Focusrite have announced two new products in their RedNet Dante-enabled interface product line. These probably aren’t products for home studios or even most commercial facilities, but there’s a lot to take notice of here. Audio-over-IP technology is gaining momentum, and we mustn’t forget that higher-end products like this bring advancements to the world of audio interfaces.
If you want any clues as to where the world of audio is going, you only have to take note of products like this. Perhaps one day we’ll all be using equipment that we can just daisy chain via ethernet cables. We recently saw the Red 4Pre from Focusrite which brought AoIP closer to home and bridges our current connectivity options to Dante. Focusrite are leaders in the AoIP field, and their ‘Red’ series of products also mark their highest achievements in audio quality. I will personally vouch for the outrageous performance of these AD/DA converters, as they’re some of the best on the market, possibly even the best.
The A8R is a new 8-channel, remote-controlled interface for Dante networks. In a 1U rack space enclosure, the A8R follows the RedNet’s redundancy specifications with two independent power supplies and redundant ethernet ports. There are 8 channels of I/O on the rear accessed via D-sub connectors and 2 channels of AES/EBU, with BNC word clock connections. The emphasis here is, of course on, quality, with the unit supporting sample rates up to 192kHz, and offering 119dB of dynamic range flat from 20Hz – 20kHz (+/-0.15dB).
The PCIeR is a new PCIe card offering redundant RJ45 ethernet connections to any Dante network. This card can be installed in Windows or Macintosh machines to support up to 128 channels of I/O with ultra-low latency. As far as I’m aware, this is the first product of it’s kind offering this level specification.
This level of tech doesn’t come cheap though. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price for the A8R will be 2,999 USD, whilst the PCIeR will be 1,599 USD.
For more information on the A8R: https://uk.focusrite.com/ethernet-audio-interfaces/rednet-a8r
For more information on the PCIeR: https://uk.focusrite.com/ethernet-audio-interfaces/rednet-pcier