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Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 4th Gen Review - Audio Interface

February 10, 2024 
BY DAN SPENCER
Last Updated on February 10, 2024

If you're a musician, podcaster, or content creator looking for a versatile and high-quality audio interface, then you've come to the right place. The Scarlett 2i2 4th Gen is the latest addition to Focusrite's renowned Scarlett line, known for its exceptional sound quality, ease of use, and affordability. In this review, we'll take a close look at the features, performance, and overall value that the Scarlett 2i2 4th Gen brings to the table. So, whether you're a beginner setting up your first home studio or a professional looking to downsize without losing quality, this audio interface might just be what you're looking for.

Verdict

The 4th Gen of the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is worth every penny, offering great audio quality and a simple, logical workflow for an affordable price.

Pros
  • Same converters found in Focusrite's premier line
  • Built-in "Clip Safe" feature
  • Lots of bundled software
Cons
  • Limited number of inputs
  • No MIDI connection
  • Though rare, driver compatibility issues have been reported

Focusrite Scarlett Design

​The design of the Focusrite Scarlett Audio Interface has always been highly acclaimed, and the 4th generation is no exception. With its sleek and stylish appearance, it not only performs exceptionally well but also looks great on any desk.

The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 4th gen has a compact yet sturdy build, making it perfect for both home studios and mobile setups. The interface features a brushed aluminum case, giving it a professional and premium feel. The knobs and buttons are well-placed and have a solid, tactile response, making it easy to dial in levels.

In terms of functionality, the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 4th gen delivers exceptional audio quality. The preamps are transparent and noise-free, capturing audio with extreme detail. With high-resolution converters and a sample rate of up to 192kHz, you can expect professional-grade recordings.

Installation And Setup Process

First things first, let's start with the installation. Once you have unboxed your Scarlett 2i2, you will need to connect it to your computer via the USB cable provided. The interface is compatible with both Mac and PC, so you don't have to worry about compatibility issues. Once connected, your computer should automatically recognize the 2i2 as a new audio device.

Now that the installation is complete, it's time to set up the Scarlett 2i2 for optimal performance. The audio interface comes with Focusrite Control software, which allows you to customize your audio settings and routing. You can adjust parameters such as input gain, output level, and sample rate to suit your needs. The software also lets you create custom headphone mixes, making it easy for musicians to hear what they need.


Related Article: The Top 5 Best USB C Audio Interfaces Of 2024


Sound Quality And Performance: A Worthy Upgrade Over The Previous Generation

One of the standout features of the focusrite scarlett 2i2 4th gen is its improved sound capture capability. With top-notch preamps and a higher sample rate, this interface ensures crystal-clear recordings that faithfully reproduce the nuances of any instrument. The upgraded converters provide a wider dynamic range, resulting in a more detailed and well-balanced sound.

Moreover, the scarlett 2i2 4th gen offers a noticeable improvement in latency performance. With its ultra-low latency, musicians can record and monitor in real-time without any noticeable delay. This is particularly important for performers who rely on their ability to hear themselves while playing or singing.

Another noteworthy aspect is the scarlett 2i2 4th gen's user-friendly design and versatile functionality. Equipped with multiple inputs and outputs, it can accommodate a variety of recording setups and connect to a range of instruments and peripherals. The interface also includes useful features such as a direct monitor switch, which lets users bypass the software monitoring and hear their source directly for zero-latency recording.

Controls And Features On The Scarlett Audio Interface

  • 2 instrument inputs, 2 balanced line inputs (independent gain control)
  • 2 balanced outputs
  • Headphone output (independent gain control)
  • Upgraded Air Mode: This feature adds an extra sparkle to your recordings by emulating the renowned ISA preamp's signature sound. It comes in two modes (Presence and Harmonic Drive)

Performance: How Well Does The Interface Perform In Real-World Use?

​When it comes to evaluating the performance of an interface like the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 4th Gen, it's crucial to consider how it performs in real-world use. After all, specifications and technical details can only communicate so much. What matters most is how the interface actually performs when putting it to use in various scenarios.

Latency

As we've discussed earlier in this review, low latency is essential for a seamless and responsive recording experience. Fortunately, the Scarlett 2i2 4th Gen excels in this area, offering impressively low latency that allows for accurate monitoring and recording without any noticeable delays. Whether you're recording vocals or instruments, the interface ensures that you can capture your performance in real-time without any hiccups.

Preamps

The quality of the preamps in an audio inteface is what determines how good it is. The Scarlett 2i2 4th Gen is equipped with high-quality preamps that deliver clean, transparent sound. They offer sufficient gain to capture even the quietest sources without introducing unwanted noise or distortion. The result is simply professional-grade audio quality.

Stability And Compatibility

When it comes to stability and compatibility, the Scarlett 2i2 4th Gen performs admirably on both fronts. It boasts a solid build quality, making it a reliable and durable piece of equipment. Furthermore, it is compatible with all major recording software and operating systems, ensuring hassle-free integration into your existing setup.


Related Article: The Top 5 Best Audio Interfaces Under $200 (2024)


Final Thoughts

The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 4th Gen is undeniably a top-notch audio interface that offers exceptional performance and versatility. Throughout this review, we've explored its features and capabilities, and it's evident that Focusrite has once again delivered a stellar product. No matter where you're at in your recording journey, the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 4th Gen is a worthy addition to your music production arsenal.

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"Some of the links within this article are affiliate links. These links are from various companies such as Amazon. This means if you click on any of these links and purchase the item or service, I will receive an affiliate commission. This is at no cost to you and the money gets invested back into Audio Sorcerer LLC."

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