Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Phantom Power Problem? 6 Issues (Solved)

The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is an affordable and competent offering in the world of audio interfaces, especially for beginner to intermediate producers.

Unfortunately, some users have experienced issues with the phantom power of the Scarlett 2i2.

Luckily, if you’re one of them, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll dive into 6 Scarlett 2i2 phantom power issues, and get you some solutions to get your music back on track!

Your Cable May Be Faulty

If you’re experiencing problems with the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2’s phantom power not providing power to your microphone, there’s a chance your cable could be faulty.

Here’s how to test for a faulty cable:

First off, inspect the cable for any visible damage, such as frayed wires, loose connections, or bent pins. Pay attention to both ends of the cable, including the connectors.

Even if the cable appears to be in good condition, the next step is to try using a different cable to connect your microphone or device to the Scarlett 2i2.

Turn on the phantom power on the Scarlett 2i2 and test the microphone or device again.

If the issue persists, the problem may lie with the audio interface or the microphone itself. If you have access to another audio interface or microphone, try connecting them to the Scarlett 2i2 using the suspected faulty cable.

This can help determine whether the cable or another component is causing the problem.

When connecting your microphone to your Scarlett 2i2, make sure to use the correct type of cable. The correct cable would be an XLR to XLR cable and not an XLR to 1/4″ TS(TRS) cable.

A dynamic microphone can still work even if the pin 1 wire in an XLR cable is faulty, but it’s important to note that a condenser microphone typically requires the pin 1 wire (phantom power negative) to function properly.

In an XLR cable, the phantom power positive is carried by pins 2 and 3.

Your USB Ports Might Not Be Offering Enough Power

If you’re experiencing issues with your phantom power on the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, it may be due to your USB ports not offering the device enough power.

In certain cases, the USB will offer enough power to keep the Scarlett 2i2 on and provide sound, but not enough to provide phantom power.

Here are some troubleshooting insights for this scenario:

For example, the Scarlett 2i2 interface may work flawlessly on all USB2 ports, but certain ports don’t deliver sufficient power for phantom power operation.

This issue will become evident when the interface’s phantom power LED fails to illuminate upon pressing the phantom power button.

The cause for your phantom power issue might be that the interface is delivering low-voltage phantom power when facing power constraints.

The joy of USB-C

USB-C is a versatile and reversible type of USB connector that supports high-speed data transfer and power delivery.

The solution to your phantom power woes might just be using USB-C to USB Type B cables to connect your interfaces to USB-C ports.

The USB specification fully supports backward compatibility with all current USB versions while providing abundant power supply capabilities.

This solution has proven to be highly effective and is certainly worth considering if you’re encountering power-related challenges with your interfaces.

If you’re currently facing issues with phantom power, I recommend exploring the use of USB-C ports and USB-C to USB Type B cables.

This combination can provide the necessary power required by your interfaces, potentially resolving your power-related concerns.

Your USB Adapter May be Faulty

If you’re still experiencing problems with your phantom power on the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, it may just be your USB adapter.

Unfortunately, modern laptops provide very few USB ports, and as a result, USB adapters have become the norm.

So let’s consider the adapter you’re using!

It’s possible that there may not be enough power reaching the 2i2 through the adapter. To rule out any power-related issues, I recommend using a single high-quality cable instead of the adapter.

Ensure that the cable is compatible with your 2i2 and connects directly to the USB-C port on the interface.

This should help provide a stable power supply.

If you’ve already tried using a compatible USB-C to USB-C cable but encountered difficulties, it’s worth examining the adapter itself.

It’s possible that the adapter might be faulty. You may want to try using a different adapter or replacing it to see if that resolves the issue.

Another suggestion is to try using a powered USB hub. This will provide additional power to your 2i2 and help ensure a stable connection.

Connect the 2i2 to the powered USB hub and then connect the hub to your laptop’s USB-C port. This setup has helped some users resolve phantom power issues.

Unfortunately, USB hubs can be finicky, so make sure to also check your ports, cables, and connectors for dirt or damage.

There’s Static Sound When Using Your Scarlett 2i2

Are you experiencing a static sound issue with your Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface when using phantom power with your Rode M2 condenser microphone?

This can be a frustrating issue, but here are some troubleshooting tips to help you fix the issue:

Test the direct monitor: Connect your headphones directly to the 2i2 and enable the direct monitor feature to bypass the computer.

This allows you to monitor the microphone signal directly from the interface. If the static sound is still present, it indicates that the issue might be with the interface or microphone.

Power source: Ensure that the interface is connected to a stable power source.

If you’re using a USB bus-powered interface like the Scarlett 2i2, make sure the USB port you’re using can provide sufficient power.

Consider connecting the interface to a USB 3.0 port, as it can deliver more power than USB 2.0.

External phantom power supply: If the problem persists, consider using an external phantom power supply instead of relying on the interface’s built-in phantom power.

This solution provides dedicated power to the microphone and can help eliminate any power-related issues.

Ensure that the external phantom power supply is compatible with your microphone’s voltage requirements.

Remember, when troubleshooting audio issues, it’s essential to isolate and test each component individually to identify the source of the problem.

Your Phantom Power Turns Off After Restarting Device

Note that this problem applies to the 3rd generation Focusrite Scarlett range.

If you own a Scarlett 2i2 audio interface and find that the 48V Phantom Power turns off after restarting the device, there are a few things you should know:

Default Behavior:

By default, all 3rd Generation Scarletts are designed to disable 48V Phantom Power when the device is turned off.

This is a safety feature implemented to prevent accidental damage to Ribbon Microphones, which can be harmed when Phantom Power is applied to them.

Compatibility Check:

While many modern microphones are not affected by 48V Phantom Power, it’s important to consult the user guide or contact the manufacturer of your specific microphone to ensure compatibility and determine whether it is safe to use with Phantom Power.

Retain 48V Setting:

Focusrite Control 3.6.0 introduced a new feature called “Retain 48V” for all 3rd Generation Scarletts. When enabled, the 48V button will retain its last used setting even after restarting the interface.

For example, if the 48V button was turned on before restarting, it will remain on after the interface restarts.

Ribbon Microphone Precaution:

Even with the “Retain 48V” setting available, it is still recommended to keep this feature disabled when using Ribbon Microphones.
This ensures protection against any accidental damage that may occur due to Phantom Power.

As always, safety first! Rather take the necessary precautions to ensure your equipment doesn’t get damaged in the process of your music creation.

You’re Experiencing Popping Noises when Turning Phantom Power On/Off

If you’re experiencing loud popping noises when turning the 48V Phantom Power on or off, along with additional spikes in audio, it can be a frustrating problem to have.

Here are a few troubleshooting steps you can take to address the issue and get to the bottom of your problem:

Proper Power Cycling:

When connecting or disconnecting devices that use Phantom Power, it’s important to keep in mind that you are making or breaking a circuit.

This can result in pops or spikes in audio, similar to the noise you may hear when turning a mixer on or off while it’s connected to an amplifier or headphones.

To help stop this issue, follow these steps:

  1. Start by turning off the 48V Phantom Power button on your audio interface.
  2. Wait for a few moments to allow the sound from the microphone to fade away after turning off the Phantom Power.
    (This helps ensure that any remaining charge in the capacitors dissipates, minimizing the occurrence of pops).
  3. Once the sound has completely faded away, you can safely unplug the microphone from the audio interface.

Gain Adjustment

Another approach to avoid amplifying the pops when turning Phantom Power off is to reduce the gain on your audio interface.

By decreasing the gain, you minimize the amplification of the noise, resulting in a quieter experience when powering down the Phantom Power.

Normal Behavior

Keep in mind that some level of noise, such as a slight pop or click, can be expected when engaging or disengaging Phantom Power.

However, if the noise is extremely loud or disturbing, it may indicate a potential issue with your audio interface or microphone.

Remember, it is important to exercise caution when using Phantom Power and to follow proper procedures to prevent damage to your equipment.

General Pros and Cons of the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Phantom Power

Pros

The Phantom Power feature on the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 allows you to use condenser microphones for recording vocals, instruments, and more.

The Scarlett 2i2 ensures that your condenser microphone receives the necessary power to operate at its full potential, delivering accurate and detailed recordings.

The great thing about the Scarlett 2i2 is its affordability and portability, allowing you to record using phantom power wherever you are. All you need is a laptop and a mic!

Cons

  • Scarlett 2i2 can be temperamental due to faulty cables
  • Needs proper power from good USB ports
  • Struggles to be used with USB adapters
  • Sometimes static sound when Scarlett phantom power is in use
  • Phantom power turns off after restarting Scarlett 2i2(3rd gen)
  • Popping noises when turning on and off incorrectly

Sources

After restarting my interface 48V Phantom Power has turned off
What is phantom power and how to use it