Focusrite 2nd Generation Scarlett 2i2

Music Gear Review: Focusrite 2nd Generation Scarlett 2i2 USB Interface

The entire line of the new 2nd Generation Scarlett USB 2.0 interfaces are all updated inside and out with significant changes and improvements.

Inside: all Scarlett interfaces are now capable of up to 24-bit and up to 192kHz operation and have redesigned instrument inputs with more headroom for hotter signals. A super important internal improvement is the 2nd Gen’s lower latency performance—as low as 2.74ms. Now you can record through your DAW’s plug-in effects instead of relying on other ways of monitoring yourself.

Outside: the Scarlett 2i2 is sleek; it sports a brighter aluminum extruded cabinet, and the front and back panels use a screw-less design. There are also new knurled aluminum control knobs and no-slip rubber feet. I couldn’t wait to hook up my Scarlett 2i2—there is plenty of headphone volume for low impedance studio headphones and sufficient monitoring output level from the L/R rear panel TRS jacks to drive any set of powered monitors.

I hooked up my Ear Trumpet Labs’ Josephine condenser microphone, switched on +48-volt phantom powering on Scarlett, and I was recording instantly with Direct Monitoring switched off. I found the mic pre-amp sounded great for mics, direct instruments or synthesizers with hot line level signals.

The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 sells for $149 MAP.


BARRY RUDOLPH is a recording engineer/mixer who has worked on over 30 gold and platinum records. He has recorded and/or mixed Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hall & Oates, Pat Benatar, Rod Stewart, the Corrs and more. Barry has his own futuristic music mixing facility and loves teaching audio engineering at Musician’s Institute, Hollywood, CA. He is a lifetime Grammy-voting member of NARAS and a contributing editor for Mix Magazine. barryrudolph.com