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Product of the Week: Apogee Duet 3

The third generation of the highly popular bus-powered unit incorporates a sleek new design and a pair of USB Type-C ports to go with the latest generation of the company’s preamps, converters and DSP software.

Released in 2007, the first Apogee Duet was a groundbreaking interface that combined high-quality audio and portability. Apogee recently announced its third incarnation of the bus-powered unit, the Duet 3, incorporating a sleek-looking, aluminum-bodied design with a scratch-resistant top. It features a pair of USB Type-C ports and the latest generation of the company’s preamps, converters and DSP software.

Like on earlier Duets, much of the unit’s analog I/O resides on a breakout cable. On the Duet 3, the cable includes two ¼-inch instrument inputs and two Mic/Line combo inputs, as well as a pair of balanced ¼-inch TRS outputs. In addition, a 1/8-inch headphone jack is built into the front panel of the unit.

Apogee hasn’t released dimensions for the Duet 3, but it appears to be significantly slimmer than the Duet 2, and less boxy looking. It will ship in July ($599, Mac/Windows) with its breakout cable, a USB Type C/Type A cable and a travel case.

Read more Product of the Week: Sennheiser Evolution Wireless Digital.

The control wheel on the Duet 3 is larger than on previous versions. The company changed the metering, too, going from an OLED meter section featuring left and right levels and separate meters for the monitor and headphone outputs, to a stereo pair of 6-step LED ladder-style meters with overload lights.

If you want more control over the angle of the Duet 3, you can purchase the Duet Dock ($149), which Apogee says holds the unit at “the ideal angle for quick adjustments and meter and function visibility.”

Duet 3 comes with Apogee Control 2 software, which provides computer-based access to all the unit’s functions. In addition, the Duet 3’s onboard DSP makes it possible to use Apogee plug-ins on input.

Although Control 2 is the only included software, Duet 3 owners will be eligible to purchase the Apogee Channel FX (ACFX) software, including filtering, EQ, compression, and saturation for 50 percent off.

That half-off offer extends to the other Apogee plug-ins such as the new Symphony ECS Channel Strip ($49.50 with discount), featuring custom presets by legendary engineer Bob Clearmountain, who also tuned the plug.