Is the Apollo Twin MKII DUO really any better than the Apollo Twin Duo?

Let’s find out in our verses battle of these two amazing audio interfaces.

Apollo Twin DUO

Apollo Twin MKII DUO

We have used the Apollo Twin Duo for a little over a year and have absolutely loved it! So when Apollo announced the Twin MKII at the 2017 NAMM show, we were like “Hey! Who’s this new kid?” Why did Apollo even need to supposedly update this already amazing audio interface? Well, hopefully this review will help you sort that out for yourself.



Features Comparison

Unit

Desktop 2x6 USB 3 audio interface with world-class 24-bit/192 kHz audio conversion
Desktop 2x6 Thunderbolt audio interface with next-generation 24-bit/192 kHz audio conversion

Under the Hood

Realtime UAD Processing for tracking through vintage Compressors, EQs, Tape Machines, Mic Preamps, and Guitar Amp plug-ins with near-zero (sub-2ms) latency
Available UAD-2 QUAD, DUO, or SOLO Core Processing for tracking through vintage compressors, EQs, tape machines, mic preamps, and guitar amp plug-ins with near-zero latency

Modeling

Unison™ technology offers stunning models of classic tube and transformer-based mic preamps
Unison™ technology offers stunning models of classic tube and transformer-based preamps, guitar amps, and stompboxes

Internal Mic

Not Available
Built-in talkback mic for communication with studio talent and recording slate cues

Monitoring

Two digitally controlled analog monitor outputs for full resolution at all listening levels
Improved monitor functionality including monitor remote functions and Mono, Mute, DIM, and ALT monitor controls

I/O

Two premium mic/line preamps; Two line outputs; front-panel Hi-Z instrument input and headphones output
2 premium Unison mic/line preamps; 2 line outputs; front-panel Hi-Z instrument input and headphone output

Add on I/O Option

Up to eight channels of additional digital input via Optical connection
Up to 8 channels of additional digital input via Optical TOSLINK connection
It’s clear that there are some nice new features added hear with the MKII. Comparing the features only, however, we think that the difference is marginal at best. This is especially the case if you are an amateur, semi-pro or just recording at home. Small professional studios will likely get the most out of these upgrades.



The Verdict?

The MKII is a beautiful piece of machinery and lives up to the Universal Audio name. If you already have the Apollo Twin Duo and are thinking of upgrading, it’s probably not worth it, however. The Apollo Twin is just as good of a recording unit and is sure to continue to be a studio workhorse for years to come. If you are new to the Apollo and are not sure what to get, we advise that you price it out and see where you find the best deal. Just to prove we are not crazy, here are some cold hard facts.

Model

Apollo Twin Duo

Apollo Twin MKII

Microphone Inputs

2
2

Analog Line Inputs

2
2

Hi-Impedance (Hi-Z) Inst Inputs

1
1

Analog Line Outputs

2
2

Analog Monitor Outputs

Two (one stereo pair)
Two (one stereo pair)

Headphone Outputs

One stereo
One stereo

Digital Input Port (TOSLINK optical)

One (ADAT or S/PDIF, selectable)
One (ADAT or S/PDIF, selectable)

Supported Sample Rates (kHz)

44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192
44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192

Supported Sample Rates (kHz)

44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192
44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192

Bit Depth Per Sample

24
24

Bit Depth Per Sample

24
24

Simultaneous A/D conversion

Two channels
Two channels

Simultaneous D/A conversion

Six channels
Six channels

Analog Round-Trip Latency

1.1 milliseconds @ 96 kHz sample rate
1.1 milliseconds @ 96 kHz sample rate

Frequency Response

20 Hz – 20 kHz, ±0.1 dB
20 Hz – 20 kHz, ±0.1 dB
Notice any trends? The list of similarities goes on and on. In fact, it was difficult to find any differences in technical specifications between the Twin Duo and the Twin MKII at all. The differences we did find were very trivial in our opinion. In the end, we feel that both of these recording units are sure to put a smile on your face. Universal Audio has done an amazing job and the quality you get with either one is well worth the money.