Great Laptops For Music Production – If you’re here, you’re looking for music-making laptops to replace your old PC or to access your music in 2023. Back then, music was recorded, created and produced in specialized music studios full of heavy analog equipment. Now you can take the studio to the beach, the mountains, or even a family dinner.
Today, we are not so limited and can do great things on our laptops. There are several digital audio workstations that can help you produce music on your laptop or computer.
Great Laptops For Music Production
However, not all laptops have what it takes to produce serious music. Buying the right laptop for this purpose can be a bit overwhelming with all the choices you have today. A laptop required for such work must meet several requirements.
Best Laptop For Music Production Under $300
Editor’s Note: This list of the best laptops for music production is constantly updated to reflect the real market, so bookmark this article for future reference.
The most important factors for any laptop for music production are processor power and the amount of RAM you have at your disposal. They are followed by storage type and speed, but since today everything works on SSD technology, we will not get into this discussion and treat all laptop storage technologies equally.
Then, the third thing you want is if you’re on the road or on a plane, the battery life would be very good.
We have a great article on what tech specs mean for music production, and we encourage you to read it here before moving forward with our product list.
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The i7 processor appears to be an industry-standard CPU, but the exact model differs in overclocking capabilities. You can get pretty good with the i5 for portability, but it can’t handle many channels (still enough for normal use). AMD has developed a very good line of processors called Ryzen that will outlast Intel’s products on the desktop for a long time, and they are now entering the laptop market. So we have included a Ryzen Powered laptop in our list.
We currently do not recommend the new M1 Apple laptops for music playback, as this is still an early stage technology that will be greatly improved in the coming years.
If you want a good explanation of the Apple M1 chips, here’s a good video. We’re not saying the technology isn’t good, we’re just suggesting you wait and get the next generation with less problems, more stability and performance. Also, a good note to add: right now is better than expected, as you can see in the video below, so don’t rush to buy the first generation of new tech products, but wait a bit. And get a more mature iteration. If you do, make sure every plugin you use is compatible with the M1. Also be prepared for some upgrade issues in the future as problems with first generations are common due to incorrect software updates.
Last but not least, good speakers are always nice to have in case of emergencies, as well as good headset sound.
What Is The Best Macbook For Music Production?
Don’t forget about software to run on your music production laptop, so check out our list of the best VST synths.
To make your life easier, we polled our community and community to find the best laptop for music production in 2023. See the table below for a summary table.
Also, while this music production laptop comparison is specific to 2023, we’ve kept the 2019 and 2020 products because their prices have dropped significantly and the performance is still top-notch for current music production needs.
Note: If you are on a mobile device, scroll left and right in the table to view all entries, and scroll up and down in cells to view all content.
Best Music Production Computers Of 2023: Laptops, Pc & More
As you can see, we have a pretty neat selection and decided not one, but three winners based on each user. It’s unwise to recommend a student laptop that costs more than $2,500, so we’ve broken down the price-sensitive recommendation into a value winner (for the buck) and a budget winner (cheapest). All-rounder this MacBook could not be anything else, and although it saddens us to see that Windows is a little behind, things have improved in recent years and we can recommend a fully Windows machine – the price is the deciding factor.
A very important note here: we recommend Apple laptops because of the drivers, not the hardware, because they are identical to Windows devices.
Apple Audio software drivers (CoreAudio) are still the best for audio production. The latency, wide compatibility, and ease of use (basically plug and play) can’t be compared to what’s possible with the Windows operating system.
Another advantage, small but present, is MacOS native MIDI support, which makes controlling, filtering and routing much simpler than using 3rd party software on Windows (very poor native MIDI).
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If you also want to record vocals, we have some interesting articles on microphone tools – tested and reviewed.
Price Range: USD 2000-3000 Portability: Medium Processor Core Count: 8 Core Processor RAM: 32 GB Storage Size: 1 TB Connectivity: Very Poor Check Current Price
It’s that simple, and everyone would agree that you’re better off with an Apple device in 2023. This particular MacBook Pro is, above all, future proof. With this device, you will work for at least 5 years, and if you take care of your laptop, you will definitely celebrate 2030 with it. 32 GB of RAM is very useful if you play orchestral music or work with many sampled instruments and materials. An 8-core processor is unusual in a laptop, but it guarantees minimal latency even when running at a sample rate of 192kHz, which really keeps your peripherals and hardware synthesizers going.
The processor is at the highest level with 8 cores. You can take this baby out and record a full orchestral performance of over 100 different instruments simultaneously, which requires them. If you want to use it for electronic music, it handles all VST synths with ease, no matter how many polyphonic sounds you want to use. Some synths allow up to 128 sounds, and if your processor allows it, the results can be quite interesting. Are you looking to work with VST processing? No problem, go ahead, this laptop can do anything and everything at once.
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The build quality is truly unique. There is no other product that looks and feels this good, and on the other hand can take a beating on tour and still look and work great. It’s no wonder that all touring musicians and DJs travel with MacBook Pros. I’ve never seen any broken hinges, cracks in the case (it’s smooth aluminum) or any sun discolouration like plastic appliances.
The screen is the best in its class not only because of its very high resolution, but also because of its natural color reproduction. Yes, it creates a lot of glare and is prone to fingerprints, in fact, all MacBooks are, but that’s because there’s only one layer. The strongest, toughened glass and toughened glass always do this.
Oh.. Apple, the company we hate. Yes, it is expensive. Yes, sustainability is better than innovation. Yes, the connection (at first glance) is very limited. But we still buy it because it’s the best operating system with the best drivers and compatibility with your device. If you need ultra-low audio latency, excellent MIDI and audio routing, average battery life, and excellent build quality, buy a MacBook Pro.
This Apple device has two native Thunderbolt 3 ports and we recommend using both, one for your Thunderbolt 3 sound card (or other sound card with an adapter) and one for the Thunderbolt 3 dongle.
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For connectivity, we recommend Thunderbolt hardware, so you only have one connection from your device to your laptop, including power:
Never connect your sound card to a music production laptop via a dongle as it will affect latency regardless of your laptop’s specifications. Always go for direct contact. Best value music production laptop: ASUS ZenBook Pro UX534FTC review
ASUS is a well-known company and when you look at their laptop, you have high expectations. Needless to say, this particular model easily lives up to high expectations.
We now want to point out that value does not mean