GO46 Mobile Audio Interface full review

For most of us, it makes no odds because CD-quality sound is of a lesser specification than built-in audio, while current big-budget DVD soundtracks are often encoded at the same spec. However, high-definition video and audio technologies are coming along that can use the sort of sampling rates found in professional studios, and are supported by Yamaha’s new audio interface, the GO46.

It’s a portable device, power being drawn from a 6-pin FireWire port, but Yamaha has bundled a mains adaptor to lessen the load on the system when AC is available. There are four inputs and six outputs, two of the former sporting XLR sockets for condenser mics, the phantom power for which is independently switchable. There’s also a pair of sockets for inserting effects units, so that musical hardware can communicate with sequencing software and audio buffs have a portable 5.1 surround interface. Versatile enough, but it’s the digital-audio conversion of analogue signals that impresses.

The GO46 offers 192KHz, 24-bit audio I/O on all analogue ins and outs, which gives the headroom necessary to process digital audio extensively while maintaining quality. As for home-theatre applications, Blu-ray, for example, supports 5.1 surround sound at 192KHz, although we’ve yet to see discs that take advantage of this.

For such a powerful device, the GO46 is a breeze to operate. Just plug it in, choose its entry within the Sound section of System Preferences, then use the Audio MIDI Setup utility to configure. Well specified for the price, and built to survive life on the road, the GO46 looks like it’ll go far.

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