Audient iD22 vs Apollo Twin

Audient iD22 vs Apollo Twin: Which One’s the Game-changer?

When it’s about audio interfaces, there are actually endless choices. Moreover, audiophiles or musicians need to consider a lot of different conditions before buying. That’s why it might look very overwhelming to anyone. 

So, which one would you choose if it comes to audient id22 vs apollo twin?

The main difference between audient id22 and twin x is the UAD plug-in software. Also, id22 provides USB connection and twin x provides thunderbolt 3 connection. However, twin x comes with a built-in talkback which id22 doesn’t have. Latency performance of both the interfaces is quite good though. 

Yes, there are still a lot more things to clear up! So stay with us and keep on reading to explore all the features.

Quick Rundown

We’ve looked at some of the finest DAC and Amp combinations for HD6xx already. But are you looking for a high-quality interface for your power-hungry headphones or speakers now? Then the following comparison table between audient id22 and Apollo twin x is for you.

Have a look at this quick rundown to shed some light on your audient and apollo conundrum. 

Features Audient id22Apollo Twin 
Talkback micNo built-in talkback micBuilt-in talkback mic 
Compatibility Mac and Windows with USB connectionMac and Windows with Thunderbolt connection 
Monitor controllerA bit basic as a monitor controllerSurround monitor-controller
LatencyLow latencyZero-latency
PriceTry at only around $500Try at only around $1000-1300

Still in doubt? Absolutely fine! We’ll walk you through every corner thoroughly to make things a little more clear. 

So to start with, here’s a chart for you so that you understand the comparison more clearly.

Things are only getting better from here. So let’s not miss anything. However, if you’re already excited to know the verdict then skip to our last section.

Few Things to Clear Up

Buyers’ intentions don’t remain the same every year. That’s why the audio interface companies renew their stock lines almost every other year. Accordingly, 2018 witnessed some major Universal Audio revamp in the rackmount interface line.

However, as the Twin MKII was only about 18 months old during that time, it saved itself from the 2018 upgrade session. It used to be found in solo, duo or quad layouts, with one, two or four ‘Sharc DSP’ chips sequentially. 

Seemingly the solo was the most reasonable one, however, it wasn’t quite the most famous of these. Thus the current Twin X is accessible only in duo or quad configurations.

However, the two Twin X models are apparently similar in all aspects to MkII. Also, it offers the identical I/O that was found in the MkII. The only thing that differs is the DSP grunt. 

So, as the Apollo Twin X is the latest one, we chose to compare it against the audient id22.

Now, let’s get into the debate!

Build Quality

Tryna record something cool in your not-so-premium home studio? No worries! If you got your hands on some good-quality sound cards, you’re up for business!

However, is your interface’s preamps and dac worth your money? Well, that’s a little too far-fetched already. For now, let’s just find out how your interfaces’ build quality is. Shall we?

Design

Both id22 and twin x are built with an extremely strong aluminum case. Moreover, you’ll notice big rubber bottoms to keep it safe on a table. Nonetheless, you can get a Kensington lock cable on the side to secure your product on the desk. 

You’ll get a range of control switches for your two preamps along with monitor controller processes in both id22 and twin x. Moreover, there’s a four-section LED ledge that measures the initial two outputs. 

However, sadly you wouldn’t find any kind of hardware input metering in id22 as the twin x has. 

At the very least an action/overload LED for each input could be remarkably helpful for id22. 

Nevertheless, a very small build objection on id22 is that the metal exterior panel has been very harshly cut. Hence it seems slightly pointed around its external rims. These could have been rounded for a more lenient polish as we see in the Apollo twin x. 

Winner: Apollo twin x

Switches & Knobs

All in all, the position of the controls looks good in both the interfaces. Besides, both come with solid and sleek potentiometers. Moreover, there are position rungs and programs to assist you in matching preamp gain positions. 

However, the smooth ‘dim’ and ‘cut’ controls in the monitoring unit of id22 seems a touch shaky compared to the twin x. The further indicator on the toggle buttons would have been beneficial. For instance, it’s not sufficiently understandable which button positions facilitate the pad and high-pass filter in id22.

Also, id22 doesn’t have an on-off button to cut the power. Thankfully, the Apollo twin x comes with an on-off switch.

Winner: Apollo twin x

Power Supply & Cable

In the case of power supply, the transformer delivered appears slightly lighter than the one with twin x. However, it stays fully active, so acceptable. Besides, the USB cable is quite good.

On the other hand, the Twin MkII used to come with a wall-wart PSU and a frustratingly short cord. Thankfully, this has currently been supplanted in twin x by a two-piece line-lump connection. This is actually more similar to a laptop power supply. 

The replaced cable is at least double the old cable. Moreover, if you liked it to extend, even more, all you’d require to do is supplant the figure-8 main cord with an extended one.

However, the Apollo twin x doesn’t come with the most important thing and that’s a big slap in the face. You’ll not get the thunderbolt 3 cable in the box to connect the interface with your computer. 

This is why here are some thunderbolt 3 cable suggestions from us. This will help you to find the right cable according to your computer’s connection ports. Have a look!

However, if your desktop doesn’t have a thunderbolt 3 port then these cables aren’t gonna work. So before buying don’t forget to check your PC connections.

Also, if you own an older Mac, you can use a thunderbolt 3 to thunderbolt 2 adapter for the connection.

Winner: Tie

In & Outs

Source: soundonsound.com/

A good touch in id22 is that there are four inputs that enable you to incorporate hardware processors. Each of the outputs is foraged by its own DAC. Moreover, these can be expended for delivering different monitor mixes to players. Besides, you can also attach an additional pair of monitor speakers. 

On the other hand, twin x has 10 inputs and 6 outputs. It features two Unison-enabled mic preamps, a Hi-Z input, four line outputs, built-in talkback that you won’t find in id22. It doesn’t end here, there are also high-pass filters and more.

However, both id22 and twin x come with a substantial spread of inputs and outputs. There’s ADAT in and out and a reliable headphone output that nicely ties things up.

But both id23 and twin x don’t have a MIDI connection.

Don’t worry! We think we have a solution here. You can directly connect your MIDI to your computer using the following USB cables. So kindly go through them if you wanna get one.

However, performance is similar to a USB cable as it’s with a normal MIDI cable.

Winner: Tie

Connectivity

In this term, one huge issue with the Audio Twin is that it only supports Mac devices. You can only use it by the thunderbolt connection. So PC and Mac users who don’t have a thunderbolt connection are sadly not in luck here. 

However, in id22, there’s a power input and USB2 to connect to both your Mac and desktop. Also, there are two combo XLR inputs where the second one keeps a JFET DI input. This helps in high-gain streams like guitars.

Nonetheless, thunderbolt provides very little latency and excellent power than USB or FireWire. Actually, the Apollo Twin X duo’s Thunderbolt 3 connection operates programs with great track records. Not only that but it also keeps latencies of less than 2ms only

Plus, it can pair up to 4 Apollo interfaces to quickly add high-bandwidth I/O and DSP to your studio. 

Winner: Tie

Latency

The latency feat of id22 is quite decent. In our experiments, the Audient iD22 delivered great outcomes. It didn’t have any difficulty achieving an 8 ms return on my computer (MacBook Pro and 8 GB of RAM / OS X 10.15.3). 

Also the driver is reliable, and I personally didn’t have any difficulties during two weeks of daily use.

Actually, the drivers and its communication with your PC detects your interface’s performance. The better the driver is, the more latency free performance you’ll get.

So be it your M1, M1 Pro, or Mac minis, the drivers will decide its buffer size not your operating system.

Nonetheless, I’m guessing some of the more perceptive readers will no doubt have already reckoned it by now. The Apollo Twin also has a rather smart trick up its sleeve. 

Yes, you’re right! It is the channel DSP Pairing which is a compelling new element for Apollo interfaces. It’ll automatically disseminate plug-in processing pads across paired DSP cores on a single input. 

It suggests you can drive bigger plug-in processions on particular channels with the lowest possible latency. This is actually tremendous in comparison to id22.

Winner: Apollo twin x

Sound Quality

All this aside, the most significant element of an audio interface has to be how it sounds. So, let’s find out how the ID22 and twin x perform in the following sections. 

Pre-amplifiers 

Top-end preamps aren’t normally linked with interfaces. However, the iD22 points up with two mic/line preamps. They’re similar to the ones set up in Audient’s consoles and standalone preamps. Each channel delivers a 60dB gain, with switches for phantom power. Besides -10dB pad, polarity, and bass roll-off.

The mic preamps have plenty of gains, are quiet, and importantly, sound awesome. 

However, id22 uses discrete preamps and twin x uses chips for the preamps with over 65db gain range. That’s how twin x has a lot of preamp options without having a lot of mic preamps.

Nonetheless, the preamps in the Audient are so much more musical and fuller than Apollo preamps. I especially liked how the preamps were soft-saturated before the A/D converters clip.

But try driving the preamps a little nearer to full overload. You’ll notice the lows start to thrive more in twin x than id22. It’s mainly in the 100-300 Hz area, while the second harmonics proceed to increase. Drums particularly get substantial here. 

Also, when it comes to clarity, twin x offers a higher dynamic range and lower noise than id22. Apollo Twin gives you celestial 24-bit/192 kHz tone and amazing transparency. This will help you develop better mixes in reality.

If you’ll buy one of these Apollos don’t flinch to finance a little more in one or two of these Unison Preamp channels. It’ll be more than worth the money in the long run.

You don’t really require the other costly UA plugins for mixing if you have a tight budget. But you certainly need one or two of the high-class Unison Preamps (Neve RS 88, 1073, Manley Voxbox, SSL, etc.) to record. 

Winner: Apollo Twin X

Converters 

The iD22 digital converters’ quality was noticeable from the beginning. 

Source: decibelpeak.com/

The iD22 had an evidently sharper and more pleasing treble than twin x. Hats were not so metallic and rigid. So in tonality, it was a little less weak. 

On top of that, the midrange had a bit more body. Also, the bass sounds more noticeable and strong in comparison to twin x. All around, I’d confess that the iD22 has elegant converters that impart no apparent coloration or sonic signature. It’s really how digital converters should be.

Winner: Audient id22

Headphone Amp

The headphone amp, however, is kind of a drawback of id22. After a brief time of light use, the unit began to output static on the headphone ports. So I couldn’t do any monitoring/vocals.

Their site promotes that id22’s headphone amp works well with high impedance headphones (600ohm). However, when I paired it with my DT880, the performance was kinda average for me.

On the other hand, twin x has a headphone output on the front of the unit. This has its own bus within the Twin X’s mixer. It can deliver a varied mix to the main and/or alternate outputs.

However, with an interface like this, it’s normal to function with two people in the same area with Headphones on. So it would’ve made a lot of sense to set a second headphone output into the device. 

Now you’ll need to attach a headphone amp like fiio E10k or Magni Hersey to output 3 or 4. This would make the setup a lot more disorganized and less portable.

Nonetheless, Apollo twin also got mix reactions from the users about its head amp. When I used it with a AKG K141, I hit the top of the volume a lot. However it’s not enough, I know my mix is too quiet. Nevertheless, I love the detail coming through these cans.

Winner: Tie

Plug-ins

Apparently, it’s the UAD plug-in support of Apollo twin that sets it apart from the id22. All UAD-2 plug-ins come installed along with the UA driver software. 

Twin X comes with UA’s Realtime Analog Classic bundle. It features 14 plug-ins that deliver mixtures for most studio tasks. You’ll get compression, EQ, reverb and guitar amps. So there is a good range of UAD-2 plug-ins to choose from. 

Source: nethervoice.com

However, id22 doesn’t fall short in this case as well. Plug-ins like Retrologue 2, M-tron Pro LE, Torpedo Wall of Sound and more are accessible.  

But the software isn’t as good as twin x. It feels relatively hefty and sluggish with a slight latency issue.

Winner: Apollo Twin X

Compatibility

Currently, the iD22 is compatible with both Macs running Snow Leopard and Windows 7,8 and 10. 

Likewise, the thunderbolt-equipped twin x is compatible with UA’s free LUNA software. Here, LUNA is a complete music production environment for tracking, editing, and mixing. 

Like id22, Twin x is also compatible with Windows 10. However, your PC needs to be thunderbolt equipped. 

Winner: Tie

So, Which One’s Fitting for Your Studio Room?

In its favor, the iD22 functions outstanding as a mic pre and a digital interface. It has some drawbacks as a monitor controller. However, these might be of less extent relying on the route you take on.

On the other hand, if you have a control room and a keen ear, the Twin X is for you.

Do you like to use amp sims, compressors, and preamp emulators while tracking? Then you might even want to consider the quad version for extra processing power.

FAQs

Is UAD software free?

UAD powered Plug-ins software can be downloaded without any charge from the Universal Audio website. However, in this case, you need to create a UA account. Also, the new UAD Powered Plug-ins software might incorporate new plug-in titles. Those can be purchased from the Online Store.

Is the Audient iD22 class compliant?

Yes, the ID22 is class-compliant because it doesn’t require any drivers. However for the driver assembly to perform accurately a computer restart was occasionally required.

Summing It Up

If you’ve made it this far, hopefully, we’ve cleared up your audient id22 vs apollo twin confusion. 

However, whichever interface you’re going for, make sure it meets your needs. Also, don’t forget to check if it’s compatible with your desktop.

Have a great day!

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