Universal Audio have revamped their range of Apollo rack interfaces with the newly announced Apollo X, significantly upgrading the converters and built-in DSP.
Main new features include:
• “ELITE-CLASS” AUDIO CONVERSION pairs 24-bit/192kHz converters with all-new analogue circuitry, raising the performance from what was already very respectable AD/DA in the last generation devices. Universal Audio claim the widest dynamic range and lowest distortion of any integrated audio interface on the market – Apollo x16 has a dynamic range of 133dB and THD+N of -129dB, which is very good! Initial listening tests against other high-end interfaces in our demo room confirm this is no idle boast – we were certainly impressed. Apollo X now puts UA firmly in the "big boys" league of converters.
• HEXA CORE PROCESSING bumps up the SHARC DSP count from four to six chips, meaning you can now run 50% more plug-ins. The ability to track through the highly regarded UAD plugins in real time, with near-zero latency, remains a unique feature of the Apollo range
• BUILT-IN TALKBACK has been a long asked-for feature – now available on the new Apollos
• SURROUND MONITOR CONTROLLER provides more monitoring flexibility – especially for post-production and live sound applications. This feature won't be immediately available on release but is scheduled just around the corner in Q4...
• IMPROVED FRONT PANEL CONTROL allows users to adjust UAD plugin parameters from the front panel without having to open the software console page for more direct control
The new interfaces are exclusively Thunderbolt 3, but can be used with Thunderbolt 2 with an inexpensive TB3-TB2 adaptor without any sacrifice in performance. One side benefit is that TB3 carries 14W power, meaning MacBook users can trickle charge their laptops through the Apollo.
The feeling @KMR is that Universal Audio have played a good hand with this latest upgrade. The excellent converter quality and ability to track through class-leading UAD-2 plug-ins with 50% more DSP means “studio in a box” has never sounded more compelling – especially when you start comparing prices.
Check out our UA interface comparison chart >> HERE <<
Watch this space… we’ll be back with more detailed audio tests once we've had a chance to properly play with the new units...