Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Review — A Sublime Audio Interface


PROS:

  • Reasonably priced
  • Travel friendly
  • Sturdy construction
  • User friendly
  • Studio-quality sound


CONS:

  • Only 2 input jacks



Being a skilled drummer is not enough; you need to have some basic tools to capture the true essence of your music.

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 ReviewWhen setting up your drumming studio, a professional recording device is a must-have.

The purpose of this gadget is to filter out the noise and obtain a high-quality, crisp sound, which is definitely not possible if you opt for direct recording.

When it comes to the audio recording, the Scarlett series by Focusrite has outclassed its competitors.

From solo input interfaces to huge studio setups, they have everything in store for you.

Here we present Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 review – the bestselling product of the Scarlett series – . This is a recording interface designed for everyone!

Without any further ado, let’s take a deep dive.

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Review – Why all the hype?

The best feature of Scarlett 2i2, which sets it apart from many other interfaces, is it is USB powered.

This means that you don’t need any power socket or a special power supply to run it, just your laptop and a USB cable.

This is practically a pocket-size interface, measuring at 1.8 inches in height and 5.7 inches in width.

Despite the sturdy built, the product is super lightweight and weighs only 1.3lbs, making it very convenient to carry around.

When it comes to sound quality, this portable interface is matchless. Focusrite claims that this is their bestselling audio interface of the Scarlett series, and we believe them!

Even professionals, who own a recording studio, recommend this device for creating fantastic music on-the-go.

The outlook of the device is very basic. It comes in a maroon metal casing with curved edges and rubber knobs. The material is very durable and weather-resistant.

There are two input jacks, which means you can use it for one instrument at a time. But, on the bright side, both inputs are preamps enabled so that you won’t need any amplifying device.

However, there are four output jacks which give you an option to play your drum music on the speaker while simultaneously connecting it to a mixer.

The device also has MIDI in/out jacks for headsets.

For its price, the device is a steal.

Key Features

  • USB-powered interface
  • Compatible with every OS
  • 4 output jacks

PROS:

  • Reasonably priced
  • Travel friendly
  • Sturdy construction
  • User friendly
  • Studio-quality sound

CONS:

  • Only 2 input jacks

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Getting Started

The package comes with a manual, and a couple of other accessories. You will find a USB cable for plugging the device with your laptop and an input power cord where you connect your drums.

Every device has a distinctive serial number and registration code. You’ll need to go to the official website of Focusrite and register your device. This gives you access to their free software alongside regular updates.

Use the bundle code to activate your account and login to the member’s page. There you will find all the FAQs, installation, and setup guides and device drivers.

In case you encounter any problem and need help troubleshooting, you can contact the customer care by logging into your account or simply check their FAQs section.

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Getting Familiar with the Interface

Plug-and-Play

Operating Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is pretty easy and straightforward.

Just connect it with your laptop; plug in the input signal, and thanks to the zero latency feature, you can hear the recording through your output device even before the signal is processed through the computer.

USB Powered

You don’t need any external power supply for operating this portable device, which makes it even more convenient to use for your drums. You don’t need extra space or equipment for setting up the device.

Input Ports

On the front panel, you will see the input ports used to transmit the sound signals.

The combination of input ports allow you to feasibly switch between the instruments, but if you are using it for recording drums, you will need one port for the drumming equipment and the other for microphones.

Output Ports

The output ports are on the back panel along with the USB port. With a sample rate of about 192 kHz, the input-to-output digital conversion takes milliseconds.

The sound quality is exceptional and with every single note audible.

Signal Strength Monitor

The device also enables you to know the signal strength for high-quality recording. Start recording when you see the halo indicators turn green; it means that the signal strength is good. If the signal is distorting, the light will turn red.

Volume Knobs

The knobs on the front panel are for adjusting the speaker volume. The device comes with a built-in headphones amp which allows you to listen to every single detail of your drumming practice through your headphones.

Setup and Installation

This is practically a plug-and-play device, but if you need any help with the setup and software installation, login to your device account.

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Studio-Quality Sound

The sound quality is so brilliant and crisp that it can be compared to any high-end studio recording device. With a 24-bit resolution and a sample rate of about 192 kHz, the sound clarity is outstanding.

Usually audio interfaces in this price range don’t offer such amazing sound quality, but that’s where Focusrite outclasses its competitors.

The brand is dominating the world of audio interfaces because it offers high-end quality at very reasonable prices.

The built-in preamps deliver a very clear sound with no modulation in the quality.

Most travel size audio interfaces produce a certain hissing sound in turning up the volume. This is not the case with the 2i2 as it has built-in noise-canceling modules. Even when cranked up to the fullest, the sound quality will remain intact.

The processing unit of the device is quite efficient and it rarely crashes or hangs.  Due to the minimal latency feature, you will receive the output signal as soon as you send the input.

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How to Setup the Software?

This is pretty self-explanatory, and you can easily do it on your own. The software package of the device includes Avid Pro Tools along with several plugins and device software.

Like all the other Focusrite audio interfaces, this one is also compatible with most DAW’s. Just plug in the device on your computer and start the installation process.

As a brand, Focusrite has two-main selling points – user-friendly interfaces and reasonable prices. Their audio interfaces are designed for everyone, be it beginners or professionals.

Even if you are using an audio interface for the very first time, you will find the setup and installation procedure super easy.

If you need additional drivers to run the software, simply visit the official website of Focusrite and login to your member’s account. The device will be detected, as soon as you connect it with your laptop.

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What about Latency?

Latency is the difference between the time of sending an input signal and receiving the output. It is experienced when the signal is first processed through the computer before reaching the receiving end. Latency is an inevitable issue with computer recording.

However, there are ways to minimize this delay but they are all quite costly. This is the reason that most interfaces in this price range have very significant latency.

Focusrite interfaces, on the other hand, come with a direct monitoring feature, which enables users to listen to what they are recording while they are doing it.  The latency is still there, but it’s barely noticeable.

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The highlight of the Product – The Preamps

The preamps set this audio interface apart from its counterparts.

In most audio interfaces, even the expensive ones with large gains, you will need an additional amplifier to boost the sound quality.

This is not the case with the Scarlett 2i2. The device comes with built-in preamps which eliminate the need for any additional boost at the receiving end.

The best part is: the sound quality does not change, even at the highest volume levels.

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Who Should Invest in the Scarlett 2i2?

This device is for everyone! Even if you are just stepping into the music scene or a professional with your recording studio, this device is a great investment!

The biggest perk of investing in the Scarlett 2i2 is its compact size. It’s like a mobile recording studio, allowing you to record even if you are traveling.

Another reason to consider this audio interface is that it’s insanely cheap!

For the price, it offers great sound quality and a wide range of features.

The device is particularly suitable for those who play a single instrument.

For recording drums, you need a microphone, which means you can’t work with less than the 2-input audio interface.

The Scarlett 2i2 has two input ports, which makes it perfect for recording drums.

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Conclusion

Of course, there are limitations of the Scarlett 2i2, but overall the device gives good value for money. It is a great choice for beginners or those who are on a limited budget.

With the free tools, accessories, and drivers, the device packs the most value at its price.

The sound quality of the Scarlett 2i2 can be compared to any high-end recording interface and its portable size makes it your perfect travel partner.

Whether you are on a budget or constantly on the move, invest in the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 and let nothing come between you and drumming!

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