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Apollo Twin X DUO
Apollo Twin X QUAD
Microphone Dynamic Range
Digital Audio I/O
Output Dynamic Range
Maximum Output Power
If you’re on a budget, the Apollo Twin X is the better choice by leaps and bounds. For quite a bit less, you’re getting the same I/O as the QUAD variant, and an identical set of features. You also open yourself up to two different modes of connection. Unless you really need the extra DSP cores, you’re better off with the cheaper Twin X DUO. For those reasons, we score the interface 9.5 out of 10.
Despite costing substantially more, the Apollo Twin X QUAD serves a specific purpose. While the DUO will often have you needing to freeze/render or limit tracks, the QUAD has twice the headroom that can get you much further. Since there’s no replacement for better hardware, we still give the Twin X QUAD an 8 out of 10.
The Apollo Twin X DUO has a solid set of I/O consisting of a Hi-Z input, two XLR/TRS Combo inputs, two Monitor and TRS Line Outputs each, as well as a headphone jack. For expansion, the interface also has an optical port with ADAT or S/PDIF. It’s a pity the Twin X models don’t have more outputs for surround control, but we score it 9.5 nonetheless.
The Apollo Twin X QUAD doesn’t have more I/O than the DUO. The interface hosts the same 10-in/6-out design with ADAT expansion, however, it does have extra processing power with double the DSP cores to make better use of the available ports. Nonetheless, the QUAD earns an identical score of 9.5.
The Apollo Twin X DUO is a fantastic interface. The sound quality is great with low noise levels and true-sounding output, and the onboard DSPs are super useful for zero-latency tracking, especially with LUNA. Apart from the slight learning curve, the only drawback here is that some UAD plugins can max it out very quickly. The DUO will be enough for most tracking needs, but you will run out of DSP when you make up guitar chains with amps, pedals, delays, etc. We feel comfortable rating the interface a solid 9.5.
As with the DUO, everything sounds just a bit crisper with the Apollo Twin X QUAD. The preamps are of such great quality, even recordings with our budget mics come astonishingly close to our more expensive Neumanns. It takes some getting used to, but the quality plugins, near-zero latency, and the ability to offload processing to the UAD DSP are well worth it. There is zero difference in quality between the two variants, however, you are essentially buying more RAM and processing for UAD plugins on the QUAD. The extra utility earns the interface 10 points.
The Apollo Twin X DUO is available with two different host connections, namely USB-C and Thunderbolt 3. Both options are future-proof, and have good transfer speeds between the interface and the host device, which is why we rate the DUO a perfect 10.
The Apollo Twin X QUAD on the other hand only offers a Thunderbolt connection to power its four DSP cores. With half the options, we can’t give the interface any more than 9.5 points in the category.
With the Apollo Twin X DUO, you get UA’s signature Unison preamps emulation, a two core UAD-2 DSP, monitor controls, a talkback microphone, bundled plugins, as well as a software suite with the Heritage Edition. Moreover, with the Thunderbolt variant, the interface also offers LUNA for Mac devices. Plus, if you’re hooked on the UA ecosystem, you’ll find more ways to use the interface with more plugins. Overall, we rate it a solid 9/10.
The Apollo Twin X QUAD has the same set of features as the DUO, except for its four core DSP. This is a substantial upgrade however, allowing us to work well past the processing limit of the DUO with lower-latency recording. For what it offers, we give the interface 9.5 points in Additional Features.
Based on our testing and the results from our scoring model, the Apollo Twin X DUO is the clear winner with a total average score of 9.5. While you do run the risk of running out of processing power earlier, there much else the QUAD has going for it unless you’re deep into UA’s plugin ecosystem.
Other than that, both interfaces have a simple installation process and a quality hard steel case for ventilation and protection. Moreover, the interface has quite a few options when it comes to I/O with its 10-in/6-out design with optical ADAT expansion should you need it.
The Twin X DUO is fairly reliable for the most part, however, we did have some issues setting the interface up on Windows, especially through the Thunderbolt version. There’s also a slight learning curve involved to try all the cab options to get the sound right, but once you do, the quality is absolutely pristine. Plus, with LUNA on the Thunderbolt version, you can get a lot more out of the DSP than with DAWs such as Ableton Live, which makes it a great addition to the interface.
In terms of sound quality, the AD/DA conversion is on par with any number of high-quality interfaces with zero-latency tracking, crystal clear preamps, phenomenal sounding outputs and a reliable workflow. For what the interface costs vs. what it offers, Apollo Twin X DUO is a steal!