If you’re out on the market looking for a quality interface, you’re probably going to bump into PreSonus and Focusrite models sooner or later.
These brands have set the bar in the industry with exceptional mixing consoles and pre-amps, so today we’re pitting them against each other – we’re going to see how PreSonus’ AudioBox fares against Focusrite’s Scarlett 2i2.
Essentially, both of these consoles are amazing – they’re easy to use, they come outfitted with exceptional quality hardware, but most importantly, they’re professional consoles that don’t cost too much. So, without any further ado, let’s get to it.
Presonus Audiobox in a nutshell
The PreSonus Audiobox is a bus-powered audio interface with two combo inputs, zero-latency monitoring, and several virtual DAW software rigs.
In terms of sound customization, it’s not as versatile as the Scarlett 2i2, but it’s generally compatible with all modern recording software and offers excellent performance for the buck.
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 in a nutshell
The Scarlett 2i2 is one of the best-selling interfaces and has been for quite a while.
It packs two Scarlett microphone preamps, superb converters, two instrument inputs, and a plethora of virtual rigs you can use to model and tailor your sound as you see fit.
It comes supplied with ProTools, Ableton Lite, Focusrite Creative Pack, the Red Suite, and Softube ‘Time & Tone’ bundle, which means that you don’t even need your own amps and rigs – it has everything you need.
One of the best things about audio interfaces such as Scarlett 2i2 and AudioBox is the fact that they’re of tremendous value to practically anyone involved in music. You can be a guitar player, a singer, a producer, the tech guy – it doesn’t really matter, these audio interfaces will fit your needs.
Now, let’s narrow it down – are these interfaces better suited for beginners, someone a bit more experienced, or downright professionals?
The PreSonus AudioBox is relatively simpler to use simply because it packs a more modest effects rig.
The Studio One DAW features 26 plug-ins (instruments and certain effects), so navigating one interface instead of a dozen is generally easier. However, experienced musicians and professionals for that matter wouldn’t mind the extra versatility of the Scarlett 2i2. This doesn’t necessarily mean that AudioBox is best for beginners, but it seems like it is.
The Scarlett 2i2 comes outfitted with Pro Tools, Focusrite Creative Pack, the Ableton Lite, Softube Time & Tone Bundle, and the Red Suite. This means that there are so many tones, effects, and models for you to choose from that your head might spin for a while. However, you don’t need to use them all – you simply have this option.
This leads us to the conclusion that AudioBox is generally better for beginners, while Scarlett 2i2 is perfect for guitarists and sound technicians and engineers of all skill levels.
Feature bundles, accessories, and options
The AudioBox supports up to 96 kHz sample rate, which is considerably inferior to Scarlett 2i2’s 192 kHz. It comes supplied with downloadable Studio One DAW software, which is pretty neat, but again Scarlett has the upper hand because it comes supplied with Pro Tools, Ableton Lite, Softube Time, & Tone bundle, and the Focusrite’s Red Suite. In terms of sound customization, the 2i2 is undoubtedly superior.
The next set of features involves preamps. Presonus’ AudioBox features two combo pre-amps, which is basically the same as Scarlett’s 2i2. However, the minor difference is that the 2i2’s preamps provide a bit more headroom because they’re rocking the ‘Air’ technology. Again, Scarlett’s 2i2 wins the round.
The last set of features revolves around connectivity, and this round is basically tied. Both PreSonus AudioBox and Scarlett’s 2i2 are USB audio interfaces that boast zero latency performance.
Both PreSonus AudioBox and Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 are considered as ‘budget’ audio interfaces. Of course, both brands have substantially more expensive models in their catalogs, and in comparison to them, these two are ridiculously cheap.
Be that as it may, the AudioBox is quite cheaper than the Scarlett 2i2. If money is the most definitive factor for you, PreSonus AudioBox might be a better option. However, investing a bit more or waiting around until you’ve had the money for Scarlett 2i2 isn’t a bad choice either – it’s not that more expensive, and it certainly won’t inflate in terms of price anytime soon.
Pros & Cons
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So far, most people would be under the presumption that Scarlett’s 2i2 is superior to AudioBox. The truth is that it is, but only by hair’s length.
The Scarlett 2i2 is only ‘slightly’ better than AudioBox in pretty much every aspect of performance – it comes with a bigger number of virtual rigs, its pre-amps are slightly more reliable, and it supports higher sample rates.
Even though the 2i2 might be slightly better than AudioBox, the latter is still a formidable piece of technology. The AudioBox works like a charm in the hands of a beginner, but Focusrite is still a bit better since it’s perfect for musicians of all skill levels.