5 Best Thunderbolt Audio Interfaces – (November 2022) – Buyers Guide 🥇

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In this article we’re going to be discussing the best thunderbolt audio interfaces that exist in November 2022.

To enhance the efficiency of your recording, it’s essential to eliminate latency and for that, you will need a super-fast connection. While USB-C cables are more than capable of doing this, there are also many audio interfaces that come with a Thunderbolt connection, which provides even better performance.

Still, to achieve maximum speed, you must plug this cable into a Thunderbolt port. In other words, these units are designed for Mac devices. So, if you’re considering an audio interface, make sure to choose one that’s perfectly compatible with your computer. Otherwise, you won’t be able to use the full potential of this technology.

best thunderbolt audio interfaces

What is a Thunderbolt Audio Interface?

To put this in simple words, these audio interfaces come with just one significant difference and that is the connection. While most products use USB-C technology, these interfaces use Thunderbolt, which was designed primarily for Mac products.

However, today’s Thunderbolt technology is universal, so you can plug such a cable into a USB-C port and it will work just fine. However, you won’t feel the full benefit of this technology until you use it with a perfectly compatible computer. Simply, a Thunderbolt cable plugged into a USB-C port is as fast as any USB-C cable. On the other hand, if you plug Thunderbolt cable into a Thunderbolt port, you may count on a speed that goes up to 40Gb per second, which is practically two times faster compared to a typical USB-C connection.

Thunderbolt Audio Interfaces

Our Number One Choice
Universal Audio Apollo Solo Heritage Edition, APLS-HE
Our Premium Choice
Antelope Audio Zen Go Synergy Core 4x8 Bus-Powered USB-C Audio Interface with Onboard Real-Time Effects
Best Value For Money
MOTU M4 4x4 USB-C Audio Interface
Summary
The Universal Audio Apollo Solo offers s great combination of compact design, easiness of use and premium quality.
The sound quality is exceptional, thanks to the 24-bit/192kHz resolution and impressive 127dB dynamics range.
Enough connectivity features to satisfy more demanding uses, while tone purists will definitely be happy with its more than decent resolution and pretty impressive dynamic range.
Dimentions
-
198 x 117 x 58 mm
8.25 x 4.25 x 1.75 inches
Power
Powered with Thunderbolt
Thunderbolt 3 bus-powered
Powered with Thunderbolt
Prime
Our Number One Choice
Universal Audio Apollo Solo Heritage Edition, APLS-HE
Summary
The Universal Audio Apollo Solo offers s great combination of compact design, easiness of use and premium quality.
Dimentions
-
Power
Powered with Thunderbolt
Prime
Check Price
Our Premium Choice
Antelope Audio Zen Go Synergy Core 4x8 Bus-Powered USB-C Audio Interface with Onboard Real-Time Effects
Summary
The sound quality is exceptional, thanks to the 24-bit/192kHz resolution and impressive 127dB dynamics range.
Dimentions
198 x 117 x 58 mm
Power
Thunderbolt 3 bus-powered
Prime
Check Price
Best Value For Money
MOTU M4 4x4 USB-C Audio Interface
Summary
Enough connectivity features to satisfy more demanding uses, while tone purists will definitely be happy with its more than decent resolution and pretty impressive dynamic range.
Dimentions
8.25 x 4.25 x 1.75 inches
Power
Powered with Thunderbolt
Prime
Check Price

Universal Audio Apollo Twin X DUO

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Universal Audio Apollo Twin X DUO

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This premium audio interface has so many great things to offer, starting from the super-fast Thunderbolt 3 connection, which works great on both Mac and PC devices. On Mac devices, it provides just 2ms of latency. This is a very capable unit, which features a mighty UAD-2 DUO Core processing, along with 6 inputs and 10 outputs.

The excellent 24-bit/192kHz AD/DA conversion ensures a pristine signal, while you may also count on a pretty impressive 127dB dynamic range. Finally, the interface is equipped with a couple of Unison preamps, which offer not just excellent sound quality, but also emulate various pieces of legendary studio hardware.

Speaking of emulations, you may count on a complete bundle of premium-quality plug-ins that emulate numerous pieces of the legendary studio gear. Some of the names to mention are UA 610-B, UA 1176LN Legacy, UA 1176SE legacy, Ampeg SVT-VR Classic, Marshall Plexy Classic, Precision Channel Strip, Precision Reflection Engine, Pultec EQP-1A, Teletronix LA-2A Legacy and many more. This audio interface is compatible with UA’s LUNA software and ensures excellent hardware/software integration. Furthermore, it is also backward compatible with Thunderbolt 1 and 2 Macs (Windows adapter sold separately).

Who Should Buy This Pedal?

A typical buyer of Universal Audio Apollo Twin X DUO knows very well what he/she wants from an audio interface. This is a premium-quality unit, designed primarily for professionals who look for excellent compression speed, seamless workflow and lots of flexibility. Enthusiasts with a deep-enough pocket will find a lot of use for it as well, especially if we consider all the amazing emulations that come with this product.

PreSonus Quantum 2626 26×26 Thunderbolt 3

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PreSonus Quantum 2626 26x26 Thunderbolt 3

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No matter how high demands you have in terms of the audio interface quality and functionality, this unit will impress you. It is one of the most flexible and versatile units on the market, which features an impressive number of inputs and outputs. If you use 2626’s dual ADAT inputs, you may count on up to 26 ins and outs, which is something you’ll hardly find in any other place.

Besides impressive flexibility, this unit also offers amazing quality. You may count on excellent 24-bit/192kHz processing, as well as on a huge 120dB dynamic range. The PreSonus Quantum 2626 also comes with amazing PreSonus XMAX preamps. 6 mic/line inputs come with Class A XMAX preamps, while there are two more instrument inputs with XMAX preamps for recording guitar, bass, keyboard, or any other instrument.

That’s not all. With this product, you will also get high-quality Studio One Artist DAW software that works on both Mac and Windows units. Furthermore, there is a whole bundle of premium-quality plug-ins, so you may count on excellent emulations of classic studio gear.

Who Should Buy This Pedal?

This is a professional-grade audio interface but we recommend it to everyone who can afford it. Simply, the level of sound quality is impressive but what’s even more impressive is the level of flexibility and functionality this unit offers. This is an all-in-one product that covers pretty much every aspect of home recording, whether it’s about hardware or software.

Antelope Audio Zen Go Synergy Core

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Antelope Audio Zen Go Synergy Core

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If you just look at the housing of this audio interface, you’ll know that this is a premium-grade product. It is the company’s first bus-powered product which features a compact and elegant design, but that doesn’t mean it lacks any flexibility and function. Moreover, it is a highly capable unit, whether it’s about sound quality or versatility.

Of course, you may count on premium-grade 24-bit/192 kHz conversion, as well as on 127dB of dynamic range. This powerful unit also features a proprietary 64-bit acoustically focused clocking, as well as 37 Analog-modelled Synergy Core effects. What’s particularly impressive about Synergy Core effects is that they come with real-time monitoring latency that’s below 1ms.

The Antelope Audio Zen Go supports both Thunderbolt and USB-C connections and both work seamlessly. Also, there is an additional USB port for reverse charging. When it comes to connectivity features, there are 2 Microphone-/Line-/Hi-Z inputs, 1 Stereo monitor output via jack and 1 Stereo monitor output via RCA. Furthermore, this audio interface features two monitor outputs with separate volume controls, which is highly convenient.

Who Should Buy This Pedal?

The Antelope Audio Zen Go Synergy Core is a perfect choice for professionals who require exceptional sound quality and super-fast speed but also need a unit that’s small and portable. It may not have as many connectivity features as some other products on the list, but most of us would be perfectly satisfied with it. Finally, this is a great choice if you have high standards in terms of monitoring, considering that this is one of Zen Go’s strongest points.

MOTU M4 4×4 USB-C

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MOTU M4 4x4 USB-C

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The MOTU M4 4×4 USB-C features a quite competitive price but gives a lot of great things in return. It is a compact audio interface with a USB-C port, which also supports Thunderbolt and works pretty well with it. There are 4 inputs and 4 outputs, while we particularly like the design of the control knobs and transparent LCD screen. This particularly refers to the Mix knob, which allows you to balance live input with the computer’s playback.

This interface looks nice from the inside, but things on the inside seem even better. It is a pretty capable unit that comes with ESS Sabre32 Ultra DAC technology that provides great sound quality and a pretty impressive 120dB dynamic range. The latency goes all away down to 2.5ms at 24-bit/96kHz, which ensures seamless operation. The list of notable features also includes two preamps with individual gain and phantom power.

Another thing we really like about this audio interface is the loopback. This feature is an amazing tool for live streaming and podcasts and makes this small bus-powered unit even more versatile. The M4 4×4 is a pretty capable portable unit, which also comes packed with an impressive 6+GB of free loops, samples, and 1-shots.

Who Should Buy This Pedal?

The MOTU M4 4×4 USB-C covers a pretty broad range of potential users. It is a versatile unit that comes at a pretty reasonable price. Whether you’re into music production or you plan to use this unit for live streaming and podcasts, this audio interface will give you a lot in return.

Universal Audio Apollo Solo

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Universal Audio Apollo Solo

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The Apollo Solo is a super-capable bus-power audio interface, designed for both professionals and enthusiasts. It perfectly combines compact size with amazing sound quality, which makes it versatile in its own way. No, it isn’t loaded with tons of inputs and outputs, nor with other connectivity features and controls. The fact you can always carry it with you and get premium production quality no matter where you are is a kind of special quality we are talking about.

There are 2 inputs and 4 outputs in this compact unit. Along with that, it brings simple controls and cool-looking ladder indicators. Still, don’t be fooled by such a simple layout. Inside, you will find a premium-grade performance, starting from the 24-bit/192kHz resolution. Of course, there is a super-fast Thunderbolt connection, which ensures super-smooth operation and latency under 2ms.

It comes with a couple of premium preamps that sound pristine, while you may also count on a bunch of quality plug-ins that open doors of 5 Heritage Edition plug-ins, as well as a whole bunch of Realtime Analog Classic plugins that emulate legendary studio gear.

Who Should Buy This Pedal?

The Universal Audio Apollo Solo is designed for professionals who have high sound-quality requirements but don’t necessarily need tons of inputs, outputs and other connectivity features. Instead, this unit is a great choice for customers who like to keep things simple but don’t want to compromise the smoothness of their workflow in any way.

Our Number One Choice

Universal Audio Apollo Solo

The Universal Audio Apollo Solo offers s great combination of compact design, easiness of use and premium quality. There are several reasons why this audio interface is our first choice but the first thing that comes to mind is that it offers premium sound quality and smooth operation, but remains compact and portable at the same time. Also, there is a pretty nice bundle of Heritage Edition and Realtime Classic plugins.

Buy On Amazon

Our Premium Choice

Antelope Audio Zen Go Synergy Core

This audio interface is a premium product in every aspect, starting from the housing design, which looks very elegant and stylish. More importantly, the sound quality is exceptional, thanks to the 24-bit/192kHz resolution and impressive 127dB dynamics range. The Antelope Audio Zen Go Synergy Core is a super-easy unit to work with, as it is intuitive and extremely fast, thanks to the latency that goes under 1ms. At the same time, this product is compact, portable and useful in every situation.

Buy On Amazon

Best Value For Money

MOTU M4 4x4 USB-C

The MOTU M4 4×4 USB-C offers a little bit of everything. It has enough connectivity features to satisfy more demanding uses, while tone purists will definitely be happy with its more than decent resolution and pretty impressive dynamic range. The 2.5ms latency is also impressive, as well as the fact that you get 6Gb of free loops, samples, and 1-shots. The best thing is that all is that all this comes at a pretty competitive price.

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That concludes this full buyers guide on the best best thunderbolt audio interface. Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions regarding the products you have seen in this article. Check out our other buyers guides for guitar pedals and bass pedals.

Here at Guitar Effects Pedalz we also provide full reviews of the best online guitar services so you can learn guitar online with our Guitar Tricks Review.

Last update on 2022-11-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API