Among audio interfaces of new generation there are devices, working through Thunderbolt connection, for example, Focusrite Clarett 2Pre – interface with 192 kHz, 24 bits and dynamic range up to 119 dB. Thunderbolt – is a new connection standard, developed by Intel company and giving throughput 20 Gbits/s, thereby it releases limits of USB 2.0 connection on channels amount, sampling rate and precision per sample. On frontal panel there are : 2 combined XLR/TRS 1/4″ jack connectors with gain control knobs with back light and instrumental Hi-Z work mode, AIR function and phantom power +48 V switches with indicators for both of them; main outputs volume control knob; power, Thunderbolt connection and device blocking indicators; and TRS 1/4″ jack monitor headphones output with volume control. On back panel there are : power button, power adapter input, Thunderbolt input, optical digital input, MIDI input and output and 4 linear TRS 1/4″ jack analogue balanced outputs.
Inputs of Focusrite Clarett 2Pre in microphone mode have following characteristics : THD+N 0.001 % and noise level -128 dB; in linear : THD+N 0.001 % and dynamic range 118 dB; in instrumental : THD+N 0.001 % and dynamic range 116 dB. Linear outputs : THD+N 0.0007 % and dynamic range 119 dB, monitor headphones output : THD+N 0.0008 % and dynamic range 116 dB. With it following are supplied : Focusrite Control mixer, VST plugins Softube Time and Tone Bundle, TSAR-1R Reverb, Tube Delay and Saturation Knob and AAX, AU and VST Red 2 and Red 3 plugins. Currently device works only in Mac OS X 10.9 and newer, manufacturer promises support of Windows in near time, in Apple‘s OS it works with support of Core Audio interface, via which it can interact with modern DAWs : Avid Pro Tools, Ableton Live, Steinberg Cubase, FL Studio, Cackewalk Sonar, REAPER and others. Its body is made from aluminum with beautiful scarlet color.
Package contains : Thunderbolt audio interface Focusrite Clarett 2Pre itself, warranty card and user’s guide; Thunderbolt cable should be bought separately. All in all interface is good, provides high dynamic range of digital to analogue and analogue to digital conversions and small THD+N level; from the other side : in 2 inputs audio interfaces class there are great USB devices ( of Steinberg, Behringer, Focusrite itself, Roland, ESI, M-Audio and other manufacturers production ), which handle their tasks, work in Windows and cost less. So in entry-level audio interfaces class it is better to buy USB devices and look on Thunderbolt interfaces only in classes of middle and large devices.