Below, you can read the detailed comparisons of Apogee One vs Duet. These two products are audio interfaces that can work with iOS devices, in addition to the usual compatibility with Windows and Mac, so they are suitable for people who prefer on their iPads or iPhones. So, which is the model that you better choose?
Continue reading to find out more about:
- The design and portability of Apogee One and Apogee Duet
- The available connectivity options on each model
- The additional features available on each model
- The latency levels and reliability of Apogee One and Apogee Duet
- The sound quality of Apogee One vs Duet
- Which audio interface that is generally more recommended
Design and Dimensions
If you are interested in either Apogee One or Apogee Duet, there is one thing that is almost certainly true. You need a compact, lightweight, and portable audio interface that is easy to bring along wherever and whenever you work. Both of these two Apogee models are suitable for mobile users, thanks to their highly portable designs.
Apogee One is the smaller and lighter of the two. This model comes with several LED lights, a built-in mic, and a plastic housing.
Nevertheless, they do come with slightly different shapes and features. Apogee One is the smaller and lighter of the two. Apogee One is shaped like a typical remote control, except that it is slightly wider and it has a large, wide control knob at the center. It measures 6.4 inches x 2.2 inches x 0.8 inches, with a weight of barely 8 oz (0.5 lbs). You can easily pocket this device.
Apogee One does not have any display screen. Instead, this model comes with several LED lights of red, yellow, and green that serve as the indicators regarding the unit’s operation. Just under the product name and above the light indicators, there is a built-in microphone. The placement of the microphone is very nice because it allows you to hold the unit in a comfortable position while aiming to a sound source. (Read also : Apogee One Vs Duet 2)
For sure, Apogee One is a good-looking audio interface. The black finish looks sleek. The brand logo, the metallic control knob, and the metallic line that signifies the mic add a touch of modernity. However, note that the housing material is mostly plastic. It is quite tough and durable, but not incredibly durable. You probably don’t want to abuse it too much if you want it to last.
Apogee Duet is also quite portable. It has a nice OLED display screen and a durable metallic casing.
Apogee Duet is also quite portable, even though it is slightly bigger and heavier than Apogee One. Apogee Duet measures 6.3 inches x 4 inches x 0.8 inches. It has a weight of about 1.1 lbs. As you can see, it is still very compact and lightweight. You can still pocket it, provided that your pocket is wide enough. Otherwise, just slip the unit into a spare space in your bag.
Compared to Apogee One, you can easily tell that Apogee Duet is a higher model from the looks alone. There is a certain air of contemporary elegance around it. There are more connection ports available. There is a similar control knob at the center, which you will use for a variety of settings.
Above the control knob of Apogee Duet, you can find a very nice OLED display screen. When the device is turned on, the display screen will show the levels of multiple parameters, such as the input gain level and the headphone volume level. The display is sharp and bright enough to be read easily. As the effect, Apogee Duet becomes significantly easier and more intuitive to use.
Furthermore, Apogee Duet comes with a metallic casing. This is one of the reasons why Apogee Duet has a slightly heavier body. The metallic casing not only ensures enhanced durability and longevity. It also ensures increased resistance against signal interference. The added weight also prevents the unit from moving around when the cables are tugged.
What’s in the Box
Before we proceed further, let’s take a look at what Apogee One vs Duet include in their bundles. When buying an audio interface, don’t forget to check the bundle to see what cables and accessories that they include. Make sure that you get what you need, so that you can begin working right away after unboxing the product.
Apogee One comes with the following:
- A breakout cable with one XLR mic input and one ¼” instrument input
- A USB cable
- A microphone stand clip
- The QuickStart Guide
Meanwhile, Apogee Duet comes with the following:
- A breakout cable with two combination mic/line/instrument inputs and two balanced line outputs
- A USB cable (30-pin and Lightning cables are available, but they are sold separately)
- A universal power adapter suitable for users in the US, EU, and UK
- The QuickStart Guide
As you can see, they each include a USB cable, which is needed for connecting to a Windows or Mac personal computer. However, the breakout cables are different. Apogee One comes with a basic breakout cable with just one input and one output. On the other hand, Apogee Duet offers more flexibility with the breakout cable, which has two combo inputs and two outputs. With Apogee Duet’s breakout cable, you can easily connect a wide range of devices.
Apogee One only works with USB. It does not support any other connection to connect to a computer or mobile device. Meanwhile, Apogee Duet can work with FireWire, Lighting, and 30-pin connections, which are usually preferred when working with a Mac or iPad, but unfortunately the cables for these connections are not included in the bundle.
Since Apogee One can double as a microphone, thanks to the built-in omnidirectional condenser capsule, so it is great that the company has decided to include a microphone stand clip for the unit. Even if you are not going to use the built-in mic often, the mic is still handy as a back-up when needed. The microphone stand clip makes the usage so easy and straightforward.
On the other hand, Apogee Duet doesn’t have a built-in mic, so there is no need for it to come with a microphone stand clip. As the substitute, Apogee Duet comes with a universal power adapter that is suitable for users in the US, EU, and UK – yes, this unit needs to be connected to a power outlet in order to operate. The universal power adapter is incredibly useful for travelling musicians who often go to places with different voltages.
One of the most important differences between Apogee One vs Duet is the computer connectivity. If you are fine working with USB 2.0, Apogee One will suffice as a solution. However, if you prefer to use the FireWire, you have to choose Apogee Duet – but, as mentioned above, don’t forget to purchase the cable separately.
If you are fine working with USB 2.0, Apogee One will suffice as a solution. However, if you prefer to use the FireWire, you have to choose Apogee Duet.
Since Apogee One uses USB 2.0, the sampling rate will be limited to 48 kHz. In most cases, this is fine, because it already allows you to get good CD-quality results. Unfortunately, the USB port on Apogee One does not feel really durable. It is rather small, and it feels somewhat prone to breaking.
Another reason why the USB port is not always preferred is the latency. This connection tends to have a relatively high latency. Well, it is not extremely high; it is definitely still usable. But it is usually higher than the latency of the FireWire connection.
Apogee Duet also has a USB 2.0 port, and the USB cable is included. However, if you choose Apogee Duet, you should take advantage of the FireWire connector instead. The FireWire connector feels sturdier and more durable. Furthermore, the FireWire port almost always has lower latency levels than USB. As a result, the performance is generally better, with roughly 70% higher data transfer rates.
Apogee Duet can work with Lightning and 30-pin connectors. But you need to purchase the adapter cables separately. There are FireWire-to-Lightning and FireWire-to-30-pin cables available. If you primarily work with your Mac or iPad, these cables are definitely worth the money.
Additionally, Apogee Duet also supports MIDI. Well, it doesn’t have the MIDI I/O ports. The MIDI support is available over the USB port. By using a USB-MIDI port instead of the actual MIDI ports, Apogee Duet can save up some space on its body and cut down some cost.
Inputs and Outputs
The next thing that you should consider when choosing between Apogee One vs Duet is the inputs and outputs. They come with different connection ports. Of course, some people say that Apogee One is a streamlined version of Apogee Duet. This is true, to some degree. The connection ports on Apogee One are indeed fewer and more limited than those of Apogee Duet.
Apogee One is a two-in/two-out audio interface. With the included breakout cable, you can connect the device to either an instrument using the ¼” connector or an XLR microphone. Apogee One supports two simultaneous inputs, but you can only have instrument + built-in mic or instrument + external mic.
Apogee One supports two simultaneous inputs, but you can only have instrument + built-in mic or instrument + external mic.
The built-in microphone is an omnidirectional condenser microphone. The sound quality is good. It is quite sharp and detailed. It is also a little too bright and harsh, so it may need some EQ to sound great. Apogee One also has a built-in mic preamp with selectable +48V phantom power, so it can drive a wide range of mics. The maximum input gain is 62 dB.
The only output on Apogee One is the 1/8” stereo output. It is nice for hooking up a pair of headphones. It is powerful enough to drive various earphones. However, if you want to use studio monitors, you may need to purchase a splitter with two ¼” outs. It is also able to drive a wide range of studio monitors pretty well. Apogee One also supports monitoring via the Apogee Maestro software.
Apogee Duet’s two inputs are very nice because they are combo inputs with two micpreamps. Each preamp has selectable +48V phantom power with phase invert and Apogee SoftLimit.
On the other hand, Apogee Duet is a two-in/four-out audio interface. The two inputs are very nice because they are combo inputs which support mic and line-level instruments. Apogee Duet has two microphone preamps with 75 dB of maximum gain. Each preamp has selectable +48V phantom power with phase invert and Apogee SoftLimit. Despite the lack of a built-in microphone, Apogee Duet can be more flexible and versatile with the inputs.
The Apogee SoftLimit is worth further explanation. This is actually not a new technology, but it is still very useful. It was introduced for the first time in 1992. The Apogee SoftLimit prevents digital clipping that usually happens when the sound signal goes louder than the maximum handling, while giving impressive analog warmth. It works by rounding off transient peaks-instantaneously and giving them analog-like saturation before they hit the converter.
Apogee Duet has two balanced line outputs in the form of two ¼” jacks. These connectors feel sturdy and durable, and they are more practical to use. You don’t need to buy any splitter if you want to connect your studio monitors. Meanwhile, for direct monitoring, there is a stereo ¼” headphone output. These outputs are more powerful, and they can drive various headphones and speakers properly.
Sound Quality and Performance
Between Apogee One vs Duet, which one does have better sound quality? Before we answer this question, it is better for us to know that both of these two models actually use the same DAC units. As the effect, they probably won’t have dramatic differences in their sound quality. The minor differences in performance are affected more by the connection type and the Apogee SoftLimit technology when activated.
These two models actually use the same DAC units.The minor differences in performance are affected more by the connection type and the Apogee SoftLimit technology when activated.
Apogee One can only record and playback at 48 kHz, due to using USB. On the other hand, Apogee Duet can record and playback at 96kHz by using FireWire. On paper, Apogee Duet obviously has better sound quality. The higher sampling rate allows the unit to deliver more details. When you actually hear it, you may be able to hear a difference, but not a dramatic one.
Apogee One does not have the SoftLimit feature, so you should prepare carefully before every recording. Make sure that the unit will be able to handle the loudest sound during the recording, otherwise clipping will be a big issue.
With Apogee Duet, you still need to prepare carefully, but activating the SoftLimit feature can be an incredibly beneficial precaution. When the unit has to handle very loud sound signals, the SoftLimit feature can prevent clipping, so that you will still get an acceptable recording. It also adds slight analog-like warmth to the sound, which is nice.
Apogee One Vs Duet
- First studio quality audio interface and microphone for iPad
- USB 2.0 audio with 24-bit/96kHz A/D and D/A conversion and direct digital connection to iPod touch, iPhone, iPad
- Low latency monitoring, complete input/output control with Apogee's Maestro software (iOS and Mac)
- USB 2.0 High Speed connection to Mac or Windows PC
- Direct digital connection to iPad and iOS devices (iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Lightning and 30-pin cable sold separately)
- Software control of hardware parameters including input selection and low latency monitoring
For the best value and performance, choose Apogee Duet. It comes with very useful features that make it more flexible, versatile, and reliable. It is easy and intuitive to use, thanks to the bright display screen. The two combo inputs are handy, and they have higher maximum gain levels. The Apogee SoftLimit feature is useful for preventing clipping.