The Apogee Jam Plus has been launched. It’s hard to match Apogee when it comes to quality audio interfaces for DAW or portable devices like iPhones and iPads. Their approach to design renders low noise and high definition devices, which are widely used in the music industry.
In the mobile interface space, the original Apogee Jam was groundbreaking and its successor had quality not matched via the competitors. I’ve run a comparison here:
One of the remaining shortcomings, however, is the absence of a headphone output, which is a problem for iPhone users since the native iPhone headphone output has been removed a few years ago. My Jam 96k is useless on my iPhone – I can still use it heaps on my Mac or iPad. The latency of consumer wireless headphones make them a no no for guitar players jamming with their phones as the primary tone processing device.
Our prayers have been answered. Apogee just released the Jam Plus, which includes the following updates:
- Stereo headphone output (1/8″) which can also be used with powered speakers. That solves the problem above…
- An input gain knob that now looks more like a digital rotary encoder. This means that fixing the gain at some specific point becomes easier; with the previous models it is hard to ‘remember’ where exactly the gain position was before as it may shift during transportation
- A ‘blend’ feature. This control allows the user to mix some of the ‘direct’ instrument sound with the playback coming from your processing software, for low latency monitoring. While this is interesting, I would recommend experimenting with it a bit as if the software latency is noticeable, having direct and processed mixed can create an undesirable effect and confuse the player
- A ‘drive’ mode, in addition to the ‘clean mode’, which is suited to overdrive situations with virtual stomp-boxes and amplifiers. This seems to have an effect of a pre-amp or an extra boost to assist with overdrive simulations on the target apps and software packages. Certainly an interesting idea
- Body is made of metal, a but more ruggedised than previous releases, so more prone to withstanding rough conditions on the road – gig bags normally not the most friendly environments for electronics !
- Cables included are lightning, USB and USB-C, and it is compatible with iOS (so iPhone and iPad), Mac and Windows PC
The input specification is still the same 96kHz / 24-bits as the previous model.
A license for Positive Grid’s Bias FX Jam software is included with the package – Apogee really took it to the next level with this one. Of course it should work fine with other packages like Amplitube, Amp Kit and others, but it’s interesting to see the partnership with one of the top rated tone processing packages out there.
Love it ? Get yours then !