Log inCreate account

Arturia MiniFuse 4 Review - Versatile Audio Interface

April 8, 2024

Today we are going to review the Arturia MiniFuse 4 audio interface. Our readers are familiar with professional audio interfaces by French manufacturer Arturia. At the end of 2022, the lineup of the most affordable MiniFuse has been replenished. To the popular models MiniFuse 1 and MiniFuse 2 a 4-channel MiniFuse 4 has been added. The new model boasts more inputs and outputs, as well as a more advanced mixer and a USB hub for two additional ports. But we'll talk about all the features later, as usual, we'll start our Arturia MiniFuse 4 review with specs.

Best Price on Arturia MiniFuse 4 Audio Interface

Arturia has long been recognized for its commitment to delivering high-quality audio equipment, and the MiniFuse 4 Audio Interface is a prime example of a pro-grade device.

Arturia MiniFuse 4 package Classic Package

Arturia MiniFuse 4 Specifications

  • Form Factor: four-input audio interface
  • Input: 2 x XLR-Mic / Instrumental / Line combo input with 48 V phantom power + 2 x Line 1/4 jack inputs
  • Outputs: 4 x 1/4" TRS balanced line outputs with volume control (Left and Right) / 2 x stereo headphone output with volume control
  • MIDI DIN In/Out - send, receive, sync, and record MIDI information for your synths, drum machines, sequencers, and more.
  • Direct Monitor Switch
  • Connection: USB-C interface compatible with PC and Mac + 2x extra USB-A port to attach any standard USB device up to 250mA to MiniFuse to save on computer socket space, including MIDI controllers
  • Stereo Virtual Loopback Channels
  • Power Requirements: via external power supply unit or USB bus power
  • Bit Depth / Supported Sample Rates: 24-bit / 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2 kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, 192 kHz
  • Housing: sturdy metal construction
  • Net Weight: 570 grams (2.5 lbs)
  • Size (H×W×D): 250 x 85 x 43mm (9.8 x 3.3 x 1.65 inches)
  • Set Includes: Arturia MiniFuse 4 unit, USB-A to USB-C cable, external power supply unit (15V DC 1A) with different power plugs, documentation + Software Included (Ableton Live Lite, Analog Lab Intro, Arturia FX, Native Instruments GUITAR RIG 6 LE, Auto-Tune Unlimited 3-month free subscription, Splice Creator Plan 3-month free subscription)
Line Inputs (balanced TRS)
  • Input impedance: 16kΩ
  • Maximum input level: +22dBu
  • Gain range: 56dB
  • Frequency response 20Hz to 20kHz: +/-0.04dB (min gain)
  • Dynamic range: 114dB typical (A-weighted)
  • THD+N @ 1kHz: -101dB typical (un-weighted)
Instrument Inputs (unbalanced TS)
  • Input impedance: 1MΩ on Tip
  • Maximum input level: +11.5dBu
  • Gain range: 56dB
  • Frequency response 20Hz to 20kHz: +/-0.06dB (min gain)
  • Dynamic range: 110dB typical (A-weighted)
  • THD+N @ 1kHz: -91dB typical (un-weighted)
Microphone Inputs (balanced XLR)
  • Input impedance: 2.5kΩ
  • Maximum input level: +9dBu
  • Gain range: 56dB
  • Equivalent Input Noise (EIN): -129dB typical (A-weighted)
  • Frequency response 20Hz to 20kHz: +/-0.06dB (min gain)
  • Dynamic range: 112dB typical (A-weighted)
  • THD+N @ 1kHz: -102dB typical (un-weighted)
Speaker Out (balanced TRS)
  • Output impedance: 98Ω
  • Maximum output level: +12dBu
  • Frequency response 20-20kHz: +/-0.09dB
  • Dynamic range: 110dB typical (A-weighted)
  • THD+N @ 1kHz: -103dB typical (un-weighted)
Headphone Out (TRS)
  • Output impedance: 11Ω
  • Maximum output level: +11.4dBu
  • Frequency response 20-20kHz: +/-0.09dB
  • Dynamic range: 101dB typical (A-weighted)
  • Power @ 33ohm: 137mW

Overall Build and Features

The MiniFuse 4 housing is made of a durable aluminum profile painted with paint. MiniFuse 4 interfaces are available in white and black color. As usual, we have no complaints about the build quality of Arturia products, everything is perfect, and monolithic without any backlash. As for the design, Arturia MiniFuse 4 is made in the style of the younger models of the MiniFuse line, and the design code also clearly traces the design code of Arturia devices - stylish, fashionable, and youthful! We would also like to mention a nice button on the front panel, which stylishly illuminates the Arturia logo (a small thing, but it looks nice).

Arturia MiniFuse 4 pic 1

So let's get to the main part of our Arturia MiniFuse 4 review and see all the features.

The front is traditionally equipped with XLR/TRS combo jacks. In addition to the possibility of connecting a microphone, they allow you to connect a guitar or synthesizer. Switching the input from line to high impedance is done using the buttons with the guitar image. The +48B phantom power mode is also activated by a button on the front panel and is illuminated by a red LED. Multi-segment indicators for the outputs are present, with red and yellow color in the peaks (VU Meter). An overload indicator is built into the gain controls for convenience. When a signal is input, the LED lights up blue, and the LED turns red when the signal is overdriven. The intensity of all LEDs is conveniently adjustable within wide limits in the audio interface settings. All controls have a rubberized coating and rotate with a pleasant force, allowing you to more accurately set the required value.

At first glance, we see the same 2 microphone inputs as in MiniFuse 2. However, there are quite a few differences between the new MiniFuse 4 and the younger model. Two headphone outputs are mapped to different channels, the first to 1/2, and the second to 3/4. The expanded number of inputs and outputs, along with the built-in mixer, allows for more flexible signal configuration and even the formation of independent sub-mixes from the input and output channels. So Arturia MiniFuse 4 lacks the hardware input-USB mix control on the front panel because much more advanced features are waiting for the user in the audio interface panel.

Arturia MiniFuse 4 pic 2

It's encouraging to see that not only has the new 4-channel model increased the number of channels, but the technical specifications are higher than those of the younger models. The dynamic input/output range is 114/110 dBA for the Arturia MiniFuse 4 versus 110/107 dBA for the MiniFuse 2. This explains why Arturia took so long to develop the new interface.

The balanced 3/4 inputs and 1/2/3/4 outputs on TRS jacks are located at the rear. Of these, outputs 1L and 2R are adjustable. MIDI DIN5 connectors and standard USB hub outputs are also located here. The interface is connected via the USB Type-C connector. The power supply is possible both from the USB bus and from the power supply unit included in the kit.

Let's take a look at the electronic stuffing of the Arturia MiniFuse 4:

Arturia MiniFuse 4 inside, processor XMOS XU316

The XMOS XU316 processor is the main intrigue of the stuffing. The difference of the third generation XMOS processor is the additional audio PLL inside the MCU case, which allows to generate the MCLK signal without the use of external oscillators and PLLs.

As in the younger models, Cirrus Logic CS4272 stereo codec stands as DAC and ADC. Only here there are 2 of them to provide 4 channels for recording and 4 for playback.

The preamplifiers are assembled on low-noise amplifiers JRC 2122. The line inputs and outputs use JRC4580s.

In MiniFuse 2 the headphone output was quite loud, thanks to the JRC 3414 current buffers, giving 137mW of power. In Arturia MiniFuse 4 we see the same amplifiers, and the headphone output here is no less powerful. According to the technical specifications the figure is 420 mW, as power supply is possible from an external unit.

Why do we need high-volume in headphones? A comfortable balance between the microphone signal and the phonogram is important for the performer, and the signal from the microphone is recorded with an overload margin. For this reason, the volume of the headphone output is sometimes insufficient. In MiniFuse 2 and MiniFuse 4 this scenario is excluded, as the headphone output is loud enough for any mass-produced headphone models.

Arturia MiniFuse Control Center software

The control panel of the MiniFuse 4 already makes a lot more sense than for the younger models. The buttons on the device body are duplicated here and also have their own unique functions.

Each hardware output, including virtual LOOPBACK, has its own bus, i.e. its own sub-mix of input physical and output program channels. This allows you to fine-tune the sound you want and feed it separately into headphones or monitors to the first and second person on the recording. It can be two musicians, or it can be a performer and a sound engineer separately.

Arturia MiniFuse 4 Latency

The latency is very low, 5.9ms with a 64-sample buffer. Separately for the output, the delay will be even lower.

After running the diagnostics, we verified that the unit can operate in all modes up to 192 kHz. The system will show six inputs and six outputs. In addition, in the operating system, the different inputs and outputs are present as 3 separate devices, each with its name: MAIN Left/Right (MiniFuse 4), AUX Left/Right (MiniFuse 4), LOOPBACK Left/Right (MiniFuse 4). Two additional LOOPBACK channels serve as virtual sources that can be used as inputs in recording, broadcasting, or streaming applications.

RMAA Testing

Before writing our Arturia MiniFuse 4 review we looked at RMAA tests on specialized websites. The measurement figures are record-breaking for its class! We have never seen 114.0 dB of dynamic range in any CS4272-based product before! And this is exactly in line with the nameplate parameters. The distortion figures are even more impressive, the best we have seen. For MiniFuse 2 the figures were good, but typical for such products, and for MiniFuse 4 everything is much better.

The spectra are also very favorable. French engineers did their best and revealed their talent 100%!

The dynamic range of the output is also record high, 112.0 dB, and this is even slightly higher than the 110 dB stated in the technical specifications. Moreover, the figures are the same for the adjustable line output MAIN 1/2, and for the non-adjustable 3/4.

Neumann TLM102 condenser microphone was used for testing the capabilities of microphone preamplifiers. The recording quality of the MiniFuse 4 can be evaluated as good, with a high level of detail. There are no audible distortions or timbral colorations in the sound. For its low price, the interface is excellent.

Loud headphone output gives confidence at all stages of working with sound. With separate headphone volume control, you won't have to mute your monitors while recording. Many people also want to connect 2 pairs of headphones. The Arturia MiniFuse 4 interface makes this possible. The sound in the headphones matches its purpose and allows you to feed the phonogram to the performer and control the result.

Any MiniFuse interface comes with a set of software: Ableton Live Lite, Analog Lab Intro, Arturia FX (Rev PLATE-140 reverb, Pre 1973 vintage preamp, Delay TAPE-201 echo, Chorus JUN-6 analog chorus), Native Instruments GUITAR RIG 6 LE, Auto-Tune Unlimited 3-month free subscription, Splice Creator Plan 3-month free subscription.

Final Verdict on Arturia MiniFuse 4

Arturia MiniFuse 4 fills the niche between the MiniFuse 1 and MiniFuse 2 models for personal users and the more expensive AudioFuse series. At the same time, MiniFuse 4 makes a very good impression, as the ease of use is preserved, and the updated hardware realizes the full potential of electronics and shows the best figures in its class. All in all, it turns out to be a very serious competitor. The user is even more puzzled, where to choose? MiniFuse 4 impresses with real 4 channels for input and output, an advanced mixer, and two independent headphone outputs. Also don't forget about MIDI connectors and a built-in USB hub for two ports. In the software part, ASIO driver with low latency and Loopback channels for streaming. It turns out to be just a great option for a modern user.

Our editorial team hopes you enjoyed our Arturia MiniFuse 4 review. Feel free to leave your comments, questions, and suggestions in the section below, we'll be happy to answer them all.

  • Incredible Price/Quality Ratio
  • Fantastic technical specifications for the price
  • Set of all necessary features for studio work
  • 4x Inputs / 4x Outputs / 2x Headphone outputs
  • Sleek and Sturdy Build
  • Versatile Connectivity
  • 2x Extra USB-A port to attach any standard USB device up to 250mA (USB Hub)
  • Nice Software Bundle from the Package
  • Made of Professional and Quality Components
  • 5-year Warranty
  • No cons
Our Score

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *