Steinberg UR12 vs Scarlett Solo

Producing music requires several tools or equipment to properly create a professional results and one of them is audio interface. While our computer already have sound card, they are not very reliable in production stage so it is better to have a dedicated interface like Steinberg UR12 Vs Scarlett Solo. They are among the most popular and reliable for a simple setup but are also slightly different so go check our article below to see which model fits your taste the most.

In this article, we are going to give you information about:

  • Why do you need an Audio Interface
  • What are Steinberg UR12 and Scarlett Solo
  • What Steinberg UR12 and Scarlett Solo Look Like
  • What Steinberg UR12 and Scarlett Solo can offer to you
  • How are the Performance of Steinberg UR12 and Scarlett Solo
  • Steinberg UR12 and Scarlett Solo

Audio Interface

Music is universal and it seems that everyone loves music, just have different taste on what they feel better than the rest. Like favorite kind of food, it is all up to our personal preference and it is always best to follow what you love. The majority of people are listeners only without any experience on creating the song on their own but, there are also a huge amount of people who find producing interesting either as a hobby or a way to create a living.

If you are the latter, one challenge that we have to deal with is building a home studio especially for aspiring musician with not very much to spend. Money is important and we have to use it wisely to get those equipment we need. We indeed can create with only a guitar or other instrument and a smartphone or computer, but the quality is not good enough to let us confidently introduce them to other people and this is one of the reasons why we have a studio at home.

Studios we see in television are complicated and look expensive because they are but, for beginners or hobbyist who only start the journey, a home studio will be sufficient as long as it is filled with the equipment we need. For those who want to start building one, what we need to have is a computer, a digital audio workstation, an interface, inputs like microphone and instrument, a monitor or headphones, cables, mic stand, and pop filter. There are not much and we should fit the option with budget.

We are sure most of us already have a computer at home and an input whether you like to cover songs or sing with your own guitar but, not all of us have interface since this tool is used only when we are recording or sending the audio to computer. An audio interface is placed between your input and computer to connect them together and compared to the computer sound card, it will produce better audio quality which is why it is a very necessary equipment to have.

Audio interface are rather similar to a mixer but it let us connect to a computer since not all mixer have the ability. They have at least two inputs; one for microphone and the other for instrument with a headphone output so then we can monitor the audio the moment it being sent to the computer. Depending on your needs, the interface we have may not always the same.

About Steinberg UR12

If you are looking for a reliable audio interface to elevate the audio quality, now is the time to see what the market has to offer because there are so many of them out there from different manufacturers and even when they are equally made by the same factory, the model difference will play some role in differentiating the product such as with Behringer UM2 vs UMC22 which is a great option for those who want to spend less for the affordable price.

However, it is true that they are not holding the market standard even in the middle so if what you are looking for is something that will give users 24bit depth, Steinberg is one of the best options to go. This brand is also called Yamaha by some since it is owned by the giant company, but even before, the brand is already well known and not long ago, they release the UR12 for standard users with very good sound quality.

It is not the cheapest we can get from Steinberg but, coming with its own Cubase AI software, it is already offering more than many other budget interface, featured with 32 tracks of audio and even 48 MIDI tracks so you can play around a little.

Steinberg UR12 Design

When first checking this interface, it has a very nice build with aluminum chassis and overall very sturdy body so we can hope to use it for years to come as well as not very prone of worn off quickly. It comes with a USB cable to connect with your PC, a CD for the interface, a Cubase AI download card, and some documentation. The knobs and buttons are into the smaller spectrum but they are nicely attached and doesn’t feel flimsy at all.

Steinberg UR12 Features

Moving further, let’s see what type of input we have here since it is necessary to see whether it is enough for your recording session or not. As you can see on the picture, this interface is coming with an XLR jack instead of XLR/TRS combination jack so it is not as double duty as the one with a combo jack just in case you need the other as well. Next we have Hi-Z input for your instrument and the last we have a phone output for your headphones.

Among these inputs and outputs we also have light indicator for each input and gain knob as well. For output we have a volume knob and a button to activate direct monitoring when you need to hear the sound being recorded. At the back we have dedicated 5V power plug and USB 2.0 along with the switch in between. Next we have stereo outputs to send the audio through a powered monitor with phantom power on the side.

Steinberg UR12 Performance

On the sound quality, Steinberg UR12 is already supporting 24 bit depth, a recording rate of 44.1 kHz to 192 kHz, and gain to +54 Db. Overall it should work with any condenser microphone we have and when tested, it perform very nice with almost no additional noise introduced at lower gain as long as we don’t hit the 100% level. The issue however, is on the Hi-Z channel since it indicates clipping even when using guitar with passive pickups and the gain is at zero.

About Scarlett Solo

Since there are so many good options out there, you may want to try and see what the other manufacturer is offering so then we can compare them and see if one of them will give a better benefit for your setup or not. If you like Steinberg UR12, you will also like the popular Focusrite Scarlett Solo because it is performing quite similar to each other but, the one we are talking here is the 2nd gen which is among the best option for those with limited budget.

Scarlett Solo Design

Upon seeing this interface, the first thing that comes to our mind is how stylish it is with a bright red color and a sturdy chassis, a very good decision to build an audio interface. It is not very wide and won’t take much space but the cable it comes with is too short in our opinion so you may want to change it with a longer cable or as needed. There is only the interface, cable, and code to redeem your software that comes with the unit.

Scarlett Solo Features

On the features part, Scarlett Solo have all the standard connection we often see on this range of interface with one XLR microphone and one instrument/line level to plug your instrument like synth as well a one connection to plug your headphones. We have gain knob for each input present and one knob for adjusting the volume level of the headphone output with a button to activate the monitor. What’s attractive is these gain knobs will be illuminated in circle when the signal is too strong.

Moving to the back side, we have a USB port to connect and transfer files from your audio interface to the computer but also act as the power source since there is no dedicated power plug here. In addition we have RCA line outputs when you need to connect a stereo speaker.

Scarlett Solo Performance

Finding a good device with a low budget can be challenging but Scarlett Solo is already offering the essential and perform very reliably because sample rate is as high as 192 kHz with 24 bit depth so we can get a good audio result. For those who are going to use the tool for voice recording such as video creator or podcasters, the preamp performance is also very nice and very clean with low noise even at high gain.

Comparison 

Now, let’s compare Steinberg UR12 with Scarlett Solo. As you may already know, both of them have a very similar features and preamp that work amazingly good for the price point but, UR12 offer slightly more with dedicated power source in case you are not using the main device to power the interface. It also have Hi-Z instead of Inst/Line input but since we can switch in between line or instrument, Scarlett Solo work just as reliable for your instrument.

Steinberg UR12 vs Scarlett Solo

- 24-bit/192 kHz USB 2.0 audio interface
- 1 Class-A D-PRE mic preamp supporting +48V phantom power
- 1 Mic input(XLR) and 1 Hi-Z instrument input (TS), 2 line outputs(RCA)
- Cross-platform compatibility with Windows, OS X and iPad (with Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit/Lightening to USB Camera Adapter)
- Class-leading conversion and sample rates up to 192kHz / 24 bit; super-low latency for using your plug-ins in real time without the need for DSP
- LIMITED TIME OFFER: FREE Venomode DeeQ, Maximal 2, and Pivot, plug-ins upon registration and download.
- Includes Pro Tools | First Focusrite Creative Pack and Ableton Live Lite, Softube Time and Tone Bundle, Focusrite’s Red Plug-in Suite, 2GB of Loopmasters samples, Choice of one free XLN Addictive Keys virtual instrument, all available via download upon purchase and registration
- Compatible with Windows 7 and higher, and Mac OS X 10.10 and higher. Frequency Response: 20 Hz - 20 kHz ± 0.25dB. Supported sample rates: 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz, 88.2 kHz, 96 kHz, 176.4 kHz, 192 kHz; 2-year limited warranty on manufacturing defects.

Conclusion 

All in all, the decision is all yours to make since not all of us will have the same needs as well as preference so it is best to get the one that fits your activity the most and have all the features. However, comparing the two, we will go with Steinberg UR12 because it is already a very good interface and currently more affordable than Scarlett Solo from Focusrite.

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