Fantastic unit! A clear upgrade from the regular UAE23. I am very happy with the performance of this unit, especially for the price, although I am not assessing it based on the price. Thanks to the folks here for making it possible to break into some great quality sound for relatively little expense.
Paired this with a mid 2012 MacBook Pro using both MTX-M50's and HD600's run by a LD MKII and also with LD MKIII. Spending hours switching headphones straight out of the MacBook and the DAC, then the amp there is very little difference, if any, honestly. I ended up returning the Little Dot amps and the HD600's because the $600 difference just wasn't there. I kept the DAC because I felt there MIGHT be some difference and it was only $42. Perhaps I expected a light to come on in a dark room but that wasn't the case. If I have to spend hours trying to hear the difference, I'm glad I did not spend more than ~$40. For those that have computers/sound cards that are lacking, perhaps this will help. Don't expect miracles from a MacBook, at least the model I am using. I don't know about the newer ones; seems they are cutting more corners every year.
I've been buying 24bit versions of what I download for quite a while now - whenever available really - practically for my personal (pono) player - but because I thought it would pay off eventually. And been playing them at home, on the hifi via the headphone output of my Surface, thinking, obviously that sounds better. But eventually also thinking that I should really get a DAC to take advantage...
Anyway, I finally unpacked my UH1 this evening, found a USB cable, loaded the Windows 10 driver, and put on All Melody by Nils Frahm.
70 odd minutes later and I'm transfixed! Wow! The clarity, depth, width, tone etc. just unbelievable! At this price - I wouldn't have to play anything else, and I feel like I've had my money's worth already.
This is a seriously transformative piece of kit - for me it's a step change that adds a huge amount of value to my existing collection.
One happy camper tonight!
I decided to add, that device sounds even better with burn in. Thanks hifime, great job!
Just received this 2018 DAC and am a bit shocked at the clarity and overall great sound I'm getting from it now. At first I was a little disappointed until I warmed it up for about an hour and then loaded the ASIO driver with windows 10. The sound really came alive and started kicking butt. It was extremely dynamic with tight bass after loading that driver. The overall sound is so natural and live sounding now. What a great value, especially compared to the Dragon Fly Red which I also tested. The DR may have a little larger soundstage, but it did not seem as tight in the bass nor dynamic to my ears. This could be also due to the DR having the lower end 2016 DAC vs. the 2018 DAC in this HIfi. The overal fit and finish of this DAC with the plastic case may be on the lower end, but the sound is what really matters. I may wrap it up in some ultra strong tape to help protect it.
Again, don't forget to try the ASIO driver because it drastically improved my sound.
Received mine today and in a word (or two) "IT WORKS".
Immediately solved the ground loop issue I've been having with my iMac to USB external sound card to a single-ended triode (tube) amplifier.
11/01/2018Jim From Nova Scotia
Nice and melodic sound, clean and mellow highs, nice midrange, but im sad to say that headphone amp is weak and beyerdynamics dt 770 pro 80 not powered enough for 100% satisfaction. Hope your next device with ess9038 will be with stronger headphone amp.
Works AMAZING when connected to my surface pro through tidal / Spotify, but unfortunately it won't connect to my LG V30 or PX5 headunit which is running 6.0. Therefore it's gonna have to be a return back to Amazon because it's not useable on a mobile device.
I have successfully connected this U2 DAC on a Galaxy Note 4 with USB-A female to microUSB cable. Fine.
I also use the U2 DAC connected to a C.H.I.P. (the 9$ computer) in order to use the C.H.I.P. as a squeezebox-like device (i.e. network music player), connected to my hifi amplifier (the C.H.I.P. can also be squeezebox server... I used the U2 DAC also on a Raspberry Pi to the same goal).
Just for fun I tried swopping from the usb cable from laptop to a Teac UD-501 to the UAE23HD and optimal cable to the toslink input of the Teac and that is now its permanent placement. Compared to the USB solution, sound stage and ambience is now in another league.
Does not work on a Pixel 2 XL.
Well this my third dac and it came with some problems which the company support helpd and were very quick about it so 10/10 for support
The dac itself is a big step up sound is very clear and open
And amazing sound stage
I can only recommend this company for making great products in a very affordable price range
This device is invaluable. It's very impressive. We were plagued by USB hiss and hum (set up is Linux / UBUNTU Studio / Quattro USB2 external sound card).
This isolator slashed all our noise - it's brilliant!
Top product, a must have for home recording setups. There is now a newer version with a better spec, which we'll be getting soon I suspect, but this one have saved the day already. Quiet audio train at last. All good.
I am interested in this mono-block amp. I have a question to the author of the previous review: What power did your SMPS have? Also, maybe the SMPS was defective?
10/10 very detailed. imaging is great. cleaned up my music, woke up my fidelio x2 tightened up the low end, highs are less exhausting and sharp, more natural..... i do wish it came with the 1.5m usb cable but that's a small complaint and has nothing to do with how amazing this dac sounds
15/11/2017shinra ceo bman