Lets review external sound card M-Audio M-Track Plus II, which is designed for professional studio work. Its frontal panel has : combined XLR/TRS ( 1/4″ jack ) inputs, which can work in microphone, linear and instrumental Hi-Z modes ( first 2 can work in balanced mode, instrumental is unbalanced ), there is ability to switch +48 V phantom power for them; amplification level control knobs, linear/instrumental modes switches and level indicators with clip indication for these inputs; TRS ( 1/4″ jack ) output for monitor headphones with volume control knob and Direct Monitor function switch; phantom power switch with backlight indication and volume control knob for main sound card outputs. Its rear panel has : Kensington Lock slot; USB port, through which it is powered and communicates with computer; and main analogue balanced TRS ( 1/4″ jack ) outputs.
Card can work with sampling rates up to 96 kHz and 24 bits per sample precision; its body is made of metal; and its connectors have following characteristics : microphone inputs ( dynamic range 104 dB, signal to noise ratio 104 dB, perceived frequencies 20 Hz – 20 kHz, -53 dB sensitivity ), linear inputs ( perceived frequencies 20 Hz – 20 kHz, -43 dB sensitivity ), instrumental inputs ( frequencies range 20 Hz – 20 kHz, -47 dB sensitivity ) and main card’s outputs ( frequencies 20 Hz – 20 kHz and dynamic range and signal/noise 102 dB ). Sound card is bundled with DAWs Ableton Live Lite and Cubase LE Waves plugins package ( AudioTrack, Eddie Kramer Effect Channel and TrueVerb ). Its sizes are 238.76 ( width ) x 52.58 ( height ) x 123.19 ( depth ) mm and mass is 1.04 kg. For it drivers are released for Windows 7, 8 and 10, in Mac OS X 10.7.5 and newer it works without additional drivers, and supports ASIO 2.0 and Core Audio interfaces, accordingly, via which it tightly integrates with modern DAWs : Avid Pro Tools, Ableton Live, Steinberg Cubase, FL Studio, Cackewalk Sonar, REAPER and others. Package contains : M-Audio M-Track Plus II, USB cable, optical disk with drivers ( software can be downloaded via Internet from manufacturer’s site ) and user’s guide. It is good sound card with professional functions, in some respects Steinberg and Behringer cards are better, than it, for example, in 192 kHz sampling frequency, in some respects it is better, than them : balanced inputs and outputs. So, when card is being chosen, there is need to look on specific task, for which it is being bought, and on prices of devices.