All user reviews for the Focusrite Saffire

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Average Score:4.0( 4/5 based on 9 reviews )
 5 reviews56 %
 2 reviews22 %
 2 reviews22 %
Value For Money : Excellent
Not satisfied with those reviews?

theaudioandvideoguy's review"good"

Focusrite Saffire
The Focusrite Saffire had a great sounding quality, it actually surprised me, the only thing that I didn’t care for was the way that it was built. It was built standing upright like the old Mbox was and I hate it being up like that. I would rather have it going flat and sideways. Just because I usually have stuff that can end up knocking it over. The Focusrite Saffire is no longer being made, so buying one will have to be used. But if you can get your hands on a used one you will love it. I still to this day choose the used one over the newer one that came out around a year ago. I cant remember what they called the new one, but I like this one better.


Using it took no effort at all, everything is labeled in plain site right on the front of the interface and its all self explanatory. You can plug your mics and instruments right into the front of the interface. But since it’s a standing up right interface, you plug your mics in, if you have a lot of mic movement or your cords get moved a lot your will start to see this device slide around a lot, its very light. Its not top heavy, its just light.


The price of the Saffire is very good now, I recommend purchasing it if you need a good cheap interface. The software that came with mine when I purchased it, I cant remember what it was, but I didn’t use it I actually probably threw it away.


Overall, it’s a great interface. If you cant find it online to buy used then you will probably need to go ahead and get the upgraded version which will cost a lot more than this one will used.
Audiofanzine FR03/15/2009

Audiofanzine FR's review

Focusrite Saffire
(Originally written by Merlinpinpin/translated from Audiofanzine FR)
Which technical specifications motivated your choice?

Monitoring with DSP effects and reverb, two preamps, two headphone outputs, secondhand price considering the features. Eight analog outputs.

What do you use it for?

To record vocals with my laptop outside the studio.


- Did you have any problems during installation?

Yes with several PCs.

I tested several Firewire PCMCIA cards and the solution was to have THE ADEQUATE POWER SUPPLY WITH THE ADEQUATE AMPERE VALUE!! The device requires 12 volts and 1.5 A instead of 1 A as labeled on the housing (1.5 A on the Focusrite website). My 1 A PSU wasn't enough with the laptop. I'm happy I solved the problem because I thought I would have to sell the card just after having bought it (secondhand and without PSU). I found the right PSU on the web. I pass this information on to you because I spent a very long time looking for patches and other solutions. The problem was the incorrect specs on the device...

Other than that I had no installation problems.

- Did you have any incompatibility problems?

No (except for the mentioned PSU problem! :-)

What's your setup (motherboard, CPU, RAM, hard drive,...)?

My laptop is an old Toshiba Satellite 1410 (1.8 Celeron, 512 MB Ram) I use only for outdoor recordings as a 4-track recorder. I own several stage mics and a tube mic, a JoeMeek MQ3 preamp and a VC1Qcs.

My main computer is a Core 2 Duo 3 GHz with a Scope sound card. I had no installation problems with the Saffire.

- How complicated is the overall configuration?

The software mixer is not very user-friendly nor intuitive but you'll get used to it. I noticed some bugs while setting the compressor (the application closes when you quit the compressor). You can save your settings and forget about them.

The reverb effect sounds good but not amazing. It's better than using a VST or directX reverb plug-in because of the latency, and it has enough quality for monitoring applications. Both headphone outputs are convenient to record someone while you control the recording.

- Is the user's manual clear and comprehensive?

The user's manual is maybe too comprehensive and it could be easier to read because the internal routing is quite complex. It doesn't provide enough pictures and application examples. It has a muddled layout and the font is not easy to read (I would prefer a simple font like Arial, Times, etc.).

I give it a 7 because of the PSU problem (nevertheless the solution is now available on Focusrite's website...).


Are the drivers stable?

So they seem.

- Are they up-to-date?

I guess... V2.5 is the current version.

- Which software do you use?


- What's the latency of your system?

It depends on your computer, but it's irrelevant thanks to the direct monitoring function. I'd say 6 ms with both computers (I haven't tried lower latency times). It wasn't necessary to have a Firewire card with a Texas Instrument chipset on my laptop, while my Iogear GUF202 also works pretty well (Firewire/USB2 combo). An ABIX 3 TI works fine too (both are OCHI compatible, which is required by the Saffire).

- How many tracks can you record/playback simultaneously ?

It depends on the HDD speed and the computer. The Saffire provides four analog inputs plus an SPDIF input, all usable simultaneously.

With the laptop I only record one or two tracks at once using both Saffire preamps. In the future I might connect a Firewire HDD to the PCMCIA card or to the Saffire (which has two Firewire ports, one for the computer and another one for an HDD or some other device).

The eight jack outputs are very convenient.


- How long have you been using it?

I've been using it for almost one week. I did some test recordings with a Heil Pro 40 mic. The preamps sound very good, better than the preamps of an MQ3 (small but good preamp). The digital connection is also an advantage . I can't wait to make more recordings with these preamps and some good mics, and I'm sure it will be a great solution: less gear, less cables... The two preamps allow you use stereo recording techniques or to use different mics, etc.

- Which feature do you like the most / the least?

Pros: Preamps, monitoring with DSP effects and reverb, headphone outputs.

Cons: some bugs in the software, no auto-save function (but you can save presets). The volume of the headphones is a bit too low. You won't become deaf... Very good sound on the headphones.

- Did you try any other models before buying it?

I bought a Behringer FCA202 for my MQ3. It's a good sound card for line signals (4/5 ms latency) but it's too delicate, headphones sound awful, and it only has two inputs and outputs... I also own a Sonicore Scope, which has an excellent sound but it's installed on my desktop PC. That's the reason I went looking for a good mobile solution. And I'm not disappointed: my recordings sound very good (much better than before).

- How would you rate its value for money?

Excellent... I bought it secondhand, but considering all its features it isn't that expensive if you buy it new... It's an excellent choice for my budget.

- Based on your experience, would you buy this product again?

Yes, I wouldn't hesitate.
FP User10/31/2008

FP User's review

Focusrite Saffire
VST inputs are great with the presets but you still get to tweek it.

Price paid: $450 USD


This is easy to use but if like to be hands-on it doesn't have very good knobs. The gain led's on the hardware suck. You always have to adjust the gain on the software. I had a problem with the device driver but that was handled easy by downloading the new saffire control at The website has tutorials that make it easy on the rookie.


Its built very well with a sleek look that could match with Mac's.


Though theres only two mic pre's, the sound quality is excellent. Its what you would expect from a Focusrite. VST inputs are great with the presets but you still get to tweek it.

Saffire is a great way to realize your musical talent. The price takes from knobs and mixer led's but it doesn't suffer in Quality in the sound.

Originally posted on
Posted by: ChaseMillions ( 2-, 2006)

jumich's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Focusrite Saffire
I chose this card for the firewire connection and the possibility of having 8 analog outputs.
I chose him as saying that the quality would be pramplis Focusrite. What is not necessary if you do not take into account their lack of large input level. The gain is almost systmatiquement at Mount Max.
Similarly to the headphone output.


Installation and updates without problem.
Trs intuitive interface


Drivers stable
Few plants in two years
Latency in: 4ms and total: 6ms in 48khz


I used it for two years for various applications but essentially multicasting.
I also made the recording and MIDI interface without too much problem.
Today the phantom power supply just leave me :-(
Obviously it is not guaranteed and I think I see that I'm not the only one that comes ... So I ask myself do I pass over the nerves now or I send it in knowing Repair Tool dlais level price and I do not know what is going to give but I am no illusions.
I do not really take a Saffire

sweetynico's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Focusrite Saffire
The quality of preamps

ACER 5560 with a T2300 1Gb and 120Gb HDD
in use Sonar Home Studio +


Absolutely wonderful on Vista
the update firmware and install the drivers passed without worries
using fairly simple without reading the manual


+ 2ms 4ms latency for firewire
I have yet to push a bottom Sonar 6


I advise no worries

one-r's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Focusrite Saffire
I wanted a sound card with the best possible sound in this budget l. Knowing that I will not record much battery buy a card with 2 inputs, the quality will be (in Thor) better than a card 8 in the same price. I needed that can accommodate between 2 XLR with phantom power supply and / or jack. In order to record voice / guitar / bass / machines.
I have a table available but I mix prfr pramp go through the sound card. I made no hardware comparison knowing that I could not do it ... So in light of the Features and reviews AF I chose the Saffire.
Its ability to mount 196khz finally motivated me cane me is nothing.

The CHARACTERISTICS are cool ... as many outputs serve me anything, I prfr replace them entered without pramp as ca ca can record a batt 'with the help of a table mix m 'Finally ...

I have a small pc config, but only 1 .5 GB ram


The installation is very simple.
No incompatibility on my pc.
The interface is a dlivre with dung. How to design something like that? So I have not really explored, and I just used the small (you trifocal glasses and notches 24 ") button to adjust the sound between the% and the pc read by reading.
I have not opened the manual, it's like the rest there is not it a little logic and AC drives is opening the book


The drivers are unstable. This is the point ngatif. Next it must change the config but when dc is required to turn off / turn on the pc or completely uninstalled the card and reinstall it so that it works even when .. . you have me included. The other day I thought she did not record rain! Aprsdsintall / install back ca ... then it's hard (desfois) change of frequency drives chantillonage when moving from one project to another, so it desfois teind back on everything and ...

I'm using SX3.
Oh ... the plug in Intgr I test those that appear in my list of plug-in in sx3 (apparently there are others available via the interface incomprhensible), these are not worth a plug radical, when I think I said to myself "It will be better with something internal dsp" hahaha, it must not be ashamed to pass the plug like that when we are as a respectable brand Focusrite!
4ms latency if I said no bullshit.
Record 2 tracks (logical ^ ^) in drive ... it is rather that my oar in 10kilo plug in rather than the sound card, I do not know its limits ...


I use it for 4months.

What I like?
-Sound. ok I could not really compare so my opinion is not worth much. I had a firewire solo There's one point I got scared by recording my bass (which is nevertheless well), I had sold. The bass line is correct. I record with static and dynamic (or live) and there is enough gain, I've never considered the breath.
-Its simplicity. If not using the interface provided with all the same it's super easy and convenient, no button is located behind the card.

the least?
Its instability, and the interface that are just as shameful, I would be ashamed to offer a product like this.

About the report quality price without being able to compare it with other seems pointless.
My goal is the sound quality so I'm not dcu, those for the stability and to interface with them may (will) dcus. If I'm told that there is no better in these prices then I would make the same choice, but if there's possibility to have something stable ca change my life a little eh ...

lesoufs's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Focusrite Saffire
- What characteristics have motivated your choice?

Both compressor and eq more reverb amp simulator and no latency.
reputation in the Focusrite preamps

- For what purpose?

Home studio and Voice Post Prod

- What is your config (Motherboard / CPU / Ram / Hard ,...)?

G5 dual 2Ghz/2.5gb ram / Logic 7 under X.3.9

- Which instruments and systems (console, preamp, DTD ...) you use it and how connections? ..

48v microphones, bass and electric guitar


- The installation is done it without problems?
Yes but not firmware updates

- Have you experienced any incompatibilities?

- The general configuration is easy?

the soft mix Saffire letter size is very small on a 19 "CRT 1280X1024

- The manual is clear and sufficient? ...


- The drivers are stable?
Yes when the card works

- Are they often updated?
2 firmware updates since October 2005

- What software do you use most often?

Logic 7

- What you get lag?

128 samples without any prob
- How many tracks you get to record / play time? ...

4 (two analog / spdif two)


How long have you use it?

October 2005

- What is so special that you like most and least?

good preamps if they took the road

- Have you tried many other models before buying it?

firebox, OO2 digi

- How would you rate the quality / price?

good but ...
- With experience, you do again this choice? ...

I had the first two Saffire the 48 v power supply died after 2 hours, the second after 6 months was beginning to see more boot properly and yesterday after 11 months as the phantom power supply to drop. I opened the card and hello correction of printed circuit boards, like two resistors in series raised more than two strap!?!

Focusrite made in China

Good to discharge Focusrite they send me a card in return via UPS and that one month from the end of my warranty is that Service Focusrite side so it's serious. . .

dudulachandelle's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Focusrite Saffire
Nothing to complain for the price very complete: I do not use it.


Installation ok, updated drivers and firmware ok: important update in order to make good use 192kHz mode


Stable drivers, I use it with cubase (included) to make models (bass guitar, acoustic guitar, flute, piano and percussion), the DSP provides low latency even adding other vst effects, preamps are very paired with my sm57 (I is not tried a lot of stuff but we see that this is very good), the converters are the same level very well etc ... everything is very good value for money and for my use. Note that 192kHz is very valuable to stack effects on a recording to give a clear result


I am a poor student but I managed to pay it by eating a lot of legs: I am delighted with this interface but it was worth a little less for my extra pounds. we can say that it is the entry level of professional equipment: it is above all these interfaces grand public!

Remote's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

Focusrite Saffire
Superb Firewire interface, with its gray dress and white mtalis, it is really great class a couple iMac finally see any Mac!

whether or not a config nomad, he has all it takes - well it lacks nothing really in view of its size, one can not ask him to avoirde AES EBU can be a discipline him request an I / O ADAT?? but good considering the price ... frankly it's great dj quip!

I use it everywhere, knew RMAC OS X like Windows XP ... on a Powermac G5 Dual-core 2Ghz / 4GB DDR / 2 x300GB SATA, an iMac G5 2Ghz / 2GB RAM / 250GB, iBook G4 867Mhz / 768MB / 40GB, and also on Sony VAIO Centrino 1.86GHz, / 512MB / 100GB

I really, unwanted all its inputs and outputs possible: analos 8 outputs, so between the 4 and 2 pramps 2 line, but at the same time and between the S-PDIF. .. MIDI In and Out also ... when I do not have too many channels MIDIs ...

and with the new version of Saffire Control V2 available by downloading, the interface is SUPER stable, works wonders, what about a hand to see laid BRAVO Focusrite Audio Firewire interface of this quality has a price also COMPTITE!

I put 9 because it's that difficult to be perfect all the same ... with ADAT I put maybe 10??


The installation has been trouble-free on all configs I had. SUPER EASY. An installation CD with Saffire Control over, I have had the CD on my V1, but V2 is available in download on the Focusrite website -> HERE (http://www.focusrite .com / productdetails.asp? id = 38 & Irangi = 5 & view = downloads / / url /). I downloaded and installed the V2 1 week ago. It also update the doc ...

Saffire is really very simple to implement, the manual in PDF is very simple and clear rev.

I have not had any of the incompatibility, either on my Mac or my PC laptop running Windows XP ...


The drivers are very stable, update to one of Saffire Control Version 2 has been I think one month after the release of the interface deu disposal on V1, it's a fast!

I IT CAN BE USED with Logic Pro on my Mac and if not with the version of Cubase LE that comes with Saffire on my Sony VAIO ... no problem in the 9 12ms ...


I've had just three weeks.

I love the quality of the converters and preamps are really REAL!

Focusrite plug-ins included with this interface: Compressor, EQ, Amp Simulator

They all work on Saffire DSP, so has meant that the load is zero on the processor or the computer! plug-ins trs are effective, but I think maybe the compressor and the reverb a bit cold for me ... but then I'm more a fan of hardware, I have a compressor in Distressor but still a functional trs compressor. the compressor 2 operating mode, a mode I would call "EASY", with pre-rglages: Vocal, Acoustic + Electric Guitar, Bass, Strings, Wind, Piano, Percussion - then a button for rgler Amount the compression ratio is a real desire more for beginners, and if not in "normal" was well on all ACCS usual custom settings (threshold, ratio, attack release, gain)

The EQ is really very good, great even! it is prcis trs.

The Amp Simulator, with Leq are part of my favorites, may give distos trs enjoyable, but I'm not a guitarist, I can not say how a given guiytar connect with it ... ENCC equi but I pass on the Virus synth, SE-1X, and other plugs to have fun without pumping dito CPU resource

Saffire Control and V2 is quite convenient, Drout c'tait just for me but you get the beginners trs made quickly (within 24hrs?). to allow us to control all those you need the notch. can copy and paste the rglages a track to another, or simply save them ... very practical.

one big complaint with this type of interface, they always forget an On / Off button, it's really pnible and strength I'm sure it's not great for taking Firewire, so the sudden I leave plugged in and turned to j'vite dbarncher constantly ds I need ...

no complaints, it is the top small firewire interface, it works without transformer, juice only firewire cable, the convertos TOP qulit are running 192kHz, pramp as transparent, the reputable Fidler Focusrite! with onboard DSP for plug supplied as standard, between line and instrument, I / O S-PDIF, MIDI In and Out, Through, and even if you will, a version of Cubase LE also comes with, what more?! probably the best quality price for this type of interface, and less expensive, and I think the Firebox Prsonus and also not bad. and if I find it is by far better than the MBox 1 or 2, Spike, Lexicon Omeag, etc ...