Universal Audio Volt 476

I’ve been salivating over UA’s new Volt lineup ever since they announced it. I placed an order for a 476 via Sweetwater months ago, as soon as they listed it for pre-sale. My new toy finally arrived this morning, and I just spent the past few hours testing it with our Digital Bridge device.

This thing is top notch in every way: build quality, the feel of the knobs and buttons, the choice of LED colors, electronics, but most importantly the sound. The sound is the best I’ve experienced with JackTrip so far, especially when playing around with some new features we’ll be rolling out in the next few weeks (stay tuned!).

Perhaps best of all, I was able to just plug the included USB cable into my Digital Bridge, restart it, and it worked flawlessly right out of the box. It comes with a separate power adapter, which I imagine is intended to add further noise isolation. It worked fine with and without it plugged in.

If you don’t need 4 channels (you almost certainly don’t… I only splurged for testing and development purposes), I would recommend the Volt 276 (two input channels) or Volt 176 (one input channel). I’m fairly confident that they would both work equally well.

As far as USB audio interfaces go, the Volt *76 models are quite pricey, but that is because they include built-in 1176-derived FET compressors. If you don’t need that, you should take a look at the Volt 2 (2 input channels for $189) and Volt 1 (one input channel for $139) models. These are extremely strong competitors with Focusrite’s Scarlett models (the reference 2i2 and Solo). My colleague tested the Volt 2 and confirmed it also works great with our Digital Bridge.

How about the technical specs? I was set my Digital Bridge’s Buffer Size (the number of audio samples processed/period) down to 32 without any dropouts, which is lower than most interfaces can handle. Technically, it supports 16 but it started corrupting the sound when set that low.

I used the jack_delay tool to run a local loopback test with a cable connecting its output directly to its input, and here are the results:

sudo -u jacktrip jack_delay -I system:capture_2 -O system:playback_2 -E
Latency on capture port:       32     32
Latency on playback port:      64     64
        167.687 frames    3.493 ms
        167.688 frames    3.493 ms
        167.688 frames    3.493 ms
        167.688 frames    3.493 ms
        167.688 frames    3.493 ms
        167.686 frames    3.493 ms
        167.687 frames    3.493 ms
        167.688 frames    3.493 ms
        167.688 frames    3.493 ms
        167.688 frames    3.493 ms
        167.687 frames    3.493 ms
        167.687 frames    3.493 ms
        167.688 frames    3.493 ms
        167.688 frames    3.493 ms
        167.688 frames    3.493 ms
        167.688 frames    3.493 ms
        167.687 frames    3.493 ms
        167.687 frames    3.493 ms
        167.688 frames    3.494 ms
        167.688 frames    3.493 ms
        167.688 frames    3.494 ms
        167.687 frames    3.493 ms
        167.687 frames    3.493 ms
        167.688 frames    3.493 ms
        167.688 frames    3.494 ms
        167.688 frames    3.493 ms
        167.688 frames    3.493 ms
        167.687 frames    3.493 ms
        167.687 frames    3.493 ms

That is one of the most stable and low latency interfaces I have ever seen. In fact, only HAT cards like HiFiBerry’s ADC DAC+ Pro are comparable.

Long story short, the wait for UA’s new Volt devices (now shipping) was well worthwhile.

Wow Mike, good to know. I’ll check it out

Thanks for the heads up on this unit. Pro features packed in a consumer unit.

Thank you so much for the info!

Ah! Shiny! New!

Nice pointer to the loopback-testing thingy too. Gonna test some of the interfaces around here (mostly Motu)

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I’ve been messing around with the UA Volt 2 and have also been very impressed. Also supports a very low buffer size. I’ll have to run some of these tests and post a full writeup

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