Not so long ago, quality microphones and audio interfaces used to cost a lot. But the rapid technology development has allowed us to get recording gear at more affordable prices. If you are now looking for a decent budget-friendly audio interface, there are two models that may have taken your interest: PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 vs Focusrite Scarlett 2i2. These two products are available in a similar price range. So, what are the differences between them? Which one is better for you?
Design and Connectors
PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 comes with such a portable design. This is a great audio interface for traveling musicians. As usual, it features a blue control panel. On the front side, there are two combo ports for mics/instruments. Next to these ports are control knobs for adjusting the gain levels of the two channels, a knob for the mixer, a knob for the main, and a headphone volume control. The mixer knob is used to blend the input signal with a computer playback for zero-latency monitoring.
PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 is bus powered. It can provide +48V phantom power for condenser mics. It has a USB port, two balanced ¼” main line outputs, one stereo headphone output, and MIDI I/O.
Just like what the name suggests, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 also features two input channels and two output channels. The overall design is very neat and well-organized. On the front side, you can find two analog inputs for mics/instruments. There is also a headphone output. The two outputs are on the rear panel, along with the USB port. This model is also bus powered. However, this model lacks the MIDI I/O, which is only a problem if you really need to use MIDI. (See also : Presonus AudioBox 22VSL Vs Focusrite Scarlett 2i2)
Both of these two products come bundled with software applications and programs that can greatly benefit you and help you get started faster. If you are interested in the Studio One software from PreSonus, PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 makes the way to go. This software is known as an excellent DAW. It also comes with the Studio Magic Plug-In Suite.
On the other hand, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is also packed with good software. It comes with Focusrite Creative Pack, Ableton Live Lite, Focusrite Red Plug-In Suite, Softube Time and Tone Bundle, 2GB Loopmasters samples, and monthly Focusrite Plug-In Collective Offers.
Both PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 vs Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 are affordable, budget-friendly models, so there won’t be such a large margin of difference in terms of sound quality. However, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 has a slight lead here because the company is known for making high-quality amps. There are also many users who claim that the sound quality of Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is better, with better clarity and less noise.
PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 Vs Focusrite Scarlett 2i2
|PreSonus AudioBox USB 96||Focusrite Scarlett 2i2|
|Key features||- This bundle includes: 1 x Presonus AudioBox USB 96 Audio Interface 1 x Samson SR350 Over-Ear Stereo Headphones
- 24-bit/44.1, 48, 88.1, 96 kHz USB audio recording interface bundled with PreSonus Studio One 3 Artist
- Two microphone/instrument preamps
- Switchable 48V phantom power
- Balanced 1/4" TRS phone outputs||- Class-leading conversion and sample rates up to 192kHz / 24 bit. Frequency response-20 Hz - 20 kHz ± 0.1dB
- Super-low roundtrip latency was measured at 2.74ms, working at 96kHz with a 32 samples buffer on Logic Pro X, running on a Mac Pro and OS 10.11
- 1/4-inch balanced jack outputs to connect professional studio monitors; one headphones output with gain control|
|Customer ratings*||n/a||4.0 out of 5.0 stars|
|Best deal*||Save Money Please click here||Save Money Please click here|
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If you don’t need MIDI, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is the way to go. This audio interface has slightly better sound quality. It also comes with decent software. However, if you need MIDI or if you prefer to work with Studio One, PreSonus AudioBox USB 96 is the way to go.