Product Comparison: Focusrite Clarett 8Pre vs Focusrite Scarlett 18i20

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General Specifications
Clarett 8Pre
Scarlett 18i20
About the Product
Excellent sound is the quality Clarett owners love most. With up to 119dB dynamic range, superbly low noise, precision 24/192 conversion and eight specially-designed mic preamps with a unique analogue “Air” effect, Clarett 8Pre is the Thunderbolt audio interface that simply sounds great, easily out-performing others in its class and beyond. Meanwhile, its astonishing 1.67ms round-trip latency* simplifies your workflow and lets you use your favourite plug-ins in real time. Roll over to magnify
Our latest generation 18-in, 20-out USB audio interface can handle just about anything your band or studio can throw at it. Beautiful and rack mountable, it gives you loads of I/O, pristine sound quality, separate stereo headphone mixes, extensive expansion options and round-trip latency as low as 2.74ms*, all in a 1U space.
Key Specs
Form Factor
Control Interfaces
XLR or 1/4" Combo, SPDIF, Optical
XLR or 1/4" Combo, 1/4" TRS, RCA, Optical, SPDIF, MIDI
A/D Resolution
Number of Preamps
Simultaneous I/O
What customers say about "Key Specs"
Focusrite Clarett 8Pre
  • I got this because my Digi002 rack was a bit long in the tooth and I just upgraded to a new system with Thunderbolt on an iMac. The fidelity improvement and lowered session latency via thunderbolt justified the upgrade, but the ease of use was astounding.
  • This new Clarett 8pre Thunderbolt is awesome. I could have probably got by with a 4pre, but I wanted to rack mount it.
  • Thunderbolt interfaces are the future. The clarity on this thing is amazing. Prior to this i had a Saffire Pro40, which was great and i thought had great clarity. I feel my mixers are more clear since using this interface. It really is a great pristine sounding unit. I'd highly recommend.
  • The clarity that you get with options like the Air feature is really great. Of course when running Thunderbolt latency is almost none. Great work Focusrite!
  • The interface is well built and very solid. The preamps sound amazing and has great versatility.
Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 (1st GENERATION) USB Audio Interface
  • The rack mounted 18i20 serves my needs impeccably. I use outboard processing gear and everything is accessed through a patchbay so all the ins and outs are accessible without having to reach around back.
  • I got this on sale, and I'm absolutely blown away by the quality! It sounds awesome on drum recordings, the latency is definitely the best you'll find in a USB interface, and the Focusrite Control software is really useful for creating monitor mixes!
  • The routing options are perfect for what I need, clean pristine sound all around I love this thing and the quality will have me adding the Scarlett OctoPre for an additional 8 inputs.
  • I have had my Focusrite 18i20 for about the past 6 months and is remarkable. I can plug my guitar in and have it produce a rich tone. with the 18 in and 20 out, I can record a choir with keyboards, guitar and as many instruments I choose to use. it is a great interface.
  • My most surprising finding was that the built in audio of my 6 year old Dell laptop handled multiple audio apps simultaneously with better latency than the 18i20 did. Kinda sad, really when you consider the price of this interface.
  • The headphone amps are nothing special. They drive my low-impedance (around 60 ohm) cans just fine, but I doubt they would be able to push much higher-impedance headphones to a loud volume. Also, they're pretty noisy. It's not noticeable when recording drums.
Size & Weight
1.73 in.
1.73 in.
19 in.
19 in.
11.46 in.
11.25 in.
9.59 lbs.
7.21 lbs.
What customers say about "Size & Weight"
Focusrite Clarett 8Pre
  • But this thing just looks implausibly big for gigging with it. Granted the weight of my previous focusrite saffire pro dip 24 is almost exactly the same to a fraction of an ounce.
  • The fact is, the 2pre is thinner, but practically a spitting image of my previous firewire interface (see image) which was already bulky enough.
  • This is easily a step up. I still have the Duet 2 for portability but that is all.
Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 (1st GENERATION) USB Audio Interface
  • Exactly what I was looking for. I love the sturdy construction and the meters on the front.
  • Looks and feels very professional. Not bulky and easy to mount.
Analog Inputs
8 x XLR-1/4" combo
8 x XLR-1/4" combo
Analog Outputs
8 x 1/4" (line out), 2 x 1/4" (monitor out)
8 x 1/4" (line out), 2 x 1/4" (monitor out), 2 x 1/4" (headphones)
Digital Inputs
Optical, SPDIF, USB
Optical, SPDIF, USB
Digital Outputs
Optical, SPDIF, Word Clock Out
Optical, SPDIF
What customers say about "Interfaces"
Focusrite Clarett 8Pre
  • Thunderbolt is the only way to go. Goodbye slow USB. And the preamps are crystal clear with lots of headroom.
  • Excited to be able to expand this to 16 inputs. Beautiful preamps!
  • The 8Pre uses combi jacks for mic/line input, while the 8Pre X has separate XLRs for mic in and 1/4" for line. The 8Pre has a word clock input for digital sync; the 8Pre X adds word clock out.
  • The front of the quite hefty half/rack sized interface has combo xlr/1/4" inputs with gain knobs surrounded by clip indicator leds.
  • Plus you get an extra headphone output that's assignable, so that in addition to the four 1/4" outputs on the back (same as the 2 Pre) you can also use the 2nd headphone as another stereo out. Plus RCA S/PDIFs? Trust me, get the 4Pre.
Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 (1st GENERATION) USB Audio Interface
  • Just what I needed! Plenty of In's plenty of Out's for all my Analog gear......and my future gear.
  • My fear from past experiences with audio interfaces was compatibility/connectivity issues. But I had no problems with this one. Great sound, great functionality, quality build and the included routing software is helpful. Also, it comes with a good set of plug ins and more are offered every month
  • I chose this because I needed the eight separate pres each with its own channel, plus the USB connection allowed me easy and flexible routing without having to mess with adding another FireWire port on my computer.
  • I love the headphone monitor outs as well, very clean and accurate, better than my ultralite.
  • Love every feature it has,dual headphone jacks as well as the 8 line outs for more headphones or monitors.
Precision Digital Conversion, Easy Access, Included software, Accessible Metering and Monitoring, Enough Channels for the Band
Eight Scarlett mic preamps with plenty of even gain, exceptional headroom, low noise and minimal distortion, Two newly-designed instrument inputs, now with increased headroom for seriously hot pick-ups, Class-leading digital conversion at up to 24-bit / 192kHz, ADAT expansion ports allow you to add an extra eight analogue inputs and outputs, Ten balanced analogue outputs, including a dedicated stereo pair with anti-thump circuitry, Focusrite Control software to easily configure your monitoring and routing setups, All the additional software and loops you need to record, Remote control from iPhone or iPad - Download the free Focusrite iOS Control app
Power Supply
AC adapter
AC adapter
Phantom Power
Bus Powered
OS Requirements - Mac
Mac OS 10.9/10.10/10.11
Mac OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) or OS X 10.11 (El Capitan)
OS Requirements - PC
Windows 8.1/10
Windows 7 (32- or 64-bit), 8.1 and 10
What customers say about "Features"
Focusrite Clarett 8Pre
  • The new Focusrite Control software is lot easier to use than the old Focusrite Mix Control I had been using.
  • Low latency monitoring is fantastic for a DAW like pro tools that uses very heavy plugins. So overall, this audio interface is AMAZING! I would recommend to anyone that wants a thunderbolt audio interface!
  • Great piece of equipment; the software (included) is great as a stand alone, especially if your recording live instruments. And you can't beat Sweetwater's support and personalized service!
  • I am impressed with what Focusrite is doing. This is a solid product. I don't want to fluff anything here, if you are in this price range check the Clarett 8pre out.
  • The control software is easy to configure and it came with a couple of plugins I haven't used yet.
Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 (1st GENERATION) USB Audio Interface
  • The interface is exactly what I hoped for. I bought it so I could record live drums at home. It sounds great. All the free software downloaded and works. No issues whatsoever. Plug it in. Do what it says on the box and it is so much fun recording!
  • I have a gen 1 unit and the main reason I chose the unit is because of the save to hardware ROM feature. It gives me the ability to route a backup signal to a remote hard disk recorder so IF my laptop were to go down I am still recording, and it has saved me more than once!
  • This Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 (second gen) is my new favorite interface. Many more outs and ins than my last device. Runs very smoothly on USB 2.0 without a hitch and with near perfect latency.
  • The best thing is the very flexible monitoring: 5 independent stereo mixes are possible, all controllable from the computer and/or remote controlled using (free) iPad and iPhone apps.
  • It does have one unusual characteristic--the taper in the pots seems odd. I adjust them to where they're almost loud enough, then if I move them another 1/8th inch, they're way too loud.
  • It likes to switch itself between buffer sizes randomly, causing even more problems when working in my DAW.
Warranty / Certifications
Manufacturer Warranty
2 year(s)
2 year(s)
Other Information
449.99 $

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