Focusrite Scarlett 8i6 3rd Gen - User review - Gearspace.com
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Focusrite Scarlett 8i6 3rd Gen
4.65 4.65 out of 5, based on 2 Reviews

Stunning. Rediscovering music I thought I knew.

17th October 2019

Focusrite Scarlett 8i6 3rd Gen by PsyKology

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
Focusrite Scarlett 8i6 3rd Gen

I have just purchased a Gen 3 Scarlett 8i6 to replace an NI Komplete Audio 6 and have to say, I am very impressed with it.

I have been using the KA6 for about 5 years without issue and running it into a pair of Adam A3Xs. I have always enjoyed the sound and listen mainly to rock, or trance & techno through the system. Following a major PC upgrade including moving the OS to Windows 10, the KA6 has been nothing but problems. The audio drivers kept crashing or freezing, requiring the KA6 to be unplugged, or the drivers restarted. After 3 weeks of this, I gave up and started searching for a replacement.

I chose the 8i6 due to number of inputs and Focusrite's pedigree in the Pro PA field (I used to work in event production). Upon opening the box, I was initially struck by its looks, it is indeed a thing of beauty. I will concede the KA6 did feel a bit chunkier, but the Scarlet looks drop dead gorgeous.

Within 2 minutes of plugging it in and listening to some music, my girlfriend came in and commented on how much better everything sounded. I was just sat there with a silly grin. Compared to the KA6, it is considerably more open and detailed. Listening to dance music, the Scarlet really does let the music flow, but also keeps tight control of it. I find the sound both exciting and invigorating and the bottom end is rock solid and deep.

I honestly thought the KA6 was a bloody good interface and have always been very happy with it. Looking back, I am strangely happy that everything went pear shaped with the PC upgrade, otherwise I would still be listening to it now and missing out on the luscious sound I have now. It drives the Adams to obscene levels and I am impressed the the tight bass they are now producing.

For headphones, I am using a pair of Audio Technica ES700s. Admittedly these are more hi-fi than studio, but they are comfy and I like their sound. The Scarlett will drive them without issue to painfully loud levels while still remaining focussed and in control.

Anyway, if you are thinking about dropping the cash on one, at the very least go and have a listen. You wont regret it, but your credit card might.

10th June 2021

Focusrite Scarlett 8i6 3rd Gen by telecode

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Focusrite Scarlett 8i6 3rd Gen

I upgraded to a gen 3 version of the Focusrite 8i6 from a gen 1 NI Komplete Audio 6 that I had been using for almost 12 years. I have been using this for about a month now.

The upgrade to the Focusrite allows you to go up to 24/192k. Note: not all plugins support 192k. I mostly use it in 24/48 and 24/44.1 project settings.

The interface has more than enough inputs to support external hardware. No issues so far.

This interface is powered by it's own power adapter so it doesn't draw power from your USB port which is a good thing when it comes to DAW performance.

The knobs are of fair quality. Plasticky but should last a long time as long as you don't travel with this interface. My only comment is it would have been nice to have a button to control line level and instrument level inputs like you had on the NI. This function is apparently controlled via the Focusrite software. What happens if the software ever starts to get a little flaky?

Lastly, the audio routing in all done by the Focusrite software and takes a little getting used to as it's a little un-intuitive.

I don't think I am hearing any big improvement in sound quality from the upgrade to the new interface. But there is a huge improvement in latency. I work with 24/48 usually and I was hovering around 10 to 13ms on the NI. With the Focusrite I am down to 3 to 5ms.