Schiit is one of my favorite little hi-fi companies that I’ve had the pleasure of buying gear from and if you haven’t heard of them, here is a short excerpt from their website.

“Schiit got started in 2010 when two audio industry veterans decided it was time to shake things up a bit. The two audiophiles are Jason Stoddard, formerly of Sumo, and Mike Moffat, formerly of Theta. Together, they have designed dozens of audio and A/V products, from the Andromeda III to the Cobalt 307 to the DS Pre and Angstrom 200.”

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Back in December of 2016, I reviewed the first-generation Magni headphone amp and Modi desktop DAC after owning them for a few years and they truly were a delight. A few weeks ago, I decided to sell them and upgrade to the new Modi 2, however I found I really wasn’t using the Magni much so I didn’t replace it. Starting at the same price as the first gen, the Modi 2 is just $99, but don’t be fooled by the low price, it packs some serious sound and features into its neat little aluminum case. Note that different models are offered of the Modi, so make sure you get the right one for your needs.

Schiit Modi 2 Desktop DAC, Front View

SCHIIT DESKTOP DAC REVIEW SPECIFICATIONS
Inputs:

Modi 2: USB
Modi 2 Uber: USB, Toslink SPDIF, Coaxial SPDIF
Modi Multibit: USB, Toslink SPDIF, Coaxial SPDIF

Sample Rates and Bit Depths:

Modi 2: 16/44.1 to 24/96, including 24/88.2, without Windows drivers, or up to 24/192 with Windows drivers (or using a Mac or Linux machine)
Modi 2 Uber: 16/44.1 to 24/192 via USB. 16/44.1 to 24/192 via Toslink* and Coax.
Modi 2 Multibit: 16/44.1 to 24/192 via USB. 16/44.1 to 24/192 via Toslink* and Coax, with 24/176 and 24/192 being NOS (non-oversampled)
*Note: many optical transmitters cannot output 24/176 and 24/192 reliably

Input Receiver:

USB: C-Media CM6631A
SPDIF: AKM 4113

D/A Conversion IC:

Modi 2 and Modi 2 Uber: AKM AK4490
Modi Multibit: Analog Devices AD5547

Analog Summing, Active Filtering:

Modi 2 and Modi 2 Uber: Based on AD8616 with precision thin-film resistors and film capacitors
Modi Multibit: Based on AD8512 with precision thin-film resistors, DC-coupled with DC servo

Output: RCA (single-ended):

Output Impedance: 75 ohms
Frequency Response: 20Hz-20KHz, +/-0.1dB

Maximum Output:

Modi 2 and Modi 2 Uber: 1.5V RMS
Modi Multibit: 2.0V RMS

THD:

Modi2 and Modi 2 Uber: <0.002%, 20Hz-20KHz, at max output
Modi Multibit: <0.006%, 20Hz-20KHz, at max output

IMD:

Modi 2 and Modi 2 Uber: <0.003%, CCIR
Modi Multibit: <0.007%, 20Hz-20KHz, CCIR
S/N: >104dB, referenced to 1.5VRMS, unweighted
Crosstalk: -80dB, 20-20kHz

Power Supply:

Modi 2: USB bus powered, 120mA draw
Modi 2 Uber and Modi Multibit: Included 16VAC wall-wart with 100% linear power supply

Size:

5” x 3.5” x 1.25”

Weight:

1lb

Company:

Schiit

SECRETS Tags:

Schiit, DAC, Modi 2, Desktop Audio, USB, Hi-fi, DACs Reviews 2017

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Schiit Modi 2 Desktop DAC, Back View

My personal desktop audio setup is rather simple, so I use the base model Modi 2 DAC. My system starts with an AudioQuest Cinnamon USB cable from my PC to my Schiit Modi 2, then an AudioQuest Cinnamon RCA analog pair into my Emotiva amp. Out of the box, the new Modi 2 does not disappoint, it still has the build quality you would expect from Schiit, while remaining affordable at only $99. The big reason for the upgrade is the Modi 2 can now handle 24/192 with Windows drivers. Also note that there is a switch on back to activate this feature.

Schiit Modi 2 Desktop DAC, Back View

If you’re a current owner of the Modi Gen 1, I can confidently say that the upgrade is indeed worth it. I also found after selling my Modi and Magni online that they hold their resale value quite well, making the Modi 2 a smart buy that won’t depreciate too quickly. The feature list is incredible for the size and price point of this small but powerful DAC. And of course, the audio quality is out of this world; that I cannot stress enough. Even after owning a Modi for years, upgrading to the Modi 2 felt refreshing to my ears. You won’t be disappointed.

Schiit Modi 2 Desktop DAC, Front View

  • Paul

    I have the original Modi/Magni UBER pairing and I have been very happy with it (I need the amplification). I’m curious as to your comment about the sonic superiority of the Modi 2. Could you give some specific examples of the improvement you’ve noticed? I do not use it with a Windows setup, so perhaps that would affect the choice to upgrade or not.

  • Indiana Lang

    Out of the box, I would say they are with-in 1% of each other, but the Modi 2 can now handle 24/192 bit rate and depth with available Windows drivers. I wouldn’t say the Modi 2 is leaps ahead of the Modi, but I still enjoyed upgrading to it.