Over the past 25 years Focusrite has had a reputation for creating high quality audio hardware and designing some of the most popular pre-amps in the industry. The Scarlett, by Focusrite, is a good quality audio interface at a more affordable price point. In this post I will review the entry-level Scarlett 2i2 to see what Focusrite has to offer.
First thing noticeable about the 2i2 is its stunning aluminum red uni-body chassis which stands out well above most other interfaces on the market. Although the various knobs and push buttons are made of plastic and not quite up to standard with the metal chassis, they do feel pleasantly solid to the touch and smooth in operation. The generously large sized monitor volume dial allows for very precise control.
Surprisingly the 2i2 is light, weighting at 1.3 lb (580 grams). The compact form combined with the USB powered operation makes the 2i2 truly a portable device.
The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 features two inputs on the front panel and one pair of balanced TRS stereo outs to the rear. The Neutrik combo input jacks readily accepts either XLR or TRS 1/4 inch inputs.
The two gain controls feature LED lighting halos which function as peak level indicators. A lit green ring will display if the input signal is at an appropriate level, while a red ring indicates that the signal is too loud. The 2i2 offers direct monitoring via a toggle switch on the front panel. Headphone output is provided with a 1/4 inch TRS Jack and the Scarlett 2i2 provides a 48V phantom power switch for any condenser microphone you may wish to use with it.
The 2i2 offers 24-bit resolution at sample rates of up to 96 kHz. Highs are clear and noise is minimal. It does not offer -10 dB pad switches as seen on other models in the Scarlett series. For this reason users of active or high output guitars may want to consider using a D.I box in combination with the 2i2 or instead purchase the slightly more expensive Scarlett 2i4 which includes a pad switch for each input. Audio quality overall is impressive.
With Focusrite 2i2, you get a great looking and sounding interface at a good price point. If you’re in the market for an audio interface and feel your needs would be met by two inputs then you’ll be suitably impressed with everything the Scarlett 2i2 has to offer.
- Excellent price point
- Great sound
- Built to last
- Limited inputs
- No pad switches