Updated: January 25, 2020 by Richard Cole
Audio interface is usually thought about in its most popular form. What we mean is a small box, with two line XLR/TRS inputs and very limited controls. However, this technology spans much further than that.
There are professional models out there which are designed for serious use. Needless to say, these are more expensive, but they also bring a whole lot advanced features you simply wont find in your run of the mill entry level model.
PreSonus is by far one of the most successful brands in this niche industry. They have a long tradition of offering great quality audio interface devices which come at reasonable prices. With that said, it is no wonder that such a company also has a high end line of heavy duty models of audio interface devices.
PreSonus AudioBox 1818VSL is the perfect example of what we are talking about. Today we are going to take a look at this beast, and see what makes it suitable for professional use.
Recording using a computer has become the staple of the industry for the most part. Sure, there are professional recording studios which utilize more traditional means, but the balance is slowly tipping towards the digital arena. This brings on few additional possibilities which weren’t previously possible, or at least practical.
With a more advanced USB audio interface, you now have the ability to record the whole band at once. Talk about efficiency, right? So the additional versatility is rather obvious.
The most notable feature of PreSonus AudioBox 1818VSL is the amount of inputs that you have available. If you look at he front panel, you will see six dedicated microphone/line inputs, and two microphone/instrument inputs. As usual, these are combined XLR/TRS units. To the left of these you will have two phantom power buttons, each activating this feature for one half of the inputs we have just mentioned.
To the right of the input cluster, you will find your gain controls. Each input has its own dedicated knob with a clip LED right next to it. Aside from these, there is also a master knob and headphones level knob.
The back side of the PreSonus AudioBox 1818VSL reveals versatile connectivity options. There’s a USB2.0 port, followed by Sync out, ADAT Input/Output pair, SPDIF ports, and MIDI Input/Output section. On the other end of the this face you will see a L/R mains out followed by eight balanced TRS line outs.
PreSonus AudioBox 1818VSL offers a dedicated XMAX preamp for each input channel, along with 96 kHz sampling. In simple terms, this is one very flexible and capable USB audio interface.
The most important aspect of any device of this type is the quality of sound it is able to deliver. In case of PreSonus AudioBox 1818VSL the verdict is overwhelmingly positive. Everything is clean, very defined and accurate, no matter what type of instrument you plug into the PreSonus AudioBox 1818VSL.
There are probably better ways to record music in terms of sound quality, but none of them come at a price that is anywhere near what this unit costs. USB drivers are stable, which is another important thing to look for, so the operation of this particular audio interface can be classified as smooth.
What we like
Impressive set of features in a model which comes at incredibly competitive prices. PreSonus AudioBox 1818VSL among the cheapest units in its class, and there is no significant tradeoffs to speak of. That is a feat only PreSonus can achieve.
What we don’t like
There’s nothing to add here. This audio interface works like a charm in all aspects that matter.
Recording music with PreSonus AudioBox 1818VSL, whether you’re doing it at home or in a studio, is made easy and practical thanks to the increased number of inputs available. This is a very versatile box, and one that comes at a price that will make you wonder if this is even possible.
If you want a USB audio interface with more flexibility that your standard models offer, PreSonus AudioBox 1818VSL is absolutely something you need to check out more.