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Product of the Week: Antelope Audio Zen Go Synergy Core

Mike Levine finds audio quality at an affordable price with an interface that is both portable and fits well in the studio.

Antelope Audio interfaces are known for their excellent audio quality—thanks to impressive clocking and converters—as well as for their low-latency, DSP-based monitoring and proprietary Synergy Core effects.

The company’s latest product is the Zen Go Synergy Core ($499), which is its first bus-powered interface (USB-C, Mac/Win) and is also its most compact and affordable. At 7.8 (W) x 4.6 (W) x 2.3 (H) inches, and weighing all of 1.5 pounds., it is highly portable.

The Zen Go sports two preamps on combo jacks that each offer 65 dB of gain and can handle mic, line and Hi-Z inputs. It also features RCA S/PDIF expansion jacks that can give you another 2 in and 2 out when connected to a compatible device.

You get two pairs of monitor outputs, one on 1/4-inch TRS jacks and the other on RCA connectors. The unit also has two headphone outputs on the front panel with individual, software-based gain controls.

The Zen Go includes two USB-C jacks, one for connecting to your computer and one for “reverse charging,” which means it can power another USB-C device at the same time you’re using the interface. The Zen Go also comes with a USB-C cable, so it’s ready to go out of the box (after you install the control software, of course.)

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The front of the interface is quite simple, featuring three hardware buttons and one large control knob. You can access much of the functionality on your computer. And, for the piece de resistance, Antelope includes 37 Synergy Core effects with the Zen Go. You get two preamps, four EQs, five compressors or limiters, 22 guitar amps and cabinets, an expander and a noise gate, a reverb, and a guitar tuner. And if those aren’t sufficient, you can purchase more from Antelope’s online store.

The Zen Go is not only well-suited as a portable interface; it would make a powerful in-studio interface, as long as you don’t need a lot of simultaneous I/O.