Focusrite Scarlett Solo Audio Interface Review

Focusrite Scarlett Solo 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface Review

The Scarlett Solo hardware interface provides the means to connect a microphone and an

instrument or line-level audio signal to a computer running Mac OS or Windows. Similarly, the DAW’s

monitor or recorded output will appear at the unit’s physical outputs.

This lets you record “real-world” instruments into Ableton Live Lite, ProTools First (or whichever

other DAW you may use) along with – or instead of – any “native” sounds already available within

your computer.

The physical outputs can be connected to an amplifier and speakers, powered

monitors, headphones, or any other audio equipment with analog inputs that you wish to use. Solo’s

The Direct Monitoring feature lets you hear what you are playing in “real-time”, without the effects of

computer latency.

Name: Focusrite Scarlett Solo 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface, for the Guitarist, Vocalist, Podcaster, or Producer

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Price: Check Amazon for price

Overall Rank: 97 out of 100

This device has a ton of amazing features and not a lot of negatives or really any that are bad enough to discourage its use. Its negatives are more of an inconvenience on the part of a lot of Studio Monitors than the unit itself. That’s why I’m going to show you multiple reasons this is perfect for any music producer, podcaster, vocalist, or narrator.

If you need a robust Input-Output device at a great price, you really can’t go wrong with a Focusrite Scarlett Solo. For everything, it has in terms of features, and all of its pack-ins, it’s probably one of the most excellent interfaces available.

Focusrite Scarlett Solo 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface, Product Overview

Focusrite Scarlett Solo 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface has studio-quality sound and a ton of software necessary for recording and writing songs. It is a professional computer audio interface incorporating high-quality Focusrite analog preamps and further improvements to both performance and features to allow you to get the best out of your XLR Microphone recordings. It can be used with a 1/4″ plug for connecting a guitar or bass.

Third Generation Scarlett interfaces are class-compliant on macOS: that means they are plug-and-play, so if you are a Mac user there is no need to install a driver. The signals at the physical inputs can be routed to your audio recording software / digital audio workstation (“DAW”) at up to 24-bit, 192 kHz resolution.


44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, 192kHz

If you’re just recording narration for a YouTube video or Podcast the lower sample rates are adequate, but if you want the best musical recordings possible I would suggest at least using 96kHz. I use 192kHz for the optimal sound input.


Frequency Response 20Hz – 20kHz ± 0.1dB

Dynamic Range 111dB (A-weighted)

THD +N<0.0012%

Noise EIN -128dBu (A-weighted)

Maximum Input Level 9dBu (at minimum gain)

Gain Range 56dB

Impedance 3kΩ


Frequency Response 20Hz – 20kHz ± 0.1dB

Dynamic Range 110.5dB (A-weighted)

THD +N<0.002%

Maximum Input Level 22dBu (at minimum gain)

Gain Range 56dB

Impedance 60kΩ


Frequency Response 20Hz – 20kHz ± 0.1dB

Dynamic Range 110dB (A-weighted)

THD +N<0.03%

Maximum Input Level 12.5dBu (at minimum gain)

Gain Rang e56dB

Impedance 1.5MΩ


Dynamic Range (Line Outputs) 108dB

THD +N<0.002%

Maximum Output Level (0 dBFS) 15.5dBu

Impedance 430Ω


Dynamic Range104dB (A-weighted)

THD +N<0.002%

Maximum Output Level 7dBu

Impedance <1Ω

The Good & the Bad

The Good:

  • Provides multiple inputs for connecting recording devices or instruments. The balanced 3-Pin XLR input provides the best way to connect a microphone. The better the quality mic that you use, the better the quality your recordings can potentially be. Granted, certain microphones have a greater frequency range so they can pick up more background noise or other unwanted sound. It also has a great way to connect your Guitar or Bass with a 1/4 inch input.


  • Can be used with microphones that need Phantom Power. The 48V button allows you to use Condenser Microphones through the XLR jack when it is turned to the on position. It works well with a Dynamic Microphone when it is in the off position.


  • The Line Balanced Left and Right Outputs are essential to hearing the mix correctly. It has two electronically balanced variable output 1/4 inch TRS sockets which provide a way to connect your monitor speakers. It can also be used with TS unbalanced 1/4 inch plugs.
  • “Air” feature adds room ambiance back to dull flat recordings. Enabling AIR mode for the mic input. AIR modifies the frequency response of the input stage to model the classic, transformer-based Focusrite ISA microphone preamps.
  • “INST” switch allows for better Guitar and Bass recordings. Instrument/Line level switch for Input 2 – switches gain to suit instrument or line-level signals.
  • Two-Year manufacturers Warranty.Your Scarlett Solo has a two-year warranty. Wherever you are in the world, you can rely on the warranty should any of its hardware need repairing or replacing due to a manufacturing fault.

The Bad:

  • You have to turn off your monitor speakers to use the record feature, otherwise, you’ll get feedback. It’s kind of a hassle to have to reach back behind your monitors over and over if you have larger-sized monitors.
  • The Phantom Power can ruin your microphone. If you have the Phantom Power on when disconnecting your microphone theirs a high chance it will damage its components, possibly preventing it from future. This can easily be prevented by shutting it down completely and disconnecting it from the USB power source altogether.

Who is Focusrite Scarlett Solo 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface For?

The Focusrite Scarlett Solo is made for anyone who uses a single-track microphone or instrument recording. So, if you’re a music producer you can use the XLR mic input for vocals and the 1/4 inch instrument jack for Guitar or Bass. To get the best recordings possible you need a good pair of closed-back headphones so that your music doesn’t leak into your vocal tracks too much. I use Sennheiser HD 280 Pro Headphones. You can read my review of them right here. Sennheiser headphones HD280 Pro Review

If you are a podcaster, voice-over artist, or need it for higher-quality sound for your video production, this is perfect for you. Especially if you are using a nice condenser microphone. It can be the difference in how your animated characters sound or how your voice comes through when narrating a video.

Focusrite Scarlett Solo 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface

Tools & Training

Hitmaker Expansion: features exclusive content from legendary Auto-Tune® creators Antares®, along with Brainworx®, Softube®, XLN Audio®, Relab, and much more.

Ableton® Live Lite™: The iconic DAW gives you everything you need to get started including instruments, effects, and Live’s trademark clip and scene launching for taking ideas further or performance.

Focusrite Plug-in Collective: get a new plug-in and exclusive offers from a new partner every few months.

Three Month Avid® Pro Tools® Subscription: get a taste of the industry-standard recording experience with this legendary DAW.

Three Month Splice Sounds Subscription: spark inspiration instantly with Splice’s huge Sounds library. With 100 credits per month added to your account, you can grab samples of thousands of artists and millions of sounds.

Focusrite Scarlett Solo 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface


When you buy any Focusrite hardware you gain access to the most innovative music software brands on the market. Plug-in Collective keeps you up to date on the latest tools, offering you new free downloads every couple of months, along with generous discounts.

They have a great help center with excellent support and tons of help for troubleshooting minor issues. Their site has a PDF version of the user manual for easy reference.

Focusrite Scarlett Solo 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface


My Final Opinion of Focusrite Scarlett Solo 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface

If you only need to record a single track at any point in time this is an excellent interface. It has all of the features necessary for recording Music. vocals, voice-overs, and podcast audio. To correctly record vocals for a music track you’ll need to be able to isolate each track for optimum mixing. This allows you to focus your effort on each separate one with Equalization, Compression, Saturation, and other effects.

Without a high-quality Interface, recording any microphone is subject to being lower-quality, and filled with errors. That isn’t to say that you won’t need some amount of knowledge to utilize all of the features of this machine.

If you plan on using Multiple microphones at one time they offer quite a few models of equally high quality and even more jam-packed and feature-rich. The Scarlett 2i2 is an extremely popular model that is basically the same but with dual XLR inputs and a button to switch the monitors on or off. For more info on the Scarlett 2i2 watch the following short YouTube video.

Focusrite // Scarlett 2i2 3rd Gen – Overview feat. Karun

If this article was helpful to you or if you have any questions be sure to ask or comment, or if you have a correction for a mistake I may have made, don’t hesitate to tell me below.

2 thoughts on “Focusrite Scarlett Solo Audio Interface Review”

  1. Thank you very much for sharing your Scarlet solo Audio Interface review with us all here. I have to say that it has been a good few years sinc i had  decent recording set up at home as i had a bit of upheavel a few years ago including moving home which has resulted in me having to sell some of the gear i had and never go round to setting a rig up again but hope to again soon.

    Thanks again


  2. Hi T-Rx, great review on the Focusrite Scarlett Solo 3rd Gen USB Audio Interface.

    As a long time guitar player who would like to start recording as well this seems like a pretty good product to start with. Not to mention that is reasonably priced too.

    Thank you for sharing this review and guiding me in the right direction to start my recording journey.


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