Review: Native Instruments KOMPLETE AUDIO 6 audio interface - InsideAudio

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17 Dec 2019

Review: Native Instruments KOMPLETE AUDIO 6 audio interface

producer Review: Native Instruments KOMPLETE AUDIO 6 audio interface


Native Instruments is making great progress when it comes to developing hardware. They’ve created a lot of hardware when it comes to studio, DJ and stage equipment, which also includes audio interfaces! We don’t see them in studios often, but we do see them pop up amongst big audio interface brands like Focusrite.

The KOMPLETE AUDIO 6 MKII is the successor to the MKI, which had a bit of a different design compared to the MKII. We took a closer look at the MKII, which we’ve seen before at Superbooth 2019 in Berlin where we made the video below.

The KOMPLETE AUDIO lineup consists of 3 audio interfaces, the KOMPLETE AUDIO 1, KOMPLETE AUDIO 2 and the KOMPLETE AUDIO 6. The main difference being the inputs and outputs, which you’ll notice in size and price! The 1 and 2 are meant for singer-songwriters and the 6 more for producers that need to hook up more hardware.

Competition

There’s a lot of competition in the field of audio interfaces with lots of brand that produce high quality hardware. Does Native Instruments belong to these as well?

When it comes to its price the KOMPLETE series is extremely interesting, starting at about €100,- and the most expensive model costing about €250,- which is a very interesting price point for musicians. They are perfectly competitive with other brands when it comes to design and hardware. The design is innovative and differs from the designs made by other brands. While it does most definitely look great, is it functional?

More on that later!

KOMPLETE AUDIO 6 front
KOMPLETE AUDIO 6 inputs
KOMPLETE AUDIO 6 volume
KOMPLETE AUDIO 6 box
KOMPLETE AUDIO 6 cable

Specifications

To start off, we would have liked to see a USB-C port featured on the device by such an innovative brand like Native Instruments, but unfortunately this isn’t the case. We do see USB-C ports on new audio interfaces produced by other brands, but not featuring a USB-C port doesn’t make it a bad audio interface.

You can record up to 192 kHz/ 24-bit with 3 analogue in/outs, 2 digital in/outs, 2 headphone outs and MIDI in/out. It’s great to see the two headphone ports having their own volume controls. The MIDI-options are a nice addition and that means you’ll have more options open to you. Other audio interfaces in this class often don’t include this feature and could be a big problem for musicians that utilize MIDI.

The device functions entirely from the power provided via the USB, which is remarkable since most audio interfaces similar to the KOMPLETE 6 require an external power supply. Like Native Instruments did for the Machine, this setup doesn’t require an external power supply and only requires USB. Perhaps this is the reason why they couldn’t make it USB-C compatible.

Software

Native Instruments also develops incredible software, for example plugins that function in KOMPLETE. They won’t let you leave the door with just the hardware, but also provide you a bundle of software at purchase. You’ll get Monark, Mod Pack, Replika, Solid Bus Comp, Maschine Essentials, Ableton Live 10 Lite, Traktor LE 3, Komplete Start and two sounds.com vouchers for free!

Build quality

The KOMPLETE series build is very unique in comparison with other audio interfaces. It’s very minimalistic and made from plastic that doesn’t feel cheap at all.

It has a big volume knob on top, which is a great alternative to a volume knob on the front. There are also 5 leds on top that will, for example, show the input volume.

KOMPLETE AUDIO 6 front
KOMPLETE AUDIO 6
KOMPLETE AUDIO 6 back
KOMPLETE AUDIO 6 leds

There rest of the controls are on the front like input volume, line and instrument switches, 48v phantom power, mono or stereo switch and headphone controls. The buttons are made from plastic and turn smoothly.

Conclusion

The KOMPLETE AUDIO 6 is a fully-fledged audio interface with lots of options. Native Instruments made sure you aren’t limited by the amount of functions and the two headphone ports being separately controlled is very nice. The amount of functions and interesting price allow this device to compete with other brands. It does however require you to be open to the innovative design which has a very minimalistic appearance.

All in all, we are very pleased with the KOMPLETE AUDIO 6. Whether it’s the right choice for you depends on your needs as a musician.

Any questions? Be sure to leave them in the comments!

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