MOTU 828es 28×32 Audio Interface Review (July 2024)


Last updated on July 20, 2024 9:17 pm Details


In this review post we’re going to be discussing the MOTU 828es 28×32 Thunderbolt USB 2.0 Audio Interface, including an overview of its unique features.

Product Description

New in the 828es, renowned ESS Sabre32™ DAC technology delivers a 123dB dynamic range and the same proven, award-winning audio quality as MOTU’s flagship 1248. Round-trip latency (RTL) performance as low as 1.6 ms at 96kHz over Thunderbolt™ with high-performance DAW hosts.

Connect to your Mac or PC with Thunderbolt™ or Hi-speed USB 2.0, with up to 256 audio channels (128 in and 128 out) over Thunderbolt. Or stream dozens of audio channels to and from your Mac over AVB/TSN Ethernet using a standard, affordable CAT-5e cable up to 100 meters long. Class-compliant firmware and industry-standard drivers work with any audio apps. Connect to your iPad™ with a standard camera connection kit (adapter).

Capture your recorded material in its truest, most natural form with -108 dB THD+N, 118dB dynamic range, and -128dBu EIN performance. Each mic channel has an individual preamp gain, pad, 48V phantom power, and digital remote control. Do you work with outboard EQs and compressors? Each 828es mic input offers a pre-converter, hard-wired send for mono or stereo mic channel outboard processing.

Take control of your recording sessions with the built-in talkback mic and front-panel talk button. Connect two sets of speakers and check your mixes instantly with front-panel A/B speaker select buttons.

A full-fledged 48-input digital mixer delivers 7 stereo aux busses, 3 groups, access to 64 network inputs, and DSP effects including reverb, 4-band EQ, gate, and compression. If you know your way around a large-format mixing console, you’ll feel right at home. If you’ve ever wished to mix on a large console, the driver’s seat is now yours.

Product Features

  • 2 Send
  • USB 2 connector
  • 24 Bit / 192 kHz
  • Format: 19″ / 1 U
  • 2 XLR main outputs
  • 48V Phantom power
  • MIDI input and output
  • Word clock input and output
  • 2 Headphone outputs
  • ESS Sabre32 Ultra DAC technology
  • 2 ADAT inputs and outputs
  • Integrated DSP for EQ, Compressor, and Reverb
  • 8 Balanced line inputs and outputs
  • Coaxial S/PDIF inputs and outputs (24 Bit / 96 kHz)
  • Thunderbolt connector (compatible with TB 1 and 2)
  • For Win Vista / 7 / 8 and MAC OSX 10.6 or higher
  • Includes software CueMix FX, Motu SMPTE Console, and AudioDesk
  • 2 XLR/Jack 6.3 mm mic/guitar inputs with integrated hardware limiter

Pros & Cons


  • Strong build
  • Extremely trusted
  • Favorable consumer reviews
  • Worth the price
  • Wonderful audio output
  • Best suited for live performances and recording


  • It is not compatible with the new Apple M1 Macs
  • Very Expensive

MOTU 828es 28×32 Audio Interface Demo

Our Verdict

Fortunately, live sound isn’t the 828es’ primary function, and as an audio interface, it offers a rather appealing combination of capabilities for the price. It use the same drivers as the other AVB interfaces, providing very good low-latency performance even over USB. It also uses the same converters, which means it achieves audio characteristics often found only in much more costly devices, and the subjective sound quality is great – the headphone amps, in particular, stood out.

It has several functionalities not found on the 1248 or other MOTU AVB interfaces, including MIDI I/O, a full-color dual-screen meter display that shows all analog input and output channels simultaneously, and, best of all, a mono button, as well as talkback and A/B monitor switching controlled from the front panel. These are simple and effective to set up, and the built-in mic eliminates the need to sacrifice one of the 828’s analog inputs in order to set up talkback, but this is a possibility if you prefer to use an external mic. With the 828’s Monitor level control capable of governing up to eight analog outputs concurrently for surrounding work, there is enough monitor control for most small studios.

Where to Buy

The best place to buy this product has to be Amazon, due to their competitive pricing and fantastic customer service.

MOTU 828es 28x32 Thunderbolt USB 2.0 Audio Interface

as of July 13, 2024 8:16 pm

Pricing History

Price History for MOTU 828es 28x32 Thunderbolt USB 2.0 Audio Interface


Current Price $995.00 July 13, 2024
Highest Price $995.00 November 16, 2023
Lowest Price $995.00 November 16, 2023
Since November 16, 2023

Last price changes

$995.00 November 16, 2023

Last updated on July 13, 2024 8:16 pm

Buyers Guides This Product Is Featured In

Best Audio Interfaces For Mac Laptops

Best Audio Interfaces Under $1000

Best 8 Channel Audio Interfaces (2022)

Best Audio Interfaces For iPad

Thunderbolt Audio Interfaces (2022)

Best USB Audio Interfaces (2022)

Additional information

Item Weight

10.6 ounces

Product Dimensions

19.29 x 7.09 x 1.77 inches

Item model number


Is Discontinued By Manufacturer


Date First Available

September 28, 2017

Compatible Devices

Personal Computer


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