Native Instruments Komplete Audio 2 vs. Focusrite Scarlett 2i2: Which one is better?


Native Instruments Komplete Audio 2 and Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd gen are similar in their price range, feature, and design. So both of them are equally good, and you won’t miss anything if you choose one between the two.

Still, there are some pros and cons of their own. Let’s see how we came to the above conclusion by comparing the audio interfaces’ different aspects.

Direct Comparison

FeaturesFocusrite Scarlett 2i2Native Instruments Komplete Audio 2
Total I/O2 in/2 out2 in/2 out
MIDI I/ONONo
Bus PoweredYesYes
Resolution24-Bit/192 kHz24-Bit/192 kHz
USB 2.0 portYesYes
Zero latencyYesYes
XLR Input22
MICROPHONE INPUTSDynamic Range
111dB (A-weighted)

Maximum Input Level
9dBu (at minimum gain)

Frequency Response
20Hz – 20kHz ± 0.1dB
Dynamic range (A-weighted) 108 dB

Maximum input level +7dBu

Frequency response 20 Hz – 20 kHz +/- 0.02 dB
LINE INPUTS
Dynamic Range
110.5dB (A-weighted)

Maximum Input Level
22dBu (at minimum gain)

Frequency Response
20Hz – 20kHz ± 0.1dB
Dynamic range (A-weighted) 109 dB

Maximum input level +20dBu

Frequency response 20 Hz – 20 kHz +/- 0.02 dB
INSTRUMENT INPUTS
Dynamic Range
110dB (A-weighted)

Maximum Input Level
12.5dBu (at minimum gain)

Frequency Response
20Hz – 20kHz ± 0.1dB
Dynamic range (A-weighted) 108 dB

Maximum input level +10dBu

Frequency response 20 Hz – 20 kHz +/- 0.03 dB
LINE/MONITOR OUTPUTS
Dynamic Range (Line Outputs)
108dB

Maximum Output Level (0 dBFS)
15.5dBu 


Dynamic range (A-weighted) 106 dB



Maximum output level +12dBu

HEADPHONE OUTPUTS
Dynamic Range
104dB (A-weighted)

Maximum Output Level
7dBu
Dynamic range (A-weighted) 103 dB

Maximum output level +4.2dBu

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2

Sale
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface plus Waves Musicians 2 and iZotope Mobius Filter Bundle
387 Reviews
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface plus Waves Musicians 2 and iZotope Mobius Filter Bundle
  • Exclusive to this Bundle: Waves Musicians 2 ($99 Value) with 6 Indispensable Audio Plugins:Renaissance Compressor, Renaissance Equalizer, Renaissance Vox, Renaissance Axx, Doubler and SuperTap
  • Exclusive to this Bundle: iZotope Mobius Filter ($49 Value) Create fresh filter effects for any genre
  • Two of the best performing Scarlett mic preamps the range has ever heard – now with Air – for miking up guitars or recording vocals. Two high headroom instrument inputs, for plugging your guitar or bass straight in

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd gen comes with a high resolution of 24 bit / 192 kHz and zero latency. It has 2 inputs and 2 outputs, but that can be more than enough for a beginner, or even an expert, considering the high resolution. Scarlett works with a USB 2.0 port and is bus-powered.

Native Instruments Komplete Audio 2

Native Instruments Komplete Audio 2 Two-Channel Audio Interface
488 Reviews
Native Instruments Komplete Audio 2 Two-Channel Audio Interface
  • Easily record audio into your computer
  • Choose from two flavors – same pristine audio quality, different ways to plug in and play back
  • The full package for creating – All the software you need to record and build tracks, plus synths, effects, and more

Komplete Audio 2 also comes with a resolution of 24 bit / 192 kHz and zero latency. Just like Scarlett, it comes with 2in /2 out, and it’s also bus-powered. Audio 2 comes with a very rich software bundle, which is quite surprising due to the affordable price.

Breaking it down

Many things are waiting to be explored with these two interfaces. Let’s look at the design and durability, software compatibility, sound quality, and more. These 2 devices are very comparable in their price range and features, so it will be a hard choice. Let’s get started!

1. Build and design

Design is somewhat important when choosing the right interface, but what is much more important its durability. Your audio interface will have to endure everyday use, and it has to be built to last. In this case, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 seems to have a stronger metallic body than Komplete Audio 2, as it’s also almost double in weight.

When it comes to design, the textured metallic and colorful surface gives Scarlett its trademark look, and the same goes for the sleek and simplistic design of Audio 2.

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2

Focusrite Scarlett series, as the name suggests, comes in a beautiful red color with a nice metallic textured surface. The interface is clean, attractive, and easy to use. Smooth metallic buttons give it extra appeal. Scarlett’s weight is 600 grams ( 1.32 pounds).

Scarlett 2i2 3quart right HR
Native Instruments Komplete Audio 2

Audio 2 comes with a simplistic black design. The body and the buttons come in black. The design and color might not “pop” as they do with Scarlett, but the black color and sleek shape give it charm. Audio 2 weighs only 350 grams (0.79 pounds), making it almost half lighter than Scarlett.

Comparison

When it comes to beauty and design, Scarlett is most likely the winner. Heavier in weight, it gives a feeling of higher durability. If you prefer simple yet beautiful designs, Audio 2 will deliver. It’s completely coated in black, making it more concealed and elegant, especially if you are not a fan of bright colors.

2. Sound quality

When choosing the proper interface, sound quality is one of the most important factors. Two things determine the sound quality, and those are the sample rate and bit depth.

The sample rate represents the ability of the interface to seize and replicate a defined frequency range. The Bit depth determines your device’s fidelity. The higher the bit depth, the higher the sound’s quality (it will be more true to the original).

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 includes two microphone preamplifiers that offer you a natural sound. With a resolution of 24 bit / 192 kHz, it will satisfy even more demanding users. Two jack outputs will allow you to connect to studio monitors. For the price, Scarlett does offer high resolution and an added bonus of zero latency. It’s a win-win.

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

Scarlett 2i2 3quart left HR
Native Instruments Komplete Audio 2

Just like Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, Audio 2 comes with a resolution of 24 bit / 192 kHz and zero latency. With an added pack of software (Ableton live l., Monark, Stellar and Maschine Essentials) is definitely a gem in its price range.

Comparison

Komplete Audio 2 and Scarlett 2i2 3rd gen share the same resolution of 24 bit / 192 kHz, are bus-powered, and come with zero latency. The rich software package gives added value to both of the interfaces. Audio 2 and Scarlett are definitely the best value for money, packing a lot, for an excellent price.

They are appropriate for beginners and even fairly demanding users. The biggest limitation is the number of inputs and outputs, which is the same in both cases (2in and 2 out). That limits it to small studios, solo, and home use. They can be perfect for emerging musicians and those who are beginning to learn the trade.

By the way, have a look at our list of handpicked Audio Interfaces if you want the best bang for different price ranges.

3. Monitoring

Monitoring means the ability of the interface, to send sound signals to the speaker, earphones, or any other device, so the user can listen to the sound, while it’s being recorded.

This quality is measured with latency, and better quality recording interfaces, come with close to zero or minimum latency. Scarlet 2i2 (2. gen) and Audio 2 come with zero latency, which means you won’t miss anything when recording.

That does not mean that latency is actually 0, but it’s highly reduced and, most of the time, not perceivable with a human ear. It’s measured in milliseconds, and most users do not perceive numbers under 5ms.

The latency also depends on your computer’s power and CPU usage and can differ with different operating systems (Windows 7, 8, 10, or variations of MAC). Based on these factors, your latency could be higher or lower. The latency can differ with different software and the power of your computer and sample number (32, 64, 128, 256 samples).

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 comes with zero or minimum latency, and with the highest settings, the latency is under 5ms, which is still under the perceivable threshold for most of the users.

Check out how the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 compares with the Behringer U PHORIA UMC404HD here!

Native Instruments Komplete Audio 2

Just like Scarlett, Audio 2 comes with minimum or zero latency. Like in many other features, it is comparable to Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd gen.

Comparison

Based on their price range, the feature of zero latency is pretty impressive, and you could say that both of the audio interfaces deliver. Regularly updating the drivers on both devices is very important, as it will come with improvements, even regarding latency.

4. Compatible devices and software features

Most of the interfaces come with their own software and are compatible with Windows and Mac. Depending on the device’s release year, it could be compatible with older versions of Windows and Mac, and newer interfaces might require the newest updates. Let’s look at our Audio 2 and Scarlett.

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2

Focusrite Scarlett is powered by one USB cable. It comes with all the needed software for the optimal recording start, including real-life guitar amplifier emulations, Softube Time, Tone Bundle, Ableton live L., its own plug-in suite, and 2GB of samples (Loopmaster).

An example of very low latency, as low as 2.7 ms, was measured at 96kHz with 32 samples, running on Mac Pro. Scarlett will work with Windows 7 or later and a version of Mac 10.7 or higher.

Scarlett 2i2 front elevated HR
Native Instruments Komplete Audio 2

Audio 2 comes with a high- power output and a big knob to easily control the output level. It gives you the option of listening to the playback while you are recording. It comes with Ableton Live (10 lite), Komplete Start, Maschine Essentials, Monark, and Stellar.

It will run on Windows 10 or later, with a power equal to Intel core of i5 or higher. The same goes for Mac; it will run with intel core i5 or higher and the version of Mac 10.12 or higher.

Comparison

Both of these little gems come packed with software that you can use to start recording right away. The zero latency and easy use makes it even more appropriate for beginners and also more experienced users. Both are smaller, portable, and can be taken anywhere you need them.

5. Price comparison

Scarlett 2i2 3rd gen and Audio 2 come at very affordable prices. It’s advised to check with different sellers, as prices can differ, especially in Scarlett 2i2 (2gen).

Scarlett’s price range at different sellers is from 109-190 dollars, which makes quite a big difference. Audio 2 has a more steady price range, going from 120 – 140 dollars.

Pros and cons of Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 3rd gen

Pros

  • High-quality resolution of 24 bit / 192 kHz
  • zero latency
  • bus-powered
  • packed with software for an easy start
  • the best value for money
  • compact and easy to carry
  • sturdy metal and beautifully finished body
  • 48V phantom power.
  • 2 XLR inputs

Cons

  • A smaller number of inputs and outputs
  • no MIDI interface.

Check out to see how the 1st and 2nd generation Scarlett 2i2 compare here!

Sale
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface plus Waves Musicians 2 and iZotope Mobius Filter Bundle
387 Reviews
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface plus Waves Musicians 2 and iZotope Mobius Filter Bundle
  • Exclusive to this Bundle: Waves Musicians 2 ($99 Value) with 6 Indispensable Audio Plugins:Renaissance Compressor, Renaissance Equalizer, Renaissance Vox, Renaissance Axx, Doubler and SuperTap
  • Exclusive to this Bundle: iZotope Mobius Filter ($49 Value) Create fresh filter effects for any genre
  • Two of the best performing Scarlett mic preamps the range has ever heard – now with Air – for miking up guitars or recording vocals. Two high headroom instrument inputs, for plugging your guitar or bass straight in

Pros and cons of Native Instruments Komplete Audio 2

Pros

  • High-quality resolution of 24 bit / 192 kHz
  • zero latency
  • no MIDI
  • bus-powered
  • packed with software for an easy start
  • the best value for money
  • compact and easy to carry
  • 48V phantom power
  • 2 XLR inputs

Cons

  • A smaller number of inputs and outputs
  • no MIDI interface.
Native Instruments Komplete Audio 2 Two-Channel Audio Interface
488 Reviews
Native Instruments Komplete Audio 2 Two-Channel Audio Interface
  • Easily record audio into your computer
  • Choose from two flavors – same pristine audio quality, different ways to plug in and play back
  • The full package for creating – All the software you need to record and build tracks, plus synths, effects, and more

Final verdict

With either of these interfaces, you will get the best value for your money. They are so similar, even their pros and cons look almost the same.

One thing worth mentioning is that both Native Instruments and Focusrite are renowned brands in manufacturing audio interfaces. So regardless of which one you choose, rest assured that you will be purchasing a quality product.

The Scarlett is heavier and might be a little more durable. You can say it’s a little more visually appealing than Audio 2, but only if you like the red color. The textured metal finish gives it some extra appeal.

When it comes to pretty much everything else, these two devices both have 2 XLR inputs, and you can see it in all the features and pros they share. The same range of resolution, bus-powered, zero latency, and packed with useful software.

They both move in a similar price range, but as we mentioned before, it’s good to check with different suppliers, as you might save quite a lot if you spend some time searching.

The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 does have a better dynamic range and maximum input level, and for that reason, it wins on the comparison.

 

Last update on 2021-07-28 / 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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