The HiFime UH1 It is based on the Savitech SA9227 asynchronous USB receiver clocked by two TCXO oscillators, PCM5102 dac chip and TPA6120 headphone amplifier.
The HiFime Digital to analog converter (DAC) sounds detailed and ultra clear with a huge sound stage. The two outputs are able to drive a wide range of headphones or can be connected to an amplifier. One output features a built in headphone amplifier while the other output is the direct output from the DAC chip. The direct output can also be used with many headphones and sounds very relaxed and open. The headphone output provides more punch and intensity. Which one you prefer will depend on the device you connect to the DAC.
Two quality TCXO are used as the master clock to control the timing. This asynchronous USB transfer mode will give the DAC the responsibility to clock the data transfer instead of of your computer which has a clock of lesser quality with more noise and jitter introduced.
It accepts up to 384kHz sample rates and 16/24/32 bit. No drivers are necessary on MAC and linux computers! On Windows it can work without drivers up to 96kHz/24bit and with ASIO drivers up to 384/32. (Note that not all programs support ASIO). There is a switch that switches between Low and High sample rate mode. When set to Low, it works up to 96/24 with no drivers needed in Windows.
It utilises the USB port for power, so no external power supply is required.
The UH1 also has several digital outputs which makes this device also a high resolution quality asynchronous USB to I2S, DSD, SPDIF and optical converter.
It also has optical INPUT which will redirect the optical signal to USB/computer. Note: The SPDIF/OPTICAL input does not go to ANALOG output!
- Asynchronous USB transfer with two TCXO as master clock
- USB receiver Savitech SA9227
- Supported sample rates: 32, 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192, 352.8 and 384kHz
- Supported bitrates: 16, 24 and 32 bits
- Works in either Full speed or High Speed USB transfer mode selectable with a switch (“L” “H”). No drivers required in MAC/Linux in both full and high speed modes. Windows ASIO needs drivers for High Speed mode only.
- We are using two (expensive) TCXO to act as master clock. 45.1584MHz for 44.1, 88.2, 176.4, 352.8MHz sample rates, and 49.152MHz for 32,48, 96, 192, 384kHz sample rates. The USB transfer is clocked by the TCXO directly. This is better than PLL async mode and offers close to zero jitter. PLL async mode has ~30ps jitter, which is already quite low, but not as good as when clocked from TCXO directly.
- To USB/computer only! It does not do optical to analog audio!
- Support samples rates up to 192kHz and 16/24/32 bit.
There are two analogue outputs, both are on the front of the dac. The line out is direct from the PCM5102 dac chip and the headphone output is buffered with the TPA6120 headphone amplifier. The TPA6120 is a high fidelity headphone amplifier from Texas Instruments. The PCM5120 is a ground centred design meaning that it doesn’t need any DC blocking capacitors on the output. Capacitors in the signal chain will always color the sound, so it will always be better to avoid capacitors in the signal chain. The analog outputs PCM only (not DSD as it’s not supported by PCM5120)
- Line output: 2.1Vrms
- Headphone output: 80mW/1.6Vrms max output to 32ohm load. 16mWrms/2Vrms to 250ohm loads
- Headphone minium load : 16 ohm
- For high impedance headphone, you can also use the line output which offers a higher signal on high impedances.
- DSD/I2S using HDMI port. Here is a linked drawing with the pinout for DSD and I2s. Note – this It not compatible with “normal” HDMI devices. The HDMI port is only used as a convenient connector and a way to send i2s balanced which improves signal quality. The DSD signal is also balanced. The pinout is made so that there is no harm done if you should connect it to a normal HDMI device.
- Optical output on the front of the unit, uses same output as headphone output. It supports up to 192kHz sample rates and 16,24,32 bit.
- Digital to analogue chip: Texas Instruments PCM5102
- Headphone amplifier: TPA6120
- USB receiver chip: Savitech SA9227
- USB transfer mode: Asynchronous (clocked with 2 x TCXO)
- Analogue outputs: Line out and headphone output (PCM only, DSD not supported)
- Digital outputs: I2S, DSD, SPDIF/optical
- Digital inputs: SPDIF (routed to USB only)
- Samples rates supported: 32, 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192, 352.8 and 384kHz
- Bit rates: 16, 24 and 32 bits
- Drivers: Not required for MAC/Linux. Required for windows for sample rates above 96/24. New driver supports Win 10 here.
- Size: 85x70x24mm
Jon Sowerby –
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!
Using my old ATH-M50’s and switching from my sabre dac to the UH1 was amazing.
Immediately off the bat, the sound is much more fuller bassy and brighter (some may not like) and the instrument separation is clearly improved, have actually picked up a background voice or clank in the recording that the sabre did not. Re listening to S.O.S band sands of time remaster really took head bobbing to a new level with me. If i could put it in a sentence, the sound is exciting and mildly scary. Its so close to feeling like it can shock you with loud pop, but its kept very well in check and lively. For the money, its a great deal.
Not many manufacturers can do digital well. I have digital equipment from Marantz, Wadia and Antelope Audio. I was looking for a DAC for my 3rd system which is a quality micro system incorporating a Velodyne subwoofer. I decided to just order the UH1 as it looked like the best high quality DAC available in a budget price range.
I fed the UH1 with Flac files from a windows 10 laptop running Groove Audio. The sound is superb and it is one of the best value pieces of audiophile equipment that I have bought. I now listen to the micro system more than my 2nd system which uses a £2600 DAC complete with custom power supply.
I have now bought a 2nd UH1 as a spare.
I am absolutely thrilled with the UH1 DAC I purchased 6 months ago. This is my first DAC purchase and I’m blown away with increased clarity and fidelity. The hardware is very well made and beautifully finished. All day long I stream listener supported commercial free internet radio 320k aac and Og Vorbis 192k streams in many different genres – mostly through speakers. I have been continually stopped in my tracks because my old favorite songs sound dramatically better than ever before. Instrumental and vocal details stand out with amazing clarity. The sound is well balanced in all ranges. Setup with my Sony laptop was quick and easy with chromium browser on Ubuntu Linux 16.04 OS.The extended 384k-32bit range of the UH1 is the reason I bought this particular DAC. The UH1 is one of the best bargains I’ve ever found.
Jason Tan –
The greatest and best DAC I’ve ever received till date. Guys do check out headfi and audio forum reviews about this DAC I’m sure all those reviews up there and the reviews here will be fully convincing to your ears.
A history of all DAC’s I own till date:
Trasam HA2+ (Dissapointing, beaten by my phone built-in DAC)
My phone MI Note with ESS Sabre DAC (Good)
UH-1… best DAC ever owned without a question. Extremely revealing DAC with clarity (never miss a beat in complex musics), a little sharp (like most ESS dac’s sound signature) but otherwise it is/or sound extremely close to neutral harmony.
Wonderful and prompt customer support from Cindy, whom immediately shipped a DAC after informing her the previous one was sent to wrong country due to an honest mistake.
I’m all for supporting small reputable audio businesses, using UH-1 with my AN speakers and sonic t amp, none ever disappoint me being amazing value for money. Your money will be safe here @ hifime, shop wisely everyone!
I have received the UH1 dac a few days ago, and it works great.
I am happy with the purchase, and with the exceptional customer service.
I had many questions and i got all the answers very quick(Thanks Cindy and Nick)!
The DAC’s sound is clean and detailed (used with a pair of small studio monitor speakers)
The headphone amp(HP/OPT out)can easily drive my Senheiser HD650 and my AKG 701Q, and the sound is very good.
Of course the sound is even better if the dac(line out) is connected to a 110-220 powered stand alone quality headphoneamp.
Considering that the UH1 is a small USB powered portable dac/amp it is just fantastic as it is.
Очередной замечательный продукт от команды HiFimeDIY, звучит действительно отлично, на мой взгляд местами даже переигрывает более дорогой Gustard dac-X10 владельцем которого я так же являюсь. Звучание UH1 очень ясное, детальное, с широкой сценой, с красивым правильным басом, при этом нет никакой резкости которой частенько грешат современные DAC. В целом звучание UH1 очень похоже на "Hifimediy Sabre COAX_OPTICAL DAC. ES9023 + CS8416 230V" который к сожалению больше не выпускается. Но есть и минус, из описания UH1 не понятно что DSD выводится только через цифровой выход "HDMI", через аналоговые выходы мы получаем только декодированный PCM поток(384KHz), учтите это до покупки!
P.S. Пользуясь случаем хочу поблагодарить команду HiFimeDIY за высокое качество продукции, за отличное звучание за эти деньги. Спасибо!
I was looking for an affordable high quality sound card… After hesitate between UH1 and 9018D, I finally choose UH1 model for its high quality components (USB-B port, only solid caps and tcxo oscillators).
Sound is so clear and detailed that it seems impossible to get disappointed with this product…
It delivers more than enough power for my headphones (ATH-W1000X and K701).
Thanks to support for answering my questions.
The improvement over my motherboard’s sound was phenomenal. Music became very lively and fun, while my video games came to life. I did not expect the improvement to be so apparent because I bought this DAC while still being skeptical of their claimed improvements in sound. Worth every penny!
An excellent dac, I have purchased it as an upgrade to es9023 sabre I had before, and the difference is tremendous, especially in the music scene and separation of instruments, much Microdetail.
I use a takstar PRO80 through the headphone output and has enough power to drive a very decent volume.
Colm Watling –
A fantastic product, and a real step up from the Android Sabre DAC I had before!