“Human-centric design with the feel and response of a real amp”: Blackstar says it’s fixed the biggest audio interface issue that guitarists face with the new Polar 2

Blackstar Polar 2
(Image credit: Blackstar)

Home studios are now longer merely a nice commodity for the lucky few. In 2024, most guitarists have some form of audio interface and DAW combination to cobble demos together. 

But in an ever-growing market, Blackstar says existing interfaces have fallen short in three main areas, which it says the Polar 2 rectifies. 

Extensive market research has helped the British firm – more commonly known for its array of digital and tube amps – create an interface that benefits from “human-centric design”. 

It says that poor feel and response, issues with setting input levels, and difficult operation were letting musicians down, and it reckons its Enhance feature fixes that trio of pitfalls. 

On the surface, it’s a pretty standard audio interface. It features two XLR and instrument jack-friendly line inputs with isolated gain dials, and a headphone jack complete with a dedicated volume control. 

It also offers 48V of Phantom Power, meaning it simply needs to connect its USB C-Type port to a laptop or computer to be recording-ready. Moreover, users will be plugging into Field Effect Transistor (FET) inputs, providing ultra-low noise and high-headroom tracking. 

Then it gets interesting. When engaged, the Enhance feature, with one for each input, activates a circuit that simulates the input stage of real valve amps.

Blackstar POLAR 2 Overview | The USB audio interface designed by guitarists for guitarists - YouTube Blackstar POLAR 2 Overview | The USB audio interface designed by guitarists for guitarists - YouTube
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Blackstar says the feature gives the interface “the touch, the feel, and the response of playing through a real amp”. 

The feature also means recordings will “never digitally clip”, solving the input level issues its research drew up. This means the Polar 2 can be treated like the preamp section of a tube amp. 

Finally, the Enhance feature is also said to “gently lift the top end of your signal to add just the right amount of air and clarity”, supposedly making recording a breeze. 

Blackstar Polar 2

(Image credit: Blackstar)

“The Polar 2 is the audio interface for guitarists, created through Human-Centred Design to help create a user-friendly solution to get musicians back to focusing on the most important part: the music,” says Blackstar. 

“[It] empowers musicians to achieve studio-quality recordings in any environment,” without external hardware. 

Earlier this year, Blackstar added a key feature to its budget-minded practice amp, the ID:Core

The Blackstar Polar 2 is available today and costs $199.99.  

Head to Blackstar to learn more. 

Phil Weller

A freelance writer with a penchant for music that gets weird, Phil is a regular contributor to ProgGuitar World, and Total Guitar magazines and is especially keen on shining a light on unknown artists. Outside of the journalism realm, you can find him writing angular riffs in progressive metal band, Prognosis, in which he slings an 8-string Strandberg Boden Original, churning that low string through a variety of tunings. He's also a published author and is currently penning his debut novel which chucks fantasy, mythology and humanity into a great big melting pot.