Zoom TAC-2

2 x 2 Thunderbolt Audio Interface 2 XLR/TRS Combo Mic/Line Inputs, Instrument Input, Headphone Output, Monitor Outputs, Phantom Power, and Cable
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Available Tomorrow (February 20)
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A Compact Thunderbolt Audio Interface

The world of computing is getting faster all the time and so should your audio interface. Zoom's TAC-2 Thunderbolt audio interface is an ultra-compact and blazing-fast audio interface that's ready to help you conquer the world. Utilizing the latest Thunderbolt technology, the TAC-2 offers ultra-low latency and pristine 24-bit/192kHz recordings that will amaze you. No more lagging and speed issues, just pure, perfect audio. Simply hook up your favorite mics and plug the Zoom TAC-2 Thunderbolt audio interface into your computer and start recording your next masterpiece.

Zoom TAC-2 Thunderbolt Audio Interface at a Glance:
  • Recording has never been easier
  • High-end processing delivers better sound
  • Blazing-fast performance with Thunderbolt
Recording has never been easier

The Zoom TAC-2 Thunderbolt interface is dead simple to use. A pair of XLR/TRS combo jacks in the back let you hook up mics, instruments, or line signals to the input in seconds. There's also a front instrument input jack for when you just want to add a quick guitar or bass part without unplugging anything else. A convenient pair of TRS jacks in the back let you hook up your powered monitors in a flash. The TAC-2 uses high-end Burr Brown mic preamps to capture killer audio each and every time.

High-end processing delivers better sound

The power and speed of Thunderbolt is sure to change the face of audio recording. The TAC-2 not only records, but it also performs four times upsampling of your signal during the analog-to-digital and the digital-to-analog conversion. So, when the sampling rate is set to 44.1kHz, the TAC-2 is processing the signal at 176.4kHz, which helps minimize aliasing noise and increases clarity. In other words, your audio will sound amazing.

Blazing-fast performance with Thunderbolt

Apple's Thunderbolt connectivity has opened up a world of professional recording possibilities. Thunderbolt is five times faster than USB 3.0 and up to 20 times faster than USB 2.0 and FireWire 800. This gives you the speed to record and monitor with virtually no latency. In fact, Thunderbolt is so fast, it isn't bothered by computer jitter, so you don't need a master clock. No more hunting for an extra power outlet because Thunderbolt is bus powered from your computer. It even gets enough juice to provide your mics with phantom power. Super fast, super stable, and bus powered - that's Thunderbolt. It seems everyone at Sweetwater is excited about the robust power of the Zoom TAC-2 Thunderbolt audio interface!

Zoom TAC-2 Thunderbolt Audio Interface Features:
  • 2-in, 2-out Thunderbolt audio interface
  • Easy-to-use interface, all features are controlled by one knob
  • Extremely low latency audio
  • Phantom power to run your favorite condenser mics
  • Dual XLR/TRS combo input jacks for mic and line sources
  • LED meters to monitor your input and output levels
  • Compact and lightweight design is easy to take with you
  • Bus powered directly from your computer
  • Works with Thunderbolt-equipped Macs running OS X 10.6.8 or later
  • Includes Thunderbolt cable
Upgrade your studio and your speed with the Zoom TAC-2 Thunderbolt audio interface!

Additional Media

Audio Interface Buying Guide
TAC-2 User Manual

Tech Specs

Computer Connectivity Thunderbolt
Form Factor Desktop
Simultaneous I/O 2 x 2
A/D Resolution 24-bit/192kHz
Analog Inputs 2 x XLR/TRS Combo, 1 x TS
Analog Outputs 2 x 1/4", 1 x 1/4" Headphone
Number of Preamps 2
Phantom Power Yes
Bus Powered Yes
Depth 5.1"
Width 4.72"
Height 2.02"
Weight 0.93 lbs.
Manufacturer Part Number ZTAC2

Customer Reviews

2.5/5
Based on 11 reviews
Write your review
5/5

Zoom TAC-2

I use this for a pedestrian purpose. I do a lot of speech recognition dictation, and using this interface plus a good quality standard mic has proven much superior to the USB mic and USB headset used previously, in terms of dictation accuracy.Once installed the unit is simple and easy to use. Input gain control can be adjusted to a high level of precision (very helpful for my purposes).Follow the installation instructions exactly. Do not (as I did) connect the unit to the computer prior to software installation. That doesn't work at all.Overall this has been a great product for me.
Music background: None
4.5/5

Easy!!

I purchased this product quite by accident, as I was checking out various USB audio interfaces - I'm now so glad the Tac 2X2 Thunderbolt interface was suggested to me by Sweetwater. There is virtually no set up, and the device driver is a simple download - I was up and running in less than 5 minutes. I've already recording several live audio tracks, and am very satisfied with the performance and SOUND of this little unit with ProTools 11........ it will be going on tour with me, as well!
Music background: Professional Musician
4.5/5

Fantastic Low Latency Interface

This interface is very simple and straightforward. It's main and best feature to me is the very low latency. I measured a round trip latency of 4.4 ms, with a 64 sample buffer running at 44.1kHz. (Typical USB interfaces are around 8-10 ms of latency at that buffer setting.) It seemed to go even lower (32 sample buffer) just fine, without crackles. I measured using Reaper software, by routing a recorded audio click back into the interface and measuring the number of samples between the two. Another nice feature is the high-impedance guitar input, which means it's akin to plugging into a guitar amp and you won't loose high-frequencies. It also seems very quite (though I didn't measure that spec.) It's also light-weight and compact. It is Thunberbolt - which is why it's low-latency - and I question how long Thunderbolt will be around. It came out years ago but so far hasn't gained a lot of traction, primarily because of the cost of peripherals and cables, and it being largely Mac-only.
Music background: Pro musician
4/5

The best low latency interface currently available.

This is a fantastic interface if you are looking for low latency. And it sounds great. Latency has been a problem for years for live performance and recording. If you want to use plugins for your guitar, for example, you have to make a trade-off. Now you don't. Before Thunderbolt and current fast CPU computers, the only way to get low latency was to monitor the direct guitar signal blended with the effects signal. Without the dry signal you would hear the delay caused by the time it took to convert the analog guitar signal to digital, process it through amp model and effects plugins, and convert it back to analog. But the dream is finally here: for guitarist, singers, bass players, etc., we can now use all the wonderful plugins in a DAW for live performance and recording - without trade-offs. The TAC-2 does a great job of taking advantage of Thunderbolt’s speed to delver analog feel. I use the TAC-2 with a 1.7 Ghz MacBook Air Core i17 and can get 1.5ms of latency at 96khz and 32 sample buffer. At 64 sample buffer it is 2.0ms. Higher sample rates and lower sample buffers result in lower latency, but require higher CPU loads. So any review of the TAC-2 should include the spec of the CPU it is being used with - slower CPUs will have higher latency in order to process plugins. For anyone not familiar with latency: 2ms is really the threshold that makes digital feel like analog (the latency, i.e. the delay, isn’t noticeable to the human ear). With USB, you can get 4ms (maybe 3.6), but this is noticeable while playing guitar or singing. And annoying. Mixing in a dry guitar signal is a bad solution because a dry guitar signal sounds bad and doesn't have the feel of an amped signal with effects, so you lose creativity and feel. I am using Logic to record and MainStage to perform live. With the TAC-2, MainStage and my MacBook, I can get very creative. For example, I can have to amp channels. Each channel has a different amp (e.g. a Marshal and a Vox), different pedal boards with different effects, compression, EQ and another plug in effect (e.g. delay). And I still have enough CPU for AUX sends to compression, reverb and other effects. With my MacBook Air, Logic set at 96k, 64 sample buffer, and 2 ms latency with the TAC-2, this set up doesn’t hiccup. No pops, no crashes. It just performs beautifully. A convolution reverb like Space Designer (which requires much more CPU, does cause problems). This is a truly beautiful thing because I can now use the exact guitar setup that I record and mix with during a live performance. Logic and MainStage allow me to save and open patches between the two applications, which makes this even easier. The TAC-2 is also very portable - it doesn’t have a breakout cable to worry about (or lose) and it is powered by Thunderbolt, so it doesn’t have a power cable or supply. I hope Apogee takes note of this form factor. A Duet without a breakout cable and powered by Thunderbolt would be the top of the line for this type of interface. The only two issues I have with the TAC-2 are 1. the quality of the build is definitely lower than the Duet or Apollo Twin (but it is less expensive) and 2. it should come with a travel case so when you throw it in a backpack, it is protected. You can use the box it came in as a case, but it is a little bulky and will wear over time. A case like the Apogee case for iMic would be a great accessory. The software the TAC-2 comes with is fine, but I don’t use it other than to make sure the dry signal is off (because you don’t need it with 2ms of latency). With the speed of the new MacBooks, the speed of Thunderbolt and an interface like the TAC-2, we are in a new era where digital interfaces really do perform like analog. Latency is finally a thing of the past. As I sorted through all the options to get to low latency, Karl at Sweetwater was incredibly helpful as always. Thanks Karl!
Music background: Musician and hack engineer
3/5

Bang For the Buck

You can't get a thunderbolt interface that does what this does at this price point. I wouldn't compare it to some of the higher end interfaces. The Preamps to my ear are extremely dry. There is enough headroom and latency to run this thing at a pretty unnoticeable speed, however don't expect to do this when in those 24 bit rate, 192k settings. Mine sounded like everything was bit crushed. I use this running Scuffham Amp simulators in a live worship context. It works well when running 16 bit, 48k. There's no noticeable lag. It is super portable. I'm glad I made the purchase.
Music background: Indie, Rock, Post-Rock
See also: Zoom, Zoom Thunderbolt Audio Interfaces