That's not very powerful, but this unit otherwise had great measured performance.
Answered by: Michael
Date published: 2020-09-02

Is this compatible with pro tools software &amp; MAC ...

Is this compatible with pro tools software &amp; MAC Catalina?
Asked by: Garry
The Motu M2 audio interface is compatible with macOS 10.11 or later, and does not require a driver to be installed to run on an Apple computer. Protools and most other DAW's will recognize and work well with this device.
Answered by: Steve
Date published: 2020-10-26

Can this handle a low gain sensitive mic like EV ...

Can this handle a low gain sensitive mic like EV RE20..without cloud lifter ?
Asked by: Fernando
While it does have enough gain for a mic of this nature, some users have reported noise when turning up the gain, so you may want to consider a fethead or cloud lifter anyway, for the headroom.
Answered by: John
Date published: 2020-08-19
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