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Focus rite Scarlett 2i4

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
What do you guys think of this? I'm thinking of getting one for my setup.

Will be my first external dac
post #2 of 3

Some investigations here:






For playback I prefer a 3 times cheaper USB DAC with headamp.


Headphone output of the Scarlett 2i4 is not so good for Sennheiser HD600.

post #3 of 3

Tricky decision vince and I'll explain why.


Current generation DAC SoCs are now such good quality and so inexpensive the traditional basic stereo out DAC box is rapidly becoming an obsolete product. They are all pretty much transparent to the human auditory system. Even those on new motherboards and it will not be long before the same can be said to be true for smartphones, DAPs and tablets. Even those who still claim to be able to hear a difference by ear alone are quick to point out what a tiny difference it makes relative to cost.


On the other hand inputs are generally still not quite up to the same standard. Particularly microphone pre amps. So a 2i2 would make sense if you wanted to record yourself playing along to a backing track for example.


I never recommend the 2i2 though because for very little extra money you can get the 2i4 which is a significantly more versatile product. Two independent stereo outputs is a game changer. Drive a set of satellites, or a dedicated sub, the ability to cue, even listening to one channel on headphones (i.e. gaming) and play bit prefect audio on the other. The 6i6 is a little bit more again but can become the basis of your hybrid audio system for years to come.It also adds S/PDIF I/O.


If you do decide to go down the 2i2 path I wouldn't worry about the headphone amp portion at all. It'll drive almost all headphones well beyond the point where you can create hearing damage. I've even seem a drummer use one for his personal foldback mix in a rehearsal studio! Well perhaps if you have an old pair of 600 Ohm cans it might come up short. With an output impedance of less than 10 Ohms it will also drive most low impedance loads down to at least 60 Ohms but probably not ultra low impedence designs particularly balanced armature IEMs. Other than that you should be fine.


Unless you have a specific problem with your existing set up (noise, earth loop etc) I'd advise not wasting your money now but either spend the money on better headphones or speakers or save up for a whle longer and get something that'll last you for a long time into the future.

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