About a decade ago, music was composed and produced in special studios that were equipped with the latest hardware to record at the highest quality possible. But these days, anyone can compose and produce music on laptops. All they have to do is to find the right mix of specs and find a laptop in their budget.
Here, we are summarizing the best laptops for music production and recording in the year 2022. You will find Windows and Mac OS laptops in the range of prices you are looking for. You can choose between them by looking at their specs and prices to see if they fit your budget.
Selecting the correct laptop is always tricky. It’s a one-time investment because you can’t upgrade or modify the hardware specs later as you like (it’s limited). Always think about using the same laptop for the next 3-5 years to meet the upcoming new Operating Systems and programs you are going to use. Therefore, allow your budget to expand while purchasing a laptop and buy the best laptop in the category you are looking for.
12 Best Laptops For Music Production
1. New Apple MacBook Pro
The latest model MacBook Pro from Apple. Expensive but extremely powerful. Based on Apple’s macOS, MacBook Pro provides the highest level of performance needed to compose music without any delay in rendering or production. The base MacBook Pro comes with the powerful Apple M1 Pro chip.
16GB of RAM and 512GB of superfast SSD storage are part of both models. It is a GDDR6 memory type to work much faster than you can imagine. SSDs are the fastest storage units available in the markets right now. With this, you can make the whole music composing, recording and editing process a lot quicker and better.
Sporting a 16-inch Retina display, the laptop has a 4K resolution which is more than enough to fit more than one sound mixing software on the screen. Also, the battery backup of the MacBook Pro is said to be 10 hours which gives you plenty of time to create music on the go. Moreover, you will find plenty of free and paid apps from the Apple App Store for audio editing and recording, for example, GarageBand is one of them.
This is one of the most expensive laptops on this list, but you can’t have any better laptop than MacBook Pro if you are looking for a professional laptop for this purpose. This MacBook Pro has a powerful six-speaker sound system and studio-quality 3-mic array to rivals other third-party microphones. You can easily create podcasts and voice recordings with the built-in mic.
Compared to previous models, it has 4x faster graphics performance. With music editing and production, if you have an idea for animation or graphic design, this laptop is the all-in-one best choice for you.
- Apple M1 Pro or M1 Max chip for a massive leap in CPU, GPU, and machine learning performance
2. MSI Pulse GL66
The GL66 by MSI is one of the best machines for gaming. It features a huge 15.6-inch FHD display. It can produce quality visual results and fast refresh rates.
Under the hood, it comes with an Intel Core i7 processor chip and a powerful NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 graphics card to provide you with exceptional visual quality no matter what you are watching.
It comes with 16 GB RAM and a 512 GB SSD. It means that you have plenty of space to save your files and media which can be accessed quickly.
But one of the best features of this machine is that it comes with a quality sound card that can handle various types of sounds pretty efficiently. In other words, it is an excellent choice for music playing.
As it is a premium quality gaming machine, you can expect a lot from it in visual and audio performance. It’s a pretty incredible system with quality speakers that can handle highs and lows.
So, if you want a laptop that can provide you with an ultimate gaming experience and allow you to enjoy your music in a true sense, then this is the laptop that you need to go for.
This laptop also comes with customized keys with which you can receive your in-game status via keyboard lighting. Moreover, these keyboard lights can dance to your favorite tune, which looks amazing.
- Visual Performance: The 15.6” 144hz display delivers true-to-life images with a high refresh rate so you can see every frame of the game.
3. MacBook Air 13-inch (Latest Model) – Under 1000 Dollars
If you are still looking for a Mac laptop, here is another option for around 1000 Dollars to get. Not as powerful as MacBook Pro but people who are on a tight budget but still want the best laptop for music production can opt for the MacBook Air. MacBook Air is best for people who want light and often end up travelling a lot due to the nature of their job.
It features a 13.3 Inch display with a 2560 x 1600 display resolution. Intel 1.6 GHz Intel dual-core i5 processor (Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz), 8GB of RAM and 128GB of fast SSD storage.
MacBook Air’s battery lasts for up to 12 hours making it ideal for people who don’t have access to a power source all the time. As said earlier, having a Mac laptop sound editing will be an added advantage because of suitable pre-installed and app store apps. With the 2 Thunderbolt (USB-C) type ports, it should give the freedom to connect all types of audio mixers and inputs with the MacBook Air.
- Stunning 13.3-Inch Retina Display with True Tone
4. Dell Inspiron 15
The Inspiron 15 is a pretty powerful laptop by Dell, and it comes with a massive 15.6-inch display that is equipped with FHD capabilities.
This laptop also has an Intel Core i7 processor chip with 16 GB DDR4 RAM and 512 GB SSD. It can handle multitasking pretty well, and you have ample space to save your files and media without any problems.
This laptop might not be the ideal option for gaming. But it certainly is the top choice for multimedia and business and student use. It has an Intel Iris Xe graphics card and has a shared graphics memory.
So, the laptop does not have too much power in this department. However, it is also not meant for gaming either. This machine is ideally suited for music playing or other tasks that you would normally do on your laptop.
The machine is equipped with solid wifi and Bluetooth, and you can use these technologies to share files with other devices. The screen of this laptop is pretty powerful, and it features Anti-glare backlight properties, which makes it pretty unique.
The laptop might not be on the portable side, but it will certainly make you dance and jump on your favorite tunes. It is equipped with powerful speakers that can handle bass and treble very well.
These speakers are pretty accurately responsive to all those highs and lows, and they will significantly improve your overall listening experience.
- BEAUTIFUL DISPLAY: The Dell Inspiron 15 3501 i7 laptop is designed with an FHD (1920 x 1080) anti-glare narrow border WVA display
5. Acer Predator Helios 300 (New Model)
Acer produces some of the best laptops for an unbelievable price, and this model falls into the same category. A Full HD 144Hz IPS 15.6” screen, the latest 9th generation i7 Processor and 2666MHz 16GB RAM make this laptop super powerful for a reasonable price. Several options are available to customize the laptop while purchasing. Specifically made for gaming, it has all features to fulfil and manage all sound editing tasks.
This model comes with a 256GB SSD that allows running any audio mixing software with higher speed without any I/O issues. Also, the additional hard disk socket allows you to expand the storage whenever wanted with another SSD or normal HDD. Surprisingly this laptop comes with dedicated 6GB display RAM. Also, the display card becomes handy if you want to do the video editing as well on the same laptop.
The Acer TruHarmony and Dolby Audi Premium Plus Sound System are super powerful and useful for music lovers/editors like you. It has a USB 3.1, Gigabit Wi-Fi and all required ports where you can connect to other music equipment and record sound.
- 9th Generation Intel Core i7 9750H 6 Core Processor (Up to 4.5GHz) with Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
6. Surface Pro 8 by Microsoft
The Surface Series by Microsoft has been creating some vibes recently and has been one of the best bets to put your money on. The Pro 8 belongs to this series and features a 13-inch touchscreen that is highly intuitive. It comes with Windows 11 to enhance the performance, security and latest applications.
The laptop features the latest Intel Evo platform Core i7 backed up by 16GB memory. The latest version of this laptop boasts a 256GB SSD. Also, you have the option to go for the higher version with 512GB or 1TB SSD storage. You get ample space to work with these large music files. The matte black finishing looks great as well and you also get a black-type cover to go with it.
With this machine, you will get the versatility of a tablet and a studio so you can type, draw, play, and create some awesome tunes with it. One of the best features of this laptop is its extreme lightweight so you can carry it around with ease. If creating music on the go is a choice for you, you need to invest in this laptop for sure.
The gadget also provides you with several connectivity options to share your large files securely across different platforms with other devices. It comes with a port for USB-A and USB-C to connect with other displays. Accessory charging is made easy and it also features very fast Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities.
- The power of a laptop with the flexibility of a tablet, and every angle in between, with 13” touchscreen, iconic built-in Kickstand, and detachable Keyboard.
7. Zenbook 15 by Asus
Whether you are into creating music or drawing, this is a machine that you need to own. The ultra-slim laptop boasts a large 15.6-inch screen that has FHD features. This screen features a NanoEdge bezel that is very thin and gives the laptop its sleek and stylish look.
It also has a Core i7 chip fully backed up by 16GB RAM and a 1TB SSD PCIe. Hence, it can handle heavy music creating software and programs with ease. There is a GTX GeForce 1650 graphics card installed in this machine so you can smoothly create your music video without any pain.
Another feature that sets it apart from other machines on the market is its Innovative Screenpad. With this screen pad, you can easily control everything without using the keyboard. All the controls are in one place waiting for your one tap only. Playing your music back and forth and going through different tunes using this screen pad is a breeze.
The machine comes with Windows 10 Pro version so all the latest applications and programs are easily accessible. It also has an IR camera to recognize you by face and integrate Windows Hello. There are several connectivity options like HDMI, USB Type C, Wi-Fi 6 (802. 11ax), Bluetooth 5. 0 and an SD card reader is available too.
- Innovative ScreenPad: 5.65-inch interactive touchscreen trackpad that adapts to your needs for smarter control and multitasking
8. Microsoft Surface Laptop 3
If you are a DJ who has to travel around the world playing your beautiful music for crowds, you need to have a lightweight and sturdy machine that is fast and capable. This Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 is merely 2.76 pounds and has a screen size of 13.5-inches. The maximum resolution can be set at 2256 by 1504 pixels. The only colour option this laptop comes in is Platinum which gives the laptop a sleek and minimalistic look.
The Surface 3 laptop by Microsoft comes with a 13.5-inch touchscreen and a Core i5 chip by Intel. Powered by 8GB memory and a 256GB SSD this laptop is a good choice for an entry-level. You can upgrade to 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD or a 1TB SSD if you have a rough budget to inject. But the entry-level laptop is good enough to meet most of your needs as a music producer.
It has a very elegant design and pretty lightweight as well, so carrying it around won’t be a problem for you. With improved performance and speed, it can handle most of the latest music creation programs and software, as it is powered by the latest processors. If you have owned a Surface 2 before; this laptop is two times faster than its predecessor.
Connectivity is not an issue with this laptop as you can connect it with other displays using USB-C and USB-A. With these ports, you can also connect with other docking stations and accessory charging becomes simple. It can provide you with a battery time of eleven and a half hours so you can comfortably create your tunes without having to recharge it again and again.
- Clean, Elegant Design: Thin and light, starting at just 2.79 pounds, Surface Laptop 3 is easy to carry
9. ASUS ROG STRIX Scar II
We can’t have a list of laptops without including multiple Asus laptops. Their superior build quality and hardware specification make the Asus one of the best laptop brands. If you are not familiar with macOS, then you can think about this laptop as the best choice. It has a powerful 8th Generation Intel Core i7 Hexa-Core processor that can do all music/audio mixing easily with its 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD.
The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 gaming graphics card with 8GB dedicated VRAM is super enough for gaming too. This laptop may look expensive compared to other models, but worth considering as it is packed with the maximum configuration you can get on a laptop. Asus has taken extra care on the cooling system that allows you to do give more stress on this laptop for a long time without any heating issues. It keeps the laptop cool and increases processing power.
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 8GB GDDR6 (Base: 1215 MHz, Boost: 1440 MHz; TDP: 115W)
10. Blade 15 by Razor
Razer is one of the best gaming laptop brands you can find in the market. Its hardware specification may match the requirement to be on this list. As one of the most expensive laptops on this list, it provides an impressive hardware configuration.
The Razer Blade 15” comes with the 8th Generation 6 Core i7 processor, 16GB DDR4 RAM to handle any load of sound editing or production software and 512GB SSD for quick I/O. As it is built for gaming, you get the 6GB GDDR5 NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070.
The faster sound card supports the editing process very well. Also, it comes with FL Studio 12 producer edition on it to cater to the music editing requirement on a Windows laptop.
- Fully loaded: 15.6" Full HD, 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, 256GB PCIe SSD, 16GB RAM, thin and compact CNC aluminum unibody (0.78" x 9.25" x 13.98"), anodized Black finish.
11) 13 Inch Apple MacBook Pro
Even though we mentioned the 16inch Apple MacBook Pro as one of the best choices for sound editing and mixing, you can consider this 13inch version if you have a tight budget.
Apple’s MacBook Pro doesn’t need much introduction as it is one of the market’s most popular laptops. The latest model of the MacBook Pro features Apple’s latest M1 chip, which is incredibly fast.
This laptop comes with 16 GB RAM and 256 GB SSD storage. So you have pretty decent multitasking power along with strong capacity. One of the best things about this laptop is that it is a pretty versatile machine.
It can function well as your business laptop and even do a pretty fine job as your entertainment source. You can play your favorite games on it and even play your favorite music.
The laptop comes with powerful speakers that can produce a clear and loud sound. And, of course, you can always play your favorite songs using iTunes and Apple Music.
It is one of the best laptops for listening to and even sharing music, especially when it comes to the Apple ecosystem. You can play your songs on your Apple TV, your iPhone, or even your iPad or any other device.
One of the most significant advantages of using this laptop is its connectivity and allowing you to share your media use across different devices. Of course, you might not be able to share this medium outside Apple’s environment.
But you have all the options to play out your media on any device by Apple. That is a big advantage if you are currently part of Apple’s ecosystem.
Another advantage of this laptop is its smaller-sized screen which is 13.3-inch. This laptop is somewhat portable, and due to its lightweight design, it is pretty easy to carry on the go. So, it is a good option for traveling too.
- BTO MacBook Pro 13.3" with Retina Display - 61W USB Type-C Power Adapter - USB Type-C Charge Cable (2m) - Apple 1 Year Limited Warranty with 90 Day Technical Support
12) Acer Swift 3
The Swift 3 by Acer is lighter on your pocket and is a pretty portable device that you can use. It is one of the best options that you can consider for using on the go. It comes with a 14-inch screen that is Full HD, and it features an Octa-Core Ryzen 7 processor chip.
Processing and multitasking are really big features of this laptop that you cannot ignore. This laptop comes with an 8 GB LPDDR4X and a 512 GB SSD. It means this machine can deliver a pretty power-packed performance. This laptop comes with a wifi 6, a backlit keyboard, and Amazon Alexa.
You also can go for different types of bundles, such as a dock bundle, backpack bundle, mousepad bundle, and mouse bundle. So, you can pick one according to your requirements and needs.
It is a good option for this laptop for multimedia, personal, or business use. It comes with a display size of 14 inches and an inbuilt Windows 10 that you can later upgrade to Windows 11.
This laptop is equipped with powerful speakers that can produce pretty extraordinary sound. If you are looking for a laptop that you can use to enjoy multimedia, this is a pretty good option.
- Powerful Productivity: AMD Ryzen 7 5700U Octa-Core Processor with Radeon Graphics run your most demanding apps with lightning-fast responsiveness and hyper-efficient battery usage to keep you productive and entertained all day
Factors to consider before buying a music production laptop
In this guide, we are going to highlight some important points for your consideration.
The most important point to keep in mind when buying a machine for music production is the DAW or digital audio workstation that you use to create your music. It is software with which you can do all kinds of stuff with your music files. Therefore, you need to check whether your DAW runs on Windows or Mac. Can you easily work on it with a smaller or a larger screen? Will it use more CPU or memory? All these things need to be considered before you finalize your decision.
Of course, with DAW compatibility comes the operating system. Choosing an OS is highly subjective. Some people like to work on Mac while others prefer Windows. You just need to make sure your OS runs the software you are using for music generation. Some programs only work on a single OS while others work on multiple. So decide according to your preferences and requirements.
When working with your digital audio workstation, you have to deal with multiple audio plugins as well. You might already have several plugins in your mind that you would prefer.
Therefore, you have to consider them as well. If these plugins are graphics-heavy, you will need a powerful processor with high memory. Some plugins need more power from your system and the benefit of using them is to get better audio results. If this is your priority, you must choose a machine that can handle such plugins effortlessly.
If you prefer to work with a range of different plugins for better signal chains, you like to work a lot on mixing. Even if you don’t use more plugins to create your music, that’s fine. It’s just a matter of how detailed you want your final product to be and how you like it to sound.
If you like to work with a variety of audio tracks and mix them to create a final tune, you will need better processing power that can handle the mixing at an advanced level. Otherwise, an entry-level machine can work for you as well if you don’t use too many plugins. It will also allow you to be a lot more vigilant about your future projects. If they need your files to have more mixing of different plugins, you will need better processing power.
The size of the space you are using to create your audio matters a lot too. The machine needs to be able to produce powerful sound or needs to have enough connectivity options. You can explore and create a sound that works well in your space. Are you going to work in a professional studio or inside your bedroom? Choose a machine that goes well with the space you are working in.
Find out more about the hardware requirements to have music production software on a laptop below video.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can consider three things. Ample memory, a quad-core for speed for better performance and a touch screen that will enable you to move around on the screen conveniently without the hassle of using a mouse or even carrying an additional accessory.
MS Surface Laptop 3 has a solid Intel UHD Graphic 620 card, 8 GB LPDDR3 RAM and a 3:2 aspect, 10-point multi-touch, convenient 13.5-inch screen. It also has 256GB SSD storage.
Lenovo ThinkPad T460 is one of the best laptops money can buy for music editing and DJing. With a 3GHz Turbo Boost and dual-core processor and 8GB RAM, this machine gives you the best results when you are in the middle of a session of editing, producing music or DJing.
In addition to this, a 14-inch screen and HD resolution display provide you with enough space for tabs and tools to move back and forth. This laptop also has a large variety of ports that come in handy for plugging in different types of equipment. They include 3 3.0 USB ports, an SD card slot, Ethernet, HDMI, and mini-DisplayPort.
256 GB SSD memory space is large enough to hold software used for music editing as well as some virtual instruments that you use. Depending on the amount of memory each song takes, 256 GBs is enough for you for a while. If you plan to have large music libraries then it is recommended that you also carry an additional hard drive.
It is usually recommended that people mustn’t spend too much money on installing beyond 32GB RAM. An 8 GB RAM is enough in this case. It is best to spend money on accessories like video cards, plug-ins, and the CPU. There are extra slots available inside the laptop, so if ever you feel the need of upgrading the RAM you may do it easily.
Razer laptop series is recommended for gaming but they also have the correct specifications when it comes to our scope. They use high-quality NVIDIA graphic cards and have 16 GB RAM. The space in the hard drive is never-ending 2 TB. The processor is the best one of its generation i.e. i7. With touch screen options these are the best specifications you can get at a reasonable price.
So there you have it, a small review of the best laptops for music production/recording ranging from Windows 11/10 to macOS. Though you can find plenty of laptops on Amazon with high specifications and the latest hardware, they are definitely going to cost more. We have combined and selected a range of models for all kinds of budgets you are looking for.
Making this list involved reading the reviews on the internet, personalized user experiences and also some knowledge about the exclusive features available on each laptop. So, go ahead and pick one for yourself.