Is the UR816c dead? - Scarce reviews, user feedback, videos, etc

Hi everyone!

I have been thinking about buying an UR816c as a backup interface, since my much loved RME UFX has been acting strange and I may need to send it overseas to be repaired.
The specs seem to be good enough for me - apart from some inconveniences such as no pads for all preamps, phantom power in 4 channel blocks, only 6 line-ins, some weird restrictions to routing, etc - The UR824 is very well regarded, so I have reasons to believe the 816c will serve me well.

The problem is that today, more than a year from its release, it is VERY hard to find user information and feedback on the internet. Not many reviews, not many informative videos, not even much stuff from Steinberg themselves, only shallow reviews for the most part.
And I couldn’t find any expressive amount of bashing either, apart from some people complaining about glitchy drivers, but all quite sometime ago. The glitches could have been sorted out already.

Usually this means a “failed” product. People tried it, it didn’t work well, and it kinda gets forgotten.
I mean, it seems not even Steinberg thinks its worth talking about.

Is this the case? From what I’ve found, I don’t feel very encouraged.

What’s the deal?

I appreciate any infos or insights!

Thanks a lot,


I haven’t a clue as to the lack of buzz, but I’m sure it’s perfectly solid. I have a UR44-C- same specs but 4 pres, minus digital and BNC in/out, smooth running.
Maybe someone will post with first hand experience…

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I have had one for a few months and certainly don’t regret my purchase.
It is solid, no driver problems. I had a UR28M previously and the performance is better, as you’d expect. Reason I stayed with Steinberg was because of the driver being good, and not having money for RME. Presonus and Focusrite both offer slightly more fully featured devices for less money, including spif coxial, 2 adat I/o I think on Focusrite,and both have 8 trs line inputs, not just 6 + 2 mic hiz that may or may not work with line sources. But I didn’t feel like gambling on the driver / application and whether it’s going to be nice on my system.

That’s the one major thing I find crap, only 6 of the 8 inputs are line. I don’t get how on cheaper interfaces they can offer 8 line in whether all line in or combo. It’s poor from Steinberg. I have tried inputs 1 and 2 and no problem with an ART MPA 2, but a Lexicon mpx100 did not pass good signal. So it’s hit and miss whether you can use inputs 1 and 2 for line sources.

Also despite having dedicated physical outs for monitoring,these are hardwired to really be outputs 1L 1R. You can use physical outputs 1L and 1R though if you use 2 of the 8 virtual outputs they give you and route the physical ones there, but then this eats into your ADAT expansion channel count.
Either way it’s 14 outputs including ADAT, plus 2 monitoring. If you don’t decide to use ADAT then you can still use all 8 of the trs outputs.

It’s a shame they can’t release a firmware update with 2 more DAW Direct outputs so that all 8 trs outs plus 8 Adat can be used, whilst having basic stereo monitoring.

That all being said, it is a solid interface,just perhaps less frills than some. Sounds great and just does its job without any issues though.
Win 10 pro, 8700k.

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Thanks for the input, Jimmy!

Yeah, that’s really weird about the limitations with outputs. I believe I have never seen another interface operate this way.

It’s a shame they can’t release a firmware update with 2 more DAW Direct outputs so that all 8 trs outs plus 8 Adat can be used, whilst having basic stereo monitoring.

Are you saying that you know its not possible? or just sorry they don’t do it?
I believe I can do fine with 14 useable outputs, tho

But well, I find it strange that Steinberg has this interface with so many crippling and silly limitations, and the next model up is the ARX4, for more than triple the price.
Am I the only one in the market for something in the middle there?

Oh! And are you a Cubase user?

Hi Henrique,

I thought when I got into hardware I’d barely need 8 channels of outputs but I’m up to 10 already and I’m not quite done yet! So while I could probably mange with the 14, as I’m using it for hw inserts, more is always better haha. Will have to look into a patchbay I think.

I have no idea if its possible or not, just surmising that if you can use the virtual DAW Directs as outputs for Mix 1 so you could use the physical outputs 1L 1R when not using ADAT, that perhaps it could be possible even when using ADAT (all 8) but they would have to provide 2 additional DAW Direct Outs. It may be a possibly, unless something inside the device is hardwired to prevent that.

The ARX4 does look pretty good, I’m sure it will have its quirks too though :slight_smile:
I bet it would be below 2000 if not for the Neve Silk functions, that has added considerably to the price no doubt at all.

Yes, I’m on Cubase pro 11, works almost flawlessly. I’m going to mention somewhere here if I can find a section the buggy things that have happened. Nothing too serious though.

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Thanks Again, Jimmy!

I’m far from OTB processing as of now, so in this regard I’m not really concerned, just thought it was stupid. heheh!

What has me thinking now is, comparing specs between ur816c and ur824, it seemed to me that the 824 outperforms the 816c in every aspect, apart from 1db more dynamic range in the 816c’s preamps. But the 824 has 6db more dynamic range on outputs, less THD in both inputs and outputs, flatter frequency response, AND more features.

Since we all know that this 32bit integer and 3993837khz sample rate are just gimmicks, my conclusion is that there has been a slight downgrade from one unit to the other, apart from better drivers. (or are the differences in specs just insignificant and I am creating a fuss over nothing?)

Am I correct? Anyone who has owned both (or someone from Steinberg) could corroborate?


I am using my UR816C for a year now,mostly for external hardware and it works fine. Since recently I also use the input 1/2 for Line outs out off my Lexicon MX200(Unbalanced only!! and using the PAD switches) and that also works just fine. So you CAN use those two inputs for line level hardware, but maybe not everything, just depending of the outputsignal of that particular hardware.
It’s software structure indeed could be improved a lot. I already wrote about this a couple of times.
But there are more interfaces that use the ouputs only as stereo couple mixes. I learned to live with that… No issues with the drivers for me.

Thanks for the reply, ca-booter! Sorry I missed it.

I have bought it after all, and indeed input 1/2 has been working just fine for line level.

And to all other people that may be considering buying a UR816C, I’d say DO IT!

I have been using it daily since I bought it, and I absolutely love it. I even prefer monitoring through it than my RME UFX. The sound is clear, punchy, but feels warm and very very good!
The headphone outs are superb, with low distortion, very detailed and with plenty of power (tested with phones up to 600ohms).

I’d advise buyers to check if your rack is exactly up to standard, because it is very wide and didn`t fit in mine with the ears on, so it is sitting on another unit right now.

The mixer feels a bit clunky (esp. compared to TotalMix), and has some strange choices (like it doesn’t display any numbers for signal levels, channels aren’t hard panned automatically when stereo-linked, and it has 4 stereo mixes and thats it. No routing matrix.
BUT the driver is rock-solid, direct monitoring is great and latency is very low.
The front panel is very straightforward with no bullshit and I think it looks cool while very “sober”.
And I love that all controls are analog (UFX’s encoders are a pain in the ass for controlling volumes).

All in all, I’m really happy with it!