Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 3rd Gen
$199
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Worked great for 10 months. Then USB died
RC-1290 25.02.2021
- Pro: Probably great for use with laptops.
- Pro: Served me well when I used headphones only.
- Con: Had noise related to it being USB powered.
- Con: USB connectivity died after a rapid power cycle.

This was my first external audio interface, and allowed me to get lower latency while playing piano, than I got via ASIO4ALL, and allowed me to hook up some nicer microphones. As expected.

I initially used it with headphones only, with the idea to upgrade to proper studio monitors later. When I made that upgrade, I ran into noise issues. The ground hum was reduced by powering my PC from an outlet across the room, separate from my speakers, but there was still noise related to PC activity; low volume whine on mouse movements, higher volume noise during GPU intensive operations (e.g.: games).

So while it's nice to be able to power the thing off of USB, it's probably better for use with laptops than battery powered laptops.

I tried reducing the noise by injecting external power using Ifi's iDefender. Unfortunately plugging that in resulted in a fast power cycle, which killed the USB connectivity. Some quick searching showed that I'm not the only one who had one break after a quick power cycle.

It feels like a firmware issue, but Focusrite support (who are apparently very busy and hard to reach at the moment) consider it a hardware issue, and suggest an RMA. In the meantime it's just a pretty brick, with a nice button to enable a pretty 48V status indicator light.
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great features, but not reliable
omgedo 20.01.2021
Overall a good package, not without issues however.
What I liked:
- good sound quality with little to no noise (didn't use it to record voice, however)
- awesome package (both the bundled software and regular giveaways from Focusrite)
- good (but slow) support from Focusrite

What I didn't like:
The first unit went dead after only a month of real usage, I didn't expect this in 2020. Focusrite support was most helpful, however it was a hardware problem so I had to send it back. Kudos to Thomann for handling the issue in a prompt manner, got my replacement fast even though I am not located in Germany. But that 'fast' still meant I was a month without an audio interface.
From what I read, this appears to be a common problem with 4i4. I don't I'll be buying Focusrite products again until they sort out their QA issues.
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USB Powered not ideal
Pont 08.03.2021
Super little interface. Very easy to use. The usb power really lets this down however. It consumes far too much power to depend on it. In situations where I was running multiple high power consuming applications the interface would randomly disconnect and reconnect. This seems to be a common problem after doing some research. This effectively makes in unusable. Might be okay for just single app use but if doing multiple things avoid and get a powered device. It is a real pity about power source because it is a great little device apart from that.
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Nice, but unreliable
Dymaxion 01.05.2020
I've had two of these die with hardware faults where they won't power-on and the host system doesn't recognize them, over about the course of six months. They're nice while they work, but I can't recommend them.
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Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 3rd Gen