The Universal Audio Arrow 2×4 Thunderbolt 3 Audio Interface is designed for project-studio, home studio, and on-the-road use. The Arrow is the world’s first Thunderbolt 3-powered desktop recording audio interface for Mac and Windows.
It connects to your computer over Thunderbolt 3 and features two combo XLR-1/4” jacks for mic/line sources. There is also a 1/4″ input tailored specifically for electric guitars and basses. The Arrow has two 1/4″ output connections for your monitors, as well as a dedicated headphone output. The analog inputs use high-class A/D converters, able to deliver up to 24-bit/192 kHz resolution. The A/D conversion is derived from UA’s flagship Apollo interface range, which the company claims, sonically outperform anything in its class.
The Universal Audio Arrow 2×4 Thunderbolt 3 Audio Interface has two Unison preamps, each of which lets you color the incoming sound through Universal Audio’s modeling plug-ins. You can purchase one of the company’s plug-ins and use them as you record, changing the sound to the resulting audio capture.
The interface is bus-powered over Thunderbolt so there is no need to carry around a power supply. It uses a UAD-2 SOLO Core processor, which gives you some dedicated DSP for operating Universal Audio’s plug-ins. This unit is designed to be portable and features an all-metal construction.
As a bonus, you also get the Realtime Analog Classics bundle from UAD, whose specific plug-ins can be accessed in the features section.
The Arrow’s control panel features dedicated buttons that give instant access to input selection, high-pass filtering, 48V phantom power, a pad, and polarity. All of these functions can be adjusted per channel or linked for stereo pairing. Levels can be viewed on a multicolor five-segment meter that indicates levels ranging from -27 to 0 dBFS for both the inputs and monitor outputs. A large multifunction rotary encoder button controls preamp or monitor levels.
Too often compact, portable audio interfaces that connect up to your computer compromise on the sound quality. The Universal Audio Arrow 2×4 Thunderbolt 3 Audio Interface is claimed to offer high-end quality but in a small package.
The Universal Audio Arrow 2×4 Thunderbolt 3 Audio Interface looks like a good option for YouTubers, people doing podcasts and anyone who needs to record voice tracks at home, in a studio, or on location in the field. It is available now for $499 USD.
What do you use as an audio interface to connect up to your computer? Let us know in the comments section below.
Desktop 2×4 Thunderbolt 3 audio interface with 24-bit / 192 kHz audio conversion
Unison mic preamp and guitar amp emulations from Neve, API, Manley, Marshall, Fender, and more
Realtime UAD Processing for near-zero latency tracking with classic UAD plug-in effects, regardless of software buffer setting
Includes studio compressors, EQs, reverbs, and guitar amp emulations, and more as part of Realtime Analog Classics bundle
Bus-powered connection to Mac and Windows systems for easy portability and reduced cable clutter
UA 610-B Tube Preamp and EQ
Marshall Plexi Classic Guitar Amp
Precision Delay Modulation
Precision Delay Modulation L
Precision Reflection Engine
Precision Channel Strip
Pultec EQP-1A EQ (Legacy)
Pultec Pro EQ (Legacy)
Raw Distortion Guitar Pedal
Softube Bass Amp Room 8×10
Teletronix LA-2A Compressor (Legacy)
UA 1176LN Compressor (Legacy)
UA 1176SE Compressor (Legacy)
Arrow System Requirements
For complete compatibility information, visit help.uaudio.com
Mac or PC computer with available Thunderbolt 3 via USB-C port
Thunderbolt 3 cable (sold separately)
(Mac) macOS 10.12 Sierra or 10.13 High Sierra
(Win) Windows 10 w/Anniversary Update (64-Bit Edition)
6 gigabytes available storage
Internet connection to download software and authorize UAD plug-ins
Quad Core i7 or better processor recommended