Initially when you see the Apogee MiC 96k, you notice the craftsmanship of the unit. With many devices you find a plastic frame with bits of metal glued and trimmed, but not here. The LED indicator can be found on the front of the mic, which lets you know when the device is connected. Its also signals when the unit is ready to go or when the inputs were set too high and need adjustment. Essentially, it is a well-designed microphone, and pretty simple in it’s design. You find the control on the right-side, where you can monitor input levels. On the bottom there are the USB and iOS ports and these comprise the only outputs of the device.
Within the robust metal housing you will find the guts and it is impressive. There is the studio-ready condenser which features the 24-bit analog-to-digital conversion at 44.1/48kHz. It cuts down on ambient noise with the use of a PureDIGITAL connection that trims vocals and acoustic instruments. Basically this presents unwanted ghosting on recorded tracks. There is no battery as the device derives its power from your iPad, iPhone or by means of the computer. This presents a hurdle to several hours long recording sessions, but still you should be able to get in some solid work here.
The dimensions of the microphone measure out to 1.5 x 4.5 inches and at about 1.5 inches thick it should be quite easy in your equipment bag. There is a small tripod for the desktop and all the cabling you’ll need for USB and iOS devices.
As far as software is concerned Apogee suggests GarageBand when using the iPad or iPhone and this should be comfortable for most users. As it stands, this is an ideal configuration and works just fine on your desktop or your laptop. Still, there is also support for other recording and composition software such as LogicPro, Pro Tools 9 or higher and other Core Audio software is compatible with the MiC. Again most users have already made an investment is one of the software brands and so the barrier to entry should be relatively light.
Setup is simple, as you are only required to plug in the cables and you are ready to go so long as the software has already been installed. You will of course have to configure the levels, but the sound quality is more than adequate for a USB or iOS device. There is a fine clarity and the MiC picks up what you want it to. There is a slight trace of ambient noise at times, and the character is a warm, clear sonic. Again, input levels when properly adjusted are the key here as the MiC does what you ask of it. There is a noticeable lack of bass, but the highs and mids are very well rendered.
So what are we getting at? The Apogee MiC is a well designed and quite capable hd microphone for just about any application. The sound quality is above average, but you can probably think of a few features that you might want to have here. At $250, it is a bit on the pricey side, but it’s the perfect mic that you carry around with you everywhere you go along with your laptop or iPad.