Community News Francesco Passarelli Reviews the Metric Halo ULN-8 mkIV: An environmentally friendly, future-proof sound card, without compromises and with an analytical and precise sound!
Francesco Passarelli Reviews the Metric Halo ULN-8 mkIV: An environmentally friendly, future-proof sound card, without compromises and with an analytical and precise sound! Print E-mail


Metric Halo ULN-8 mkIV: when you say Accurate Sound!

A “green” interface, no compromise with an analytical and precise sound!


Review by, Francesco Passarelli -

Translation by, Pierangelo Troiano
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ROME, ITALY - NOVEMBER 27, 2023: The reviewer was truly convinced that, to the present day, it’s almost impossible to make a converter/sound card sounding “bad” due to the high technology readily available at lower cost compared to 10 years ago… it could only be done by putting in all the worst intentions…


Till the beginning of the new millennium, every reviewer used to do esoteric tests to see how good an expensive device sounded enough to justify the cost.
This way of testing was left out, cause for the tech reasons mentioned before. There was little point in spending hours lookin’ for details more dependent on our taste than on quality... using a simple rating scale: it works, it sounds, it sounds good ☺…


Recently, to help a friend in choosing, he had to do some tests on cheap devices and he had to reconsider everything he thought: in the audio industry there are those who keep offering us something that sounds bad and/or has a very short life expectancy...


So, he says: ”... what a surprise, in the same period, to have the pleasure of testing, finally, a Metric Halo sound card!


Metric Halo is a Company that totally espouses the TWC philosophy (for example: reduction of power consumption by 35%, consuming only 20.7 watts) that is making products at the top of Technology Without Compromising at any point/component of the design.


Consequently, this philosophy puts respect for the customer first, who is in a position to analyze the investment according to proper economic logic: thinking about the life cycle of the device, which in the case of the ULN-8 is a totally upgradeable design, I would say eternal!


We see with pleasure a truly green approach in favor of Mother Earth*, totally opposed to the logic of planned obsolescence consumption for the disposable. After this – necessary - sermon, let's return to the Metric Halo ULN-8 mkIV, described on its web page as ‘a complete, modular, expandable recording and mixing console with 8 boutique mic preamps, world-class converters, a studio full of outboards, and a professional Atmos-compatible analog monitor controller. Integrated with a future-proof computer interface.’ In fact, version IV offers a stunning virtual section with mixer and a suite of top-quality plugins, combined with the great versatility of analog and digital connections, which can be expanded through the easily installed/swappable EdgeCard optional modules. At first glance the solution of providing modules of only 8 channels puzzled us for a moment. But then we also appreciated it because it would be hard to put anything extra, either as controls or connectors, despite the very wide use of DB25.


Here's summed up our impressions:


Quick? Not really: manual adjustments from the front panel are not exactly straightforward, but once you get the hang of the little buttons and LED indications, you’ll fly!

Independent? Absolutely: its software and plug-ins make it a unit you can use even without a computer.

Versatile? Definitely: excellent as it is... but for any specific needs there are the Edge Card modules to further increase its versatility.

Quality? Excellent.


What have we recorded to make this claim? All sorts of things, starting with an Erard fortepiano and ending with a rich (as a quantity of elements) reggae drums, passing through vocals, classical and electric guitars, etc...”




About the Author: Francesco Passarelli
Audio Counselor and sound engineer, for decades alongside eminent and historic figures in the sector and among the most legendary audio equipment. He loves to say “Sound is not told, it is lived!”.



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Article Updated December 11, 2023