The ADI-2 DAC includes an improved SteadyClock, a fine-tunedto perfection analog circuitry, new MRC remote control, Extreme Power headphoneoutput and a very special IEM output. It has all the bells and whistles thatmade the ADI-2 Pro famous, including its perfectly transparent sound signatureand full DSP processing with Bass, Treble, Loudness, 5 Band Parametric EQ,Crossfeed and much more. With its simplified operation and stunning design itis 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 theADI-2 Pro, a studio AD/DA converter of the highest quality. With many freshideas, innovative features and numerous useful functions, the ADI-2 DAC quicklybecame the reference. Thanks to its combination of high-end DA conversion withtwo exceptional headphone IEM outputs and a remote control, it has receivedcountless enthusiastic reviews for its sound, flexibility, and technicalcapabilities.
The current version of the ADI-2 DAC comes with an extendedremote control, a further improved DA conversion and an adapted analog outputstage for even better noise and distortion values. To address the home and HiFiusers, RME exchanged some of the Pro's studio features with typical home andHiFi ones. With an adapted feature set and much simplified operation RMEproudly presents the ADI-2 DAC. Built on the technology, concept and featuresof the ADI-2 Pro, the DAC concentrates on DA conversion in top high-endquality, along with two exceptional headphone and IEM outputs.
Packed into the compact half 19” format factor, this littlegem is filled with the finest high-end electronics, offering a reference classconversion 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 offersbalanced/unbalanced analog I/Os, an Extreme Power headphone output, a super lownoise IEM output, SteadyClock FS, 4-stage hardware output level control,DSP-based signal processing, external power supply operation, Class CompliantUSB compatibility, sample rates up to 768 kHz as well as DSD and Direct DSDplayback. The SPDIF input signal can even be recorded via USB - as one wouldexpect 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 circuitvariant developed by RME engineers that allows the chip to perform at its best.With noise levels of 123 dBA, distortion less than -120 dB, or THD+N of -116dB, the device delivers outstanding measured values. Even the IEM output, with-118 dBu already the world's lowest noise headphone output, improves to asensational -121 dBu. In addition, there is 4 dB of digital headroom, so thateven high intersample peaks do not produce any audible distortion. Finally, thedevice now also offers a clear reserve in volume setting. +2.5 dB result in astill undistorted analog output signal.
All these improvements are completely transparent in theprevious menu navigation. There are no changes in operation, features andbehavior compared to the predecessor, which is why neither appearance nor namehave changed. The only difference: with 'Low Dispersion' another digital filteris available for selection. Explanations for this filter can be found in thedetailed manual of the ADI-2 DAC.
Super Low Noise for IEM lovers
The headphone revolution not only brought headphones butalso IEMs (in ear monitors) back into the attention of audiophiles and musiclovers. Modern IEMs have a reference sound that easily competes with bulkyover-ear headphones, making them not only a mobile alternative, but also aninteresting solution in home.
Modern IEMs are extremely sensitive and operate on very lowvoltages. As a side effect they uncover the noise floor of the player, DAC orheadphone amp. When RME developed its Extreme Power headphone stage the basicnoise floor was taken care to be as low as possible. Which was then confirmedin many reviews (most black background…). Even when used with IEMs.
Still RME wanted to make sure that even the most sensitiveIEM combined with the most sensitive listener receive the full dynamic range onplayback. Also capable outputs like the Extreme Power ones are not fully safeagainst operating errors and might blow up ears or IEMs.
RME's solution: adding the most advanced IEM outputimaginable as second phones connection to the front of the ADI-2 DAC. Its groundnoise floor is an astounding 10 dB lower than the one of the Extreme Poweroutput (black hole background…), output impedance is near zero Ohms, THDreaches new record lows, click-free on/off is included as well as volumeramp-up, and the sound quality with any IEM is just amazing. We're sure youwill love it!
A studio converter with all lights off? Defective. But on aDAC it was one of the most often requested features from our ADI-2 Pro HiFicustomers. Here we go: display, function keys, volume knob, even the standbybutton - they all go off after 10 seconds of no user operation when AutoDark isactivated in the unit's menu. Touching any button or control will turn on alllights 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:we're sure you will love it!
New extended Multi-Remote Support (MRC)
The ADI-2 DAC comes with a remote that is not the usualcheap add-on. This nicely designed remote control has clearly labeled buttons,readable even in low light conditions without reading glasses, a nicely laidout 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 standbyon/off, volume, balance, bass and treble, input selection (optical, coaxial,USB), mute, on/off loudness, bass/treble and EQ. In addition, there are fourprogrammable buttons that provide access to 32 different functions and commandsfor maximum flexibility. There is no other converter or comparable device withsuch a sophisticated, easy to use and at the same time versatile remotecontrol!
Note for owners of the previous remote: the new MRC is alsoavailable separately as an accessory. It can be used with all ADI-2 DACs, evenolder ones, if they are equipped with the latest firmware (at least versionFPGA 27, DSP 33).
The ADI-2 DAC is the first device in RME's range withSteadyClock FS. There is not much to improve with SteadyClock, it has earnedits accolades over years of flawless operation in numerous RME devices,guaranteeing that using the internal clock will produce exactly the same soundas when using an external one. SteadyClock highly rejects jitter and handlesall digital interface formats in an exemplary way. That's why SteadyClock'sdesign and behavior didn't change in the DAC.
With SteadyClock FS the focus was put on reducing the selfjitter of SteadyClock to new lows, by improving its second, analog PLL circuit,and referencing both Direct Digital Synthesis and PLL to a low phase noisequartz crystal. The self jitter measured through DA conversion now reacheslevels that usually are only available in master quartz clock mode, whileSteadyClock still always runs in PLL mode - no matter if internal or externalclock, sound is exactly the same (again). The low phase noise oscillatordriving 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 unwantedchanges in the playback data. Playback software can cut bits, add dither, orchange the level - without these changes becoming noticed easily. A poorlyprogrammed driver can manipulate bits, and a playback hardware could be bothbadly designed and defective (hanging bits, swapped bits). Even such featuresas proper channel assignment, left/right synchronicity and polarity can betested by a well-made bit test.
With a bit test, such errors can be detected and - moreimportantly - excluded.
Bit Test Audio files (download)