Universal Audio Apollo X8 Heritage Edition Review (June 2024)

$2,799.00

Last updated on June 14, 2024 1:14 pm Details

Description

In this review post, we’re going to be discussing the Universal Audio Apollo x8 Heritage Edition, including an overview of its unique features.

Product Description

Apollo x8 allows music producers, project, and post-production studios to track, overdub, and mix with elite-class A/D and D/A conversion, HEXA Core UAD plug-in processing, Dual-Crystal clocking, and 7.1 surround sound monitoring — all in a sleek rackmount Thunderbolt 3 audio interface for Mac or Windows.

Built upon UA’s 60-year heritage of audio craftsmanship, this 18 x 24 interface distinguishes itself with four Unison™-enabled mic preamps, all-new HEXA Core processing — yielding 50% more DSP for running UAD Powered Plug-Ins in real time — plus it includes LUNA Recording System, giving you a fully-integrated music production application.

With thousands of chart-topping songs and hundreds of Grammy-winning albums under their belt, Apollo interfaces are no strangers to tracking stellar-sounding records. To improve on the previous generation Apollo interface’s class-leading audio conversion, UA engineers obsessively auditioned the latest A/D and D/A converters — ultimately pairing elite-class 24-bit/192 kHz converters with all-new analog circuitry for an ultra-pristine signal path.

The Apollo X series also introduces new Dual-Crystal clocking — featuring dedicated crystals for 44.1/88.2/176.4k and 48/96/192k sample rates — resulting in stunningly low jitter, measured at less than 10 picoseconds. This translates into pure, artifact-free recordings and solid stereo imaging you can trust.

With 129 dB dynamic range and -119 dB THD+N, Apollo x8’s open, natural sound quality rivals any dedicated high-end converter on the market — regardless of price — and is the perfect starting point for applying UAD processing.

Apollo x8 features new HEXA Core processing, with six DSP chips and 50% more UAD plug-in processing power than previous Apollos. This lets you run more UAD plug-ins, whether you’re tracking in real-time with channel strips from Neve, Manley, or API, or running high UAD plug-in counts when mixing in your DAW.

From the tube warmth of Pultec EQs on guitars to the musical tube limiting of the LA-2A on vocals, or the pump of a genuine 1176 or Fairchild 670 tube compressor on drums, your recordings will take a giant leap forward with a rich, three-dimensional analog sound that UAD plug‑ins provide.

Perfect for musicians, engineers, producers, and sound designers, Apollo x8 features four Unison-enabled mic preamps, letting you track through exacting mic preamp emulations from Neve, API, Manley, Helios, SSL, and Universal Audio. A Universal Audio exclusive, Unison technology nails the tone of this sought-after tube and solid state mic pres — including their input impedance, gain stage “sweet spots,” and the component-level circuit behaviors of the original hardware.

The secret to Unison is its hardware-software integration between Apollo’s mic preamps and its onboard HEXA Core DSP Acceleration. Simply place a Unison preamp plug-in on your mic input in Apollo Console software, and it physically reconfigures the Apollo interface’s impedance — so you can tap into the classic sounds of the world’s most recorded mic preamps.

Product Features

  • Pad
  • Low-cut
  • LED Meter
  • Phase reverse
  • 24 bit / 192 kHz
  • Design: 19″ / 1U
  • For Mac/Windows
  • 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • +48 V Phantom power
  • 4 Microphone inputs: XLR
  • 2 Hi-Z inputs: 6.3 mm jack
  • 8 Line inputs: 6.3 mm jack
  • 8 Line outputs: 6.3 mm jack
  • 2 ADAT inputs and outputs
  • Switch for monitor switchover
  • 2 Monitor outputs: 6.3 mm jack
  • S/PDIF coaxial input and output
  • BNC Word clock input and output
  • Integrated talkback microphone
  • 4 Unison microphone preamplifiers
  • 2 Stereo headphone ports: 6.3 mm jack
  • The function key can be assigned to Dim or Mono
  • Up to 4 Apollos with Thunderbolt cascading connection
  • 6-Core SHARC DSP for internal UAD real-time processing
  • Compatible with Thunderbolt 2 with optional Thunderbolt 2 to 3 adapter.
  • Dual crystal clocking for the low-jitter environment and clean, artifact-free recordings and stable stereo imaging
  • Support of surround formats up to 7.1( with speaker calibration and downmix)
  • Dual crystal clocking for the low-jitter environment and clean, artifact-free recordings and stable stereo imaging
  • Includes external power supply and software bundle (Rackmount Heritage Edition & Realtime Analog Classics Plus)

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Strong build quality
  • Extremely trusted
  • Positive customer feedback
  • Worth the price
  • Terrific audio output
  • Perfect for recording and live performances

Cons

  • Very Expensive
  • Thunderbolt cable was not supplied
  • The lack of networked audio and Pro Tools HDX connectivity limit the options for integrating Apollo X units.

Universal Audio Apollo x8 Heritage Edition Demo

Our Verdict

The purpose of Universal Audio is to make ‘in the box’ recording look, sound, and feel more like working with a high-end analog front end. They are closer to reaching that aim than anyone else, thanks to the new Apollo X interfaces.

After using many Focusrite interfaces, I decided to upgrade to a professional interface. After a few weeks of recording, I have no regrets about purchasing the UAD Apollo X8. The DSP power, low latency, clean preamps, and, most importantly for my workflow, the console with all of its routing and DSP-Plugin integration were game-changers for me.

There is no reason for me to change this setting in the future for the time being. The best interface I’ve ever had!

Where to Buy

The best place to buy this product has to be Amazon, due to their competitive pricing and fantastic customer service.

Universal Audio Apollo x8 Heritage Edition

$3,199.00
Amazon.com
as of June 8, 2024 10:39 pm

Pricing History

Price History for Universal Audio Apollo x8 Heritage Edition

Statistics

Current Price $3,199.00 June 8, 2024
Highest Price $3,199.00 November 16, 2023
Lowest Price $3,049.99 October 10, 2023
Since October 10, 2023

Last price changes

$3,199.00 November 16, 2023
$3,049.99 October 10, 2023

Last updated on June 8, 2024 10:39 pm

Buyers Guides This Product Is Featured In

Best Audi Interface

Best 8 Channel Audio Interfaces (2022)

Best Thunderbolt Audio Interfaces (2022)

Additional information

Item Weight

14.52 pounds

Product Dimensions

19 x 13.5 x 1.8 inches

Item model number

APX8

Is Discontinued By Manufacturer

No

Date First Available

September 1, 2018

Compatible Devices

Personal Computer

Size

4 Unison Enabled Mic Preamps

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