Focusrite Saffire Interfaces Officially Thunderbolt Compatible


On the latest Apple computers, FireWire 400 and 800 ports have been superseded by Thunderbolt – a new, high-speed serial interface developed by Intel and Apple.

Focusrite has announced that their Saffire FireWire interfaces can be connected to a Thunderbolt-equipped computer using a FireWire 400-800 cable (included with all Saffire interfaces later this year) and the Thunderbolt to FireWire 800 adapter, available inexpensively from Apple and third parties. Saffire interfaces are 100% compatible with Thunderbolt using this adaptor.

The adaptor provides up to 7W of DC bus power as well as full signal connectivity: this should be sufficient for most interfaces but Focusrite recommends using the included power supply with your interface for best results.

Focusrite will continue to fully support the Saffire range for the foreseeable future, and will support the use of Thunderbolt/FireWire adaptors. If you upgrade your computer to one with Thunderbolt, you can continue to use your Saffire interface as before, and if you buy a new Saffire interface it will work with Thunderbolt-equipped computers.

See the Focusrite site for details.

9 thoughts on “Focusrite Saffire Interfaces Officially Thunderbolt Compatible

    1. Actually I believe you will only be getting firewire 400 speeds. 400 to 800 cable then 800 to thunderbolt. the chain can only be as strong as the slowest link firewire 400..!!

      1. but firewire 400 is plenty fast enough to use all of the features that this audio interface offers anyway, which is why they built it with a firewire 400 port on the back.

  1. So this is them “officially” saying that adapters exist? Focusrite have done nothing except maybe plugged in a third-party or apple adapter and went: “Gee, that does what it’s supposed to, who knew?” and now we have a press release with them claiming “compatibility”. Or am I missing something here? So my USB 1.1 Audiophile USB is now Thunderbolt compatible.

  2. Apple Thunderbolt always supported back compatibility with FW 400 and 800. I ve used my Saffire with an iMac Thunderbolt sine May 2011.

  3. i have been doing this with my motu traveler mk3 and a macbook air for about a year and it has worked great, doesn’t it work over thunderbolt to firewire for any soundcard as long as there were firewire drivers for mac?

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