Sonnet Echo 11
Power up your MacBook Pro – and add ports it’s missing!
£318 FROM Sonnet, sonnettech.com features 2x Thunderbolt 3, 5x USB-A, SD card reader, HDMI 2.0, 3.5mm jack, Ethernet
The latest Thunderbolt 3 dock to land on our desk, the Echo 11 features a bar-like design that’s
9.1 inches long and 3.4 inches deep. That’s very much average as docks go, both in terms of footprint shape and size. A big attraction of a Thunderbolt 3 dock is to add ports that aren’t built in to your Mac – almost all types these days – and to plug in just one cable to connect your peripherals and power the computer. The Echo 11 puts out enough power to charge a 15-inch MacBook Pro.
Branding is low‑key: subdued text and a logo on the top and front. However, the two LEDs on the front panel, which confirm the dock is receiving power and has established a connection to your Mac, are more ‘in your face’. Disappointingly, Sonnet provides no software utility to disable or dim them.
That also means using devices that need to be ejected safety – storage, basically – is less graceful than with the Thunderbolt 3 Dock from Elgato and CalDigit’s TS3 Plus; their apps provide a menu bar icon from which you can eject all devices. That the Echo 11 lacks such a tool isn’t ruinous – you could even approximate it with an app built in macOS’s Automator utility – but it’s a nice touch that those two companies have had nailed for several years.
The Echo 11’s back panel features two Thunderbolt 3 ports. One is for connecting your Mac. The other is for daisy-chaining additional Thunderbolt devices or to hook up a display using an adapter, if the HDMI 2.0 port (capable of driving a 4K, 60Hz display) is unsuitable. There are also three USB-A ports (5Gbps) and Gigabit Ethernet to add cabled networking to your MacBook Pro. Up front are two more USB-A ports, an SD card reader and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Elgato’s £270 dock is stingier when it comes to USB-A ports (it has one up front, two on the back). Still, the Echo 11 isn’t the best option for maxing out on USB. CalDigit’s TS3 Plus has more, including one USB-C with 10Gbps throughput, plus optical audio and a 3.5mm mic jack – and at the time of writing can be bought for £265, down from £350 at launch.
The Echo 11 comes a close second if port quantity is your priority. But the suggested price busts past £300 – look for a discount, and still weigh it against other options.
A big attraction of a dock like this is to add various new ports to a Mac
The silver and black finish is very Apple, though there’s no darker, space grey version.