This modest-looking box is among the best-performing two-way converters available, and boasts a huge array of thoughtful features.
Alongside a variety of highly regarded audio interfaces and mic preamps, RME manufacture a small number of less well-known, but very high-quality audio and digital-format converters. For example, I reviewed their ADI-2 two-channel converter and ADI-4DD digital interface in SOS May 2005 (http://sosm.ag/rme-adi2-adi4). I found the latter so useful that I bought the review unit. That I still use it regularly today is a testament to the quality and usefulness of these compact units, which remain in production over a decade later. The cutting edge of converter technology has improved quite significantly in some areas since then, though, and so RME have recently supplemented the range with a brand new ‘anniversary’ model: the ADI-2 Pro.
This is a radically enhanced and upgraded product in comparison to its namesake, and it is claimed to be the most versatile converter on the market, with more features than any other device of similar size. The thick A5-sized, spiral-bound User Handbook goes a long way to supporting that assertion all on its own; the English-language section spans a whopping 88 pages with small type and some colour diagrams!
Perhaps the most obvious advance over the older ADI-2 is the addition of a USB 2.0 interface, and the unit also has a much sleeker and classier style. The latter is no doubt intended to improve its domestic acceptability as, unusually for RME, this new ADI-2 Pro model is also aimed quite deliberately at both the professional studio user and the technologically savvy hi-fi enthusiast. Another aspect that helps to set it apart from its stablemates is an automatic setup scheme which configures the unit’s parameters appropriately, based on which input and output connections are detected, making its basic operation very simple and straightforward indeed.
At its heart, the ADI-2 Pro is a simple two-channel, mastering-quality A-D and D-A converter, and with AKM’s ‘velvet sound’ converter technology, it boasts a dynamic range greater than 120dB, 32-bit processing, and sample rates up to 768kHz. It also supports several DSD (one-bit) formats. Usefully, it also features a second, identical, two-channel D-A section to provide a total of four analogue outputs, this secondary pair being dedicated to an additional independent headphone socket (which can also be...
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