Quick review of MOTU 828es

MOTU 828es – multi-channel audio interface for USB and Thunderbolt
The assortment of products of the well-known American company MOTU has expanded with the multichannel audio interface 828es. Equipped with USB ports (version 2.0) and Thunderbolt, it has a total of 28 inputs and 32 outputs and can be used not only with a Mac or PC, but also with iOS devices (with the adapter).
MOTU 828es

MOTU 828es is based on the 828X released in 2014, but, unlike it, it is equipped with 32-bit digital-to-analog ESS Sabre32 converters. These chips provide 123 dB of dynamic range and the same sound quality as the award-winning flagship 1248. The latest novelty also has a very low level of signal delay (only 1.6 ms round-trip latency at 96 kHz sampling rate and Thunderbolt connection) and belonging to the family of AVB-interfaces. Another important advantage of 828es, which distinguishes this model from other MOTU interfaces (including from the flagship), is the presence of built-in talkback microphone and Control Room section.

MOTU 828es

In terms of switching capabilities 828es practically does not differ from the aforementioned predecessor. In addition to USB, Thunderbolt and AVB interfaces, there are two microphone / instrument inputs, eight line inputs and ten outputs, two independent headphone outputs and several digital inputs / outputs (optical ADAT and coaxial S/PDIF). Also on the rear panel of the device there are MIDI I / O ports, a jack for the footswitch, inputs and outputs of Word Clock and Time Code.
MOTU 828es
Among other features and advantages of the product announced by MOTU, it should be noted:

  • lightweight but solid aluminum alloy casing
  • expansion of the system by adding to the 828es the second AVB-interface or integrating into a network consisting of several interfaces and computers
  • A powerful built-in DSP with a mixer and effects processor
  • managing DSP parameters, mixer, settings and browser switching on laptop, tablet or smartphone
  • two LCD displays for managing settings directly from the device

Technical Specifications

Sample rates 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192 kHz
Mic/line/instr inputs 2 x XLR/TRS “combo style” inputs

Preamp gain: 0 to +63 dB (digitally controlled)

Analog inputs 8 x 1/4″ TRS line inputs (balanced/unbalanced)

Max level: +24 dBu (digitally adjustable -96 to +22)

Analog outputs 8 x 1/4″ TRS line out (balanced, DC coupled)

Max level: +20 dBu (digitally adjustable -4 to +20)

2 x male XLR with +20 dBu max

2 x 1/4″ TRS stereo headphone

2 x 1/4″ TRS sends (pre-converter)

Digital I/O 2 banks (16 ch) of ADAT optical at 1x sample rates

2 banks (8 ch) of SMUX optical at 2x sample rates

Switchable to stereo TOSLink (optical S/PDIF)

1 x stereo S/PDIF on RCA (up to 96 kHz)

Total I/O 28 in / 32 out (60 total) at 1x sample rates

20 in / 24 out (44 total) at 2x sample rates

10 in / 14 out (24 total) at 4x sample rates

Computer I/O 1 x Thunderbolt 1 (Mac and Win)

Thunderbolt 2 & 3 compatible

1 x USB 2.0 audio class compliant

USB 3.0 and iOS compatible

Computer I/O channels
128 in/out at 1x or 2x (44.1 to 96 kHz)

64 in/out at 4x (176.4 to 192 kHz)

Computer I/O channels
64 in/out at 1x (44.1 to 48 kHz)

32 in/out at 2x (88.2 to 96 kHz)

24 in/out at 4x (176.4 to 192 kHz)



16 MIDI channels to/from computer host

Foot switch 1 x 1/4″ pedal input
Sync I/O 1 x BNC word clock in/out

1 x 1/4″ time code in/out

Network I/O 1 x RJ45 AVB/TSN Ethernet (1 Gbps)
Headphone 2 x 1/4″ TRS stereo phone (assignable)
Phantom power 2 x individual +48V
Front panel 2 x 1/4″ TRS headphone output

2 x XLR/TRS combo inputs

2 x digital rotary encoders • phone vol

2 x digital rotary encoders • mic/instr input gain

2 x large digital rotary encoders • main vol / menu

4 x small switches • (2) Pad / (2) 48V Phantom pwr

8 x large switches • menu nav / A/B mon select, etc.

2 x LCD (128 x 160) for level meters / menu nav

Power International 100-240V autoswitching supply

50-60 Hz • 0.5A max

and weight
(width x depth x height, enclosure only, with rack brackets)

19 x 7 x 1.75 inches

48.3 x 17.75 x 4.5 cm

4.2 lbs / 1.9 kg

MOTU 828es
For more information on the sound interface of the MOTU 828es, please visit the manufacturer’s website. You can buy the device in the next few days at a price of $ 995.


MOTU 828es - quick review of interface for USB and Thunderbolt
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MOTU 828es - quick review of interface for USB and Thunderbolt
Quick review of MOTU 828es - multi-channel audio interface for USB and Thunderbolt. Price.

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