Discussion in 'Headphone Amplifiers and Combo (DAC/Amp) Units' started by Luckbad, Jan 12, 2018.
May be RME USB drivers? And JRiver somehow bypass it?
JRiver uses the RME ASIO drivers. TIDAL should be WASAPI if in exclusive mode.
For anyone who has tried to source a plug that fits the locking connectors of RME products in the USA, I finally found one. The Babyface Pro doesn't come with a power supply, and the ones that RME sells separately are a bit pricey. I have it powered via a bench power supply and have wanted the twist lock functionality for the power cable.
To my knowledge, this is the only one that fits and is readily available in the US (I've searched a few times over the years). I put a cable together and it's a perfect fit:
Twist Lock DC Coaxial Power Plug 2.1 x 5.5mm
Anyone compared the Fiio M11 Pro vs the RME ADI-2 sound quality wise.I know it might seem bit strange to compare them but the M11 Pro has an AKM DAC one level + over the RME - dual AK4497 dacs, also THX headamps, good quality crystal clocks and in general a solid and clean digital section - it's happy to trade punches with my apogee Element 24; offering a similar unpolluted, neutral and smooth quality (even if we get bit of a taste of that controversial velvet sound- which has the very smooth mids and slightly excitable highs).
The RME has nice perks, like the eq - but the Fiio can also give you a lot if not most of what the RME can with Neutron and other music players (extensive EQ/xfade).
I guess the RME has more headphone out power, but reading some feedback here this apparently sounds like ass... I can't say the m11 Pro headphone out sounds crap, it's quite OK in an SS THX kind of way (clean/fast transients).
If they come close sound quality wise, perhaps the RME is not such an incredible deal everyone says it is.
The RME product isn’t a DAP, so it doesn’t fit the same use case.
I can't speak for the Fiio M11 Pro, but the ADI-2 is a solid DAC for the money - especially if you use it's features. While the headphone outs aren't ideal if you're looking for something euphoric sounding, they're perfectly listenable with forgiving headphones.
Yes I know, but because the Fiio M11 Pro can also be used as USB DAC/Amp I was interested in the comparison - I'm left wondering if the RME will give superior sound quality for AIO headphone listening vs the Fiio. As I mentioned earlier, it can trade punches with my Apogee Element 24 so it can be compared with good quality AIO studio interfaces.
I'm more interested in it's AIO amp/dac ability for headphone listening. Putt off by some of the comments here that the HP out is very meh, but I wanted a second take to compare with baselines I already have: Fiio M11 Pro or Apogee Element
It's a hard, clean sound through the headphone outs. The separation and clarity are excellent, but the overall sound errs on the analytical / sterile side, compared to something like a good tube amp. That's generally typical with anything from a pro audio company. I'd wager it's better than the Fiio, and probably similar to the Apogee, but your mileage may vary.
This seems too much of a generalization. The headouts from the Dangerous Music Source or MOTU units are hardly analytical or sterile. Neither are the headouts from the Crane Song. The SPL stuff doesn't sound analytical or sterile either. Same thing for Benchmark DAC1 headout or the stuff from Grace. I could go on and on.
That's a fair point - I haven't heard much of what you listed, therefore shouldn't assume that all headamps from pro audio DACs fall on the analytical side.
I just spotted the Apogee Symphony Desktop - similar ballpark price as the RME ADI-2 Pro. I think their much cheaper Element 24 is competitive with smooth but clean/precise sound that lacks digitus. If the Symphony desktop can improve further on that and add a bit more weight then it might also be an alternative to the RME
It has hardware DSP for plugins (including eq). waiting on a response to find out if their plugins (including eq) can be applied on the outputs, as on the element 24 they're only applicable on inputs.
Got an answer from Apogee - FX plugins can't be added on output also for the symphony desktop, this is a very bad decision from them and doesn't make sense - eq correction can't be applied on the usb digital signal.. so the RME ADI-2 is still more versatile thanks to it's eq. If I were to use it as an AIO it will cover all bases.(turntable/chromecast/computer > rme > eq > hd650 | Genelec 8330).. I wish I am able to hear just how bad the headphone out is as I want to believe perhaps with eq correction it might be OK (with HD650). I do appreciate accurate and neutral sound, but it does need to be balanced out with a touch of smoothness/musicality - I think Apogee does this with their higher end converters.
Buy second hand to try it out? They hold their value pretty well, so you're not risking much. It's a shame I don't live in London anymore, you could've demoed for free.
I'm actually in Dubai now, need to update my loc.. No RME sellers here, and unlikely to find it used on market, so need to order internationally - good VAT though, i save few dollars there. I am leaning more towards the Apogee Symphony Desktop at the moment though - at least I know what I might expect in terms of the Apogee sound.
I’m considering one of these for a second desktop iem setup. Actually this would be my main one, if I pick it up, and I’d move my exiting setup to the second location.
I’ve read the two headphone outs can be configured separately. Is it done it such a way you could have 2 different iems plugged in and switch output to each for a/b comparisons? If so, this would beat the hell out of plugging and unplugging stuff. And it I’d be able to better set similar volume levels.
There is one dedicated IEM output, the second HP out one is for higher impedance headphones, can be used with IEM but you may not get fair comparison. Those are different circuits, the settings can be separate, but the IEM out does not support for example Extreme Power Mode and is optimized for noise reduction.
RME ADI-2 Pro has two identical headphones outputs, both can be used with IEMs, both are dead quiet with CA Ara.
Using more than one Output, page 38 of the manual:
But the headphone and iem outputs have different output voltages, so they are not suitable for A/B testing.
@wormcycle beat me to it
Thanks, that’s a good point. I’d want the circuits of the 2 outs to be the same. So on the Pro I’d be able to toggle output on and off to each HO? If it’s quiet with Campfire Ara and Andromeda, then that is probably the way for me to go.
Pro is a bit out of reach for me right now, I’ll have to watch the used market. Does it take a PC to update firmware or can that be done on Mac?
Pro updates on Mac just fine.
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