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1 Nov 2018

Review: Apogee Quartet - ready for USB-C and Windows

1 Nov 2018
producer/hardware Review: Apogee Quartet - ready for USB-C and Windows


The Apogee Quartet, Apogee Duet and Apogee ONE are available now with USB-C to USB Mini cable connection. This will make sure that all three products can connect directly to USB Type-C equipped computers – great news! Also, al three Apogee devices are now compatible with Windows starting at Windows 10. Good reason to check them out and have a closer look at three stunning looking devices.

APOGEE Quartet

Perfect for music producers in a recording studio that need multiple inputs and hear sound on multiple speakers when mixing. An all-in-one studio and monitor controller with high-quality hardware.

Professional audio interface & studio control 12 in X 8 out USB Audio Interface for Mac and PC with two displays.

APOGEE Duet

A great interface for every desk in a medium or small sized studio and on the road. Including a screen and split-cable to easily connect two inputs and two outputs. 

Professional audio interface 2 in x 4 out USB Audio interface for Mac and PC with one display.

Read the review here.

APOGEE ONE

A small device to record jam-sessions with the built-in microphone or plugin two instruments and playback via computer or headphones. Perfect for singer-songwriters or other live musicians that want a plug-and-play experience.

2 in x 2 out USB audio interface/microphone for Mac and PC.

Read the review here.

To start off we had a closer look at the Apogee Quartet. As mentioned above the audio interface functions as a monitor controller and extensive audio interface. The Apogee Quartet is built in the U.S.A. which we like for products in this price range. The device is not very large and perfect for a studio-desk or normal desk to put next to your keyboard. It is immediately noticeable that the Quartet has like many other Apogee devices a big controller knob to adjust volume and other customizable assignments to it. The look is great and has a die-cast aluminium and steel construction including a scratch resistant display panel.

It’s a diverse device that can be used at many occasions for an audio engineer, producer and recording artist. The quartet features legendary Apogee AD/DA conversion, 4 world-class microphone preamps, USB MIDI I/O, ESS Sabre32 DAC technology and monitor controls. All high-end components that you can expect for a product at this price-class.

Inputs and outputs

There are multiple options with an Apogee Quartet. Standard the device has 4 inputs (analog combination line) and 6 outputs (for 3 speakers sets). But…

Inputs

Quartet also includes 8 channels of digital input via 2 optical connections (ADAT/SMUX) for connecting an additional analog-to-digital converter, this basically means that you can extend to more inputs with an extra linkable device. In the Quartet, itself are 4 combination plugins for either XLR or Jack. Also, a MIDI input connection. 

Outputs

There are 6 balanced 1/4” TRS outputs. Listen and compare stereo mixes on up to three sets of speakers and switch easily. It’s helpful when you’re working on a mix and want to hear the difference in audio on multiple devices, with a single touch-button you can switch to a different pair of speakers.

There is also a Word Clock OUT for synching an external A/D converter and a Midi Output.

Touch buttons and display

The Apogee Quartet has two OLED displays that are showing settings but mostly levels of outputs and input gain. It displays more settings like grouping, phase, dim, muting, phantom power and a soft limit for all inputs and outputs. 

The Apogee Quartet buttons work with a QuickTouch technology. They don’t click and won’t make any sound. When clicking a button, it gets brighter so you know what you’re going to adjust with the button or the big knob.

The A, B and C buttons are assignable to different preferences like switching between speakers, mute, dim, mono and clear meter. This all can be customized in Apogee’s Maestro’s software very easily.

Specs and details overview

Here is an overview of the most important specs and details.

  • AD/DA conversion for recording up to 192kHz / 24-bit.
  • 4 analog inputs with world-class mic preamps and selectable 48v phantom power for connecting microphones, instruments or line-level devices.
  • 8 analog outputs – 6 balanced 1/4” outs for speakers or outboard gear, 1/4” stereo headphone output.
  • 8 digital inputs via 2 optical connections (ADAT/SMUX).
  • Monitor control for up to 3 sets of speakers or 5.1 surround.
  • USB 2.0 High-Speed connection to Mac or PC.
  • Direct digital connection with iOS devices (iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. 30-pin cable sold separately).
  • Software control of hardware parameters including input selection and low latency monitoring.

Our experience

For some time, we’re looking at an extensive monitor controller to increase our workflow when mixing and mastering audio. Also, a high-quality audio interface that won’t be replaced in a few months. The Apogee Quartet has it all. Oké… It’s an expensive device but it’s understandable for what you pay.

Build in the USA, aluminium casing, scratchproof displays, perfect usability, QuickTouch buttons, pair 3 sets of monitors go up to 12 inputs and high-quality components.

The software works smoothly with the device and we didn’t experience any bugs or crashes with the latest Mac Book Pro and USB-C connectivity. The audio quality is great and can be perfectly placed next to your working computer-keyboard while looking flashy at the same time.

Great device if you’re working with different monitors, mix audio, recording different tracks at the same time and what to increase your desk-workflow.

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