Our much anticipated Khadas Tone2 Pro, the successor to the Tone Board (now renamed to the Tone1), will begin pre-orders in collaboration with HiFiGo on the 16th of December!
Tone2 Pro Landing Page:
Be sure to visit our Tone2 Pro landing page to REGISTER your name and email. After the 16th of December, we will send you an email with a special link to claim the $169.90 price!
Remember: Only those who register on our landing page above, will receive the special pre-order price. Registration is FREE, just key in your name and email:
Help us out by sharing #Tone2Pro with your friends!
They are also welcome to participate in our forum.khadas.com discussion here. They can now sign up to our forum with their Facebook or Github accounts, and begin posting immediately!
Winning Formula: Tone2 Pro changes nothing about the original DAC chip, and continues on with the time-tested ESS ES9038Q2M DAC.
Full Hardware MQA Decoding: Updated the XMOS processor to the XU216 for complete hardware MQA decoding, also known as unfolding.
Compact and portable size: The DAC is the size of a credit-card. Take your Hi-Fi music with you anywhere, anytime with a beautiful aluminum case to protect the PCB.
Volume Knob: Physical rotate-push encoder, allows for mode-selection and volume control on-the-go.
Balanced Line-Out: Left and right balanced-RCA jacks for transmitting a balanced analog signal via line-out.
Separate USB-C for data & power: Dual USB-C ports for separating data and power, use an optional 5V linear power supply which will take higher priority over USB power.
Dual Headphone Jacks: A 4.4mm balanced jack, with an additional 3.5mm single-end jack for sharing your music with a friend or loved one.
- Windows 7,8, 10 (Official Khadas USB Driver, Khadas Audio Dashboard)
- Mac OS X (Native USB Driver)
- Linux Distributions
Tone2 Pro is our second generation Tone Board from Khadas that incorporates a variety of user feedback from our first-gen product, the Tone1. ESS ES9038Q2M DAC has been paired with four powerful OPA1612 operational amplifiers, and three buffer amplifiers. This 3-stage amplification pathway enables Tone2 Pro to drive a wide-range of demanding audiophile-grade headphones with impedances of up to 150 ohms. The OPA1612 was selected because it provides superior audio quality and excellent distortion characteristics; THD + noise is below 0.00008% throughout the audio range (20Hz to 20kHz).
Other additions to the Tone2 Pro include a 4.4mm balanced headphone jack in addition to the standard 3.5mm single-end jack. The Tone2 Pro’s aluminum enclosure incorporates a hybrid digital/analog volume control knob, allowing you to rely entirely on analog signal attenuation for accurate sound reproduction. With not one, but two USB-C ports, you can connect a 5V linear power supply to the second USB-C port whilst having USB-C data on the first for excellent power-noise isolation. Finally we’ve added an industry-first balanced RCA line-out. These novel RCA ports have three signal-pins instead of two, yet retain the same size and form factor as regular RCA ports.
The latest addition to file format support is MQA decoding. The onboard XMOS XU216 processor enables bit-perfect, hardware-native, USB class II, asynchronous “unfolding” of MQA data for both web streaming and local high fidelity audio playback, enabling future-proof “original master quality” audio reproduction just as the artist intended, but at reasonable file sizes and streaming bandwidth requirements.
Resources for Bloggers:
Tone2 Pro 4K Images: Top, Front, Rear
Tone2 Pro Social Sharing Images: Top, Front, Rear
Tone2 Pro Press-Kit: Download ZIP
Tone2 Pro Neon Wallpaper: Download PNG
Tone2 Pro Exploded Diagram: Download JPG
Tone2 Pro Unboxing & Reviews:
If you’re a reviewer, we can send you a free sample. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to your audio website or youtube channel.
English Blog Articles:
- Khadas - Tone1 and Tone2 Pro, same driver + DFU tool
- Khadas - Balanced RCA on the Tone2 Pro
- Audiophile Style - 23 Nov
- iiWi Reviews - 23 Nov
- FreakTab - 23 Nov
- HiFiGo - 23 Nov
- Giz Audio - 24 Nov
- The Headphone List - 25 Nov
- Gizmo China - 26 Nov
- SEO Goog - 26 Nov
- Forbes - 26 Nov
- HiFi Next - 28 Nov
- GizTechReview.com - 5 Dec
- Xiaomi Today - 11 Dec
- Andro Plus - 17 Dec
Japanese Blog Articles:
Greek Blog Articles:
Thai Blog Articles:
Russian Blog Articles:
Arabic Blog Articles:
Spanish Blog Articles:
Mandarin Blog Articles:
Khadas Official Channels:
Tone2 Pro FAQ List:
Will the Tone2 Pro be a development platform or an end-user product?
Tone2 Pro will sell as a finished product only. The MQA company does not allow us to sell any MQA products as bare/development boards to deliver better user experience. Khadas will develop & launch the Tone2 (not Pro) as a DIY Kit in the future, but without MQA support.
What’s the spec-difference between Tone2 and Tone2 Pro?
Tone2 = Tone2 Pro - Headphone Amp - MQA. The Tone2 Pro is based on the XMOS XU216, whilst Tone2 is based on the XU208 (which is also used on Tone1). The Tone2 will have balanced RCA connectors, just like the Tone2 Pro.
Does Tone2 Pro support Bluetooth high-resolution input?
Yes the Tone2 Pro supports external bluetooth modules via the secondary USB-C port labelled I2S. Note that the pin-layout of the USB port is non-standard. Users can select the input source using the volume knob (rotary-push encoder). Input sources: USB Data, Bluetooth (via USB-C I2S port), and Coaxial S/PDIF IN
Do you ship globally?
Yes we do, just provide a valid shipping address and working handphone number for the courier.
Any cables or adapters included to go from “balanced RCA” to more traditional XLR or 4.4mm?
Yes, we are planning a balanced RCA to XLR-3 converter cable, check this blog post: khadas.com/balanced-rca
Will Tone2 Pro be open source like Tone1?
You can be sure that Tone2 will be open source like the Tone1. However we’re not quite sure about Tone2 Pro due the licensing restrictions.
This new model is still a USB DAC that performs the same function as my original Tone Board?
Yes the Tone2 Pro is still a full-featured USB DAC, with the addition of a headphone amplifier.
Is this designed to deliver better performance than the original?
Yep, sure thing. We will release the full specs in subsequent newsletters.
What is the output power to drive headphones?
We will release the full specs in subsequent newsletters, you can check the specs for the further details then.
This new one has headphone jacks for headphone listening?
Yes, we built-in a buffer stage amplifier to drive the headphones directly. They are connected with the hardware volume control, and each headphone has an independent amplification pathway. Headphone volume is independent from line-out.
What about balanced RCA to XLR-3 cables, connectors to make those cables?
We will produce an adapter or cable for existing products with XLR-3 connectors:
- Balanced RCA to XLR-3 female adapter
- Balanced RCA to XLR-3 male cable
We will also launch a balanced RCA cable when compatible products like Pre-Amp/Amp/Headphone Amps are available in the market.
Where can I get balanced RCA plugs or balanced RCA to XLR-3 cables that are compatible with your balanced RCA connectors?
What is the voltage level of the RCA balanced connection, is it the standard 4V?
Yep, 4.0Vrms for balanced RCA mode, and 2.0Vrms for standard RCA mode (single-end).
Will it completely unfold MQA for Spotify?
Yes, full MQA decoding for both the MQA Core and MQA Renderer.
When will it be launched?
Pre-orders will begin on 16th December.
Coax is input or output?
Coaxial input. Originally we designed Tone2 Pro to support both Coax IN and OUT via the balanced RCA jack. You can use a standard RCA cable for Coax IN, and a balanced RCA cable for Coax OUT. But Tone2 Pro is likely to only support the Coax IN feature when it ships with the pre-installed firmware.
The XMOS XU216 processer is already maxed-out to achieve all features such as MQA, SPDIF OUT and PCM768. We may release special firmware to support Coaxial OUT for users who want to use the Tone2 Pro as a USB to SPDIF adapter, just note that a special cable(balanced RCA to single-end) is required to support the SPDIF Coaxial OUT.
Will the sound quality be better than the Tone 1. I found the Tone1 lacked body, though the audio is very clean.
We will ensure that the performance of Tone2 Pro is higher than the Tone1. After formal tests are conducted with specialized equipment and test benches, we tend to leave this question to the reviewers who will review Tone2 Pro in the coming days. Qualitative sound-quality is highly subjective, with some people preferring a clean and flat output, whilst others prefer a warmer bass and a punchy high-range with more depth and space. We may decide to re-tune the sound-profile based on reviewer feedback.
Is there a version for the VIM3 also?
We will release the “Tone2”, which is a bare board version for VIM SBCs. Tone2 Pro will only be sold as a finished product due to the MQA license restrictions.
What connection cables will you be providing in the package?
Only a 1m length USB-C to C cable.
Does the volume knob also control the output of the RCAs?
Nope, the volume knob only controls the hardware volume of the headphone jacks. Hackers may rewire the board to allow the knob to also control the RCA volume.
There is a Generic version and VIM version? Or is there just one version?
Tone2 Pro is a finished product, that has an MQA license and will be sold with a proper aluminum case. Tone2 will be a bare board suitable for docking with VIM SBCs.
Can the USB-C input be used with the USB-C output of my phone?
Yes, Tone2 Pro can be powered by your Android smartphone or iPad Air/Pro over USB-C.
Is this an AMP + DAC combo? And if i were to connect this to my PC, I will use the primary USB- C for signal and the secondary for power?
Yes the Tone2 Pro is a DAC + Headphone AMP. The primary USB-C supports both power and data from your PC, Laptop, Tablet or Smartphone. The secondary USB-C is for connecting 5V linear power supplies that will bypass the primary USB-C power.