Universal Audio Apollo 8 QUAD - Thunderbolt 2 Audio Interface with Real-Time UAD Processing

Universal Audio Apollo 8 QUAD - Thunderbolt 2 Audio Interface with Real-Time UAD Processing

Universal Audio Apollo 8 QUAD - Thunderbolt 2 Audio Interface with Real-Time UAD Processing

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Product Highlights

  • Mac and Windows Compatible
  • 24-Bit / 192 kHz
  • Low-Latency High-Resolution Audio
  • 18 Input / 24 Output
  • 4 Unison Mic Preamps with Phantom Power
  • Dual Hi-Z Inputs & 2 Headphone Outputs
  • Digital and Word Clock I/O
  • QUAD Core Real-Time UAD Processing
  • Console Software (Control, DSP Mixer)
  • Analog Classics Plus Plug-In Bundle
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Cores: QUAD




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Universal Audio APL8Q overview

  • 1Description

The Apollo 8 QUAD from Universal Audio is an 18 x 24 Thunderbolt-ready computer audio interface that improves upon the original Apollo with better total harmonic distortion, dynamic range, and signal-to-noise specifications. Delivering the sound, feel and flow of analog recording, the interface combines high-resolution analog design with onboard UAD Processing, allowing music producers and performers to track audio through a range of classic UAD analog emulation plug-ins in real-time.

Designed to perform a central role in a modern studio, the unit delivers 24-bit / 192 kHz resolution, which ultimately translates into high-resolution analog audio. The interface features four premium microphone preamps with Unison integration for UAD preamp and pedal plug-ins, which allows true-to-life performance including impedance matching, gain staging, and component-level circuit behaviors. Each mic pre features a switchable low cut filter, 48V phantom power, pad, polarity inversion, and stereo linking.

While the converters are open and transparent, the unit can quickly deliver a wide range of classic analog tones and color via its built-in UAD Processing. The onboard QUAD Core processing provides up to a sub-2 millisecond latency that allows for quickly monitoring, auditioning, and printing audio using classic analog emulations from Ampex, Lexicon, Manley, Neve, Roland, SSL, Studer, and more. 

Apollo's Core Audio and Windows drivers ensure compatibility with all major DAWs, including Pro Tools, Logic Pro, Cubase, Live, and more. The included Console 2.0 application provides control and recall of all interface and UAD plug-in settings including channel-strip presets, drag-and-drop functionality, and dynamically resizable windows.

The Apollo 8 offers a comprehensive monitor solution with dedicated front panel controls for Alt Speakers, Dim, and Mono functions, as well as input and output metering capabilities. A total of four Apollos and six total UAD-2 devices can be combined via the included Apollo Expanded software, allowing Thunderbolt users the ability to expand their I/O and DSP. The Apollo 8 ships with a power supply, IEC power cord, and four rack-mount screws.

Audio Interface
  • Sample rates up to 192 kHz at 24-bit word length
  • 18 x 24 simultaneous input/output channels:
  • Eight channels of analog-to-digital conversion via mic, line, or high-impedance inputs
  • 14 channels of digital-to-analog conversion via:
    • Eight mono line outputs
    • Stereo monitor outputs (switchable to fixed line outputs)
    • Two stereo headphone outputs
  • 10 channels of digital I/O via:
    • Eight channels ADAT Optical Lightpipe I/O with SMUX for high sample rates
    • Two channels coaxial S/PDIF I/O with sample rate conversion
  • Two Thunderbolt 2 ports facilitates daisy-chaining of other Thunderbolt devices
  • Cascade up to 4 Apollo interfaces and 6 UAD devices total over Thunderbolt (Mac)


Microphone Preamps
  • Four high-resolution, ultra-transparent, digitally-controlled analog mic preamps
  • Unison technology for deep integration with UAD preamp and pedal plug-ins
  • Front panel and software control of all preamp parameters
  • Switchable low cut filter, 48V phantom power, pad, polarity inversion, and stereo linking


  • Stereo monitor outputs (independent of the eight line outputs)
  • Digitally-controlled analog monitor outputs maintain highest fidelity
  • Front panel control of monitor levels and muting
  • Two stereo headphone outputs with independent mix buses
  • Independent front-panel volume controls for headphone outputs
  • Front panel pre-fader metering of monitor bus levels
  • S/PDIF outputs can be set to mirror the monitor outputs
  • Up to two alternate stereo monitor outputs selectable via front panel or Console software
  • Assignable front panel monitor function switch for alternate speakers, dim, & mono


  • QUAD model features four SHARC processors
  • Real-time UAD Processing on all analog and digital inputs
  • Same features and functionality as other UAD-2 devices when used with DAW
  • Can be combined with other UAD-2 devices for increased mixing DSP
  • Includes UAD Powered Plug-Ins Real-Time Analog Classics Plus bundle
  • Complete UAD plug-ins library is available at the UA online store


  • Console Application:
    • Analog-style control interface for realtime monitoring and tracking
    • Enables Real-time UAD Processing with UAD plug-ins
    • Remote control of Apollo 8p features and functionality
    • Virtual I/O for routing DAW tracks through Console
  • Console Recall Plug-In:
    • Saves Console configurations inside DAW sessions for easy recall
    • Convenient access to Console’s monitor controls via DAW plug-in
    • VST, RTAS, AAX 64, and Audio Units plug-in formats
  • UAD Meter & Control Panel Application:
    • Configures global UAD settings and monitors system usage
  • Other
    • Easy firmware updates


UPC: 819937001925
In the Box
Universal Audio Apollo 8 QUAD - Thunderbolt 2 Audio Interface with Real-Time UAD Processing
  • External Power Supply
  • IEC Power Cord
  • 4 x Rack-Mount Screws
  • Limited 1-Year Warranty
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description

    Universal Audio APL8Q specs

    Converters 24-bit
    Sample Rates 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4 and 192 kHz
    Analog Input Microphone/Line: 4 x combo XLR / 1/4"/6.35 mm
    2 x 1/4" TS phone Hi-Z
    4 x 1/4" TRS phone line
    Analog Output 8 x 1/4" TRS phone line
    2 x 1/4" TRS phone monitor
    2 x 1/4" TRS phone headphone
    Digital Input 1 x RCA S/PDIF coaxial (AES/EBU software selectable)
    2 x TOSLINK ADAT Optical (SMUX support)
    Digital Output 1 x RCA S/PDIF coaxial (AES/EBU software selectable)
    2 x TOSLINK ADAT optical (SMUX support)
    Other Connectors 2 x BNC wordclock I/O
    2 x Thunderbolt
    MIDI In/Out No
    Wordclock I/O Connector Type: BNC
    Lock Range: ±0.5% of any supported sample rate
    Word Clock Input Termination: 75 Ohms, switchable
    Synchronization Sources: Internal, word clock, S/PDIF, ADAT
    Headphone Output Dual Independent: 1/4" TRS
    Frequency Response 20 Hz to 20 kHz, ±0.1 dB
    Dynamic Range Microphone: 120 dB, A-weighted
    Hi-Z Inputs: 118 dB, A-weighted
    Line Inputs: 120 dB, A-weighted
    Line Outputs: 121 dB, A-weighted
    Monitor Out: 121 dB, A-weighted
    Headphone: 118 dB, A-weighted
    Signal to Noise Ratio Microphone: 120 dB, A-weighted
    Hi-Z Inputs: 118 dB, A-weighted
    Line Inputs: 120 dB, A-weighted
    Line Outputs: 121 dB, A-weighted
    Monitor Out: 121 dB, A-weighted
    Headphone: 118 dB, A-weighted
    THD + N Microphone: -110 dBFS
    Hi-Z Inputs: -101.5 dBFS
    Line Inputs: -110 dBFS
    Line Outputs: -110 dBFS
    Monitor Out: -110 dBFS
    Headphone: -101 dB
    Common Mode Rejection Microphone: 73 dB (10' cable)
    Line Inputs: 60 dB (10' cable)
    Input Impedance Default Microphone Input Impedance; 5.4 kOhms (variable via Unison plug-ins)
    Hi-Z Input Impedance: 1 MOhm (variable via Unison plug-ins)
    Line Input Impedance: 10 kOhms
    Output Impedance Line Output Impedance: 100 Ohms
    Monitor Output Impedance: 100 Ohms
    Gain Range Microphone: +10 to +65 dB
    Hi-Z: +10 to +65 dB
    Line Input (1-4): +10 to +65 dB (Line Input Gain = ON)
    Line Input (5-8) Gain (Selectable Per Input): +4 or -10 dBV
    Input Pad Pad Attenuation: 20 dB (switchable per input)
    Maximum Input/Output Level Microphone Input Level: +25 dBu (minimum gain, pad engaged)
    Hi-Z Input Level: +12 dBu
    Line Input Level (1-4): +20.2 dBu
    Line Input Level (5-8) (+4 dBu setting): +20.2 dBu
    Line Input Level (5-8) (-10 dBV setting): +6.2 dBV (unbalanced)
    Line Output Level: +20.2 dBu
    Monitor Output Level: +20.2 dBu
    Headphone Output Power: 160 mW into 300-Ohm load
    Stereo Level Balance Line Outputs (1-8): ±0.05 dB
    Monitor Outputs: ±0.01 dB
    Power Requirements Power Supplies: External AC to DC power supply, level V compliant
    AC Input Connector Type: IEC male
    AC Requirements: 100 to 240 VAC, 50/60 Hz
    DC Connector Type: XLR 4-pin locking male (Neutrik P/N NC4MDM3-H)
    DC Requirements: 12 VDC, ±5%
    Maximum Power Consumption: 50 W
    Mac System Requirements Apple Mac computer with available Thunderbolt port
    Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks, 10.10 Yosemite, 10.11 El Capitan, or 10.12 Sierra
    Thunderbolt cable (sold separately)
    6 GB available storage
    Internet connection to download software and authorize UAD plug-ins
    Compatible VST, Audio Units, RTAS, or AAX 64 plug-in host DAW software
    Quad Core i7 or better processor recommended
    Windows System Requirements Windows computer with built-in Thunderbolt 3 via USB-C port
    Windows 10 with Anniversary Update (64-Bit Edition)
    Qualified Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt adapter (sold separately)
    Thunderbolt cable (sold separately)
    6 GB available storage
    Internet connection to download software and authorize UAD plug-ins
    Compatible VST, Audio Units, RTAS, or AAX 64 plug-in host DAW software
    Quad Core i7 or better processor recommended
    Specialties Analog Round Trip Latency: 1.1 ms @ 96 kHz (including 4 serial UAD-2 plug-ins via Console application)
    SMUX assignment allows for 8-channels @ 88.2/96 kHz and 4 channels @ 176.4/192 kHz
    32/64-bit device drivers
    Dimensions (W × H × D) 19 x 12.1 x 1.75" / 483 x 307 x 45 mm
    Weight 9.1 lb / 4.1 kg
    Packaging Info
    Package Weight 17.2 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 24.0 x 17.0 x 8.0"

    Universal Audio APL8Q reviews

    Apollo 8 QUAD - Thunderbolt 2 Audio Interface with Real-Time UAD Processing is rated 5.0 out of 5 by 2.
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Best I've ever owned I love the UA hardware and software. Having worked with lesser brands that brick their interfaces by refusing to develop drivers for new OSs I made sure that I went with a company that has a history of keeping even old hardware working. UA produces great plugins with extremely low latency make getting the exact sound you want in your live studio mix very easy. I'm definitely going to buy more and build my studio around these interfaces.
    Date published: 2016-11-21
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from PC owners please read this before you buy it! Then BUY IT! I have a PC running Windows 10 which this interface works with. However,, please be aware that you must use the recommended cable brands and adapters to make it work. Also it is very important that you make sure your motherboard is Thunderbolt 3 capable and not just USB type C capable. They may have the same connector shape but the software functionality of the MB must actually say Thunderbolt 3 compliant. The interface uses a Thunderbolt 2 connection port and must be used with an adapter to TB3 when going into a PC. Most PC's that claim thunderbolt connectivity only actually have a TB 1 display port which looks like a TB 2 connection port but is NOT the same thing. Don't waste your money on a TB 2 upgrade card. Go directly up to TB 3 and future proof your connection needs! TB 3 must be integrated into the motherboard. PCI card upgrades are not recommended! None of these things are mentioned in the specs when your deciding if you can use this with your system so be sure to dig deep into the knowledge base on the UAD website to get all the facts before you buy. Their website also contains a list of recommended motherboards and other components that have known issues with this interface. When you do buy it, you will never regret it! It is absolutely worth every penny you will spend to get it integrated into your studio! Just be sure and do your homework first so you won't have any frustrating delays getting it up and running!!
    Date published: 2017-02-03
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