In Barn for Review: EMM Labs DA2 V2 Reference Stereo DAC

The DA2 V2 Reference Stereo DAC is EMM Labs’ flagship DAC. When the opportunity arose for me to hang onto the review sample from the BIG system for closer inspection, I took it (not literally, mind you).

From EMM Labs:

Our multi-award winning MDAT2™ DSP has been refined and updated to synergistically work with the new 16xDSD MDAC2™. The new MDAT2™ DSP does real-time transient detection, processing and up-conversion of all incoming audio, PCM and DSD, before sending it to the new 16xDSD DACs.

Key Features

16xDSD proprietary discrete dual differential D-to-A converters (MDAC2™)
New high High/Low output gain control
Latest generation Meitner Digital Audio Translator signal processing technology (MDAT2™)
Enhanced technology for instant signal acquisition and jitter-free performance (MFAST™)
Proprietary asynchronous clocking system (MCLK2™)
USB interface with custom hardware galvanic isolation
Up to 24bit/192kHz & DSD support over all inputs
2xDSD, DXD (352/384kHz) & MQA® support over USB
User controlled signal polarity
Custom aerospace-grade ceramic circuit boards
EMM Optilink for transport or streamer connection
Precision-machined aluminum chassis & remote control
Service USB port for future software upgrades
RS-232 serial port for wired remote control

I intend to use the DA2 V2 with the EMM Labs NS1 Streamer that also hung around for longer term listening. The two connect via a EMM’s proprietary EMM Optilink interface, a fiber connection that provides galvanic isolation for the DAC. The NS1 is Roon Ready, which we all know is how I like to roll.

It’s no exaggeration to say that Ed Meitner, the designer behind all EMM Labs gear, had more than a hand in the development of digital audio technology so I’m more than excited to have his flagship DAC in-Barn.

EMM Labs DA2 V2 Reference Stereo DAC
Price: $30,000
Company Website: EMM Labs
US Distributor Website: Audioshield Audio Distribution


Digital Inputs:

EMM Optilink (CD/SACD)
AES/EBU, 2x S/PDIF Coax, 2x S/PDIF, TOS & USB up to 24bit/192kHz and DSD
USB also supports 2xDSD, DXD (352/384kHz) & MQA®

Stereo Analog Outputs: XLR and RCA
Output Impedance: 300 ohms balanced (XLR) | 150 ohms unbalanced (RCA)
Output Levels (High/Low): XLR outputs: 7.0/5.0V (+19.1/16.2dBu) | RCA outputs: 3.5/2.5V (+13.1/10.2dBu)
Dimensions: W x D x H: 438 x 400 x 161mm
Weight: 17.2kg