ESI U86 XT recording interface

German audio equipment manufacturer ESI Audio has announced the U168 XT and U86 XT USB 2.0 high- speed audio interfaces for Mac/PC.

The U168 XT provides 16 line inputs and eight line outputs on balanced quarter-inch TRS connectors with 96kHz, 24-bit conversion. The interface includes four front panel microphone preamp XLR inputs with switchable +48V phantom power, alongside two (switchable) Mic/Hi-Z instrument inputs on quarter-inch jack. Additionally, there are rear-mounted coaxial SPDIF inputs and outputs on RCA connectors. Two independent headphone outputs are also accessible alongside an integrated monitoring mixer. Keyboards, synthesisers and sound modules can also be connected via the 16-channel Midi interface, with its input and output on the unit’s rear panel.

High-performance, low-latency drivers based on proprietary DirectWire technology can be used for routing audio streams within applications using ESI’s EWDM (Enhanced Windows Driver Model) with support for the latest WDM (Windows Driver Model), ASIO 2.0, and CoreAudio technology for Mac (OS-X 10.7 and above) and PC (Windows Vista, 7, 8.1, and 10), U168 XT works with all current standard audio applications.

As an equally versatile USB 2.0 audio interface for Mac and PC with an ADC dynamic range of 107dB(a) and DAC dynamic range of 112dB(a), U86 XT shares the same feature set and functions as the U168 XT, but with reduced physical I/O – eight analogue inputs and six outputs – and smaller (310mm x 145mm x 45mm) dimensions. Bundle packages include an eight-track version of Bitwig Studio music creation and performance software, as well as a licence for Stanton’s Deckadance LE software.

The U168 XT carries an MSRP of €549 and U86 XT an MSRP of €399.


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