I’ve been forcing myself to pretend there isn’t an amp sitting next to my ADI-2 DAC and I’ve been using only the RME’s headphone out for a few days now.

I gotta say, it’s better than I ever gave it credit for.

HD650, Hi-Power mode, Slow filter with EQ compensation to recover the high end frequency drop (Slow B5 G +4.0 F 16.5k Q 2.1 Shelf), plus a generous bass boost (I’m a basshead).

As long as I don’t crank the volume up high enough for critical listening, there’s little lost in there. I tend to listen quieter than most audiophiles do (70-75 dB). A lot of the micro stuff disappears on even the best amps at my normal volume.

Does that stop me from “needing” a better amp to pair the DAC portion with? No, not really. Sometimes I actually enjoy increasing the volume a bit and being a nerdy critical listener.

Edit: Let myself use the Cavalli Liquid Platinum again. Okay, it’s noticeably better even at my listening volume, but the ADI-2 DAC is no slouch!


I must be an idiot but how exactly do I update the firmware? I’m running it COAX via my Etir as I don’t like how USB drivers interface with my Windows Machine

Is it as simple as plugging it into a USB port [driver-less] and then running the update EXE?

I don’t know about being able to do the update “driverless”, since Windows is fickle and unless you’re on current builds of Windows 10 there’s no UAC2 support, but you can only update it via USB.


I’ll likely set the Laptop with windows 10 up with it and do the update there. It’s a lot less fickle than my primary machine

Thanks for a quick response!

You need to install their USB driver to update the firmware. I actually run it with the Windows 10 stock driver normally, but install the RME driver if they have a firmware update.


Only just got this today but it is quite the looker. The display is great. The controls feel nice. The detail retrieval and resolution is the best I’ve heard. I’ve mainly been using it as a DAC but did try a little bit with the 6.5mm output and it does sound a little compressed compared to my Monoprice THX-AAA amp. I have yet to try it with IEMs yet.


Make sure to give it a try in “Hi Power” mode if you’re using the built-in headphone outputs, as that tends to help with the modest sense of dynamic compression.

I still like it best when paired with an external amp, though. Excepting with IEMs.


Cool, I’ll try it out later. I plan to still use an external balanced amp with this unit.

1 Like

I love it when a stack comes together! @antdroid don’t forget to check out RME YouTube channel, they have a series on the ADI-2DAC. Also @Torq has posted some quality setting options on this thread to play with.


Your a man after my own heart with the headband covers. I thought it was just me being anal.:grin:. Gorgeous picture and setup by the way. As always.


I off and on use headband covers too. I really liked these ones: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B073X5W48S/

They are like the ones @darthpool has but zippered instead of button. It’s cleaner looking to me. I also have a headband cover for Hifimans that I never use.


Yes there’s probably lots of us out there really. I just like to take care of my gear really carefully. I don’t want gunk or anything getting on the headband if I can help it. It seems like a no brainier. I might look a bit of a plonker but I don’t use them outside at all. So who cares.:grin:

Thanks for the link too. :+1:


I really like ZMF pilot pads, you can see one on my HD800 (had to remove the stock pad to get it to fit) but they can be pricey…but oooh so much more comfortable! Massdrop on occasion will have them up for cheaper…but even then they are more expensive then the ones @antdroid or I use. Which I think I’ll pick up a set of the ones you mentioned @antdroid!

Sunny Beach!!! they come in purple… and instantly disappointed that they are not available sobs at desk will continue my search!


You can probably find them if you look hard enough on amazon or aliexpresss or ebay

1 Like

Man your collection has grown fast! But there are so many different LEDs and Tube warmth that you could almost put on your own Disney light show at this point haha.

The more and more that I look at the RME ADI-2 the more and more I want it in the office. After checking it out at @Torq’s place it’s definitely something I could see us adding into our SPL Headphone stack since the SPL Director has become a permanent feature in the speaker setup.


Congrats on grabbing the ADI-2!

That is definitely quite the stack you are building. I am interested to see how it performs with your wide array of IEMs and the varying sensitivities you will have to deal with.


Yes, I really enjoy it a lot! I somehow managed to scratch the volume knob in my latest rearrangement… nothing to serious or obvious…but “I” know it’s there! :’(

Also, I love me some tube glow, and light emmitting diodes!!! It is quite nice at night when all the room lights are out.


The IEM output on this is actually fantastic. Who needs balanced cables? It’s extremely detailed compared to using the ADI-2 to Monolith THX. The THX has a darker (maybe more full) sound to it while the RME ADI-2 is very airy and intricate.

I’m using a 2.5mm balanced to 3.5mm single-ended adapter to the RME ADI-2 DAC while testing my Kanas Pro and ME1 IEMs.


Yes, I’m in concurrence with you! The IEM out is fantastic on the ADI-2DAC! Such a cool piece of kit!

1 Like

Can’t you touch it up in any way? Like you say it may not be really visible but now you know it’s there… it’ll drive you nuts. :grin:. I know it would keep pecking at my noodle until I sorted it.

With all those lovely dials your listening room must look like a cockpit at night. Enjoy.

1 Like