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Apogee Duet

Portable USB 2.0 recording interface for iPad®/iPhone® and Mac®

1 Review

Item # 903DUET

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Overview

Our take on the Apogee Duet

Apogee has a reputation for making killer-sounding digital audio gear. I can confirm firsthand that when you plug your guitar into one of their interfaces, the nuances of your specific instrument are captured in the digital domain. Or, to put it simply, your guitar sounds like your guitar. The Duet recording interface gives you top-quality Apogee analog-to-digital circuitry for making high-fidelity recordings on your Mac computer, your iPad, or even your iPhone. Keep in mind that if you're a PC person, and an Android™ user to boot, this is not the interface for you. But if you've been looking for a super-compact, super-reliable interface for your Apple gear, the Duet is hard to beat.

Make sweet music with your iPhone, iPad, or Mac

Apogee Duet recording interface

Apogee has a reputation for making killer-sounding digital audio gear. I can confirm firsthand that when you plug your guitar into one of their interfaces, the nuances of your specific instrument are captured in the digital domain. Or, to put it simply, your guitar sounds like your guitar. The Duet recording interface gives you top-quality Apogee analog-to-digital circuitry for making high-fidelity recordings on your Mac computer, your iPad, or even your iPhone. Keep in mind that if you're a PC person, and an Android™ user to boot, this is not the interface for you. But if you've been looking for a super-compact, super-reliable interface for your Apple gear, the Duet is hard to beat.

A Lightning®-to-USB cable, sold separately, is required for iOS devices.

A pair of analog inputs with top-notch mic preamps

An included breakout cable provides your analog connections, including two combination XLR and 1/4" inputs for mics, instruments, and more. Record a vocal track and an acoustic guitar at the same time, or close-mike a kick drum and throw an overhead over your kit to capture acoustic drums. Or you and a friend can plug in directly with your electric guitar and electric bass at the same time.

If you're monitoring your performance with headphones, there's a full-sized 1/4" headphone output on the chassis of the interface. The Duet's powerful built-in headphone amp can easily drive even highly demanding, inefficient cans. Use the pair of balanced 1/4" (TRS) outputs to hook up your powered studio monitors for playback.

A sleek, streamlined design with handy controls

The Apogee Duet has a substantial, well-built feel, but it's small enough to take on the go or integrate into an onstage rig. A single large knob on the front panel provides quick access to input and output levels. A full-color, interactive OLED display gives you easy metering at a glance. There are also two user-assignable touchpad controls built right into the front panel for settings you find yourself adjusting frequently.

Free control software from Apogee

Download Apogee's Maestro software for Mac or iOS (or both) to get the most out of the Duet interface. This app offers low-latency monitoring as well as intuitive control of all user settings. While the Duet isn't bundled with any DAW recording software, it is compatible with all of the major platforms, including Logic, GarageBand, Final Cut, and Digital Performer for the Mac, and any Core Audio-compatible app for iOS.

Product Highlights:

  • 2-input, 4-output recording interface for iPad, iPod, and Mac
  • 2 XLR/TRS inputs for use with microphones, electric guitars and basses, and more
  • Apogee's free Maestro software offers seamless control and low-latency monitoring (available for Mac or iOS)
  • use with iPad or iPhone requires Lightning-to-USB (Mini Type B) cable, not included
  • 24-bit/192kHz A/D and D/A conversion
  • built-in full-color OLED display
  • single multi-function controller knob
  • dual assignable touchpad controls
Connections:
  • 2 analog inputs (combination XLR and 1/4") for mics, instruments, or line-level sources
  • 4 analog outputs
    • two 1/4" balanced outputs
    • full-sized 1/4" stereo headphone output
  • analog breakout cable included
  • USB MIDI input/output
  • USB mini Type B jack for connection to Mac or iOS device
Other Info:
  • includes USB cable for connection to Mac
  • DC power supply (powers iOS device when plugged in)
  • 4"W x 13/16"H x 6-5/16"D
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • Duet audio interface (2 in/4 out)
  • AC adapter with 5' DC output cord (DC output: 5V 3A)
  • 4 AC power plug adapters (US / Euro / UK / Australia)
  • 82" USB cable (Type A USB on one end and Mini-B 2.0 USB on other end)
  • 24" Breakout cable (with proprietary connector on one end and 2 female 1/4" jacks and 2 female XLR combo connectors on the other end)
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Warranty Information
  • "In this box" and Product registration card
  • Waves Plugin bundle download information
  • Accessory coupon
Reviews

Apogee Duet Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(1 Review)

Great interface, cheapo inclusions

Ian from Seattle, WA on 8/9/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This is a great, simple, easy-to-set up audio interface that doesn't sacrifice on quality. Recordings sound so much better than my old field recorder. But how the heck do you call your product "Apogee Duet for iPad and Mac" and not include an ipad connector?! That's ridiculous.

Pros: Easy to set up, easy to use, sound quality is excellent.

Cons: Included cables are bare minimum. Connection is proprietary as well, so you have to buy the ipad cable from Apogee.

Details

Hands-on research

Product Research

Features
Specifications

Features

Overview: The Apogee Duet for iPad & Mac is a USB audio interface for digital recording. The compact device features 2 XLR / 1/4" combo inputs and 4 outputs, including a 1/4" stereo headphone out. It also has a MIDI I/O port. Duet has an OLED display with input/output level meters, assignable touch pads, and a large controller knob. The Duet comes with a breakout cable, USB cable, and an AC adapter. You will need the optional Duet Lightning Cable or 30-pin cable to connect the device to your iPad or iPhone.

Breakout Cable: The included 2' Breakout Cable features two combination XLR and 1/4" input connectors and two 1/4" balanced outputs for active speakers (or to an amp with passive speakers). The Breakout Cable connects to the Duet via a proprietary multi-pin locking cable.

Controller Knob: The Duet has a sleek aluminum chassis with a multi-function controller knob on the top panel. With the controller knob, you can quickly and easily toggle through the inputs and outputs and set levels, with the OLED display and user-assignable touch pads just inches away.

Inputs: The Duet's 2 XLR / 1/4" combo inputs allow you to connect microphones, guitars, or keyboards. In the software, you can configure the input for microphone, line, or instrument level. If connecting condenser microphones to the inputs, you can engage the necessary 48V phantom power on the XLR connections in the software.

Outputs: The Duet offers 4 analog outputs. Two of the outputs are 1/4" balanced outs for connecting a pair of powered speakers or monitors, or connecting to an amplifier and passive speakers/monitors. In addition, the independently controlled front panel 1/4" stereo headphone output lets you monitor your recording in real time.

Apogee Technology: The Duet audio interface features special circuitry designed to deliver professional performance for iPad users, and low-latency USB 2.0 performance for Mac. Apogee's microphone preamps and digital audio conversion are considered world class. Apogee's Soft Limit is a proprietary analog process that limits transients before the audio is converted to digital. Soft Limit is most effective with signals with large transients, such as drums, percussion, and plucked instruments, and less effective with bass or organ. This allows you to input the audio signal at a higher level before A/D conversion.

Digital Conversion: The Duet is equipped with a state-of-the-art ESS Sabre32 DAC, which operates at all standard sampling rates. In many cases, the sampling rate is set by the audio application to which Duet is communicating. In other applications, you may set the sampling rate in the MIDI setup or the software's System Setup menu. The Duet's sampling rates are: 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, and 192kHz.

MIDI: The Duet's USB MIDI input/output allows you to connect a class compliant Core MIDI device, such as a keyboard and other controllers to an Apple Mac OS X device. A class compliant MIDI device works with Core MIDI without the need to install drivers or other software.

Maestro Software: The Apogee Duet can be controlled via the Maestro application for Mac and iOS. Maestro features a single window design with multiple tabs which give you access to all your devices and the system menu. Maestro iOS is optimized for iPad and iPhone, and is available from the Apple iTunes App Store.

Power Requirements: The Duet can be powered by any available USB port on your Mac for most applications. In some cases, for example, when using condenser microphones with phantom power, the increased power consumption may require connecting the external AC power adapter (supplied). A graphical warning will appear on the OLED display if it becomes necessary to connect an external power supply. The external AC power supply is required whenever the Duet is connected to an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. In this case, the Duet will charge the iPad/iPhone/iPod touch while you record.

Compatibility: The Duet is compatible with the following Mac OS and iOS devices:

  • Mac OS X: 10.6.8, 10.7.5 or greater
  • iOS Devices:
    • iPad Pro, Air 2, Air, mini 4, mini 3, mini 2, mini, (4th generation), (3rd generation), iPad 2
    • iPhone 6s, 6s Plus, 6, 6 Plus, 5s, 5c, 5, 4s, 4
    • iPod touch (6th generation), (5th generation), (4th generation)
Note: Uses iOS Version 6 or greater and connection via Lightning Connector or 30-pin Connector. DC power required (adapter included)

Compatible Software: The Apogee Duet is compatible with any Mac Core Audio-compatible application, and the following recommended apps: Logic, GarageBand, MainStage, Final Cut, Pro Tools, Ableton Live, Digital Performer, Studio One, Cubase, and Nuendo. Duet is also compatible with any iOS Core Audio-compatible application.

Specifications

  • Microphone Inputs:
    • Microphone Preamp Gain: up to 75dB
    • EIN: 128 dB (unweighted) @ 60 dB, 150 Ω input
    • Max Input Level: +20 dBu
    • Input Impedance: 3 kΩ
  • Line Level Input:
    • Max Input Level: +4 dBu, -10 dBV
  • Hi-Z Input:
    • Max Input Level: +14 dBu
    • Input Impedance: > 2 MΩ
  • Bit Resolution: 24-bit / 44.1kHz - 192kHz
  • A/D Conversion:
    • Max Input Level (+4 dBu ref): +20 dBu
    • Max Input Level (-10 dBV ref): +6 dBV
    • Input Impedance: 5 kΩ
    • Frequency Response: 20 Hz to 20 kHz (>+/-0.2 dB @ 44.1 kHz)
    • THD+N: -106 dB (@ 96 kHz)
    • Dynamic Range: 114 dB (A-weighted)
  • D/A Conversion:
    • Max Input Level (+4 dBu ref): +20 dBu
    • Max Input Level (-10 dBV ref): +6 dBV
    • Input Impedance: 90 Ω
    • Max Output Level (Headphones): 19 dBu
    • HPH Output Impedance: 30 Ω
    • Frequency Response: 20 Hz to 20 kHz (>+/-0.05 dB @ 44.1 kHz)
    • THD+N: -113 dB (@ 96 kHz)
    • Dynamic Range: 123 dB (A-weighted)
  • Roundtrip Latency Performance:
  • 32 buffer @ 96 kHz: 3.5 ms
  • 64 buffer @ 44.1 kHz: 4.2 ms

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

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