Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Vs Steinberg UR22
When it comes to mobile USB audio interface, the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 and Steinberg UR22 are considered to be at par with each other. Both are manufactured by reputable companies, and their portability also makes them practical devices for traveling musicians, touring DJs, and even hobbyists with their own home studio. While both units are highly rated, however, your choice will greatly depend on your personal criteria when making musical projects. And both these models can record vocals and instruments with different qualities.
The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is equipped with 2 analog ins and 2 analog outs. Since this audio interface is bus-powered, you can simply plug it into your computer to start recording. It also comes with 2 Focusrite patented mic preamps which are known for their low distortion and low-noise qualities. The system can also accommodate phantom powered mics.
Encased in an anodized aluminum chassis body, this model is solid and resistant to shocks when taken on the road. As for the sound quality, it can deliver clear and crisp sounds as it carries a 24-bit resolution and sample rate up to a maximum of 96 kHz.
This model of audio interface comes bundled with the Ableton Live Lite 8 software as well as a plugin suite from Focusrite Scarlett. It can be used on standard DAWs when polishing your recordings.
The Steinberg UR22 is a 2-in/ 2-out and MIDI recording audio interface. Since it’s bus-powered, you don’t need to depend on a power source to operate it; and can simply connect it your computer or laptop. It also comes with D-Pre mic preamps which became popular when the Yamaha Series mixers were released. This unit is compatible with phantom-powered microphones too.
This device has a well built casing of metal chassis, making it heavy and durable as well. However, the main housing itself as well as the knobs are mainly constructed using hard molded plastic materials. As for the sound output, it boasts of a 24-bit resolution and 192 kHz sampling.
Compatible with both Windows and MAC operating systems, this unit includes the Cubase 6 software that can be used for DAWs when making musical compositions.
Which USB Audio Interface is the Best for You?
If you are after the MIDI in/out functionality, this can only be found in the Steinberg UR22. But other than that, these 2 devices carry almost the same features. In fact, these models are both equipped with 2-in/ 2-out design.
Both units also run on 2 mic preamps and are compatible with phantom microphones. However, there were some reports from consumers that the UR22 model can sometimes have distortion problems when using such type of mic.
If you look at the digital output, you will be more impressed with the Steinberg audio interface as it has a 24-bit and 192 kHz capacity while the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 only has 24-bit and 96 kHz. But we cannot conclude that the UR22 sounds better than the 2i2, as some users have complained of substandard digital sounds from said device. The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, on the other hand, has more positive feedback from satisfied musicians.