RME Digi96/8 Pro computer soundcard Measurements part 3

The analog outputs of my 1999 sample of the RME card had featured very low levels of harmonic and intermodulation distortion, even with full-scale signals into a demanding 600 ohm load. While the 2000 sample also had low distortion into a high 100k ohms load, with the second harmonic the highest in level at -94dB (0.002%), it was less comfortable driving 600 ohms (fig.10), when a number of harmonics became apparent. While these are all below 0.1% and decrease in level with increasing order, and the intermodulation distortion is also low (fig.11), this graph does suggest that higher-impedance headphones be used with the card.—John Atkinson

Fig.7 RME Digi96/8 Pro, D/A 1/3-octave spectrum of dithered 1kHz tone at -90dBFS, with noise and spuriae, 16-bit (top) and 24-bit (bottom) data, 44.1kHz sampling (right channel dashed).

Fig.8 RME Digi96/8 Pro, D/A waveform of undithered 1kHz sinewave at -90.31dBFS, 16-bit data.

Fig.9 RME Digi96/8 Pro, left-channel D/A departure from linearity, 16-bit data (2dB/vertical div.).

Fig.10 RME Digi96/8 Pro, D/A spectrum of 50Hz sinewave, DC-1kHz, at 0dBFS into 600 ohms (linear frequency scale).

Fig.11 RME Digi96/8 Pro, D/A HF intermodulation spectrum, DC-24kHz, 19+20kHz at 0dBFS into 600 ohms (linear frequency scale).

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