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Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 (Second Generation)

USB 2.0 audio interface for Mac® and PC

1 Review | 1 question - 1 answer

Item # 880SC2I4G2

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Overview

Our take on the Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 (Second Generation)

Who's the perfect customer for Focusrite's newly redesigned Scarlett 2i4? It might be someone who just needs a simple interface for laying down tunes on their computer in their basement studio. Or it might be a musician who uses their DAW software in live performance situations. Then again, it might be a DJ who's looking for an interface that'll work great with their laptop software. The versatile Scarlett 2i4 is powered by your computer's USB port, and its sleek, compact metal chassis makes it easy to take with you wherever the music is going to happen.

A versatile interface that's ready to travel

Who's the perfect customer for Focusrite's newly redesigned Scarlett 2i4? It might be someone who just needs a simple interface for laying down tunes on their computer in their basement studio. Or it might be a musician who uses their DAW software in live performance situations. Then again, it might be a DJ who's looking for an interface that'll work great with their laptop software. The versatile Scarlett 2i4 is powered by your computer's USB port, and its sleek, compact metal chassis makes it easy to take with you wherever the music is going to happen.

Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 computer audio interface

The compact Scarlett 2i4 is great for live performance and recording situations, and even DJ setups.

Faster, better performance

This interface's super-low latency makes it easy to use software effects like vocal reverb or guitar amp simulation in real time, whether you're recording or performing live. (Zero-latency monitoring of dry input signals is also available via the front-panel "Direct Monitor" fader.) Another major improvement in this second-generation Scarlett interface is a better mic preamp design, which offer more even, precise gain adjustment. Plus, Focusrite has improved the headroom of the direct instrument input to cleanly capture stronger signals, like really hot electric guitar pickups.

Inputs for your audio sources

Two combination inputs on the front panel can accept XLR cables from dynamic or condenser microphones, and 1/4" line-level signals from drum machines and keyboards. They can also be switched to a high-Z instrument input, for direct connection of an electric guitar or bass. The rear panel sports MIDI in/out ports for connecting compatible gear. Select phantom power for the mic inputs using the front-panel 48-volt selector.

DJ-ready

In addition to rear-panel 1/4" outputs for a pair of studio monitors, the 2i4 gives you two pairs of stereo RCA outputs. These are designed so DJs can connect this interface to their own DJ mixers. This lets you output separate signals from DJ mixing software so you can perform crossfades to blend songs together and keep the party going.

An impressive list of bundled software

The Scarlett 2i4 is designed to work flawlessly with all major DAW software, but if you're just getting started, you'll appreciate that this interface comes bundled with Avid Pro Tools® First as well as Ableton Live Lite. You also get newly designed Focusrite Control software for intuitive control of your mixing and monitoring setups. The bundled software package also includes the Focusrite Red Plug-In Suite, Novation's Bass Station Virtual synthesizer, and 2GB of Loopmasters samples.

Product Highlights:

  • computer audio interface with 2 input and 4 output channels
  • 2 newly redesigned Focusrite mic preamps offer low noise, high headroom, and evenly distributed gain
  • redesigned direct instrument input signal path offers improved headroom, so it can handle seriously hot electric guitar pickups
  • super-low latency lets you record and monitor with software effects in real time
    • roundtrip latency as low as 2.74ms
  • RCA outputs for use with DJ mixers and software
  • new, intuitive Focusrite Control software for configuring your mixing and monitoring setups
  • bundled software includes Avid Pro Tools First, Ableton Live Lite, Focusrite Red Plug-in Suite, and more
  • supports sample rates up to 192kHz
  • analog circuitry protects inputs and outputs from common mishaps, like plugging an output into a console with phantom power or shorting a mic input when phantom power is engaged
  • sleek, durable metal chassis
  • powered by your computer via USB
Connections:
  • 2 front-panel XLR/TRS switchable mic/line/instrument inputs with 10dB pad for use with microphones, electric guitars and basses, keyboards and drum machines
  • MIDI input/output for use with an external MIDI controller
  • two pairs of stereo RCA outputs for connection to DJ mixers
  • two 1/4" balanced analog outputs for connecting powered studio monitors
  • 1/4" headphone output with source switch (outputs 1 and 2 or 3 and 4)
  • USB 2.0 port for connection to a computer
General Features:
  • 24-bit analog-to-digital/digital-to-analog conversion with sampling rates of 44.1/48/88.2/96/176.4/192kHz
  • Direct Monitor fader offers a custom mix of direct monitoring of analog input signals and returning digital signals from recording software
  • mono summing switch for stereo monitor signals
  • illuminated halos around gain knobs indicate signal clipping
  • USB cable included
  • supported operating systems: Windows® 7 (64-bit), Windows 8.1, and Windows 10; Mac OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) and 10.11 (El Capitan)
  • 8-5/16"W x 2"H x 5-7/16"D
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • Audio interface (2-in/4-out)
  • 44" USB cable (Type A USB on one end and Type B USB on other end)
  • Important Safety Instruction
Reviews

Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 (Second Generation) Reviews

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Hands-on research

Product Research

Features
Specifications

Features

2nd Generation Overview: The Focusrite Scarlett line of USB audio interfaces is the best selling in the world. The second generation Scarlett products are still housed in a red anodized aluminum chassis, and feature upgrades to make your recordings sound even better. The new interfaces feature super-low latency to let you record and monitor your performance with software effects in real time. Scarlett 2nd Gen products have new metal volume controls, and now operate at sample rates of up to 192 kHz. The new Scarlett mic preamps have more gain structure to let you more accurately set your levels. At the same time, the redesigned instrument inputs have more head room to make it easier to record electric guitar without clipping. The new generation interfaces also have new analog protection circuitry across the inputs and outputs to guard against unwanted power surges.

Scarlett 2i4 (2nd Gen): The Scarlett 2i4 (2nd gen) is a 2-in/4-out USB recording interface, which allows you to record audio onto a Windows or Macintosh computer. The Scarlett 2i4 is recommended for soloists, songwriters, DJs, or stereo recording. It has 2 analog inputs, 2 balanced outputs, 2 unbalanced outputs, MIDI in and outs, and a headphone output with volume control. The 2i4 comes with a USB cable and free software via download.

Mic Preamps: The Scarlet 2i4 2nd gen features two high-quality Focusrite mic preamps with combo connectors that accept either XLR or 1/4" plugs. The rotary input level controls have unique gain "halo" indicators that change color to let you know if you have a good signal (green) or clipping (red). The award-winning Focusrite microphone preamps feature plenty of headroom and 48V phantom power when using condenser microphones.

Line Inputs: The combo connectors can be used to connect line-level devices via XLR or 1/4" plugs. The Scarlett 2i4 (2nd gen) does not have a "Mic/Line" switch because the preamplifier stage is automatically configured for a microphone when you plug an XLR into the input, and for a line or instrument when you connect a 1/4" plug. The line inputs will accept balanced or unbalanced inputs.

Instrument Inputs: The front panel inputs can be used for connecting an instrument, such as a guitar. They will accept TRS (balanced) or TS (unbalanced) plugs. You can set the front panel inputs to Instrument or Line by using the Line/Inst switches on each input.

10dB Pad: A 10dB pad may be inserted in each of the input signal paths, controlled by independent "Pad" buttons. The pad increases the headroom of the input stage and is used to reduce the input signals that are "too hot." The red "Pad" LED indicator glows when the pad is selected.

MIDI Ins/Outs: Two standard 5-pin DIN sockets are provided for connecting external MIDI equipment. The Scarlett 2i4 (2nd gen) serves as a Break-out / Break-in Box or Hub for routing MIDI data in and out of your computer, for distribution to other MIDI devices. When MIDI data is received at the MIDI IN port, the green "MIDI" LED will illuminate.

Direct Monitor: Direct Monitoring allows you to hear the output of the 2i4 without having to go through your computer (with possible latency effects). A front panel rotary control lets you control the balance between the input signal and the DAW playback. A Stereo/Mono switch lets you choose whether the inputs are summed to mono for monitoring.

Computer Interface: The Scarlett 2i4 (2nd gen) connects to your Windows or Macintosh computer via a USB 2.0 or 3.0-compliant USB port. The interface is compatible with the following operating systems:

  • Windows 7 (64-bit)
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows 10
  • Mac OS X 10.10 (Yosemite)
  • Mac OS X 10.11 (El Capitan)

Included Software: Focusrite Scarlett interfaces come with Pro Tools/First recording software, which features the main features of Pro Tools 12 in an entry level package. All of the bundled software is available via free download with the code key included in the box. An Internet connection is required for downloading the software. The Scarlett 2i4 (2nd Gen) includes the following software:

  • Pro Tools/First
  • Focusrite Red 2 & 3 Plug-in Suite
  • Softube Time and Tone bundle
  • Ableton Live Lite
  • LoopMasters sample library
  • Novation Bass station
  • 2i4 USB Drivers for Windows
  • Multi-language User Guides

Specifications

Supported Sample Rates: 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, 192kHz

Inputs: 2 x XLR / 1/4" combo jacks (Mic/Line switch: automatic; Line/Instrument switch: manual)

  • Microphone Input:
    • Frequency Response: 20Hz to 20kHz (±0.1dB)
    • Dynamic Range: 106 dB (A-weighted)
    • Gain Range: 50dB (-4dB to +46dB)
    • THD+N: <0.002% (minimum gain, -1dBFS input with 22Hz/22kHz bandpass filter)
    • Noise EIN: -126dBu (A-weighted)
    • Maximum Input Level: +4 dBu
  • Line Input:
    • Frequency Response: 20Hz to 20kHz (±0.1dB)
    • Dynamic Range: 106 dB (A-weighted)
    • THD+N: <0.003% (minimum gain, -1dBFS input with 22Hz/22kHz bandpass filter)
    • Gain Range: 50dB (-21dB to +29dB)
    • Maximum Input Level: +22 dBu
  • Instrument Input:
    • Frequency Response: 20Hz to 20kHz (±0.1dB)
    • Dynamic Range: 106 dB (A-weighted)
    • THD+N: <0.002% (minimum gain, -1dBFS input with 22Hz/22kHz bandpass filter)
    • Gain Range: 50dB (-4dB to +46dB)
    • Maximum Input Level: +13dB

Line Outputs: 2 x 1/4" (balanced), 4 x RCA (unbalanced)

  • Frequency Response: 20Hz to 20kHz (±0.2dB)
  • Dynamic Range: 106 dB (A-weighted)
  • Maximum Output Level (0 dBFS): +10 dBu (TRS); +5.5 dBu (RCA)
  • THD+N: <0.001% (Line Outputs 1-2); <0.008% (Line Outputs 3-4) (minimum gain, -1dBFS input with 22Hz/22kHz bandpass filter)

Headphone Output: 1 x 1/4"

  • Dynamic Range: 106 dB (A-weighted)
  • Maximum Output Level (into 32Ω): > +7.8 dBu
  • THD+N: <0.001% (minimum gain, -1dBFS input with 22Hz/22kHz bandpass filter)

Dimensions: Width 8.255", Height 1.994", Depth 5.437"

Weight: 1 pound 14.4 ounces

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

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Customer Q&A

1 question already asked

If you purchased the product from Crutchfield, feel free to contact our Tech Support team. They can walk you through the settings on the product and see if there may be a fix. Our toll-free Tech Support number is printed on your invoice, and is also available under the "My Orders" tab in the "My Account" section of our website. If you did not purchase the unit from Crutchfield, then you may want to contact the manufacturer. [ Krissy  Mar 25, 2018 ]  Staff
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