Tascam US-16×08 Buyers Guide Review (November 2020)

Tascam US-16x08

Tascam US-16x08

  • ✔ Eight balanced line outputs are also available
  • ✔ Eight Ultra-HDDA microphone preamps
  • ✔ An additional eight line inputs are provided
  • ✔ Captures 16 mic and line inputs
The US-16x08 feature set represents the barest of bones for audio interfaces of this type.
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The Tascam US-16×08 is an 8 channel audio interface, aimed at being an affordable option for those wanting a rack-mountable audio interface with a decent amount of inputs/outputs.

The entry level into the 1U 8 mic pre interface category comes in from Tascam who are well known for developing solid recording gear at competitive prices. On to the 16×08. The Tascam site has all the specs and manuals, just look there if you want to get to know this beast. You can even test-drive the brand-new ASIO driver panel as it works without the unit attached. The US-16×08 feature set represents the barest of bones for audio interfaces of this type. As only one headphone output with a level pot is provided and no ADAT is included for I/O expansion. That said, you may not have to worry about the absence of ADAT here as the US 16×08, as the names suggests, provides 16 analog inputs and 8 outputs.

On the front of the interface 8 XLR mic pres that are claimed to deliver “clean and quiet operation” with up to 56dB of gain along with 2 jack inputs are present with 10 gain pots. On the rear you’ll find balanced line level inputs 11 through to 16 with outputs 1 through 8 along with MIDI I/O. If you find that you require more than 8 mic pres then the extra inputs on the rear could easily be utilized with some outboard channel strips which would make this a great interface for full band recording applications.

This device also provides two options of mounting. Use either the rack ears for mounting in standard 19” racks or screw in the included legs into the side of the chassis for desktop placement.

The US 16×8 may look like it could be from the last decade as the design is a bit bland but it has some modern power under the hood as it includes DSP, though basic it is very usable. Each of the inputs can have a 4 band EQ and compressor applied in tracking. This is adjustable via the Tascam mixer application which also offers near-latency-free monitor mixing and flexible routing.

The unit is compatible with the majority of digital audio workstations that exist, and can be used with Mac and PC. Additionally, it can also be used with iPad, iOS and other tablets, by using the class-compliant drivers that Tascam has available for download on their website.

However, it doesn’t include some of the features and ports that the formally discussed Behringer U-Phoria UMC1820 audio interface has, including ADAT and SPDIF connectivity, and not to mention the MIDAS designed preamps.

None-the-less, the US-16×08 does provide 96kHz/24-bit recording resolution, so it’s definitely a solid unit, and the customer review ratings affirm this.

Overall, the Tascam US-16×08 is a good quality interface and may be a good option for those who require iPad, iOS and other tablet connectivity. However, we don’t see many other selling points of this, when comparing it to other interfaces in the list, for example, the cheaper Behringer U-Phoria UMC1820.

Compatibility
  • Mac & PC
  • Supports all major DAWs
Features
  • Affordable 8-Channel audio interface
  • Tough metal chassis
  • Rack-mountable
  • Eight Ultra-HDDA microphone preamps
  • iPad & iOS device compatible
  • Low latency monitoring via the on-board DSP mixer
  • Warranty: 1-Year Manufacturers Warranty
Technical Specs
  • USB 2.0 connectivity
  • MIDI input/output
  • 8 XLR inputs (on the front)
  • 6 TRS inputs (on the back)
  • 8 TRS outputs (on the back)
  • 1 TRS headphones output
  • 2 ‘main’ TRS outputs (on the back)
  • Supports all major DAWs
  • 24-bit/96 kHz resolution
  • 48v Phantom Power
Pros
  • Well known brand
  • Product is well-reviewed and scores favorably in customer review ratings
  • iPad, iOS & Tablet compatible
  • Impressive technical specifications
Cons
  • No real USPs when comparing against other interfaces
  • Fairly old, was released in 2014

On the front of the interface 8 XLR mic pres that are claimed to deliver “clean and quiet operation” with up to 56dB of gain along with 2 jack inputs are present with 10 gain pots. On the rear you’ll find balanced line level inputs 11 through to 16 with outputs 1 through 8 along with MIDI I/O. If you find that you require more than 8 mic pres then the extra inputs on the rear could easily be utilized with some outboard channel strips which would make this a great interface for full band recording applications.

This device also provides two options of mounting. Use either the rack ears for mounting in standard 19” racks or screw in the included legs into the side of the chassis for desktop placement.

The US 16×8 may look like it could be from the last decade as the design is a bit bland but it has some modern power under the hood as it includes DSP, though basic it is very usable. Each of the inputs can have a 4 band EQ and compressor applied in tracking. This is adjustable via the Tascam mixer application which also offers near-latency-free monitor mixing and flexible routing.