Focusrite is an English company that has been making preamps and audio interfaces since 1985. When fishing for an audio interface on their website, you’ll notice their immediacy in telling you that their products sport award-winning preamps. To be honest, with most of their products that I’ve tested, I’ve almost nearly found that great quality they slyly claim. In this review, we explore their latest, most portable spawn, the Scarlett 2i2.
What is it?
The 2i2 is the smallest audio interface made by the English brand. The focus is on a portable device that can handle two inputs and two outputs, has 24 bit/96 kHz recording, looks good, and costs under USD 250.
Who’s it for?
If you’re setting up a home studio but aren’t going to be doing much recording, the 2i2 would be the perfect choice. With two “award-winning” preamps on board, you’ll be able to record a stereo out from your polyphonic synthesizer, or connect a microphone and a guitar and jam on. The quality of the pre-amps is assured. You can also carry the 2i2 everywhere because it’s almost as small as a laptop charger.
The 2i2 is a good-looking mini. Its red brushed-metal unibody finish definitely adds value to the product. Its rubbery knobs feel sturdy and the switches definitely seem like they belong. LED meters have been replaced by LED rings that surround the gain knobs. They travel from green to orange to red, and are a very functional design feature.
The 2i2 is a fairly simple device to use. Everything you need is on the device and nothing more.
The preamps do record an excellent quality of audio. Direct Monitoring is a great feature to include on the front panel of the sound card. It kills latency within the input signal by allowing the signal to be monitored directly through the sound card, instead of through the DAW. Also in the box are Focusrite’s DSP plug-ins, which include an EQ, a compressor, gate and reverb.
An additional set of outputs would have made the 2i2 a complete win. However, the price of the product makes it a perfect companion for people who like to move around.
I’d give the 2i2 an 8/10. It’s inexpensive, easily portable, with preamps that give presence to good-sounding instruments and microphones. The 2i2‘s control software, MixControl, is also easy to use.
|What’s in the Box||Tech Specs|
|• Ableton Live Lite
• Focusrite Scarlett plug-in suite.
• Red 2 & Red 3 plug-in suite.
|• 2 in 2 out USB Audio Interface.
• 96HZ, 24-bit conversion.
• 2 Focusrite microphone preamplifiers
• Red anodised aluminium unibody chasis.
• 2 line/mic/instrument combination inputs – high quality XLR ¼ TRS jack combo
• 2 line/instrument switches
• 2 Gain knobs
• 2 gain halo signal indicators
• 48V Phantom Power switch
• Direct Monitor switch
• Large monitor level dial
• USB connection LED indicator
• Headphone output – ¼” TRS Jack
• Headphone level knob
• 2 balanced monitor outputs – ¼” TRS jack
• USB 2.0 port
• Kensington lock slot
|Approximate Price: INR 16,540/- Approx.|