Today, we will be reviewing the Solid State Logic SSL 2+ audio interface, a 2×4 unit with incredible drivers, high audio resolution, and a sleek design.
If you’ve ever agonized over not being able to invest in some o 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.
At only $300, it’s more than worth your consideration whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned veteran in the world of audio.
Our 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 units in its price range. We highly recommend giving it a thorough look, as it’s definitely worth your consideration.Available at: SweetwaterAmazon
I/O and controls
Solid State Logic’s SSL 2+ 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. See the more detailed comparison
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 (in the first edition of the article), 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 4K Legacy mode, which brings the legendary sound of the company’s coveted 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.
The SSL 2+ has a bit-depth of 24-bit, a sampling rate up to 192 kHz, and a dynamic range of up to 110.5 dB.
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.
At home studio
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 audio 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.
For more great options, check out our pick of the best audio interfaces for home and professional studios.
SSL 2+ vs. Focusrite Scarlett 4i4
While the Scarlett offers a bit more connectivity at a slightly more affordable price at $250, 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 4K Legacy 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 SSL 2+ 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 SSL2+ at $300, 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 SSL 2+. 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 SSL 2+ is $300 and the Steinberg is $230. 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 $70, we advise you to wait and get the SSL2+.
SSL 2+ vs. SSL 2
Overall, these two interfaces are largely the same despite some minor differences, not to mention the jump in price. The main difference is in terms of connectivity.
The SSL 2+ has two unbalanced RCA outputs whereas the SSL 2 does not, the SSL 2+ has two headphones outs whereas the SSL2 has one, and SSL 2+ has MIDI I/O whereas the SSL2 doesn’t.
If you need more connectivity, the SSL 2+ is the better option. If you can live without it, go for the SSL 2.
Who is the Solid State Logic SSL 2+ best suited for?
The Solid State Logic SSL 2+ is best suited for any audio engineers or producers, whether beginners or pros, who are looking for something small and compact, without having to sacrifice for quality or connectivity.
While this may not be the cheapest interface in the world, the cost to value ratio is impeccable.
- Powerful drivers.
- Pristine audio quality.
- Extremely portable.
- TRS jacks have a bit of give.