Universal Audio brings power to the people with affordable Volt USB audio interfaces

Universal Audio’s Apollo audio interfaces have become a byword for quality, but for a lot of producers, their relatively high prices put them out of reach. Fear not, though, because UA has now introduced the Volt range - a new line-up of affordable USB audio interfaces that promise “classic studio sound”.

It’s worth pointing out immediately that none of these interfaces supports the DSP-powered UAD plugins - you’ll still need an Apollo if you want to run any of those - but all of the Volts (there are five in total) do include a Vintage Mic Preamp mode.

This is inspired by the mic/line preamp in UA’s 610 tube console; tube emulation circuitry is designed to let you dial in a “rich, full sound on vocals and instruments”.

If you’re willing to pay a bit more, you can choose one of the Volt 76 models, which add an analogue circuit based on UA’s 1176 compressor. With this engaged, users can choose from presets that are designed to add clarity and punch to vocals, guitar and other input sources.

In terms of connectivity and control, simplicity is the watchword as far as the Volts are concerned, with just a few knobs and easily-accessible direct monitoring. There’s also 48v phantom power so you can plug in condenser mics, along with MIDI I/O.

Offering an appealing retro aesthetic, the Volts are made of metal and promise to “last for decades”.

Universal Audio Volt audio interfaces

(Image credit: Universal Audio)

All of the Volt interfaces offer 24-bit/192kHz audio conversion and run on PC, Mac, iPad and iPhone. What’s more, each model entitles you to a music software bundle that features contributions from Ableton, Softube, Celemony, Relab, Plugin Alliance, UJAM and Spitfire Audio.

Prices start at $139 for the 1-in/2-out Volt 1, with the 2-in/2-out Volt 2 costing $189. The compressor-equipped ‘76’ versions of these models cost $249 and $299 respectively.

If you need more I/O, there’s also the 4-in/4-out Volt 476, which can be yours for $369. This is the only model that requires a power supply - all the other Volts can be bus-powered.

All of the Volt audio interfaces can be pre-ordered now, and are projected to begin shipping in late November. Find out more on the Universal Audio website.

Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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