Product Summary:The RME ADI-2 DAC has it all and at a bargain price! Including a precision clock, analog circuitry fine-tuned to perfection, a new MRC remote control, an Extreme Power headphone amplifier, plus a very special IEM output. RME primarily designs professional recording studio gear but the ADI-2 is perfect for audiophiles who desire great performance with extensive adjustability.... Click To Read More
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RME – ADI-2 DAC FS DAC and Headphone Amplifier
The RME ADI-2 DAC has it all and at a bargain price! Including a precision clock, analog circuitry fine-tuned to perfection, a new MRC remote control, an Extreme Power headphone amplifier, plus a very special IEM output. RME primarily designs professional recording studio gear but the ADI-2 is perfect for audiophiles who desire great performance with extensive adjustability.
The ADI-2 DAC has all the bells and whistles that made the ADI-2 Pro famous, including its perfectly transparent sound signature and full DSP processing with Bass, Treble, Loudness, 5 Band Parametric EQ, Crossfeed, and much more. With its simplified operation and stunning design, it is the ideal center piece from home listening up to studio reference playback.
Connectivity and Features
- RME USB 2.0
- 2 x Phones Output
- Class Compliant Mode
- 1 x Line Output
- 2 x SPDIF Input
- 1 x Stereo Cinch
- SteadyClock FS
- DC-coupled Outputs
The ADI-2 DAC is the home and hi-fi optimized version of the ADI-2 Pro, a studio AD/DA converter of the highest quality. With many fresh ideas, innovative features, and numerous useful functions, the ADI-2 DAC quickly became the reference. Thanks to its combination of high-end DA conversion with two exceptional headphone IEM outputs and remote control, it has received countless enthusiastic reviews for its sound, flexibility, and technical capabilities.
The current version of the ADI-2 DAC comes with an extended remote control, a further improved DA conversion, and an adapted analog output stage for even better noise and distortion values. To address the home and HiFi users, RME exchanged some of the Pro’s studio features with typical home and HiFi ones. With an adapted feature set and much-simplified operation, RME proudly presents the ADI-2 DAC. Built on the technology, concept, and features of the ADI-2 Pro, the DAC concentrates on DA conversion in top high-end quality, along with two exceptional headphone and IEM outputs.
Packed into the compact half 19” format factor, this little gem is filled with the finest high-end electronics, offering a reference class conversion from SPDIF coaxial, SPDIF optical (ADAT compatible), and USB to RCA, XLR, TRS, and mini-TRS.
As the most versatile DAC available, the ADI-2 DAC offers balanced/unbalanced analog I/Os, an Extreme Power headphone output, a super low noise IEM output, SteadyClock FS, 4-stage hardware output level control, DSP-based signal processing, external power supply operation, Class Compliant USB compatibility, sample rates up to 768 kHz as well as DSD and Direct DSD playback. The SPDIF input signal can even be recorded via USB – as one would expect from RME the DAC is a true 2 channel Full Duplex audio interface.
The updated ADI-2 DAC uses AKM’s AK4493 in a special circuit variant developed by RME engineers that allow the chip to perform at its best. With noise levels of 123 dBA, distortion less than -120 dB, or THD+N of -116 dB, the device delivers outstanding measured values. Even the IEM output, with -118 dBu already the world’s lowest noise headphone output, improves to a sensational -121 dBu. In addition, there is 4 dB of digital headroom, so that even high intersample peaks do not produce any audible distortion. Finally, the device now also offers a clear reserve in the volume setting. +2.5 dB results in a still undistorted analog output signal.
All these improvements are completely transparent in the previous menu navigation. There are no changes in operation, features, and behavior compared to the predecessor, which is why neither appearance nor name has changed. The only difference: with ‘Low Dispersion’ another digital filter is available for selection. Explanations for this filter can be found in the detailed manual of the ADI-2 DAC.
Super Low Noise for IEM lovers
The headphone revolution not only brought headphones but also IEMs (in-ear monitors) back into the attention of audiophiles and music lovers. Modern IEMs have a reference sound that easily competes with bulky over-ear headphones, making them not only a mobile alternative but also an interesting solution in the home.
Modern IEMs are extremely sensitive and operate on very low voltages. As a side effect, they uncover the noise floor of the player, DAC, or headphone amp. When RME developed its Extreme Power headphone stage the basic noise floor was taken care of to be as low as possible. Which was then confirmed in many reviews (most black background…). Even when used with IEMs.
Still, RME wanted to make sure that even the most sensitive IEM combined with the most sensitive listener receives the full dynamic range on playback. Also, capable outputs like the Extreme Power ones are not fully safe against operating errors and might blow up ears or IEMs.
RME’s solution: adding the most advanced IEM output imaginable as a second headphone connection to the front of the ADI-2 DAC. Its ground noise floor is an astounding 10 dB lower than the one of the Extreme Power output (black hole background…), output impedance is near zero Ohms, THD reaches new record lows, click-free on/off is included as well as volume ramp-up, and the sound quality with any IEM is just amazing. You will love it!
A studio converter with all lights off? Defective. But on a DAC it was one of the most often requested features from our ADI-2 Pro HiFi customers. Here we go: display, function keys, volume knob, even the standby button – they all go off after 10 seconds of no user operation when AutoDark is activated in the unit’s menu. Touching any button or control will turn on all lights for 10 seconds. Using the remote AutoDark can also be switched off / on, and using any button on the remote turns lights on for 3 seconds. Once again: wyou will love it!
New extended Multi-Remote Support (MRC)
The ADI-2 DAC comes with a remote that is not the usual cheap add-on. This nicely designed remote control has clearly labeled buttons, readable even in low light conditions without reading glasses, a nicely laid out button arrangement that is easy to remember, and perfect button ergonomics. Plus: It won’t interfere with your ATV or other devices.
The ADI-2 DAC remote control provides buttons for standby on/off, volume, balance, bass and treble, input selection (optical, coaxial, USB), mute, on/off loudness, bass/treble and EQ. In addition, there are four programmable buttons that provide access to 32 different functions and commands for maximum flexibility. There is no other converter or comparable device with such a sophisticated, easy to use and at the same time versatile remote control!
Note for owners of the previous remote: the new MRC is also available separately as an accessory. It can be used with all ADI-2 DACs, even older ones, if they are equipped with the latest firmware (at least version FPGA 27, DSP 33).
The ADI-2 DAC is the first device in RME’s range with SteadyClock FS. There is not much to improve with SteadyClock, it has earned its accolades over years of flawless operation in numerous RME devices, guaranteeing that using the internal clock will produce exactly the same sound as when using an external one. SteadyClock highly rejects jitter and handles all digital interface formats in an exemplary way. That’s why SteadyClock’s design and behavior didn’t change in the DAC.
With SteadyClock FS the focus was put on reducing the self jitter of SteadyClock to new lows, by improving its second, analog PLL circuit, and referencing both Direct Digital Synthesis and PLL to a low phase noise quartz crystal. The self jitter measured through DA conversion now reaches levels that usually are only available in master quartz clock mode, while SteadyClock still always runs in PLL mode – no matter if internal or external clock, the sound is exactly the same (again). The low phase noise oscillator driving the updated circuit reaches jitter specs lower than a picosecond (ps), an area called FemtoSecond. Hence SteadyClock FS.
A bit test is used to check the playback path for unwanted changes in the playback data. Playback software can cut bits, add dither, or change the level – without these changes becoming noticed easily. A poorly programmed driver can manipulate bits, and playback hardware could be both badly designed and defective (hanging bits, swapped bits). Even such features as proper channel assignment, left/right synchronicity, and polarity can be tested by a well-made bit test. With a bit test, such errors can be detected and – more importantly – excluded.
Note: We strongly recommend adding the iFi iPower Elite Power Supply anywhere else you can use an external power supply in your system. In our listening tests, the iPower Elite improved the sound so dramatically we now consider it essential. It comes with a 45-day trial period but we heard the results in about an hour.
- Lock Range: 28 kHz – 200 kHz
- Jitter suppression: > 50 dB (2.4 kHz)
- Jitter when synced to input signal: < 1 ns
- Accepts Consumer and Professional format
- 1 x RCA, according to IEC 60958
- High-sensitivity input stage (< 0.3 Vpp)
- AES/EBU compatible (AES3-1992)
- 1 x optical, according to IEC 60958
- ADAT compatible
- Output level switchable +19 dBu, +13 dBu, +7 dBu, +1 dBu @ 0 dBFS
- Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) @ +7/+13/+19 dBu: 120 dB RMS unweighted, 123 dBA
- Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) @ +1 dBu: 117 dB RMS unweighted, 120 dBA
- Frequency response @ 44.1 kHz, -0.1 dB: 0 Hz – 20.2 kHz
- Frequency response @ 96 kHz, -0.5 dB: 0 Hz – 44.9 kHz
- Frequency response @ 192 kHz, -1 dB: 0 Hz – 88 kHz
- Frequency response @ 384 kHz, -1 dB: 0 Hz – 115 kHz
- Frequency response @ 768 kHz, -3 dB: 0 Hz – 109 kHz
- THD @ 0 dBFS: < -120 dB, 0.0001 %
- THD+N @ 0 dBFS: -116 dB, 0.00016 %
- Channel separation: > 120 dB
- Output impedance: 200 Ohm
As output XLR, but:
- Output: 6.3 mm TS jack, unbalanced
- Output level 6 dB lower than XLR (-5 dBu to +13 dBu @ 0 dBFS)
- Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) @ +13 dBu: 120 dB RMS unweighted, 123 dBA
- Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) @ +1/+7 dBu: 116/119 dB RMS unw., 119/122 dBA
- Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) @ -5 dBu: 112 dB RMS unweighted, 114 dBA
- Output impedance: 100 Ohm
As RCA, but:
- Output: 6.3 mm TRS jack, unbalanced, stereo
- Output impedance: 0.1 Ohm
- Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) @ +22 dBu: 120 dB RMS unweighted, 123 dBA
- Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) @ +7 dBu: 118 dB RMS unweighted, 121 dBA
- Output level at 0 dBFS, High Power, load 100 Ohm or up: +22 dBu (10 V)
- Output level at 0 dBFS, Low Power, load 8 Ohm or up: +7 dBu (1.73 V)
- THD @ +18 dBu, 32 ohm load, 1.2 watts: -120 dB, 0.0001 %
- THD+N @ + 18 dBu, 32 Ohm Load: -114 dB, 0.0002 %
- THD @ +14 dBu, 16 Ohm load, 0.94 Watt: -110 dB, 0.0003 %
- Max power @ 0.001% THD: 1.5 W per channel
As Phones, but:
- Output level at 0 dBFS: -3 dBu, 0.55 V
- Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) @ -3 dBu: 118 dB RMS unweighted, 121 dBA
- Max power, 8 Ohm, 0.001% THD: 40 mW per channel
- Clocks: Internal, SPDIF In
- Jitter suppression of external clocks: > 50 dB (2.4 kHz)
- Effective clock jitter influence on DA conversion: near zero
- PLL ensures zero dropout, even at more than 100 ns jitter
- Additional Digital Bitclock PLL for trouble-free varispeed ADAT operation
- Supported sample rates for external clocks: 28 kHz up to 200 kHz
- Internally supported sample rates: 44.1 kHz up to 768 kHz
- Included power supply: external switching PSU, 100 – 240 V AC, 2 A, 24 Watts
- Standby power consumption: 120 mW (10 mA)
- Idle power consumption: 7 Watts, Max. power consumption: 18 Watts
- Idle current at 12 V: 570 mA (6.8 Watts)
- Dimensions (WxHxD): 215 x 52 x 150 mm (8.5″ x 2.05″ x 5.9″)
- Weight: 1.0 kg ( 2.2 lbs)
- Temperature range: +5° up to +50° Celsius (41° F up to 122°F)
- Relative humidity: < 75%, non condensing