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Best Thunderbolt Audio Interface Reviews in 2024

Thunderbolt audio interfaces offer the highest performance and lowest latency of any type of audio interface, making them ideal for professional recording studios and musicians who demand the best possible sound quality. Thunderbolt also offers a wide range of features and connectivity options, making it a versatile solution for a variety of applications.

Top Features to Look for When Buying a Thunderbolt Audio Interface

  • I/O Configuration: Consider the audio interface’s inputs and outputs (I/O) based on your needs. For solo recording, a few I/O suffice, but for band or orchestra recording, opt for an interface with more I/O.
  • Converter Quality: The converter quality of an audio interface affects the sound quality of your recordings. Look for an interface with high-quality converters that will capture your audio accurately without distortion.
  • Preamp Quality: The preamp quality of an audio interface matters a lot, especially if you’re recording vocals or acoustic instruments. Look for an interface with preamps that have good gain and clarity.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the Best Thunderbolt Audio Interfaces available in the market. We’ll also discuss the key features to look for when choosing an interface and provide a Buying Guide to help you make the best decision for your needs.

Best Thunderbolt Audio Interface Table

Best Thunderbolt Audio InterfaceDynamic RangeBit DepthBuy Now
Universal Audio Thunderbolt Audio Interface127 dB32-bitCheck On Amazon
Antelope Audio Thunderbolt Audio Interface127 dB64-bitCheck On Amazon
PreSonus Thunderbolt Audio Interface120 dB24-bitCheck On Amazon
Zoom Thunderbolt Audio Interface120 dB24-bitCheck On Amazon
Antelope Audio Thunderbolt Audio Interface121 dB64-bitCheck On Amazon

Best Thunderbolt Audio Interface Reviews

1. Universal Audio Thunderbolt Audio Interface

Universal Audio Thunderbolt Audio InterfaceThe Universal Audio Apollo Twin X Desktop Thunderbolt 3 Audio Interface is a versatile tool for musicians and producers. This compact powerhouse boasts elite-class A/D and D/A conversion, offering the broadest dynamic range and minimal noise of any desktop interface. With two Unison-enabled preamps, you can track with virtually zero latency, utilizing iconic preamp emulations like Helios, Neve, API, and Manley. The onboard UAD processing opens the door to real-time use of UAD plug-ins, including classics like the Teletronix LA-2A, 1176 compressors, Pultec EQs, and the 610-B Tube Preamp & EQ, all enhancing your recordings with analog warmth. Plus, it includes a free download of the LUNA Recording System, transforming your Mac-equipped Apollo or Arrow interface into a complete music creation and recording studio. The Apollo Twin X is the ideal choice for those serious about achieving professional studio-quality results from the comfort of their home setup.

Best Features:

  • Elite-class A/D and D/A conversion
  • Unison-enabled preamps for classic analog sound
  • Real-time UAD plug-in processing
  • Type C thunderbolt
  • LUNA Recording System for seamless workflow


  • Excellent sound quality
  • Powerful UAD plug-in processing


  • High price

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2. Antelope Audio Thunderbolt Audio Interface

Antelope Audio Thunderbolt Audio InterfaceAntelope Audio’s Zen Go Synergy Core Thunderbolt 3 Audio Interface offers a portable and high-quality solution for musicians, producers, and engineers seeking professional sound on the go. This bus-powered device boasts two top-tier discrete preamps and Antelope Audio’s 64-bit Acoustically Focused Clocking (AFC) technology, ensuring remarkable audio clarity and a vast 127dB of headroom. What sets it apart is the inclusion of 37 analog-modeled effects, powered by the Synergy Core DSP platform, enabling real-time processing with minimal latency. Its rugged metal build, intuitive controls, and bus-powered design make it an excellent choice for mobile recording and production. Whether you’re capturing vocals, instruments, or podcasts, the Zen Go Synergy Core delivers studio-grade audio quality in a compact and convenient package, making it a valuable addition for professionals and creatives alike.

Best Features:

  • High-quality preamps and converters
  • Proprietary 64-bit AFC technology
  • Suite of 37 analog-modeled effects
  • Professional studio sound quality
  • Type C thunderbolt
  • Wide range of creative processing options


  • Portable and convenient design
  • Intuitive controls


  • Some issues with Windows 11

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3. PreSonus Thunderbolt Audio Interface

PreSonus Thunderbolt Audio InterfaceThe PreSonus Quantum 2626 Thunderbolt 3 Audio Interface is recognized as the fastest in its category, providing exceptional speed with round-trip latency of under 1 ms. It excels in audio quality, featuring 24-bit/192kHz digital converters and 8 ultra-transparent XMAX analog mic preamps, ensuring pristine sound capture. With a generous array of 26 inputs and 26 outputs, including mic/instrument, mic/line, direct, and headphone inputs, along with MIDI I/O, it accommodates various recording needs. The Quantum 2626’s versatile connectivity options include Thunderbolt 3, ADAT Optical, S/PDIF, and BNC word clock I/O, making it adaptable to a wide range of setups. Ideal for professional musicians, producers, and engineers, the PreSonus Quantum 2626 is a powerhouse audio interface that offers speed, audio quality, and flexibility for your recording and production needs.

Best Features:

  • Blazing-fast speed for real-time tracking and monitoring with plug-ins.
  • Pristine audio quality with 24-bit/192kHz converters and XMAX preamps.
  • Expansive I/O with 26 inputs and 26 outputs.
  • Type C thunderbolt
  • Versatile connectivity with Thunderbolt 3, ADAT Optical, S/PDIF, and BNC.
  • Award-winning software included.


  • Low latency.
  • Expandable.
  • Versatile connectivity.


  • Large size.

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4. Zoom Thunderbolt Audio Interface

Zoom Thunderbolt Audio InterfaceThe Zoom TAC-2 Thunderbolt™ Audio Converter is a high-performance Burr Brown mic preamps that ensure pristine sound capture, coupled with 24-bit/192kHz recording and playback capabilities. The included MixEfx software mixer empowers users with versatile audio monitoring and mixing features, including reverb, delay, and EQ, compatible with both Mac and Windows systems. With two combo XLR/TRS input jacks offering +48V phantom power, as well as two TRS output jacks and a dedicated headphone jack, it’s a flexible and comprehensive solution for connecting microphones, instruments, and other audio devices. Whether in the studio or on stage, the TAC-2 enables musicians and producers to record and mix with unparalleled audio quality and ultra-low latency, making it an invaluable asset for anyone who values top-tier sound performance in their creative work.

Best Features:

  • High-quality AD/DA converters
  • Asynchronous transfer technology
  • Burr Brown mic preamps
  • +60 dB of gain and +48V phantom power
  • Balanced TRS outputs
  • Mini display port thunderbolt
  • Headphone output with dedicated level control
  • Compatible with Windows and Mac computers
  • Comes with MixEfx software mixer and Ableton Live Lite


  • Exceptional audio quality
  • Ultra-low latency
  • Versatile inputs and outputs
  • Comprehensive software bundle


  • Some issues macOS High Sierra(10.13.6)

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5. Antelope Audio Thunderbolt Audio Interface

Antelope Audio Thunderbolt Audio InterfaceThe Antelope Audio Discrete 4 Synergy Core is a mobile audio interface, offering exceptional sound quality and versatile connectivity. Tailored for musicians, producers, and engineers on the move, this audio interface boasts four discrete 6-transistor preamps, ensuring ultra-low noise and minimal distortion. Its AD/DA converters deliver lush and expansive instrument and vocal recordings, further enhanced by Antelope’s Acoustically Focused Clocking technology. What truly sets this device apart is the inclusion of 37 real-time analog-modeled plugins, allowing you to apply them with near-zero latency during mixing or live tracking, without taxing your CPU. With a compact, lightweight design, an intuitive software mixer, and the ability to handle up to 32 plugins simultaneously, the Discrete 4 Synergy Core is the ultimate mobile audio solution, offering exceptional sound quality and real-time plugin processing capabilities.

Best Features

  • Exceptional sound quality
  • 37 real-time analog-modeled plugins
  • Up to 32 plugins loaded simultaneously
  • Flexible software mixer
  • Mini display port thunderbolt
  • Compact and lightweight


  • Versatile connectivity
  • Real-time plugin processing


  • Synergy Core plugins can be demanding on the CPU

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Buying Guide for Best Thunderbolt Audio Interface

1. I/O Configuration

The I/O configuration of a Thunderbolt audio interface refers to the number of inputs and outputs it has. Inputs are used to connect your microphones, instruments, and other audio devices to your computer. Outputs are used to connect your speakers, headphones, and other audio devices to your computer.

The most common I/O configurations for Thunderbolt audio interfaces are:

Which I/O configuration you need will depend on your specific needs. If you’re just recording yourself, you might get away with a two-in, two-out interface. But if you’re recording a band or producing music with lots of tracks, you’ll need an interface with more inputs and outputs.

2. Converter Quality

The converter quality is what determines how good your recordings will sound. The converters are responsible for converting your analog audio signal to digital audio. High-quality converters will accurately capture the sound of your instruments and vocals, while low-quality converters will introduce noise and distortion into your recordings.

When choosing a Thunderbolt audio interface, look for one with high-quality converters. Common converter brands include AKM, Burr-Brown, and ESS.

3. Preamp

The preamps in a Thunderbolt audio interface amplify your signal before it’s converted to digital audio. Good preamps will give your recordings a clean and clear sound.

When choosing a Thunderbolt audio interface, look for one with high-quality preamps. Some interfaces have preamps that are designed to emulate the sound of classic analog preamps.

4. Thunderbolt Port Types

There are three main types of Thunderbolt ports:

  • Thunderbolt 1: Thunderbolt 1 uses a Mini DisplayPort connector.
  • Thunderbolt 2: Thunderbolt 2 also uses a Mini DisplayPort connector, but it is backward compatible with Thunderbolt 1.
  • Thunderbolt 3 and 4: Thunderbolt 3 and 4 use a USB-C connector, which is also reversible.

5. Latency

Latency is the delay between when you play a note and when you hear it back in your headphones or monitors. Thunderbolt interfaces offer ultra-low latency, so you can play and record in real-time without any delay.

Latency is important for musicians and producers who need to be able to monitor their performances in real-time. It’s also important for engineers who need to be able to record and edit audio without any delay.

6. Sample Rate and Bit Depth

The sample rate and bit depth determine the quality of your digital audio recordings. The sample rate is the number of times per second that your audio signal is sampled. The bit depth is the number of bits used to represent each sample.

Higher sample rates and bit depths will produce higher-quality recordings, but they will also require more storage space and processing power.

For most recording applications, a sample rate of 44.1 kHz and a bit depth of 16 bits is sufficient. However, if you’re recording high-resolution audio, you’ll need to use a higher sample rate and bit depth.

Thunderbolt Audio Interface – FAQs

1. Are Thunderbolt audio interfaces only for Mac users?

Ans: No, Thunderbolt interfaces work with both Mac and Windows systems.

2. What’s the main advantage of Thunderbolt over USB interfaces?

Ans: Thunderbolt offers faster data transfer and lower latency.

3. Can I use a Thunderbolt audio interface on a laptop?

Ans: Yes, many Thunderbolt interfaces are compact and suitable for laptops.

4. Do I need a Thunderbolt cable to connect the interface?

Ans: Yes, a Thunderbolt cable is necessary for the connection.

5. Are Thunderbolt audio interfaces worth the investment?

Ans: If you prioritize audio quality and low latency, a Thunderbolt interface is worth it.


If you are looking for the best possible audio recording and playback quality, a Thunderbolt audio interface is the way to go. Thunderbolt interfaces offer superior performance and features, such as low latency, high sample rates, and support for multiple channels.

No matter what your needs or budget, there is a Thunderbolt audio interface that is perfect for you. With a Thunderbolt interface, you can be sure about the best possible audio recording and playback quality. Also, feel free to share your queries regarding its selection and usage with us in the below comments section. We will respond and resolve them promptly. 

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