Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 2nd Gen USB Audio Interface 2-Channel (Discontinued)

88 out of 100. Incorporating 1750+ ratings and reviews.

Gearank High Notes

The Scarlett 2i2 2nd Gen appeared on our recommended list for Audio Interfaces Under $200 from December 2015 until June 2018.


Note: This has been superseded by the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen.

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.

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.


  • 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

Alternative Options

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.

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