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A Review On: Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 2 In/2 Out USB Recording Audio Interface

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 2 In/2 Out USB Recording Audio Interface

Rated # 113 in Amp/DACs
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Pros: Portable, Phantom power, USB powered, Easy to use, Reliable.

Cons: Requires amp for decent headphones. Switches not the best quality. No on/off switch. Clips easily.

Amps are really low-noise, even when cranked up.
Feels good with metal shell, but still lightweight.
Halo indicators are pretty useful for general levels.

Clips easily.
Max level input -3dBu means you'll probably need a DI still.


hi I have the grado ps500. would u recommend getting a separate amp? How do I hook it up the scarlett 2i2? Thansk! :D
There's a 1/4'' stereo jack specifically for headphones at the front, or dual mono 1/4'' jacks at the back which you can use to hook it up to your headphone amps.

Your cans are pretty low impedance, so they'd do pretty well. I'd still run then with amp whenever I could, though.
I can run my SRH840s very decently out of it, (they've got slightly higher impedance and sensitivity, but pretty much the same)
Unless you run your headphones LOUD, the Scarlett should be fine.

But if you only need a DAC from your computer to your headphones, I'd look elsewhere for better. Else, enjoy recording!
Hi morethansense, thank you so much for the quick awesome reply! I have another question if you don't mind?
Would you recommend this paired with m-audio bx8 d2s? Also, how does the 2i2 compare with the asus xonar essence pci interface? I have both the 2i2 and xonar essence and don't know which one to return. Would appreciate any advice! Thanks :D
I use a pair of KRK Rokit 6's and they work perfectly fine.
It should work fine with any set of monitors 'cos they'd all have to be active/seperately amped.
The BX8's connectivity is fine with both balanced and unbalanced jacks it should be easy to hook up.

With regards to the PCI interface, it really depends on what you want.
I use my Scarlett with my laptop because it's portable and can bring it to a friends house to record.
It also takes XLR inputs, which the PCI interface cannot.

But the Xonar does have a very high quoted SNR and going all the way to 192KHz and probably does a lot better output wise.
It's also only got one input.

I wouldn't buy the Xonar, but I'm biased because I don't have a desktop.
I find it interesting to see a Focusrite recording interface in this context. I own a big brother of this unit, the Liquid Saffire 56 ( and use it for recording & mixing purposes. What I didn't expect was just how good stereo music sounds through it via headphones. Compared to the previous box (Yamaha/Steniberg 2-in-2-out box for Cubase) the difference was huge. And there's no psychological bias here (at least I hope) by trying to justify to myself that the new, more expensive piece of hardware should be superior, since the decisions to buy the Focusrite box had very little to do with outcoming analog sound quality. Instead it was all about connections and routing of sound when recording and mixing. Thus the headphone sound for music listening was a very positive surprise, like a bonus!