Apogee Groove is a portable USB DAC and headphone amp featuring audiophile ESS Sabre DAC technology, supports Mac and PC.
Apogee Groove is the best portable USB DAC and headphone amp for listening to music on your Mac or PC. Groove takes the same high-quality audio technology found in the world’s most prestigious recording studios and delivers it to your laptop. Connect Groove to your computer’s USB port and your headphones or powered speakers to Groove’s audio output. It’s that easy. Groove’s output provides ample power at any impedance, while Apogee’s Constant Current Drive™ technology makes your headphones sound their best. You’ll be amazed by the difference in sound quality; the precise stereo image, punchy bass and stunningly clear high-hats.
Apogee Groove—Just the Facts:
- USB 2.0 connection to Mac and PC
- Up to 24 bit/192kHz audio
- ESS Sabre DAC
- Enhances your iTunes, Pandora, Spotify, Tidal or other music listening experience
- Constant Current Drive provides smooth frequency response with any headphones
- Quad Sum DAC, 4 DACs per channel for highest dynamic range and lowest distortion
- Asynchronous clocking
- Multi-color LEDs for status and level indication
- Powered by USB
- Top panel buttons for adjusting volume level
- Compact and portable Premium aluminum build quality
- Built in the USA
Apogee Groove—Under the Hood
Recorded by Apogee, played by Groove
For 30 years Apogee has been an innovator and industry leader in digital audio recording. From rock to classical, hip-hop to country, and reggae to jazz, the world’s most successful artists, producers and audio engineers rely on Apogee gear to capture Grammy-winning recordings. Now, for the first time, Apogee Groove takes this same recording studio technology and makes it available in a simple take-anywhere device dedicated to delivering the ultimate listening experience.
What is a DAC and why is it important?
If you’re a music lover and you want the best listening experience, one of the key ingredients in the quality of your sound is the digital-to-analog converter or DAC. A DAC takes the digital information on your computer and translates it into analog sound you can hear through your headphones and speakers.
Not all DACs are created equal
Your computer has a DAC built-in, however without a high quality DAC like Groove, you will miss out on much of the subtlety, detail and dimension of music you listen to – regardless of what headphones or speakers you use.
Hear every detail in stunning clarity and fidelity
Whether you’re building your FLAC file collection or subscribing to a premium music streaming service, you are investing in a higher quality listening experience. Groove unlocks the full potential of that experience, revealing definition, clarity and details like you have never heard before.
Work on Your Music Anywhere
With professional headphones, your laptop and Groove, you can mix or make music anywhere. Groove’s reference quality sound insures you will hear every detail of your project as it would sound in the studio.
Constant Current Drive make headphones sound their best
Groove’s Constant Current Drive output stage dynamically compensates for the nonlinearities – acoustic, mechanical or electrical – of any connected headphones, resulting in lower distortion and a more linear frequency response. Whether listening through ear buds or “hi-fi” headphones, you’ll discover a new level of fidelity, clarity and detail.
ESS Sabre32 DAC
The ESS Sabre32 32-bit Hyperstream DAC with Time Domain Jitter Eliminator offers unequalled dynamic range, ultra low distortion, and unmatched audio clarity free from input jitter. While ESS Sabre32 DAC has been widely recognized and employed in the audiophile community as the next step in converter technology, Apogee is one of the first pro audio manufacturers to it in an interface designed for audio and video professionals.
The benefits of the ESS DAC are seen in the astonishingly low THD+N specification and large dynamic range, the preservation of audio performance at any attenuation level (Symphony I/O), and the audio fidelity and transparency for which Apogee is renowned. As a result Duet/Quartet performance exceeds that of other high-end units, while Symphony I/O performance is unrivaled by any converter available.
Breakthrough DAC solutions
The ESS Sabre32 DAC offers revolutionary solutions to the design challenges inherent with a digital-to-analog converter:
Clocking the DAC
The clock that drives a DAC has rather contradictory requirements – it must lock to the incoming jittery digital data in order recover each bit correctly, but it can’t pass this jitter onto the D-to-A stage, where jitter will degrade the analog audio output. ESS overcomes this dilemma with their Time Domain Jitter Eliminator process, which consists of 1) an internal, low-jitter reference clock to drive the D-to-A stage 2) the Asynchronous Sample Rate Converter that analyses the incoming data clock and algorithmically corrects the data bit-stream for perfect transmission to the D-to-A without a traditional phase lock loop.
Delta-sigma modulation noise
Other delta sigma converters suffer from noise artifacts that are inherent to oversampled, noise shaping designs; ESS’s HyperStream modulator includes innovations to removes these artifacts.
All delta sigma converters include a digital interpolation filter, to convert the incoming PCM data (i.e. 24-bit /96kHz) to a delta sigma bit-stream. Unlike older 24-bit DACs, the ESS performs these DSP operations at a resolution of 32 bits for lower noise and distortion.
32-bit monitor attenuation
The ESS DAC provides 32-bit digital attenuation for monitor volume control when connecting directly to powered speakers. When compared to alternate attenuation designs, 32-bit digital attenuation provides the best performance and flexibility.
In the past, digital attenuation (at 24-bit resolution) was not considered the best way to provide monitor level control; lowering the output level results in a loss of resolution. Digitally-controlled analog attenuation, as employed in previous Apogee designs, was the revolutionary solution that offered the flexibility of software control while maintaining resolution and perfect stereo/5.1 channel tracking.
While developing Symphony I/O’s standard-setting DAC stage, it became evident that the components used to provide digitally-controlled analog attenuation were limiting the DAC’s performance, so another design had to be found. The 32-bit digital attenuation offered by the ESS Sabre32 DAC is the perfect solution. Digital resolution is maintained far beyond the circuit noise floor while noise and distortion performance remains uncompromised.
What the pros are saying about Groove
“Last night I hooked up the Apogee Groove to my laptop. I was watching a movie and listening to music. I normally just take my earbuds out of the mini jack and call it a day. But listening through the Groove stunned me. I couldn’t believe there could be such a huge difference. First of all, the clarity. Then the transients that I never heard before, but then the frequency range. The lows were big, but clear. The high end was extended, but smooth and sweet. Having the Apogee Groove has opened up a whole new horizon for listening with even crappy ear buds to audio out of my laptop. It was so unexpected how great things sounded.”— Ed Cherney, Grammy-winning mix engineer (Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Elton John, Willie Nelson)
“As president of a record label, I spend a great deal of time listening to music. As a record producer, I’ve spent countless hours in the studio crafting recordings that have captured amazing performances, only to be heard with compromised sound quality. Groove brings back all the fidelity, dynamics and emotion of the original recordings. I won’t listen to music without it, and neither should you.”— Don Was, President of Blue Note Records, Grammy award-winning producer for The Rolling Stones, Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson
“I’ve always trusted Apogee to produce impeccable sound quality and conversion and the Groove delivers.”—Ryan Tedder, Grammy-winning songwriter-producer (Adele, Beyonce, Maroon 5, Taylor Swift)
“Apogee Groove makes my headphones sound incredible. Whatever they did with the output stage sounds amazing, as do it’s converters. Highly recommended.” John Rodd, music recording, mixing and mastering engineer
(Breaking Bad, Batman vs. Robin, Elysium, Star Wars Kinect, World of Warcraft, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, The Lincoln Lawyer)
Apogee Groove lets you listen to your music with recording studio quality. Order yours today. For more information, call or chat online with your PAD Studio Consultant.
D/A conversion :
- THD+N: -107dB with 600-ohm load @ 16dBu
- (-109dB with 600-ohm load @ 16dBu-Anniversary Edition)
- THD+N: -100dB with 30-ohm load @ 10.5dBu
- (-101dB with 30-ohm load @ 10.5dBu-Anniversary Edition)
- Dynamic Range: 117dB, A-weighted
- (119dB a-weighted-Anniversary Edition)
- Frequency response: 10Hz – 20kHz +/- 0.2dB
- (10Hz – 20kHz +/- 0.1dB-Anniversary Edition)
- Max output level:
- 225mW into 30-ohm
- 40mW into 600-ohm
- 8-channel ESS DAC (4 DACs per channel)
- Computer: Intel Mac 1.5GHz or faster
- Memory: 2 GB RAM minimum, 4 GB recommended
- OS: 10.8 or greater
- Connection and power: Any available USB port
- Driver: Mac Core Audio. No download or installation necessary.
- PC or laptop manufactured after January 2006
- Intel Core 2 @ 1.6 GHz or AMD equivalent
- Memory: 1 GB RAM minimum
- Windows 7 (32 and 64 bit) or greater
- Connection and power: Any available USB port
- Driver: Register to download from Apogee’s website
- USB Cable (1')
- Carrying pouch
- Product booklet (Quick Start Guide, Warranty Information)
- Instructions for download of software and complete documentation