HiFimeDIY Sabre U2 Asynchronous USB DAC

HiFimeDIY Sabre U2 Asynchronous USB DAC
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Product Code: 10000072
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The Hifimediy Sabre U2 Asynchronous DAC was developed by DIY (do it yourself} enthusiasts in the purpose of making a really good but cheap dac that could compete against regular commercial DAC's costing many times as much. It utilises a DAC chip from ESS Technology, whose DAC chips is highly regarded. The ES9023 chip is their simplest DAC chip which keeps many of the features of their bigger brothers at a minimal cost.

The Hifimediy U2 Dac works in USB Asynchronous mode using the standard USB Audio protocol. No drivers are needed in Windows, Mac OSX and Linux for up to 96Khz/24Bit Asynchronous transfers.
Asynchronous transfer means that the timing of the data flow is controlled from the device (DAC) instead of from the computer. Computers are not the best to keep a steady clock so it is much preferred to use an external master clock. The Hifimediy Sabre U2 is clocked by a 27Mhz oscillator which is buffered by a low jitter PLL1705 as the master clock source.
USB Audio uses Isochronous data transfer in either synchronous, adaptive or asynchronous mode. 
* In synchronous mode, the length of a second is defined by the host device. That is, the host will send data at a rate, and the device has to exactly match that rate.
* In asynchronous mode it is the other way around, the device sets the definition of a second, and the host has to match the device.
* In adaptive mode the data flow determines the clock.
The U2 uses the SA9023 USB receiver chip from SAVITECH (not to be confused with the DAC chip ES9023). It accepts 32Khz, 44.1Khz, 48Khz, 88.2Khz and 96Khz inputs at 16 and 24bit. The SA9023 USB receiver is set to work in slave mode with the 27Mhz oscillator is the master clock source, buffered by the PLL1705 chip. 
The U2 dac can be used together with the USB Isolator. it will isolate the power from the PC and give a cleaner 5VDC power to the DAC. We have experienced improved clarity in soundstage and separation using this isolator together with the Hifimediy U2 and UAE23 dac's.
- Asynchronous USB transfer
- Output on 3.5mm headphone jack.
- Volume Level is controlled by the normal volume control keys on your computer. (no need to use the volume control inside iTunes etc.)
- No drivers required for Mac, Windows and Linux! 
- Normal line level output (2Vrms) when connected to amplifiers/preamps. For headphones the level decreases down to 1Vrms for 32ohm headphones
- Confirmed working with iPad 3 (iOS 6.0.1) using this USB hub:
- Quality TYCO gold plated headphone connector
Additional features:
- The U2 can also work as Asynchronous USB to optical converter when not using the analog output.
Highlights about Sabre ES9023 dac chip:
- The sound go straight out of the DAC chip and into your headphones or amplifier. It is not needed that the sound signal go through a capacitor to remove a DC voltage, there is no DC voltage to remove! This omits the need of a coloring cap which adds costs and reduces sound quality.
- Jitter Eliminator! The ES9023 utilISed patented HyperstreamTM architecture and Time Domain Jitter Eliminator.
- 112db DNR
ASIO driver:
Savitech has released an ASIO driver for the SA9023 usb chip. ASIO drivers can provide lower latency, and is to optional to use. 
Asio drivers is only recommended for advanced users, and is not required for normal audio playback.
It can be downloaded here.
Output levels:
Open 2.2Vrms
4.7Kohm 2.1Vrms
1.8Kohm 1.9Vrms
510ohm 1.5Vrms
330ohm 1.3Vrms
30ohm 1Vrms
Note: Normally amplifier inputs are from 10K to 100K ohm. Normal headphones are from 32 ohm to 250ohm.
5 ( 5 / 5 )
Thank you guys for the confirmation and the very good device at reasonable price. It is easy to use and works well with foobar2000 software. I really appreciate it.
4 ( 4 / 5 )
Hello, I've received U2 Async DAC yesterday. Really great sound and I like it. I only notice a pop noise from the DAC to the speaker when i'm switching on my computer. Mine doesn't have green or blue jack connector but something between brown and black color. So I'm wondering if it is an authentic Hifimediy U2. It's led color is red. Picture in the following link ----hifime reply:yes it is authentic. We use another connector on last batch, it has LED light built into the connector so provides better optical performance.
5 ( 5 / 5 )
Очень музыкальный и стоит своих денег. Рекомендую. Asio звучит хуже асинхронного режима. Драйверы не нужны на WinXP. Спасибо создателям этого маленького по размеру, но не по звуку, DAC! Рекомендую. Very musical and very good value for money. Recommend. Asio sounds worse asynchronous mode. No drivers are required for WinXP. Thanks to the creators of this small in size but not in sound, DAC! Recommend.
5 ( 5 / 5 )
Great DAC for great music, really worth the price. I bought it after stunning blind tests with one I borrowed. Thank you for this piece of hardware! (note: on the very first use on MS Windows just wait a moment for the OS to install the drivers, it can take 1-2 mn on some PC, after that no delay on plug-in)
5 ( 5 / 5 )
I bought this small device some time ago, more from curiosity, never listen to any ESS Sabre chip dac before. I wasn't impressed first time I listened. I used to listen with Centrance DACMini and Audeze LCD2. I used DACMini as headphone amp with U2 as dac. I also tried with Westone W3 and I couldn't say I liked better as before. In the meanwhile I acquired some AKG K340 and decided to try it again, since 3D imaging was the forte feature of K340 vs LCD2. This time I was really impressed by the U2 sound vs DACMini's dac. Even if micro details were less precise, the sound was better localized as soundstage, sound seems to flow naturally, with better depth. Comparing to U2, DACMini's dac appear to be more 2D than 3D.

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