The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 2 In/2 Out USB Recording Audio Interface
Today, we’re conducting an in-depth review of the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 2 In/2 Out USB Recording Audio Interface.
Made with the signature Focusrite pre-amps, the Scarlet 2i2 is an affordable great-sounding interface at only $150, with maximized portability and durability to boot. Price, durability, design, features, sound performance, and add-ons, we’re giving you all the reasons why the Focusrite Scarlet 2i2 is a must-buy.
The Focusrite Scarlet 2i2 is a real bargain at only $150. The good news is that only the price is cheap; quality-wise, you’ve got yourself a worthy set of gear with the Scarlet 2i2.
Durability and Design
At less than 1kg, it’s surprising how tough the Focusrite Scarlet 2i2 is. Usually you’d expect a box made of flimsy plastic with a device this lightweight but instead, the Scarlet 2i2 greets you with a gorgeous and tough anodized aluminium unibody chassis that could act as a self-defence weapon if needed.
The combined lightness and sturdiness of this interface also ensures a smooth hassle-free transport. The knobs hold just the right amount of firmness and are made to withstand frequent fiddling. The small build also allows users to lug it around in a laptop bag.
The back panel of the Scarlet 2i2 features the USB 2.0 connector which connects the device with your computer both for digital mixing and bus power. The Focusrite Scarlet package comes with a USB 2.0 cable which effectively minimizes latency issues.
As for the front panel, it holds the two inputs which can be used for voice or instrument recording. The halo indicator around the gain knob effectively signals the user whether there is any clipping that needs to be addressed.
The monitor dial on the right side of the Scarlet 2i2 can be used to adjust the volume of speakers without the use of the computer. The headphone socket also allows easy and instant sound monitoring thanks to the direct monitor switch.
Award Winning Pre’s + Digital Interface = Great Sound
As per digital performance, every note is captured by the software with astounding quality and clarity. Thus it creates a powerful home audio mixing tool without the latency and distortion.
Amateur audio hobbyists will find the Scarlet 2i2 a great start or addition to their tech gear. That’s not to say that experienced audio engineers will find the Scarlet 2i2 an audio flop.
The award-winning microphone pre-amps of Focusrite allows clean, undistorted, low-noise voice recordings that’s perfect for home music-recording or even interview transcribing. Distortion and background noise doesn’t come until the gain is at around 95% which is pretty impressive for a very cheap interface.
It also handles electric guitars, acoustic guitars, other strings, and keyboards impressively although it doesn’t work as well with drums. Latency is also very minimal, direct monitoring or otherwise.
If you’re still unimpressed with the Focusrite Scarlet 2i2, then let the add-ons close the deal for you. With included DAW and Effects software, it’s surprising that Focusrite doesn’t charge more for this product.
The Scarlet 2i2 package includes a Ableton Live Lite 8 and Focusrite’s Scarlett plug-in suite. All the essential tools for beginners and expert mixers can be found in these two software which would be of major help especially for home use.
It’s also a noteworthy that the Scarlet 2i2 can be installed in any setup with ease. This is an added benefit for people who work with different computers at home and outdoors. It’s also compatible with Mac OSX Lion unlike most other audio interfaces.
So… should you buy the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2?
All things considered, the Focusrite Scarlet 2i2 is a great steal at $150 especially for mixers on-the-go and can beat more expensive alternatives in the market.