2 Coax, 2 Toslink, 1 USB, 1 AES/EBU. 1 pair RCA, 1 pair XLR, 1/8 headphone jack. 17 W x 2.25 H x 14 D. Three audiophile-quality components in one: USB DAC, digital preamp, and high-current headphone amplifier.
6 digital inputs (2 coax, 2 To slink, 1 USB, 1 AES/EBU). Plus full 24/192 support for all inputs, including USB. Analog Devices AD1955 multi-bit delta-sigma DAC delivers exceptional performance and superior audio quality. Analog Devices AD1896 asynchronous sample rate converter (ASRC) provides almost total immunity to jitter. Differential Reference balanced design with OPA 2134 precision op amps.
Value One look at the Emotiva XDA-2 GEN2 DAC/Digital Preamp/Headphone Amp and you may ask yourself I wonder how much that costs? Price perception is similar to depth perception in that's its all about ones' point of view. While anyone that's been shopping for a DAC lately will more than likely be impressed by the XDA-2s package, what it does is play music and how well it does this one job will tell you most everything you need to know about its value.The Emotiva XDA-2 GEN2 can function as digital preamplifer as well as a 24/192-capable DAC and headphone amp. Its analog resistor ladder volume control adjusts in 0.25dB steps which can be controlled from the faceplate controls or the included and very hefty milled aluminum remote.
Inside we find the Cmedia CM6631 asynchronous USB receiver, Analog Devices AD1955 multi-bit delta-sigma DAC, an Analog Devices AD1896 asynchronous sample rate converter, and a pair of TI's OPA2134 Op amps. There are a total of six 24/192-capable inputs including two Coax S/PDIF, two Toslink, asynchronous USB, AES/EBU and dual differential XLR and RCA output stages.You can choose to have the XDA-2 GEN2 upsample incoming data to 24/96 using the "SRC BYPASS" button on the remote and while I tred this both ways, in and out, I did not notice an appreciable difference. The remote also allows you to turn the XDA-2 GEN2 on, put the unit in standby mode (the main power switch is on the unit's backside), mute, dim but never completely turn off the blue light show on the XDA-2's GEN2 faceplate, control the volume, and select your source. The XDA-2's 1/8 headphone output offers a low 0.1 ohm output impedance for driving even the most demanding loads. Since the Emotiva XDA-2 GEN2 can handle up to 24/192 data (the XDA-2 GEN2 does not accept 24/176.4 data), Windows users need to download and install the free Emotiva drivers to make full use of this functionality. Mac users are good to go. The XDA-2 GEN2's display will show you the volume level for a few seconds when you adjust it, the SRC Bypass mode for a few seconds when you change it, and it defaults to showing the sample rate of the music you're playing or the volume level if you aren't playing anything. The milled aluminum faceplate also houses the same controls as the remote minus the SRC Bypass option. Using the XDA-2 GEN2 was simply a matter of connecting it, I used the USB input for the duration of the review, and I mainly used the XDA-2 GEN2's XLR output into my Pass INT-30A as an amp-only using the XDA-2 GEN2's volume control. Audirvana Plus told me that the XDA-2 GEN2 will not work with "Direct Mode" so I had to first disable this option in Audirvana's preferences before the XDA-2 GEN2 would play music.
Once I did, it did. A Nice Package There's no debating that the Emotiva XDA-2 GEN2 delivers a lot of physical bang for your hard-earned buck. Its full-size if slim chassis is very nicely made, it offers 24/192 playback, an analog volume-controlled digital preamp, a headphone amp, single-ended and balanced outputs, and a remote that can be used as a tactical weapon in close combat. All for four hundred bucks. I have a hunch its full-sized chassis may be viewed as a drawback for those people looking for a nice, small, desktop DAC/headphone amp and peaking inside one does wonder if some of that vacant real estate could be swapped for a more desktop-friendly form-factor.But lets not quibble over looks since we all know beauty is in the ears of the beholder. That's how I'd describe the XDA-2 GEN2. There's nothing about its presentation that sticks out and calls attention to itself which means the XDA-2 GEN2is doing its job. What the XDA-2 gives you it does so with an even hand making the XDA-2 GEN2 easy to listen to and easy to like.
When you compare what you get from say the Halide DAC HD, which I thoroughly enjoyed, you may get the feeling you're getting less for more. And I can't really argue that point and my guess is the Emotiva's full-size chassis is meant to convey just that. However, when it comes to listening, which I do in the dark and even with my eyes closed sometimes, its how a piece of hi-fi performs that matters.And here, I found the XDA-2 GEN2 a bit too easy on the ears. A bit too laid back. There's a presence aspect to music playback where the XDA-2 GEN2 comes up just a few shades short.
I'd point to a slight graying of tone colors, a polite top end, and a lack of sharp transient attack as the main culprits. Something like Richard Goode with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra playing Mozart's Piano Concertos loses some of the distinction between the voice of the piano and the various voices of the chamber orchestra. While the Audioquest Dragonfly will give you more resolution and edge, you'll also get a less full-bodied sound, only one USB input, and a lot less chassis (and no deadly remote). So we're talking about personal listening preferences along with different prices and feature sets, when aren't we? And what I'm trying to convey is that the Emotiva XDA-2 GEN2 s a damn-good sounding DAC but I've heard other DACs that cost less like the Dragonfly that grabbed my attention in a different way, and DACs that cost more like the Halide that held my musical attention more.When using headphones, the volume control automatically switches control to the headphone output. When you switch back to speaker listening, the volume control switches back. It also remembers your previous settings for both which is a very nice feature. I used my trusty Audio Technica ATH-W1000s to checkout the XDA-2s headphone amp and was very pleasantly greeted by some very similar soundfull-bodied and well-controlled.
There was also that lack of sparkle, a lack of shimmer from cymbals or bite from a trumpet that grabs your attention even when you may not be paying as much as you should. When is good, good enough? When good gets you into the music its good enough, especially when we're dealing with reality and budgets. The item "AUDIOPHILE EMOTIVA XDA-2 GEN2 DAC USB PREAMPLIFIER HEADPHONE AMP With OEM BOX" is in sale since Thursday, October 10, 2019.
This item is in the category "Consumer Electronics\TV, Video & Home Audio\Home Audio\Receivers & Amplifiers\Amplifiers & Preamps". The seller is "honestymatters" and is located in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. This item can be shipped worldwide.