The Quartet is Apogee’s top-of-the-line iOS compatible audio interface. It has an impressive four input channels, eight outputs, two OLED screens, and audio quality second to none. This one accessory has the ability to almost singlehandedly transform your iPad into a professional audio workstation. Of course, these kinds of features don’t come cheap. The Apogee Quartet retails at $1,395. Is it worth the hefty price tag?
Honestly, if you need four input channels with uncompromising audio quality and you’d like to be able to do that on a Mac or iPad, the Quartet is worth every penny. But I’m getting ahead of myself…
In the box with the Apogee Quartet are a USB cable, a Lightning cable, 30-pin cable, and AC power adapter. Unlike Apogee’s other audio interfaces, an input adapter is not required with the Quartet because all connections are built right in. On the back of the Quartet are a plethora of audio connections, including four combination connections for microphones or instruments, six 1/4 inch analog outputs, optical in and out (just in case four tracks aren’t enough you can add an additional eight thanks to this), and a USB MIDI input (removing the need for a separate MIDI converter). On the side, there’s a single 1/4 inch headphone output.
The front of the device looks a lot like the Apogee Duet for iPad and Mac, just bigger and at an angle. It also looks quite handsome next to a MacBook Pro or iMac. It has a large multifunction knob that lets you control levels on each input and output easily. Expanding on the Duet, there are two high resolution OLED displays and seven touch sensitive buttons on the front. Four of those buttons are for the input channels, two for outputs, and three that can be assigned to commonly used commands (you can change these with the Maestro app). Essentially, it’s super easy to change all of the most commonly used settings and see all of the most important bits of information while you’re recording.
Using the Quartet is just as easy as any of the other Apogee audio interfaces. All you have to do is connect it to your device, plug in an instrument or microphone, open your favorite audio app, and start playing. Of course, you have the ability to change all sorts of settings with the Maestro app, but after you have your settings dialed in, you’ll likely forget what’s between your instrument and headphones because the Quartet sounds amazing. It’s super easy to get lost in the music with this device, and I definitely wouldn’t call that a drawback.
Just like the Duet for iPad and Mac, the Quartet has professional quality audio. It’s amazing that you can connect a device like this to an iPad and record at a nearly professional level. Honestly, I’m not sure what else needs to be said about this device, though so much could be said. It’s easy to hear why Apogee devices like the Quartet have been used to record Grammy and Oscar award winning recordings. You can use this device to record four (actually, up to 12 using the optical input) separate channels at a professional audio quality level simultaneously, on an iPad! Who knew an iPad with the right accessory could be such a powerful audio workstation?
There are a lot of details that help make the Quartet such an amazing device. It’s packed with cutting edge technology all designed with the purest audio in mind. There are next generation AD/DA converters, ultra low noise preamps with 0-75dB range, and Soft Limit, which prevents digital clipping before before the signal even becomes digital. All of this adds up to one thing: uncompromising audio quality. The difference between a device like this and other iOS audio converters is almost laughable.
Overall, the Apogee Quartet is an amazing audio device. Using only an iPad and a Quartet, you could produce recordings of the highest quality. That’s amazing. The Quartet isn’t cheap, but considering what it can do, it’s easily worth the price of admission. It’s not the device for everyone; not everyone needs this many inputs or outputs. But if you do need the capabilities of the Quartet, you will be very pleased with it.
Buy the Apogee Quartet
Provides: Audio input for iPad, iPhone, and Mac
Minimum Requirements: iPad, iPhone, or Mac