If you’re looking for the best audio PCs and laptops, then you’ve come to the right place. On this page, we’ve listed the top machines that are ideal for music production.
Every PC and laptop in this list of the best audio PCs are ideal for running Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) software, such as Image-Line FL Studio, PreSonus Studio One and Cubase.
These are essential tools for music producers, and they can be rather demanding when it comes to specs, so every device in our best audio PCs list has enough power to run DAW software without a hitch – no matter how many tracks you’re working on.
As well as having cutting edge components, the best audio PCs and laptops must be able to allow you to plug in multiple musical instruments, have a large enough hard drive to store your projects and uncompressed audio files, and have top-notch onboard audio quality (and the ability to plug into external speakers and monitors).
That’s quite a demanding wishlist, and it means that many of the best audio PCs and laptops are quite expensive. However, they are well worth the money, and on this page you’ll find our built-in price comparison tool, which scours the internet to bring you the best prices for these devices.
1. MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019)
The best audio laptop
CPU: 9th-generation Intel Core i7 – i9 | Graphics: AMD Radeon Pro 5300M – Radeon Pro 5500M | RAM: 16GB – 64GB | Screen: 16-inch Retina display with True Tone | Storage: 512GB – 8TB SSD
Stunning 16-inch screen
New and improved keyboard
Limited to four Thunderbolt 3 ports
Apple has a great reputation amongst audio professionals, and with the 16-inch MacBook Pro, you can see (and hear) why that is. Apple took everything we loved about previous MacBook Pros, and made them even better, upping the screen to 16-inches, which gives you plenty of room to work on DAW software. It’s incredibly powerful, as well, which means it can run audio production apps with ease. Its built-in speakers are absolutely fantastic as well, which means if you don’t have external speakers, you can happily use the ones included here.
The only downside of the MacBook Pro 16-inch for audio professionals is the lack of ports. It comes with four Thunderbolt ports, which means you’ll need to buy adaptors to plug instruments and older peripherals into it. However, data transfer speeds are excellent, so it’s great for moving big audio files to and from an external hard drive.
This is truly the best MacBook – and laptop – for content creators, designers and other creative professionals.
Read the full review: MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019)
2. Apple iMac (27-inch, 2019)
The best audio PC of 2020
CPU: up to 3.6GHz 8-core Intel Core i9 | Graphics: AMD Radeon Pro 570X – Radeon Pro Vega 48 | RAM: 8GB – 64GB | Screen: 27-inch (diagonal) Retina 5K display 5120 x 2880 | Storage: 1TB Fusion Drive – 2TB SSD | Dimensions (H x W x D): 51.6 x 65.0 x 20.3 cm
Stunning 5K display
Quiet under load
SSD upgrades are expensive
The iMac has long been one of the cheaper ways to get into the macOS ecosystem, and we’re glad that hasn’t changed. Though what has changed, we also appreciate. The new iMac is packing with 8th- and 9th-generation desktop-class processors, letting this stylish all-in-one reach that fabled 8-core performance.
This performance, by the way, makes it the best audio PC money can buy, as it can handle music production software with ease, while allowing you to plug in musical instruments and more. It’s all combined in Apple’s famous stylish all-in-one design and top-notch build quality.
Read the full review: iMac (27-inch, 2019)
3. Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition
A seriously powerful pro laptop
CPU: 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q – NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 Studio Edition | RAM: 32GB | Screen: 15.6″ OLED 4K Touch 60Hz, factory calibrated | Storage: 1TB SSD
While the regular Razer Blade laptop is famously a gaming laptop, Razer has taken its sheer power and turned the whole thing into one of the best mobile workstations for audio professionals.
As we’ve come to expect from Razer’s laptops, the Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition is packed with some of the very latest components, which means no matter what sort of DAW software you’re running, this laptop will handle it with ease. On top of that, if has a powerful graphics card and a gorgeous, factory-calibrated 4K display. It’s expensive, but it’s also the best Windows-based alternative to the MacBook Pro when it comes to audio production.
Read the full review: Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition
4. Microsoft Surface Studio 2
A great alternative to the iMac
CPU: Intel Core i7-7820HQ | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 – 1070 | RAM: 16GB or 32GB | Storage: 1TB or 2TB SSD
The Surface Studio 2 is a great alternative to Apple’s iMacs, and if you’d rather use Windows 10 over macOS, then this all-in-one from Microsoft is an excellent choice. Sleek, stylish and capable of handling DAW software with ease, along with a bright and vibrant built-in display, this is an excellent audio PC that would look great in anyone’s studio.
It’s not quite as powerful as the latest iMac, however, so if you want pure power, go for Apple’s all-in-one. Still, this is an excellent performer, that’s ideal for creatives.
Read the full review: Surface Studio 2
5. Mac mini
Same size, way more power
CPU: 8th-generation Intel Core i3 – Core i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 630 | RAM: 8GB – 32GB | Storage: 128GB – 2TB PCIe-based SSD | Dimensions (W x D x H): 19.7 x 19.7 x 3.6cm
Hugely improved specs
Tiny, aesthetic design
Mac mini fans, rejoice! The Mac mini has finally been upgraded with modern hardware, ushering Apple’s smallest Mac to the modern age, and it’s easily one of the best audio PCs money can buy. It’s a lot more affordable than many of the other devices on this list, but thanks to some upgraded components, including new processors and large amounts of RAM, the new Mac mini is a great tool for audio producers. Its compact size means you can fit it into any studio, and it’s got plenty of power – but if you need more, you can actually hook up multiple Mac minis to share their processing power!
Read the full review: Mac Mini 2018
6. Acer ConceptD 7
A mobile workstation for creatives
CPU: 9th-generation Intel Core i7 | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 – 2080 | RAM: 16GB – 32GB | Screen: 15.6″ 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) 16:9 IPS | Storage: 1TB
Cheaper than MacBook Pro
Good selection of ports
Not as thin and light as MacBook Pro
The formidable Acer ConceptD 7 is capable of handling complex and demanding tasks such as audio production. Clearly designed specifically with creative professionals in mind, it boasts that sheer power you’ll only find in workstations and gaming laptops.
Beyond that excellent performance it delivers, it also offers decent port selection, a minimalist solid white design and that stunning Pantone-validated 4K IPS display. Obviously, it’s still pretty pricey, but no professional’s tool comes cheap. If you’re looking for a Windows-powered MacBook alternative for audio production, this is a fantastic choice.
Read the full review: Acer ConceptD 7
7. Lenovo Yoga A940
An iMac alternative
CPU: 8th-generation Intel Core i7-8700 | Graphics: AMD Radeon RX 560 4 GB | RAM: 32 GB DDR4 2666 MHz | Storage: 1 TB 5400 RPM + 256 GB PCIe SSD | Display: 27″ 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) IPS Multi-touch
Screen not great in direct light
Lenovo’s latest all-in-one offering isn’t as powerful as Apple’s premium AIO, the iMac Pro, or even the recently updated iMac, which now offers a 9th-generation Intel Core configuration. After all, the 8th-generation chips and Radeon RX 560 graphics are aging at this point.
However, it is still plenty powerful to meet the needs of creative professionals out there who are not entirely impressed by Apple’s pricey machines. On top of that, the Lenovo Yoga A940 has a few aces up its sleeves, including 100% Adobe RGB support and Dolby Vision, a set of Dolby Atmos speakers, a port offering that’s more generous than Apple’s all-in-one, and a stylus included in the box.
Read the full review: Lenovo Yoga A940
8. iMac Pro
CPU: 8 to 18-core Intel Xeon W | Graphics: Radeon Pro Vega 56 – Radeon Pro Vega 64 | RAM: 32GB – 256GB DDR4 ECC | Screen: 27-inch 5K (5,120 x 2,880) Retina display (P3 wide color) | Storage: 1TB – 4TB PCIe 3.0 SSD | Dimensions (H x W x D): 65 x 20.3 x 51.6cm
Most powerful Mac you can buy
Gorgeous, color-accurate display
Professionals and creatives need something that can handle any workload they can possibly throw at it. If you’re one such user, the iMac Pro isn’t just one of the best Macs for you; it’s the only Mac to consider.
Not only does it have a vibrant 27-inch 5K display with a P3 wide color gamut, but it also boasts some of the most powerful hardware Apple could get its hands on. It’s extremely expensive though, so it’s really only meant for folks who have deep pockets and need that unbridled power to get through their daily workloads.
Read the full review: iMac Pro
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