RME's Head of Design Matthias Carstens take us through the RME ADI-2 DAC headphone amplifier and USB-DAC at Musikmesse 2018
The big news from the RME stand at Musikmesse 2018 was the announcement of two new interfaces, the RME Digiface AVB and the Digiface Dante, which we featured in our previous video from the show. The show also provided the perfect opportunity to have RME's Head of Design Matthias Carstens to give us a tour of the new RME ADI-2 DAC, and to take us through a few of his favourite features on this feature-laden headphone amp and USB-DAC.
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The RME ADI-2 DAC is designed for audio professionals and HiFi enthusiasts who require the best in detailed, transparent audio conversion for monitoring and playback. Suggested applications include utilising the ADI-2 DAC as a high-end monitoring solution, tasks such as audio editing, mixing, mastering and post-production, and simply for listening to music in ultra high-definiton.
The ADI-2 DAC will equally fit right into any audiophile’s HiFi setup, providing pristine sonics and a huge amount of functionality, and perfectly matching with your favourite pair of headphones.
Reference-Class Sound Quality
Both the RME ADI-2 DAC and the updated RME ADI-2 Pro FS feature the finest sound quality from RME. The ‘sonic signature’ is what we’ve come to expect from RME – transparent, clean and highly detailed, with first-class imaging that reproduces music in a natural and unadulterated form the makes it the perfect choice for critical listening, high-end musical enjoyment and even measurement testing.
Unique Feature Set
In addition to the excellent sound quality, the ADI-2 DAC features internal signal processing thanks to the powerful Digital Signal Processor. The extensive list of features provides a seriously impressive level of functionality and includes;
- Dedicated 5-Band parametric EQ for each individual output, storeable to one of the ADI-2 DAC's memory slots
- User-customisable bass and treble adjustments
- Adjustable crossfeed different anti-aliasing filter types
- Loudness control (a legacy of HiFi amplifiers)
- 5 different types of crossfeed
- Automatic recognition of headphones (for impedance matching)
- Automatic volume reduction upon connection (for preventing overloads)
- ‘AutoDark’ mode, which switches off all lights on the unit during playback and allows you to enjoy your favourite music in total darkness.
- Class compliant / plug 'n' play with Windows, Mac and iOS devices, enabling sample rates up to 768 kHz with an iPad via USB
Customisable remote control
A first for an RME device, the ADI-2 DAC also comes complete with a customisable remote control. Along with controls for adjusting volume, input selection and power on/off, the remote features four user-definable buttons (set to Mono On/Off, Loudness On/Off, Bass/Treble enable and Dim by default). In total, a choice of 21 different parameters can be programmed for precise control over the ADI-2 DAC's long list of features.
RME ADI-2 DAC Reviews
The RME ADI-2 DAC has already received several detailed reviews, with unanimous opinions that this is a device that does not disappoint, combining RME’s industry-renowned sound and build quality with a feature set not found on any other device in the price range.
“I can’t think of any other desktop DAC/amp combo that would be easier to recommend in 2018.”
“These little touches, along with a slick stackable design make this the perfect addition to any serious listeners’ audio path.”
“Overall it is very balanced and would make a great monitoring tool.”
“It’s a stellar digital-to-analog converter with an outstanding headphone output and unmatched features. I cannot recommend it highly enough.”