If you are looking to get started with the basic setup and simply want to connect your XLR microphone to the computer, you might end up looking at one of these audio interfaces. Focusrite Scarlett audio interfaces are extremely popular considering the price point, versatility, and high value.
However, if you’re new to all this, it might get overwhelming to choose the right, even between the Focusrite series.
In this article, I want to give you a comparison of two Focusrite audio interface models: Scarlett 2i2 and the Scarlett Solo, so at the end, you have a pretty solid idea of which one you would prefer to buy for your musical endeavors.
Size - Dimensions / Weight
If portability is a concern, Scarlett Solo is a smaller size interface, thus more portable. You can see the exact dimensions and weight in the table below.
Dimensions: 6.89 x 3.89 x 1.87″ / 17.5 x 9.88 x 4.75 cmWeight: 1.0 lb /470.0 g
Dimensions: 5.65 x 3.77 x 1.71″ / 14.35 x 9.58 x 4.34 cmWeight: 0.7 lb / 318.0 g
Layout Similarities and Differences
If you look at the back of both devices, you can see that their setup is pretty similar. You have a left and right line-level output, a USB-C cable that will connect to your computer, and the Kensington lock slot for safety.
The main difference is in the front part of the device. Both are equipped with a large knob to control the line-level outputs on the rear of the device. They both have a headphone jack, and they offer direct monitoring as well.
On the Scarlet Solo, you have an XLR mic level input. You get Phantom power for that mic level input. So if you have a condenser microphone, you can turn that on or off. You need it if you have a condenser microphone. You do get the Focusrite air switch that boosts the upper frequencies for your mic level input. And you get your control for that mic level input. Next to it, there is a quarter-inch input that works for both instrument level and line-level inputs. And you can toggle it using the instrument level button.
On Scarlett solo, you can easily multi-track record. For example, you can play your Guitar and at the same time record your vocals through an XLR. However, with Scarlett solo, you can’t connect two microphones or two line level or instrument level inputs. That’s where Scarlett 2i2 comes into play.
Scarlett 2i2 is very similar to the Scarlett Solo, where you do get the instrument and line-level control over the quarter-inch jacks. You get this air switch that you can add to the XLR mic level input. And you can add Phantom power if you’re using a condenser microphone. But where this thing outperforms Solo is you can do a lot of stereo recording. It comes in handy if you have a two-person podcast and you want to connect two microphones.
If you’re using an instrument that needs a stereo recording with two microphones, you can do that with this device. If you’re recording a stereo input source like an electric keyboard, where you want the left and right recorded separately for the post panning, you can do it with two quarter-inch inputs from the keyboard.
Other than that, the preamps are identical in both. The interface with the green blinky ring around both ends is the same as well. It responds the same way.
In terms of price, you can check the comparison between the two by clicking the links
Price: Scarlett 2i2 vs Price: Scarlett solo
These interfaces are sold by combo kits as well that include a condenser microphone and headphones on top of the selected audio interfaces. The combo kits are of a high value as well, however, you can still find other decent options cheaper.
Buy Scarlett Solo if
You’re doing a one-man/woman podcast, voiceover work (where it’s just you), or if you’re a singer-songwriter and want to record your instrument through a quarter-inch jack and a microphone into the XLR jack.
Buy Scarlett 2i2 if
You want to experiment with your home recording studio, want to have multiple people recording at the same time, do the stereo recording, or record a small band, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 will enable you to do so.