Chances are if you’re reading our wonderful magazine, then you’re a fan of music. And if you’re reading Gear Rundown, you’re probably into playing music, right? What about recording music? These days it’s easier than ever before to record music – program up some sick drums, lay down some heavy ass guitars, smash out some bass, scream your knacks off and you’ve got a decent sounding song – all without having to get out of bed!

My last review featured the Focusrite iTrackDock, this week we’ll be looking at another Focusrite product; the Scarlett 2i2.

The Scarlett 2i2 is a USB recording interface for PC and Mac, and it’s jammed packed with the good stuff:

  • Easy USB connectivity (even powered by USB)
  • 2 XLR and ¼ inch combo mic pre-amps
  • Switchable 48v phantom power on both inputs
  • Separate Headphone (front) and Monitor (back) outputs
  • Small footprint, takes up very little desk space
  • Extremely portable and great build quality
  • Available in a starter pack with a mic and headphones
  • Highly affordable

Let’s drill down a little more on the mic pre-amps, because they make or break a recording interface. Focusrite are known for making good quality pre-amps, and they have not dropped the ball with the 2i2. They’re the same quality pre-amps you will find in their big-ticket gear. With a quality mic, you can expect clear, punchy recordings, and the 48v phantom power means you can use almost any mic your heart desires.

My only issue is volume. The pre-amps aren’t overly sensitive; needing a real push sometimes to get a good signal. The output volume is also a little low for my liking. In the Scarlett’s defense though, it is USB powered, so I can appreciate that there’s a limit to how much power it can draw.

With that one small gripe about volume (which doesn’t change awesomeness of it), there really is not much to fault with the Scarlett 2i2. I’ve been a fan of mine for about 5 years now and will continue to be a fan, I can’t speak highly enough of them. I’ll use it instead of my RME rack gear if I’ve got a simple remote job to record – it doesn’t just do the job, it does a great job!

Whether you’re curious about recording music and don’t want to drop a fortune on gear, or you’ve been doing it for years – you owe it to yourself to check out the Scarlett 2i2.