ESI U22XT 24 Bit Professional Audio Interface - The New German Engineered Audio Interface Review

About ESI Audio Perhaps the name ESI may sound unfamiliar to some of you but one thing you definitely have to know that  ESI is on...

About ESI Audio

Perhaps the name ESI may sound unfamiliar to some of you but one thing you definitely have to know that ESI is one of the leading German vendors for professional and semi-professional audio equipment worldwide. 

Similar to other company such as Steinberg, Focusrite, M-Audio, ESI has been making top quality professional audio products such as audio and midi interfaces, keyboard controllers, studio monitors, and mobile accessories for over a decade now.

The NAMM 2016 Highlight - ESI U22XT Professional 24 Bit USB Audio Interface

On January, ESI has announced their latest audio interface which is also known as the ESI U22XT at NAMM 2016. If you are still looking for an affordable yet high quality audio interface to start your music production journey, the ESI U22XT is one of the choice that you shouldn't miss out! As far we all know, a decent piece of audio interface would cost you around RM650 - RM1000 at current market price in Malaysia. However, the new ESI U22XT would only cost you RM580 here.

What ESI Say?

U22 XT offers a maximum of flexibility as fully bus powered USB device with pristine professional 24-bit audio quality.

The interface features 2 analog input and 2 analog output channels with RCA connection, a microphone preamplifier with XLR input and support for +48V phantom power, a Hi-Z instrument input for guitars, a high quality headphone output and TRS line outputs. Master and headphone volume as well as monitoring are controlled on the front panel.

On the software side, U22 XT provides low latency drivers with support for WDM, ASIO 2.0 and CoreAudio based on our EWDM and DirectWIRE technology.

Included with U22 XT is the Bitwig 8-Track software, the trim and effective digital audio workstation to start producing, performing, and designing audio like a pro. With Bitwig 8-Track, you can start working right out of the box without other additional software. Record and arrange, improvise and perform, or do it all at once, with this professional solution developed by musicians, for musicians.

If you're looking for a really powerful USB audio solution for your PC or Mac to start working out of the box, then U22 XT is for you!

What We Say?

We do not want to go through a long story to explain all the technical specs here. However, we will highlight a few points why you should get this audio interface.

1. 24 Bit Dept / 96 kHz Audio Resolution

No more worry on exporting high resolution digital audio files such as FLAC or Wave format. With the sufficient support of bit dept and sampling rate, you will be able capture high level detail out of your recording up to 96000Hz every seconds. 

2. Healthy Mic Preamp

What do we mean by the term "healthy" here? Mic level is one of the core factor that remind us to pick an interface which can produce healthy level signal during our recording session. Below is the characteristics that we think ESI U22XT could deliver:
  • Powerful - to drive the level of input to the maximum performance
  • Clean - out of distortion/noise

3. Monitoring Your Track Without Fear

The most common issue that happening to a USB Microphone with direct monitoring is having huge delay in monitoring their own track. Thus, the low latency drivers provided by ESI allow you to monitor your track in real time under the latency of 10 ms (0.01s) to 20 ms (0.02) which is also considered as acceptable level of latency. In addition, the Mix Control will give you a flexibility of 
listening to more input signal in real time or the computer playback signal or both. This is one of the features where we can hardly see on other cheap recording interfaces.

4. Windows 8 & 10 Support

This is a long discussed issue on audio interface since Windows 10 has been released on last year. Since not many interface release a driver particularly for Windows 10 user, somehow the new ESI U22XT is currently supporting the new operating system Windows 10 (32 bit/ 64 bit)! For Windows 10 recording enthusiast, you know what to do now.

5. Direct Wiring Technology

Last but not the least, the most dazzling extra feature here is the DirectWIRE technology. According to them, DirectWIRE is a driver technology, developed by ESI, which can be used for routing audio streams internally within applications using EWDM Audio MIDI Drivers exclusively developed by ESI. 

Wow! It may be sound complicated. However, it is not as hard as you think. Lets look at an example here. You are using a broadcasting application with WDM driver to do a live online broadcasting. Then, you would like to record the output of your broadcasting session into your DAW in real time which using an ASIO driver. Therefore, Direct Wiring Technology wired two applications with different audio driver together so you are able to record the contents of your broadcasting to your DAW simultaneously without losing any data.

Highly Recommended To:

1. Solo musicians who just about to start music production in their home studio
2. Travelling musicians who always need a compact recording interface on hand
3. Live Streaming/Podcasting users

We are planning to make a full video review of ESI U22XT, please let us know if you are looking forward of our video review.

You Might Also Like


Flickr Images