By: Yorg

After hearing numerous rave reviews about the Creative Live! Audio A3 interface I reached out to Creative Technology to see if I could audition one, and low and behold one arrived shortly afterwards. 

The Creative Live! Audio A3 is a USB audio interface made to enhance recording quality for live streamers, content creators, and musicians aiming for top-notch audio. You get 24-bit recording and playback, lots of connection options, easy level controls, and instant monitoring without delays.  Incidentally, I should mention that neither I nor orcaSound receive any monetary compensation for any written review

This interface boasts a durable metal construction, sturdy knobs, and versatile connectivity. The 2 x XLR – 1/8 cable inputs and 2 x 1/8 Balanced outputs Stood out. Additionally, it features a selection button for Instrument or Line In (mic). Up front, it had 2 headphone 1/8-inch jacks, each with its own volume knob, a mute button, and direct monitoring. Also, includes 3 x Input Level controls for various inputs: 

a. Mobile device 

b. Mic/Line/INST for channel A 

c. Mic/Line/INST for channel B.

There’s a lot going on in this solidly built compact device, but the magic really comes alive once you look under its hood.

I began by connecting an electric guitar and a electric bass guitar, followed by plugging in two headphones to assess the sound quality. The ability to adjust each instrument’s volume and output individually was fantastic. This means that without amplification or computers nearby, you and a friend can still plug in and enjoy listening together through headphones.The sound was audible and vibrant

Let me just say that the The Creative Live! Audio A3  is a remarkable audio interface.  Using a DAW such as CUBASE and Garage Band you can record and play back audio at a high-resolution 24-bit rate. This will give you the utmost in sound quality.  I was unable to check out the Mobile Audio I/O Jack which was created to reduce noise/interference mostly during interviews.  

I fired up my older Apple iMac 27, hooked directly to my modem via Ethernet Cable for a speed of 935 Mbps. Then, I dove into the Sonobus App, which allows for high-quality, low-latency audio streaming between devices over the internet or a local network, and can even record sessions.

I had a chance to test out the interface for about 45 minutes with a friend in Toronto, and I was blown away by the lack of delay and the crystal-clear sound. Previously I have used both a PreSonus Studioand a Steinberg interface, but the Creative Live! Audio A3 stood out for its top-notch audio quality and almost zero latency. I got so absorbed in the music that I almost forgot my friend was miles away on the other end. The Creative Live! Audio A3 is an incredible tool that brings musicians together from across the globe.

SPECIFICATIONS:

USB Interface

• USB-C for power and data

Input

• 2 x XLR/ 1/4” Combo (Mic/Line/ Instrument)

• 1 x TRRS 3.5 mm (1/8”) Mobile stereo I/O

Output

• 2 x 1/4” Headphone out

• 1 x 1/4” Balanced/Unbalanced Stereo Out

Supported Recording and Playback Resolution *

• Playback – 16/24-bit, 44.1 kHz, 48.0 kHz, 96.0 kHz

• Recording – 24-bit, 44.1 kHz, 48.0 kHz, 96.0 kHz

*Playback and recording must be set at the same sampling rate

Frequency Response

• 20 – 45,000 Hz

Microphone Gain

• Up to 50 dB

Dynamic Range

• > 90 dB

Total Harmonic Distortion (THD)

• 0.05%

Dimensions (L x D x H)

• 187.7 x 109.2x 52.7 mm / 7.38 x 4.30 x 2.07 inches

Weight

• 890g (31.4 oz)

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

Windows

• Intel® i3 or AMD® Ryzen equivalent processor

• Intel, AMD, or 100% compatible motherboard

• Microsoft® Windows 11 / 10, 32 / 64-bit ver 1903 or higher

• 4 GB RAM

• > 4 GB of free hard disk space

• Available USB 2.0 / USB 3.0 port

Mac

• Mac running macOS 10.15 or later

• 4 GB RAM

• > 4 GB of free hard disk space

• Available USB 2.0 / USB 3.0 port

Priced at $150 USD

www.Creative.com