I own a very interesting TL Audio Fat Track with 2 tube preamp channels. I would like to use it to record and monitor the two tracks on my computer, using MixBus. I record mainly acoustic music, with one microphone, or a pair of microphones. or, sometimes, 2 tracks at a time.

At the moment I have a good old Echo Audiofire (discontinued), working through Firewire. The problem is of course that Firewire is not available anymore on new laptop computers, be it Mac of PC.

I think about buying the new Echo2, that use USB and is USB Class compliant, so it will work without drivers on Windows, Mac and Linux (yes, I record on Linux, using Mixbus on Ubuntu Studio). I was looking first at the RME Babyface too for the quality of the sound, but I really don't need all the features.

Here is my specs for a new sound card:

  • 2 symmetric input channels, with or without preamps
  • 2 symmetric output channels
  • a headphone preamp with a volume controler would be a plus, but not mandatory
  • usb, if possible with a linux driver or being USB Class Compliant so no driver needed on any system
  • up to 24bit/96khz
  • of course, good converters
  • no internal effects

Would you have any better suggestion than the Echo2 usb soundcard, regardless of the price ?

5 Answers 5


Echo make reliable interfaces and I'm gutted they've killed off much of their lineup. I'm hoping there's an Echo8 in the works.. Apogee Duet seconded. MOTU's Microbook looks promising but I'm hearing from people having trouble.

  • Echo announced ont their website that they will focus now on analysis equipment and will not anymore do sound cards...
    – ttoine
    Commented Jul 6, 2017 at 10:56

Maybe a Sound devices USBPre 2 ? http://www.sounddevices.com/products/usbpre2/


This doesn't meet 100% of your criteria, but I would look into the PreSonus FireStudio Mobile. I have had the presonus firestudio project for a few years and have had few issues with it. They have been pretty good about updating the firmware and I have had no physical defects with my presonus product.

You can hear a sample of recordings I have done here: http://www.reverbnation.com/sendingsignals

  • I have a Presonus Audiobox for years, just to have a kind of "Swiss army knife", and some of my friends own bigger Presonus devices. However, my feeling is that if this is good for hobbyist, it can not be compared to Echo or RME,
    – ttoine
    Commented Dec 16, 2013 at 10:56

In the high-end you can look after the Prism Sound Lyra 2; specs and price are stellar.

Less expensive but still are the Apogee One and Duet.

Both are said to be USB class compliant.

  • The Lyra seems to be more a hifi product, than a audio product, isn't it ?
    – ttoine
    Commented Dec 16, 2013 at 11:28

Arturia's Audiofuse is released and is currently the best option with all its features:

Usb class compliant, Arturia also developped a cross platform configuration interface.

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