Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 (1st Gen) Review

Producers and musicians need a dependable audio interface that they can use at all times, especially during the moments when they feel the need to record a track with excellent quality without the help of studio equipments. The Focusrite 18i20 provides the recording operations with the brand’s highly-acclaimed microphone preamps and joins them with superb-quality 24-bit/96kHz and USB 2.0 connectivity.

Mic preamps that come from Focusrite are often used in well-known studios all over the world and they provide the audio interface performance that can be compared to professionally done recordings.


  • Features 24-bit depth.
  • Features 96 kHz sample rate.
  • Includes 18 inputs.
  • Features I microphone preamps.
  • Includes 8 XLR/TRS combo jacks.
  • Includes 2 S/PDIF.
  • Features 8 ADAT/optical.
  • Has total output of 20.
  • Features 1/4-inch 10 TRS.
  • Features 5-pin MIDI input and output.
  • Includes 2 headphone outputs.
  • Includes Wordclock input and output.
  • Compatible with Mac and Windows.
  • Features phantom power.
  • Features direct monitoring.
  • Features onboard DSP.
  • Features LED metering.
  • Features latency control.
  • Includes monitor control.
  • Includes headphone control.
  • Is rack-mountable.
  • Includes software.


The Scarlett 18i20 comes in a black and red design and features 2 multi-input, balanced mic and jacks located at the front with typical pad buttons along with 48v switches.

It has LED meters to notify users when they have a USB connection and if they plan to distribute items by digital means. It also features 8 multiple LEDs to place input level along with a monitor volume knob, dim and mute options. There are also 2 headphone outputs on the jacks accompanied by volume controls.

It is great to have an interface with plenty of connections and knobs but what matters here the most is the sound that is produced by this unit. The brand is known for manufacturing professional equipment. This unit manages to provide a transparent and clear sound with tiniest latency.

It is also great that users can plug microphone, headphones and guitar into the front panel and they can get audio without having to switch on the DAW. You indeed acquire significantly clean and clear preamps with this unit. They churn out better quality sound as compared to the other units in the market.

The company’s interfaces include their MixControl software that lets users undertake audio routing with lower latency. You do have to spend some time in order to learn the MixControl functions if you are serious about doing some nice routing arrangements for headphones.

Customers who liked this product said that the interface provides great sound and it has superb build quality. It is also user-friendly and works well with Windows, Mac and iOS. Many customers also loved that it includes a decent software bundle.


Customers who were disappointed with some of the features shared that there are no output indicators on the interface. Pro Tools enthusiasts were also dismayed by the fact that the bundled software does not operate with Pro Tools – particularly Pro Tools 11.


Many people have bought this item and were satisfied with it overall. The Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 suits the needs of bands and singers/songwriters who plan on tracking drums, record live gigs and monitor MIDI in and out.

It also greatly benefits electronic artists. If you want plenty of inputs and outputs along with high-quality sound, then this product is for you. However, you should look for other alternatives if you want to use Pro Tools with the interface.

Furthermore, if you want output indicators, you can check out other products of the Scarlett series from the company. What I love about this is the sound and in my opinion, the quality of sound that an interface produces is a huge deciding factor. As far as price is concerned, the device comes at a reasonable price and is definitely worth every penny of your money.