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Audient EVO 16 review

If you need eight mic inputs, there aren’t that many USB interfaces to choose from. We plug up Audient’s EVO 16

  • £400
Audient EVO 16
(Image: © Future)

MusicRadar Verdict

Audient’s goal with EVO is to make recording easy. EVO 16 achieves this and makes it flexible and affordable too. A really great product.

Pros

  • +

    Eight mic inputs with automatic gain option.

  • +

    Ultra sharp colour LCD screen.

  • +

    JFET circuit for instrument DIs.

  • +

    Full control via software app.

  • +

    Excellent price.

Cons

  • -

    No USB powering or alternative powering options.

Audient EVO 16: What is it?

Audient’s EVO audio interfaces are compact and simple. However, with the arrival of EVO 16, that’s all about to change. At 354 x 285mm it is still compact, but with a back panel crammed with connectors and a front panel menu system built around the full colour LCD screen, this is anything but simple. 

EVO 16 is a 24 in / 24 out up to 24-bit 96kHz design, with eight mic/line inputs and eight balanced TRS outputs. The first two inputs also include JFET instrument DIs, and the first two outputs are the designated monitor outputs and follow the main volume control. The remaining I/O uses two pairs of optical connectors offering 16 streams at 44.1/48kHz, eight streams at 88.2/96kHz or two stereo streams in S/PDIF mode. Rounding things off are two headphone outputs. 

Round the back there’s one USB C socket for connection to your computer and a regular mains input. Alas, there are no further powering options, which is a bit frustrating for mobile users.

Audient EVO 16

(Image credit: Future)

Audient EVO 16: Performance and verdict

EVO 16 is designed to work in tandem with the EVO software app, and this offers deep control of the unit including minimum latency headphone mixes (four separate cue mixes), flexible loop-back routing, talkback routing and firmware updates. Usefully, you can also use it to adjust the input gains and associated settings or even save settings to run in standalone mode. 

That said, many EVO 16 parameters can also be accessed from the front panel using the parameter buttons and main volume, which doubles as an encoder. Dedicated backlit buttons for selecting your input, 48v phantom, DI mode and Smartgain are joined by monitor and headphone selectors (1 and 2). There’s also a configurable function key (dim, alt, talkback or mono). The knobs and buttons have more hidden functionality such as stereo ganging for adjacent channels and channel muting. 

Audient EVO 16

(Image credit: Future)

Simple though this is, it’s made much simpler thanks to EVO 16’s LCD display. And this tiny display is not only crystal clear but thanks to the IPS technology, easy to view even when you’re way off axis. 

EVO 16 includes Smartgain, the automatic gain setting option found on other EVOs. With eight inputs this really comes into its own, particularly as you can use it on all inputs concurrently. In fact, this is one of our favourite features. We also particularly like the talkback mic system. There’s no onboard mic, but you can assign any EVO 16 input or any other connected audio devices, including, as we discovered, our Mac’s internal mic.  

Audient’s EVO 16 offers a powerful combination of hands-on and software control, coupled with great connectivity and a plethora of innovative features. It’s incredibly easy to use, sounds great and at £400 is fantastic value.

MusicRadar verdict: Audient’s goal with EVO is to make recording easy. EVO 16 achieves this and makes it flexible and affordable too. A really great product.

Audient EVO 16: The web says

"An audio interface that is bringing an awful lot more to the table than you’re paying for, and that allows you to concentrate on making music without being distracted by the technicalities."
MusicTech (opens in new tab)

Audient EVO 16: Hands-on demos

EVO by Audient

Produce Like A Pro

Ed Thorne Music Production

BenoniStudio

Audient EVO 16: Specifications

  • KEY FEATURES INPUTS: 2 mic/line/instrument, 6 mic/line, 16 digital. 
  • OUTPUTS: 8 balanced line level, 16 digital, 2 headphone. 
  • AUDIO STREAMS: 24 in 24 out. 
  • COMPUTER INTERFACING: USB C connector using USB 2.0. 
  • DIMENSIONS: 354 x 285 x 49mm. 
  • CONTACT: Audient (opens in new tab)