Topic: ADI-2/4 Pro SE - Headphones 1/2 not as good as 3/4?

Dear Guys! I am thinking of buying the new ADI-2/4 Pro SE. The main reason (compared to the ADI-2 Pro FS) is, that I can use both analog outputs simultaneously and plug my two studiomonitor sets into them and don’t need to use a separate monitor controller (please correct me, if I got that wrong and it doesn’t not work like that).

But: I have read the manual and found out that the two headphone outs are not equal.
I do a lot of monitoring and mixing with two different headphones at the same time. And I don’t want to plug one out and the other one in and back and forth. That’s why it is so important to me to have two separated headphone outs, so I can leave both headphones plugged in and switch them easily. And of course for both headphones I want to have the best quality.

My question is: did I get it right, that the phones out 1/2 is not as „good“ as the 3/4? The manual sais „use the phones out 1/2 only when needed“. This sounds like „don’t use it until you really have to“. That made me a bit afraid of buying this converter because I really would like to have two usefull headphone outs both with the best quality. And not only „one great out“ and another which I better should not use. That confuses me, because I thought that the ADI‘s are made for perfect headphone listening.

I would appreciate it very much if anyone can bring some light into my darkness smile

Thanks a lot

Marius

2 (edited by KaiS 2022-11-22 02:07:53)

Re: ADI-2/4 Pro SE - Headphones 1/2 not as good as 3/4?

From the manual page 13:

...Therefore one phones output, labelled PH 1/2 on the front, shares the Line (rear) output signal. Although this phones output reaches the same technical specs as PH 3/4, and also has the exact same Extreme Power output stage, it is considered the ‘spare’ Phones output for comparing phones, dual phones usage, and balanced phones operation –...


You might be confused by the explanation, but as you can see, both ‘phones outputs are exactly the same.
They even have to, as together they form the balanced phones output, which would not work if there was a difference.


It’s the rear Line outputs that are different between 1/2 and 3/4:
1/2 has “active electronically balanced” XLR outputs.
The “impedance balanced” 1/4” rear TRS outputs can be routed and used as secondary 1/2 Line out, or switched to be used for the 3/4 channel.

This is why 1/2 is preferred to be used for the main speakers, and 3/4 as main ‘phones output in a typical configuration.


Nothing prevents you from using both ‘phones outputs at the same time.
Even then you can switch to Line out for your speakers without unplugging any ‘phones.

Re: ADI-2/4 Pro SE - Headphones 1/2 not as good as 3/4?

Thank you KaiS for your response! What you say is what I hoped. But at the same time the instructions in the manual confuses me. They also write on page 53-54 Point 21.4:

„21.4 PH Out 1/2

Channels 1/2 are also available on the front as 1/4" TRS (stereo) jack.

All outputs labelled 1/2 share the same Volume knob setting, but Ph 1/2 has its own, independent hardware Ref Levels (IEM, Low and High Power). Also as mentioned above the rear TRS output is capped to +19 dBu.

Please note that PH 3/4 is the main phones output of the ADI-2/4 Pro SE. PH 1/2 is designed as addition and extra functionality. Sharing volume/level settings with the rear outputs some limita- tions arise. PH 1/2 is simply not totally independent, and should therefore only be used when really needed. The ADI-2/4 Pro SE issues a warning message when inserting a plug into PH 1/2.

If operation of the phones output 1/2 is desired, the Dual Phones mode has to be switched on. The menu has the additional option to turn off the rear outputs as soon as PH 1/2 is plugged in. Default is Mute On when plugged.“

What does that mean compared to your anser that both outputs are the same? I don’t get it

4 (edited by KaiS 2022-11-22 09:56:11)

Re: ADI-2/4 Pro SE - Headphones 1/2 not as good as 3/4?

The manual explains the concept and the versatility of ADI-2/4 Pro SE.

It’s heart is one stereo ADC and two independent stereo DAC chips, opposed to other DACs that just have a single DAC.
This explains the ADI-2/4 Pro SE name:
2 inputs, 4 outputs, all fully featured.


The resources of the two DACs are used as optimal as possible.
Both DAC path’s offer similar headphones outputs each, and can have a full fleshed Line output too.

RME’s ADI-2 series devices take full advantage from doing all DSP function AND the volume control in the digital domain, BEFORE the DAC (manual page 99).


This is why you CAN use ‘phones AND Line from one DAC channel at the same time, they just share the same digital volume control.

For convenience there are mechanisms to automatically (by plugging ‘phones) or manually switch/mute front/back, no need to unplug the ‘phones at all in your case, to listen from speakers.

Manual page 39ff shows block diagrams of the various basic configurations, called “Modes”, ADI-2/4 can be set to.
My preferred one for my use-case is Mode “DAC”, shown on page 46.


What you can do is:
• Connect 2 sets of headphones AND two sets of speakers,
• listen to both headphones without switching, or
• switch on the speakers manually or by unplugging ‘phones.



Hope this could give you a little insight into the unique and highly developed  concept of RME ADI-2 series.
It’s different from what you might be used to, and superior to simpler configured DAC / Phones-Amp combos.

Re: ADI-2/4 Pro SE - Headphones 1/2 not as good as 3/4?

Hello, can the rme 2/4 act as a phono preamp? For mc with sut.

Re: ADI-2/4 Pro SE - Headphones 1/2 not as good as 3/4?

tvc audio wrote:

Hello, can the rme 2/4 act as a phono preamp? For mc with sut.

An MC phono cartridge with Step Up Transformer behaves like an MM cartridge.
So, yes, if the combo reaches at least 1.25 mV output level, which it usually does.

Re: ADI-2/4 Pro SE - Headphones 1/2 not as good as 3/4?

when will the ADI 2/4 pro be available for purchase?

8

Re: ADI-2/4 Pro SE - Headphones 1/2 not as good as 3/4?

The ADI-2/4 Pro SE has been shipped from the factory. I am now also waiting for the first customer to report that he/she got a unit.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: ADI-2/4 Pro SE - Headphones 1/2 not as good as 3/4?

Maybe I'll be the first one smile, I have ADI 2 DAC, but want to buy 2/4 because of phono input. I have been using Rme cards for 20 years.

Re: ADI-2/4 Pro SE - Headphones 1/2 not as good as 3/4?

MC wrote:

The ADI-2/4 Pro SE has been shipped from the factory. I am now also waiting for the first customer to report that he/she got a unit.

Wonderful! Is there an anticipated ship date for the United States?