UAD Volt 2 Full Review (Is It Worth The Hype?)

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UAD Volt 2 Full Review (Is It Worth The Hype?)
The UA Volt 2 is fantastic for beginner to intermediate-level musicians, podcasters, and streamers needing a simple yet effective audio interface to start recording. While more seasoned users may require a richer feature set, the Volt 2 provides boutique analog preamps, mic, line, & instrument inputs, MIDI I/O, and an impressive array of free software options.
Value For Money
Lightweight Sturdy, industrial design
Rich, analog tone
Vintage preamp mode
Impressive software bundle included
Not compatible with UAD's native DAW -- LUNA
  • Is the UA Volt 2 the best budget audio interface on the market?
  • We break down the hardware and software and see what the Volt 2 has to offer
  • We offer an honest and detailed review of the UA Volt 2
  • Also, check out our review of the UAD Apollo x4 Heritage Edition

Universal Audio has been one of the biggest and most impressive contributors to music technology in recent years, thanks to its quality hardware and impressive list of UAD plugins.

We were lucky enough to recently get our hands on the company’s Volt 2 audio interface and give it a test drive. But is it worth the hype?

Universal Audio Volt 2 Review

The UA Volt 2 is fantastic for novice musicians, podcasters, and streamers needing a simple yet effective audio interface to start recording.

While more seasoned users may require a richer feature set for more nuanced applications, the Volt 2 provides boutique analog preamps, mic, line, & instrument inputs, MIDI I/O, and an impressive array of free software options – all housed within a lightweight unit that can fit in the small pocket of your bag. 

Universal Audio Volt 2 USB Audio Interface

Volt 2 is the perfect audio interface for creative collaborators, from musicians and songwriters to live streamers and podcasters, who want to easily record audio with legendary studio sound.

Why We Love It:
  • Includes Ableton, LABS, Melodyne & more
  • Value for money
  • Quality build and stylish features
Check Price On Guitar Center Check Price On Sweetwater

Initial Thoughts

The UA Volt 2 bridges the gap between budget and professional audio interfaces.

Universal Audio claims it’s the perfect USB audio interface for any creative collaborator, whether a musician, streamer, or podcaster.

At first glance, we love the look of the UA Volt 2. The unit comes with a sleek silver design.

Rather than going for a high-tech, super modern look, we felt that Universal Audio had intentionally opted for a more old-school and industrial aesthetic, which was really in keeping with the in-built vintage mic pre-amp mode (more on that later).

Functionality is evident with the front panel showcasing orange, red, and green lights, complimenting the vintage style look nicely.

Part of the charm of budget interfaces is that they are easy to use; fewer bells and whistles means a more streamlined process.

This is something that UA has kept to while also retaining the coolness factor that other options on the market can easily miss.

This isn’t to say that this interface misses the mark with features; far from it. The UA Volt is a full-featured audio interface with a delightfully small footprint and a simplistic control set.

One thing we were particularly fans of was the on/off switch located at the rear.

While this is a bit of an arbitrary point, there is something we loved about being able to turn the thing on and off with a button (rather than it powering up as soon as the USB connection is completed).

The front panel is clearly laid out, with two inputs available and the headphone output easily accessible.

We received the UA Volt 2 as a standalone unit, but it’s worth noting that a Volt studio pack is also available to buy and includes headphones, a mic, and cables.

This has become a common theme with many interface manufacturers, and it’s great to see Universal Audio doing the same.

Features (8.5/10)


The Universal Audio Volt 2 comes packed with features. As we’ve mentioned, it’s a 2-in-2-out interface and uses mic, line, and instrument inputs.

The unit uses 24-bit/192kHZ conversion and is compatible with PC and Mac, but you can also use the Volt 2 with your iPhone and iPad.

You’ll also find it has direct monitoring, latency-free recording, and in/out MIDI connections.


The UA Volt 2 is USB bus-powered from the connection to the computer. A 5V connection is also available for any computers that may struggle with power requirements/be under a heavy load.

Two power cables are provided in the form of USB-A to DC Plug or USB-A to USB-C cables.

+48v phantom power is also supplied on the front panel for any microphones that may require it.


One of the more unique features we were particularly excited to try out was the Vintage Preamp mode.

We aren’t getting into the analog/vintage argument, but it’s safe to say that many people are chasing classic tones that can be difficult to replicate in a home recording setup.

Universal Audio is clearly aware of this, evidenced by the Vintage Mic Preamp option.

Based on the classic Universal Audio 610 mic pre, Vintage Preamp mode replicates the classic richness favored by many, including Van Halen and Ray Charles.

This is pulled off by the built-in tube emulation circuitry that is easy to enable and disable.

We were massive fans of this function, and while it might not be something you’d want on absolutely everything you record, having the option to utilize this added a unique coloration to our tracking session and was a unique option for anyone searching for an authentic analog sound in their home setup. 

Included Software (9/10)

So we know the Universal Audio Volt 2 packs a punch regarding looks and functionality.

But, one of the big selling points (particularly for anyone looking to enter the world of music production) is the included software.

Knowing where to start if you’re investing in an audio interface for the first time can be tricky, and this is where this USB audio interface offers something unique.

Included is a selection of software that is a great addition to any producer’s arsenal, whether they’re a beginner or seasoned professional. 

Let’s take a look at exactly what you get with the interface.

Ableton Live 11 Lite

Let’s be honest; if you’re producing electronic music, you probably already have a copy of Ableton.

But nonetheless, offering up a copy of Live 11 Lite we thought was a nice touch as, personally, we’re a Logic Pro X user that loves to tinker in Ableton given the chance but probably wouldn’t opt to purchase a full copy.

Similarly, if you are picking the Volt 2 as a first-time interface or dipping your toe into production, this is a great way to get used to a DAW and (more importantly) get recording and mixing.

Melodyne Essential 

Another smart move by Universal Audio! Tuning software has become somewhat of a necessity in modern production, so Celemony’s option was a great little addition to the software bundle.

Tuning up can be the icing on the cake regarding a pro-sounding, slick production, and Melodyne is one of the best options with its intelligent note-based processing.

LX480 Essentials 

Another throwback feature is Relab Development’s LX480, a faithful emulation of the classic 80’s Lexicon 480L reverb unit.

Featuring flexible controls and accurate recreations of the original reverb algorithms from the 480L, the LX480 is a worthy addition to any plugin collection.

Virtual Drummer JEEP

Including UJAM’s Virtual Drummer is a great move that allows producers to take advantage of a massive sound library that mimics drum sounds from the ’60s and ’70s through to modern rock tones.

The plugin uses a dynamic ‘Round Robin’ algorithm, which means anyone can get their rhythm section going without spending hours mic’ing a kit up.

Virtual Bassist DANDY

Another UJAM plugin, Virtual Bassist, automatically follows the chord and key you play.

Not everyone has a drummer, and not everyone has a bassist. The plugin bundle bypasses these issues and means you can create a great-sounding track with the minimum of fuss or even just create a solid demo to send around between bandmates.


We got our hands on LABS recently (read our Spitfire LABS review), and can safely say that this is a lovely addition.

LABS is a virtual instrument library featuring guitars, strings, synths, percussion, and more.

Ampeg SVT-VR Classic Bass Bundle

The SVT-VR is an accurate representation of the iconic bass amp and is another handy little addition, especially for anyone recording at home who doesn’t want to disturb the neighbors.

Marshall Plexi Classic Amp Bundle

Finally, we have the Marshall Plexi bundle from Softube. Amp emulation can be complex, but this bundle simplifies it, while sounding great.

The Classic Amp bundle includes a faithfully modeled, virtual version of the classic Marshall amp. To top it off, you’ll get extra reverb, delay, compression, and saturation plugins.

We thought this complemented the UA Volt 2’s Vintage Mode nicely.

The decision to go for a classic amp was a conscious decision by Universal Audio, we don’t know for sure, but it seems each plugin in the bundle has been carefully selected.

UAD Spark

Also included with your purchase is a 30-day trial of UAD spark, a subscription service for UAD plugins. Included are the likes of the API Vision Channel Strip Plus, UA 1176 Collection, and the Moog Minimoog plugin.

If you’re new to production and picking up the Volt 2 but looking to get stuck into mixing and mastering, the free Spark trial is a great way to test some top-end plugins.

Overall, we’re impressed with the software available with the Volt 2.

It’s clear UA has tried to incorporate a suite of plugins that really will appeal to the home producer, allowing creatives to build entire tracks from the comfort of their home studio.

Versatility (7.5/10)

Regarding hardware, it can be tricky to stand out from the crowd in a crowded budget interface market.

However, we think Universal Audio has achieved this with the Volt 2. And the ability to record to an iPad or iPhone, means you aren’t just restricted to recording at home.

If you wanted to travel light, you can create and record without even needing to take your laptop to a session.

Vintage Mode stood out to us. The combination of the interface’s features and software makes this bundle a powerhouse, particularly given the price.

Nothing stops you from creating an entire track using nothing but what you get included with the Volt 2.

It could be argued that FL Studio and Ableton Live, geared more towards electronic producers, may not be the most complimentary DAW for those wanting to use the amp emulation plugins, but we’d be splitting hairs.

In reality, you have everything you need and won’t just be pigeonholed to one genre.

Value For Money (8.5/10)

In an increasingly busy market of budget interfaces and recording starter bundles, value is becoming increasingly important, and manufacturers start to include additional extras that don’t cost a fortune.

You can’t turn your nose up at what Universal Audio offers here for the price.

In a post-covid world where we’ve all gotten used to making music at home a lot more than we used to, UA gives you an excuse never to leave your studio!

You get bang for your buck in terms of sound quality, features, and software.

The only things we could foresee a new producer needing are those headphones and a mic, but as we mentioned, Universal Audio has the option to purchase these as part of a bundle that will only cost you around $80 USD more.

It’s equally important to consider the background of the person wanting to purchase a Volt 2. Nowadays, it’s not just producers who need this type of gear but also the likes of streamers and podcasters.

With this in mind, sound quality and ease of use are important, and the Volt 2 nails both.

So, regardless of whether you’re a newbie to audio recording and just setting up your podcast, the interface is easy to grasp and get going with.

Of course, if you are recording at home, or are verging into audiophile territory, then you know you’re in safe hands with the crisp, clear preamps that the Volt 2 showcases.

Wrapping Up

Universal Audio Volt 2 USB Audio Interface

Volt 2 is the perfect audio interface for creative collaborators, from musicians and songwriters to live streamers and podcasters, who want to easily record audio with legendary studio sound.

Why We Love It:
  • Includes Ableton, LABS, Melodyne & more
  • Value for money
  • Quality build and stylish features
Check Price On Guitar Center Check Price On Sweetwater

We were thoroughly impressed with the interface.

While we aren’t suggesting you base this Universal Audio Volt 2 review on looks alone, getting the unit out felt like we were unboxing something that aesthetically added to our home studio vibe while feeling sturdy and long-lasting enough to survive being transported between recording sessions.

Universal Audio has tried to cater to all audiences with its software inclusion. Without becoming unreasonable, we would find it hard to think of anything else that we think is lacking.

You have virtual instruments for those who perhaps don’t play guitar, bass, keys, or any other essentials, while anyone who is a bassist or guitarist still has access to classic tones in the form of amp emulation.

Vintage Mode was a nice touch and added a rich coloration that we’ve not come across in other interfaces at the budget end of the market.

Overall we’d feel hard-pushed to find flaws in the unit, and the same goes for finding a competitor that offers more than what the Volt 2 does for beginner to intermediate producers.

So whether you’re a mixer, producer, songwriter, or podcaster looking to invest in a high-quality audio interface without breaking the bank, we’d recommend checking out the Volt 2.

Before you go, check out our guide to the 8 Best Portable Audio Interfaces (For All Budgets)!