Topic: How can a portable amp/DAC have more power than an RME ADI-2 DAC fs?


Whenever I look at how powerful an amp is, I always look at the current it can provide for low impedance cans like planars. I usually look at the 16 Ohm specs.

The RME ADI-2 DAC fs shows that it has 0.94W at 16 Ohms.

This portable micro idsd ( shows that it can provide a whopping 4.1W at 16 Ohm.

How is that even possible for something that small to have more power than the RME? Maybe I am just reading the specs incorrectly.

I appreciate your input.


2 (edited by KaiS 2020-11-30 02:51:07)

Re: How can a portable amp/DAC have more power than an RME ADI-2 DAC fs?

Where's the problem?

The ifi supplies 10V 410mA into 24 Ohms.
According to specs this seems to be peak, not continuos.
Supply is from a battery with respectable 4800 mAh - 3.3 V I guess - so ca. 15 Wh energy.

Compared to what's used with loudspeakers 4 W isn't a big deal, building an amp like this really isn't.
The question is, for which headphone such amount of power is needed, for most headphone it's overkill and would fry them.

Multiple times higher power than needed sounds better - it's a myth.
In fact it's the other way 'round, low current transistors are much faster than high current ones.
This is the reason why RME combines six power amps per channel instead of using a single stronger one, to achieve it's remarkable specs.

What cans do you drive that need several watts - Hifiman Susvara?
Even those would put out 126 dB SPL when feed with 1500 mW.
Not really healthy for someones ears.

BTW: ADI-2 does achieve 3000 mW at the Susvara, 3 dB more, even less healthy smile