Why fix something that isn’t broken? Rather than give its AXR4 rackmount interface some kind of makeover for NAMM, Steinberg simply changed it to USB 3.1 from Thunderbolt 2. USB 3.1 SuperSpeed is used, with a Type-C connector, so peformance should be all-around stellar. If you own the TB2 version and want to switch to USB, a connection card will be available for retrofit.
Steinberg AXR4U USB3.1 audio interface
Otherwise, the AXR4 is still a 28×24 interface that goes up to a very high 384kHz sample rate. Most interfaces in its category still reach up to 192kHz. Then again, I know virtually no one recording or producing at above 96kHz, and even these cats are rare. But yeah, specs is specs. The AXR4 has some nice I/O to it, though, with for combo inputs, two headphone outs, eight TRS line inputs, eight TRS line outs (none of that DB25 breakout cable siliness, thank Lordy), two ADAT I/O, S/PDIF, AES/EBU, MIDI I/O and Word Clock ports. Steinberg’s jitter reduction tech, Yamaha’s SSP3 DSP chip, 32-bit converters, color display and digitally modeled Rupert Neve Designs SILK enhancement on the preamps complete the profile of a very capable unit.
Price and release date
The AXR4U, as the USB 3.1 version is called, is available now for EUR 2600. Steinberg throws in a copy Cubase AI and VST3 plug-in versions of the DSP-accelerated effects available in the interface. These include REV-X reverb, Channel Strip, VCM 276 compressor, and EQ 601.