Company ESI continues to release new interesting sound devices and this time brings mirth with professional USB audio interface U168 XT with support of 96 kHz and 24 bits work mode, dynamic range up to 112 dB and digital S/PDIF inputs and outputs. It has 16 inputs and 8 outputs, which can be used simultaneously; also it supports 44.1, 48 and 88.2 kHz sampling rates. On frontal panel of device there are : 4 combined XLR/TRS 1/4″ jack microphone inputs ( first 2 of them can work in instrumental Hi-Z mode ), switch on and phantom power +48 V plugging buttons, gain control knob and work indicators for each of them. Mono work mode of inputs switches, their work modes indicators and volume control knobs for inputs 1 – 8 and 9 – 16 and outputs 1 – 8 on back panel; 2 TRS 1/4″ jack outputs for monitor headphones, their volume controls, these ports switch on buttons; and power button with indicator.
On back panel of ESI U168 XT there are : 16th channels MIDI input and output; power adapter +12 V input and USB port for connection to computer; coaxial digital S/PDIF RCA input and output; mixed left and righ TRS 1/4″ jack outputs; 8 linear TRS 1/4″ jack outputs; and 16 more inputs with the same type of connectors. Audio interface performs analogue to digital conversions with 107 dB dynamic range and digital to analogue with 112 dB range, which are very good values for sound devices; its sizes are 45 ( width ) x 14,5 ( depth ) x 4,5 ( height ) cm; it is powered from power line adapter, which is included in the package. Manufacturer does not tell what mass device has, but, presumably, it is around 1 kg. Also, ESI does not tell in which mode inputs and outputs work, it seems, that they work only in unbalanced mode.
ESI U168 XT works in Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 and 10 operating systems with support of ASIO 2.0, MME, WDM and DirectSound interfaces; as well as in Mac OS X 10.7 and newer with support of Core Audio interface. Through them device interacts with modern DAWs : FL Studio, Cackewalk Sonar, REAPER, Avid Pro Tools, Ableton Live, Steinberg Cubase and others. Audio device will be available for purchase in shops at the end of this Summer.
With device programs Image-Line Deckadance LE and DAW Bitwig 8-Track are supplied. First of them is a DJs’ console and mixer, which can work as stand-alone program and as VST plugin with connection to DAW or other program. Second of them is entry-level DAW, which allow to work with sounds and MIDI notes on up to 8 tracks with ability to record analogue audio and connect different VST instruments and effects. Also it has sounds and presets, selected from professional Bitwig Studio Library, and supports automation and built-in Open Controller Scripting API for advanced control and processing. Bitwig 8-Track is a simplified version of Bitwig Studio and takes 5 GB of disk space, it downloads additional modules from Internet during setup.
Package contains : USB audio interface ESI U168XT itself, USB cable, optical disk with drivers and programs, warranty card and user’s guide. Audio interface is great : it has good digital part, large amount of connectors and parameters controls, as well as MIDI input and output and digital coaxial S/PDIF connectors. Wherein its analogue part is better, than many other audio interfaces of this level have. There is ability to anticipate, that ESI will set optimal price on it and it ‘ll be very competitive among audio interfaces of Steinberg, Behringer, Focusrite, Roland, ESI, M-Audio, Alesis and other companies production.
Company ESI was founded in Germany in 2006 year, mainly it produces audio interfaces, loudspeakers and other sound equipment. Its products are notable for high quality and acceptable prices, currently offices and facilities of company are located in a couple of countries of the world.