Focusrite have won plenty of plaudits for their Clarett range of Thunderbolt audio interfaces, which have been widely praised for delivering low round-trip latency and audio specifications that belie their project-studio price. Now the British company have added USB 2.0 versions of the 2Pre, 4Pre and 8Pre to the Clarett range, promising performance that will beat interfaces of twice the price.
The spec announced so far for these macOS and Windows interfaces certainly looks impressive, with a dynamic range of up to 119dB. Focusrite also promise super-low latency — low enough to track with plug-ins in place — and it will be interesting to see how these USB 2.0 devices stack up against their Thunderbolt counterparts. All three new interfaces also feature the Clarett line’s low-noise mic preamps, which are equipped with an optional ‘Air’ mode that imitates the high-frequency lift of Focusrite’s ISA mic preamp, and the same 24-bit/192kHz A-D/D-A converters.
Starting with the smallest, the Clarett 2Pre USB has two mic/line/instrument inputs and four line outputs, plus MIDI I/O and an ADAT optical input that allows the user to expand the channel count to 10-in, 4-out. The Clarett 4Pre USB (18-in, 8-out) adds a further two mic/line preamps, four line inputs, dual stereo headphone outputs and S/PDIF I/O. The Clarett 8Pre USB (18-in, 20-out) goes the whole hog, with eight mic/line preamps, 10 line outs, ADAT in and out, MIDI, S/PDIF and word clock.
All three interfaces, which come with a bundle of software from Ableton, XLN Audio, Softube, Focusrite and Loopmasters, will be available soon, priced at £369.99$399.99 for the Clarett 2Pre USB, £549.99$599.99 for the Clarett 4Pre USB and £739.99$799.99 for the Clarett 8Pre USB. In addition, all will ship with both standard USB and USB Type-C cables letting you connect to the latest Mac or PC machines.