Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Review

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 USB Audio Interface

Key Features

  • Two channel USB 2.0 audio interface
  • Award-winning Scarlett mic preamps
  • 24-bit/192kHz recording
  • Air mode for increased presence
  • Super-low latency
  • Includes software bundle

94/100

The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 continues to be one of the most popular USB audio interfaces on the market amongst music enthusiasts for home recording projects. It offers a high level of performance, features, and versatility in a user-friendly and affordable package. 

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Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 USB Audio Interface Review

Every musician looking to record music needs a good audio interface. The audio interface is the connection between the analog and digital worlds. It’s the most crucial piece of gear in any home studio rig. 

Focusrite is a brand that is well known for their affordable and high-quality audio interfaces, and the Scarlett 2i2 is a staple piece of kit found in many home recording studio setups. It’s one of the world’s best-selling interfaces!

In this third-generation Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 review, I’ll be taking a look at the sound quality, build quality, overall usability, and value to determine if it’s worth the investment. 

The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 has proven to be an immensely popular unit amongst hobbyists and experienced musicians alike, with a more-than-capable feature set and a very attractive price tag.

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 USB Audio Interface Ratings

Sound quality

Build Quality

Usability

Value

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Sound Quality

The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface is one of the best-selling audio interfaces on the planet, thanks to its excellent sound quality and feature set. In-built with the Scarlett 2i2 you receive two award-winning Focusrite preamps that offer exceptional clarity. 

These are the very same preamps found in Focusrite’s flagship products, and they offer plenty of headroom to accommodate all different types of dynamic, condenser, and ribbon microphones for recording sessions. The inputs also have phantom power to support any kind of microphone.

The sound quality of the Focusrite 2i2 is also stellar thanks to the high-performance 24-bit/192kHz AD/DA converters that deliver a studio-grade sound both at home and on the move.

I found the Scarlett 2i2 to be particularly impressive because of its low latency recording capabilities and quiet self-noise. It’s a pleasure to record through. The mic preamps also now feature Focusrite’s switchable Air mode that offers your recordings a beautifully bright and open sound.

Overall, the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 really delivers when it comes to sound quality. For small studios or mobile rigs, this USB audio interface provides professional-level sounds no matter what you’re recording. 

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Build Quality

Right out of the box, I’m particularly impressed by the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2’s solid construction. It looks great, and the design of the unit itself is clean and intuitive. The red brushed steel casing is robust and has an excellent weight to it.

The quality of the XLR/instrument inputs is great, and so is the input signal’s quality. This helps to offer minimal background noise whilst recording. Everything is super sturdy on the device, including the knobs, dials, and jacks.

For an entry-level audio interface, the build quality is incredibly impressive. Focusrite has put a lot of thought into this unit’s design and hasn’t compromised on the quality despite the price.

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 In Use

The Focusrite 2i2 audio interface is super straightforward to set up. It’s pretty much effortless to set up with your computer, and the software and DAW will immediately recognize it. With the Scarlett 2i2, you’ll be up and running within minutes.

Because the Scarlett 2i2 is so easy to use and affordable, this audio interface is perfect for musicians just starting with home recording. It doesn’t even require external power because the USB connection powers it with a computer. The set up is ultra streamlined.

Once set up with the DAW, you’ll be amazed by how remarkably clean the recording signal is for microphones and line-in instruments such as guitars. The preamps offer exceptional clarity, and the conversion is excellent.

While recording drums with two overhead drum microphones, there’s not even a hint of latency, distortion, or self-noise from the unit. It captures a clean, full, and expansive sound. I also used the Air mode that offers extra presence and brightness. It’s a nice feature to take advantage of. 

If you want to record with no more than two mic/line instruments simultaneously, then the Scarlett 2i2 is the perfect interface that is incredibly easy to use. Simply plug it in, and you’re ready to record with the built-in driver. You can also independently control the headphone and monitor outputs to suit your preference.

If you are, however, looking for an audio interface to accommodate lots of microphones to record a full drum set, I would suggest taking a look at my roundup of the best drum recording interfaces on the market.

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Value

Now in the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 review, we come to the most attractive feature of all: the incredibly low price! Astonishingly, the Scarlett 2i2 offers such high-quality sound and functionality considering the price point.

Focusrite trumps the competition in terms of the balance of performance and value for their products. Focusrite delivers a high-quality USB interface to the entry-level market with the Scarlett 2i2, and it excels in many different musical scenarios.

Without a doubt, the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 offers fantastic value for money, and it boasts crystal clear sound and effortless connectivity without you needing to break the bank.

Verdict

To summarize this Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 review, this truly is an excellent audio interface. It delivers on all fronts. From the quality of the preamps, and low latency, right through to the streamlined connectivity and affordable price tag. 

This is the ultimate audio interface for musicians, podcasters, and educators looking for an affordable yet high-quality interface to accommodate two microphones or line-in instruments simultaneously for recording. 

If you are looking to get into home recording, the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is the best audio interface to get started with. You’ll be amazed by the sound quality it offers, and it will serve you with many years of fuss-free recording.

What Comes In The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 USB Audio Interface Box?

  • 2i2 USB Audio Interface
  • Scarlett mic preamps
  • Halo level indicators
  • USB cables

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 USB Audio Interface At A Glance

Pros

  • Superior sound quality
  • Ideal for small studios and mobile rigs
  • Incredibly intuitive and user-friendly
  • Unbeatable value for money

Cons

  • Not ideal for recording full drum set
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