Audio equipment isn’t a sale; it’s an investment. And if you’re going to make the right investment, you need to know the specs of the products you’re buying. In this article, we are going to cover one of the most important investments for your studio. Should you buy the Apogee One vs Duet?
The two products may seem similar on the surface, but we’re going to examine the pros and cons. Keep reading for a detailed breakdown of each product’s specifications. So you get the best audio interface for your studio and production style.
We’ll start off with a brief look into the products.
Apogee One vs Duet
Best Portable Audio Interface
Apogee is an industry leader in audio equipment. They create professional products for their clients. That doesn’t mean that all their products will be right for you, though. Today we’re examining the Apogee One and Duet in a little more detail.
The Apogee One is the ‘little brother’ of the Duet, the specs are slower on this than on its ‘big brother’ – the Duet.
- Given the small size, this is the perfect product for on the go recording.
- It can fit into your bag or pocket for convenience
- A cheaper product – good for students or those starting out
- A high-quality built-in microphone – especially for a product so small
- The sound quality is still high, despite the limitations of this product
- This product is only compatible with the Mac
- Due to the reduced size, there are more limited input/output ports
The Duet is the bigger, more powerful product on the market from Apogee. This interface is a professional piece of hardware. This interface is for higher quality recordings.
- More powerful than the Apogee One with a higher sample rate
- Compatible with existing software you use
- 2 ports for connecting to microphones or instruments when recording
- A high-quality OLED screen to make for an easier time using it
- A higher cost product compared to the One
Face to face features
Now that you’ve familiar with each of the products, it’s time to get down to the details. The best way to choose if a product fits your needs is to look at its specifications. There’s no better way to do that than to view them side by side to compare them.
The Apogee One has a strong casing. Built with die-cast aluminum it is extra durability without sacrificing the lightweight design. Some customers have noted that the One does seem to be a little flimsy compared to its bigger brother.
The Duet is also made of a metal exterior chassis for strength and durability. Weighing 499 grams, there is a little weight to this product that makes it feel sturdier than the Apogee One.
The dimensions of the Apogee One are 12 x 6 x 2.5 cm. Making it a lightweight, pocket-sized addition to your audio equipment. This is perfect for content creators and beatmakers on the move.
The Apogee Duet comes in at 16 x 10.2 x 2 cm, making it a little bigger than the Apogee One. The size difference is noticeable when you compare the interfaces side by side. This is a small price to pay for the power that comes with the Duet.
The increased size of the Duet might be less attractive over the smaller Apogee One for producers on the go.
The Apogee One comes with Mac connectivity cables for ease of use. This includes a USB cable, a lightning cable, and a breakout cable. Some customers have noted that the cables are very short. This is because the One is for on-the-go musicians who use their laptops.
These producers generally don’t need long cables. Unfortunately a shorter cable means they can’t have the ideal setup they want or need. The Apogee Duet comes with a power cable, a breakout cable, and a USB cable for connectivity.
The Apogee Duet works well both in the studio and for producers on the run.
DAW | Digital Audio Workstation
Apogee products do not come with their own DAW, but they are compatible with any DAW you currently use. This is beneficial, as it means you don’t have to set it up. Apogee is plug and play with your existing DAW, including Garageband and Abelton. Customers have reported that the set up for both the Apogee One and the Apogee Duet is seamless. These interfaces fit right into whatever setup you are currently using. The focus here seems to be improving whatever set up you are currently using.
Apogee offers their own plugin from their website to improve your workstation. The ModEq6 is a powerful equalizer plugin from Apogee. This plugin runs with the existing DAW. Meaning there’s no new software that you need to install, learn how to use, and come to terms with.
Here’s a list of DAW’s that the ModEq6 runs with:
- Logic Pro 10
- Pro Tools 12 and Ultimate – Note that it doesn’t run with Pro Tools 11 or older
- Ableton Live
- Cubase 9.5 VST 1 and 2
Mac only product
The Apogee One is a Mac IOS only product. But given that many producers use Macs for their work, this may not be that much of a problem. Anyone using a Windows PC, the fact that the One only works on Mac is a frustrating aspect of this product.
This was the same problem that users used to find when buying the Duet – Mac-only compatibility. Apogee understood that they were losing out with this limitation. So they have since bought out versions of the Duet that are Windows and Mac compatible.
Due to its small size, the Apogee One has had to use what little space it does have in an innovative way. The One uses an XLR and ¼ inch jack for its input. The output is a standard 3.5mm jack for headphones or stereo speakers. Use this with your existing hardware.
When it comes to Input/output, the Apogee Duet is the superior model. Allowing for more options for users. The Duet features two analog inputs as well as four analog outputs. This allows music producers to have a greater range of uses with this interface. Among the outputs, there are 2 ¼” mono outputs to connect to speakers or outboard gear. Plus a 1/4” output for headphones.
As for sample rate, the Apogee Duet far outperforms the Apogee One. While the Apogee One has a sample rate of 48kHz, the Apogee Duet more than doubles this. It comes in with an impressive 192 kHz, allowing for an impressive depth of sound.
For some producers sample rates can be a deal-breaker. A higher sample rate allows for a richer and more dynamic depth of sound. This means that Apogee Duet users will be less restricted in what they can record than One users.
When creating their products, Apogee understood that low latency could be an issue. That’s why when building the Apogee One; they made sure to include the ability for low latency live monitoring. This gives the user more precise control of the audio they’re creating. And better quality control over their finished product.
The Apogee Duet also features impressive latency control. Their use of a low-latency mix allows for even more control than the Apogee One. Making the DUET a more impressive option for professionals.
When it comes to phantom power, there’s no difference between these two products. They both offer 48V phantom power.
Due to its much larger size, the Duet has a more impressive display. OLED high-resolution screen and sleek, attractive display to view their input and output. Due to the compact screen of the One, producers will see their controls (volume, input, and output) displayed on the device. This takes on an appearance like the built-in volume display of the Macbook.
Apogee’s strong relationship with Apple is no secret. The Apogee One comes with a USB 2.0 connection cable, meaning that you can plugin and go. It also comes with a lightning connection, meaning you aren’t limited to using the One with a computer. The lightning connector opens up the possibilities for on the go recording. Now you can connect to an iPhone or iPad.
The Apogee Duet also features USB 2.0 connectivity. This means you can connect to a Mac. Given the Duet’s recent compatibility with Windows products, you can connect to a Windows PC as well. The Duet is also able to connect to iPhones and iPads with a lightning connector. Furthermore, the Duet has the added benefit of being able to charge your phone when it’s connected. You can also power the Duet from the wall.
This is by no means a deal-breaking addition. But it does make a nice addition for those who use their phones and iPads for recording.
Stand out features
Because Apogee is a leading creator in the audio industry, there has to be something more. What sets these products apart – from themselves and from other brands?
While the Apogee One does feel like a more scaled-down version of the Apogee Duet, it is not without its benefits. Given its compact size, the Apogee One is very portable. This makes it an excellent choice for recording on the go pieces of music. This makes it easier to position it on a mic stand to capture the perfect sound.
The Apogee Duet has some features that the Apogee One lacks. Due to it’s larger size and ins and outs the Duet is the attractive choice for professionals Where the One only records in mono, the Duet makes up for this with its stereo input.
Conclusion – Which is the best for you?
The hardware that you buy for your audio needs depends on your audio needs. Everyone will have a different preference, which is why there’s such a wide array of hardware on the market.
- 2 in x 2 Out audio interface with built-in microphone
- Usb 2.0 connection for Mac or PC with 24-bit/96kHz AD/DA conversion
- Direct monitoring, complete input/output control with apogee’s Maestro software
- Die Cast aluminum chassis
- Legendary Apogee sound quality
- Compatible with Lightning-equipped iPads/iPhones. Not compatible with USB-C iPads
- English (Publication Language)
If you’re someone who’s considering lighter-duty work, the Apogee One is a fine piece of equipment to use. The One has an impressive amount of power behind it for something so small. It’s perfect for students, hobbyists, or those starting out.
- AD/DA conversion for recording up to 192kHz / 24-bit.
- 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.
- English (Publication Language)
But, in our opinion, the Duet is the better all-rounder option. Particularly for professionals, who hold their work to a higher standard. The Duet is the obvious choice due to the increased power behind it.
As the names suggest, the One only records in mono. While the Duet has a more impressive stereo recording. For professionals seeking that rich depth of sound, the Duet is the right choice.