They may not be the coolest technology you can add to your desktop settings, but the audio interface can unlock so many interesting audio opportunities, it may just be the most exciting one-if you are a complete nerd, that is.
Although a bit more expensive than a real cheap basement option, Solo and 2i2 inside Focusrite Scarlett The series can easily become the best audio interface that enthusiasts can choose.
Focusrite Scarlett Studio Bundle review
The Solo and 2i2 in the Scarlett series have relatively affordable price points and feature sets that are actually suitable for many different use cases, and are easy to recommend.
But just in time for the gift-giving season, they can now be used in the Focusrite Scarlett Studio Bundle, which includes 2i2 or Solo, with an XLR microphone and a pair of monitor headphones, and the price is comparable to high-quality USB microphones.
Although the bundled additional features are very practical-the display is hardly as comfortable as the best headphones around-the audio interface is great, and the microphone is also good, despite the truly simple and streamlined software of competitors without a USB connection.
It is easy to classify a USB microphone as a simple “plug and play” option, and portray XLR as a more professional and refined option. However, in my experience, this is not as dependent on the hardware as the software that comes with the product.
As far as connecting the Focusrite Scarlett to your computer and connecting the microphone, it is as simple as anything else, just add one more layer. When you start implementing things like noise reduction, your use of proprietary audio kits like Yeti X or EPOS B20 provides you with an easier way than delving into third-party solutions.
Here, you can really see that Focusrite is more suitable for music recording than streaming, because what you get with Studio Bundle is a large number of free plugins and an introductory recording workspace-if you are playing music, that’s great, if you want To provide clean audio for your stream.
But on the other hand, although more work needs to be done, you can see it as an opportunity to create a more personalized sound suite for yourself-after all, the whole point of getting XLR lies in the flexibility of a professional level. Even with more advanced options, such as the aforementioned EPOS B20, the accompanying audio software with USB microphone has many shortcomings, where you can immediately focus on combining what suits you.
As far as the value of the Studio Bundle is concerned, even though it is packed in an exciting big box, it will truly become an interesting gift no matter how useful the product is. However, the monitoring headphones and microphones included in the Focusrite Studio Bundle are not Not the best, so if you buy it yourself, you can consider choosing the interface yourself.
However, you won’t be able to buy a better can and a softer microphone for around £70, you just need to choose the small red box, so if you don’t have the right earmuffs or the earmuffs are already connected An XLR microphone, or planning to use it as the only audio expense you make, is not a very bad deal. However, if your budget increases to the additional hundreds of dollars required to buy a more popular XLR microphone and a set of more advanced headphones, then there is no need to pay for your upgrades anyway.
In this regard, it is also worth noting that the microphone that comes with the Focusrite Studio Bundle is a condenser microphone. “Condenser” microphones are more sensitive to noise than the “moving coil” XLR connection microphones people usually choose when streaming, because dynamic microphones are better at eliminating background interference that often occurs in game streaming, such as PC fans or crackling machinery keyboard.
Do you need an audio interface for game streaming?
The simple answer here may not be. You can definitely use a USB microphone to escape, there is a reason, Blue Yeti is ubiquitous in the stream of enthusiasts and professionals.
But for the same reason, there are reasons why audiophiles swear by XLR-connected microphones and reject the more expensive USB option.
Why do you need an audio interface for game streaming?
If you want high-quality audio, but at the same time flexible enough to do interesting things, then you need an audio interface and XLR microphone. For example, if you want to add some silly modulations to your tracks-like simulating the narrator in “Dark Dungeon” or auto-tuning your voice-then having a clean signal will make this easier , This is what many big anchors do.
Many USB microphones are very independent and can only use the bundled software that comes with them, so they can only be as good as the program. With Focusrite Scarlett, you can take your audio to more creative places.
In addition, the general interface, especially the Focusrite Scarlett series, has a direct monitoring function, allowing you to hear the audio signal entering the device. Whether you are podcasting or streaming, this allows you to pay close attention to-or rather listen to-what is happening, so you can adjust the level to prevent the sound from being cut out in the noisy sound, or judge your Can the audience/listeners really hear your significant other singing in the shower upstairs?
In addition to game streaming, both Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 and Solo have instrument input capabilities, allowing you to record your physical instruments into DAW (including) Pro Tools, or use your computer as a basically silent amplifier.
The Scarlett series stands out as an affordable audio interface. If you try to play something with a little chest hair, it will not spoil your instrument signal with absolutely rough distortion-perfect for rock and metal musicians, or guitarists of any style , Bassist, or other musician who wants to take advantage of a large number of excellent free amplifier simulation or effects kits.
Therefore, although you may not want to take advantage of these advantages now, you know that it will not be unusable if you want it in the future.
Do you need Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 or Solo?
When you choose to buy Scarlett 2i2 or Solo, there is no need to worry about the internal structure. Both interfaces have the same quality internal structure, in fact, the only choice you make is whether you need two full XLR inputs or one.
If your use case is to stream or record podcasts with two people in the same room, each with their own XLR microphone, then you need 2i2 to record them at the same time.
But if you are flying…solo…Scarlett Solo has the single XLR input you need, and an additional instrument input that can be used for guitar or similar music producers.
Is the Focusrite Scarlett Studio Bundle worth it?
As we discussed above, although the included headphones are not the most comfortable, you have to buy very second-hand headphones to see a significant improvement at the same price as the Focusrite Studio Bundle.
On the input side, the enclosed condenser microphone is not suitable for busy computer desks. Investing in different dynamic microphones can provide you with better services in noisy environments.
However, having said that, the Scarlett Studio Bundle microphone performs better for me than many other microphones I have tried, especially in terms of additional noise suppression-so it is definitely good enough. But then you have to weigh why you even bother with the audio interface; if you want to provide near-perfect background-free sound for your streaming or podcast, then you might want to look at a dynamic microphone.
At the time of writing, a Scarlett Solo gets you back £90 on Amazon UK,and Studio Bundle sells for more than £160When the most popular standalone XLR microphones cost about £100, and some of them are close to £300, even if you eventually upgrade the accessories, you can see that the value proposition in the bundle is good.