Steinberg UR816C Hi-Z inputs?

I am a complete newbie to audio interfaces - so this may be a stupid question…

I have Cubase Pro 10.5 running on Windows 10 PC. I have used solely VSTs for years, but recently I purchased a few hardware mono synths - so now I need an audio interface. Being new to this I am considering a UR816C because it should integrate nicely with Cubase without me frying my brain with millions of settings I don’t understand.

The thing is, I am keen for my audio interface to to have spare inputs for future expansion. I need 6 inputs for my existing kit - so that would just leave the 2 Hi-Z inputs on the front panel unused. Would I be able to use these for future hardware synths? Is it possible to “switch off” the Hi-Z feature in the device’s software? Could I just use the pad button and keep volume low? I have looked at various forums where people are asking if Hi-Z inputs can be used for synths but there doesn’t seem to be a consensus.

I know I can expand via ADAT to add more inputs, but money is tight so I want to get the maximum bang for my buck with my first device. If using these inputs is not possible then I may as well save a chunk of cash and get something like the Behringer UMC1820 instead - but then I lose the integration with Cubase advantage…

What do you think?

I have the UR816C and did a short test just now using my Roland JV1010.
Plugged an unbalanced jack from its output into input 3 on the URC and also in input 2 (the Hi-Z), they sound exactly the same, no “PAD” used on both inputs.
And no, you cannot switch off anything on the Hi-Z inputs. I believe its a matter of unbalanced versus balanced cable use (correct me if I’m wrong).
For extra 8 inputs I have a Behringer ADA8200 which sounds great (to my ears just as good as the URC) and is a cheap extension if needed.

Hi ca-booter. Thanks for checking that out! I kind of imagined that the Hi-Z inputs might boost the incoming audio too much, but it sounds like this is not the case. So maybe the UR816C is the unit for me…

You can always set the correct outputlevel on your synths.