In case you missed them amid all the pre-Christmas hullabaloo, we should point you in the direction of Lexicon's new I·ONIX USB 2.0 audio interfaces. If they sound as good as they look, we could be in for a treat.
Designed to sit between your keyboard and monitor, the new interfaces (there are three) are supportive of 24-bit/96kHz audio.
The U22 offers two analogue combi mic/line inputs, two balanced line outputs, a Hi-Z instrument input, a 1/4-inch headphone output and MIDI I/O.
The pricier U42S and U82S have four and eight analogue mic/line inputs respectively, plus S/PDIF I/O, two instrument inputs and two 1/4-inch headphone outputs.
Input and output levels can be controlled on the hardware using dedicated knobs, while all the analogue inputs feature low-noise mic preamps. Each interface ships with copies of Steinberg Cubase LE4, Toontrack EZdrummer Lite and the Lexicon Pantheon II reverb plug-in.
Mac- and PC-compatible, the I·ONIX interfaces should be available this month. Prices are £299 for the U22, £399 for the U42S and £599 for the U82S.