Strange distortion issue with Scarlett 2i4

I’ve seen some people have an issue getting their Scarlett device working and stuff, but I haven’t so much had this issue. In fact, most of the time it works fine. However, I’ve noticed that sometimes the sound quality isn’t as good as listening straight from my computer’s 3.5" jack. Sometimes though the quality becomes very grainy, with quite a bit of distortion, often requiring a reboot to sound “normal” again. But then I started to pay close attention, switching between my computer 3.5" jack and the 2i4 headphone output, and there is still some distortion from the 2i4. I’ve had a quarter inch cable plugged in that I’ve unplugged, and that didn’t change things either. I wasn’t sure if this was a problem with hardware or software, so I tried listening on my Ubuntu installation, and it sounds great (which is expected). So I don’t think the issue is the 2i4 box itself.

I’ve had some issues with the cable it has to plug in, but I’ve contacted Focusrite about it and they sent be a brand new one, so I’m pretty sure that is not the issue. Following this new cable things seemed to have been fine, but recently I’ve been playing around with Manjaro (I’m not the most avid Linux user, so I wanted something easier to customize than Ubuntu 20.04 to start playing around), and running into these problems. To make sure it’s not just subjective variation, I crank the volume fairly loud in these tests to see if it distorts or not, and I’ve only had distortion with Manjaro + 2i4. Sometimes this distortion is barely perceptible, sometimes maybe it’s not there (I haven’t really focused in on the problem until now), and sometimes the distortion is pretty egregious. Wondering what might be the issue here.

Check the gain levels in alsamixer aren’t above 0dB and don’t push the volume above 100%. It can be a completely unrelated issue, but you should first check these.