Overall

Studio and field recording directly to your computer via Thunderbolt, in tiny durable metal housing. The TAC-2R is an audio interface that packs a serious punch, in a marketplace that demands excellence.

Pros

Cons

  • I’d like to see more in/out connections on the next generation of this device.
  • The preamps are great for the price point but there is room for improvement.

What do you get in this shiny little silver box? Honestly a lot more than I was expecting, this thing is loaded with features. The TAC-2R supports ultra-low latency recording and playback up to 24-bit/192 kHz, quality won’t be an issue here.

4x upsampling during A/D and D/A conversion enhances the quality of the signal connected to the line in and the caliber of files created by this process is just fantastic.

You can rather neatly use the interface for audio streaming all in that super crispy 24-bit quality with the same super-low latency. I loved using this interface to relax after work with my favorite bossa nova playlist and a decent set of headphones.

Ports? This thing has a decent amount of connections and although I would have liked to see more in/out connections it’s not a deal-breaker at all. You get two combos balanced XLR/TRS inputs with optional +48v phantom power, two balanced TRS output jacks to hook up your favorite amp or speakers and a 1/4″ headphone jack with dedicated level control. The TAC-2R is bus-powered so you don’t need an external AC adapter.

The TAC-2R is a half-rack sized unit, which can be important to consider when making an interface purchase. The appearance is minimalist and professional. I would not be embarrassed to have a client see this as part of my studio setup.

Zoom TAC-2R...

Construction of the interface is really solid, the metal housing feels rugged and durable in hand. I have no doubt that you could take this on tour, with all the beating that entails and it would come out scuffed but functionally none the worse. I can see this going into the kit bags of a lot of musicians who travel regularly.

Hi-Z switches allow you to connect up instruments such as electric guitars and keyboards.

You even get a free download license for Cubase LE in the box, how great is that?

Controls

This isn’t a complicated device and the controls reflect that. Zoom has given us dedicated input gain controls and Clip LEDs to ensure ease of use when controlling input levels. The output nob is sized and positioned to be simple to use without looking at the interface and allows fine control over output levels.

Zoom TAC-2R...

A Three-way Direct Monitoring switch lets you jump straight into zero-latency monitoring of the input signal. There’s the standard headphone volume knob that we all know and love and finally a switch to enable the +48v phantom power for when you want to connect a condenser mic.

Sound quality

Obviously the most important thing to consider when buying an audio interface is sound quality. The TAC-2R didn’t let me down here. Audio is super clean and very detailed, I was incredibly impressed with the quality at this price point. The 4x upsampling function enhances the signal and produces crystal clear audio.

The preamps aren’t the best I’ve ever seen, but that’s totally okay, the TAC-2R still produces incredible sound.

Video