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Sonnet Echo Express SE I

Home Host Controllers Sonnet Echo Express SE I Thunderbolt 3 Expansion System
Desktop, 1-slot Thunderbolt 3-to-PCIe Card Expansion System for up to full-height, full-length+, double-width PCIe card. Features temperature-controlled fan, and two Thunderbolt 3 ports. Second Thunderbolt 3 port supports daisy chaining of up to five additional Thunderbolt peripheral devices, a single USB 3 Gen 1 (5Gb) or Gen 2 (10Gb) peripheral device, or one 5K or two 4K displays.
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Echo Express SE I

1-slot Thunderbolt 2 Desktop Expansion System for PCIe Cards

Connect a Full-height, Half-length+ PCIe Card (Plus One Daughter Card) to Computers with Thunderbolt 2 Ports


Ultra-light notebooks, small form factor and all-in-one Mac®, Windows(1) and Linux® computers are slender, and frequently offer a lot of processing power, but thinness comes with a cost—there’s nowhere for you to install PCIe cards for the additional connectivity and processing capabilities beyond what’s offered by a computer’s standard ports. Sonnet’s Echo™ Express SE I is a compact, desktop Thunderbolt™ 2 to PCIe card expansion system that fixes that issue, enabling you to connect a single PCIe card to any computer with Thunderbolt 2 ports.


Thunderbolt 2 Connectivity

This compact desktop expansion system supports one professional PCIe card (video capture, audio interface, 6Gb or 12Gb SAS or SATA host bus adapter, 8Gb or 16Gb Fibre Channel, 10Gb Ethernet, or RAID controller) and connects it to your computer through a single Thunderbolt 2 cable.


Key Features

Connect a PCIe Card

Use a high-performance PCIe card with any computer with a Thunderbolt 2 port.


One PCIe 2.0 Slot + Space for Daughter Card

Supports one half-length+ (up to 7.75 inches long), full-height, single-width PCIe card (plus one daughter card).


20Gbps Thunderbolt 2 Interface

Full Thunderbolt 2 performance; backward compatible with 10Gbps Thunderbolt.


Small. Light. Full Performance.

Takes up little space on the desktop, but large enough to support nearly every Thunderbolt-compatible PCIe card, at full performance.


Two Thunderbolt 2 Ports

One port connects to computer; second port supports daisy-chaining of up to five additional Thunderbolt peripheral devices.


Remarkably Quiet

Temperature-controlled, variable-speed fan automatically and quietly cools the card.


Energy Saver Mode

Powers on/off automatically with the computer.


Rugged Aluminum Housing

Provides robust and secure protection.


Power for Peripherals

Daisy chain port provides up to 10W of power to connected peripherals.


Free Lifetime Tech Support

‍Sonnet was established in Irvine, California in 1986. Since then, we’ve pioneered and brought to market many innovative and award-winning products that enhance the performance and connectivity of Mac, Windows, and other industry-standard computers. Many of our employees (including engineers) have been with the company for more than 20 years (some have been here since the beginning). We have a wealth of knowledge about our current and past products. Should you ever need technical support on one of our products, contact us; we’ll be around to help you.

Nearly Every Thunderbolt-Compatible, Non-GPU PCIe Card Supported

Designed to accommodate cards up to 7.75 inches long, and measuring a compact 5.6 inches wide by 8.6 inches long by 3.5 inches tall, the Echo Express SE I has a small footprint, yet it is large enough to support nearly every Thunderbolt-compatible PCIe 3.0, PCIe 2.0, and PCIe 1.1 card available. Do you have a card in mind but aren’t sure it’s compatible? We’ve put together a list in our supporting PCIe Card Thunderbolt Compatibility Chart (PDF). There you’ll find cards identified as conforming to Thunderbolt technology requirements, and organized by fit and power compatibility with specific expansion system.

All Around Smart Design

Aluminum Enclosure. Auto Power On/Off.

Echo Express SE I's lightweight, yet rugged aluminum outer shell securely houses the installed PCIe card. Since Echo Express products automatically power on and off with your computer, there is no power switch on the chassis, ensuring you don’t waste energy by forgetting to turn it off.

One PCIe Slot and Space for a Daughter Card

‍Echo Express SE I features an x8 PCIe slot, and supports one half-length+, full-height, single- or double-width PCIe card. Double-width? Some pro video and audio interface cards, such as Blackmagic Design’s DeckLink 4K Extreme, and RME’s HDSPe MADI FX card, include a daughter card that mates with and provides additional external connections to the main card. The daughter card occupies the adjacent space without filling a PCIe slot.

Quiet Please

Echo Express SE I is designed to be ultra-quiet so that it can be comfortably used in noise-sensitive environments. The airflow path within the chassis has been specially designed to enable the temperature-controlled, variable speed fan to quietly and efficiently cool the installed card at all times, even during peak operation.

Included at No Extra Charge

Thunderbolt 2 Cable. ThunderLok.

Sonnet includes a 1-meter Thunderbolt 2 cable and a Sonnet ThunderLok Thunderbolt connector retainer clip(2) to prevent accidental cable disconnections—just slide it over one end of the cable, and then plug in the connector and secure it to the chassis by turning a thumbscrew. Because of its unique design, ThunderLok remains on the cable so it won’t get lost when not in use.

20Gbps Thunderbolt 2 Interface

Echo Express SE I features 20Gbps Thunderbolt 2 which provides ample bandwidth for many of the most demanding, highest performance PCIe cards, and incorporates support for the DisplayPort 1.2 protocol which enables video streaming to a 4K video monitor. While the SEL delivers maximum performance when connected to a computer with Thunderbolt 2 ports, it is also fully compatible with computers with 10Gbps Thunderbolt, supporting most cards at full-performance.

Thunderbolt 2 – Bandwidth. Performance. Versatility.

The original 10Gbps Thunderbolt interface provided breakthrough bandwidth for external expansion, more than sufficient to support the maximum performance of most PCIe cards. However, some high bandwidth adapters such as 16Gb Fibre Channel cards, multi-port 10 Gigabit Ethernet cards, and other bandwidth-hungry cards require more than 10Gbps. Thunderbolt 2 removes this barrier by providing more bandwidth for demanding applications.

Thunderbolt 3 Upgrade Options

‍If you already purchased an Echo Express SE I, Sonnet offers a Thunderbolt 3 upgrade card – the upgrade is as simple as switching a PCIe card in the chassis.


If you’re in the market for a Thunderbolt 3 to PCIe card expansion system, the Echo Express SE I (Thunderbolt 3 Edition) is also available.

  • Warranty 1-year
  • Form Factor Desktop Thunderbolt 2-to-PCIe card expansion system
  • External Connectors
    • Two Thunderbolt 2 ports
    • 12V power
  • Expansion Slot One x8 mechanical (x4 electrical) PCIe 2.0
  • PCIe Cards Supported(2) One low-profile PCIe card
  • Compatible PCIe Cards(3) Up-to-date PCIe cards listed on our supporting PCIe Card Thunderbolt Compatibility Chart
  • Power Adapter Universal 80W, 100-240V, 50-60 Hz
  • Operating Temperature 0 C to 35 C (32 F to 95 F)
  • Dimensions (WxDxH) 5.63 x 8.63 x 3.5 in. (14.29 x 22.01 x 8.85 cm)
  • Weight 2.6 lbs (1.18 kg)
  • RoHS Compliant Yes
  • Echo Express SE I Thunderbolt 2-to-PCIe Card Expansion System(2)
  • Universal power adapter
  • Power cord
  • Thunderbolt cable
  • ThunderLok (Thunderbolt connector retainer clip)(4)
  • Documentation

Note: PCIe cards sold separately


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