If you’ve looked into a budget desktop audio rig, you’ve likely come across the Khadas Tone Board. This critically acclaimed DAC, offered ESS’ former flagship chip and a strong implementation to boot. The same engineers then went on to design the lauded Soncoz DACs, all being well received by critics and users alike. The new Tone 2 Pro is a continuation of that legacy, implementing some new features – it seeks to offer a more all-in-one experience.
One key feature implemented by the Tone 2 Pro is its balanced functionality. Yet, without ample space to house XLR connectors, the company instead resorted to a new-standard – balanced RCA. The connectors have 3-pins and terminals, unlike standard RCA which has only 2. This permits balanced connectivity and functionality whilst maintaining a small form factor though availability of cables and amplifiers with this functionality remains to be seen.
Another new feature is Bluetooth connectivity offered via an external module. This was done as the Tone 2 Pro implements a metal case that blocks connectivity. The Bluetooth module connects via one of the Type-C ports on the rear of the device. It utilises the Qualcomm QCC5125 chip and supports both Apt-X HD and LDAC, currently the leading standards in terms of sound quality.
The Tone 2 Pro offers a rotary/push encoder. This not only enables fluid volume control but also other functions such as changing source, gain and playback controls when combined with the push. Khadas implemented a viscous damper to provide smooth operation more akin to a physical pot.
Of note, though launching at a discounted pre-order launch price of $169 USD, the Tone 2 Pro will be available for $179.99 from the 18th of Dec and finally, it’s full RRP of $199.99 on the 3rd of Jan. You can read all about the Tone 2 Pro and purchase one yourself at HiFiGO!