Since 1985, many of the most successful artists and audio professionals in the world rely on Apogee products every day to capture their performances, mix and master their recordings. With this new portable headphone amplifier and DAC, Apogee is leveraging its engineering experience and technology to provide a high quality consumer level solution for anyone using its laptop for listening to music.
As audioXpress reported during the product presentation at the 2015 NAMM Show, Groove features unique Apogee circuitry designed to deliver the sound quality of the studio to any computer with a USB 2.0 port and make any headphones or powered speakers sound their best.
Groove is able to play any audio files up to 24 bit / 192kHz, including WAV and FLAC, also enhancing any files supported by iTunes and/or streamed by services such as Pandora, Spotify, HDTracks or Tidal. The device uses Constant Current Drive technology to provide smooth frequency response with any headphones and features asynchronous clocking and 8-channel ESS Sabre digital-to-analog conversion, with 4 DACs per channel for the highest dynamic range and lowest distortion.
When in operation the device is powered exclusively from the USB port and, apart from the USB connector and headphones output jack, it features top panel buttons for adjusting volume level and muting, as well as multi-color LEDs for status and level indication. Groove is built in aluminum and designed to be carried anywhere, being extremely compact (95mm L x 30mm W x 16mm H).
According to Apogee, Groove will support any type of consumer or professional headphones, providing ample power at any impedance with a maximum output level of 225mW into 30 Ohm and 40mW into 600 Ohm. According to Apogee, its Constant Current Drive technology “dynamically adapts to the inconsistencies of any headphones, generating a precise stereo image, punchy bass and stunningly clear highs.”
In their announcement, Apogee also provides testimony from Joe Cali, professional A/V Installer and owner/founder of Joseph Cali System Design which states: “This device is head and shoulders over any other comparable product I have auditioned. Other compact Audiophile headphone DACs failed to replicate the overall musicality of Apogee Groove. Whether I was listening to WAV files, Hi-Res downloads in FLAC or 192kHz/24-bit, the result was the same. You are literally part of the musical experience.”
Groove is now available for $295 USD from Authorized Apogee Resellers worldwide and Apogee’s US webstore.