Most helpful customer reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful.
Solid audio interface with multiple free programs!
By Jonathan Episcopo
This is a very sturdy audio interface, made of beautiful brushed aluminum (Please correct me if I am wrong, but it looks and feels like aluminum). It is great for anyone looking to increase the quality of their microphones audio. It includes phantom power for those microphones that do require it. I also love the fact that it comes bundled with multiple products. It comes with Pro tools first, Ableton live 9 lite, drum loops, scarlet plugins, and a plethora of other audio goodies (which if purchased separately would cost more then the audio interface itself costs) The packaging itself was very appealing, and was easy to open. My only gripe is that the headphone jack requires a 1/4 inch jack, and i don't have a 1/4 inch headphone, so it would have been nice if scareltt included in the package an adapter so that I could use my normal 3/4 jack headphones. I also noticed that the live monitoring does not seem to be very loud, even when turned up to maximum volume. Overall this is a solid and portable audio interface that is perfect for those looking to record on the go, as it was designed to take some abuse. If you own a mac it is plug and play, but if you own a windows pc, you do have to download the drivers from the companies website, but once you do, your ready to go! Happy recording everyone!
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful.
A Great USB Audio Interface After Driver Updates, But Get the 2i2 Instead
After using my microphone, The Audio-Technica ATR2100, for a while, I decided I wanted to up my voiceover game by getting a nicer mic. I finally settled on the Shure SM57 after using the Shure SM58 for a while. Both of those are dynamic microphones, which provided the tone I was looking for, and both use an XLR interface. So in order to use those, I needed a USB audio interface.
I did plenty of research before purchasing, but I should have done a tad bit more before buying. I'll come back to that, but first the review of the scarlett solo 2nd gen.
The unit came well packaged. It's double boxed, having a plain brown outer cardboard box, with the fancy, full-colored, glossy product box inside. In the box is the scarlett solo 2nd gen unit, manual with download codes for the included software (which I have no need for; I record directly into OBS Studio and Audacity) and usb cable. The usb cable is thin and a fair bit too short, so I highly recommend getting a longer cable, six feet or so. That said, I had no issues with the included cable.
The unit itself is very well built and has some heft to it. The casing is red anodized aluminum and feels very solid and not hollow. All of the knobs and switches are equally solid. The knobs especially, feel great when adjusting. There's no roughness in their rotation and they have a decent amount of resistance so you can make very fine adjustments without fear of overdoing it. The adjustment switches don't have any excess wiggle nor do they feel cheaply made. The XLR, instrument, headphone, usb and rca jacks all accept their appropriate cables snugly with no play. There's wide, flat rubber feet on the bottom that keep the unit in place with minimal slipping.
When plugged in, there's a small green led indicating usb power. When the 48v phantom power is activated, the button lights up in red. Not blindingly so, as the button is translucent, so the light is diffused to a gentle glow. Around each gain knob is a ring that lights up (green indicating a signal is present, red indicating clipping) when an attached microphone or instrument produce sound. The ring is frosted like the phantom power button, so when lit up, the light is even all the way around and diffused and not blinding. This is an ingenious implementation of monitoring your levels while recording and easily one of my favorite features of the solo.
Installation was extremely easy; I downloaded the Windows 10 usb driver from focusrite's website (note that you do NOT have to register anything to download the driver), plugged in the solo to my pc with the included usb cable and it was ready to go. I plugged in my XLR cable, Cloudlifter CL-1, another XLR cable (needed when using the cloudlifter) and SM57. The solo records at up to 24bit 192 kHz, but I never felt the need to go higher than 24bit 48 kHz.
At first, everything was working great; with the cloudlifter I only need the gain knob at around 25%. My voice comes through loud and clear with little to no noise. But after a while of use, usually 1-3 hours, the audio would start to distort and become garbled. I'd hear it through my headphones, and my neice, who I was playingan online game with at the time, heard it on her end as well. Unplugging and plugging back in the solo would be a temporary fix, but the problem did persist. I saw reading the reviews that it was an issue others were having as well, and that there was a focusrite rep (Chris Ready, a very polite and helpful gentleman) commenting and trying to get to the bottom of the issue. After emailing back and forth with the rep for a bit, I downloaded the most recent driver and the problem now appears to be fixed. So as it is now, it's working very reliably, which is an absolute necessity for streaming and recording.
Now that said, It's very hard to recommend the solo over the Scarlett 2i2 2nd Gen. The 2i2 is $50 more, but worth it for a few features that stand out, one big one in particular. First, the inputs on the front are slightly different; there's two combo inputs that accept both XLR and 1/4" plugs, rather than the single XLR and 1/4" inputs on the solo. Second, the inputs on the back are 1/4" balanced TRS as opposed to the unbalanced rca inputs on the solo. Not a huge deal, but an improvement nonetheless. Finally, and the main reason I should have done a bit more research, the volume knobs for the monitors and headphones are separate on the 2i2, while on the solo a single knob controls both. I do use my headphones a lot (beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro 80 ohm), but I have a set of emotiva 6s on the way. With the solo, if I want to use just the headphones, I'll have to reach behind each speaker and turn them down/off, since using the volume knob on the solo controls the volume for both the monitors and the headphones. With the 2i2, I can simply turn down whichever I won't be using.
So while the solo is great, but simple, audio interface, save those extra pennies and go for the 2i2 instead.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful. See all 135 customer reviews...
By E. J. Howlett
I have been playing guitar for over 50 years. I started doing home recording back when the only thing you could use was a 4 track. I was one of the first purchasers of Fostex's 4 track cassette decks. I work with Logic Pro X now on my MacBook Pro. I have been using an M-Audio Fast track for years, and figured an interface is an interface. When using the M-Audio, I had to run the mic and bass, etc, through a Tube pre-amp. I purchased this on a whim, thinking that it would be nice not to have to use the Tube.
To be frank, I am pleased and amazed. No latency issues at all. Crystal clear sound. Plug and play, no hassles and an unbeatable price. The unit is very sturdy, and looks good as others have noted, but who cares about that, the sound and ease of use for Mac is all I care about.
I don't need multiple inputs, since I do one track at a time, and like it that way. If you are like me, and use Logic, this is a great buy. I express no opinion about using this with a PC, since you have to download drivers and stuff like that. Avoiding all of that is why I have a Mac.