Let’s compare the “enhancement” modes of the Solid State Logic SSL2+ Audio Interface and the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Audio Interface. Which setup sounds the best?

Quick Answer: The Rode NT1 condenser microphone with no enhancement was our favorite out of all the combinations. We gave second place to the Shure SM7B paired with the SSL2+ in 4K mode.

Solid State Logic SSL2+ Audio Interface

4K & Air Modes Explained 

The SSL2+‘s 4K mode and the Scarlett 2i2‘s Air mode are meant to emulate previous generations of the manufacturer’s hardware.

The 4K mode of the SSL2+ interface emulates the old SSL4000 console, while the Scarlett 2i2’s Air mode emulates the old Focusrite mic preamps. 

How We Compared 4K Mode & Air Mode

We tested both interfaces using a Shure SM7B dynamic microphone and a Rode NT1 condenser microphone to see which combination sounded best.

We also tested each microphone with the enhancements switched off to demonstrate how the sound changes when the emulation modes are active.  

SSL2 4K Mode vs Scarlett 2i2 Air Mode – What Sounds Best?

Here are our favorite mic/mode combinations in order of preference:

  1. Rode NT1 – No Effect
  2. Shure SM7B – SSL 4K
  3. Shure SM7B – Focusrite Air
  4. Rode NT1 – Focusrite Air
  5. Rode NT1 – SSL 4K
  6. Shure SM7B – No Effect

Solid State Logic SSL2+ & Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Pricing

SSL2 4K Mode vs Scarlett 2i2 Air Mode Topics

  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 0:40 – Pricing & Specs
  • 0:50 – Test Overview
  • 1:10 – Shure SM7B – No effect
  • 1:17 – Shure SM7B – SSL 4K
  • 1:30 – Shure SM7B – Scarlett Air
  • 1:40 – Rode NT1 – No Effect
  • 1:45 – Rode NT1 – SSL 4K
  • 2:00 – Rode NT1 – Scarlett Air
  • 2:13 – Summary
  • 2:30 – Final Thoughts

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