The Apogee One is really a 3 in 1 device. It’s a high quality microphone, an audio interface and DAC (Digital Analog Converter). …or that may be a 4 in 1. At any rate, the Apogee One is the type of device that is made for the mobile beatmaker, the mobile musician, the serial collaborator with a penchant for hanging outside of the club with an iPad and a dream (this happens… don’t laugh!).
So let's dig in...
The portability is a huge factor in why I like this device so much. Not only is easily pocketed and ported around but the power is provided by 2 AA batteries or an DC power adapter. As described by Apogee it is “The only interface that charges iOS devices while in use and can also be battery-powered.” I can’t say enough about how important it is that you keep the ability to charge your iOS device while having it do the heavy lifting of recording high quality audio. Win!
The sound quality is as amazing as you can imagine Apogee products are and always have been. There was no skimping there. With Apogee’s “mic preamps, AD/DA converters and clocking”, ONE proves to be of the highest quality which is evidence by its “24 bit, up to 96kHz sample rate”. These specs in itself is a huge improvement from 2009’s ONE which came in at 24 bit, 44.1/48kHz. I mean, you have to respect that sort of quality going into your iOS device. Game changer folks!
The build quality is just that, Quality! It is made of a “Die cast Aluminum body with Molded rubber base with metal accents.” The controller knob appears to be metal as does the silver-ish strip across the top which the built-in mic resides. There are a good number of visual feedback there on the front as well. There are Input/Output indicators for Line ins, headphones and mic. Just beneath there are good old I/O level meters so you can easily and visually tell when the signal is overloading or otherwise.
On the top side there is a stereo headphone jack. On the bottom side is where the rest of the I/O lives. There is the Mic/Line in connection, USB connection and the DC power connection.
Thanks to the snazzy little form factor that makes it possible for it to be a killer portable audio interface / mic / hi-fi critical listening device, the ONE has to rely on a few cables to get you the I/O needed to make all of this stuff possible. There is a break out cable with 2 connectors (XLR in and 1/4″) for the Mic /Instrument connection. There is the included lightning, USB and 30 pin cables and of course the DC power cable.
On the back is where you load the AA batteries. But there is also where there is the smartly designed rubber molded “no-slip” base. The molded base is comfy to touch and it keep the ONE exactly where you placed it on your flat service so it doesn’t go slipping and sliding. In my mind it’s those little bits of attention to detail that make the difference.
Check out my video review for a bit of my thoughts on the Apogee ONE.
Here is a great example of what one can accomplish with an iPad, the Apogee One, a vocalist and a couple of apps.
Overall, I have nothing but good things to say about this device. It portable. It provides flexibility in being able to record to your MAC or iOS devices which makes it just as useful in the studio as it does on the go. So, for $349 , I think it’s a steal of a deal for producers, beatmakers, vloggers, bloggers, podcasters and on and on. This is a high quality device that can turn any trip into a highly productive ONE (pun certainly intended). Even still this ONE cannot be looked at as a simple travel friendly audio interface. Producers and content creators can feel confident that this is indeed a powerful studio device.
For more info head over to Apogee One’s product page http://www.apogeedigital.com/products/one