Straight out of the box, I think Zoom are onto a winner with this unit. It not only looks slick, but the build is pretty tough too. Housed in a metal chassis, this unit is going to withstand more than the ordinary wear and tear of the home studio or when used out and about for location recordings. It’s a very real option that wasn’t available on previous Firewire units, where and external power supply was required. The TAC-2R busses power direct from the Thunderbolt port, so you can run it with a laptop and no additional power source. It is nice to see that guitarists continue to be catered for when Zoom design their interfaces as both inputs on this model can be switched to a Hi-Z input for direct guitar recording. The two inputs are very flexible with the ability to accept microphones, line level or guitars on the one combination connector. The large volume control is a nice aesthetic touch, but it doesn’t really serve any purpose beyond that. I find the master volume on an interface is more of a ‘set and forget’ control and not something that demands attention. It does work well in giving the unit an all-round audiophile look that will appeal to some users.
Obviously, there is one hitch with this unit, and that’s the fact that it’s a Mac only device, so the PC users will have to look at Zoom’s USB devices for now. That aside, this is a very powerful unit for its size and comfortably delivers 24-bit/192kHz audio both directions without any audible latency. Surprisingly, with the move to the modern Thunderbolt connection, Zoom have still considered additional legacy hardware requiring MIDI information and two 5-pin DIN connectors are supplied. It’s good to see the old format just refuses to go away. Only time will tell how well these units are going to be received. I am going to put it out there and say that a number of you will already want one before you have even read this. Zoom have cracked the market and price point with this device and I think it will indeed prove to be very popular.