Apogee Groove DAC/Ampsearch

Apogee Groove DAC/Amp

Apogee Groove DAC/Amp

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I recently bought the Audirect Beam to use with my IEMs from Shure/Westones. I thoroughly enjoyed them till one of my audiophile buddies loaned me the Apogee. I was blown away by the sheer musical nature of the sound specifically how it conveyed timing. I wanted to tap my feet to this thing. I have not heard the DragonFly. I also did compare it to an XDuoo XD-05 and they were very close. Used V-Moda Crossfade M-100 for the testing.
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How does this compare with the Duet (https://www.apogeedigital.com/products/duet) and the Audient iD14 (https://audient.com/products/audio-interfaces/id14/overview/)? Can someone lay the main differences regarding the actual drive capacity, tonality and actual sound quality achievable? Is the DAC on the Groove good enough to stack it with an amp (PC>Groove>Amp>HP)?
Xavihno
I can only partially comment on your question. I have an audient Id14 and although it's very good match for driving my studio monitors (clean and dynamic sound on all frecuencies), it lacks power to drive my headphones properly (HD 6XX).
dschindl
@dschindl Thank you for your answer. What do you do then to drive them appropriately (in this type of setup)? That's why I am asking it here, to have the community help answer a big question: Is pairing an Audio Interface (used in music production) such as the Audient iD14, Apogee Duet, Apollo Twin with a Headphone Amp/Dac an adequate solution? I have yet seen anyone get in the specifics...

Bought mine 2-3 years ago. The Groove is one of these products that flies under the radar but is also one of the better portable DAC there is and is very good when paired with Sennheiser HD600/650/6XX headphones where I found it is superior sounding to the Dragonfly, which has a weak and uninspiring amplification. On fact the diminutive Groove can and will give a fair fight to many popular desktop DAC/AMPs. Sadly it doesn't do as well with planar headphones and it still requires downloading drivers for Windows 10.
The Tech in this device has got to be going back at least 5 years now unless they have revised the circuits over the course of the life of this product too bring more current chip sets into this device. I am basing the age of this off of there operating guide pdf found at the bottom of the last page where shows a date of 2014.Even all things being equal this could still be a fantastic portable even in today's world of portable DAC/Headphone amps with more current Tech being used.
If you guys can handle a little hot plate, the MIYO DAC sounds subjectively fantastic and costs the same. I got mine on MD and I swoon every time I use it. H2 Designs is no longer in business, but if you can find one, I highly recommend it. God bless!
Used to have Apogee Groove more than 2 years ago when they just came out... Did not work out for me, I found it's sound to be quite a bit bloated and undefined in low end, made me understand term 'one note bass'. Surely better than built in dac/amp in most everything, but I found that Beyerdynamic A200P worked out better for my portable needs (more neutral, more honest, does not over-exaggerate bass, has built in battery). I would not say that A200P is perfect (wolfson dac is a little on warm side, not very detailed, and soundstage is pretty flat), but it was/is a good compromise for me between portability and sound quality, and its sins are mostly of omission. Apogee Groove was not my cup of tea - its sound walked a bit too far from my idea of neutrality and precision. It just tries to impress too much, and turned out to be not great for me in a long run. Funny thing was that Apogee Groove worked quite well to elevate cheap IEMs to semi-reasonable performance level, but with better headphones it just did not do too well. I find that marketing image of a guy plugging in Senns HD800 into Apogee Groove to be quite hilarious... it sounded not so hot with HD600, why would somebody waste HD800's potential on that setup? Keep in mind, it might be just that I do not like sound of Sabre DACs, never found one I liked, always prefer Burr-Brown 179x family.
This or dragonfly red?
dgt5
It depends or your usage. If it's for smartphone, you should go to the dragonfly. If it's for desktop, take this Groove !
I see it does not come with a warranty , just a 30 day return policy. I think it is better to buy it refurb direct from vendor a d get the warranty.
I already have the Apogee One audio interface. Beautiful metal chassis, with built in studio quality condenser omnidirectional microphone. Works with Mac and iOS; works a treat in my bedroom studio. Can also be used as a DAC. Love it,...
I'm adding another comment about the best DAC portable but least promoted..this DAC uses no power of it's own making it extremely portable with nothing to charge..it works great with any android phone, tablet or PC.. For the ultimate sound, download the FX sound enhancer to your pc and set the preset to "studio"..Plug in the groove(it will install and no longer needs any drivers) and listen with a good set of headphones..I use the Philips Fidelio M1 for it's clarity and comfort...The Groove has it's own volume controls that synchronize with your PC volume..absolutely mind blowing sound..you can hear sounds you never heard before..Tried the original dragonfly..no soundstage and bass..tried others but believe me, this is by far just a step below the MOJO in quality..Apogee makes recording equipment and are known worldwide for quality..They never promoted this properly but personally, I love mine. I even DJ'ed a party by plugging the groove in a surface tablet and playing it through a guitar center setup with amp and speakers..beautiful!! On the PC, never turned up higher than 40 out of 100..amp is small but powerful. I paid $295 for mind and would pay it again!
Fingers crossed for another Dragon Fusion drop.
When in use with the new ipad pro is charging possible with a port splitter?
Can it be used with an Amazon Kindle Fire Tablet? If yes, is it "plug and play" ready...or does software have to be downloaded...or does something else have be done before the Groove would be ready to use with an Amazon Kindle Fire Table?
leemore
pretty sure it will work with any android device although Amazon's uses a modifed version
steveraf9922
Thank you.
Evidently none of you have heard the groove and it's the best sounding portable DAC..tried original dragonfly as comparison..The groove blows it away in every category..it's worth 200 dollars
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help
price is just so high for this thing
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The best amp I have right now is the Monolith Alex Cabello Liquid Platinum Amp and the massdrop THX amp is pretty amazing too, for the price. I’ve been pairing those with my Meze Empyrean and my LCD-4z.
TheRequiem
I heard that THX is the best amp around..what they call the "end game" amp. Im not interested in spending $400 for an amp though. Im not an audiophile. For $99 I guess the Atom can't be beat though. What do you think is the best way to hook it up with my Duet? Through the XLR cables or just plug it into the headphone jack?
It is said that it’s a great pairing to the iPad Pro. Does that mean this unit is iOS compatible ? Without an external power source? If it’s iPad Pro compatible, then it must be compatible with any iOS product (iPhone or iPad)? Please be more precise on this allegation Massdrop.
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Bingo. Easy and works like a charm with apple lossless files.
PeteMtl
Apogee is an Apple centric company, so all their products work with Apple operating systems, whether iOS or MacOS. It will draw more power than the phone/iPad want to give, or at least that has been my experience. You can get a few cables and adapters and drive the groove with a battery pack while listing with an iPhone. It pair beautifully with a Mac as well. Some commenters have suggested the dragonfly products are hands down superior, but that is their opinion. I own and listen to a groove paired to a Senn HD650 and it sounds better to me than the dragonfly I initially purchased and returned to Amazon. Would I choose it over my Lyr3; no. But for a portable unit, it is solid and sounds quite good.
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Does it have ASIO drivers to work with DAWs?
simons007
Yes it does! Groove has drivers for Windows 7, 8 and 10. For Mac, it's CoreAudio compliant so it's plug and play.
Can you provide any info on if this can be used with phones? I have a pixel 3 and am looking for a small portable unit like this.
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Crap, yes they are Audioquest. I remember now looking at both before i bought my Dragonfly RED.
DocWaggus
it works perfectly..uses power from phone and it's loud!!