Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 3rd Gen Review

The Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 3rd Gen is a versatile audio interface at a good price point. It’s well-built, offers high-quality audio, and comes with a bunch of useful software, making it a valuable tool for musicians and producers. 

As an experienced musician, I value high-quality audio equipment for professional-grade sound, which is why I’m excited to share my experience with the Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 3rd Gen audio interface.

In this review, I will be sharing my thoughts and experiences with the Scarlett 4i4 3rd Gen audio interface and how it has evolved from the previous (2nd Gen) version.

Update 2024: The 4th generation of the Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 is the newest addition to the Focusrite world of audio interfaces with new features, updated software pack, and better resolution.

9.2

Sound Quality

9.2/10

Build Quality

9.0/10

Features

8.8/10

Ease Of Use

9.5/10

Value For Money

9.5/10

Verdict

The Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 3rd Gen audio interface is a versatile and powerful tool that provides exceptional audio quality with its 24-bit/192 kHz converters and exceptional 3rd gen preamps. It comes with four line-ins, four balanced outputs, an integrated headphone amp, and a MIDI I/O. Its affordability and high performance make it a great investment for any musician or producer.

Pros

  • Very nice preamps for the price
  • 4 line-ins and 4 balanced outputs
  • USB-bus powered
  • Hitmaker Expansion software
  • USB Type-C compatible

Cons

  • May introduce noise when pushed to high gain.
  • I had some issues with drivers on windows (I eventually reinstalled them and it worked)

General Thoughts

Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 3rd Gen
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I was impressed with the quality of the Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 3rd Gen offers for its price. It’s more lightweight compared to the 2nd generation but has fewer hardware controls and these are controlled through the software. I had a mysterious driver issue that required me to reinstall the Focusrite drivers, but they were resolved after that.

The 3rd gen preamps are an amazing upgrade to this interface, making it a valuable recording tool. It operates with low noise but can introduce noise if the gain is pushed very high. If you’re using something like a Rode Podmic or Shure S7B, it might be worth getting a Cloudlifter or Fethead to get cleaner gain.

Sound Quality

The sound quality of this interface is very good, though you shouldn’t expect it to compete with top of the range interfaces like the Universal Audio Apollo Twin Duo MkII. The Scarlett 4i4 comes with 24bit/192kHz converters and 3rd generation preamps that now have an Air Feature, which improves the quality. Thanks to the upgraded preamps, there is a lot more headroom in the recordings, and with the super low-latency levels, you can monitor your recording in real-time.

Build Quality

The overall design and build quality of the Focusrite 4i4 3rd Gen is really good. It’s sturdy and well-built yet more lightweight than the previous 2nd Gen version. Personally, I would be slightly more confident of the build quality of the 2nd gen one, but that might just be my instincts as the thing was heavier. The 3rd gen one makes traveling and bringing it with you a breeze. With an all-metal construction, it adds up to a highly-valuable and reliable audio interface.

Inputs and Outputs

The Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 3rd Gen offers four line-ins and four balanced outs, providing a wealth of connections for external instruments and studio monitors or headphones. Compared to more scaled-down versions like the Scarlett Solo, this has more inputs and outputs which makes it a lot more versatile.

It has a dedicated headphone jack for more private monitoring and it’s bus-powered through a USB type C jack. Overall, it offers a lot of connectivity options and everything you’d need.

Software

The Scarlett 4i4 3rd generation comes with the Hitmaker Expansion expansion pack to give you all the tools you need to make a studio-quality recording. Some of the hardware controls in the 2nd generation are now accessible through the software.

All in all, with the Hitmaker Expansion, you get Antares Auto-Tune Access, Relab LX480 Essentials, XLN Audio Addictive Keys and Drums 2, Focusrite Red Plug-in Suite, and even more. This is more than enough for a great start.

Pricing

The Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 3rd Gen offers excellent quality at a good price point. It provides an exceptional balance between affordability and performance, with features such as two high-quality 3rd generation preamps, four line-ins and four balanced outs, and a massive software bundle.

Alternatives

For alternatives, you could consider the Solid State Logic SSL 2+ audio interface which is quite similar

If you’re looking for something more high-end, then check out the Universal Audio Apollo Twin Duo MkII as it’s one of the audio interfaces you can get.

Universal Audio Apollo Twin Duo MkII
View Price at SweetwaterView Price at Amazon

Verdict

The Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 3rd Gen is a versatile and powerful audio interface that provides exceptional audio quality with low-latency level monitoring. For the given (affordable) price, you get a 24bit/192kHz max sampling rate, the Hitmaker Expansion software bundle, and a good number of ins/outs. Its affordability and high performance make it a great investment for any musician or producer.

Brian Clark

Brian Clark

I’ve been a writer with Musician Wave for six years, turning my 17-year journey as a multi-instrumentalist and music producer into insightful news, tutorials, reviews, and features.

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