Inside the 2i2

It is that special time where we dive into the internals of arguably the world’s best selling audio interface: The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2. The company, founded in 1985 by Rupert Neve, has been well known throughout the recording industry for making high quality microphone pre-amplifires and audio interfaces.

Today we look at their most recent and most popular contender. Featuring two Focusrite mic pre-amplifires, the Scarlett 2i2 has made it into the hands of many “singer-songwriters” and audio professionals alike. The 2i2 hosts the same microphone pre-amplifiers found in Focusrite’s premium RedNet series of audio interfaces thus providing little compromise in audio fidelity. The interface is class complaint for OS X and Linux and thus can be connected and ready to go without installing any drivers. We are able to record audio at up to 24bits @ 96 kHz, providing us with great headroom and fast sampling rates. All together in a rugged brushed aluminium construction, it is no wonder it is an all time favourite.

Time for the reveal…



Once the screws and plastic nuts were removed from the plastic back-plate it was now time to delve inside to see what makes this unit tick.


In order to eject the circuit board from the aluminium chassis, Alexander Lindo reached for my handy flat head screw driver and gently pried the to plastic latches downward (located at the top front of the unit) and gently pushed the circuit board forward until it was completely out.


On board we have a Cirrus Logic CS4272 codec for all audio conversion duties. The codec is actually able to run at up to 192 kHz but has been “scaled down to 96 kHz to function reliably” on the USB 2 protocol.  Above, we can see the green and red clip LEDs next to the gain knobs. In addition we also have a red LED indicator for 48V phantom power. Beside the two gain knobs we have two Neutrik combo jack connectors which are firmly screwed into the plastic face plate alleviating any stress that may have been placed on the circuit board when inserting an XLR or TRS cable. The connections are gold plated to improve conductivity.

With the 2 Focusrite microphone pre-amplifiers, solid aluminum enclosure and gold plated Neutrik combo jacks I can definitely say that the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is a solid piece of kit.

Published by alexanderlindo

Alexander Lindo is a singer-songwriter, producer, audio engineer, technology enthusiast,  Apple Certified Pro and Pro Tools Certified Operator. Check out his album entitled "1st" available now in all major online music stores.