Reviewed: Apogee One USB Audio Interface

Amber Technology | ambertech.com.au | Expect to pay: $459

Apogee continues to deliver industry standard recording quality with its Apogee One USB audio interface. A compact and portable device fit for use by beginners right through to professionals. This two in x two out system is designed and assembled in the USA; Apogee make very few compromises when it comes to delivering the best possible audio and monitoring quality.

Complete with second generation sound quality, the One’s analogue to digital conversion, mic preamp technology and 24 bit 96kHz sample rate produce a well refined and crisp audio capture with very little noise. This quality goes both ways; One’s stereo output also delivers audiophile quality sound via its digital to analogue conversion. This is useful for all audio playback during recording, mixing, mastering or simply listening to music off of your device.

 

The box includes a break out cable for microphone and instrument connectivity via an XLR and 1/4” jack, as well as a USB 2.0 cable. The interface is powered via this USB connection although it also has a separate power supply available for purchase. A built-in omnidirectional condenser microphone and mic clip is included. This is very handy to capture ideas on the go or to record other types of audio such as podcasts and voice-overs. However, it does lack any internal memory so you will still be required to have the device plugged into your computer or iOS device at all times.

 

On the surface the Apogee One features a sleek silver body die cast in an aluminum chassis. A single central dial is used to easily control all of its functions. Pressing this dial lets you select each of its four settings: built-in mic input, external mic input, guitar input and output – turn the dial, set the desired level and you’re ready to roll.

 

 

A three tier LED stereo level meter is included on the front panel making it extremely simple to set the desired input and output levels; helping you to easily avoid clipping whilst you’re tracking. You are able to record either of the microphone inputs and an instrument simultaneously, with a gain range of 0 to 62dB. The external XLR input also conveniently features 48V phantom power and is compatible with all dynamic, condenser and ribbon microphones.

 

You will need to download Apogee’s free Maestro software to record to your Mac, PC or iOS. This program is designed to use in conjunction with your DAW, aiding low latency monitoring and allowing you to remotely control all functions and settings of the device. However, if you are using an iOS device you will need to purchase a connectivity kit sold separately.

 

The Apogee One is also tailor made to maximize workflow for Logic Pro X users – the Maestro software automatically integrates, eliminating the need to flick back and forward between two windows to adjust its settings. Furthermore, the Logic Remote App on iOS devices can wirelessly control settings when it is connected to your Mac. The downside here is for users of other DAWs; while it still functions fine, it’s definitely better suited to Apple’s flagship audio production hub.

 

Also, due to a somewhat simplistic and pigeonholed design, this interface does lack a bit of versatility you tend to get with other USB interfaces of a similar price range. For instance, you have no dual input system available to record the stereo input channels of a keyboard or synthesiser; you also lack any MIDI connections. As such, the Apogee One USB audio interface is best suited for a solo or duo project comprising of a singer and a guitar player – this would be perfect for beginner musicians that are after top quality recordings without the need for any bulky hardware.

Hits and Misses

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Built-in omnidirectional mic

Industry standard conversion quality

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No stereo input

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