Apogee Symphony Desktop: Most Affordable Symphony Audio Interface: NAMM 2020

Apogee launched its most affordable Symphony audio interface at this Winter NAMM 2020, the Apogee Symphony Desktop. It boasts the same legendary sound qualities of Apogee’s Symphony I/O MKII in a desktop format and uses USB Type-C connectivity. Featuring 10×14 simultaneous channels of extremely high-quality audio inputs and outputs, this interface comes at a pretty reasonable price and also includes exclusive new features from Apogee.

Extra Ordinary Mic Preamps with Apogee’s new Alloy Mic Preamp Emulations

Incorporating two 2 Advanced Stepped Gain mic preamps, the Apogee Symphony Desktop audio interface supports a whopping 75dB of gain range. What’s more exciting is the addition of Apogee’s latest Alloy mic preamp emulations comprising of:

  • British Solid State
  • 50s American Tube

Adding these preamp emulations will provide a classic harmonic analog warmth to the signal. Precisely, the new Apogee Alloy technology implements crucial characteristics of the model such as input impedance, transient profile, and distortion into the analog domain. Further, it utilizes DSP to fine-tune the adjustments in real-time with virtually zero latency.

Included Apogee FX Plugins

Along with the pre-amp emulations, Symphony Desktop also comes with Apogee FX plugins such as Symphony ECS (EQ, Compressor, Saturation) channel strip as well as Symphony Reverb. While the channel strip supports both native and hardware DSP versions, the reverb plugin will only come with a native version.

Outstanding AD/DA converters

Symphony Desktop features A/D converters that capture an extraordinary level of signal detail just like the rack mount Symphony I/O MKII. And the D/A converters are just amazing as well. Due to ultra-low distortion and high current output driver, the audio output results are extremely transparent and faithful.

High-performance Headphone Outputs

On the front panel of the interface, there is a 1/4″ headphone output whereas, on the back, you will find a smaller 1/8″ HP output jack. Both the ports offer an ultra-low impedance and incorporate dual-sum ESS DACs. However, their performance varies a bit. According to Apogee, the 1/8″ HP output is specially tailored for high-efficiency headphones. Whereas the 1/4″ port can drive almost any headphone model.

Dynamic Touch Screen Display

On the top panel, there are two things to notice. One is the large knob and the other is a dynamic touch screen display. With the intuitive touchscreen interface, you can easily control almost every hardware or software parameter right from the interface. Examples include preamp gain, headphone output, plugin control, monitor output, and more.

Compatibility

Apogee Symphony Desktop is compatible with both Windows and Mac platforms. Additionally, you can also use it with an iPad Pro running at iOS 13.

Pricing and Availability

The new Apogee Symphony Desktop audio interface will ship in Q1 2020 at a base price of $1,299USD. But you also have the option to buy the “Symphony Desktop FX complete” variant that costs $1,399USD. At $100 more, this variant includes classic plugins having a value of $499USD. These plugins consist of:

  • Pultec EQP-1A
  • Pultec MEQ-5
  • ModEQ 6
  • ModComp
  • Opto-3A

Apogee Symphony Desktop Specifications

Apogee Symphony Desktop
I/O10/14
ConnectivityUSB Type-C
USB Type-A (Host)
Digital I/O2 x Optical Toslink (ADAT,S/PDIF)
Instrument Input TechnologyFET
Max Mic Preamp Gain 75db
Headphone Outputs2 (1/4″ and 1/8″)
Monitor Outputs1x stereo
Mic/line (XLR/TRS) combo inputs2
Instrument Inputs1
System RequirementsPC: Windows 10 Anniversary update or later
Mac: macOS 10.12 or later
iPad: iOS 13
Included Apogee FX PluginsSymphony ECS Channel Strip (native and DSP)
Included Mic Preamp EmulationsBritish Solid State
50s American Tube
PriceSymphony Desktop: $1299
Symphony Desktop FX Complete: $1399
Apogee Symphony Desktop Specifications

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Ishaan Sarna

Founder of Soundelicit.com, Technoiser.com, and Isolapse.com. Music Producer by profession and also a Tech Enthusiast.