John Reekie
Technologicality, at work and play

RME ADI-2 Pro vs ADI-2 DAC

This is an appendix to my article RME ADI-2 Pro : a Technical Overview.

Not long after I purchased my ADI-2 Pro, RME released the “DAC only” version. It felt it worth a brief comparison. Here is the block diagram of the ADI-2 DAC:

As you can see by comparing to the block diagram of the ADI-2 Pro, the ADI-2 DAC is a much simpler device! Compared to the ADI-2 Pro, it is missing:

  • Analog inputs
  • The second pair of analog outputs and associated processing (i.e. Phones 3/4)
  • Balanced headphone drive
  • Digital outputs
  • AES/EBU digital input
  • Multichannel USB
  • Rack-mounting holes

However, it gains:

  • A dedicated IEM amplifier
  • A remote control
  • Incremental improvements in the internal clocking and analog output stage (these are now, I believe, in the currently produced ADI-2 Pro, which has received a name change to “ADI-2 Pro FS“.)
  • Bass/treble and loudness compensation runs at 352.8 and 384 kHz sample rates
  • An “auto-dark” mode
  • Audiophile feet

There are some things that are just different:

  • The unbalanced 1/4″ TS output jacks have been replaced with RCA jacks.
  • The hardware reference levels are lower and uniformly spaced.
  • The hardware reference levels on the unbalanced outputs are 6 dB lower than the balanced.
  • The front panel is black instead of silver.


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