Today, we’re offering you our Scarlett Solo Studio review where we’ll talk about the Scarlett Solo Studio bundle. With it, you can get the solo interface, a mic, as well as a set of headphones.
Solo is the entry-level Scarlett interface that’s perfect for mobile musicians. Why? Because it’s bus-powered, is almost pocket-sized, and it’s a good, solid unit.
It offers high-impedance line or instrument input, a mic input, plus several outs for monitors.
If you think this is something for you, then you’ve come to the right place.
Our Scarlett Solo Studio review will discuss all the important things about it like its design, features, performance, etc. But first, let’s check out how it’s packed and what inclusions the box has.
Scarlett Solo Studio Packaging
The set came in a sturdy-looking cardboard container where the front displays all the products included. Scarlett Solo Studio is written on the top-left corner of the box. Below it is a quick rundown of what the product is all about.
Focusrite can be seen on the lower-right corner of the box. Inside the package, you will find a microphone, the interface, an XLR cable, and headphones.
Next up on our Scarlett Solo Studio review is the design and functionality of the product.
Scarlett Solo Studio Review – Design and Functionality
The Scarlett Solo Interface
The Scarlett Solo 3rd Generation is a 2-in-2 out plug-and-play interface that comes with phantom powering. This specific model is enhanced to include the newest developments and improvements since Focusrite first started tackling the market.
It provides two separate channels while not limiting your recording capacities. With this, you’re allowed to record as many tracks as your digital audio workstation allows. But of course, you’ll need to do it one at a time.
Not only that, but includes the exclusive Air feature for the XLR channel.
To note, this Audio Interface has outstanding quality preamps, thus, caters to high-gain instruments. Also, it has a professional audio resolution while offering low-latency direct monitoring.
The Appearance of the Scarlett Solo Interface
The minute-sized Scarlett Solo Interface appears cute, but despite the look, it’s entirely professional. The company pretty much owns the product’s red anodised appearance, and it simply oozes of high-quality.
Similar to the products that came before it, the Scarlett Solo Interface 3rd Generation sports a durable metallic chassis. Since it’s made of aluminium, it’s guaranteed to have a durable and sturdy body.
The Scarlett Solo interface was designed with portability in mind. It’s USB bus-powered and its body is less than 6 inches long.
Its smaller body makes for more compact home setup. Plus, its simple layout makes the interface foolproof to manage and control. This design also makes it easy to keep in a bag and take anywhere.
When you link it to your computer using the USB, and run-balanced cables to your monitor, you’ll be all set. That’s because everything needed will be right on the front panel which is extremely convenient.
It’s easy to set up, well-built, and it comes with an array of online resources and plug-ins that add value. Also, its controls are straightforward, increasing the interface’s functionality and convenience.
We also looked into the input channels for our Scarlett Solo Studio review. Here, the input channels include one Hi Z RTS and one XLR connection. These let you plug in any electronic instrument or microphone.
It features Focusrite’s cutting-edge preamps, and it captures high resolution with 24-bit / 192kHz analogue to digital signal conversion. This is to give you professional recordings.
Hi Z TRS Connection
The first channel is mainly utilised for vocals, but can also be utilised to mic-up acoustic instruments or amps. The preamp can handle and cope with tons of input volume, as long as your microphone’s equipped for it. In addition, it comes with a panel that has an illuminated LED gain dial.
Its dial changes to indicate the status and level, letting you know whether you’ll distort or not. The gain halos shift to light green when the levels are good. When it’s okay, it turns orange, but it goes red when they clip.
It can be altered between line and instrument levels. And wide-range gain knobs guarantee that it can handle weak vintage signals and hot active pickups.
This provides additional headroom to let it handle and manage hot pick-ups and high-output instruments. It even switches from a standard line-in to a more bass/guitar-focused channel.
The Scarlett Solo Studio aids tons of songwriters and musicians with sharing their music with the world. It features Air and natural-sounding 3rd Generation mic preamps. With these, the interface mirrors the original ISA preamps.
With your audio together with the Scarlett Solo Studio, you’ll get everything you need to record with studio quality.
Its 24-bit/192kHz converters provide your recordings with detail and clarity. Air mode brings more life into the vocals, adding distinct high-end detail too.
Speaking of the XLR input, it features the company’s brand new and exclusive Air capacities. This specific feature offers vocals a nice and clean open sound, tailoring the equalisation focus to much higher frequencies. Thus, it offers a nicer tone for capturing acoustic instruments.
Do note that this is optional, and can be accessed through a button that has a LED indicator. This is necessary to let you know that it’s in use.
Aside from the Air button, there’s a Phantom power button that sports a visual indicator when being used. It supplies 48V of Phantom powering, allowing you to utilise a condenser mic.
The product even comes with a gain dial which again, has the Halo LED indicator system. It also comes with an instrument button which is pretty good.
Moreover, this gives you additional head-room, helping it handle high-output hot pick-ups and instruments. Thus, it will shift from a standard line-in to a more bass/guitar-focused channel.
Together with the two channels and the gain dials, you’ll see a huge monitor level dial. There’s also a front-mounted headphone output connection present.
Lastly, the front panel houses the Direct Monitor button which lets you hear what you’re playing and recording, latency-free. With this, you can easily switch between monitoring with the left/right line-outs to directly feed your headphones and speakers.
Those who track vocals or instruments at home will highly appreciate this Direct Monitor switch. That’s because it prevents you from getting frustrated from dealing with recording latency.
To get around latency without taxing the processing of your PC, simply flip the switch of the Solo’s front panel. Here, you’ll hear what’s entering your Solo, instead of the track playing back on your recording software or DAW. This will save you time and effort from tweaking the buffer size of your DAW.
The monitor control knob, which conceals both the rear-panel line and headphone outputs, is big and quick to grab.
For its output, there’s a front-panel 1/4″ stereo headphone jack, plus two rear RCA outputs for linking monitors. If you think about it, the name “Solo” fits since it’s a box that gives you adequate I/O. It’s ideal for capturing instruments and vocals simultaneously.
The Rear of the Scarlett Solo Studio Interface
On its rear, you’ll find a slot for a security lock and input for a USB-C for linking your computer. If you utilise the audio studio speakers, it’s where you can have your monitor output go over to the speakers.
Inclusive Recording Software
Together with the CM25 MkIII mic and HP60 MkIII headphones, the Solo Interface has a range of offerings available. These are sounds, recording software, and plug-ins such as the following:
Avid Pro Tools – First Focusrite Creative Pack
This is where you’ll find a ton of virtual instrument sounds, awesome-sounding effects, and 500MB of loops.
Ableton Live Lite
This is an industry-leading software for making music. You can utilise it for writing, recording, producing, and performing your own songs.
Three-month Splice Sounds Subscription
By subscribing, you can access dozens of top-notch and royalty-free presets, one-shots, and loops with daily new releases.
XLN Audio Addictive Keys
Here, you can access one of four virtual keyboards once you register the first piece of Novation or Focusrite hardware.
Softube Time and Tone Bundle
Here, you’ll find three of Softube’s reverb, distortion, and delay plug-ins, plus an easy-to-use mastering tool as well.
Focusrite Red Plug-in Suite
This intricately models the classic Red 2 equaliser and the Red 3 compressor.
Focusrite Plug-in Collective
This provides you with free versions of the most ingenious software. And what makes this even better is that you can benefit from discounts as well.
Scarlett CM25 MK 3 Microphone and HP 60 MK 2 Headphones
This section of our Scarlett Solo Studio review will first focus on the CM25 MK 3 mic. It’s a condenser mic that features a 20mm driver to readily pick up your voice. This will give you a full 20 to 20,000 Hz frequency response which is great.
It’s 200 ohms and has a signal-noise ratio of 74dB. And, you should note that it requires the phantom power to run on a mic that’s similar to this.
Microphones like this are made to capture your voice, and it somewhat eliminates all sounds around the mic. So, you won’t pick up too much unnecessary background noise.
This time, let’s focus on the HP 60 MK 2 headphones. It’s a wired piece that comes with the kit and has a 3.5mm end with it. You can put its quarter-inch adapter on it, allowing you to plug it into the front part of the controller.
Just remember that when you purchase a set such as this, you’ll get budget headphones.
They’re basically closed-ear headphones, yet when we tried adjusting them, they’re just standard and aren’t heavy-duty. However, they do just fine for most people so it’s still good. It also has left and right labellings on them, as well as cushioning at the top with the Scarlett logo.
Key Features of the Scarlett Solo Studio
Excellent Sounds with Easy Start
Easy Start allows you to set up and start recording in minutes. So, the CM25 MkIII mic will capture every detail possible. With the HP 60 MkIII headphones, it gives you comfortable and clear mixing, as well as monitoring.
And since there’s a 3rd Generation mic preamp, the iconic Gain Halos, and the high-headroom instrument input, everything sounds perfect. The science of sounding great has been sorted, and the company has already worried about the technology. With that, all you have to do is focus on your music.
Excellent Sound Technology
Focusrite’s hardware is extremely reliable and it won’t let you down. If you ever come across problems, you can easily rely on the company’s global support team. And remember, you have a three-year warranty to get everything sorted.
Focusrite’s Sound is Officially Supported on the iPad Pro
Scarlett Solo is supported officially in use with the iPad Pro. And with that, operation and setup is made simple. Just plug it in, play your favourite music app, then enjoy music wherever you go.
Scarlett Solo works efficiently with Cubasis 2, Garageband, Auria Pro, Amplify Groovebox, and Ampify Launchpad. Moreover, it also goes well with Ampify Blocs Wave, and even FL Studio, so you can record anywhere with ease.
Plug-in Collective for a Long-lasting Connection
When you purchase any Focusrite hardware, you’ll get access to the latest music software names out today. Plug-in Collective keeps you updated on the newest tools, providing you with new free downloads every couple of months. And that’s together with a number of generous discounts.
Now, let’s continue our Scarlett Solo Studio review and discuss the different specifications of the product.
Our Scarlett Solo Studio review will discuss the specifications of this product. And to begin, its supported sample rates include 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 96kHz, 88.2kHz, 176.4kHz, and 192kHz.
Microphone Inputs of the Scarlett Solo Studio
The mic has a frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz ± 0.1dB, plus a dynamic range of 111dB (A-weighted). THD+N is <0.0012%, noise EIN (A-weighted) is -128dBu, while its maximum input level is 9dBu at minimum gain.
Its gain range is 56dB with an impedance of 3k Ω.
These have a frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz ± 0.1dB while dynamic range when A-weighted is 110.5dB. Its THD+N is < 0.002%, 22dBu for its input levels at minimum gain, while the gain range is 56dB.
Speaking of its impedance, the line inputs are at 60kΩ.
The frequency response for instrument inputs ranges from 20Hz to 20kHz ± 0.1dB. For the dynamic range, it is 110dB when A-weighted.
Its maximum input levels at minimum gain is 12.5dBu. The gain range is 56dB, while THD+N and impedance is more than 0.03% and 1.5MΩ respectively.
The dynamic range is 108dB, THD+N is < 0.002%, maximum output level is 15.5dBu, while impedance 430Ω.
The headphone output’s dynamic range is 104dB (A-weighted), the maximum output level is 7dBu, while impedance is over 1Ω.
Hands-on with the Scarlett Solo Studio
Focusrite’s Quick Start Process is one of the new big features of Scarlett’s latest product range. It’s the first introduction to the Scarlett interface and helps users who need to quickly set it up. If you’ve used any Scarlett interface in the past, you can skip this and immediately download the software programs.
The Quick Start Process offered a series of steps on downloading Pro Tools or Ableton Live’s Lite version. It also provided a useful instructional video about installing the interface.
When using Scarlett interfaces, we had to download the newest version of Focusrite’s Control Software from the company’s official website. It allowed us to configure the primary global device parameters, as well as mixing and routing options.
With the Control Software, we also enabled the Air option and switched between input line and instrument levels.
Its interface is incredibly quiet, and it offered us excellent results for both playback and recording. The condenser mic had a good response across the range, and it had deep, crisp results. Plus, as we continued testing the product for our Scarlett Solo Studio review, we felt that it was reassuringly solid.
Though we were highly surprised with the headphones. Despite not really having a very sturdy and durable build, it offered us decent sound quality. However, it was slightly coloured along the low end, it still sounded good for playback and monitoring.
All monitoring was completely lag-free, and since it’s low-latency, we were able to build busy tracks in our DAW. Doing it was a breeze, and we were able to listen to ourselves sing over previously-laid materials.
The Scarlett Solo Studio came with balanced TRS outputs which guaranteed the elimination of hum and noise. This was when we linked the speakers with balanced inputs.
We also liked the fact that the interface was bus-powered, compact, and featured two inputs. That’s one for the mic and another for the instrument. It was perfect for us, and we think it’s ideal for vloggers, on-the-go musicians, or even podcasters.
Scarlett Solo Studio Review Summary
Focusrite’s Scarlett Solo Studio is designed for singing while playing an instrument. This convenient audio gear allows beginners and solo performers to enjoy easy set up and configuration with professional audio quality.
If you’re starting with home-recording, this Scarlett interface bundled with headphones and a microphone is an excellent choice. It will help you get the job done while providing excellent performance to match yours.
Overall, the Scarlett Solo is a satisfying bundle that offers everything you need to be ready to record your music. With its great features and performance, we’re highly recommending this product.
To get your hands on this product, you can purchase it from the company’s official website.