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-   -   Ten of the best Thunderbolt and USB-C Audio Interfaces (https://www.gearslutz.com/board/best-studio-gear/1222697-ten-best-thunderbolt-usb-c-audio-interfaces.html)

j.frad 28th January 2019 02:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by rectifried (Post 13652579)
You can use HPhones.. But its such a waste..

Well actually, you can't use just the headphones...
If i select the hd native thunderbolt as a playback engine, it tells me there are no interfaces connected and I have to chose a different playback engine.

If you know of a way, please let me know.

lgmab 4th February 2019 01:41 PM

I definitely see the controversy where omissions of UA , other rme and antelope are cited.
I have been using a 16A for over two years. Definitely, a love-hate relationship, that has matured to more of a love it one.
Although, I see where the article leans, the most important and critical criteria, at least in my view, is how the units "sound".....
All the tech and amenities are great , but in the end, if it sounds good and is STABLE!....one again.....STABLE! , especially on win 10!! Then who cares about the way in which it is interfaced.
To me, sound and stability trump any other feature and if these factors were more carefully scrutinized, perhaps the list would look different. IMHO.

beau_mckee 14th February 2019 02:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Doc No (Post 13559344)
The RME Fireface UFX+ outperforms everything!

Except in AD/DA where almost every interface in this list will outperform the UFX+. Im sure the drivers are great though

Doc No 14th February 2019 01:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by beau_mckee (Post 13810705)
Except in AD/DA where almost every interface in this list will outperform the UFX+. Im sure the drivers are great though

Nope, this is bull****. RME ADDA is the cleanest you can get. We choosed in our studios RME over Larvy Blue ADDA based on properly done blindtests.

Fleer 1st September 2019 03:08 AM

And where’s Apogee when you need them.

PavlinaA 18th November 2019 12:45 PM

Really cool list but I think PreSonus Quantum is the best one

Braindedzluney 29th November 2019 08:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PavlinaA (Post 14329314)
Really cool list but I think PreSonus Quantum is the best one

You use TB with Windows 10? Am not sure if Windows 10 supports TB. Anyone shine the light on this question? I'm hoping it's not off the topic question in this thread.

monkeyxx 29th November 2019 03:43 PM

Windows 10 has supported Thunderbolt for a long time.

It's more about your motherboard, and whether or not, IF it supports thunderbolt, that it is also compatible with your interface/brand drivers.

I used Gigabyte boards and DIY computer builds and I have been using thunderbolt 2 and 3 for several years by now.

My "safe bet" was to buy the motherboards listed by Universal Audio as "officially tested/supported." Both of mine work great.

Deleted e09cd8e 30th November 2019 05:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by monkeyxx (Post 14352444)
Windows 10 has supported Thunderbolt for a long time.

It's more about your motherboard, and whether or not, IF it supports thunderbolt, that it is also compatible with your interface/brand drivers.

I used Gigabyte boards and DIY computer builds and I have been using thunderbolt 2 and 3 for several years by now.

My "safe bet" was to buy the motherboards listed by Universal Audio as "officially tested/supported." Both of mine work great.

May you please link the UAD list?

monkeyxx 30th November 2019 07:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Deleted e09cd8e (Post 14353833)
May you please link the UAD list?

I can't find the old articles. I don't think anyone wants a Thunderbolt 2 computer build from scratch right now anyway.

Here's the new article:

https://help.uaudio.com/hc/en-us/art...-Compatibility

Somewhat refreshingly, they seem to recommend "Thunderbolt 3 products listed on Intel’s Thunderbolt Technology Community page are expected to be compatible."

Rather than the small handful of motherboards and laptops from before.

Ovaloid 3rd December 2019 02:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by monkeyxx (Post 14352444)
Windows 10 has supported Thunderbolt for a long time.

It's more about your motherboard, and whether or not, IF it supports thunderbolt, that it is also compatible with your interface/brand drivers.

I used Gigabyte boards and DIY computer builds and I have been using thunderbolt 2 and 3 for several years by now.

My "safe bet" was to buy the motherboards listed by Universal Audio as "officially tested/supported." Both of mine work great.

I looked at the UAD list as well and took a chance building a custom 'hackintosh' PC following the hardware guidelines from www.tonymacx86.com

It successfully runs 2 Quantum interfaces under Windows 10. This is the motherboard I am using =
https://www.gigabyte.com/us/Motherbo...nare-rev-10#ov

The Quantum works as well with my MacBook Pro but I have not attempted running it on the 'hackintosh' hardware + macOS yet. Only hiccup so far was going to macOS Catalina. I would wait a little longer to upgrade if you are using Quantum and don't have access to Windows 10 at the studio. Presonus is working on it.

monkeyxx 4th December 2019 07:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ovaloid (Post 14359717)
I looked at the UAD list as well and took a chance building a custom 'hackintosh' PC following the hardware guidelines from www.tonymacx86.com

It successfully runs 2 Quantum interfaces under Windows 10. This is the motherboard I am using =
https://www.gigabyte.com/us/Motherbo...nare-rev-10#ov

The Quantum works as well with my MacBook Pro but I have not attempted running it on the 'hackintosh' hardware + macOS yet. Only hiccup so far was going to macOS Catalina. I would wait a little longer to upgrade if you are using Quantum and don't have access to Windows 10 at the studio. Presonus is working on it.

I use the same motherboard in my second computer, it works with Claretts also with the Apple adapter.

I use an older Gigabyte for my main Quantum computer

Blueline1226 20th April 2020 03:23 AM

This list needs to be updated. Specially with the SSL2 now available. It’s simply mind blowing at any price

analag 21st April 2020 06:35 AM

I finished my Thunderbolt 3 Ryzen in January and I love it more everyday. Presonus Quantum works very well. High track count and plugins...no problem. I even still use the Clarett 8pre USB interface from the previous setup in conjunction with the Quantum. Record with Quantum and let the Clarett do the rest. Playback sounds equally good on both for the record!

StephenPope 26th April 2020 06:51 PM

I realize that this is a personal and contentious thread, but I've owned quite a few interfaces over the years of running several studios, and I'd separate between "pro-sumer" gear like UAD, MOTU, Presonus, Behringer and Apogee, and "high-end" gear like Antelope, RME, Lynx, Prism and Focusrite/Red. One of my tests is always to play 16/44 and 24/96 versions of the same track and see if I could tell the difference, and on may of them, I just couldn't.

I've also been disappointed by the UAD plug-ins; the good ones are expensive, both in terms of purchase cost and in terms of CPU requirements, meaning that you can't put an EQ and compressor on every input. Compared to this, the Antelope FPGA plug-ins support dozens of instances, so that I can have processing on every input and add FX and reverb to multiple independent monitor mixes.

monkeyxx 26th April 2020 07:27 PM

I don't agree with those categories at all. Oh well. abduction

norbury brook 27th April 2020 03:14 PM

the Steinberg AXR4 thunderbolt or USB-c is a stunning sounding interface. The build quality is on another level than a lot of those other units you've mentioned. This is a high end JAPANESE quality interface. here's a quote form one of the design team.

'after repeated listening tests we realized that the 32-bit integer 384 kHz AD/DA converters we eventually chose had better low-frequency imaging and overall sonic definition than any of the others we tested, and were determined to use it in the AXR4. High cost made it difficult to justify, but we refused to use cheaper converters because sound quality was our primary concern.'

I can confirm this in real world usage. My first commercial recording done using the AXR4 meant the vocal track needed NO eq, or other processing except gentle compression , this was with a singer I had recorded a lot with the same microphone, we were both stunned at the sound quality.

anyway, just wanted to point this out, it's a high end interface and worth the price.

M

thehightenor 28th April 2020 05:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by norbury brook (Post 14691751)
the Steinberg AXR4 thunderbolt or USB-c is a stunning sounding interface. The build quality is on another level than a lot of those other units you've mentioned. This is a high end JAPANESE quality interface. here's a quote form one of the design team.

'after repeated listening tests we realized that the 32-bit integer 384 kHz AD/DA converters we eventually chose had better low-frequency imaging and overall sonic definition than any of the others we tested, and were determined to use it in the AXR4. High cost made it difficult to justify, but we refused to use cheaper converters because sound quality was our primary concern.'

I can confirm this in real world usage. My first commercial recording done using the AXR4 meant the vocal track needed NO eq, or other processing except gentle compression , this was with a singer I had recorded a lot with the same microphone, we were both stunned at the sound quality.

anyway, just wanted to point this out, it's a high end interface and worth the price.

M

I have a UR28M in my teaching room and the pre's and AD on that £300 unit are actually really, really good - the pre amps are very detailed and musical for built in pre's and the AD is no slouch.

I imagine Steinberg's flagship unit is absolutely stunning.

Diogo C 29th April 2020 06:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thehightenor (Post 14694511)
I have a UR28M in my teaching room and the pre's and AD on that £300 unit are actually really, really good - the pre amps are very detailed and musical for built in pre's and the AD is no slouch.

I imagine Steinberg's flagship unit is absolutely stunning.

Indeed the 28M is a fine sounding interface, my only complaint about the hardware itself would be the headphone outputs which are a bit faint when used with hungry high-ohms cans. The red flag for me when it comes to Steinberg are the drivers and software control/features. They're not bad, let's just say they're not RME-level, especially in the long run.

thehightenor 29th April 2020 08:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Diogo C (Post 14695857)
Indeed the 28M is a fine sounding interface, my only complaint about the hardware itself would be the headphone outputs which are a bit faint when used with hungry high-ohms cans. The red flag for me when it comes to Steinberg are the drivers and software control/features. They're not bad, let's just say they're not RME-level, especially in the long run.

That's my issue too, so in my studio space I still use RME as the drivers are just so incredibly stable and efficient, plus they support hardware that's even 20 years old - pretty unique in the world of music technology.

Rizzy 2nd May 2020 03:41 AM

I recently switched from a Mac to a custom built Windows desktop and realized that my current AMD MOBO doesn't support my Apollo Twin MKII. What would be a good alternative to the Apollo?

monkeyxx 2nd May 2020 04:46 AM

I gotta throw in a mention for the Steinberg UR24C in the low price range for USB-C. It sounds pretty nice. Latency performance seems respectable initially but I haven't truly tested in a challenging session yet, probably tomorrow. I wasn't sure if I needed more outputs over the UR22C but I'm glad they are there now that I am testing it.

And the reason I bought it is you can power it on 5 Volts and you can also plug it into an iPhone. That will all happen when I get the cables to make the connection.

Seems like a much smarter buy than something more limited like some of the other $200 "IOS interfaces," such as the little IK things. Although, yeah, it's not handheld/micro, and won't take bus power from a phone battery. Oh well.

demilotheproduce 3rd May 2020 11:20 AM

Best convertors
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Doc No (Post 13811371)
Nope, this is bull****. RME ADDA is the cleanest you can get. We choosed in our studios RME over Larvy Blue ADDA based on properly done blindtests.

you chose the one you LIKED the best, not necessarily the cleanest (i'm assuming by clean you mean most accurate). The only way to confirm your assertion is by spectrographing a pure sine wave for the different interfaces.

That being said clean is not always necessarily good...hence why people are paying ridiculous sums for analogue depth/warmth of yesteryear.

I have no doubt lavery trumps RME for signal quality but I also have no doubt that RME quality is sufficiently high for the difference to be negligible.

Incidentally the best convertors I've used are crookwood.

demilotheproduce 3rd May 2020 11:26 AM

Surley Apogee element needs to get a mention here.
Aside from decent preamps and conversion its got a revolutionary design
converted all hardware control to in the box
can be remote controlled by mobile phone)

I can't think of anything as revolutionary since focusrite did its liquid range

Also shout out for crookwood MADI which is hands down better than any of the above in my opinion provided you have digi in on your computer (why oh why did mac get rid of theirs :facepalm:)

Doc No 3rd May 2020 01:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by demilotheproduce (Post 14706458)
you chose the one you LIKED the best, not necessarily the cleanest (i'm assuming by clean you mean most accurate). The only way to confirm your assertion is by spectrographing a pure sine wave for the different interfaces.

That being said clean is not always necessarily good...hence why people are paying ridiculous sums for analogue depth/warmth of yesteryear.

I have no doubt lavery trumps RME for signal quality but I also have no doubt that RME quality is sufficiently high for the difference to be negligible.

Incidentally the best convertors I've used are crookwood.

We've done A LOT blind-tests, RME is king. Clean means an accurate signal. Don't confuse it with the sound! Listening with a price tag don't say anything! RME is the benchmark, by which the others must measure themselves. More expensive doesn't mean always better.

DougS 3rd May 2020 06:57 PM

I have the Focusrite RED4 (similar to the Red 16 line listed in the OP). Conversion, features, flexibility, build quality - all fantastic.

demilotheproduce 3rd May 2020 08:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Doc No (Post 14706649)
We've done A LOT blind-tests, RME is king. Clean means an accurate signal. Don't confuse it with the sound! Listening with a price tag don't say anything! RME is the benchmark, by which the others must measure themselves. More expensive doesn't mean always better.

Yep agreed for all except your method.. your method measures likeability, only signal analysis can confirm cleanliness. The main thing is you're happy with your time. I'm happy for you.

monkeyxx 3rd May 2020 08:39 PM

Sound as perceived by ears, and as measured by test rigs are two separate things. Sometimes they correlate or overlap. Sometimes they don't. It's not really a contest between the two. Evaluating specs is good. It's fine, it's great. But so is choosing the sound you want. It's not a conflict.

streetbeats 8th June 2020 06:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by analag (Post 14676741)
I finished my Thunderbolt 3 Ryzen in January and I love it more everyday. Presonus Quantum works very well. High track count and plugins...no problem. I even still use the Clarett 8pre USB interface from the previous setup in conjunction with the Quantum. Record with Quantum and let the Clarett do the rest. Playback sounds equally good on both for the record!

Out of interest, why not just connect the 8pre in AD/DA mode via ADAT to your Quantum?

analag 21st June 2020 06:52 PM

I could, but I record with the Quantum and mix OTB via 6 stereo pairs with the 8pre.