Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 2nd Gen 18-Channel USB Audio Interface (Discontinued)

89
GEARANK

89 out of 100. Incorporating 250+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$390
Focusrite Scarlett 18i20
Focusrite Scarlett 18i20

NB: This 2nd Gen version has been superseded by the Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 3rd Gen.

Part of Focusrite's second generation of audio interfaces, the Scarlett 18i20 carries over the best of the original version with upgraded 24-bit/192kHz resolution, improved drivers and software bundle.

It gives you the 8 combo XLR/TRS inputs with Focusrite's popular mic preamps, a 2-channel S/PDIF input and an optical ADAT input for expansion to a total of 18 channels.

This second generation version also benefited from the collaboration between Pro Tools developer AVID and Focusrite, resulting in improved software control and the inclusion of the Pro Tools | First Focusrite Creative Pack into the software bundle included with each unit.

Features:

  • A/D Resolution: 24-bit/192kHz
  • Simultaneous I/O: 18 x 20
  • Inputs: 8 x XLR/TRS Combo, 1 x Optical ADAT, 1 x S/PDIF
  • Outputs: 8 x 1/4", 2 x 1/4" Monitor, 2 x 1/4" Headphones, 1 x Optical ADAT, 1 x S/PDIF
  • Computer Connectivity: USB 2.0
  • MIDI: In/Out
  • 8 x Focusrite preamps
  • Phantom Power: +48V
  • Zero latency monitoring
  • Bundled Software: Pro Tools | First Focusrite Creative Pack, Ableton Live Lite, Softube Time and Tone Bundle, Focusrite Red Plug-in Suite, Loopmaster samples and more

Pros

The market wasn't as receptive to the second generation Focusrite Scarlett series as they were when the first ones were released - which is unfortunate because the new ones appear better on paper. But it's not all doom and gloom because the Scarlett 18i20 2nd Gen did impress many users, including experts who point to its Focusrite preamps as its best trait. Users report hearing noticeable quality difference when compared to other interfaces in the same price range, and have successfully used this unit to record a wide range of sound sources and instruments, including vocals, drums, acoustic guitars, electric guitar amplifiers and more.

Cons

No thanks to regular operating system updates, most of the issues raised about the 18i20 pertain to problems with OS updates and driver compatibility. And while Focusrite does the best they can to keep up with them, there are still some who quickly write up negative reviews without waiting for updated drivers to solve their issues. Aside from software issues, there are a few who feel that Focusrite should've added more analog input ports, considering the price.

Overall

When you're looking for a great sounding audio interface for your growing recording needs, then check out the new and improved Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 3rd Gen.

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