Apogee Groove USB DAC and Headphone Amp

Digital to Analog Converter and Headphone Amplifier with 24-bit/192kHz Conversion Quality and USB Power - Mac/PC
Apogee Groove USB DAC and Headphone Amp image 1
Apogee Groove USB DAC and Headphone Amp image 1
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Available This Wednesday (June 28)
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Apogee Groove USB DAC and Headphone Amp
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Amazing Playback Quality for Mac and PC

Hear every detail of your music with outstanding sound quality anywhere and anytime, with the Apogee Groove portable USB DAC and headphone amp. Loaded with an ESS Sabre digital-to-analog converter and up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution, the Groove interface is the perfect solution for critical listening on your laptop. Sweetwater's Sales Engineers have recommended Apogee's portable interfaces for years as solid solutions for high-quality portable monitoring, and the ultra-compact Apogee Groove brings you stellar D/A conversion and USB convenience in the most portable design yet.

When you need stellar sound, but don't need a full audio interface

Whether you're producing tracks in a hotel room on your laptop, auditioning a mix away from your studio, or any other situation that requires high-quality audio playback, you'll be well served with the Apogee Groove portable USB DAC and headphone amplifier. You get some of Apogee's best-sounding conversion with the simplicity of two buttons for volume control. And because it's powered via USB, just keep the Apogee Groove in your laptop bag and you'll always have studio-quality headphone monitoring within reach.

Apogee Groove USB Headphone Amplifier Features:
  • Portable DAC and headphone amp with exceptional sound quality for Mac and PC
  • Stellar sound quality from ESS Sabre DAC, Constant Current Drive, and Quad Sum DAC technology
  • Perfect for auditioning mixes accurately away from your studio system
  • USB powered for maximum portability and convenience
  • Simple operation with two top-panel buttons for volume control
Apogee sound quality is more accessible than ever with the Groove USB DAC!

Additional Media

Audio Interface Buying Guide

Tech Specs

Computer Connectivity USB 2.0
Form Factor Portable
A/D Resolution 24-bit/192kHz
Manufacturer Part Number Groove

Customer Reviews

Based on 4 reviews
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Excellent DAC with high quality headphone amp

The first thing that struck me about the Apogee Groove when I plugged it into my mac was the amount of detail and space my music exhibits with the Groove in comparison with my other headphone amps and DAC's. The DAC is similar to the DAC used in my Apogee Duet 2, but is more detailed and does a much better job powering my headphones, especially my low impedance ones like my AKG K553 Pro and Philips SHP9500. My Sennheiser HD600's also sound better than they ever have out of the Groove, but I use the AKG and Philips headphones more with the Groove, as I prefer their more detailed and accurate spatial presentation vs the HD600. Back to the Groove, it also does a phenomenal job as a DAC going into my home setup, with the volume turned down to avoid overloading the input of my home equipment. It is capable of producing 5V RMS out of its output, so you have to be careful when using it as a DAC, but when you do, it will likely sound better than most audiophile DAC's on the market due to the abundance of clean, clear detail and excellent sense of space and instrument separation that the Groove exhibits. With high quality headphones, the Groove shines as a headphone amp/DAC and I have a feeling that it would be even better if I were using HD800's or other headphones of that caliber. But even with my more modest headphones, I am hearing better detail and clarity than my audiophile speaker setup is capable of reproducing. Highly recommended!

Top Notch DAC

I have a pair of Sennheiser HD800s and I hear things I didn't used to through the Groove. From the Seattle Symphony, to Vijay Iyer, to 80s Queensryche, everything is clearing. I have an Apogee Quartet for recording and from a strictly headphone driving standpoint, the Groove is much better.

Amazing Little DAC!

This thing really blew me away. This is the best DAC I have ever heard. It's amazing when paired with Audio Technica ATH-M50x and especially Shure SRH-1540 headphones. It's absolutely dead quiet, when a track fades out it's like a black hole of silence opens beneath you. It's made of solid metal, the build quality and design are outstanding, though I wonder how long the symbols on the buttons will last before waring off. (no problems yet, they look like decals, and the buttons are very nice rubber) I feel like they could have done better buy either raising the symbols or creating a shallow depression in the buttons and filling that with white, (though I am sure that would collect dirt.) But it would be nice to have a tactile reference when reaching for the volume. The cord (for me) could have been a bit longer, it tends to hang off the usb port (I don't use this on a desk) and it would be nice to have some extra length so that the DAC can rest on whatever surface is convenient without hanging off the port. Probably easy to replace the cable, though I will say that it is thicker and heavier than most. Perhaps designed to work with the power this thing consumes. This thing gets very warm when in use. Due I guess to working off current instead of voltage. The result is absolutely spectacular. I am hearing new details in my music that I was sure had nothing more to reveal, given that I have been using a decent DAC and very good headphones for years now. This kicked it up to another level. I cannot believe how clear and detailed it sounds. It doesn't seem to hype any frequencies to my non-professional ear (like obvious bass hump and stuff like that.) It gives you just what is in your audio files, and maybe just a little Apogee magic on sprinkled on top of that (like maybe the 4 DA converters and anti-jitter stuff going on in there). It's very very good. Far better than the converters in my 18i20. I seriously doubt that an iPhone could support the power this thing draws for very long. It gets very warm. Creating heat with electricity means you need a lot of it. This is designed to work with ANY headphone up to 600ohm. So it's got a lot of power. Maybe if they reduced that spec to 150ohm it could work with an iPhone. I don't know, but I am sure given that Apogee makes equipment that works only with Apple products, until this thing, they did not overlook that, but went for the power rating instead. I love it. This is a game changer in the world of DACs, I don't see why you would have some giant box on your desk plugged into a the wall with this available.

great sounding little device

I was blown away by the quality that the Groove delivers. Also, the very small size is a huge plus, the feel and function of the buttons is great, too. no complaints there. Sonically, this is a real converter, no corners seem to be cut in terms of the sonic performance. It's a joy to listen to. I A/B'd it with the Apogee One for IOS, and the Groove absolutely slayed the One. not even close The only thing that stops this from being a 5 star review is the fact that you cannot use this with an iPhone. I would love to see them implement that functionality in some way, even if it meant making the device slightly bigger.
Music background: recording engineer/producer and drummer
See also: USB Interfaces, Apogee, Apogee USB Audio Interfaces