• Overview
  • Technical Specifications
  • Accessories
  • Reviews

 

Echo Express, Echo Express II, and Echo Express Pro (with auxiliary power connector) are sold out and replaced by the new 3-slot Echo Express III-D (desktop) and III-R (rackmount) chassis, and 2-slot Echo Express SE II desktop chassis.

Thunderbolt LogoPCIe 2.0 Cards Over Thunderbolt

Today's ultra-light notebooks, mini, and all-in-one desktop computers now have tremendous processing power—power that many people thought would only be possible in full-size desktop computers. Smaller in size and portable, they're very desirable. For professionals in the creative fields, this processing power alone is not enough. You need expansion slots to install specialty cards to connect various video and audio inputs, for processing data, and to connect to high-speed storage and networks. The problem is, only desktop computers (which aren't very portable) have expansion slots, and currently available PCI Express® expansion for notebook computers has been very limited in performance—until now.

Sonnet's Echo Express Pro, Echo Express II, and Echo Express Thunderbolt Expansion Chassis for PCIe Cards make it possible to use full-size professional video capture, audio interface, SAS & SATA HBA, 8Gb Fibre Channel, 10 Gigabit Ethernet, and RAID controller PCIe cards with your iMac®, Mac® mini, MacBook® Air or MacBook Pro. A Sonnet Echo Express chassis allows you to expand outside the box.

Echo Express Chassis with MacBook Pro

Expanding Outside the Box

Sonnet harnessed the potential of Thunderbolt technology to enable you to connect high performance expansion cards to computers without expansion slots. Developed by Intel® and brought to market with technical collaboration from Apple®, Thunderbolt technology supports high-performance data services and high-resolution displays through a single, compact port. Based on PCI Express and DisplayPort technologies, Thunderbolt provides support for two channels on the same connector with 10 Gb/s of throughput per channel in both directions. Connected via a Thunderbolt cable, an Echo Expansion Chassis carries the computer's PCIe channel to the PCIe slot(s) and passes both PCIe and DisplayPort data through a second Thunderbolt port for daisy chaining other devices.

Thunderbolt Speed Comparison Chart

Aluminum Element SymbolSmart Design Inside and Out

Constructed of rugged extruded aluminum, the outer shell of the Echo Express helps transfer heat away from installed PCIe cards and securely protects them inside. To keeps things as compact as possible, universal power supplies are integrated inside the chassis so there're no dangling power bricks. Echo Express II ChassisEcho Express Pro includes an integrated 150W universal power supply with a 75W auxiliary power connectorand power harness cable; Echo Express and Echo Express II include a built-in 100W universal power supply. The top cover slides off for quick access to the PCIe slots and installation of cards. Ventilated front and back panels plus quiet, temperature-controlled fans (with no switches or jumpers to configure) automatically help keep even the very hottest cards cool; when not needed, the fans slow down so you can work without as much noise in the background. Echo Express products are enviro-friendly, automatically powering on and off with your computer.

Echo Express Pro — Now with More Power for Cards That Need It

Most PCIe cards get all the power they need through the slot they're installed in, but some cards need even more. These power-hungry cards get extra power by connecting to the computer's power supply. The Echo Express Pro now features an auxiliary power connector that provides up to 75W of power, and includes a cable (6-pin Micro-Fit Jr. to 6-pin Mini-Fit Jr.) to connect between the chassis and the power connector found on many cards with extra power requirements. If you have an Avid® Pro Tools|HDX PCIe card, Sonnet also has a specifically designed power cable to accommodate up to two HDX cards.

Echo Express Pro with Auxiliary Power Cable

Echo Express Pro now features an auxiliary power connector to plug in cards that require more power, like the Avid Pro Tools|HDX PCIe card. Shown with optional Pro Tools|HDX PCIe card power cable. Card and cable sold separately.


Key Features

Connect Professional PCIe Cards—Use high-performance PCIe cards with Thunderbolt-equipped Mac desktop and notebook computers

Adds Expansion Card Slots to Any Computer with a Thunderbolt Port:

Echo Express Pro – Supports two standard width, full-length x16(1) PCIe 2.0 cards, or one double-width, full-length card

Echo Express II – Supports two half-length (up to 7.25" long), full-height, single-width, x16(1) PCIe 2.0 cards (or one double-width card)

Echo Express – Supports one half-length (up to 7.75" long), full-height, double-width, x16(1) PCIe 2.0 card

High Bandwidth—With Thunderbolt's PCI Express performance and 10Gb/s of throughput on each of the two channels in both directions, Echo Express Expansion Chassis are perfect for special-purpose PCIe cards for video capture, audio interface, 8Gb Fibre Channel, 10 Gigabit Ethernet, digital audio, RAID control, and more

Power for Powerful Cards—Integrated 100W power supply (150W in Pro model with 75W auxiliary power connector) New

Two Thunderbolt Ports—Daisy chain up to six devices to a single port on the host computer

Temperature-Controlled, Variable-Speed Fans—Operate slow and quiet with cooler cards, better cooling for hot cards

Energy Saver Mode—Powers on/off automatically with the computer

Integrated Universal Power Supply—Built-in power supply means no external power brick to dangle or loose

Rugged Aluminum Housing—Portable protection for any environment

Shadow Sonnet Thunderbolt eNews SignupOpen Echo Express Chassis with Installed PCIe Card

An Echo Express Chassis for Every Card

One or two cards, different lengths, different requirements—there's an Echo Express to meet your needs. The Echo Express Pro supports two standard width, full-length x16(1) PCIe 2.0 cards, or one double-width, full-length card. The Echo Express II supports two half-length (up to 7.25" long), full-height, single-width, x16(1) PCIe 2.0 cards (or one double-width card) while the Echo Express supports one half-length (up to 7.75" long), full-height, double-width, x16(1) PCIe 2.0 card. All three models support an I/O bracket.

Do you have a card in mind but aren't sure which Echo Express you need? We've worked closely with expansion card manufacturers to provide a list of compatible PCIe cards on our supporting PCIe Card Thunderbolt Compatibility Chart. The chart provides an up-to-date list of cards that have been tested to be recognized over a Thunderbolt connection and compatible with Thunderbolt technology requirements.

PCIe Card Thunderbolt Compatibility Chart


Strong Link in the Chain

These Sonnet solutions support daisy chaining of additional Thunderbolt technology-enabled peripherals such as an additional Echo Express, the Apple® Thunderbolt Display, video capture devices, and data storage devices. For connected devices requiring extra power, 10 watts is provided through the daisy chain port to peripherals.

Echo Express Chassis Daisy Chain

Echo Express Chassis Family ComparisonLearn more about Echo Express SE

Echo Express Chassis Back Panels

Sonnet Thunderbolt Expansion Partners

Sonnet works closely with the following partners to ensure Thunderbolt compatibility for their products. See the PCIe Card Thunderbolt Compatibility Chart for an up-to-date list of products that have passed Thunderbolt compatibility testing with Sonnet products.


AdobeAJAAppleATTOAvidBlack Magic DesignBlueFish 444CalDigitExaSANFocusriteFusion ioLynx Studio TechnologyMatroxMyricomREDRMESiennaSmall TreeSoftron Media ServicesSolid State LogicStorageDNATandberg DataTolis GroupTools On AirUniversal Audio

 

 


 PCIe cards and Thunderbolt cable shown in photos for illustration purposes; items sold separately.
See Technical Specifications Tab for footnotes
Part No. Product Discontinued
ECHO-EXP2F Discontinued; replaced by Echo Express III and Echo Express SE II
ECHO-EXP2H Discontinued; replaced by Echo Express III and Echo Express SE II
ECHO-EXP1H Discontinued; replaced by Echo Express III and Echo Express SE II
Hardware  
Warranty 5-year
Echo Express Pro
Dimensions (WxDxH) 2.8 x 15.3 x 9.1 in. (7.1 x 37.9 x 23.1 cm)
Weight        7.3 lbs (3.31 kg)
Expansion Slots(1) Two x16 PCIe 2.0
Internal Connector

6-pin Micro-Fit Jr. (provides up to 75W of power for PCIe cards that require supplemental power)

PCIe Cards Supported(2)
  • Two full-length, single-width, full-height x16 PCIe 2.0 cards
  • One full-length, double-width, x16 PCIe 2.0 card
Power Supply Universal 150W, 100-240V AC, 50-60 Hz
Echo Express II
Dimensions (WxDxH) 2.8 x 9.9 x 9.1 in. (7.1 x 23.7 x 23.1 cm)
Weight 5.2 lbs (2.45 kg)
Expansion Slots(1) Two x16 PCIe 2.0
PCIe Cards Supported(2)
  • Two half-length, single-width, full-height x16 PCIe 2.0 cards
  • One half-length, double-width, x16 PCIe 2.0 card
Power Supply Universal 100W, 100-240V AC, 50-60 Hz
Echo Express
Dimensions (WxDxH)

2.8 x 9.9 x 9.1 in. (7.1 x 23.7 x 23.1 cm)

Weight

5.0 lbs (2.27 kg)

Expansion Slots(1)
  • One x16 PCIe 2.0
  • One additional opening for connector plate or double-width card
PCIe Cards Supported(2) One half-length (up to 7.75" long), double-width, full-height x16 PCIe 2.0 card
Power Supply Universal 100W, 100-240V AC, 50-60 Hz
Universal Features
External Connectors Two Thunderbolt
Compatible PCIe Cards(2) Up-to-date PCIe cards listed on our supporting PCIe Card Thunderbolt Compatibility Chart
Operating Temperature

0º C to 35º C (32º F to 95º F)

RoHS Compliant Yes
Package Contents(3)
  • Echo Express Pro, Echo Express II, or Echo Express Chassis
  • Power cord
  • Documentation

  • 6-pin Micro-Fit Jr. to 6-pin Mini-Fit Jr. power harness cable (included with Echo Express Pro only)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Compatibility

iMac, Mac mini, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro with a Thunderbolt port

OS X 10.6.8+

OS X Server 10.6.8+

OS X Server and OS X Mavericks compatible

PCIe Card Compatibility

For up-to-date PCIe card compatibility see our PCIe Card Thunderbolt Compatibility Chart


Technical Notes

  1. The PCIe slot will physically accommodate up to a x16 PCIe card, however the actual electrical bandwidth of Thunderbolt is x4.
  2. Compatibility requires the installation of Thunderbolt technology-aware drivers, available from the manufacturer. See our supporting PCIe Card Thunderbolt Compatibility Chart for a list of up-to-date compatible PCIe cards.
  3. PCIe cards and Thunderbolt cable sold separately.


Specifications subject to change without notice.


Mac Logo PCI Express LogoroHS Logo

Echo Express Chassis Accessories Part No. Description
Pro Tools|HDX2 PCIe Card Power Adapter Cable Pro Tools|HDX2 PCIe Card Power Adapter Cable for Echo Express Pro TCB-HDX Power adapter cable to connect up to two Avid HDX cards in an Echo Express Pro

Reviews
Tom's Hardware Review

Echo Express Pro: Desktop Graphics In a Thunderbolt Chassis
"I've been using Sonnet Technologies' Echo Express Pro with a Sandy Bridge-based MacBook Pro and my MSI Z77A-GD80-based desktop PC for more than two weeks. The entire experience is completely plug-and-play. Install the card, the appropriate drivers, and the combination simply works

Sonnet Technologies deserves considerable praise for introducing us to the first Thunderbolt-based expansion chassis for PCI Express add-in cards. Almost one year has passed since we first saw MSI's GUS II, but that company still hasn't set a shipping date. There's a three-slot Magma ExpressBox 3T available with a bigger power supply, but it's twin x8 and single x4 slot configuration doesn't handle graphics cards well. Moreover, a nearly $1000 price tag makes the Echo Express look like a comparative bargain at $600."

SoundProLive Review

Echo Express Pro Review: AES50 via Thunderbolt via Sonnet
"The Echo Express Pro is an external I/O box that adds 2 PCIe slots to a computer via Thunderbolt connectivity. Upon receiving my first Echo Express Pro, I immediately noticed that the product has a well-thought-out, extremely well-built chassis…

After beta testing the Sonnet solutions at RPM Dynamics for several months and putting them to the test on the Blondie/Devo tour, I'm sold on their reliability, high quality, and versatility. After the success we've seen with these products for on-location audio download and playback, I'd say the Sonnet Thunderbolt solutions are sure to prove successful for many other applications as well. "

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Awards & Case Studies
Pro Sound Best of Show Award
Quote BubbleSee what reviewers and customers have to say about other Sonnet products in our News section under Product Reviews and Case Studies.