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dbx® 160 Compressor / Limiter

dbx® 160 Compressor / Limiter

Regular Price: $199.00


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Regular Price: $199.00


You'll Save 50%

You have no items in your shopping cart.

Iconic VCA compressor with all the punch and quirk of the vintage hardware.

The dbx 160 Compressor/Limiter for Apollo interfaces and UAD hardware is a fully licensed, faithful emulation of the legendary dbx 160 hardware — the most sonically distinct iteration of dbx’s cherished line of audio compressors.

Capturing the signature quickness and quirky circuit-level nuances of a sourced “golden unit,” now with added controls for modern workflows, the UAD dbx 160 plug‑in boasts sonic authenticity all its own, bringing classic solid‑state VCA compression into a new age.

Add a unique voice and flavor to your compressor toolkit with the first solid-state VCA compressor ever made

Harness fat compression textures on bass guitar, drum buses, synths, and more

Give acoustic guitars and snare drums in‑your‑face “thwack”

Create with Dry/Wet mix control for quick parallel compression and Sidechain Filter for reduced low-frequency pumping

Versatile VCA Compression

Versatile VCA Compression

Whether you’re using it on synths, bass guitar, or a drum bus, the dbx 160 plug‑in emulates the original hardware’s grabby, low‑end glue. With old‑school character for days, the plug-in version features all of the same unique nonlinearities that make it a must-have for any engineer’s compressor toolkit.

Simple to Use, Timeless Character

Simple to Use, Timeless Character

With the same simple control set and at‑a‑glance metering of the original, the dbx 160 plug‑in makes it easy to crush a parallel drum bus, or inject subtle fatness. It can also add aggressiveness and impact to everything from guitar power chords to a hip‑hop vocal.

Leveled Up for Modern Workflows

Leveled Up for Modern Workflows

Along with graphic enhancements and improved VU metering, the dbx 160 plug‑in’s Dry/Wet Mix control lets you easily punch up a drum bus with parallel compression, while the added Sidechain Filter lets you keep the low end tight, enhancing the compressor's impact.

5-Minute UAD Tip
5-Minute UAD Tip

5-Minute UAD Tip

In this video, learn how to add parallel compression to drums, even out a bass performance, and bring presence to acoustic guitars with the dbx 160 Compressor/Limiter.

Key Features

Plug-in model of dbx 160; first solid-state VCA compressor
Modeled discrete version with unique nonlinearities
Same simple control set of its analog counterpart
Threshold, Compression and Output controls
LED threshold indicators just like the original
Input/Output/Gain Change VU meter
Modeled from desirable ‘non-monolithic’ original design, adding unique nonlinearities
Requires a UAD DSP Accelerator Card or Apollo Interface available from authorized dealers worldwide

Customer Reviews

dbx® 160 Compressor / Limiter

Overall Rating

Š. Kominko

May 26, 2022


Excellent VCA compressor. Perfect for drums, basses and acoustic guitars and more. My first choice for kick and snare. I recommend. As always, the UA did an excellent job. Well thank you.

G. Castle

April 13, 2022

Sounds Good on Everything

Universal Audio Plug-Ins are my personal choice. To my ear they sound a little better than my other plug-ins. The dbx 160 sounds particularly good on my bass tracks.

s. mcaulay

April 5, 2022

How many more stars

Can I give UA for this love love

H. Maack

April 5, 2022

As Advertised !!!

I read a lot about the dbx 160 Compressor / Limiter and never found a single review that gave it any disrespect !! And when I finally got it into my studio a brand new dynamic world opened right upon my ears !! It is has and IS every Great thing I read about it !!

Hans. M

K. Kearney

March 28, 2022

dbx 160

Just like the one I own!


January 4, 2022

One of my favorites

This one is a wow. I put this on my kicks and man! You can really feel this body of the kick and the sound is amazing

R. Nicholas Jr

December 12, 2021

Such an awesome recreation.

After working for a studio that owned 2 of these vintage units I was searching high and low for something that would come close. Once I demo’d this plugin I swiftly made this purchase! Don’t sleep!

R. Stoddard

December 9, 2021


It boost my kicks just how I need them!

R. Matthews

November 29, 2021

Mind Blowing!!!

Unreal!! This is amazing!! Great sound!!! UAD ROCKS!!


November 18, 2021

simple effective performer

real efficient perfect results
thanks uad staff

J. Neves

October 27, 2021


Absolutely amazing! Very balanced and well-rounded, certainly one of a kind. Just the right amount of aggressiveness as well, perfect on the drums buss for a tight yet multi-dimensional drums sound. One of my best purchases ever! GUI could be resizable, though, but that certainly won’t put me off using it all the time.

M. O'Brien

October 26, 2021

It is simply Great!

I still don't know what it does. It just makes everything sound better. You can use it anywhere in the mix

v. connor

October 1, 2021

Killer compressor

I love big drums and massive bass this is the best love it

w. valentine

September 20, 2021


Pretty hot and tasty compressor, a must have, especially on the bass and drums. Theres a reason this is a classic. You know like Elmer's, GLUE BABY,GLUE!!!!

A. Eisele

July 14, 2021

Dirty punch for transients

Essential for me for that dirty smack on drums and picked bass guitar.

Wish the new mix and side-chain knobs were separated from the main user interface, were larger, and had more options like the Arturia version of the 165.

For that dirty smack of classic psych rock drums and bass, this is my go-to character compressor.

P. Hoier

June 28, 2021


Everyone says it snaps. I almost thought that dbx 160 was just not my thing. I was never happy with the snap from "another vendor" that came out a few years back. It was too dull and yet too harsh at the same time.

Well, apparently wrong. This one snaps the transients the right way. Just that being so ever important. Yet hard to reach. You know what I mean. Easy to set and forget.

And finally with enlarged retina gui. Microscope no longer needed. Next time maybe Fatso? ;-)

H. jin

June 25, 2021


Just do it

P. Chernyshov

June 14, 2021

Pavel Chernyshov

I like what this thing does on the bass...

Y. Blanche-Barbat

June 12, 2021

Unique sound

J'adore la couleur et le punch que donne ce compresseur.ça simplicité d'utilisation en fait un atout principale pour moi.Je possède une large collection de compresseur de différente manufacture, mais le dbx 160 me donne le résultat de compression que je rechercherchais depuis longtemps en ajoutant des transient designer après mon compresseur.Cependant en augmentant le threshold je trouve qu'on gagne certe en attack sur les éléments de drum mais les basses fréquences sont réduites en parallèle. Je m'en sers sur mon drumbuss en insert parceque j'aime vraiment comment il colore mes drum mais je pense que s'en servir en aux pour faire une compression parallèle,et faire un blend de la batterie dry + la batterie compréssé est une plus juste utilisation

M. Kosacek

May 11, 2021

Thanks for adding the Mix control

I know this is a duplicate (I reviewed it 4+ years ago) but I said I would give 5 stars if you added the mix control - well thanks (even if 4+ years later). you did it. It is now officially the best DBX 160 plugin ever!