How does it perform and is my hinted hypothesis to the Chord Qutest a sound one? Sorry, forgive the pun…. Sometimes when you do a HiFi appraisal you think a product is improved because of a change, you have to check yourself. Not in a physical way, but that emotional or psychological check we should do as Audiophiles sometimes. This is the case with the RME because over and above the Qutest I use, in a number of areas there are decent sonic improvements.

In a technologically pleasing way this DAC looks like the radio stack out of a fighter aircraft. There is also an auto level feature that changes reference levels to account for signal to noise ratio changes as volume goes up and down.

But in short there are filter settings, balance settings and cross-feed for headphone use. Also the manual is as in depth as reading a technical aviation manual. PCM music files are playable up to 32 bit at kHz. Not getting bogged down in technicalities, jitter is digital audio timing errors when the audio changes from digital to analogue, manifesting as noise.

I should say I have used the USB 2. Particularly an expressive mid range that snaps you to attention especially if, comparatively, you are used to something more vague in this sonic canton.


Whilst superlative chucking prose risks overblowing a product to loose out in credibility stakes, I have no compunction doing so here. In an unembellished way, the reason being that this DAC took me into the pleasing sphere of listening to my favourite albums afresh.

Alpha waves or endorphins — whatever they are, they just make you feel good. And speak about a decently big soundstage with a wide and fat fast bass, for I can — yes Sir! The RME is no different in showing off its muscles overtly, this way. Smooth in a way with bass, not coffee, by the way. In comparison, the Chord Qutest is a wider purveyor of music.

You get an idea the electronic instrumentation is ever so slightly more dynamic with the RME. Where it should be, with better timing and accuracy in the midrange.

Just letting the rest of the music do its thing. So whereas the Qutest seems to strut its stuff in a full encompassing soundscape, the RME does so in a more reigned in way but one which has naturalness on side more. A more enveloping but muscular sound with the Chord, which is in your face whilst elevating all aspects in music and exposing it full frontally.

The RME on the other hand has an impression again of everything being in its place. The Chord is somewhat forcing the music out comparatively with its thicker mindset, which may or may not be your thing.

RME ADI-2 DAC Review

Again bass is more spread out, but in comparison the RME impresses in letting the highs, lows and midrange out naturally. Perhaps headphones at such price can resolve only so much — a comparison using some over ear monitors would be needed to reach a definitive view.

But considering the RME makes a case at a lower price, it represents extremely good value for money. This is a DAC punching as a heavyweight but at relative welterweight prices. The feature set and headphone usage over the Chord may be a consideration too. Soundstage can be quite a big ingredient in HiFi.

Missing it is like a curry without chilli or salt. Sticking to the food theme — like an apple with no biting citrus taste perhaps. So horses for courses and it will depend on the rest of your gear too. OK they might not be exactly comparable in feature sets in making straight comparisons — most obviously headphone usage.

I can comment on this and the answer is yes, absolutely.Besides the excellent DAC and headphone amplifier, the ADI-2 also comes with a number of additional features that make it a true audiophile Swiss army knife.

Upgrading to the current firmware is worthwhile, because some delivered devices still need the manual installation of a driver, at least under Windows Overall, the ADI-2 DAC looks the part, although leaning more to a technical design, a great feature is the option to have all LEDs and the display switched off automatically after a few seconds during operation.

The rotary controllers, which are matched in design to the buttons, are free of play and have a pleasant resistance with fine grid as well as a clearly defined pressure point. The front and rear connectors offer a decent resistance when plugging in cables. All settings are shown on a neat matrix display. Scrolling through the different menus can take some getting used to and all actions must be manually executed on the device itself, since there is no smartphone app available.

RME offers users the opportunity to exert influence on almost every aspect of the sound quality. There are various digital filters and a parametric equalizer. Even the Loudness function can be individually tuned. The possibilities to adjust the sound are almost infinite. We usually prefer the direct mode on any device we listen to and started off in that mode with the ADI-2 DACthe higher quality recordings we are familiar with sounded extremely well without any noticeable added coloration.

Browsing through the different equalizer settings had us enjoying some long forgotten albums and made us reconsider our opinion on the constant need for absolute transparency in a system. He can easily drive a wide range of headphones including sensitive IEMs, is small, lightweight and has numerous of professional options. Back to reviews. Skip to content Reviews.

Sound RME offers users the opportunity to exert influence on almost every aspect of the sound quality. Close Menu.Twenty-five years later, nothing seems to have been resolved. While sigma-delta DAC chips have indeed improved to an extraordinary degree, they are rejected by some hard-core audiophiles for failing to reproduce the force and attack of live music. And even when the processor uses a digital reconstruction filter, arguments rage about whether that filter should be linear-phase or minimum-phase, and whether it should be short have a very small number of coefficients or taps or as long as possible.

And that's without considering newer forms of lossless digital conversion. As you can read in our December issuewhile I felt the Aqua DAC didn't commit any egregious sins, its sound quality was not totally to my taste footnote 2. I miss it still. Describing The Qutest is a small, black device wider than it is deep 6. A circular glass window in the top panel illuminates to indicate the sample rate of the incoming data: red for Two spherical, polycarbonate buttons are inset in the front panel.

The left button selects the reconstruction filter chosen, of which four are available: Incisive Neutral button illuminates whiteIncisive Neutral HF roll-off greenWarm orangeand Warm HF roll-off red.

The right button is used to select the source. The Qutest has a single pair of unbalanced analog outputs on RCA jacks. The maximum output level is fixed, but if the Filter and Source buttons are pressed simultaneously when the DAC is powered up, the level can be set to 3V, 2V, or 1V. In keeping with Watts's philosophy see my DAVE review for extracts from my interview with him is very long, with 49, taps compared to the typical or thereabouts.

After the Roon 1. The only unbalanced interconnects I had that were long enough to reach the amplifiers in use were the 3m Canares I usually use in the test lab.

As the Chord lacks a volume control, with the Lamm M1. Listening I started my auditioning with the Qutest's Incisive Neutral filter.

With the Incisive Neutral filter, I was strongly reminded of that description. Perhaps there wasn't quite the soundstage depth that I remember from the DAVE, but that was of minor concern, given the excellent sense of forward motion the Qutest lent to this music.

Footnote 1: See the relevant section of my Audio Engineering Society lecture here. Footnote 3: See here and here. US distributor: Bluebird Music Ltd. My brother and I both prefer the Qutest and then sold the Yggy.

In analyses like these, the individual levels of each FFT bin or spectral component are not the same as the signal level. Specs say step volume control and, the head-amp specs also look excellent You could compare it with the passive volume control, you are currently using Great suggestion, I'll get on it.

Submitted by Bogolu Haranath on December 30, - am Great Looking forward for the review When one sounds a tad better is it because of the Interconnects?

I've done this same test yielding day to day performance flips. Am I Neurotic? Are all of us Neurotic? He reveals the underlying foundation of our audiophile Hobby. It's a Must-See!Read times. Hoping that this thread stays alive for a good long and keep the above listings updated while as this technology matures. Member Posts: Good idea for a list! Just research the MQA partners and your list will be almost complete bearing new additions. Their list is less complete than mine.

How can they hope to sell MQA without a full listing of associated gear? Can't say I'm a fan of remastering songs I've learned to love or as a speaker guy that I'm impressed with the sonic differences between MQA and Redbook, but trying to keep an open mind to what might be our future.

The big advantage of MQA over all the other hi-res formats is that it is accessible to anyone with Redbook capabilities. RandyH Jr. Quote from: JLM on 12 Janpm. When MQA was first announced I was excited at the possibility of a new codec that offered hi-res sound in a smaller packet. But over the last couple of years MQA has been exposed as an Industry scam. It takes 24 bit hi-res and at best turns it into 18 bit, but more typically 17 bit or lower.

Its filter has been shown to be less that optimal. It has been demonstrated that on several occasions MQA is using a different master than was available before. But the real problem is the built-in DRM. If it becomes the standard for streaming and it is profitable, then I fear the labels will consider restricting hi-res access streaming and downloads. Anyone involved needs to pay MQA. Luckily, I think and hope MQA will fail.

The majority streaming music are using services such as iTunes through crappy earbuds. They neither know nor care about audio fidelity. Quote from: jseymour on 12 Janpm. Member Posts: 54 Space Doggy. A bit late to the subject SMF 2. Cookies help us provide you a better browsing experience. By using our site, you consent to the use of cookies by us.

OK Learn more. TIA Logged slugworth Jr. That page is woefully incomplete, seems to be only listing some of the latest MQA certified products. Logged jseymour Jr. An open mind indeed. I see no reason to start drawing lines in the sand and eliminating products just because they offer MQA capability.With its simplified operation and stunning design it is the ideal center piece from home listening up to studio reference playback.

Thanks to its combination of high-end DA conversion with two exceptional headphone IEM outputs and a remote control, it has received countless enthusiastic reviews for its sound, flexibility, and technical capabilities. The current version of the ADI-2 DAC comes with an extended remote control, a further improved DA conversion and an adapted analog output stage for even better noise and distortion values.

Even the IEM output, with dBu already the world's lowest noise headphone output, improves to a sensational dBu. In addition, there is 4 dB of digital headroom, so that even high intersample peaks do not produce any audible distortion. Finally, the device now also offers a clear reserve in volume setting. All these improvements are completely transparent in the previous menu navigation.

There are no changes in operation, features and behavior compared to the predecessor, which is why neither appearance nor name have changed. The only difference: with 'Low Dispersion' another digital filter is available for selection.

The headphone revolution not only brought headphones but also IEMs in ear monitors back into the attention of audiophiles and music lovers. Modern IEMs have a reference sound that easily competes with bulky over-ear headphones, making them not only a mobile alternative, but also an interesting solution in home.

rme dac mqa

Modern IEMs are extremely sensitive and operate on very low voltages. As a side effect they uncover the noise floor of the player, DAC or headphone amp. When RME developed its Extreme Power headphone stage the basic noise floor was taken care to be as low as possible. Which was then confirmed in many reviews most black background…. Even when used with IEMs. Still RME wanted to make sure that even the most sensitive IEM combined with the most sensitive listener receive the full dynamic range on playback.

Also capable outputs like the Extreme Power ones are not fully safe against operating errors and might blow up ears or IEMs. We're sure you will love it! A studio converter with all lights off? Here we go: display, function keys, volume knob, even the standby button - they all go off after 10 seconds of no user operation when AutoDark is activated in the unit's menu.

Touching any button or control will turn on all lights for 10 seconds. Once again: we're sure you will love it! This nicely designed remote control has clearly labeled buttons, readable even in low light conditions without reading glasses, a nicely laid out button arrangement that is easy to remember, and perfect button ergonomics.

Plus: It won't interfere with your ATV or other devices. In addition, there are four programmable buttons that provide access to 32 different functions and commands for maximum flexibility. There is no other converter or comparable device with such a sophisticated, easy to use and at the same time versatile remote control! Note for owners of the previous remote : the new MRC is also available separately as an accessory.

There is not much to improve with SteadyClock, it has earned its accolades over years of flawless operation in numerous RME devices, guaranteeing that using the internal clock will produce exactly the same sound as when using an external one.

RME ADI-2 DAC FS – Qutest Killer?

SteadyClock highly rejects jitter and handles all digital interface formats in an exemplary way. The self jitter measured through DA conversion now reaches levels that usually are only available in master quartz clock mode, while SteadyClock still always runs in PLL mode - no matter if internal or external clock, sound is exactly the same again.

The low phase noise oscillator driving the updated circuit reaches jitter specs lower than a picosecond psan area called FemtoSecond. Hence SteadyClock FS. A bit test is used to check the playback path for unwanted changes in the playback data. Playback software can cut bits, add dither, or change the level - without these changes becoming noticed easily. A poorly programmed driver can manipulate bits, and a playback hardware could be both badly designed and defective hanging bits, swapped bits.

Differences to v 4.

rme dac mqa

Simultaneous usage of multiple cards in all functions. Displays fully configurable e. Multichannel Level Meter freely configurable.Still, there's often enough overlap to where certain products have achieved crossover appeal. The Benchmark DAC1 being the first example that comes to mind, though there have been many others. And when it comes to sonics, the potential is certainly there.

I remain of the opinion that the old Pacific Microsonics devices still make world-class sound, regardless of which market they fit into. The evolution of this model actually seems relevant to the above discussion. RME launched the the original ADI-2 well over a decade ago which was very obviously a studio-oriented design. It was just convenient enough for home users to take advantage of, while design choices like TRS jacks and ADC functionality reminded users of its pro roots.

It was certainly usable in an audiophile setting, but required a few workarounds such as adapters for RCA connections. Also worth noting is the price, which is chopped in half compared to the Pro model. I've had at least a dozen generally similar devices pass through my system over the past couple years.

The system is powered by an external 12V switching power supply, and a color front panel display keeps users in the know about things like incoming sample rates and volume levels. While I'll be the first to point out that implementation is everything I have to admit that devices utilizing the AK44XX series chips tend to have a natural, organic quality to them which I find really appealing.

Their SteadyClock FS promises extreme clocking accuracy through a combination of direct digital synthesis and analog phase-locked loop, both referenced to the "lowest phase-noise oscillator currently available.

RME's deviates from the norm when it comes to adjustability; there's quite a bit of it to be had here. But it's the DSP chip that unlocks the magic. A five-band parametric EQ, adjustable crossfeed for headphone listening, and the ability to save configurations as easily-selectable presets. Want the "sharp" filter, with moderate crossfeed, plus a gentle bass boost for a certain headphone?

Go ahead and save that preset. How about the "short delay slow" filter with no crossfeed and a notched EQ to tone down a specific frequency region in the highs of another headphone? That can be done as well.

rme dac mqa

While perhaps not being the most intuitive control system I've ever used, I found myself pretty comfortable with the adjustments after a bit of practice. Did RME sacrifice performance for the sake of a large feature list?

Read on to find out. I always had a love-hate relationship with that headphone since it first launched many years ago. Finally content with it using careful eq. Like you said, roon and jriver and others already have good eq, but I play from a CD transport so those don't apply to me. There might be something nicer out there but I'll never afford it and the difference probably isn't very big to justify it anyway.

I realize this is a headphone site, but I would have liked to hear an opinion on the RME when used as a preamp. A comparison would have been useful too. Sorry I was trying to keep things short and sweet.This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.

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rme dac mqa

Last edited: Jan 30, Share This Post. Jan 30, Hellraiser86 said:. If you are replying to the link: It clearly states that MQA is not supported.

It took me like 2 seconds to respond after seeing the question but by the time I posted 3 guys got there ahead of me I meant MQA is not supported by RME and I think we discussed it on their forums and they didn't seem interested.

Because of that I also bought a Brooklyn Damn this hobby is like a black hole for money Joined Apr 7, Messages Reaction score Joined Apr 7, Posts Likes Feel wounded.

Fickle-Friend said:. MagnusH New Head-Fier. Yes, you miss out on the second MQA unfold, but that's just an up-sampling so it can be done better in fact much better by software anyway. The number of ways you can configure this DAC is dizzying. Jan 31, Joined Sep 16, Messages Reaction score Joined Sep 16, Posts Likes Mqa is just marketing bs, why ppl care about it so much.

Joined Oct 28, Messages 7, Reaction score Joined Oct 28, Posts 7, Likes