Elgato Wave XLR Vs Focusrite Scarlett Solo

An audio interface like Elgato Wave XLR Vs Focusrite Scarlett Solo are necessary to connect your XLR input to the computer. They are suitable for small studios and broadcasting setups. Both models are affordable and capable, with powerful preamps and additional features. However, there are some notable differences that you may want to know. Before deciding on the option, let’s see what they can offer below.

In this comparison, we are going to talk about:

  • Do You Need an Audio Interface
  • What are Elgato Wave XLR and Focusrite Scarlett Solo
  • How is the Design of Elgato Wave XLR and Focusrite Scarlett Solo
  • How are the Input & Output in Elgato Wave XLR and Focusrite Scarlett Solo
  • How are the Specs of Elgato Wave XLR and Focusrite Scarlett Solo
  • What else Elgato Wave XLR and Focusrite Scarlett Solo can offer
  • Elgato Wave XLR Vs Focusrite Scarlett Solo

Audio Interface

Most of us are working with computers nowadays because there are many things we can do with this smart device. From making documents to animation, almost everything is possible with a capable computer. But, not all equipment we need can directly connect to the machine without a converter. Microphones and instruments like electric or acoustic guitars typically use XLR and TRS jacks that require a specific connector to plug in. Computers don’t have these connectors, which makes the audio interface necessary.

An audio interface is not just a connector but also a converter, similar to a headphone DAC, but it works backward. You want to spend on a good interface because the audio quality from the computer’s sound card is not up to your standard. The interface converts the signal from your microphone into a format the computer or software can understand. They also come with a monitoring feature where you can connect a monitoring headphone or studio speakers. The interface has a USB cable to connect to the computer or other smart device.

While an audio interface is necessary, not everyone will need to buy one. Nowadays, many microphones use a USB port or cable, such as Blue Yeti, so they don’t need the XLR port. If you only use one microphone and wish for the best convenience, a USB microphone is ideal. But, if you want to use or already have an XLR microphone, the same with a condenser, then an interface is vital. To make the condenser microphone work, we need phantom power in your interface.

 Elgato Wave XLRFocusrite Scarlett Solo
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Product Dimensions3.46 x 4.65 x 3.31 inches
3.77 x 5.65 x 1.71 inches
Shipping Weight10.6 ounces1.1 pounds

About Elgato Wave XLR and Focusrite Scarlett Solo

We assume that an interface is a must in the setup if you are here. The audio interface is not expensive, and many are around $100 or even less, depending on the model and brand. We recommend sticking to the well-known names because they have better product quality and large communities to help troubleshoot or give you some tips later. It is also wise to check what you need from the interface and match it with the options.

For those who only use one input, and it is an XLR microphone, the Elgato Wave XLR, and Focusrite Scarlett Solo are two ideal options to consider. We are sure most people are familiar with the Scarlett family because they are extremely popular for the budget option and very reliable for most applications. The Wave XLR is a reasonably new entry from Elgato, and this interface is marketed for broadcasting purposes. It is similar to the Scarlett Solo but offers some features that you can’t find on the latter.

They are suitable for broadcasters who want a simple setup and an affordable interface. You may want to note several differences between Elgato Wave XLR and Focusrite Scarlett Solo, and one of them is the input. As the name suggests, Wave XLR only has a single XLR connector, while the Solo has an XLR and line input. Depending on what you want to use the interface with, it can be crucial to decide. Both have 48V and can use a condenser microphone.

The Elgato Wave XLR and Focusrite Scarlett Solo are also suitable for users with a dynamic microphone like SM7B because they can drive the microphone without a cloud lifter. Currently, the Wave XLR is more expensive than Scarlett Solo, but its features justify the price gap.

Elgato Wave XLR and Focusrite Scarlett Solo Design

Before going into the main part, let’s see the unit first. Solo is very compact because it only has one XLR port. If you need two preamps, we suggest checking the big brother in Scarlett Solo Vs 2i2. Aesthetic is probably the last thing you think about when buying an interface, but Scarlett models are always pleasing. The bright red metal housing is pleasant to look at, and this third-generation model has better knobs and switches.

The Wave XLR is even smaller, and it has an exciting triangle design. The back panel is where you can find the XLR port, and controls are placed on the front and some on the top. The build quality of Wave XLR is plastic, so it feels less premium than Solo. However, the knob is sturdy and huge for the best comfort. Like the Solo, there is LED light around this knob and what’s interesting is you can change it via software. None come with XLR cable, so you have to purchase them separately.

Elgato Wave XLR and Focusrite Scarlett Solo Inputs & Output

Next, let’s see the input and outputs in Elgato Wave XLR and Focusrite Scarlett Solo. Starting with Scarlett Solo, you will find a single XLR port and a line input; the 2i2 has two XLR combo ports. Each of these inputs has its gain setting, and below, you can see a phantom power button for the microphone and an Air button for the feature. Below the line’s gain, you have a button to switch to the instrument. The largest knob here is for monitoring adjustment.

The monitoring can be through a headphone jack at the front or speakers at the back—a button on top of the headphone’s connector to activate the direct monitoring. On the back, Solo has line outputs and USB power. On the other hand, Elgato put all of its ports on the back, where you can find an XLR mic input, 3.5mm mini-jack for monitoring, and USB for power. The control system uses a large knob at the front and a touch button at the top.

The capacitive button at the top is for muting the microphone. It has no feedback as it is touch-sensitive. Turning the main knob will adjust the level of main gain, mix, or headphone volume. Pushing the knob will bring you to the mode options, and a long push will toggle the phantom power.

Elgato Wave XLR and Focusrite Scarlett Solo Specs

Next, let’s see the general specs of Elgato Wave XLR and Focusrite Scarlett Solo. You will need a Windows PC with at least Win 10 64-bit or Mac OS 10.15 and later edition to use Wave XLR. The frequency response is from 20Hz to 20kHz and has a dynamic range of 100db or 120db with the clipguard engaged. The input noise is -130dbV @60dB gain while the gain range is up to 75dB. With the clipguard engaged, its maximum input level is 10V, while the maximum output level is 77mW.

The Wave XLR is recording at 24-bit and has a sample rate of 48/96kHz. On the other hand, the system requirement for Scarlett Solo 3rd generation is Win 7 or newer. They have stopped updating the system for both Win 7 and Win 8.1. For the Mac users, it supports from Mac OS 10.13.6 High Sierra to the newer updates; it seems you can still use it with older computers with the previous OS, including Yosemite 10.10.5. The microphone input has a frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz.

Solo also has a high dynamic range of 111Dba and very low noise at -128dbu. The maximum input level for the microphone is 9dbu at the minimum gain range, while the gain range is 56db. As for the sample rate, Solo can record at a maximum 192kHz and resolution of 24-bit.

Elgato Wave XLR and Focusrite Scarlett Solo Features

The Elgato Wave XLR and Focusrite Scarlett Solo also have some features or technologies. The Wave XLR has a clipguard which is very helpful to make your audio better. The feature intuitively reroutes audio through a separate signal path to keep the audio levels clean. For example, the signal usually clips when you speak loudly or scream right on top of the mic, but it is not an issue with clipguard. Wave also applies a filter to help remove low-frequency noises in your audio.

On the other hand, Scarlett Solo has an Air button that emulates the Focusrite’s original ISA mic preamps. This setting will boost the mid-high frequency range and add high-end detail to your sound or make it sound “airy.” The Air technology is analog, so there is no latency, and this setting is suitable for human voice and recording instruments.

Elgato Wave XLR Vs Focusrite Scarlett Solo

Both Elgato Wave XLR and Focusrite Scarlett Solo are good audio interfaces for broadcasting, but they are also different. The performance is equally good, and we have seen them work well with a dynamic microphone that is low in sensitivity like SM7B. They are also very quiet, so there is no noticeable noise from the device. Both have dedicated software that can provide lots of functionalities. But, the Solo also provides line/instrument input and balanced output. We also think that the interface of Solo is more intuitive than Wave XLR.

- Premium XLR to USB-C connection
- Use the Wave Link app to mix Wave XLR with multiple audio sources, plus create two independent mixes
- Proprietary Clipguard technology prevents microphone distortion
- Up to 75 dB of ultra-low-noise gain amplifies insensitive mics
- Pro performance with the finest pre-amps - Achieve a brighter and a more open recording thanks to the best performing mic pre-amps the Scarlett range has ever seen. A switchable Air mode will add extra clarity to your vocals when recording with your Scarlett Solo.
- Get the perfect guitar take - There’s no need to sacrifice your tone with the high headroom instrument input when recording your guitar and basses. Capture your instruments in all their glory without any unwanted clipping or distortion thanks to our Gain Halos.
- Studio quality recordings for your music and podcasts - You can achieve professional sounding recordings with Scarlett’s high-performance converters which enable you to record and mix at up to 24-bit/192kHz. Your recordings will retain all of their sonic qualities so that you can sound like the artists you admire.
- Low-noise for crystal clear listening - Two low-noise balanced outputs provide clean audio playback. Hear all the details and nuances of your own track or music from Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music. Plug-in your own headphones via the output for private listening in high-fidelity.


The decision is yours because Elgato Wave XLR and Focusrite Scarlett Solo work equally well and are ideal for most users. But, we recommend the Scarlett Solo because it is cheaper, reliable, has line/instrument input, and plenty of gain for a typical dynamic microphone.


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