The Echo 15+ is now available. It’s more than just a dock; it’s a big box full of stuff that users in a production setting will appreciate.
Sonnet offers eight different models of the Echo+. First, you decide if you want an Echo 15+ with a DVD burner, a Blu-ray burner, or a Blu-ray drive. Then you can configure the type of storage device you want:
DVD burner plus:
- empty bay for your own drive ($469)
- 2TB hard drive ($569)
Blu-ray burner plus:
- empty drive bay ($599)
- 4TB hard drive ($749)
- a pair of SSD for a total of 1TB of storage ($999)
Blu-ray drive plus:
- empty drive bay ($499)
- 2TB hard drive ($599)
- 4TB hard drive ($649)
The Echo 15+ uses an internal SATA connection, so you can use just about any modern hard drive. There’s space for one 3.5-inch drive or two 2.5-inch drives. Sonnet also includes mounting screws and a Torx wrench for opening up the Echo 15+.
Digital distribution is the preferred method of file transport nowadays, but optical media is still a viable option, especially if you’re dealing with large high-definition video files. Optical media can also be used for short-term archiving. If you don’t want an optical drive, however, you’re out of luck: Sonnet doesn’t offer the Echo 15+ without an optical drive.
Having one box that houses an optical drive and hard drive and also acts as a dock is a great way to cut down the clutter on your desk, even if that box measures a sizable 8.3 by 8.9 by 3.1 inches. The Echo 15+ uses a big power brick that measures 7 by 2.8 by 1.5 inches, so plan your floor space under your desk accordingly.
The Echo 15+ has two USB 3 ports on the front panel. (Sonnet says that all of the Echo 15+’s USB ports have a 7.5-watt capacity.) There’s also a 3.5 mm headphone jack (optical compatible), and a 3.5 mm microphone jack.
Most of the Thunderbolt 2 docks I’ve seen (as well as the older Thunderbolt 1 docks I’ve reviewed) have an easy-access USB port (either on the front or side) and a front-facing headphone jack. The Echo 15+ is one of the few docks with a second front USB port, which is handy.
The back of the Echo 15+ is where all the action is. Here’s a list of the connectors.
- Two Thunderbolt 2 ports
- Two USB 3 ports
- Two eSATA ports
- gigabit Ethernet
- FireWire 800
- 3.5 mm audio out
- 3.5 mm audio in
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