Hands-On Review: Apogee Quartet Desktop Studio Interface

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Apogee is a premier brand name in both clocking and conversion. Their small-scale audio interfaces have forever changed the performance and sound-quality expectations of USB and FireWire devices. The new Quartet joins and further develops this prestigious product family.

The Quartet features four XLR/TRS combo inputs, six 1/4” TRS outputs and two Toslink digital inputs. All of this connectivity reaches your computer through high-speed USB 2.0. Additionally, the Quartet has a BNC output  to send a clocking signal to a digital preamp or another converter. MIDI connection to your CoreMIDI-compatible keyboard, synth or DJ controller is also available via Type A USB input.

Join Rob Rives as he discusses Apogee’s history with small-scale interfaces and the customer requests that led to the Quartet’s development. The video also showcases the extensive functionality of the Quartet as an audio interface, monitor control and a surround sound 5.1 mixing solution.

Analog Inputs
Connectors 4 x XLR/TRS combo jacks
Gain Up to 75 dB
Phantom Power 48V selectable
Soft Limit Yes
Phase Invert Yes
Digital Inputs
Connectors 2 x Toslink
Channels 8
Protocol ADAT / SMUX
Sampling Rates 44.1 to 96 kHz
Analog Outputs
Connectors 6 x 1/4" TRS balanced
Headphones 1 x 1/4" stereo
MIDI
In/Out Dedicated USB (type A) connector
Clock Sync
Connector 1 x BNC Word Clock output
Mic Pre
EIN 128 dB un-weighted @ 60 dB, 150Ω input
Max Input Level +20 dBu
Input Impedance 3kΩ
Hi-Z
Max Input Level 14 dBu
Input Impedance > 2MΩ
A/D Conversion
Max. Bit Rate 24-bit
Max. Sampling Rate 192 kHz
Max. Input Level (+4 dBu) +20 dBu
Max. Input Level (-10 dBV) +6 dBV
Input Impedance 5KΩ
Frequency Response @ 44.1 kHz 20 Hz to 20 kHz ±0.2 dB
Relative THD + N -106 dB @ 96 kHz
Dynamic Range 114 dB (A-weighted)
D/A Conversion
Max. Bit Rate 24-bit
Max. Sampling Rate 192 kHz
Max. Ouput Level (+4 dBu) +20 dBu
Max. Ouput Level (-10 dBV) +6 dBV
Line Output Impedance 90Ω
Headphone Max Output Level 19 dBu
Headphone Out Impedance 30Ω
Frequency Response @ 44.1 kHz 20 Hz to 20 kHz ±0.05 dB
Relative THD + N -113 dB @ 96 kHz
Dynamic Range 123 dB (A-weighted)
System Requirements
Computer Intel Mac with 1.5 GHz processor or better
Memory 2GB RAM, 4GB recommended
OS X version 10.6.8, 10.7.4 or greater
Connection Available USB 2.0 port
Power DC power supply included

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I just bought one, but I only wish it had 2 headphone outs, because often you are monitoring while another is singing or you are playing while they sing solo or harmony. Having only 1 output requires buying an additional headphone mixer box, no?

Hi Blues Rocker -

Yes -  To monitor through an additional set of headphones, a separate headphone "mixer" connected to the headphone output of the Apogee Quartet, would be necessary.  The PreSonus HP4 answers the need for a headphone distribution amplifier with professional specifications in a small package at an affordable price. It is designed with four discrete headphone outputs on the front panel, each with its own volume potentiometer and 150mW of amplification per channel.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  AskBH@BandH.com