Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 2nd Gen USB Audio Interface 2-Channel (Discontinued)
Focusrite continued their market dominance with the 2nd generation Scarlett series of audio interfaces, which included the immensely popular Scarlett 2i2. Focusrite says it is, "The best selling USB audio interface in the world".
This 2nd Gen version features upgraded A/D resolution of 24-bit/192kHz, lower latency, improved instrument input and improved hardware.
Having said all that, the Focusrite mic preamp within the unit is still its main standout feature, as it is still highly regarded by many for its sound quality.
But it's no longer just great for mics, because the instrument input is improved to handle the pickups of different guitars and basses. This improved capacity for instruments makes it even more viable for home studios compared to the previous version.
The controls are also improved, with a grippy metal gain knob being its centerpiece.
Other features that helped the original Scarlett 2i2 become a top selling audio interface are retained, including its elegant looking red metal chassis, distinct halo indicators for monitoring signal level, and the ability to be powered via USB.
- A/D Resolution: 24-bit/192kHz
- Preamp: 2 x Focusrite Preamp
- Channels: 2
- Inputs: 2 x XLR-1/4" combo
- Outputs: 2 x 1/4" (Line), 1 x 1/4" (Headphones)
- Power: USB Bus Powered,
- Phantom Power: 48V
- Bundled Software: Pro Tools | First Focusrite Creative Pack, Ableton Live Lite, Softube's Time and Tone Bundle, Focusrite Red Plug-In Suite, 2GB Loopmasters samples
The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 2nd Gen continues the legacy of its predecessor with its high ratings and many recommendations. Commendations point to its sound quality as its best feature, while others point to its reliability as another strong point. Be it for condenser or dynamic mics, the Scarlett 2i2 got a lot of kudos from satisfied users, which include singers, instrumentalists, podcasters, voice over actors and more. Its elegant appeal also got a lot of thumbs up, with many specifically referring to its distinct red color and halo lights.
There are minor concerns for its instruments input, with some noting that getting it to work properly requires a bit more tweaking than what they wanted.
Being a consistent top selling audio interface for many years, the Scarlett 2i2 2nd Gen is easy to recommend, especially for those who want good sound quality mixed with eye candies.
Despite the popularity of the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 2nd Gen, there are some alternatives that have slightly higher ratings, which at the time of publishing this included the Behringer U-Phoria UMC404HD and the Steinberg UR22 MK2. You can read our analysis of those, and slightly pricier models, in our guide to The Best Cheap Audio Interfaces Under $200.