Evolve II-4K HDMI v2.0 / Multi-Channel DAC

(9 customer reviews)

$ 299.00

The new Essence Evolve II-4K is a HDMI v2.0 Multi-Channel Audio DAC designed to extract the native, uncompressed LPCM multi-channel 24/192K audio from HDMI v2.0 sources such as 4K Blu-ray players. It extracts the original hi res audio digital soundtrack and converts it to analog multi-channel audio or digital optical output. Its also great with 4K streaming content.

Both the HDMI v2.0 input and output support 4K video resolutions up to 4096×2160@50/60Hz (YUV444), and is capable of decoding the native uncompressed high resolution audio at 24/192K to analog to feed an AVR, PrePro, or active speakers.

It supports decoding of high resolution digital audio formats including LPCM 7.1CH, Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby Atmos and DTS-HD Master Audio, and supports audio sampling rates up to 192KHz at 24 bits, allowing fully synchronized video and audio.

The Evolve II-4K made the 2020 Stereophile Recommended Components List!

“The Evolve II-4K is that rarity in high-end audio: a bargain-priced niche product. In this case, the niche is the one reserved for D/A processors capable of extracting and decoding the high-quality audio embedded in an HDMI video stream, while sending the video content direct to the user’s display. KR put the little Evolve II-4K to work in a couple of settings and was “stunned that it sounded so good,” adding that, although the Essence DAC didn’t sound quite as good as his exaSound e38, “it was not shamed.”

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Description

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

If you’re planning to adopt the new 4K sources such as a 4K Blu-ray player or a 4K streaming device with HDMI v2.0 output, they will not work with your existing HDMI v1.3/4 components. The solution to the problem is to use the Essence Evolve II-4K multi-channel audio DAC with HDMI v2.0 output to your display and analog output up to 7.1 channels to your existing AVR, PrePro, or active speakers.

  • HDMI 2.0 (with 6G audio/video support), HDCP 2.2 and DVI compliant
  • THD + N = .0001% at -115 dB s/n ratio
  • Supports extracting the HDMI audio and outputing to a multi-channel digital or analog audio signal
  • Supports analog multi-channel and Optical S/PDIF audio outputs
  • Supports HDMI audio sampling rates up to 192kHz
  • Supports Optical (S/PDIF) audio sampling rate up to 192kHz
  • HDMI signal supports High Bit Rate (HBR) audio
  • Supports HDTV resolutions up to 4K2K: 3840×2160@24/25/30Hz, 3840×2160@50/60Hz (YUV444) & 4096×2160@24/25/30Hz, 4096×2160@50/60Hz (YUV444)
  • Supports CEC bypass
Inputs 1x HDMI v2.0 [1x Uncompressed AV and Data]
1x USB Mini B [1x SERVICE Propriety Data]
Outputs 1x HDMI v2.0 [1x Uncompressed AV and Data]
1x Toslink [1x 2 Channel LPCM / DTS / Dolby Digital]
8x RCA [1x Analogue Audio 7.1 ]
PSU: 5V/2.6A
Dimensions 8.4″ (213mm)  W x 4/6″ (116mm) D x 1.2″ (30mm) H
Net Weight 1.5 lbs (658g)

EDID Management Software Download Page (scroll down to Dowloads Tab).

Additional information

Weight 3 lbs
Dimensions 4.6 × 8.4 × 1.2 in

9 reviews for Evolve II-4K HDMI v2.0 / Multi-Channel DAC

  1. Lily Finley, Audiophile Consumer, August 2020

    Hey Bob!
    I got my first chance to audition the Evolve DAC last night, and I have to say, I’m quite impressed.  Listening to this DAC was a joy. I know the sound signature of my monitors pretty well, so I can tell if a DAC is adding any significant color, noise, or distortion to that familiar sound. Thankfully and delightfully, the Evolve was not. That’s what I strive for in a DAC — transparency. There’s a time and a place for coloring the sound, but a DAC isn’t where it should happen.

    I tried both music and film material, and both sounded great. The music was smooth and detailed, and I ended up listening for more than an hour. Then I put on a movie, and the dialog was crystal clear with excellent imaging. Some DACs struggle to remain transparent at the far low end, but the Evolve produced lifelike low frequency effects that pushed my monitors’ woofers to their limits.

    What started out as a simple sound test in a desktop system with active speakers turned into a few hours of sonic fun. Nice job all around in the fidelity department. Lily Finley, Audiophile Consumer, August 2020

  2. Jeff Dunnam, Audiophile Consumer, June 2020

    Having lived with the Evolve II-4K HDMI Multi-Channel DAC for a couple of months now, I can safely say it delivered some of the best sound I have experienced in my listening room. Listening from a variety of sources, including BluRay discs, movies streamed through AppleTV and an Amazon Fire, in every instance, with the Evolve, the sound was refined, dynamic, and balanced. For anyone with a legacy AVR, the Evolve II-4K, is a no-brainer offering a big sonic upgrade at a very reasonable price. Well done Essence! Jeff Dunnam, Audiophile Consumer, June 2020

  3. Frederick Lee, Audiophile Consumer, June 2020

    “Thanks Bob, Evolve II-4K works. It sounds great with my PrimaLuna and Sony 800.”

  4. Cesar Augusto, Audiophile Consumer, May 2020

    “At $299, plus a modern Blu Ray player which has now reached picture quality of the higher priced options at much lower prices, the Evolve II-4K is a no brainer over buying a costly new AVR. So far I’m very happy! It turned my legacy McIntosh AVR into a modern one which run a cost of about $7k! It also sounded sweet enough with music for me to consider selling my separate 2ch Tube DAC which will also save me a lot of money!” Cesar Augusto, Audiophile Consumer, May 2020

  5. David Moench, Audiophile Consumer, March 2020

    “So, I am going to be satisfied with running 5.1 channel with the Essence Evolve II-4K using the 5 Adam F5’s.
    Actually, they sound great. With the new DAC, I find that they produce so much more clarity and separation of instruments.
    I can hear sound that just wasn’t there without it. I rate the Essence Evolve II-4K a solid 5 out of 5 stars. David Moench, Audiophile Consumer, March 2020

  6. John Gatski, Publisher of EAN, Nov 2019

    “A combo HDMI hi res audio de-emebdder, low-cost, high-quality, multi-channel PCM DAC that nets you 24/192 quality from lossless (DTS MasterHD, Dolby TruHD) and LPCM multichannel or stereo audio. This Evolve II-4K gives you the ability to use virtually any Blu-ray player with any legacy or current multichannel analog preamplifier, or preamp section contained in a receiver. And the results are amazing, given the price.

    The DAC performance, combined with a quality, multi-channel analog input/output preamp, rivals or exceeds what you get out of many modern pre/pros, receivers or BD players via their HDMI DAC sections. An Oppo 205‘s analog output did not sound any better through my AudioControl Maestro M3 analog output. And a $3,000 receiver decoding the BD player’s HDMI output sounded much more closed in than the Essence Evolve II-4K.

    If you have a multi-channel analog preamp that you like, the Essence HDMI DAC is your savior. The gravy is that it also gives you compatibility with legacy HDMI formats, and it translates stereo PCM digital from the HDMI input into a stereo (24/192 SPDIF) TOSlink output so you can feed your fancy, smancy audiophile DAC. from your BD player.”
    John Gatski, Publisher of EAN, Nov 2019

  7. Ken Baker, Audiophile Consumer, August 2019

    I got the Evolve II 4K HDMI DAC pretty quickly, after a very brief delay due to how much this thing has garnered interest from review. I love the size, I have been thinking a lot lately about putting together a compact killer system – the only downside is this DAC is not standard 19” width… also a bonus to my future plans of downsizing/streamlining. The instructions are pretty clear and the features are minimalist – In (HDMI) – Outs (HDMI video, Optical audio, & 8 analog (7.1)) Controls – on/off and a slider for three decoding choices: select per connected display choice, stereo, 7.1 channel… The Huge Sony STR DA7ES came out of hiding to test – stereo for now – and it went so well that you could say I was Quite Surprised… I set the receiver back to 2.1, connected L & R from the Essence and set the switch to 2 channel – instant success by playing my Sony UBP-X800 thru it! Clean, clear, instant and no glitches – brought my latest pair of classic Stereophile Class C recommended Acoustat Spectra 11’s roaring to life.
    Very simply:Easy, Covers the basics,.Manual adjustment (3 choices), Clean and clear sound, No glitches – no hassles, Modest & useful/purposeful design. Ken Baker, Audiophile Consumer, August 2019

  8. Kalman Rubinson, Stereophile, June 2019

    “I was stunned that Essence Evolve II-4K HDMI v2.0 Multi-Channel DAC ($299) sounded so good. How good? I liked it better than sending the audio via HDMI through the Marantz and its DACs. It seemed just noticeably cleaner and more open……” Kalman Rubinson, Stereophile, June 2019

  9. Hyendaudio Services, Audiophile Dealer, July 2019

    All I can say is…WOW! The Evolve II-4K is something special. I’m getting 88.2 with SACDs, just as before. Honestly this sounds so good I don’t know how much better it can get. I am VERY pleased and will gladly recommend your products. Hyendaudio Services, Audiophile Dealer, July 2019

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