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Sonnet Echo 15+ Thunderbolt 2 Dock review: A big box of connectivity

Roman Loyola | Nov. 12, 2015
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 echo 15 front

Back in May when I looked at several Thunderbolt 2 docks, Sonnet’s Echo 15+ Thunderbolt 2 Dock had yet to be released.

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.

Drive selection

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.

Front ports

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.

sonnet echo 15 front face 
Front of the Sonnet Echo 15+ Thunderbolt 2 Dock. Credit: Roman Loyola

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.

Rear ports

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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