Product: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, USB Audio Interface
Price: $ 143.00
Cheapest Place to Buy: Amazon.com
Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 6.9 x 4.3 inches
Item Weight: 1.32 pounds
My Rating: 9.7 out of 10
The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Review
As a singer and songwriter, I regularly enter the cycle of writing and producing music. I used to make a simple recording on my smartphone, then take the song to my band members and make the real recording in a professional home studio.
Nevertheless, throughout songwriting I also had a lot of ideas regarding arrangement, that I’d like to try before wasting precious studio time. So I decided to arrange a mini home-studio, where I can make some pre-recording.
I already had a Mac, a Gibson guitar and a Neumann condenser microphone (which I also use for all recordings in the studio). After doing some quick research, I found out that all I needed to get started was an audio interface. An audio interface connects and sustains microphones and instruments with your computer.
What I wanted was quite clear
– Good audio quality
– USB connection
– Price under $200
– Easy to use (plug and play)
– Portable and handy sized
– Compatible with Mac
When I came across the Scarlett 2i2, it looked like a good deal. Nevertheless, the cheap price made me suspicious. I already bought two USB audio interfaces for around $ 100 some years ago and they where both crap.
The Scarlett, though, turned out to be different.
Features – A Little Box of Miracles
The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is an all-you-need solution for everyone, who needs an audio interface from music-, and video producers to podcasters. This shiny little box of wonders will surprise with its lean design and straight to the point features.
– The device is a red, metal case that also feels amazing
– You have incorporated 2 exact same input channels with XLR combo jacks. That enables you to use for instance 2 mics (great for podcasts) or record vocals and instruments simultaneously (great for singer.songwriters).
– You can choose between line and instrument input. I personally use it both for guitar and microphone
– Gain control dials, that also have LED rings, which indicates, if you have a signal (green) or if you are clipping (red)
– Monitor dial to control the output level
– Rotary control for headphones volume
– Headphone output (6.3 mm)
– If you use a Mac, you don’t even need additional software. Just plug it in and you’re good to go.
Pros – What’s Awesome With the Scarlett 2i2?
– Straight to the point design. It’s a beautifully simple, compact and functional device.
– High audio resolution with a clean, crisp and loud sound. All the low end mud are naturally not noticeable
– Dials are nicely attached
– Can turn on/off 48V phantom power, which is important if you use a condensed microphone (?)
– Direct monitor switch. Turned on, you hear exactly the sound that’s on the recording.
– Input channels for 2 mics. A feature that’s hugely important in live settings, like podcasts.
– USB powered, so you don’t need an additional power supply.
– Free software bundle
Cons – What Could Be Better?
There’s always room for improvement. In case of the Scarlett 2i2, you really have to search hard.
Nevertheless, I found some weak spots.
– Headphone dials are a little loose
– Phantom power can only be turned on/off for both channels.
– There’s no output for Midi
– A Second set of outputs for monitors would be nice
2nd Gen Improvements
For those, who already know the first version, it might be interesting, what changes have been applied to the Scarlett 2i2 2nd Gen.
– They redesigned the gain structure, so it’s easier to get the right gain.
– They also redesigned the instrument inputs to resolve the clipping issue, that occurred in the 1st Gen.
– Higher resolution, which enables you to record up to 190 kHz.
Where Can You Use The Scarlett 2i2?
No wonder Focusrite is claimed to be the number 1 interface company with the best-selling audio interface range in the world. I would have never expected such a great performance from an interface that comes for less than $ 200.
I’m totally happy and can strongly recommend the Scarlett Focusrite 2i2 to everyone, who is looking for a USB audio interface which:
– Is easy to use
– Performs a high quality audio resolution
– Can be used for both vocals and instruments
– Is a solid and robust device
– Has a splendid price/value ratio
I hope you found this review of value to your purchase decision.
Please, leave a comment and share your opinion or own experiences,