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MOTU 828x Thunderbolt Audio Interface 

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The 828x is MOTU's most advanced, award-winning audio interface, and now comes with lightning fast Thunderbolt connectivity. Raising the bar with inn...Click To Read More About This Product

Available 03-13-2017

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MOTU's best-selling audio interface, now with Thunderbolt connectivity.

The 828x is MOTU's most advanced, award-winning audio interface, and now comes with lightning fast Thunderbolt connectivity. Raising the bar with innovative features and ultra-reliable performance, the MOTU 828x provides 28 inputs and 30 outputs with recording up to 192kHz resolution, studio-grade mic channels, on-board digital mixer with effects, standalone mixer option, solid metal chassis, high-speed USB 2.0 and 3.0 connectivity for across-the-board compatibility.

The future of connectivity
Thunderbolt fulfills the promise of a truly state-of-the-art connectivity standard for personal computers. With massive bandwidth, Thunderbolt allows you to connect displays, hard drives, and other peripherals to your computer, along with the 828x, up to six devices total (with the 828x at the end of the chain), and the Thunderbolt bus won't even break a sweat. Thunderbolt combines plug-and-play convenience with massive bandwidth and low latency for truly professional audio interface performance.

Audio quality without compromise
Now in its fifth generation, the 828 has become well respected in the audio industry. How has this level of respect been earned? Through consistent design integrity and intelligent use of current-generation parts and design technologies.

Mac, PC, and USB 3.0 compatible
As Thunderbolt becomes more widely adopted, Hi-speed USB 2.0 provides across-the-board compatibility with virtually all laptops and desktops on both Mac and Windows. Since USB 2.0 devices are compatible with USB 3.0-equipped hosts, your 828x interface is a future-proof investment in your studio. With recording up to 192kHz resolution, you'll always have the most pristine, professional sound at your disposal.

How can one audio interface offer this much I/O?
Two combo-style mic/guitar inputs with preamps, 8 balanced analog in/out, XLR main outs, 16 channels of ADAT optical (8 channels at 96 kHz), plus S/PDIF, word clock and MIDI. Connect all of your studio gear, including microphones, guitars, synths, keyboards, drum machines and even effects processors.

Studio-grade mic channels
Do you work with outboard EQs and compressors? Each 828x mic input offers a pre-converter send for mono or stereo mic channel outboard processing. The 828x's unique V-Limit hardware limiter employs a proprietary design to offer an additional 12 dB of headroom over digital zero with no digital clipping or harsh artifacts, for that added protection in dynamic recording situations. The 828x's preamps are clean and neutral, allowing you to use your favorite plug-ins and host software to color the sound just the way you want for each recording application.

Mixing and effects for monitoring and live mixing
Record, monitor, route and process all live inputs using the professional on-board CueMix FX digital mixer - with no latency and no processor strain on your computer. Apply DSP-driven compression, EQ and reverb to every input and output, independent of your host computer.

Go instantly from studio to stage
After programming the on-board mixing in the studio, unplug the 828x from the computer and take it on the road for operation as a stand-alone mixer with effects. All mixing and effects parameters are adjustable using the front panel backlit LCD.

Built to last, and last, and last¦
Like all MOTU interfaces, the 828x's aluminum alloy chassis is lightweight, yet incredibly sturdy and durable, and designed to withstand the rigors of the studio, stage, and road. In a world awash with cheap plastic, the cool feeling of the 828x's metal exterior in your hands is a reassuring reminder that you are holding quality engineering and construction.

  • 28 inputs and 30 outputs
  • Thunderbolt technology
  • High-speed USB 2.0
  • Up to 192kHz audio resolution
  • Studio-grade mic channels
  • On-board digital mixer with effects
  • Stand-alone operation as a mixer
  • Solid metal chassis
  • Support for Mac OS X and Windows
  • MIDI I/O built-in
  • Analysis tools and oscilloscope

Who says you can't improve upon greatness? Get Thunderbolt connected today!


828x Thunderbolt Audio Interface

  • Technical Specifications
    Converters 24-bit
    Sample rates 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192 kHz
    Analog inputs 2 x XLR/TRS combo-style mic/guitar inputs
    8 x 1/4" TRS line inputs (balanced/unbalanced)
    Analog outputs 2 x XLR balanced main out
    8 x 1/4" balanced TRS line out
    2 x 1/4" TRS stereo headphone
    Digital I/O 16 channels of ADAT optical at 1x sample rates
    8 channels of SMUX optical at 2x sample rates
    2-channel TOSlink (optical S/PDIF) up to 96 kHz
    2-channel RCA S/PDIF up to 96 kHz
    Total I/O 28 inputs and 30 outputs at 1x sample rates
    20 inputs and 22 outputs at 2x sample rates
    10 inputs and 10 outputs at 4x sample rates
    Computer I/O 1 x Thunderbolt (compatible with 1 and 2)
    1 x USB 2.0 (compatible with 3.0)
    Sync I/O 1 x SMPTE time code in (LTC)
    1 x SMPTE time code out (LTC)
    1 x word clock in
    1 x word clock out
    Headphone output 1 x 1/4" TRS stereo phone (assignable)
    1 x 1/4" TRS stereo phone (mirrors main outs)
    Phantom power 2 x individual +48V
    Front panel 2 x XLR/TRS combo mic/guitar in
    2 x 1/4" TRS phone
    2 x digital rotary encoders ¢ phone/main volume
    2 x digital rotary encoders ¢ mic trim
    4 x switches ¢ Pad and 48V Phantom
    4 x digital rotary encoders for LCD control
    2 x 16 character LCD
    8 x 4-segment ladder LEDs ¢ 1/4-inch analog in
    8 x activity LED ¢ 1/4-inch analog out
    2 x 4-segment ladder LEDs ¢ RCA S/PDIF in
    2 x activity LED ¢ RCA S/PDIF out
    2 x 10-segment LEDs ¢ mic in with V-Limit
    2 x 5-segment ladder LEDs ¢ main outs
    6 x LED ¢ sample rate indicator
    1 x LED ¢ LOCK/TACH indicator
    2 x activity LEDs ¢ optical bank A/B
    1 x activity LED ¢ MIDI in/out
    1 x AC power switch
    Power International 100-240V autoswitching supply
    50-60 Hz ¢ 20 Watts

    Mac System Requirements
    A Mac with an Intel processor
    1 GB RAM; 2 GB or more recommended
    Mac OS X version 10.6 or later required
    Available Thunderbolt or high-speed USB 2.0 (or 3.0) port
    USB cable included; Thunderbolt cable purchased separately
    A large hard drive (preferably at least 250 GB)

    Windows System Requirements
    1 GHz Pentium-based PC compatible or faster
    1 GB RAM; 2 GB or more recommended
    Windows 8, 7 or Vista, 32- or 64-bit; Vista SP 2 or later required
    Available Thunderbolt or high-speed USB 2.0 (or 3.0) port
    USB cable included; Thunderbolt cable purchased separately
    A large hard drive (preferably at least 250 GB)

    Included software
    CueMix FX
    MOTU SMPTE Console
    AudioDesk (Mac only, optical CD drive required)

    Operating Systems
    Mac OS X version 10.6 or later
    Windows 8, 7 or Vista (SP2 or later is required)

    64-bit operation
    Available for Mac OS X 10.6 or later
    Available for 64-bit versions of Windows 8, 7 or Vista
    Requires a 64-bit CPU

Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
MOTU828x Thunderbolt Audio Interface

(based on 1 review)

Ratings Distribution

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Reviewed by 1 customer

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(66 of 69 customers found this review helpful)


If you're buying this for thunderbolt

By The gear guard.....

from Florida

About Me Professional Musician

See all my reviews

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Verified Buyer


  • Compact
  • Durable
  • Lightweight
  • Stabile
  • Versatile


  • Limited Functions
  • Pricey / Poor Value

Best Uses

  • Home Studio
  • Mobile DJ

Comments about MOTU 828x Thunderbolt Audio Interface:

I bought this unit after much consideration.
Problem is.... I bought it because of the capability of the speed and throughput of thunderbolt. Unfortunately, though it is stabile.... Due to the buffering process motu uses, it limits the use of the full potential.
Anyone looking for thunderbolt interfaces are trying to lessen their latency.
And unfortunately.......after testing and testing..... I called motu tech support.
Only to be told that the performance of the thunderbolt connection was no different than the firewire connection of the previous series. And that there would be almost no noticeable difference between usb and thunderbolt connections.
They verified..... 7-9 ms at best.....that's what I got....over and over.
I never write reviews but you all need to know.....this is not true thunderbolt performance. Though stabile....reliable....great tech support and guaranteed to last and be supported forever"....motu is great for that...
But those drivers.......and whatever they are doing with the double buffer situation, it's disappointing, when we all have studied the benefits of thunderbolt.
This thing has everything except the only reason to choose this model over the mark3, which is much cheaper.
Very disappointing.
Ok.....beware if you think you're gonna get that real time throughput with your power PC or Mac.......this thing is no faster than usb2 or firewire 400
More definitely more tracks at the lowest latency.
But the lowest just isn't what it should be with thunderbolt cable sticking out.
If this isn't enough to convince motu customer service.
They literally will give you the same numbers for latency throughput.
You've been warned.
Thank goodness for the great return policy here
But please just avoid the whole thing if using vst fx in realtime is part of your goal.
I'm out

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