MOTU 828ES Thunderbolt and USB Audio Interface

MOTU 828ES Thunderbolt and USB Audio Interface

The workhorse MOTU 828 interface gets an upgrade with ESS Sabre32 D/A converters, dual color LCDs, and 28x32 I/O via USB 2, Thunderbolt, or AVB/TSN Ethernet.

MOTU 828mk3 Firewire Audio Interface

No longer available at zZounds
MOTU Warranty ´╗┐MOTU offers a 2 year warranty on all Firewire interfaces and all Video/Audio interfaces. USB MIDI interfaces and PCI Audio interfaces carry a 90 day warranty.
If you have additional warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer at 617-576-2760
(28 ratings)
Submitted April 24, 2008 by a customer from
"Great Features, Horrible Driver"
Definitely not satisfied with it yet. I could be replacing it with a PreSonus Firestudio or an M-Audio ProFire 2626 if MOTU does not get these driver issues sorted out by early May.

The new DDS clock sounds fantastic! You can really hear the difference between units like this and lower end Edirol and M-Audio interfaces. Very clean definition and detail far beyond previous MOTU 828 interfaces. This thing would work as a great mixer in a pinch, even without a computer! I am using it with a new aluminum iMac Core 2 Duo 24" 2.4GHz.

There are so many great features about this sound card. In this price range, nothing can beat it. You get a ton of I/O, DSP, stand-alone operation, a low-jitter clock and good integration with a computer via the CueMix FX software. You only get 2 mic preamps but that hardly matters if you are just plugging in synths. The metering is very comprehensive.

Ease of Use
It's pretty easy to use, though it takes some time to learn how it works. The interface is not very intuitive, though very powerful. You get a lot of functionality. The manual is very clear.

The unit seems well made out of solid metal, and will probably last quite awhile under heavy use. The built-in headphone output has a small amount of noise, though it's far below the noise of any computer's built-in audio output. read more

When MOTU fixes the driver problems, it will be a 10. Until then, it is a piece of junk. If they don't fix it before my 30 day return limit, I will return it to send a message to MOTU than using the public as beta testers is unacceptable, and that they really ought to send some test units to real audio professionals for a couple weeks before releasing it.

Manufacturer Support
This is unfortunately the worst part about this unit. MOTU seems to have released it without testing the driver reliability on simple factory-built Mac computers. Using the current v1.47 driver and firmware 1.05, the unit is subject to regular but randomly-occurring audio dropouts accompanied by high pitched screeching noises. This happens both on my 24" Intel iMac bought on April 21, 2008 and on my G5 1.8 dual core tower. Very disappointing. MOTU will probably straighten this out in the long term, but for now this unit is not usable in a professional context. This phenomena is being experienced by numerous users and as of April 24, 2008 has not been resolved.

The Wow Factor
If it worked well, it would be super sexy. Right now, however, my relationship with it is very dysfunctional.

Musical Background:
Producer, Performing Artist, Teacher

Musical Style:
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