Today Universal Audio took the wraps off of two new Thunderbolt 3 desktop audio interfaces, which are ideal for Mac audio creatives. Universal Audio’s Apollo Twin X features two high quality Unison-enabled microphone preamps and is available in either a duo or quad core real time UAD plugin-processing configuration. The more substantial Apollo x4 brings four Unison-enabled preamps to your desktop and comes with quad core real time UAD processing, which makes it perfect for tracking larger projects.

We previously did a review of the smaller UA Arrow, a single-core bus-powered Thunderbolt 3 audio interface that’s ideal for traveling and/or working on smaller projects that don’t demand as many preamps or plugin-in overhead. The Apollo Twin X and Apollo x4 are significant steps up from the UA Arrow, but bring the same vast library of plugins to the table that makes these interfaces so beloved among Mac users.

Synology RT2600ac: The AirPort Extreme replacement.

Universal Audio Apollo Twin X key features

  • 10 x 6 Thunderbolt 3 desktop audio interface for Mac and Windows
  • Elite-class A/D and D/A conversion inherited directly from acclaimed Apollo X rackmount interfaces
  • 2 Unison mic preamps offer stunning models of classic tube and transformer-based mic preamps and guitar amps
  • UAD DUO or QUAD Core Processing for tracking through vintage compressors, EQs, tape machines, mic preamps, and guitar amp plug-ins with near-zero latency
  • Front-panel Unison-enabled Hi-Z instrument input and headphone output
  • Built-in talkback mic for communication with studio talent and recording slate cues
  • Improved monitor functionality including monitor remote functions and Mono, Mute, DIM, and ALT monitor controls
  • Up to 8 channels of additional digital input via Optical ADAT or S/PDIF
  • Includes the Realtime Analog Classics UAD plug-in bundle featuring the Teletronix LA-2A and 1176 compressors, Pultec EQs, UA 610-B Tube Preamp & EQ, and more
  • Runs UAD Powered Plug-Ins via VST, RTAS, and AAX 64 in all major DAWs

Universal Audio Apollo x4

  • Flagship 12 x 18 Thunderbolt 3 desktop audio interface for Mac and Windows
  • Elite-class A/D and D/A conversion inherited directly from acclaimed Apollo X rackmount interfaces
  • 4 Unison mic/line preamps offering stunning models of classic tube and transformer-based mic preamps and guitar amps
  • UAD-2 QUAD Core Processing for tracking through vintage compressors, EQs, tape machines, mic preamps, and guitar amp plug-ins with near-zero latency
  • 2 front-panel Hi-Z instrument inputs and 2 independent headphone outputs
  • Built-in talkback mic for communication with studio talent and recording slate cues
  • Includes monitor remote functions and Mono, Mute, DIM, and ALT monitor controls
  • Up to 8 channels of additional digital I/O via Optical ADAT/SPDIF input and output
  • Includes the Realtime Analog Classics Plus UAD plug-in bundle featuring the Teletronix LA-2A, 1176, and Fairchild 670 compressors, plus Pultec EQs, UA 610-B Tube Preamp & EQ, and more

I’ve been a big fan of Universal Audio since I initially went hands-on with the UA Arrow. It’s what I use for all of my audio work, whether it be voiceovers, or real time audio capture. One of the characteristics of the UA Arrow that I adore is that it’s completely bus powered, which means there’s no need for an external power supply. Not only does this make for a more portable device, but it also helps reduce cable clutter.

The main “problem” I have with the UA Arrow is that it’s a single core device, so from time to time I run into a wall when it comes to the amount of plugins I can use simultaneously. The new dual and quad core Apollo Units address that issue, while affording handy Thunderbolt 3 connectivity.

Like most UA products, the new interfaces keep preamp I/O on the rear of the device instead of on front, and as previously mentioned, this helps to keep workspaces tidy.

The rear of the Apollo Twin X

Like I noted in my hands-on with the Universal Audio Arrow, the primary appeal of these devices is really all about software, despite the amazing build quality and thoughtful hardware layout:

If you’ve ever used a Universal Audio product before, then you understand that the plug-ins are really what make the units special. Plug-ins include compressors, EQs, reverbs, preamp emulations and guitar amp emulations. These plug-ins can be added to your inputs to alter the sound of instruments, including your voice, in real time.

Be sure to watch our hands-on review of the UA Arrow to get a sense of what I mean:

The just-launched Apollo Twin X dual core unit starts at $899, which is $100 more than its predecessor, the Thunderbolt-driven Apollo Twin MKII. The beefier Apollo X 4 starts at $1799. Both interfaces are available for preorder today from B&H.

What are your thoughts on Universal Audio products? Sound off down below in the comments.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

totallee clear case iphone 11

About the Author