Confused between Komplete Audio 6 vs Focusrite Scarlett 2i4? Read the comparison between these products below to find out which audio interface that will give you the best value and performance! They both indeed have excellent build quality and clean, reliable sound, but there are notable differences in terms of connectivity, software, and latency performance.
Continue reading to find out more information about:
- Whether these audio interfaces have good build quality or not
- Which model that is generally easier to use
- Why Komplete Audio 6 is more versatile than Focusrite Scarlett 2i4
- What software programs that are included with each model
- The performance of Komplete Audio 6 vs Focusrite Scarlett 2i4
- Which audio interface that is generally more recommended
Komplete Audio 6: Design and Build
Komplete Audio 6 has combined elements of the common desktop audio interface format with its own original ideas. One of the regular elements would be the compact yet tough aluminum chassis, which puts the inputs on the front panel and outputs on the rear panel. The construction is really robust. See also: Focusrite Scarlett Solo Vs PreSonus AudioBox
The distinctive feature is the control layout. Komplete Audio 6 has put the main volume knob and several light indicators on the top, while the controls for the inputs and monitoring are still on the front. This design has made the unit appear unique and attractive. Adjusting the main volume becomes very intuitive. The only potential problem is if you want to hide your audio interface under a desk, in which case the top panel will be difficult to access.
Needless to say, the build quality is top-notch. With a weight of about 1.9 lbs, Komplete Audio 6 feels reassuringly solid and rugged. The black and silver finish looks beautiful. The knobs are made of rubber and work smoothly. At the bottom, there are rubber feet that ensure the unit’s stability and prevent scratching.
Komplete Audio 6: Features and Connectivity
At first, in terms of connectivity, Komplete Audio 6 vs Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 may seem to be similar. They each have two XLR/TRS combo inputs, along with 5-pin MIDI I/O ports. However, after checking their rear panels, you will find that Komplete Audio 6 can be quite more versatile than Focusrite Scarlett 2i4.
In addition to the two combo inputs, Komplete Audio 6 also comes with two 1/4-inch TRS inputs that are located on its rear panel, which can be very handy when you need to plug in more instruments. Furthermore, there is a pair of S/PDIF I/O ports. Meanwhile, for outputs, there are four 1/4-inch TRS ports. There is a dedicated headphone output for direct monitoring.
The inputs on the front have dedicated gain level knobs. The headphone output also has its own volume control, along with the option to switch between Inputs 1/2 and 3/4. There is a globally switchable 48V phantom power for use with condenser mics.
With such input and output options, Komplete Audio 6 can be easily adapted to suit pretty much any purpose and set-up. Even though the price is fairly affordable, the company hasn’t compromised on the quality. Komplete Audio 6 is equipped with high-end preamps and Cirrus Logic converters.
Komplete Audio 6: Software
Komplete Audio 6 is not only impressive in terms of hardware. The software bundle that comes with it is also rock-solid.
The company has included Cubase LE 6 and Traktor LE 2, which can be very useful for mixing, composing, and DJ-ing if you don’t have your own software yet. While these apps are considered ‘light’ versions, they are sufficient to get you started.
You will also get the full Komplete Elements suite, too, which is really cool. The Komplete Elements suite provides 1,000 plug-ins and sounds, most of which are really high-quality. These are similar to the ones found in the company’s Komplete 7 premium package.
With the included software, Komplete Audio 6 becomes a ‘killer’ audio interface. It offers a very good value for the money.
Komplete Audio 6: Performance
At this point, you are probably wondering about the performance of Komplete Audio 6 vs Focusrite Scarlett 2i4. An audio interface may come with all the connections and software that you want, but it is still useless if the performance doesn’t meet your standard. Fortunately, the performance of Komplete Audio 6 lives up to the hype.
The sound is consistently very clean and accurate with low latency, both on mics and on instruments. The light indicators on the top will give you a concise idea of what is going on with the unit.
The gain controls easily provide ample volume for most microphones, even if you happen to work with mics that are notoriously quiet. Unfortunately, the headphone is not as loud as desired, though the volume is still pretty good.
Needless to say, the software is really impressive. Komplete Audio 6 can be quite flexible with its routing options. DJs will appreciate the ability to switch the headphone source and the separate main outs with a monitor mix that can be controlled easily.
Focusrite Scarlett 2i4: Design and Build
First impression matters, and Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 definitely gives a very good one. This audio interface comes in a red anodized aluminum chassis which looks really stylish and beautiful. Not only that; it is also quite lightweight at barely 2 lbs, yet it feels very robust and durable.
Add the compact form factor into the highlight, and you know for sure that this is a highly portable audio interface that you can stuff into your bag and bring along wherever you go. Unfortunately, there are still some minor quirks.
The control knobs of Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 are made of plastic. While they are definitely functional, they don’t feel as nice as the rubber ones on Komplete Audio 6. In addition, the plastic knobs and switches are somewhat prone to impacts. At the bottom, there are rubber feet that elevate the device and prevent scratching.
Focusrite Scarlett 2i4: Features and Connectivity
If we compare the connectivity of Komplete Audio 6 vs Focusrite Scarlett 2i4, we can easily see that Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 is at a slight disadvantage. It has fewer input and output options, so it won’t be as versatile. Still, there are a few additional features on Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 which some people may find useful.
On the front panel, there are two XLR/TRS combo inputs with dedicated gain level controls, line/instrument level switches, and pad switches. There is also a headphone output for direct monitoring; you can adjust the balance between the input signal and the playback stream, swap between stereo and mono, and choose between Inputs 1/2 and 3/4.
The pad switches will allow you to reduce the gain levels by 10dB. This is useful when you are trying to record hot signals, such as those from electric guitars. Other instruments can also benefit from the added headroom.
Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 also has a globally switchable 48V phantom power. Now moving to the rear panel, you can find a pair of 5-pin MIDI I/O ports, four unbalanced RCA outputs, and two balanced 1/4-inch TRS outputs.
If you are interested in this model, you should consider whether having two inputs is enough for you. You should also consider if you need an S/PDIF connection or not, as this model lacks that.
Focusrite Scarlett 2i4: Software
Anyhow, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 does come with good software. There are authorization codes for Ableton Live Lite and the Scarlett plug-in suite. Although Ableton Live Lite is just a starter version of Ableton Live, it is already great for beginners. It includes the core library, full VST and AU support, and the ability to record up to eight audio and MIDI tracks. Not to mention that it allows you to upgrade to the full-fledged Ableton Live DAW with a discount.
The Scarlett plug-in suite is quite impressive, providing a number of EQ, reverb, compression, and gating plug-ins. They sound good and are easy to tweak. You will also get the Softube Time and Tone Bundle, 2GB of Loopmasters samples, and one free XLN Addictive Keys virtual instrument.
Focusrite Scarlett 2i4: Performance
The overall performance of Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 is actually good. The mic preamps have plenty of power, and they sound clean and transparent without adding much color. Vocals and instruments can be captured with very good accuracy and detail. The latency is quite low.
Managing clipping becomes an easy task with the pad switches. MIDI connectivity works well. You can connect synths or digital pianos to the unit easily. The volume of the headphone output is somewhat low, but definitely still usable.
The only issue with Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 is that the USB connection is a bit unreliable. The unit often crashes when the computer is waking up from sleep or hibernation. It may also crash if left idle for too long. The crash may cause the unit to work with no sound, experience distortion, or power off completely. To avoid this issue, you should unplug the USB connection whenever the unit is not in use. When a crash happens, you need to restart the computer.
Komplete Audio 6 vs Focusrite Scarlett 2i4
Both are good audio interfaces, but Komplete Audio 6 is generally better and more recommended. The overall performance is more reliable. The sound is good and the preamps provide ample volume. Not to mention that it has more input and output options that can be very useful for some people.