Mytek Liberty or RME ADI-2 FS Headphone DAC

Well I’ve done that crazy thing we all do of trawling the interweb for reviews and opinions and now I’m totally flummoxed! :blush:

I’m looking to upgrade my Mojo with a new DAC/headphone amp and a jump to the Hugo2 is a little steep I feel, so I started to look for alternatives to the Chord family and it seems there are a few around the £1k mark. I hear very good things about the Mytek Liberty and equally even slightly better things about the RME ADI-2 - so I was wondering if any Rooners have bagged either of these of late and what might their findings be?

The RME is a massive overkill for me, but a great giant killer at this price it seems, whereas the Liberty dials down the features but still does the business. I shall have whichever unit in the main hifi most of the time, but it will often be uprooted and used for headphone duties in the bedroom - so the Mytek looks more transportable although the RME is hardly a beast.

Anyway, just asking you guys to see what pops up! :blush:

I have not heard either. But personally, I’d go with the RME as it offers so much more utility. The built-in EQs, etc. Thats where the real differentiator is, not in the sound quality.

1 Like

Yes it certainly does! But I’ve just downloaded the manual and I didn’t understand all the dBu’s and dBr’s etc… surely this is aimed at the recording studio more than the home? It does offer amazing flexibility, but we have EQ and DSP in Roon, and the volume parametrics won’t really apply as it will be feeding an integrated amp… but then again if it is the reference for SQ I can just ignore all that stuff I suppose? Perhaps someone will come along who has heard either of these or maybe even both?

True. But there is something to be said for having the presets right there on the RME if you are using it for headphones and swapping between different cans. You can create DSP profiles in Roon too, yes, but it’s still a bit clunkier to switch than just having it right there on the RME. (I should note that I often listen to Roon without having the Roon Remote app loaded at all, since the minimal control buttons on RoPieee’s display are more than sufficient to start/stop playback, skip songs, etc.) Again, all in what user experience you prefer here.

The RME is an extremely well regarded DAC and reasonably well liked headamp. I see a LOT more talk about it on the various headphone forums than I do the Myteks, for what that’s worth.

1 Like

I’m an RME owner & I know @CrystalGipsy is also, I believe there are some others here also.

As for your concern for portability, the RME dac has a rather small footprint. Let me measure…21mm x ~12mm.

I’ve heard the Mytek & at the time of my purchase, I ruled it out (although it is good) & instead seriously considered Chord Qutest. So, I felt dac vs dac each had positives. However, for versatility (headphone amp/onboard tweaks), I chose the RME.

Notwithstanding, I was not able to do a direct comparison b/w Brooklyn Liberty & RME ADI-2. So, I’m sorry that I can’t be more specific.

No, it is aimed for home use & not the studio. The manual is like a mini book and not overly well written (perhaps due to German ‘google’ style translation), but with pics etc, not too difficult either. You needn’t use the parametric eq and more, but very easy to use loudness, treble/bass and the remote is extremely useful.

Cheers.

1 Like

I own the RME too: it has a lot of settings and you can play with them, but it’s great even when working with the default configuration.
I’m very happy with it.

2 Likes

I love my RME can’t fault it at all. Doesn’t matter what source you give it, usb, coax, optical all sound equally as good. It drives most cans with ease and it’s good to go out of the box, although you can tweak to your hearts content if you wish. I only turned on Loudness which is an amazing feature and adjusted the levels for this based on the volume I most listen to. It has a very small footprint, and is very well built. The display is also a nice touch but they give you an option to have it off too. I use it more than my main system now it’s that good and I don’t have to battle with room modes or reflections. It’s sounds amazing, not much to not like really.

1 Like

Well, thanks for your replies guys, I was going to ask in RME’s own forum but after spending some time there researching various matters I didn’t find it a very friendly place - appears to be a catalyst for ‘audiophile meets sound technician’! Hah - always a volatile combination! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Reading posts from the designer is always fun though, on HeadFi listening to Rob Watts carefully unentangle folk from their audiophoolish ideas (I’m an unapologetic audiophile by experience and a hard wired technician by nature so I know the problems we all have! :blush:) was highly illuminating. The designer of RME electronics seems less forgiving, but it’s great to read clear and precise advice like ‘the power supply is largely irrelevant, batteries, switching wall warts and linear power supplies all sound the same - because we have designed the circuits to ensure immunity and provide optimum clean power to the device’ or words to that effect, I paraphrase!

There is something reassuring about the ‘pro’ flavour of RME stuff, we rely upon sound engineers and their equipment to provide us with the raw material we need to feed our hobby (they don’t always get it right of course - but that’s usually down to overhyped celebrity producers not the guy in the booth!) so if this DAC is highly accurate and designed to be that, yet also has enough DSP gadgets to mess up all that accuracy for the tinkerer - I suppose it could be the best of both worlds?

Definitely. I am not a fan of having to add things to get the most out of something. This what annoys me about Naim stuff. It should be working at its best out of the box not have to upgrade a PSU, cables , usb cleanerd or use one input for best performance. With the RME it just works as designed to it’s top performance with what your get. It also makes the need for a high end high price transport a think of the past.Never got on with Chords approach of limiting best performance to one input is just ridiculous, that and I didn’t really like their sound signature found it a bit dull for my tastes.

I do recommend using its loudness control though it’s really good and makes listening at lower levels much more engaging. IYou just turn on the auto ref level and loudness and it adjusts bass and treble according to the volume so balancing it out.

1 Like

Yes I saw that, it looks very interesting, but I was wondering, as I will be mostly using the DAC in my main system feeding a Heed integrated amp then the volume will most likely be fixed? I see you can do that in the settings (what can’t you do in settings! :blush:). Perhaps in the future I might feed it into a power amp set-up - I see Nord really like the RME ADI-2 and they do some highly respected power amps.

1 Like