Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 vs Behringer U PHORIA UMC404HD: Which One Is Better?


For the music lover who loves to spend some time sound mixing, getting a USB Audio Interface is almost compulsory when you want to set up your own recording studio at home.

An audio interface receives your external audio input and delivers it into your computer or any other device you are recording to.

It serves as a bridge between the microphone or any other similar device and your computer, helping you convert the analog signal from the mic into digital recorded audio data.

Knowing the functions of an audio interface, you should get a top-quality one that will perform its function fully and deliver high-quality recordings, among other important requirements. Getting it wrong can be a total nightmare, which is why you must ensure that you know all the basic functions and features to look out for.

With so many options, types, and brands available on the market, picking the right audio interface can be a little bit of a challenge. It’s even a lot harder for an amateur, especially when you don’t know the basic things to look out for when choosing a top-quality audio interface.

And therefore, we did an article on some of the best audio interfaces for different price ranges to make it easier for you. Now, let’s move on to the tech specs comparison.

Tech Specs Comparison

FeaturesFocusrite Scarlett 2i2Behringer U PHORIA UMC404HD
Total I/O2 in/2 out4in/4out
MIDI I/ONOYes
Bus PoweredNOYes
Resolution24-Bit/192 kHz24-Bit/192 kHz
USB 2.0 portYesYes
Zero latencyYesYes
MICROPHONE INPUTSDynamic Range
111dB, A-weighted

Maximum Input Level
9dBu (at minimum gain)

Frequency Response
20Hz – 20kHz
Dynamic Range 100 dB, A-Weighted

Maximum Input Level -4dBu

Frequency Response 
10Hz – 50kHz
LINE INPUTSDynamic Range
110.5dB, A-weighted

Maximum Input Level
22dBu (at minimum gain)

Frequency Response
20Hz – 20kHz
Dynamic Range 
100 dB, A-Weighted

Maximum Input Level 20dBu

Frequency Response 
10Hz – 50kHz
INSTRUMENT INPUTSDynamic Range
110dB, A-weighted

Maximum Input Level
12.5dBu (at minimum gain)

Frequency Response
20Hz – 20kHz
Dynamic Range 
100 dB, A-Weighted

Maximum Input Level 3dBu

Frequency Response 
10Hz – 50kHz
LINE/MONITOR OUTPUTSDynamic Range
108dB

Maximum Output Level
15.5dBu 
Dynamic Range 
100 dB

Maximum Output Level 
3dBu
HEADPHONE OUTPUTSDynamic Range
104dB, A-weighted

Maximum Output Level
7dBu
Dynamic Range 
100 dB, A-Weighted

Max Output Level 
3dBu

The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 and the Behringer Umc404hd are two low-budget audio interfaces you can go for, especially if you are on a budget. However, you would like an interface that can still deliver professional-quality recordings. Both devices come at a very affordable price, and they are just functional enough for personal or professional usage.

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2

It is a versatile tool for recording professional sounding audio anytime and anywhere. It plugs into your PC with a USB plug, and you can connect your audio devices be it a mic or a guitar. By using its mic pre-amp and the instrument input, you can record a vocal and a guitar simultaneously if you want to.

This USB powered 24bit/192kHz audio interface delivers top-rate conversion so that your recording is clear and crisp with super-low latency even with soft playing.

Check out what the best microphone is for the Focusrite 2i2 here!

Behringer U PHORIA UMC404HD

BEHRINGER Audio Interface, UMC404HD (UMC404HD)
7,357 Reviews
BEHRINGER Audio Interface, UMC404HD (UMC404HD)
  • 4x4 USB 2.0 Audio/MIDI interface for recording microphones and instruments
  • Audiophile 24-Bit/192 kHz resolution for professional audio quality
  • Compatible with popular recording software, including Avid pro tools, Ableton live, Steinberg Cubase, etc.

On the other hand, it is also cheap and affordable and can also deliver professional-quality recordings with very high resolution and sample rate. It is also USB powered and provides a responsive plug and play option for your MIDI devices and Mics.

This functional audio interface delivers optimum support for your sound production. It has four high performing preamps, as well as studio-standard digital sampling with computer-based DAW.

While both devices are unique and perform excellently, you might want to check the outcome of their features and compare them before deciding which of them to go for. Here are some basic features you might want to consider.

Breaking It Down

For our comparison of these two audio interfaces, we shall be putting side by side their important features such as build and design, quality of sound produced by both of them, monitoring, as well the compatibility of each of these two with computers and the software features that come with the pack.

At the end of the day, we should establish which of them should be a preferred alternative based on the different criteria compared.

1.Build and Design

When buying an audio interface, you need to look out for build and body design. Even though you should take functionality over a fancy appearance any day, you must consider the build, which goes a long way in determining your audio interface’s durability.

The position of the knobs, buttons, and keys and their strength and tactility is important. Generally, it would be best if you went for an audio interface with a sturdy build with well-positioned and fully functioning keys.

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2

Focusrite is popular for making visually attractive audio devices, and the Scarlett 2i2 isn’t an exception. While it looks very much like the first generation, it differs a little by some controls’ position. It has a red anodized aluminum casing, which is pretty solid and can serve some heavy-duty functions.

You can find more details on 1st gen and 2nd gen 2i2s here.

Focusrite has two outputs for connecting to speakers and a USB port on its rear panel. The two input ports allow connecting to a microphone and the other port for connecting to the guitar all on the front panel. The front panel also has one output port for headphones and a direct monitoring switch.

Behringer U PHORIA UMC404HD

The UMC404HD is also small and compact. With a solid and compact build as well. Both devices are portable and suitable for use on the go. The Behringer Umc404hdalso has very stable knobs, jacks, switches, and buttons that provide smooth adjusting.

The input playback cable options include an XLR cable, an RCA, and a ¼ inch TRS cable. It also has MIDI I/O built-in for easier connection to a Guitar or keyboard

Comparison

The input and output port is one area that they both clearly differ from each other. Like the Focusrite, the ports, switches, and knobs of the Behringer are housed on the front and rear panels. However, it has 4 input ports and 4 output ports on its panels, unlike the Focusrite Scarlett with just two.

While both interfaces have excellent build and body design, we will have to give it to Behringer here basically because it comes with more input and output ports. (winner: Behringer)

2.Sound Quality

This is perhaps the most important feature of your audio interface and is dependent on several factors. The most important metrics determining your Audio interface’s overall sound quality are the sample rate and bit depth.

The bit depth’s value determines the level of fidelity of your interface, while its ability to capture and reproduce a range of frequencies depends on the sample rate. The higher the bit depth, the more the audio reproduced will sound like the original.

A resolution value of 16-bit/24 kHz is okay for personal recording. Still, more professional recording, you should go for an interface with a minimum value of 16-bit/44.1 kHz. Still, the ideal Resolution value you should consider for full professional-grade recording should be 24-bit/96 kHz and above, especially if you will be recording complex music tracks like jazz.

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2

According to its Manufacturers, the Focusrite is designed especially for the guitarist. It allows you to play as loud as you want without worrying about your recording getting distorted. It can also pick up vocals and record loud and clear audio with little or no noise.

Check out what the best microphone is for the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 here!

Behringer U PHORIA UMC404HD

The UMC404HD, on the other hand, features 4 MIDAS-designed mic preamps with advanced functionality, which help produce smooth and clean sound at very low latency. While the Scarlett has only one mic Preamp, both Audio interfaces can deliver studio-quality recordings.

Comparison

For sound quality, both can convert the analog signal to digital at the same maximum bit of 24-bit and resolution of up to 192 kHz. This allows you to record clear and crisp sound even at very low frequencies while eliminating any hissing or buzzing sound. This helps both interfaces to provide professional results in both studio and live environments. So they are similar regarding the highest achievable sound recording quality. (winner: Draw)

Here is an example comparison.. thought you would love it..

3.Monitoring

Your device’s monitoring refers to its ability to allow the user to listen to the signal you input into the interface. Usually, a good quality audio interface should provide direct monitoring with zero or near-zero latency. This way, the input signal is sent straight to the headphone and line output and the Digital Audio workstation while recording at the same time.

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2

The Scarlett offers round-trip latency, which is as low as 2.74ms. This allows you to work on your workstation for playback and overdubbing without delay for both devices. However, it lacks separate volume control for the headphones.

Behringer U PHORIA UMC404HD

The Behringer interface comes with a Mix control switch to tune to reduce latency to the bare minimum. Its headphone output has its own control and a monitor A/b Source select, which comes in handy for DJ-style cueing.

Comparison

Both offer excellent monitoring with a guarantee of low latency. However, Behringer’s headphone output can be controlled independently of the main output gives it an edge over the Scarlett 2i2. (winner: Behringer Umc404HD)

Check out to see how the Behringer 1820 compares with the Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 here!

4.Compatible Devices and software Features

This is important, especially if you will be using your audio device together with a DAW on a laptop; you need to consider its compatibility with your Windows or Mac Pc as well with different types of DAW software.

This is sometimes referred to as its usability and varies from one device to the other. However, most good Audio interfaces come with their own software pack and should be compatible with a wide range of DAW software.

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2

You can plug the Focusrite directly into your Mac and start using it immediately, but you will have to install an ASIO driver first when using it with a windows device. It supports systems with Windows 7 and higher and Mac OS X 10.10 and higher OS versions. The Focusrite Scarlett comes with the Focusrite creative pack and other software packages such as Ableton Live Lite, Pro tools, etc.

Behringer U PHORIA UMC404HD

BehringerUmc404hdsupports only Mac OS X PC and Windows XP or higher. The Behringer also comes with its own range of software, loaded with many recording and editing features such as the Traction software package that you can download from Behringer’s official website and is a great Digital Audio Workstation that works great for music creation and sharing. (winner: tie)

Final recount

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2: 2/4

Behringer UMC404HD: 3/4

Pros and cons Focusrite Scarlett 2i2

Pros

  • Sturdy compact build with an attractive design
  • Specially designed for guitarists
  • Direct monitor switch

Cons

  • It has a single knob for monitoring both the headphone jack and the main output

You will get muddled sound when you use outdated drivers, but you can solve it by simply updating the driver.

Pros and cons Behringer U PHORIA UMC404HD

Pros

  • Small and compact design
  • Four MIDAS-designed preamps
  • Four input-output ports
  • No need for an external power source

Cons

  • A single phantom power switch for all the four channels
BEHRINGER Audio Interface, UMC404HD (UMC404HD)
7,357 Reviews
BEHRINGER Audio Interface, UMC404HD (UMC404HD)
  • 4x4 USB 2.0 Audio/MIDI interface for recording microphones and instruments
  • Audiophile 24-Bit/192 kHz resolution for professional audio quality
  • Compatible with popular recording software, including Avid pro tools, Ableton live, Steinberg Cubase, etc.

Final verdict

Based on all the features and qualities compared, they both have their pros and cons. Behringer UMC404HD has more input and output ports, which offer more functionality, but the Scarlett 2i2 improves sound recording quality. Moreover, they both perform quite well and have the essential controls.

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is also an excellent choice and performs very well in all the criteria compared and is the more affordable option.

On the other hand, if you are willing to spend the extra few dollars on Behringer’s added functionality, you could also go for it. It is a popular choice with experienced musicians.

So, be the judge for yourself – a better sound quality or more functionality and more channels.

You can also have a look at our Recommended Audio Interfaces.

Last update on 2021-10-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Vinnie

I'm Vinnie, and I'm here to support you to create your own studio at home, whether it’s for photography, recording audio, podcasts, or videos!

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