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Microphone Month 5

Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 Reviews

4.5 stars based on 25 customer reviews
Questions about the Focusrite Scarlett 18i20?

Questions about the Focusrite Scarlett 18i20?

Or call us at (800) 222-4700

  • from Texas May 24, 2017Music Background:
    Music Producer/Artist & Recording/Mixing Engineer

    Everything I Wanted It To Be!!

    I really enjoy the sound I get from the Scarlett 18i20. It has improved my mixes and overall sound quality.
    It also has low latency as well. Great product best bang for buck!

  • from Waller Texas April 21, 2017

    Focusrite Scarlett 18i20

    Great Product !

  • from Colorado April 10, 2017Music Background:
    I have been teaching myself guitar for about 6 years and have been a vocalist for 8.

    Great Interface

    I am new to recording and spending money like this is still an intimidating thing to me. But this interface has really made the whole process a little less daunting. It's solidly built and I absolutely love recording with it!

  • from Culpeper, VA March 23, 2017

    Third Time's a Charm

    The routing capabilities for live and recording use are amazing. The sound quality is much better than my Eleven Rack and MBox 2. I did have two units that had headphone failures right out of the box but Sweetwater made the return process simple.

    I use it primarily for Recording live takes of my IEM mix and for the Two Notes Torpedo Wall of Sound Plugin. Rock solid and great sounds every time.

  • from Ohio March 15, 2017Music Background:
    Audio Engineer

    Best value in the category

    This interface is possibly the best value of any under $. 8 lovely Scarlett preamps, 8 quality Mic/Line inputs, easy setup/installation, and some useful bundled plugins and software. Pair this with a Focusrite OctoPre and you could have a pretty mean combo.

  • from Texas February 27, 2017Music Background:
    Playing guitar since 1972, recording since 1982.

    Big improvement over the Gen 1

    I have a Gen 1 18i20 and always have had problems with it. Clicks and pops, then the computer would not recognize it. I would switch USB ports and now the computer would see it. I tried a different driver and had many calls to Focusrite and on and on and on. I was pretty much done with the 18i20 and was looking for a replacement. I came upon a deal on the 18i20 2nd gen and thought if it didn't work out it would not be a big loss. I bought it, programmed the Gen 1 to be an ADAT input to the Gen 2 and it works amazing. I like the pre-amps of both units and now I have 16 inputs and outputs. The 2nd gen is what the 1st gen should have been. I have had no hiccups since plugging it in. Works great and sounds great. I'm sure you can find a better sounding interface but you will pay for it. For a home studio on a budget this is the ticket. For the money you will be hard pressed to find a better sounding, and functioning interface. One note, from the ears perspective the latency seems to be about the same for both units. I still have to set up a headphone mix using input monitoring. The nice thing is that you can set up a headphone mix using input monitoring.

  • from Jackson Mo February 23, 2017Music Background:
    done stuff. Lots of stuff. Not a pro.


    This is my 5th or 6th interface and I've waited almost a year to write a review. In that year I haven't come up with any reason to need anything this interface doesn't offer me...in the home studio.
    The preamps are phenomenal. I have several high end outboard pre's that I seldom bother to plug in because the focusrites truly are clean and hot and never sound bad (usually sound great). Of course there are reasons to use your outboard preamps and that's effortless with the unit.
    All the routing options are sensible and simple to utilize. It has never failed or disappointed me.
    I'm an experienced amateur so take that review for what it is. 10 years or so of messing around a LOT with home recording gear tells me this unit is a safe bet in most home studios.

  • from St. Louis, MO February 17, 2017Music Background:
    Singer songwriter

    Perfect plug and play solution

    Perfect, easy solution for updating my decade-old gear while installing new version of ProTools, and now I'm not limited by the four inputs of my old Digital gear. Great, step by step video instructions for installation and getting up to speed fast.

  • from USA February 10, 2017Music Background:
    Professional Musician

    The House is Rockin'

    After having used Focusrite's products since the Saffire days, I took the plunge and bought the monster. This interface allows me to have my whole band play at once. This is especially great when just jamming and looking for that spontaneous moment where a gem surfaces. I have this unit plugged into my Sonar X3 Studio (don't like Focusrite fool you into buying Pro Tools. It is compatible with other DAW and recording software despite their marketing push for Pro Tools.)

    The amps are crystal clear and the boost on the mic lines give it the push over the top so the vocalist is not lost within all the instruments.

    The unit itself was very easy to set up in my Sonar. After downloading the drivers I found them in the Sonar and joined them to the tracks and we were recording a live jam session within one hour of opening the package. The meters are great to help me manage the sound visually. I am using all eight inputs, plus the MIDI input. I have had the unit just under two months and we have not had any problems. Focus Rite has always done me right. In between the Saffire and the new Scralett I have owned the Scarlett 2i4 for a number of years. They are just the best in audio quality. Using near field speakers I am able to get the true tone I am looking for when I am ready to master any song.

    Highly recommend this if you are going to record more than 4 instruments simultaneously. It is worth the leap.

  • from Washington, D.C. January 24, 2017

    Love it!

    My fear from past experiences with audio interfaces was compatibility/connectivity issues. But I had no problems with this one. Great sound, great functionality, quality build and the included routing software is helpful. Also, it comes with a good set of plug ins and more are offered every month. Very happy with this purchase!

  • from Seattle, WA January 20, 2017

    How did I live without this?

    I was looking for a new recording interface to record my band's demo, I needed the ability to record many tracks at once and this beauty was recommended to me by a friend. This thing creates beautiful sounding vocal tracks, and makes recording drums a breeze. The latency is completely negligible, I get lower latency on the Scarlett than if I use the built-in mic & speakers on my computer (Seriously!). And on top of being a great piece of hardware, it comes with some amazing plugins from Softube that have become staples in my recording toolbox. I don't know how I ever lived without the Scarlett 18i20!

  • from Alabama January 12, 2017Music Background:


    Love this 18i20 2nd gen. I had the 2i2 and I was looking to expand my channels in recording for my Home Studio. I now can record drums and other instruments at the same time now. Love every feature it has,dual headphone jacks as well as the 8 line outs for more headphones or monitors. Would recommend this 18i20 to anyone wanting to expand their studio. My fellow recording buddy just bought one as well and loves it.

  • from Texas November 24, 2016


    I really like the routing capabilities in this. The 18i20 works amazing for recording with multiple mics and getting great sound. The software works great for routing to my headphones/monitors what I want to hear. Very very useful.

  • from November 18, 2016


    Excelente producto y mejor atencion muchas gracias!!

  • from PA October 31, 2016

    Worth Every Penny

    We started out using the 2i2 and quickly hit the wall; deciding to upgrade to the 18i20. While it's great to have the extra inputs, it's the preamps that have made the difference in the sound. Great bang for the buck and a great piece of gear.

  • from wa September 20, 2016

    so sick

    buy this , its rad . mic pre are sick

  • from SF, East Bay, CA September 16, 2016Music Background:
    Bassist >40yrs

    Scarlett 18i20

    I am a musician, songwriter, and produce my own material. I have recorded professionally and have a home studio, since the late 1970s. Recorded through various interfaces and recently purchased the Scarlett 18i20 (2nd Gen). I was reluctant buying a USB2 interface, but could not wait until USB 3 matured enough to replace my aging interface. RME is way to expensive for enough in and outs that the Scarlett has. Great design with most in & outs in the rear and meters in front. Very easy to operate in a studio rack.
    I tested guitars, several basses, vocal condenser mics for audio quality. I A/B them against digital vocal preamps, hardware guitar direct effects processors etc. The Scarlett's preamps sounded warm and clear. I was surprised at the clarity and presence, especially with vocals. I did not notice any latency with anything I have thrown at it. Round trip Asio= 7. The computer control is easy and versatile. I used a few included plug-ins, and it came with more than most. My opinion is - an incredible value for under $500 and I agree that everything "just works".

  • from Charlotte NC August 24, 2016Music Background:
    Musician, worshiper, producer!


    I am literally blown away by the sound of this unit .
    This may sound silly for most of you all, but I even decided to sell my $899 Apollo twin Duo
    With several hundred dollars worth of plug-ins because I wasn't using it anymore . I literally have all that I ever needed in an audio interface.
    If I need more inputs I will definitely reach out for a mic preamp and probably from focusrite...
    Definitely recommend this unit for anybody that's curious about how good it is

  • from Ohio August 9, 2016Music Background:
    Guitars, Piano, Project production.

    Super Fast!

    This is the best (USB 2.0 Audio) interface I have encountered so far for the money.

    Along with a Sweetwater Creation Station, you can't go wrong. Pristine sound and very low latency. I have achieved as low as 1.7ms!

  • from Southern California January 5, 2017Music Background:
    Musician, Audio engineer and tech.

    Great Audio/MIDI interface

    This Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 (second gen) is my new favorite interface. Many more outs and ins than my last device. Runs very smoothly on USB 2.0 without a hitch and with near perfect latency. But the best thing is the very flexible monitoring: 5 independent stereo mixes are possible, all controllable from the computer and/or remote controlled using (free) iPad and iPhone apps.
    'Bloody Well Done Mates!'

  • from Vancouver, WA May 10, 2017Music Background:
    House Of Worship FOH engineer and singing drummer

    10/10 recommendation

    I got this on sale, and I'm absolutely blown away by the quality! It sounds awesome on drum recordings, the latency is definitely the best you'll find in a USB interface, and the Focusrite Control software is really useful for creating monitor mixes! My only 2 gripes that are taking away that 5th star, however are:

    You can only create custom monitor mixes in the Focusrite Control program when running at 96kHz or below. At 192kHz, you'll have to use your DAW to create a custom monitor mix. This isn't a huge deal since the latency is significantly lower at 192kHz, but the built-in custom monitor mixing is awesome so I just run at 96kHz anyway.


    The headphone amps are nothing special. They drive my low-impedance (around 60 ohm) cans just fine, but I doubt they would be able to push much higher-impedance headphones to a loud volume. Also, they're pretty noisy. It's not noticeable when recording drums, but at lower volumes you can hear quite a bit of beeping and buzzing.

    Those 2 complaints are DEFINITELY not deal-breakers. I would highly recommend the 18i20 for the price.

  • from Orlando FL August 12, 2016Music Background:
    Musician, Producer, Engineer, Video Producer, Photographer, Pilot/Aerial UAS company owner

    Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 2nd Gen

    Sounds very good. Solid construction. Front and back panel layout for i/o and metering logical. Kudos to the Sweetwater Technical staff for helping out with the driver from Focusrite that is buggy. I have discovered that the only way to play legacy PTLE 8.4 sessions is to open a new Pro Tools 12 session and import the legacy session data to the new Pro Tools session. If I attempt to load a legacy session directly the Focusrite driver and the Focusrite applet called the Asio Control Panel where the sample rate can be changed cause Pro Tools to freeze. Computer restart is the only option at this point. I cannot place blame on either Focusrite or Avid, but this procedure is very inconvenient. The work around to open an new PT 12 session and import legacy sessions is the only way. I record all sessions in 48Khz and the sound is excellent. Again, thanks to Sweetwater Technical Staff for their help!

  • from New Mexico August 10, 2016Music Background:

    Not the big leap in quality I expected

    I'd been using a top-of-the-line interface from another company. However, it was a legacy product and didn't have the driver available for the OS upgrade I'd done. So I purchased the Focusrite 18i20 (2nd gen) to replace it. I'm finding that it really wasn't much of an upgrade from my other interface. I mean, I don't have any big complaints about it, but if my old interface was just pretty darn good, then this interface is just pretty darn good, too. It does have one unusual characteristic--the taper in the pots seems odd. I adjust them to where they're almost loud enough, then if I move them another 1/8th inch, they're way too loud. That is taking some getting used to. Setup was a little confusing, but thankfully Sweetwater was there to help. Focusrite's tech support reputation for slow response seems to be accurate.

  • from December 30, 2016

    Great Specs, Dissappointing Performance

    If you don't have much in the way of requirements and aren't pushing it too hard, I guess it's an okay interface. But if you have a demanding workload and require the highest quality settings out of a modest budget, this thing is a big disappointment. Its specs seem great on paper but in practice it doesn't deliver. After much testing I promptly returned mine. I wrote a multi-paragraph explanation of my settings and my testing with a brand new computer which I optimized for audio according to various published guides including those by Focusrite themselves, as well as my own previous experience working with audio in Windows but it was too long.. My most surprising finding was that the built in audio of my 6 year old Dell laptop handled multiple audio apps simultaneously with better latency than the 2nd gen 18i20 did. Kinda sad, really when you consider the price of this interface.

    Long story short, I moved onto my next choice and picked up the overlooked and lower priced M-Track Eight.. and it performs much better than this thing did. I'm glad I switched.

  • from MO May 20, 2017

    Pops and Clicks and Other Issues

    I've owned this interface for maybe 2 or 3 months now and I've experienced nothing but problems.The phantom power seems a bit weak, Focusrite Control doesn't stay synced and needs to be reset/remapped every few hours and presets don't work correctly, there are pops and clicks even when just watching videos on YouTube, the interface needs to be restarted after a few hours due to some really strange artifacts that pop up, and it's completely crashed my computer countless times in the past few weeks. It also likes to switch itself between buffer sizes randomly, causing even more problems when working in my DAW.

    I owned the Focusrite 2i4 1st gen for years (never having any of these issues) and thought this wold be a big upgrade. While the knobs feel a bit better, the headphone outputs sound a lot better, and there are more inputs/outputs, everything else with this interface has been disappointing or completely broken. I will be getting rid of it as soon as I can afford something else.

Questions about the Focusrite Scarlett 18i20?

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