Apogee One First Impressions

I ordered Apogee One (the new one for iPad and Mac) and it arrived today.

I am blown away by this thing. Listening it made me realise how huge difference a good audio interface can make. I have never used anything this good.

The effect is interesting. Listening the audio from this device made me instantly turn down the volume from my usual listening level because I can suddenly hear so much more. And also I felt like I have to turn down the volume because this crystal clear clarity was almost like too much for my ears. I first thought it’s ear fatigue, but it’s not. My ears are not tired. They are just so completely happy.. Even listening with my Bose QC15 headphones (which are not meant for monitoring but for enjoying music) makes me feel like I’m listening a high quality professional desk; the sound is so neutral. I believe this would be even more neutral if listened with things like Genelec monitors. I have always been big fan of neutral sound versus a pleasing sound. Apogee One does reveal much more of the mix. I don’t know if this can be a bad thing. Nonetheless, this is fabulous way to enjoy music.

I also tested Apogee One’s inputs the guitar input and XLR mike input. I am impressed about the quality of the inputs. It’s just magic. My Sennheiser Evo dynamic mic sounded absolutely great and there’s tons of detail to the sound and almost zero audible noise. I never thought Evo would sound this good. I also tried plugging in a Sony pin mic to the guitar input and see if it worked; actually it worked perfectly well and this one can be also used for recording. What’s really cool about this is that the inputs can be recorded simultaneously.

I was kind of suspicious of the onboard mic but this turned out to be a pretty damn good mic for voice over work and such, and could be easily used for recording guitars and such.

The box includes tons of accessories, basically everything that’s needed, even various adapters for different electric outlets, all cables that are needed including 30-pin connector for older iPads and Lightning cable, and English manual. I downloaded Apogee Maestro 2 and the mixer app is simple and makes sense.

I was a little surprised about the size of The One. I imagined that the device is more like size of Apple Remote. But actually this is more like size of a hefty, thick AV remote. The build quality is excellent. This is reassuringly solid and strong piece of equipment. Also the on board mic takes in a very little handling noise, probably due to the metallic construction and weight of the device; way better than my Zoom Q3HD recorder. The base has nice rubber mat which keeps the thing from moving on table and adds to the feeling of solidity.

Then, the USB cable is long enough.

The headphone jack is by the way very tight but that’s nothing but great thing. (Macbook Pro’s Thunderbolt jacks should be this tight!)

I will write a complete review of this lovely piece of equipment soon, after I have composed some stuff with Garageband and tested it completely with iPad as well.