5 Best Analog to Digital Audio Converter

5 Best Analog to Digital Audio Converter

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When looking for the best analog to digital audio converter, you will need to find one that allows you to connect your analog gear and get a clear sound, with rich low-end and sparkly highs. So in this article, we’ll show you the best options available on the market.

The top analog to digital audio converters the RME ADI-2 DAC FS and the RME ADI-2 FS. Both are very popular options due to their affordability, great sound, and industry standard quality.


Table of Contents


About Our Top Choices

RME ADI-2 DAC FS

RME ADI-2 DAC FS
See price @ Amazon / @ Sweetwater

More details…

RME ADI-2 DAC FS is very popular among audiophiles, music producers, and sound engineers all over the world and it offers a top-quality D/A conversion, and at a very reasonable price too.

Pros
  • Cost effective
  • Well-built
  • Top quality
  • Great-sounding
Cons
  • Very steep learning curve

RME ADI-2 FS

RME ADI-2 FS
See price @ Amazon / @ Sweetwater

More details…

RME ADI-2 FS is a versatile, compact, and affordable converter that features AD/DA conversion. It also is able to convert between various digital formats effortlessly.

Pros
  • Sturdy-built
  • Affordable
  • SteadyClock technology
Cons
  • A bit overcrowded front panel
  • Only 2 channels

Top 5 Best Analog to Digital Audio Converter

  1. RME ADI-2 DAC FS
  2. RME ADI-2 FS
  3. Ferrofish Pulse 16
  4. Crane Song Solaris Quantum D/A Converter
  5. Lynx Aurora (n) 32-TB3

Best Analog to Digital Audio Converter Reviews


RME ADI-2 DAC FS

RME ADI-2 DAC FS

Pros
  • Cost effective
  • Well-built
  • Top-quality
  • Great-sounding
Cons
  • Very steep learning curve
See price @ Amazon / @ Sweetwater

If you’re looking for an analog to digital audio converter that is the best value for money, RME ADI-2 DAC FS should be your choice as this converter is very popular among audiophiles, music producers, and sound engineers all over the world and it offers a top-quality D/A conversion.

Best features and specs

RME ADI-2 DAC FS has a very compact form factor that allows it to be comfortably placed on a desk, so it won’t take that much space. ADI-2 Pro has a lot of connectivity options such as SPDIF coaxial input, ADAT/SPDIF optical input, USB 2.0 input, RCA analog unbalanced stereo output, XLR analog balanced stereo output, Extreme Power headphone output, Super Low Noise IEM output. On top of that, this converter has SteadyClock FS, remote control, and it’s compatible with iPad and iPhone.

User impressions

Users enjoy the RME ADI-2 DAC FS being versatile, well-built, aesthetically pleasing, and producing a good sound. They appreciate the fact that this converter has a thoroughly written manual that eases up the learning curve. That said, you will have to spend some time getting used to it.

What we think

What we like the most about RME ADI-2 DAC FS is that it gives you a chance to be immersed and focused on the sound that you’re working on with the help of the remote control. With this remote control in hand, it’s really easy to operate, as it has all the needed functions on the top of your fingers. In addition to that, we think that the AutoDark mode is especially useful as it allows you to not be distracted.

Bottomline

RME ADI-2 DAC FS is a great choice for someone who is looking for a sturdy-built, top-quality, great-sounding D/A converter that has a very compact form factor and lets you easily dive into the working process on the sound.


RME ADI-2 FS

Pros
  • Sturdy-built
  • Affordable
  • SteadyClock technology
Cons
  • A bit overcrowded front panel
  • Only 2 channels
See price @ Amazon / @ Sweetwater

Who wouldn’t want to have a versatile, mobile, and affordable DA? This converter features AD/DA conversion alongside being able to convert between various digital formats effortlessly.

Best features and specs

RME ADI-2 FS offers a 2-channel AD/DA converter that converts between different formats. It also has SteadyClock, support of sample rates from 44.1kHz to 192kHz, analog bypass mode. You also get High Power headphone output, and external switching power supply that gives 9-15 V.

User impressions

Users like the RME ADI-2 FS because they review that it provides crystal clear sound of outstanding quality. Some users say that specifically, the A/D converter is extremely good in capturing rich low-end transients, and all to the very last detail.

What we think

What we like the most about RME ADI-2 FS is the SteadyClock technology,  which guarantees that the external and internal clocks sound exactly the same. Not only that but also it drastically reduces the noise levels.

Bottomline

RME ADI-2 FS is a great choice for someone who is looking for an affordable, well-built, clear, and transparent-sounding AD/DA converter that is a joy to work with. Note that this converter has only 2 channels. If you need more, you should check other options on the list.


Ferrofish Pulse 16

Ferrofish Pulse 16

Pros
  • Reasonably priced
  • Top-quality
  • Minimalistic
Cons
  • You get channel routing in blocks of 8 channels
See price @ Amazon / @ Sweetwater

If you’re looking for a unit that would easily manage a hefty workflow, take a look at the Ferrofish Pulse 16. This is a beast, it’s capable of connecting 16 different pieces of gear that you have in your studio.

Best features and specs

Ferrofish Pulse 16 offers you 16 channels, MIDI I/O for remote connection, Wordclock I/O on BNC connector, stereo TRS headphone jack, internal routing matrix, Optional Optical MADI I/O upgrade, SFP port, and 2 x 4 ADAT TOSlink optical ports.

User impressions

Some of the buyers who took the time to write reviews seem to like the Ferrofish Pulse 16. Many praise it for having a “crystal-clear detailed sound” and the ease with which everything connects to the converter.

What we think

We like that Ferrofish Pulse 16 is powered by the newest low-latency technology from Cirrus Logic. Having this technology combined with noise reduction, a temperature-compensated clock, and no fans included in the design, would get you great results you should be happy with.

Bottomline

Ferrofish Pulse 16 is a great choice for someone who is looking for a reasonably priced, minimalistic converter of a high quality that gives you 16 channels and transparent conversion.


Crane Song Solaris Quantum D/A Converter

Crane Song Solaris Quantum D/A Converter

Pros
  • Premium-quality
  • Amazing transient response
  • Punchy low-end
Cons
  • Not for every budget
  • Only 2 channels
See price @ Sweetwater

If you’re looking for extremely accurate and certified time converters, you should definitely check Crane Song Solaris. This converter is proven to be a dedicated helper every time when you need an absolute crystal-clear conversion.

Best features and specs

Crane Song Solaris offers you clear conversion to 192 kHz, 32-bit ASRC with noise reduction upsampling up to 211 kHz, AES, S/PDIF, TOSlink, and USB inputs. Also, a stereo balanced output, the mute switch cuts outputs, the balanced output of +18 dBu, reference clock, LCD that shows sample rate, level meters, source, gain, and headphone amplifier.

User impressions

Users like Crane Song Solaris because it’s a great converter, which does its job well and provides clear and a bit natural conversion. Users add that this converter is capable of easily separating instruments and provides deep and rich low-end and very detailed midrange and high-end.

What we think

What we like the most about Crane Song Solaris is that a lot of very useful features are hidden in such a small chassis. This converter has a very sophisticated and futuristic design which makes it a promising addition to every studio despite it only having 2 channels.

Bottomline

Crane Song Solaris Converter is a great choice for someone who is looking for a top-quality converter that delivers punchy and deep low-end, and amazing transient response. Note that this converter has only 2 channels.


Lynx Aurora (n) 32-TB3

Lynx Aurora (n) 32-TB3

Pros
  • High-quality conversion
  • Amazing sound quality
  • Futuristic
Cons
  • Not exactly budget-friendly
  • Many options can be adjusted only from the front panel
See price @ Amazon / @ Sweetwater

If you’re looking for an absolute monster in terms of productivity and features, Lynx Aurora (n) 32-TB3 is worth your time. This unit offers you not only analog-to-digital conversion but also digital-to-analog.

Best features and specs

Lynx Aurora (n) 32-TB3 offers world clock connectors that ensure extra sync options, already installed LT-TB3 card features minimal latency and maximum bandwidth. Also, this unit offers 192 kHz conversion, 32-channel recording, microSD card playback option, 2 top-quality headphone outputs, TFT LCD display. Aurora has high-end Lynx Hilo technology and it operates on the newest FPGA processors.

User impressions

Users agree that Lynx Aurora (n) 32-TB3 is an absolute king in terms of transparency, and no other unit that they had couldn’t beat Aurora. Also, users like that this unit offers more neutral sound with much deeper low-end and more accurate highs in comparison with other converters that users had. Users praise low latency and say that this converter is very stable. Some users add that they wish that the majority of the options would be adjusted not only from the front panel.

What we think

It’s always nice when in terms of connectivity, you have a lot of options that ensure that data transfers very fast. Aurora has a built-in Thunderbolt 3 that offers very fast connectivity in addition to low-latency performance. Also, what we like the most about Lynx Aurora (n) 32-TB3 is that thanks to its special HCT, we get outstandingly transparent sound with almost no noise and distortion.

Bottomline

Lynx Aurora (n) 32-TB3 is a great choice for someone who is looking for a futuristic-looking, top-quality analog-to-digital converter that offers high-quality conversion and top-shelf sound quality. It has 32 channels and Thunderbolt 3 in terms of connectivity options. If you don’t need that many channels and you’re on a tight budget, you should check other options on the list. Otherwise, it may be exactly what you’re looking for.


Analog to Digital Audio Converter Buying Guide

What is an analog to digital audio converter?

An analog-to-digital converter is a unit that modifies analog audio signals, like a preamp’s output to digital signals that your computer can process.

Why would you need an analog to digital audio converter?

You need one for transferring any musical instrument or voice to digital, as this converter transforms mechanical vibrations of the air into a digital signal. Then, you can work with the recorded material during the mixing stage and add any effects if it’s needed.

Important features

When choosing an analog to digital audio converter, you should pay attention to sound quality, connectivity, additional features, and minding your budget.

Sound quality

You should determine which sound you’re striving to achieve. Some converters offer you transparent and neutral sound, others might add some color, and third ones offer you deep low-end and clear and jingly highs.

Connectivity

Connectivity is all about the number of channels that you have at your disposal. To feel comfortable during recording, you need at least 8 channels.

Additional features

Among additional features that you can find in converters are 2-way conversion, extra connectivity options such as Thunderbolt 3, world clock connectors, etc. You should think all through and decide whether these features are beneficial or not.

Budget 

You should take into consideration your needs and limits. Any piece of analog equipment isn’t a cheap investment, but still, it can be possible to find a unit that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. If you work in a huge studio and investing a pretty sum of money into the equipment that would do its job faithfully for ages isn’t a problem for you, you know what to do.

How to choose the right one for you?

When you are choosing the best analog to digital audio converter, you should think carefully about how many channels you need in your day-to-day work. Also, think about the sound that you’re looking for. Should it be neutral, or a little bit of color won’t hurt? While additional features may be advantageous if you really need them, if you’re on a tight budget, then you should really weigh your options and don’t spend money in vain.