The RME ADI-2 DAC receives a review from American Hi-Fi specialists Headfonics. Click here to read the full review.
Back in 2016 RME made a big splash with the release of the ADI-2 Pro, a new flagship AD/DA converter and headphone amplifier featuring the pro audio manufacturer's most accurate audio conversion to date. The brainchild of RME’s Head of Design Matthias Carstens, who personally oversaw every step of the design process, the ADI-2 Pro was the result of one man's mission to create the ultimate headphone amplifier and USB-DAC.
Since its release the ADI-2 Pro has become a popular choice for mixing and mastering applications, with incredibly detailed and transparent sonics, plus a host of useful features such as onboard EQ, spectral analyser, recording and playback up to 768 kHz, and of course the two "Extreme Power" headphone outputs, that have enough juice to power even the most high-impedence set of cans.
"I can’t think of any other desktop DAC/amp combo
that would be easier to recommend in 2018."
The combination of sonic clarity and state of the art features also drew the attention of the HiFi community. Of course, the needs of HiFi users and professional engineers differ slightly, and so with a nod to the HiFi community, RME and Matthias revealed a new version of the ADI-2 Pro in 2018 called the RME ADI-2 DAC.
Doing away with the analogue to digital capabilities, the RME ADI-2 DAC has been redesigned as the perfect addition to high-end home setups, as well as offering a lower-cost alternative front-end for engineers and music producers who work primarily 'in-the-box'.
"The ADI-2 DAC is technically marvellous, regardless of whether
you want to dive into the long feature list or not."
Stylised in an all-black housing, the RME ADI-2 DAC features a new dedicated IEM connection allowing for the direct connection of in-ear headphones without the need for an adapter. A customisable, user-definable remote control is also included (a first for an RME device), and the new 'lights-out' mode turns off all lights on the unit – perfect for a home cinema setup, or for listening to music in total darkness. The clock has also been improved (down to the femtosecond, hence the 'FS' on the front panel), an advancement which has also been included on the latest version of the RME ADI-2 Pro.
The RME ADI-2 DAC features a new dedicated output for IEM's, along with the new Femtosecond clocking.
Other new features include the 'lights out' mode, and a remote control.
One of the first reviews of the ADI-2 Pro was courtesy of headphone specialist website Headfonics, who called the device “a game changer”, and now the ADI-2 DAC has also received a similarly glowing review. Covering every aspect of the ADI-2 DAC from the sound quality to extensive feature set, Headfonics have produced a fittingly detailed analysis, concluding that “This is an extremely down-to-earth device that has just been given extreme thought, massive experience and great attention to detail. The ADI-2 DAC is technically marvellous, regardless of whether you want to dive into the long feature list or not. I do recommend you do, though, because the equalizer with its many save slots, the customizable loudness function, the tight crossfeed, various DA filters and many controls to test your whole audio chain just keep on giving and giving."
You can read the full review of the RME ADI-2 DAC by visiting the Headfonics website here.