Solid State Logic is a high-end studio gear manufacturer that’s mixing consoles and recording studio hardware have reliably been at the forefront of audio production since the company’s inception in 1969. Most products from this company tend to be a bit pricey, and that alone may be an understatement. For decades, the company has been tailored to manufacturing products for professional-grade studios, some of which can go well over $50,000. Now, they’ve introduced their first affordable audio interface, the SSL2+. At only $300, it’s more than worth your consideration whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned veteran in the world of audio.Table of contents:
SSL 2+ overview
The SSL2+ is a 2×4 interface, with incredible drivers, high audio resolution, and a sleek design. If you’ve ever agonized over not being able to invest in some of Solid State Logic’s studio gear (as even its cheapest models tend to cost around a few thousand dollars), this interface brings the same magic and precision for which SSL is renowned, and at a price point that won’t break the bank.
Solid State Logic’s SSL2+ is the slightly bulkier sibling of the SSL 2, which is a 2-in/2-out USB audio interface. The SSL 2+, on the other hand, is a 2-in/4-out USB interface with added MIDI I/O and dual RCA outputs. This gives the SSL 2+ an advantage over the SSL 2, especially if you’re looking for RCA outputs to run out to your DJ deck or control surface.
Besides all of this and an extra headphone output, the two interfaces are largely the same. Featuring two XLR/TRS combo inputs, a pair of balanced 1/4″ monitor outputs, and a USB-C port to connect to your computer.
If you’re looking for something with more I/O capabilities, you may want to look elsewhere, but if you’re looking for something simple, this interface is a terrific choice.
Audio recording quality
Earlier, we mentioned that this is the first time that Solid State Logic has released an affordable audio interface, and considering the company’s reputation as being an absolute titan among studio gear manufacturers – it’s been well worth the wait.
The SSL 2+ is a fantastic-sounding interface and is more than capable of delivering high-performance audio recordings. The unit comes with Solid State Logic’s Legacy 4K mode, which brings the legendary sound of the company’s coveted SSL 4000 series analog console to your recordings.
This feature is rather similar to how Focusrite’s Scarlett and Clarett models often feature Air mode which, just as SSL’s Legacy mode, adds a slight boost to higher frequencies as well as some harmonic distortion to give your recordings a new sense of character.
Sample rate/dynamic range
The SSL2+ has a bit-depth of 24-bit, a sampling rate up to 192kHz, and a dynamic range of up to 110.5dB.
The preamps on the SSL 2+ are the exact same as you would find on the SSL 2, and they’re absolutely fantastic. They have a gain range of 62 dB and an EIN (Equivalent Input Noise) of -130.5 dBu, making the interface capable of cleanly running incredibly gain-hungry mics, such as the RE20, without the need of any FetHeads or other dedicated mic preamps you might require when using another unit.
Only slightly over 9×6 inches, the SSL 2+ is well-suited for desktop and home studio applications. While it doesn’t offer as much connectivity as other interfaces, in this price range, it’s hard to say you’ll be able to find a unit that offers much more. Especially when you consider how powerful the preamps are, the SSL 2+ is a no-brainer for any small-time studio, or bedroom recording artist.
The SSL 2+ is a lightweight, portable, and compact unit perfect for any performers, DJs, or audio engineers on the go. Its dual RCA outputs offer compatibility to a wide variety of uses, and its superb preamps eliminate the need for any extra hardware while traveling.
As far as the build is concerned, the SSL 2+ is fairly sturdy. The unit features a metal faceplate with plastic housing around the sides. Each knob is very stable with little to no wobble and the buttons feel great. The only complaint we have is that the XLR ports have a bit of give, so your cables may feel a little bit loose. For all things considered, Solid State Logic has delivered an extremely well-built interface for the price.
Straight out of the box, you’ll receive access to multiple third-party software from Ableton, Native Instruments, and Avid, as well as 1.5 GB of samples and loops from Loopcloud. On top of all of this, the SSL 2+ also comes bundled with Vocalstrip 2 and Drumstrip, which are both original channel strips from SSL Native. These two plugins will give you the power to easily achieve powerful and articulate vocal and drum sounds. It may not be the most expensive software package we’ve ever seen, but you do end up with some pretty cool stuff to get you started.
Compared to other interfaces
The SSL 2+ is absolutely incredible for what it is, but before we tell you to just go and buy it, here are a few options worth considering. Also, check out out picks of the best audio interfaces and the best budget interfaces.
SSL 2+ vs. Focusrite Scarlett 4i4
While the Scarlett offers a bit more connectivity at a slightly more affordable price, the truth is that its performance pales in comparison to the SSL 2+. As we mentioned, the Air mode featured on the Scarlett is very reminiscent of SSL’s Legacy 4K mode. The difference, however, is that the SSL’s preamps are so much more powerful, and the unit cuts out the need for any additional preamps when using gain-hungry mics like the SM7B or RE20. The SSL2+ is definitely worth the extra money if you can afford it.
SSL 2+ vs. Audient iD14
The Audient iD14 is the exact same price as the SSL 2+, and in many ways, they’re roughly equal in terms of their performance and audio quality. Again, the drivers on the SSL 2+ blow this unit out of the water. It may be unlikely, but you might have to expect some pops or crackles from the iD14 – not so with the SSL2+. For us, going with Solid State Logic is the obvious choice.
SSL 2+ vs. Steinberg UR242
On paper, the Steinberg UR242 looks like it’s capable of delivering just as much as the SSL 2+, and possibly more with two extra available inputs. In practice, we’ve found this isn’t truly the case. The price difference between these two interfaces as well, the SSL2+ is $299 and the Steinberg is $219.99. Now, this rule isn’t always true when it comes to audio gear, but in this case it is: you get what you pay for. If you can come up with an extra $80, we advise you to wait and get the SSL 2+.
Final verdict on the SSL 2+
Whether you’re a beginner to audio recording, or a professional looking for a small and compact unit to bring with you on the road, the SSL 2+ delivers everything you need and then some. For just $300, this interface is easily one of the best interfaces in its price range. We highly recommend giving it a thorough look, as it’s definitely worth your consideration.
- Powerful drivers.
- Pristine audio quality.
- Extremely portable.
- TRS jacks have a bit of give.