RME ADI-2 DAC
The ADI-2 DAC offers an improved SteadyClock, a perfectly tuned analog circuit, a remote control, an Extreme Power headphone output, and additionally a special IEM output. It has all the features that have made the ADI-2 Pro famous, first of all its completely transparent sound and the elaborate DSP processing with bass, treble, loudness, parametric 5-band EQ, crossfeed and much more. With its simplified operation and breathtaking design, it is the ideal heart for the listener at home to reference playback in the studio.
In 2016 RME published the ADI-2 Pro. With many fresh ideas, innovative features and numerous useful functions, it has since rolled up the AD/DA converter scene and quickly became the reference for AD and DA conversion. Thanks to its two Extreme Power headphone outputs, it has also been well received in home and hi-fi applications, and has received countless enthusiastic reviews for its sound, flexibility, and technical capabilities.
To better appeal to home and hi-fi users, RME replaced some of the studio features with typical hi-fi features. RME now presents the ADI-2 DAC, equipped with an adapted as well as an extended range of functions and a simplified operation. This is based on the technology, concept and features of the ADI-2 Pro, but focuses on high-end DA conversion combined with two exceptional headphone and IEM outputs, and a remote control.
Packed in a compact 9.5 inch format, this little gem is equipped with the finest high-end electronics, and offers a reference conversion from SPDIF coaxial, SPDIF optical (ADAT compatible) and USB to Cinch, XLR, TRS and mini jack.
As the most flexible DAC on the market today, the ADI-2 DAC offers balanced and unbalanced analog outputs, an Extreme Power headphone output, an extremely low-noise IEM output, SteadyClock FS, 4-stuﬁge hardware output level matching, DSP-based signal processing, external power supply, Class Compliant USB compatibility, sample rates up to 768 kHz and playback of DSD and Direct DSD. The SPDIF input signal can even be recorded via USB - as usual with RME, the DAC is a true 2-channel full duplex audio interface.
With the DAC, RME's engineers took the opportunity to further perfect the DAC's analog output stage. With more relays, an improved double-balanced attenuation circuit and an additional buffer operational amplifier, even less noise and distortion is achieved. Since the DAC chip is the limiting factor here, this is difficult to measure, but still an important improvement, especially at the lower output levels typical for cinch applications. The new hardware reference levels of +13 dBu, +7 dBu, +1 dBu and -5 dBu also play their part.
The continuing trend towards headphones has not only attracted the attention of conventional headphones, but also of IEMs (in-ear monitors) among audiophiles and music lovers. Modern IEMs feature reference-quality sound that can easily compete with bulky over-ear headphones, making them not only a mobile alternative, but also an interesting solution for the home.
Modern IEMs are extremely empﬁndlich and work with very low voltages. As a side effect, however, they often make the background noise of the player, DAC or headphone amplifier audible. During the development of the Extreme Power headphone circuit, care was taken to keep the background noise as low as possible. This has been confirmed in many tests (deep black background...). Even when using IEMs.
However, RME wanted to make sure that even the empﬁndlichste IEM would deliver the full dynamic range to the ears of the empﬁndlichsten music listener. High-quality outputs such as Extreme Power are not immune to operating errors and could overtax ears such as IEMs.
RME's solution: To add the most advanced IEM output imaginable as a second headphone output on the front of the ADI-2 DAC. Its background noise is astonishing 10 dB lower than that of the Extreme Power output (black hole...), the output impedance is almost zero ohms and the THD value reaches new record depths. Click-free power on/off is just as natural as volume ramp-up, and the sound quality with every IEM is simply incredible. We are sure you will be thrilled!
A studio converter without lighting? Broken. But for a DAC this was one of the wishes expressed by HiFi customers at häuﬁgsten for the ADI-2 Pro. Now it's coming true: display, function keys, volume control, even the standby button - they all go off after 10 seconds without user input when AutoDark is enabled in the device's menu. By touching any button or rotary knob, the lighting switches on again for 10 seconds. AutoDark can also be switched on and off using the remote control. Press any button on the remote control to turn on the backlight for 3 seconds. You will surely love this too!
The ADI-2 DAC comes with a remote control that is more than the usual cheap accessory. This elaborately designed remote control has clearly labelled buttons that can be read without reading glasses even in poor lighting conditions, an easy-to-remember logical button arrangement and perfect button ergonomics. And: It does not interfere with ATV or other devices.
The DAC remote offers buttons for standby on/off, volume, input selection (optical, coaxial, USB) and mute. In addition, there are four programmable keys that provide access to 22 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!
The ADI-2 DAC is the first device in the RME portfolio with SteadyClock FS. There is not much to improve on SteadyClock, the circuit has in years of flawless operation in numerous RME devices much praise and awards earned. It ensures that when using the internal clock, exactly the same sound quality is achieved as with any external source. SteadyClock effectively suppresses jitter and processes all digital interface formats in an exemplary manner. Therefore the design and behaviour of SteadyClock in the ADI-2 DAC have not changed.
With SteadyClock FS the focus was on reducing the jitter to the lowest values. This was achieved by improving the second analog PLL circuit, and referencing the Direct Digital Synthesis as well as the PLL to a quartz with lower phase noise. The jitter that can be measured via a DA conversion now reaches values that are normally only available in master quartz mode, while SteadyClock continues to run in PLL mode - no matter if internal or external clock, the sound is (again) exactly identical. The low phase noise quartz used for the updated circuit has a jitterSpeziﬁkation below one picosecond (ps), a range called FemtoSecond. Hence SteadyClock FS.
Sample rates: 44.1 kHz up to 768 kHz
Playback of DSD and Direct DSD
LC display with AutoDark function for illumination
Dimensions: 215 x 52 x 150 mm
Weight: 1.0 kg
incl. remote control, USB cable and mains adapter
S/PDIF input coaxial
ADAT / S/PDIF input optical
2 line outputs Cinch unbalanced (stereo L/R)
2 line outputs XLR balanced (stereo L/R)
Stereo headphone output 6.3 mm jack
Low Noise IEM output 3.5 mm mini jack
USB 2.0 port (USB 3.0 compatible)