Products Hardware HW Comparison

Which interface is right for me?

While all Metric Halo interfaces are multi-purpose, each has characteristics that make it shine in one use or another:

  • ULN-8: Our top of the line, archival quality unit. The ULN-8 has the quality and features to handle the most demanding jobs. Perfect for everything from classical recording to the mastering suite, or any user that needs ultimate power and flexibility.
  • LIO-8: All the audio quality of the ULN-8, minus the mic pres and +DSP license. Perfect for the editing suite, recording with your own pres or interfacing your analog console. In true MH style, the mics pres and +DSP license can be added if your needs change.
  • ULN-2: Two channels of boutique quality mic pres in a small package. The ULN-2 is at home in the mastering studio as well as your home studio. Perfect for the discerning recordist who doesn't require high channels counts but demands high quality and appreciates portability.
  • 2882: Eight channels of analog I/O that fits in your backpack. The 2882 is clean without being pristine and packs a lot of power.

Use the following table to see the notable differences between the interfaces.

 

Feature ULN-8 LIO-8 ULN-2 2882
Converter Technology 2nd Generation 2nd Generation 1st Generation 1st Generation
Preamp Technology 3rd Generation Optional (1) 2nd Generation 1st Generation
Analog Technology 3rd Generation 3rd Generation 2nd Generation 1st Generation
DSP Technology 2nd Generation 2nd Generation 2nd Generation 2nd Generation
44.1k - 48k
88.2k - 96k
176.4k - 192k n/a n/a
Channels of A/D 8 8 2 8
Mic pres 8 0, 4, 8 (1) 2 8
Gain 91.5 dB 91.5 dB (1) 72 dB 42 dB
Jensen Option n/a n/a n/a
Noise floor 117.9 dB 117.9 dB 110 dB 110 dB
Insert points 8 0 (8 sends) 2 n/a
Dedicated DIs 2 2 n/a n/a
Metering 15 Segment Multicolor 15 Segment Multicolor 10 Segment
Fixed Color
10 Segment
Fixed Color
Channels of D/A 8
(plus headphones)
8
(plus headphones)
4 8
(plus headphones)
Output Control Digitally Controlled Analog Digitally Controlled Analog Analog (Monitor Outs), Digital (Analog Outs) Digital/Analog hybrid
Output Control UI FP + Computer FP + Computer FP Only (Analog)
Computer Only (Digital)
Computer Only
Monitor Controller Analog Domain Analog Domain Digital Domain Digital Domain
AES Digital I/O 8 channels
(single wire)
8 channels
(single wire)
2 channels(2) 2 channels(2)
Optical Digital I/O n/a n/a 8 channels ADAT(3)
or 2 Channels TOSLINK
8 channels ADAT(3)
or 2 Channels TOSLINK
Wordclock I/O
Multipurpose encoders 9 9 n/a n/a
Tact Switches 7 7 2 (snapshot selection) 2 (Mute & Dim)
Gain Control UI FP + Computer FP + Computer FP Only Computer Only
Gain Control Encoder Encoder Switch/Pot Computer
Gain Style Digitally Controlled Analog Digitally Controlled Analog Analog Digitally Controlled Analog
2d Card
Ultra-low Latency Mixer
Basic DSP Plugin Bundle
+DSP license Optional(4) Optional(4) Optional(4)
Number of channels to/from DAW over FireWire 18 (5) 18 (5) 18 18
Number of boxes per FireWire bus

3@ 44.1 - 48 kHz

2@ 88.2 - 196 kHz

3@ 44.1 - 48 kHz

2@ 88.2 - 196 kHz

3@ 44.1 - 48 kHz

2@ 88.2 - 196 kHz

3@ 44.1 - 48 kHz

2@ 88.2 - 196 kHz

Bus powerable? No No (6) (6)
DC powerable?
Power Switch No No
Audio I/O connectors DB-25 DB-25 XLR and TRS XLR and TRS
SMPTE I/O n/a n/a
MIDI I/O (7) (7) n/a n/a
Dimensions 17" x 13" x 1.72"
432 x 330 x 44 mm
17" x 13" x 1.72"
432 x 330 x 44 mm
13.5” x 8.25” x 1.73”
343 x 210 x 44 mm
13.5" × 11" × 1.73"
343 x 279 x 44 mm
Weight 6 lbs
2.7 kg
6 lbs
2.7 kg
4 lbs
1.8 kg
4.5 lbs
2 kg
Suggested retail price $4495 $2995 $1595 $1795

 

1: 4 or 8 channels of 3rd Generation ULN-R mic pres may be installed as a factory option or at a later time.
2: Switchable between AES and SPDIF. ASRC available on input.
3: ADAT does not support SMUX; operation is limited to 44.1-48 kHz
4: +DSP licence can be added for $699 at any time.
5: Firewire transport limited to 8 channels in each direction @ 176.2-192 kHz sample rate.
6: Interfaces may require a "jumpstart" to boot on some laptops. More information is available here.
7: MIDI I/O is for control surface connection, and not optimized for musical input