( Scarlett Interface)Review of Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface

Reviewing the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen: A Comprehensive Assessment of the Scarlett Interface's Performance and Features.
( Scarlett Interface)Review of Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface

The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface is a professional-grade audio recording and production interface designed to deliver high-quality sound and seamless connectivity for musicians, podcasters, and content creators.

This review will explore in depth, the improvements, features, and key functionalities of the Scarlett 2i2 interface, additionally comparing it to other audio interfaces and the 2i2 audio interface predecessors, helping you understand the standout qualities of the Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen.

What is the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface?

Overview of the Interface Features

The Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen, with its compact design, is a robust sample of Scarlett audio interfaces, boasting two high-performance preamps that enable clear recording from both microphones and instruments.

The Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen, with its USB-C interface, ensures fast and reliable data transfer, making it a suitable choice in modern recording setups and offering an easy start to beginners.

Compatibility and Connectivity

The Scarlett 2i2 3rd gen audio interface, armed with its USB-C connection, offers seamless compatibility with Windows and Mac systems, perfectly integrating with multiple digital audio workstations (DAWs) and recording software.

The 2i2 audio interface’s versatile compatibility allows users an easy start, enabling them to effortlessly connect and record using their preferred software.

Comparison with Previous Generations

The 3rd Gen interface comes with upgraded preamps, delivering cleaner, more transparent sound with lower noise levels compared to its predecessors.

This improvement in the 3rd gen audio interface ensures accurate and high-fidelity recordings, making it a significant upgrade from the earlier Scarlett 2i2 interface models.

How does the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface Improve Recording?

Enhanced Preamps and Sound Quality

The Scarlett 2i2 interface, with the 3rd Gen model, comes equipped with upgraded preamps that provide an enhanced headroom and higher gain range, allowing for detailed and clearer audio capture.

This improvement in the Scarlett 2i2 interface is especially advantageous when recording sensitive instruments and vocals, minimizing distortion.

Utilizing Air Mode for Professional Sound

The 3rd Gen audio interface includes the Air Mode, reproducing the Air feature found in the classic Focusrite ISA console, offering similar benefits.

With the Air Mode, the Scarlett 2i2 3rd gen audio interface adds significant brightness and clarity to recordings, producing a professional, polished sound signature that would complement a wide spectrum of musical genres.

Integration with Music Production Software

Focusrite includes an array of recording software, such as Pro Tools | First, Ableton Live Lite, and the Hitmaker Expansion Bundle, with the Scarlett 2i2 audio interface, specifically the 3rd Gen.

These software packages allow users to start recording and producing music immediately, making the interface an all-inclusive solution for music creators of all levels.

What are the Key Features of the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface?

Instrument and Mic Inputs

The Scarlett 2i2 interface provides two combination inputs, allowing users to connect both instruments and microphones at the same time.

Such flexibility in the Scarlett 2i2 4th Gen USB enables artists and producers to lay down multiple tracks simultaneously, without the need for additional equipment.

Phantom Power and MIDI Connectivity

Providing Phantom power for condenser microphones, and MIDI connectivity for seamless integration of electronic instruments and controllers, the 2i2 audio interface expands the creative potential for recording and music production.

Monitoring and Headphone Output

The Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen features a comprehensive monitoring system, including a direct monitor switch and a headphone output with independent volume control.

This setup in the 2i2 audio interface allows for real-time monitoring of recordings, offering immediate feedback for optimal performance.

How Does the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen Compare to Other Audio Interfaces?

Comparison with Scarlett Solo and 4i4

Compared to the Scarlett Solo, the 2i2 3rd Gen offers additional inputs and outputs, making it suitable for more complex recording setups.

In contrast, the Scarlett 4i4 provides extra inputs and MIDI connectivity, catering to users with a higher demand for versatile recording options.

Exploring Hitmaker Expansion and Universal Audio Volt 2 Integration

The Hitmaker Expansion software bundle, included with the Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen, offers a suite of high-quality virtual instruments and effects, enhancing the recording and production capabilities of the interface.

Additionally, the integration with Universal Audio Volt 2 further expands the interface’s compatibility with premium audio equipment.

Software Included and Music Production Capabilities

Included software, such as Pro Tools | First and Ableton Live Lite, positions the Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen as a comprehensive music production solution, providing users with essential tools to jumpstart their creative endeavors.

Its compatibility with a wide range of recording software further solidifies its position as a versatile recording interface.

What are the Recommended Accessories and Add-Ons for the Scarlett 2i2 Studio?

Expanding Inputs and Outputs with Add-Ons

For users seeking an expansion of inputs and outputs, additional preamps or an ADAT-enabled audio interface can be integrated with the Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen, offering more comprehensive recording capabilities suitable for larger projects.

Optimizing Recording and Mixing with Additional Tools

To enhance the recording and mixing experience, adding studio monitors, outboard gear, and professional microphones can elevate the overall sound quality and production capabilities of the Scarlett 2i2 Studio setup.


Q: What are the main features of the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface?

A: The Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen features two upgraded third-generation Scarlett mic preamps, high-performance 24-bit/192kHz AD-DA converters, two instrument inputs, and several other enhancements that make it a versatile and powerful USB audio interface for musicians and producers.

Q: How many inputs does the Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen have?

A: The Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen features two combination XLR/1/4″ TRS inputs allowing for both microphone and instrument inputs, as well as two balanced 1/4″ TRS outputs for connecting studio monitors.

Q: Is it easy to set up the Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen?

A: Yes, the Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen comes with a “Quick Start” tool that helps users with the easy setup, and it also includes easy-to-use software like Focusrite Control, making the setup process straightforward.

Q: Does the Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface require a power supply?

A: No, the Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen is bus-powered via USB, so it does not require an additional power supply, making it highly portable and convenient for on-the-go recording.

Q: What generation of Scarlett is the 2i2 USB Audio Interface?

A: The Scarlett 2i2 is a third-generation USB audio interface, offering improved audio performance and several upgraded features compared to its predecessors.

Q: What software is needed to make the most of the Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen?

A: To maximize the potential of the Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen, users can benefit from using the bundled software including Ableton Live Lite, Pro Tools First Focusrite Creative Pack, and other software compatible with the interface.

Q: Can I connect a guitar to the Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen?

A: Yes, the Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen includes two instrument inputs, allowing users to directly connect guitars or other instruments for recording or monitoring.

Q: Does the Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen have a headphone jack?

A: Yes, the front panel of the Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen features a 1/4″ headphone output with its own dedicated volume control for monitoring purposes.

Q: What is the warranty of the Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface?

A: The Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen comes with a three-year warranty, offering users peace of mind and confidence in the product’s durability and reliability.

Q: Is the Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface compatible with USB 2.0?

A: Yes, the Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen is fully compatible with USB 2.0 and can be used with various devices and operating systems supporting this interface.

Enhancing the Studio Sound with Hitmaker Expansion and Plugins

By leveraging the Hitmaker Expansion and utilizing compatible plugins, users can further expand the sonic possibilities of the Scarlett 2i2 Studio, adding a wide array of virtual instruments, effects, and processing tools to sculpt their desired sound.

Posted By:

Muhammad Tahir

A sound product specialist with a passion for helping others make informed decisions about audio equipment. With years of experience in identifying quality products and their features, I'm excited to share my honest experiences and recommendations with you. Let's connect and get started on your audio journey today!


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