SubZero SZ-AI2 Audio Interface

Greetings, everyone.

I’m not sure if this is the appropriate place to seek help for my issue, seeing that I don’t have problems with Audacity directly, but I have seen one other SubZero SZ-AI2 related post here and I’m planning to use Audacity later down the line, so I’m giving this a shot.

I am pretty new to both elGuitars and audio interfaces, so I might come across as silly, but please bear with me. I want to listen to & record my guitar on my computer, so I purchased the specified audio interface, but I’m running into issues using it. It won’t pick up on my guitar strums.



  • Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate
  • Audacity 2.2.0
  • SubZero SZ-AI2 2x2 USB Audio Interface Driver & Control Panel: For PC / For Mac.


  • Computer ↔ SubZero (USB)
  • Guitar → SubZero (Jack/Instrument cable)
  • SubZero → Headset (AUX (using jack to AUX adapter))

Both output and input in Windows have the SZ-AI2 device set to standard unit (but not standard communication unit)

Expected Results
At this point, I should be able to see the sound bar in the SubZero control panel under input move when I strum the guitar as an indication that it’s picking up sound from the instrument. I should also be able to hear/monitor the sound through my headset.

Actual Results
The SubZero does not react or give any indication that it’s picking up sound from the guitar (neither does Windows).
I can’t hear my instrument through my headset.
I am able to hear sound through the headset if I’m playing audio from my computer, such as a YouTube video, but the volume is weak and blurry and when an ad appears, there is a lot of white noise coming through.

Last Words
I have tried messing with the knobs on SubZero. Turning GAIN 1 up and down, toggling INS 1 on and off, setting MONITOR to OFF, MONO, STEREO, toggling +48V phantom power, rotating the master volume and the headphone knob.
I have even tried turning the jack cable around slightly and switched to MIC 2 just in case I could find a connection issue.
I have restarted my PC after the driver installation.

In case this information is overwhelming, know this: I’m just trying to be as clear and informative as I possibly can in case you spot anything wrong and for other with a similar issue as mine can relate.

Beforehand: Thanks for any response/criticism. Kind regards.

Does the headset audio cable have inline controls?

Does the headset work properly when it is connected directly to the PC?

The headset works properly if I connect it directly to my computer, both input and output.
The headset does have a control for muting/unmuting the microphone.

As you were thorough, I will try to be as well. A couple of things:

  1. See if there isn’t a “Master Volume” inline control on your headset.

  2. I have had mixed results using a 1/8" (3.5mm) to 1/4" headphone adapter. My best results were with a 3.5 mm TRS(female) to 1/4" TRS(male) Stereo Headphone Adaptor Cable. You might have a similar issue with the microphone.

  3. Your guitar looks as though it has a Hi-Z output. It is good that you have selected an interface with a Hi-Z input, so it looks as though you have done your homework.

  4. You may need an expensive guitar cable (about $30). The $10 cables will give you annoying hum or distortion (no extra charge). However, I suspect you already know about this and it is probably not related to your specific issues.

You have described two issues:

I assume you have adusted the volume and tone controls on your guitar, the “Master Volume” inline control on the headset, and fiddled with headphone adapter. Do you have another set of headphones/earplugs that you could try?

You pointed out that you saw the other Audacity post, “VERY loud white noise” coming from the Subzero A12:

Considering we have seen two posts on the A12, both complaining of white noise, perhaps there is a systemic problem there. Have you contacted their customer support?

I see you have downloaded the driver for the A12; I was going to suggest that. As you do your research, note also that the A12 is also sold as part of package, the Subzero base-2. Good Luck!