NuForce uDAC-5 DAC/Ampsearch

NuForce uDAC-5 DAC/Amp

NuForce uDAC-5 DAC/Amp

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(17 reviews)
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Verified Purchaser
Develops an electrical buzz after extended sessions, switching it off and back on fixes it for me, otherwise good sound. I'm happy enough with the purchase.
Verified Purchaser
I use this to take usb off my phone and push digital audio over coax to my DSP in my car. For this purpose it works very well. I haven't tried the line out extensively but that also seems to have a clean output.
Verified Purchaser
I was extremely unhappy with this purchase. A waste of $130. I plugged it into my windows PC and my 2012 retina macbook pro via USB and i used my sennheiser hd6xx and they would sound good at medium volume but if you blast them the music just distorts. Mediums are ok but highs are just unbearable. Its very well built though. I do truly appreciate the quality of the build.
moejazi
The impedence of this amp is not enough to drive the 6xx. try the O2 amp or Topping A30
Verified Purchaser
I purchased this DAC/Amp to replace my computer's Creative Sound Blaster Z sound card. I couldn't believe how simple it was to load the Windows driver, as Creative products (which I've used for twenty plus years now) are notorious for their difficulty and instability. As a sound source, uDAC-5 is just a bit better than the sound card. It offers just a bit greater detail throughout the audible spectrum. I'm not sure if I would characterize its top end as clearer or harsher, as that's highly dependent upon the headphones I'm using.
This device sounds best with my NAD VISO HP50 headphones. My Samson SR950 headphones sound better than when being driven by the sound card. My Final E2000 earbuds sound pretty decent with this. My Fostex T-X0 planar magnetic headphones sound quite good as well, but because of their higher impedance I have to drive them harder. The uDAC-5 sounds a tiny bit fuzzy at that higher volume. The same thing happens with my Harman Kardon Soundsticks III, so I guess I just have to back off a few percent. Instead of turning it up to 11, 9 will have to do.
The DAC/Amp does get warm, but it's not significant enough that I worry about the longevity of the device.
Why didn't I give it five stars? The fuzziness at full power. And the price was a bit steep, considering this only plays sound. I'll have to enable my on-board sound to be able to use a microphone, since I'll probably be removing the sound card from my system.
I you need something like this and don't mind the price, go for it. I know when asked about this or other similar devices I suggest a Schiit Fulla 2 would be a better deal, but it won't go beyond 24/96 whereas the uDAC-5 goes well past that. This suits my listening needs and I'll adapt to it not being a sound card with a microphone input.
liteon163
thx for review! As for 24/96 being not enough I'd say - do you have records bit higher bits/sampling? how many? I use to be in the same boat judging but bits - give me 32/768 or give me death. But the fact is even the best DAC in the world would not resolve more than 21 bit, more typical best ones will have around 19bits. And sample rate is irrelevant, you only hear 20Hz-20kHz, so 44Khz sampling is enough for any sound (Nyquist-Kotelnikov theorem). Read Schiit history on headfi if you want to learn more techi stuff.
Verified Purchaser
My first DAC and I like it. When I connect through the computer's regular headphone jack I can hear a slight background hiss. Using this DAC, it is so dang quiet with nothing playing. I can tell I need to upgrade my music source now. I have a few HD albums but couldn't really hear the difference before. Now I hear more nuances than before. The amp is good too. I have around 1/2 way and it's plenty loud for my sony headphones. Can't hear any distortion yet at this volume. Might try some classical later to see how well it handles dynamic music. For the price, great value.
Verified Purchaser
Fráncamente sorprendente,un gran aparato por poco precio
Verified Purchaser
Great sounding DAC! A real must have.
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