Radial Engineering, the UK company that makes those all handy little boxes that solve problems we all face, are launching what they describe as “a world first”. Coming this spring are two flavours of DI box supporting the Dante protocol: the DAN-TX and DAN-RX.
Support for the Dante protocol (Audio over Ethernet, AoE) continues to grow and I’m finding myself working with Dante networks more and more. There are a number of Dante-enabled products around now and I am personally keen to welcome newcomers into the market. There are several high-end solutions such as the amazing RedNet units by Focusrite, but we need more affordable solutions for small to medium studios and venues. Although prices haven’t been announced yet, we can expect that they will be in line with Radial’s reputation for producing affordable but high quality boxes.
There will be two boxes under the DiNET name: the DAN-TX and the DAN-RX. Both boxes are said to operate at up to 24bits/96kHz resolution. The DAN-TX will offer ¼” RCA and stereo 3.5mm input jacks for connecting instruments or line level sources to transmit over the Dante protocol. A headphone 3.5mm output socket is also provided for quickly checking level. The DAN-RX, on the other hand, is designed to be an ‘analog endpoint’ with left and right balanced XLR outputs, or a 3.5 mm headphone output.
I like that both units feature a 3.5mm headphone output so you can test audio routing when configuring a Dante network, preventing any potentially dangerous mistakes being made. The DAN-RX will be particularly useful if needing to drop a stereo signal somewhere for additional monitoring with headphones, or even connecting to a PA system. I wonder what the audio quality will be like via the internal AD/DA converters, but having the conversion made near to the source/destination will be an advantage to those who need long cable runs. There’s also no latency specifications yet, but with only 2 channels I imagine it to be insignificant.
The units are not yet featured on Radial’s web site, and prices are unknown as of 22nd January 2016. Scoot to page 8 of this pdf to find out more: http://www.radialeng.com/pdfs/intercom-namm-2016-web.pdf
Also, keep an eye on the main Radial website for developments.