Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 has been around for a while and is one of the most popular entry-level audio interfaces available today. Audient EVO 4 is a relatively new audio interface but increasingly gaining popularity.
And in this article, we’ll discuss the similarities and differences between the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 and the Audient EVO 4 in great detail to help you decide which option to go for.
|Focusrite Scarlett 2i2||Audient EVO 4|
|Price||Check Current Price on Amazon||Check Current Price on Amazon|
|Line Input||2 (XLR/TRS)||2 (XLR/TRS)|
|Line Output||2 TRS||2|
|Headphone Output||1 Stereo||¼” TRS|
|Display||No||Yes ( 1 Multi-Segment LED Meter)|
|Sample Rate||192 kHz/24-Bit||96 kHz/24-Bit|
|Direct Monitor Switch||Yes||Yes|
|Solo/Mute||No||Yes ( Per Input Channel, Master)|
|Included Software||No||Yes (Cubase LE)|
|Power||USB Bus Power||USB Bus Power|
|Connection Type||USB 2.0 Type-C||USB 2.0 Type-C|
|Dimension||(6.89 x 3.89 x 1.87)”||(5.51 x 2.64 x 2.64)”|
|Weight||1.0 lb||12.7 oz|
Similarities Between Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 vs Audient EVO 4
Number and Type of Inputs and Outputs
When you look at the inputs and output channels on the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (on Amazon) and Audient EVO 4 (also on Amazon), you will notice that they both have the same type and number of inputs and outputs. Both audio interfaces come equipped with two input channels and two output channels.
The two input channels on the Scarlett 2i2 and EVO 4 are a combo XLR ¼” port. You can plug in either an XLR jack or ¼” jacks directly into them. Both inputs also have microphone preamps built into them.
All input channels also have a phantom power supply, and that means you can plug a condenser mic into any of the inputs on both audio interfaces.
The output channels on both audio interfaces are line outputs. And they are meant to be connected to your studio monitors.
In addition to the inputs and outputs, both audio interfaces come with a single headphone output that comes with direct monitoring. This means that the signal input your headphones receives is the exact signal sent directly to your audio interface. And this solves the issue of latency when you’re recording.
Difference Between Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 vs Audient EVO 4
Although both are similar in many regards, there are lots of differences between them. In summary, here are the difference between the Audient EVO 4 and the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2
- Audient EVO 4 has Class-A preamps; Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 has Class-B preamps.
- Audient EVO 4 has a software app that allows you to control the audio interface remotely; Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 doesn’t have
- Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 has Air Mode; Audient EVO 4 doesn’t have a similar feature.
- Audient EVO 4 has a loopback feature; Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 doesn’t
- Audient EVO 4 has Smartgain; Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 doesn’t have a similar feature.
Let me explain, in detail, what all of these differences and unique features mean, starting with the preamps.
As I mentioned earlier in this article, the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 and the Audient EVO 4 both have two input channels with built-in preamps. Even though both audio interfaces have built-in preamps, the quality of their preamps is not the same.
The Audient EVO 4 audio interface comes with better-quality preamps than the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2. This Audient EVO 4 audio interface is equipped with two class-A preamps that have an impressive noise floor and produce great sound.
However, this does not mean the sound produced by the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is terrible. Not at all. Focusrite Scarlett preamps sound excellent and capture the sound exactly as it is with less to no coloration at all.
And the Scarlett 2i2 is arguably the most popular audio interface available today. Many hit records have been recorded with their preamps. So, without a doubt, Focusrite Scarlett’s preamps sound great.
The only reason why Audient EVO 4 preamps sound better than Focusrite Scarlett 2i2’s preamps is that Focusrite Scarlett preamps are class-B preamps. However, this preamp is a class-B preamp. Thus, even though it produces great sound as well, it does not sound as amazing as that of the Audient EVO 4.
The sound quality produced by the Audient EVO 4 is slightly higher than that which is produced by the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2. You can notice this when you plug your headphones or monitors into them and listen to the sound that is produced.
Every audio interface has converters built into them. There are two converters in the audio interface. There is the Analog-to-Digital Converter (or ADC), and there is the Digital-to-Analog Converter (or DAC). We have an extensive article on how these converters work in audio interfaces. Feel free to check it out.
Essentially, these converters in audio interfaces are responsible for turning the analog audio signals that come in into digital signals for the computer and vice versa.
The converters found in both audio interfaces are great. However, those found in the Audient EVO 4 are of much better quality than those found in the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2. The Audient EVO 4 is equipped with higher-performance converters with a dynamic range of 113dB.
Due to this, recordings done with the Audient EVO 4 can be heard clearly and do not contain any clicks.
On the other hand, recordings done with the 2i2 tend to have occasional clicks and pops. These pops and clicks are barely noticeable unless you pay very close attention to hear them. So, honestly, this isn’t a dealbreaker.
Thankfully, these occasional pops and clicks present in recordings made with Scarlett 2i2 have been fixed in newer models of the Scarlett 2i2, specifically the 3rd gen. I had to mention it just in case you’re planning to buy a used 2nd generation or lower Focusrite Scarlett 2i2
The Audient EVO 4 has all-inclusive control software that comes along with it. This control software is the EVO Control App and is compatible with both Windows and macOS.
The EVO control app features all the relevant settings and allows users to adjust settings without touching the Audient EVO console. Thus, the presence of this app allows you to control the Audient EVO 4 remotely from the computer.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2. This is because the Scarlett 2i2 does not have any control software. Thus, it does not allow its users to control it remotely.
Air Mode on Focusrite Scarlet 2i2
This 3rd generation Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface has a unique feature known as the Air mode. This Air mode is a feature that is incorporated into the microphone preamps of the Scarlett 2i2 to help it produce a clean sound.
It’s an emulation of Focusrite’s popular classic ISA 110 mic preamp, which was very popular back in the day. With the Air Mode on the Scarlett 2i2, you get more clarity on the overall sound output. Check out this short demonstration of the Air Mode.
Unfortunately, the Audient EVO 4 does not come with this Air mode feature or any feature that bears a resemblance to this. It is worth noting that older Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 models do not have this Air feature in them as well. You will get this feature only on the 3rd generation Focusrite Scarlett 2i2.
Smartgain on Audient EVO 4
The Audient EVO 4 also comes with an amazing feature of its own known as Smartgain. This Smartgain function is an automatic level setting function that helps users to set the gain accurately and quickly without facing problems regarding distortion and clipping.
With Smartgain, all you need to do is press the button while singing or playing. The EVO 4 will automatically detect the right input level when this button is pressed. This automatic gain level setting speeds up the process of recording significantly.
Check out a demo of the Smartgain feature in the video below.
Unfortunately, the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 does not have this Smartgain automatic level setting function. Therefore, with this audio interface, all gain settings must be done manually. Thus, if you have problems setting gain levels, you might end up spending lots of your time getting this right.
Loopback Feature on Audient EVO 4
Loopback is a feature on audio interfaces that allows you to pass audio from one application to the other. If you’d like to learn more about it, I highly recommend you check out my article on the top audio interfaces with loopback feature.
As an example, this is the feature widely used by YouTube reaction video makers to record their computer’s system audio. Many twitch streamers also use it to capture the game’s audio and stream it simultaneously. And it’s increasingly becoming popular since more content creators are coming up.
Audient EVO 4 has a loopback feature that makes it incredibly easy to capture audio from one app to the other.
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 doesn’t have this feature. Loopback is only included in Scarlett 4i4 or higher, but you won’t get this feature on the 2i2.
Which One Should You Buy? My Opinion
In my opinion, these two audio interfaces are pretty close in terms of performance and quality. They have a lot of similarities as well. However, I honestly think you should choose the Audient EVO 4 over the Scarlett 2i2. And there are several reasons why I’d choose the Audient EVO 4 over the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2
This is because the smart gain function that works to automatically set input gain for optimal recording levels is impressive.
The first reason why I would go for the Audient EVO 4 is the Smartgain function. With this feature, all you need to do is press the button while singing or playing. The EVO 4 will automatically detect the right input level when this button is pressed.
Thus, you don’t even need to worry about clipping or to set your input gain too low. This function helps to speed up workflow. Those who have problems setting gain levels will find this particularly useful.
Another point is that the Audient EVO 4 is so simple to use and does not need much tweaking to set it up. This audio interface comes with a one-knob design located at the center of the interface that serves as the main control and an LED metering that is accurate and clear.
This is unlike the Scarlett 2i2, which has a flashing LED and many small buttons and knobs.
On top of that, The EVO control application that comes with the Audient EVO 4 tilts the odds in its favor. This PC application enables users to access and adjust controls and settings without having to physically touch the audio interface’s hardware. The software also gives you access to all the loopback settings for
With this, you can control your audio interface remotely. Unfortunately, this is not possible with the Scarlett 2i2 since it does not come with any control application.
All these notwithstanding, one thing that stands out from the Scarlett 2i2 is its impressive Air Mode. As you may have already heard in the demo, Air Mode drastically improves the clarity of your vocals when it’s engaged.
However, that can easily be achieved in post-production by using an EQ plugin.
The only negative thing about the Audient EVO 4 is its plastic body. However, this shouldn’t be a problem so long as it is not subjected to frequent physical impacts.
These two audio interfaces are among the most affordable audio interfaces you can come across. However, you should not underestimate their performance based on their price tag. This is because both devices offer you great value for your money.
However, the Audient EVO 4 actually costs far less than the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2. The Audient EVO 4 has also received glowing reviews from people who have had the opportunity to use both audio interfaces. They attest that the Audient EVO is a huge improvement over the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2. Therefore, you should go in for the Audient EVO 4.