Focusrite’s compact audio interfaces are well established and much-admired, and these third generation Scarletts are great examples of their sleek design and solid build at an entry-level price. From a practical standpoint, bus-powered USB interfaces mean they really are plug-in-and-play devices. With brushed red metal chassis fronted by black mirrored plastic, the Scarlett features solid control knobs, satisfyingly snug buttons and minimalist line-level LEDs that complete the ergonomic elegance of both these units.
The 2i2 (RRP £149) is supremely portable with its two inputs, headphone-out and pair of stereo outputs on its back panel. The 4i4 (RRP £199) adds an additional pair of inputs on the rear, as well as boasting four outputs for sophisticated monitoring options. Focusrite also include a generous download package from their website, including Ableton Live Lite and Pro Tools First, plus their own Red plugin suite and their Focusrite Control monitoring software.
Out of the box, it’s simplicity itself to get up and running, with crystal clear audio over studio monitors, as well as recording a pristine sound from guitars and basses plugged in direct. Taking advantage of the 4i4’s additional outputs, we were able to route the audio to a bass amp with no discernible latency.
If you’re in the market for an affordable but high-quality audio interface, then these stylish units should be high on your list.