Focusrite Scarlett VS Clarett Interface. The Essential Guide

This is our comparison between the Focusrite Clarett vs Scarlett Interface range.

Regarding audio interfaces, Focusrite has two strong contenders. Both offer impressive capabilities with numerous high-end features in a compact package, making them excellent choices for producers, engineers, and musicians.

However, the Clarett range offers ADAT light pipe and digital formats for larger recording projects and improved low-noise mic preamps compared to the Scarlet series. With its better specifications, enhanced sound quality, and increased connectivity options.

The Clarett range is our preferred choice regarding overall interface performance.

Our in-depth post will help you explore both features and make an informed comparison if you’re trying to decide between these two products. 

We’ll examine their capabilities, sound quality, connection types, compatibility with different systems, and portability options.

So let’s get started by diving into our Focusrite Scarlett VS Clarett comparison.

The Key Differences: Focusrite Scarlett VS Clarett Interfaces

1. Higher quality mic preamps on the Clarett, than on the Scarlett audio interfaces

2. The Clarett has expandability, while the Scarlett does not

3. The Scarlett models provides a wider variety of options to choose from

4. The Air feature on the Clarett gives it an extra punch in terms of sound quality

The Focusrite Clarett offers users an upgrade from the Scarlett in terms of tonality. Its mic pres are higher-end, and its expandability and audio specs exceed those of the Scarletts’. Plus, it adds a unique sonic flavor with the Air – which simulates classic studio microphones right inside your interface! More about the Air Feature below.

However, don’t overlook that more variety is available within the more affordable Scarlett range.

Both models provide excellent performance overall, so depending on individual needs or budgets, either could be well-suited to music production tasks.

The Focusrite Scarlett Range for the recording artist

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2

The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd Generation is a USB audio interface device designed for recording and producing music on a computer. It features two microphone inputs with Scarlett preamps, two instrument inputs, and a headphone output. This 3rd generation Scarlett 2i2 also features improved audio performance, lower latency, and a more compact design compared to previous models.

Focusrite Clarett audio interface the best audio interface

Focusrite Clarett

Clarett 2Pre is a USB audio interface designed to provide high-quality audio recording and playback for home and professional recording studios. The interface is equipped with two mic preamps and 24-bit/192kHz AD-DA converters for accurate and detailed sound reproduction. Additionally, it features USB-C connectivity for compatibility with a wide range of devices and computers.

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface

The Focusrite Scarlett interfaces, perfect for home studio

Main Features

The Focusrite Scarlett audio interface range features high-performance 24-bit/192kHz converters, two upgraded 3rd-generation Scarlett mic preamps with an optional Air setting to reproduce the Air effect of Focusrite’s original ISA mic preamps.

Four Focusrite mic pres, 18 inputs, and 8 outputs, two independent headphone output each with a level control, and a rugged metal unibody chassis.

The Focusrite Scarlett range is designed to be highly versatile, with models suitable for both home recording studios and professional setups. From the entry-level Solo model to the flagship Scarlett 18i20 model, there’s something in this lineup for everyone.

The Scarlett Suite

The Focusrite Scarlett Suite is a great way to improve audio quality in the studio. It features an extensive selection of hardware and software tools for recording, mixing, and mastering sound. 

You can quickly create professional-sounding results with easy-to-use features like direct loopback, intuitive interfaces, and real-time DSP monitoring.

This suite also gives you access to Pro Tools | First software, allowing you to build beats and complete vocal takes from anywhere using your laptop or desktop computer.

The Focusrite Scarlett has broad compatibility with almost any digital audio workstation (DAW), making it a powerful choice that works in virtually any type of production environment. 

The Focusrite plug-ins allow you to craft your sounds precisely as desired – so forget about spending hours manually trying to edit digital sound files! 

By choosing Focusrite Scarlett technology, you are guaranteed high-end productions that’ll your music sound very professional.

This expansive collection of plug-ins – from compression, gating, and EQ to reverb – is designed for studio tracking or mixing.

With its striking red anodized aluminum look and intricately modeled VU meters, it has a premium feel complemented by recent updates that make this suite even more powerful than before.


Good sound quality with low noise and distortion levels

Versatile connectivity options: Portable and compact design

USB-powered, no need for an external power source

Two XLR/1/4″ TRS inputs for connecting mic, guitar, and other instruments

Comes with software and plugins to enhance recording and production.


Limited inputs, not suitable for larger recording setups

Some users have reported compatibility issues with certain computers

Can get hot during extended use

Limited bundled software options compared to other models

Higher price compared to some other options in the same category..

Focusrite Clarett+2 Pre Audio Interface

Focusrite Clarett Interface ideal for the music producers

Main Features

The Clarett+2 offers converters up to 119dB of dynamic range, delivering low noise and distortion. 

Additionally, it has low latency I/O with support for iOS devices via USB. This makes it the perfect choice for on-the-go recording applications. Low latency is your friend!

The Clarett audio Interface also features four mic preamps with plenty of gain that you can customize using the included Air mode switch. The ‘Air’ effect is a beloved sound produced by combining microphone coupling, transformer balancing, and high pass filter on an ISA mic pre-input.

This allows you to add a subtle tone to your vocal recordings, giving your takes vibrancy and clarity. 

Plus, there are two line/instrument inputs – handy if you’re connecting any guitar or keys rig. 

Lastly, the Clarett has a range of professional software and plug-ins specifically designed to maximize its output potential – these will surely make all the difference in your productions!

The Clarett Suite

The Focusrite Clarett Suite provides music makers with an acclaimed range of USB audio interfaces. From the 4-pre to 2-pre models, it allows users to capture their creative ideas in studio quality sound. 

Plus, this suite grants access to a professional Red Plug–in Suit from Focusrite and Addictive Keys’ virtual instrument library by XLN Audio – giving artists limitless possibilities for production!

The Focusrite Clarett Suite is a great way to enhance your audio recording setup. 

It features an innovative design with an ultra-low latency USB audio interface, Air mode enhancing the clarity of digital audio recordings, incredible low-noise preamps with immense headroom and sound clarity, plus advanced gain settings for extra control. 

It also includes Drawmer S73 intelligent mastering processor and Sevenhugs Smart Remote, which combines remote control and robotic automation into one powerful product.

This suite allows users to monitor and mix in real-time to ensure their recordings are coming out just as they envisioned. 

In addition, the Focusrite Clarett Suite is extraordinarily reliable and durable due to its sturdy construction.

It will easily integrate into existing systems without issue – so ultimate productivity levels can be reached quickly and efficiently.


High-quality audio conversion: Pristine and accurate audio conversion with a 24-bit/192kHz resolution.

Versatile connectivity options: Supports USB, Thunderbolt, and Pro Tools | HD connectivity.

Low-latency performance: Enabling real-time recording and processing.

Expandable system: Offers additional preamps, making it suitable for large recording setups.

Software bundle: Ableton Live Lite, Focusrite Red Plug-in Suite, and Softube Time and Tone Bundle.


Price: May be considered expensive for some users.

Does not offer built-in DSP processing, requiring external processing for some effects.

Limited number of inputs: Only offers 8 inputs, which may be limiting for some users.

Requires a high-powered USB port to function, which may not be available on all computers.

Limited warranty: Only comes with a 1-year warranty, which may be considered short by some users.

Scarlett vs Clarett Sound Quality

Technical comparison.

The primary sound quality difference between these two devices is that while the Scarlett models use easy connectivity and low-noise preamplifiers, the Clarett goes above and beyond with ultra-low noise preamps, class leading dynamic range, and up to a whopping 119db of conversion quality at sample rates of up to 24-bit/192khz.

Those seeking a more personal impression have reported that Clarett yields a fuller sound and greater depth than Scarlett. 

Understanding your project’s and budget’s individual needs will help you determine which interface will work best for you.

The Clarett is sure to turn heads with its superior sound features, including high headroom, minimal distortion, and noise, plus higher specs than the Scarlett series – all delivered at an attractive price tag!

The more affordable Scarlett range promises neutral sonics with reliable drivers as an appealing choice.

USB Powered Interfaces. The Downside

USB-powered interfaces offer convenient connectivity between multiple devices and a computer but may require an upgrade or extra power supply to handle the higher energy drain. 

They can strain your computer with their added power consumption and provide less efficient data transfer rates than traditional ports.

Furthermore, bandwidth limitations in USB can lead to issues with audio data transmission due to interference. At the same time, it cannot provide higher data transfer rates than traditional ports such as PS/2 and serial, which capably facilitate the fast movement of information. 

Additionally, peer-to-peer communication is not supported by USB technology, making it useful for specific applications only.

Maximum Microphone Input Level

Focusrite interfaces offer varied maximum input levels, with preamps providing between +10dB and +60dB of gain for microphones. 

The Saffire and Scarlett ranges provide slightly less gain (+55db max), while high-end ISA units are capable of up to 80 dB of total amplification capability.

Air Mode Explained

Focusrite’s Air mode will transform your recordings, adding an extra layer of sonic flavor. 

It imparts a lush and airy sound – similar to the iconic Focusrite ISA 110 preamps – while also seasoning with analog distortion for added character. 

Easily accessible on all new recording interfaces from Focusite, it can give vocals or instruments an instant boost in brightness!

This feature can be used on every Focusrite interface, from the Scarlette 2i2 audio interface up to Clarett 4pre models.

The ‘Air’ function has been exhaustively tested using precise frequency response curves, making it an ideal tool for transforming recordings and inspiring creativity while tracking.

Advantages of the Focusrite Clarett Interfaces over the Scarlett Models

More Channels:

The Clarett range offers more channel inputs than the Scarlett, allowing for a wider variety of complex and intricate recordings.

Higher Sample Rates:

The higher sample rates available on the Clarett range (up to 192 kHz) provide low latency monitoring and detailed and vivid sound quality.

Low Latency Monitoring:

This allows for recording and playback with virtually no delay or lag time.

Vivid Sound Quality:

With higher sample rates come greater detail in sound, making for brighter and clearer recordings, even at low volumes.


With both PCIe and Thunderbolt ports available, users can quickly expand their setup with additional hardware such as preamps and converters.


The range is compatible with Windows 10 and Mac OS X devices running El Capitan or later versions.

ADAT Expansion Card:

For extra I/O expansion, the ADAT card lets you connect up to 16 additional digital channels via an optical connection to external digital devices.

Advantages of the Focusrite Scarlett over the Clarett Range

Better Value For Money:

You get more bang for your buck with the Scarlett range lower prices when compared to the Clarett range.

Easier Setup And Operation:

The user interface is designed to be simple and intuitive, so setting up your setup isn’t complicated or time-consuming.

Simple Interface Layout:

All main functions are accessible from one window without navigating complex menus or settings.

Dedicated Volume Control Buttons:

A dedicated volume control knob makes it easy to adjust levels without making settings changes in the software first.

Intuitive Software:

The included software suite comes with multiple useful features that allow users to easily record their tracks in high quality audio formats such as WAV or MP3 files.

Compatible With iPad Devices:

The Scarlett range can seamlessly connect devices such as iPads and iPhones via a Lightning cable (not included).

About Lee

Lee has been playing guitar for over 25 years. In the 1990's he made a few TV appearances in London and supported a few big bands at festivals. He's recently sung on radio and worked as a full-time guitarist/singer. Lee is the founder of Authority Guitar, a site where he wants readers to enjoy every aspect of learning the guitar.