“After weighing other options in this price range, for me it came down to three things: cleanest possible conversion, uncolored/honest built-in pres, and high performance (low latency). The UA Apollo line seems pretty decent at being both an interface and a DSP plugin engine; the Antelope Zen is an I/O monster. But what sets the Ensemble apart is that it doesn’t try to be too many things to too many people. It doesn’t have DSP plugins or 5000 inputs, but what it does offer is literally stunning performance and high reliability. This is what I wanted for my home studio. What I got is 8 of the cleanest pres I’ve ever heard, plus guitar I/O and re-amping that really does add value.
I researched THD+N and Dynamic Range, but I don’t care much about the science (and the Apogee comes out on top of everything but its expensive cousin, the Symphony, anyway). What really blew me away was my first mic test, recording an acoustic guitar with a U87 into one of the built-in pres. I couldn’t believe the headroom, clarity, and honesty of what I heard back in my headphones. And the latency doesn’t even exist. I stacked CPU-intensive plugins and ran at 32 samples, and CPU didn’t spike above 10%.
Bottom line, if you’re having a tough time choosing at this price point, go with this one if you want an interface that focuses more on top-quality conversion and performance.”
Jake from Philadelphia