RME ADI-2 DAC FS

High-End DA Converter & Headphone Amplifier

  • Sample rates: 44.1 kHz up to 768 kHz
  • High-resolution playback of PCM, DXD and DSD at up to 768 kHz
  • SteadyClock FS
  • LCD
  • AutoDark function for lighting
  • AK4493 DAC Board
  • Signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) @ +7/+13/+19 dBu: 120 dB RMS
  • Unweighted, 123 dBA
  • IEM output with -120 dBu
  • Class compliant mode
  • Extended Remote Control (buttons for Standby On/Off, adjustment of volume, balance, bass and treble, input selection (optical, coaxial, USB), mute, on/off switching of loudness, bass/treble and EQ)
  • SPDIF input signal can be recorded via USB
  • 4-Stage hardware output level adjustment
  • Desktop case
  • Dimensions: 215 x 52 x 150 mm
  • Weight: 1.0 kg
  • Incl. MRC remote control, USB cable and power supply unit

Connections:

  • 1x S/PDIF input coaxial
  • 1x ADAT or S/PDIF input optical
  • 2x Line output RCA unbalanced (stereo L/R)
  • 2x Line output XLR balanced (stereo L/R)
  • Extreme power stereo headphone output 6.3 mm Jack
  • Super Low Noise IEM output 3.5 mm mini jack
  • USB 2.0 port (USB 3.0 compatible)

Further Information

Amount Of Channels 2
AD Conversion No
DA Conversion Yes
Max. Resolution 32 bit
Max. sampling rate 768 kHz
S/PDIF Connecor Yes
AES/EBU Connector No
ADAT Yes
Word clock No
Number of analog inputs 0
Number of Analog Outputs 4
Headphone connection Yes

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43 Customer Ratings:
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4.8 /5
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  • features
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A well designed compact device for music!
Lawrence Z, 26.05.2020
I got my Genelec 8020D first and started order this gem, then the long journey started - God that felt like life-time, but when I got the box and launched it with the new speaker and my favorite Partita No.3 by Milstein, everything worthy I told myself.

The sound through 8020 is clear, stable, balanced and rational.
- I compare both CD &SACD ver of the violin solos and can easily specify the different remasters even they came from same recording on 1973.
- That's the first time I feel such a clear but not sharp treble when listerning to violin solos, everything runs smoothly and stayed where're, the songs of strings are so beautiful I can't stop the playing.
- I don't need a bold bass, for me that's clear, solid and restrained. I like it.
- People may say this pairing is a bit too pure or bland, but that's my cup of tea - there's an EQ so I can blend something later right? :)
- If people want to pair this gem for a sweet sound with devices like Genelec speakers, HD800s, A2000z, DT1990Pro, etc, they may need an separate amp with warmer tuning - uhm but why you choose them if you need a sweet/warm sound?

I paired my IEM with ADI-2, that's a deep deep abyss I felt then.
- The unit is capable to drive IEMs.
- Headphones, the sound is excellent too, but if your device desire massive flooding power or you need more characterized output from the system, yes you may need a separate amp
- If you want the original sound of the records, you should try to plug your spekaer ot headphones direct to the unit.

It's shipped with good build quality and nice looking - Yes I love the white rings Yes!!!
- The unit is easy to install, oh you may need turn the vol to -40 or lower if combined to a powerful active speaker.
- Outstanding functionality and excellent ergonomics, the remote controller, display, and tuner are nice to use.
- You may need some time to study the use of the tuners with the logfic RME set for the massive settings you can adjust for either pro or consumer purpose. That's amazing you can adjust so many settings for various purpose.

I would recomment this unit for people need clear/original sound and various functionality for pro/entertainment uses. The unit is great fine-tuned and well fabricated, definitely worthy the coins.
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Best thousand euros you will ever spend on audio gear
musicinprag, 02.12.2019
I agree with most of what Artemis *Seven* wrote in his review. I have some Sennheiser HD 25s which I leave on my desk because they're tough and cheap and I don't have to baby them. They're a little bright but resolve pretty well so I keep them handy for monitoring recordings on some of my TASCAM gear. Other times I run them out of a Chord Mojo I have connected to a Linux box.

Last night I played some high rate PCM sample files and SACD rips over the RME and I couldn't believe what I was hearing. This DAC is beyond superb. It turned the HD 25s into a high end listening experience. The headphones absolutely disappeared and I was there in the concert hall. Just fantastic. I don't remember a wow moment like this. And I could not have expected it from this pair of headphones.

RME has a forum and there is a good chance that bugs in the firmware will be addressed. The device speaks for itself as soon as you listen to it.

The DAC comes with a real dead-tree manual, spiral bound and lay-flat so you can linger over it and you will need to! However the manual comes with a note saying it's somewhat out of date. I think it should have gotten the latest manual.

The RME does not seem to be a good pairing for my Sennheiser HD 600s but I'm not really surprised since the 600s are usually much happier on tubes. This is not a complaint about the RME, just to let anybody know that if Sennheisers are your main phones like they are for me, you might want a separate headamp to drive off the RME. I have several here but have not had the time to experiment.

I have not tried to run the RME into a hifi system but from what I have heard on phones I believe it would be difficult to beat. For now it is used as a DACAMP on my desk. The lights-out mode is neat but that is only an option when the device is on. When it's off there is a bright red ring around the power button. There should be an option to turn that off completely.

There are tons and tons of features and settings and I find navigation a little confusing. Three controls rotate and can also be pushed and their behavior depends somewhat on where you are. UI is hard. This is good but quirky. You won't be bored...

I still can't figure out how to deal with the EQ but to be honest I haven't spent much time with the manual.

The DAC has protective features so it won't burn up a pair of expensive IEMs or blow up your ears. A lot of thought went into the details on this. I'm impressed with that, it is somewhat unique. But I too would have preferred 2 x 1/4 inch headphone jacks rather than one for headphones and one for IEMs.
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AudioVoodo killer
Karister, 05.07.2020
I’ve been looking for a DAC to my Stereo system and DAC+AMP for my headphones for quite a while. Finally I picked RME ADI-2 ADC FS due to it’s awesome measured performance, decent power output for headphones and advanced DSP.

I owned a few devices (Marantz HD-DAC 1. Matrix Audio Element M, Burson Conductor, Schiit Audio) before and RME is the first one that after two weeks I have nothing to complain about. It is simply an audio-voodoo nonsense killer.

Firstly it has a brilliant noise floor. My sensitive IEMs are dead silent when nothing is playing. Finally! Secondly it can easily drive my HiFiMAN Arya which is a demanding headphone. No hassle at all. While low power mode is not enough for loud listening, high power mode shows it’s true potential. Even when close to max volume (sorry to my ears for that) there was no distortion at all. My HiFiMAN Arya was shaking on my head due to intense drivers’ movement and in a sub-bass heavy song it sounded no worse than a stereo system with a proper subwoofer. While my previous amp (rated at 1W per channel) was just producing one big distortion, sound from RME was perfectly clean and powerful. In terms of sound quality and performance I simply love it.

Second thing that I love is that it cured me from audio-voodoo. Detailed DACs, Warm sounding AMP, silver cables… come on. RME’s parametric EQ offers way more versatility. It really allows you to fit sound to your personal taste. I would love it to have more than 5 bands, though. Nevertheless, it is still a powerful tool. Another great function is crossfeed. Must have for headphones listening. I hate it when one instrument plays to the left ear and another one to the right ear. It is such an unnatural and tiring feeling. Crossfeed fixes it. While instruments stay in their positions, this unpleasant feeling is gone and instruments are more to the center. Something like listening to the stereo system which is always in front of the listener. Another nice thing is that RME saves settings for each output separately. This way I can have separate volume and EQ settings for stereo and headphones. I need to only switch the output and all settings are loaded automatically. It is simply clever and well thought.

There are some other minor cool things worth mentioning as well. Four programmable buttons in the remote are very handy. Auto input select works great. I connected my PC via optical and my network player via coax. Thanks to it, RME normally works as a DAC for PC but when I start playback via network, it automatically switches to coax input. When I stop playback from the network, it automatically goes back to optical. So convenient! Just perfect.

There are only minor things that I dislike about RME ADI-2 DAC FS. Firstly, It’s weight. It is too light and it must be held when pressing encoder knobs. Fingers easily leave greasy marks on it. Secondly, I use it as a DAC for stereo and DAC+AMP for headphones as mentioned before. I set volume for line out to 0dB as I have volume control in my stereo AMP. When I change Mute line setting from Toggle Ph/Line (it allows me to switch between Headphones and line out with the remote) to Off, RME switches output to headphones and uses volume setting from line out. 0dB in my case. This could be an unfortunate death of many headphones and ears due to misclick when done during playback. Lastly, I would appreciate some protection film for display. Mine was unprotected during shipping.

Last big plus for RME for their guide movies on Youtube. Very detailed and helpful. Despite being loaded with an enormous number of functions, I managed to set everything up without opening the manual.

To sum up - my best audio purchase ever. Price is very competitive when compared to hi-end audiophile companies. I am pretty sure I will be RME fanboy for a long time.
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Here comes a no BS review
paparapa, 17.03.2020
Since the first time I saw ADI-2 DAC I was always convinced that one day I will be owning this Swiss army knife of audio gear, use it with great passion and put its features that I fell in love with to use.
Boy, I couldn't have been closer to the truth.

I am using it with Dynaudio 18s and BM5 MKIII as a consumer. Now, putting its amazing performance at the test bench aside, this thing is an evolution of a term DAC when it comes to practical use and feature set.

Good build quality, good looks, outstanding functionality, very good ergonomics - both dealing with ADI-2 DACs hardware and software side (I read most often complaints by other people about getting around the unit itself, mostly about confusing menu structure). But honestly, the whole package that you are getting is plentiful and it took me a day or two to get used to it. If you find ADI-2 DAC too much, it may not be the DAC you are looking for. You also get a caring team behind the device you got, constantly polishing the product in terms of firmware updates, which was unprecedented and unthinkable for a manufacturer to provide two-three years ago in consumer/'hi-fi' market.
That is, 'till RME came.

I will leave subjective opinions to others.

There is one tiny con, but still a con, It would be terrific if in one of the future updates guys at RME would allow another PEQ band bellow 200 Hz. I know it's getting crowded down there and there is a higher chance of bands overlapping, but at least leave it as a possibility for end-users.
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B-Stock from $859 available
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Available immediately
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