(17 customer reviews)

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

Original price was: $ 399.00.Current price is: $ 349.00.

      Click to read the full test report.

Upgrade Your Legacy 1080p AVR to 4K UHD With the Evolve II-4K HDMI 7.1 Channel DAC!

The Essence Evolve II-4K is a HDMI v2.0b Multi-Channel Hi Res Audio DAC designed to extract the native LPCM multi-channel 24/192K audio from HDMI v2.0b sources such as 4K Blu-ray players, Apple TV4K and other 4K streamers, and 4K video games.  It extracts the original LPCM hi res audio digital soundtrack and converts it to analog multi-channel audio for playback on your multi-channel audio system.  4K video is passed through to your 4K TV.

Both the HDMI v2.0b input and output support 4K video resolutions up to 4096×2160@50/60Hz (YUV444), and is capable of converting the native uncompressed high resolution audio at 24/192K to analog to feed an AVR, PrePro, or active speakers.  It passes through HDR 10+ and Dolby Vision to your 4K TV.

It supports decoding of the 24/192K high resolution PCM or LPCM 7.1 Channel Soundtrack, delivering stunning 4K video to your TV and award winning converted analog audio to your audio system.

We are honored that the Evolve II-4K is listed in the Stereophile Recommended Components List since 2020.

Note: Free Shipping in the USA.  For export orders, please use this online order-form.




If you’re planning to adopt the latest 4K sources such as the Apple TV4K or a 4K Blu-ray player, they will not work with your legacy AVR with HDMI v1.3 or v1.4 AVR. The Evolve II-4K solves the problem by adding a single v2.0b HDMI input for your v2.0b source with pass through of the video to your TV and conversion of the hi res multi-channel soundtrack to analog so you can route it to the analog inputs on your existing AVR, PrePro, or active speakers.  

  • HDMI v2.0b (with 6G audio/video support), HDCP 2.2 and DVI compliant

    “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.”

  • THD + N = .0001% at -115 dB s/n ratio
  • De-embeds DSD over PCM (DoP on SACD) and LPCM (Blu-ray) audio and outputting to a multi-channel analog or stereo digital output
  • 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)
  • HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision pass through
  • Warranty 1 Year from Date of Purchase
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 Commander Software / Virtual Com Port Driver

We offer a software program called EDID Commander that allows for a higher degree of customization of video and audio features than the default settings pre-loaded into the Evolve II-4K.  You’ll need a Win 10 computer and a USB cable to use it and first you have to install the Virtual Com Port Driver.  Follow the instructions on page 6 of the owner’s manual for installation and you’ll be able to optimize the Evolve II-4K for your TV and audio system.

The Evolve II-4K firmware is up to date with v2.16 for use with 4K TVs, sources, and projectors. If you have a 1080p TV or projector, you’ll want to use the previous firmware version v2.15.  Send me an email request for either one while we transition away from using an ftp site to a more automated method of delivery.

Additional information

Weight 3 lbs
Dimensions 4.6 × 8.4 × 1.2 in

17 reviews for Evolve II-4K HDMI v2.0b Multi-Channel DAC

  1. Bill Zirkle, Audiophile Consumer, June 2024

    Yes Bob — the Evolve II-4K is exactly, not more & not less, what I need it to do. I ordered a new Sony UBP-X800m2. These two units produce music to my ears. I’m buying a second of both for backup!!! What a find at so reasonable a price. Bill Zirkle, Audiophile Consumer, June 2024

  2. David Mould, UK Audiophile March 2020

    “Hi Bob, You’re very correct … I’ve now got fantastic audio AND video with the Evolve II-4K. 🙂 Couldn’t be happier!” David Mould, UK Audiophile March 2020

  3. Terry Underwood, Audiophile Consumer March 2022

    “Thank you Bob.

    It sounds wonderful, BTW. This is the best ESS DAC implementation I’ve heard by far, with excellent detail retrieval and smooth, refined and natural character.” Terry Underwood, Audiophile Consumer March 2022

  4. Bill Vandermarel, Audiophile Consumer and former CEO of Paradigm / Anthem, Jan 2022

    Hi Bob,

    I received the Evolve II-4K last Friday and have been listening all weekend.

    Wow … I am impressed! This is an amazing DAC with an uncanny ability to present individual instruments and voices within a magnificent soundstage. It’s exceptionally clear, natural sounding and utterly convincing. The Evolve II-4K has rejuvenated HDMI sourced music for my stereo system. What a great product!

    You were also right about setting my Apple TV 4K to stereo – no more 5.1 down-mix congestion. I’m also convinced there would be no benefit to adding an external stereo DAC, and with HDCP limits reapplied it could only sound worse.

    Thanks again and all the best,


  5. Oren Shive, Audiophile Consumer in Israel, Oct 2021

    As I opened the box I was surprised to discover a VERY high quality product, from the exchangeable power adapter to the build quality. The sound quality is wonderful, my vintage receiver really got evolved!!! I want to thank you for your kind service and a really unique and wonderful product. Oren Shive, Audiophile Consumer in Israel, Oct 2021

  6. Eric Edewarrd, Audiophile Consumer, Aug 2021

    Hey Bob,

    I hooked up the Evolve II-4K on Friday and I’ve done some testing. It works great with the nVidia Shield. I’m very happy with the final results. Thanks again.

    Eric Edewarrd

  7. Price Ambler, Audiophile Consumer, July 2021

    Hey Bob.

    I am very pleased with the Evolve II-4K that I just put in service. So much better than Cambridge DAC which is good but yours has so much more flexibility and sound. I had been using a tube DAC which I liked a lot but the sonic quality of the Evolve is quite nice sonically to my ears. And I love the improvement in the FIBBR HDMI Fiber Optic Cables over my prior copper (what I thought was high end) cables. I am ordering two more in a moment. You went out of your way to ship it to me rapidly and thanks for that and your review of my system. Price Ambler, Audiophile Consumer, July 2021

  8. Jack Kyte, Audiophile Consumer, Feb 2021

    The Evolve is working marvelously. When the recording is a quality one, the sound is very close to the concert hall. One can hear the bow on the strings and the breath of the singers. Jack Kyte, Audiophile Consumer, Feb 2021

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Frederick Lee, Audiophile Consumer, June 2020

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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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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