USBPre 2

Two-channel, portable, high-resolution USB audio interface


Two-channel, portable, high-resolution USB audio interface for Mac OS and Windows. Balanced mic/line analog and coaxial/optical SPDIF I/O, with up to 24 bit/192 kHz resolution. 48V phantom, peak limiters and high-pass filter on microphone inputs. Stand-alone operation allows use as microphone preamplifier and A/D converter. USB bus powered.

Key Features

  • Extended bandwidth, low-noise microphone preamplifiers with 48 V phantom, limiters, high-pass filters, and 15 dB pad.
  • Dynamic range greater than 114 dB (in 24-bit operation).
  • Flat 10 Hz to 40 kHz (@96 kHz SR) audio bandwidth with very low distortion characteristics.
  • Each input individually selectable between microphone, line, and aux level signals (both channels selected simultaneously for S/PDIF connections).
  • Precision, 23-segment, multicolor LED peak/VU meter, selectable between input and output sources.
  • High-output headphone amplifier can drive a wide range of headphones.
  • Balanced outputs on XLR connectors with dedicated level control can be used to drive line- or mic-level inputs.
  • Mix control enables zero-delay monitoring of source audio, computer audio, or a mix of both source and computer audio for multitrack recording or computer telephony.
  • Phono (RCA) jacks connect Aux Output to external loudspeakers or preamplifiers.
  • Bus powering via USB for convenient, single-cable connection to the computer.
  • In Stand-Alone mode the USBPre 2 operates as a microphone preamplifier and analog-to-digital converter.
  • Hardware loop-through for test and measurement to send computer audio directly back to an input.
  • High-strength extruded aluminum chassis.
  • Mac® OS X 10.4+, Windows®XP/Vista/7, and Linux, class-compliant audio device.
  • Additional features controlled by hardware DIP switches on the back panel; no software-only features and no control panel.

USBPre 2 Portable High-Resolution Audio Interface

Sound Devices’ USBPre® 2 is a high-resolution, portable hardware interface for Mac- and Windows-based digital audio. The USBPre 2 is the industry’s highest performance and most flexible portable interface, connecting professional microphones, line-level sources, consumer audio electronics, and S/PDIF digital sources with Mac OS and Windows computers via USB.

Precision Microphone Preamplifiers

USBPre 2 includes two discrete-transistor microphone preamps with 24-bit converters and sampling rates up to 192 kHz. These preamplifiers provide the highest performance in any portable interface. Their topology is shared with Sound Devices’ award-winning 744T Digital Audio Recorder. Peak limiters, high-pass filters, and a 15 dB pad provide overload protection. All analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog conversion is performed by the USBPre 2 for superior audio performance.

Computer Connectivity

USBPre 2 allows for simple plug-and-play connection to computers running Mac OS, Windows, and Linux. There are no drivers to install for the USBPre 2 and there are no software-only features. All additional controls and settings are available on back panel DIP switches. The USB port also provides power to the unit, both when connected as an audio interface and when used in Stand-Alone operation.

As a class-compliant audio device, the USBPre 2 is limited to a maximum data rate of 24-bit, 48 kHz in Windows, Linux, and Mac OS versions 10.4 to 10.5.7. Mac OS 10.5.8 and higher support the audio class 2.0 device and can address the USBPre 2 up to 24-bit, 192 kHz.

To enable higher sampling rates in Windows OS, download the available Windows ASIO driver.

Output Connectivity Flexibility

To interconnect with sound systems big and small, the USBPre 2 includes numerous output connection types, including balanced mic- or line-level on XLR, unbalanced consumer line-level on RCA, S/PDIF coaxial (RCA) and optical (Toslink). The outputs have their own, dedicated front-panel level control. Use the balanced line-level signals to connect to powered loudspeakers. Use the optical S/PDIF to connect to hi-fi systems. Use the coaxial S/PDIF output in Stand-Alone mode for a portable microphone preamplifer with digital output for any production application.

Informative Metering

Accurate signal level metering is essential for any sound engineer. The USBPre 2 includes a 23-segment, multicolor LED meter for precise level indication. The meter is switchable between input signal metering and playback signal metering. The meter indicates both VU and peak (PPM) ballistics.

Field-Tested Reliability

Like all of Sound Devices products, the USBPre 2 is designed to stand up to the most demanding environments. Its extruded aluminum chassis and aluminum panels, machined knobs, metal connectors, and laser-etched nomenclature are designed to hold up to years of abuse.

Stand-Alone Operation

The USBPre 2 can be used in Stand-Alone mode where it operates as a high-quality, portable microphone preamplifier and analog-to-digital converter. Digital signals connected to the USBPre 2 are converted to analog and available at the headphone, XLR, and RCA outputs. Stand-Alone operation requires the unit to be connected to a USB power source. Stand-Alone mode is a great option when an additional microphone preamplifer, A-D converter, or D-A converter is required.

One-year standard warranty turns into two-years upon registration.
Click here for more information.

What’s in the box:

  • USBPre 2 computer audio interface
  • 2-meter USB A to USB B Cable
  • 4 Adhesive Rubber “Bumpers”


Analog Inputs
  • Frequency Response (reference 1 kHz, at 96 kHz Sample Rate)
    • 10 Hz – 40 kHz, ± 0.5 dB (any input to PC recording)
    • 10 Hz – 40 kHz, ± 0.5 dB (PC source to AUX output)
  • THD+N (22 Hz – 22 kHz measurement bandwidth)
    • 0.05% max (any input to PC recording, gain control at min, input driven to -6 dB FS)
    • 0.009% max (AUX output, 0 dB V output, 100 ohm load)
    • 0.05% max (HEADPHONES output, 2 V rms output, 600 ohm load)
  • E.I.N. (MIC inputs)
    • -127 dBu min (22 Hz – 22 kHz bandwidth, 150 ohm source, gain control fully clockwise, 15 dB pad out)
  • Input Clipping Level (1% THD)
    • Mic: -10 dBu
    • Mic (15 dB pad): +4 dBu
    • Line: +28 dBu (19.45 V rms)
    • Aux: +9 dBu (2.18 V rms)
  • Input Sensitivity (typical, for 0 dB FS)
    • Mic: -9 dBu min, -60 dBu max
    • Mic (15 dB pad): +6 dBu min, -58 dBu max
    • Line: +29 dBu min, +10 dBu max
    • Aux: +12 dBu min, -7 dBu max.
  • Input Impedance (actual)
    • Mic: 4k ohm, active-balanced
    • Mic (15 dB pad): 4k ohm, active-balanced
    • Line: 60k ohm, active-balanced
    • Aux: 80k ohm, active-balanced
  • Input Limiter Threshold
    • Mic: -4 dBFS
  • Low Cut
    • Mic: 80 Hz, -3 dB, 12 dB per octave
  • Phantom Power
    • 48 V through 6.8k ohm resistors. Each mic input will supply 10 mA

  • Output Clipping Level (1% THD, PC-controlled output levels at max)
    • Balanced XLR: +18 dBu with 100k ohm load
    • Aux: +8 dBu (2.0 V rms) with 100k ohm load
    • Headphones: +11 dBu (2.75 V rms) with 600 ohm load
  • Output Impedance
    • Headphone (Actual): 22 ohms
    • Balanced XLR (Line level): 500 ohms
    • Balanced XLR (Mic level): 5 ohms
    • Aux: 2k ohms

  • S/PDIF Digital
    • 24 or 16 bit input
  • A/D Converter
    • 24-bit resolution. 114 dB typical dynamic range (22 Hz – 22 kHz bandwidth, A-weighted)
  • D/A Converter
    • 24-bit resolution. 112 dB typical dynamic range (22 Hz – 22 kHz bandwidth, A-weighted)
  • Sample Rates / Bit Depths
    • Recording: 8, 16, or 24-bit at 8, 16, 32, 44.1, 48, 96, or 192 kHz
    • Playback: 24-bit at 8, 16, 32, 44.1, 48, 96, or 192 kHz
  • Master Clock
    • Crystal based, low jitter, asynchronous USB mode

  • 48 segments, 44 dB total range, peak ballistics. 0 dB on meter = 0 dB FS (0 dB referenced to full scale digital)

  • USB bus powered, soft-start meets USB hot-plugging power requirements (5 V, 100 mA max current drawn during enumeration)
  • 5 V, 500 mA max current from USB port (USBPre 2 will not function if connected through a passive USB connection or hub)

Dimensions (unpackaged)
  • 4.3 cm x 18 cm x 10 cm (H x W x D)
  • 1.7 in. x 7.25 in. x 4.25 in. (H x W x D)

  • 0.5 kg
  • 1.13 lbs.

  • Meets FCC Part 15 Class B
  • Complies with the Requirements of European Directive 89/336/EEC

In Action

Heligoland Island in the North Sea
RemOs2 Underwater Observatory


Women of Her Farm Nepal recording a podcast
Scott Maclennan


Dave Ruddick's 633 in the snow.
David Ruddick



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