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Best 2 Input Audio Interface – Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Review

The best 2 input audio interface is by far the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2Do you want to make music that you believe the world needs to hear? Or is your band ready to record the next greatest hit? Starting to create and produce your own music can feel daunting and sometimes you’re not sure where to begin. But if you know it’s important to get your music out there, then you can start with the best 2 input audio interface.

The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is the interface you’re looking for. Top-of-the-line quality and vibrant sound reproduction makes it one of the best small audio interfaces in the world. All you have to do is plug it into your computer or laptop and you can begin recording straight away.

It’s the perfect way to get your music-making journey started.

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface

Focusrite’s Scarlett series is considered one of the best music recording ranges around. The Scarlett 2i2 upholds this claim to fame. The famous Focusrite mic preamps keep your sound natural so you can maintain the pure quality of your vocals and instruments while recording, capturing the audio transparently and dynamically.

The versatile 2-in, 2-out system means that you can record two inputs at the same time – each input can be either a microphone input or an instrument input, like a guitar. This means you have a variety of recording options available. Whether you’re recording a duet, jamming with a friend, or you want to record yourself singing and playing guitar simultaneously, this interface makes it incredibly easy to do it.

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface for Recording, Songwriting, Streaming and...
  • Pro performance with great pre-amps - Achieve a brighter recording thanks to the high performing mic...
  • Get the perfect guitar and vocal take with - With two high-headroom instrument inputs to plug in...
  • Low-noise for crystal clear listening - 2 low-noise balanced outputs provide clean audio playback...

It’s physical build is small and it’s very durable, so you can take it with you wherever you like and even record while you’re on vacation. The 48V phantom power means you can use condenser mics. Recordings sound crisp and clear, and you can find the perfect gain setting for your mics and instruments with the gain halos that light up.

The Scarlett Series

The Scarlett 2i2 was first released in 2016. It has all the best qualities of the Scarlett audio interface series – features like the fast USB performance and low latency (as low as 2.74 ms). The improvements over the years have made it even better. These upgrades include better gain controls as well as a more durable and tough construction so it can withstand bumps when moving it around.

With so many added features and plug-ins as well, this interface is a recording artist’s dream. It’s built to give you control over your recordings and productions and ensure that your sound stays true to your vision.

Who Is This Product For?

If you’ve ever dreamed of recording and producing your own music, the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is definitley for you. It’s design makes recording as easy as possible and the USB connection means you don’t need an entire studio to get started. All you need is a laptop or a computer.

It’s particularly useful for singers or songwriters due to the clarity of the microphone preamps – you can keep recording yourself until you get the perfect sound that you’re after. This interface is also suitable for musicians who want to record their guitars or other instruments, like a bass or keyboards.

Because of the two inputs, it’s a great device for a band as you can record two microphones together, such as a singer and guitarist. It’s also ideal for individuals who want to record themselves singing while playing an instrument. For this reason, you have more recording options than if you only had a single input system.

A typical studio layout for the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2

Aside from music, this system is also perfect if you’re a podcaster or a YouTuber. The Scarlett 2i2 gives you control over volume and gain control so you can record interviews or podcasts without fretting over the sound quality. The playback is sharp and pristine as well so you’ll know your audience will hear beautifully clear audio, just as you intended.

This interface is also perfect if you’re making computer-generated music. It comes with free plug-ins to get your creative juices flowing, and the two outputs mean you can connect a pair of high-quality studio monitors to the 2i2. It’s a very affordable device that ensures incredible audio quality.

What’s Included?

Along with the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, the box also includes:

  • USB Cable: Allows you to connect your interface to your computer or laptop
  • XLN Audio Addictive Keys: You can choose one of four keyboard instruments when you purchase
  • Focusrite Red Plug-In Suite: software versions of Focusrite’s classic Red 2 Equaliser and Red 3 Compressor
  • Softube Time and Tone Bundle: four more plug-ins – reverb, relay, mastering and distortion
  • Focusrite Plug-In Collective: Offers tutorials and exclusive information on how to make your music as cool and interesting as possible
  • Ableton Live Lite: Top-of-the-range music production software so you can create your own tracks from your computer
  • Avid Pro Tools Creative Pack: Additional music production software with added benefits and features
  • Loopmasters: 2G of sample libraries from the leading online loop creators

Most of these add-ons are included as downloadable content so you can maximize your recording and production sessions to their fullest. Unfortunately, you won’t get any microphones, headphones, or monitors with this package. These will need to be purchased separately. If you’d like to see exactly what you’ll get, check out this video:

Best 2 Input Audio Interface - Overview of Features

Here are all the features that show how incredible the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is:

  • Compatibility

Windows 7+ or Mac OS X 10+. It can be used on almost all modern computers and will work superbly with no issues.

  • Sample Rates

44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4 and 192kHz. A wide variety of sample rates means you can select just how accurate and detailed you want your music to be, giving you great control.

  • Frequency Response

20Hz-20kHz. Full spectrum frequency response means you’ll achieve a beautifully wide sound.

  • Dynamic Range

109dB. The 2i2 can reach high volume levels so your music can be as loud as you want (and can even be used to play to large crowds).

  • Gain Range

50dB. Gives you more control over your sound production and amplification.

  • Resolution – 24 Bit

Ensures that your recordings are high-quality and maintain clarity and focus.

  • Warranty – Two Years

Any maintenance issues with the 2i2 will be covered by the supplier for an extended duration, so you can trust that your product is fully covered should the worst happen.

Along with these specs that show the impeccable quality of the Scarlett 2i2, it’s important to acknowledge the add-ons that are included in the box as additional features. These bonuses will help you take your music-making to the next level.


Setting up your Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is incredibly easy – you just need to connect the USB cable to your computer or laptop. In order to start using it, you’ll need to be aware of the various features on the interface.

XLR Input

The XLR input is the connection that a microphone requires in order to work. This is the wider circle on the front of the interface.

Jack Input

The jack input is the smaller connection between the two. This is usually the input most instruments require, especially electric guitars and bass guitars. Ensure that you’ve plugged your instrument into the right connection before you start recording.

Gain Control

The gain controller is necessary in order to maintain the signal level on the mic preamp. This setting is important as you don’t want your recordings to distort (which would make the recording unusable).

48V Phantom Power

48V Phantom power is required in order to use condenser microphones. Condenser mics are mainly used for recording vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, pianos, and some drums.

Understanding these basic connections is necessary in order to set up your recording session. If you’d like more information or if you want to know what the other controls do, check out this video.

Alternatives to the Scarlett 2i2

Although the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is already an affordable option, if you’re looking to save money because you only need a single input system, you can try the Focusrite Scarlett Solo. It has all the best qualities of the 2i2 but is only suitable for one microphone or instrument input.

On the other hand, if you’re prepared to spend a little more, you can upgrade your Scarlett 2i2 to the Scarlett 2i2 Studio. This contains the 2i2 audio interface but also includes a variety of other products that are helpful in setting up a home studio. These include:

  • A microphone
  • Headphones
  • Knox studio stand
  • XLR cable
  • Pop filter

If you have no desire to record instruments or vocals and only want to produce computer-generated music, it might be better to consider the PreSonus AudioBox USB 96. This includes Studio One software which is ideal for electronic music production, and it also comes with a great range of additional creative features.

Final Thoughts

It’s no wonder the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is considered the best 2 input audio interface around. It’s one of the best-selling audio interfaces in the world, and it makes recording music a breeze. It includes a variety of additional features so you can make your music as dynamic and unique as possible.

The 2i2 makes it incredibly easy to record and produce your own music so you can share it with the world. Nothing will stand in your way when you get hold of this top-of-the-range unit. The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface will do it all for you.