ESI has unveiled the U168 XT and U86 XT audio interfaces for Mac and PC. The U168 XT provides 16 line inputs and eight line outputs on balanced 1/4″ connectors. The USB 2.0 / 24-bit/96kHz interface includes four integrated microphone preamps with XLR inputs and switchable +48V phantom power, positioned on its front panel for easy access alongside two (switchable) MIC/HI-Z instrument inputs (1/4-inch connector) for electric guitars. Other I/O includes coaxial S/PDIF input) and output on RCA connectors, two independent headphone outputs and MIDI.
ESI claims an analog-to-digital conversion dynamic range of 107dB and digital-to-analog conversion dynamic range of 112dB. The U86 XT shares the same flexible feature set and functions as its U168 XT bigger brother, but with a reduced number of physical analog inputs (eight) and outputs (six), and reduced (310 x 145 x 45mm) dimensions (down from U168 XT’s 450 x 145 x 45mm).
ESI’s U168 XT starts shipping worldwide in early May 2017 for €549 and the U86 XT follows in early June 2017 for €399.