TASCAM US-16×08 Review – Budget USB Audio Interface

Updated on by Ross McLeod | There may be affiliate links on this page.

TASCAM’s US-16x08 is a highly capable USB audio interface, which bridges the gap between affordability and performance.

If you’re looking for a versatile hub for all of your recording and monitoring needs, the US-16x08 provides a wide range of capabilities to streamline these processes.

With plenty of connection installed on the interface and an array of additional features, TASCAM has created a worthy competitor to the more expensive 8-channel recording devices.

In this guide, I’ll summarize each aspect of the US-16x08 so you can decide whether it’s the right choice for your recording setup.

TASCAM US-16x08 - Overview

The US-60x08 audio interface includes the following components:

  • 8 preamps
  • USB 2.0 connectivity
  • Phantom power
  • 8 XLR & ¼ inch inputs
  • 8 ¼ inch analog outputs
  • 24-bit/96kHz A/D resolution
  • Extensive selection of inputs and outputs
  • Clean, low-noise recording
  • Latency free performance
  • Robust chassis
  • No recording software included

Audio Quality

The main quality to look out for when deciding on the ideal audio interface for your recordings is audio quality. Having an extensive number of inputs and outputs is great, but if the quality is sub-par then they are essentially redundant.

TASCAM has made audio quality the main priority when designing the US-16x08 audio interface. Firstly, it boasts a high A/D resolution of 24-bit/96kHz.

The eight analog XLR inputs are equipped with Ultra-HDDA microphone preamps, which deliver clean recordings. They also operate with minimal noise and offer up to 56dB of gain.

Plugging an instrument directly into the inputs of the interface results in a clean, transparent tone. There’s some gentle coloration caused by the preamps, but it’s by no means overwhelming.

Overall, the TASCAM US-16x08 rivals top-end interfaces when it comes to sound quality. It captures audio, whether through microphones or direct recording, accurately and cleanly.

Connectivity

Most budget USB audio interfaces offer one, two, or at most four inputs and outputs. This TASCAM device deviates from the norm, housing a total of 16 inputs and 8 outputs.

This means that you can use the interface to record a full drum kit or a band’s live performance. The analog inputs facilitate both XLR and ¼ inch connection and are all fitted with high-quality preamps for a clean recording.

For MIDI connectivity, TASCAM has installed a specific MIDI I/O so that you can directly connect keyboards and controllers with no additional hardware required.

The eight outputs housed on the US-16x08 audio interface allow you to pair the device with studio monitors or route your recordings back out into an amplifier, preamp, or effects unit with ease.

There’s also a headphone output for silent recording and monitoring, with its level control.

Connecting the interface to your computer or laptop couldn’t be easier. With USB 2.0 connectivity, you simply plug the device in and it’s ready to go. It’s class-compliant and compatible with Mac, Windows, and iOS devices.

Additional Features

To simplify the recording and monitoring process, TASCAM has installed a variety of onboard controls and features on the US-16x08 USB audio interface. These include:

  • Integrated DSP
  • 4-band equalizer
  • Removable rack ears
  • Phantom power
  • Onboard compressors

The patented TASCAM DSP provides this USB audio interface with added flexibility. It’s a rare feature on affordable interfaces and is included to provide you with latency-free monitor mixing.

A DSP is essentially an onboard processor. This particular one is robust, and therefore provides each of the US-16x08’s inputs with polished, reliable recording abilities.

The eight input channels each have their 4-band EQ controls and a dedicated compressor. This is an extremely useful addition, as it allows you to tailor the sound of your recordings before they reach the DAW.

The removable rack ears facilitate the mounting of this audio interface to a standard-sized, 19-inch equipment rack.

Finally, each input channel has phantom power which can be applied by engaging the individual +48v buttons, for recording with condenser microphones.

Manufacturer

Based in California, TASCAM is one of the leading producers of recording equipment. They were responsible for the first low-cost, mass-produced multitrack recorders and have produced many popular reel-to-reel tape machines for home recordings.

With the explosion of digital audio interfaces due to the popularity of home recording studios, TASCAM shifted its focus to new technologies.

Resultantly, they have manufactured a vast selection of affordable and top-end audio interfaces which are used in professional and home recording studios around the world.


Conclusion

The US-16x08 is undeniably one of the best budget audio interfaces on the market. It allows you to record large numbers of audio sources simultaneously and includes many performance-boosting features.

If you require more inputs and outputs than the average affordable audio interfaces offer, you’ll struggle to find a better option than this brilliant TASCAM USB device.

About Ross McLeod

Ross McLeod is a songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer. His most recent project is named Gold Jacket, and he is the frontman and bassist of the garage rock band The Blue Dawns with whom he has released 4 EPs and toured extensively.

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