Apogee just announced 'Groove' - the new Portable USB DAC / Headphone Amp that aims to bring the company's renound pro digital/analog conversion to the consumer market with up to 24 bit / 192 kHz audio! This is Apogee's first product for playback only with no recording.
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Groove connects cross-platform via USB to Mac or PC, and has some neat technology Apogee are calling 'Constant Current Drive' which deals with impedance variations within different headphone models...
"With Constant Current Drive topology, Groove’s output stage’s voltage is dynamically “molded” to the impedance variations of the connected headphones, thereby smoothing out frequency response non-linearity that occurs with traditional headphone outputs."
Housed in a sleek, brushed aluminum body that fits easily in the palm of your hand, Groove sets a new standard in portable DAC technology. Despite it's portable size, we were a bit surprised that Groove wasn't iOS compatible. However, being a usb powered headphone amp that does require a bit of juice, that would have involved a rechargeable battery of some kind which some may view as cumbersome.
Regardless, Groove will likely be a big hit with those wanting a portable DAC with legendary Apogee sound quality!
Groove is expected around Spring of 2015 and will be released alongside Limited Edition versions in Silver and Gold...
"To commemorate Apogee’s 30 years of digital audio excellence, a limited edition anniversary model of Groove will also be available. The Groove 30th Anniversary Edition will feature a custom machined aluminum body, performance enhancements and will be available in silver and gold."
- USB 2.0 connection to Mac and PC
- Up to 24 bit / 192kHz audio
- ESS Sabre DAC
- Constant Current Drive™, Ultra-smooth frequency response for any headphones
- Quad Sum DAC™, 4 DACs per channel for highest dynamic range and lowest distortion
- Asynchronous clocking
- Max output level: 225mW into 30 Ohm
- Multi-color LEDs for status and level indication
- Powered by USB
- Top panel buttons for adjusting output level and muting
- Compact and portable (95mm H x 30mm W x 16mm T)
- Premium aluminum build quality
- Built in the USA
- Pricing to be announced
- Availability, Spring 2015
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