Reviewed: RME ADI-2 DAC DA converter & audio interface

Innovative Music Australia | innovativemusic.com.au | Expect to Pay: $1999

No one does analogue to digital conversion like RME, and the ADI-2 DAC is proof of that. After the success of the ADI-2 PRO, the company saw further possibilities for a simpler DA device in the hi-fi market and with that realisation, the ADI-2 DAC was born. Built with incredible audio quality in mind for use in a home environment, this is the device you should consider when you really want to hear everything.

RME understood the requirement for a DA that didn’t compromise on quality, with so much music now available in various digital formats. Taking from the design of the ADI-2 PRO, they focused on the output element, as primarily users would be looking for the device to convert their digital audio into an analogue signal for amplification and listening purposes. This meant that the ADI-2 DAC really only needed to deal with half the signal flow, but still needed to deliver all of the quality.

 

The SteadyClock system employed by RME ensures you hear every detail with accurate sample rates of up to 768kHz, with incredibly low total harmonic distortion. This means that what you hear is perfect thanks also to what you don’t hear. This is especially true with the two customised headphone outputs with extremely low operating noise - one designed for over-ear cans, the other for in-ear headphones with a near zero impedance.

 

Alongside the balanced XLR outputs, the unbalanced RCA outputs are ideal for connecting consumer and audiophile grade amplifiers. A sleek and simple remote control is included to allow for a range of functions from volume adjustment to input selection. Plus, the new ‘lights out’ feature, when engaged, turns off all lights on the unit, including the standby, whilst it is in operation. When this is running, with no movement of any of the control for more than ten seconds, the unit blacks out to operate silently and unnoticed, allowing you to fully focus on the sound and not be distracted by flashing lights or glowing LEDs. These little touches, along with a slick stackable design make this the perfect addition to any serious listeners’ audio path. If you really want to hear what’s in your music, then make sure it all gets to your speakers properly and consider your digital to analogue conversion. There’s no doubt you will instantly hear the difference, and I am sure all users will love the clever design of this very handy device.

 

Hits and Misses

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Compact, sleek design

Lights out mode is unobtrusive

Pristine audio conversion

Perfect for hi-fi applications

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Not a thing

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