NAMM 2014: Zoom announces TAC-2, Thunderbolt audio interface

NAMM 2014: If you'd asked us to guess which company would launch a 2-in/2-out Thunderbolt Mac audio interface at the NAMM Show this year, Zoom wouldn't have been the first name we'd have come up with. But this is what it's delivered with the TAC-2.

Promising "ultra-low-latency audio streaming," this offers up to 24-bit/192kHz performance and comes with two combo balanced XLR/TRS inputs round the back and a Hi-Z input on the front. There's a phantom power option, and outputs are on balanced TRS jacks. There's also a dedicated headphone output with its own level control.

Up top, a single large rotary can be used to control all parameters, apparently, and there's 7-position LED metering for input, output and headphone volume.

You can find out more about the TAC-2 on the Zoom website. It's expected to sell for $399.

Zoom TAC-2 specs

  • 2-in/2-out high speed Thunderbolt™ audio interface
  • Support for recording and playback up to 24-bit/192kHz
  • Ultra-low latency audio streaming
  • Two combo balanced XLR/TRS input connectors
  • +48V phantom power for each input
  • Hi-Z input jack allows direct connection of electric guitar or bass
  • Two balanced TRS output jacks for connection to amplifiers or self-powered speakers
  • Dedicated headphone jack with independent level control
  • 7-position LED metering for input, output and headphone volume
  • High-performance Burr Brown mic preamps with up to +60dB of amplification
  • 4x upsampling during A/D and D/A conversion for reduced noise and enhanced fidelity
  • Asynchronous transfer system unaffected by computer jitter
  • Simple user interface—all operations controlled by a single rotary knob
  • Bus powered—no AC power required
  • Rugged yet compact and lightweight
  • Works with all Thunderbolt-equipped Macintosh computers running OS X 10.8.5 or later
Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.