Note: Power supply is required and not included!
This Sabre DAC features an USB Isolator chip (adum4160) that isolates the DAC from USB power. It can then be supplied with an external clean power supply. It accepts a wide range of DC and AC voltages. Batteries can also be used for optimal performance. This makes it slightly less portable than the smaller brother, theUSB powered Sabre DAC, but might offer even better performance! We still recommend the smaller dac for ultimate portability and convenience.
On this new batch we have added a headphone amp to this dac. This output is 3.5mm on the front and volume through this output is adjustable with an analog volume pot. The headphone output can drive headphones down to 16ohm. There is also a direct line out from the ES9023 chip (RCA plugs on the back). This output can also be used to drive many headphones (with a RCA to 3.5mm jack adaptor). You can experiment to see which you prefer for your headphones.
It can also b used as an USB to Coaxial adapter. The coax besides the USB input is output!
USB cable is not included. We sell separate USB cables 30cm and 1.5meter here:
HiFimeDIY PSM3 8V AC PSU: $24.99 or
12V DC Adaptor 100-240V $3.99
– Mac, Windows and Linux computers.
– Confirmed working with iPad 3 (iOS 6.0.1 and 7) using this USB hub
– USB input. (the COAX connector is output! – don’t buy this if you need coax input)
– Two outputs: 3.5m (headphone amplified) and RCA (line level)
– Analog volume control (headphone output only!)
– Headphone output based on TPA6138 driver
– No drivers required for Mac, Windows and Linux!
– Requires external (not included) power supply: DC between 5-15V or AC 4-11V. 500mA. Both polarity DC is ok. Plug is 5.5-6/2.1. From 5.5mm to 6mm on outside and 2.1mm in the middle.
– Power draw: 53mA (63mA with TCXO) when playback. and 2mA at USB Bus. 18mA when USB cable is unplugged.
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 cap which adds costs and reduces sound quality.
– Jitter Eliminator! The ES9023 utilize patented HyperstreamTM architecture and Time Domain Jitter Eliminator.
– 112db DNR
– Accepts 32kHz, 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz and 16 and 24 bits.
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.
Does this DAC support headphone of 250 Ohms ?
Yes, it supports 250ohm headphones.
Never had used external DAC before. I had decided to buy this DAC to listen music in my car with Harman/Kardon CA-280 and Android Tablet PC. Quality is very good, no noise or clicks from generator. High frequency is very sharp, but not enought low freq as for me.
I use isolated dc-dc converter for power supply and ultra-short rca cable to connect amplifier.
I can confirm that Android 4.x, 5.x, 6.x, Windows 7, 10, Linux Ubuntu 16.04 is compatible without special driver.
I would like to wish guys from HiFiMeDIY to grow in audio and create new the best devices.
G.Alan Beck –
HiFiMeDIY PLEASE LISTEN..I LOVE this DAC!!!Please,Drop the headphone circuit,drop the Coax Out & ADD Optical Input!!!
works great with my raspberry pi 2 running openelec 5.0.3/kodi 14.1. clean, beautiful sound over network storage. alsa picks it right up as ‘sa9023 usb audio, analog’. big fan of the led on the front of the unit only lighting up with it’s receiving an audio signal.
I purchased this particular DAC with the dedicated power supply (PS-M3) to form the stack. I use it to drive Shure SRH 440s which aren’t the lowest impedance. I was very pleased with the output from a Mac Mini via this DAC to my headphones. Seems lively and clarity is great. I am going to let the DAC burn in so that it can open up more.
I was considering a Schiit Modi/Magni combo instead of this unit. I must say (without hearing the Schiit gear) that is a very good unit and for a starter in this area a must.
Very good DAC. A bit harsh at the beginning, it smoothed out after 10 hours. After 40 hours it opens and the soundstage is large.
Excellent "full" sound (my previous DAC sounded dry) and detailed. Get the dedicated power supply (PSM3+) for optimal result.
I have been using UAE23+ (adaptive) with PSM3+ for about a month and a half with my brand new Indeed TA2021S, Monitor audio Bronze B2 and a raspberry pi.
I have no experience from other DACS to compare, but i am really amazed with the sound result. It was plug and play with a nice and warm sound. Until today the most value for money audio equipment I have bought.
I am thinking of buying a second for another system in the house and this time i will choose the async version to compare. I hope that the result will be as satisfactory as the ebove.
Really want to buy this device. Heard a lot of good reviews but have a question.
Does Sabre USB DAC 2 sounds good with Fostex T50RP?
…worried whether sufficient headphone amplifier?
First of all, this is an excellent product. Now, here are some issues I want to warn people about.
I received my unit a while ago. I am experiencing driver issues where the DAC won’t play any sounds when my computer wakes from sleep. It works again if I disable and enable the driver again. I’m taking off a star for this.
Also, I originally tried this with the cheap wall-wart power supply (the cheapo $4 one) that they sell here. It’s a terrible, noisy power supply. I don’t know what I expected. I ended up getting a decent linear power supply instead.
The DAC sounded a bit harsh initially (similar things have been said about other DACs that use a similar chip set). Give it a week or so before you pass judgement on it though. It just kinda settled after a while. Never really believed burn-in did anything in solid-state DAC/amps before this experience… Anyways, it now sounds excellent, smooth and detailed. I’m completely satisfied on the sound quality front.
Could you produce a variation of this DAC whose analog volume control works for both the headphone and rear RCA output like the Audioengine D1?
It will be useful for people who use powered studio monitor or those who want to hook it up to a budget 75W amplifier to drive passive speakers.
Just a suggestion…
Received this today it is really good 🙂 The internal soundcard in my laptop is broken(I dropped it while my headphones where plugged in, bending the audio port), so I thought it was a good excuse to get a nice audio upgrade. Sounds better compared to my internal card, it can go very loud as well.
isaac van den berg –
I have the uae23+ version without powerswitch and with optical coax and the delivery here in holland went without a glitch. Windows Update found the drivers on the internet and installed the sabre drivers automatically after a 10 minute search and the dac works perfectly.
I’m djing at different venues with differing sound-equipment, but for now the dac seems to sound very flat, it’s not at all what i expected and the sound is not better than a cheap external usb sweex-soundcard i already used and is worse than the internal sound-output from my previous hp-compaq laptop.
I’m still testing the dac, but i’m wondering if i can do something to make the sound clearer and more dynamic.
toshiba C870 17V Laptop / 4MB ram / Windows 7×64 / Foobar2000 /
ACDC Powerswitch 7,5 VDC For DAC Power
the dac presents itself in:
windows device manager as: "Sabre 24/96 DAC"
foobar output as: SPDIF interace (USB audio-device)
I use windows 7 64bits and unfortunately it doesn’t works with or without installing Teralink 64bit driver, windows see the dac but he can’t find the driver !!!!! can you help me please??
Admin edit (reviews merged):
Hey Lordy Thanks a lot, now it’s okay ! best regards !! sound’s great…
The UAE23+ works perfectly well under Windows 7 x64: install the Teralink 64bit driver then
a. In "Device Manager" find the approriate device, manually install device by navigating to:
C:\Program Files\TeraDak\TeraLink-X2 USB Audio Software Package\Driver
b. regsvr32 "C:\Program Files\TeraDak\TeraLink-X2 USB Audio Software Package\USBaX2ASIO.dll"
for bit-perfect playback in foobar2000 (with appproriate plugin.)
Great sounding budget priced DAC; to get the best sound either use unregulated batteries or an unregulated (AC)toroidal power supply.
5V USB external batteries are readily available on the internet: but they tend to be regulated. Where possible use an AC power supply so that the UAE23+ performs the rectification. 6vac is more than adequate!
Nick K –
I own both the UAE23(travelling option) and the UAE23+(the rca output version home media center). I must tell that the UAE23 analog stage sound must better.Well let me clarify.The UAE23+ has a more veiled sound so the modern compressed mp3 files sound sweeter less harsh however the high resolution 24bit 96khz jazz and acoustic files have restricted soundstage probably due to the darker sound.The regular UAE23 don’t suffer from the this restriction even thought it’s the same product.So for modern highly compressed rock electro house sound go with the (+)version.For the jazz HD crowd go with regular UAE23 model and add a DA converter.Tenor 7022 is an awesome poor man’s option for HD media files.
Thanks jasper. I will order soon. The dac is unbelievable…
Jesper Sommer –
Something like that: http://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/desktop-power-supply/6675584/
Essential 12V and 5A (=60 Watt). Do not use anything with more than 12V
Hi Jesper, could you link me your power supply? I don’t know what to choose…
Steve Oltman –
I received mine two days ago. Unfortunately i installed the driver mentioned in the description, and as for Jesper, it messed up the sound for me as well.
I recommend NOT TO INSTALL THE DRIVER.
But as a review: the sound is great! I can just recommend it.
Jesper Sommer –
I was referring to the DacMagic, EMU 0404 and Valab NOS DAC in my other post.
Jesper Sommer –
I received this dac within 7 days (in Denmark) – and it’s small and cute. Teamed up with a 12V, 5A SMPS I was ready for music. But: the recommended Teralink drivers messed up the digital signal. I removed them and settled for the sabre and diymehifi drivers (which windows found automatically). This was better – and way better than any of the dacs mentioned above. High resolution, fair soundstage (not huge – but a kind of realistic soundstage). The dac is highly musical and enjoyable.
Best tip: Adding a Supra USB 2.0 cable between DAC and pc, increased the resolution and naturalness even more – and the sound is coming free from the speakers as never before.
Bottom line. I would seriously recommend this dac, if you’re in the 500 USD-field, searching for a very good usb dac. At USD 59, it’s a run-and-buy-item. If somebody put it in a big and heavy box with a PSU and an USD 500 price tag, it would still be a great buy. Back to music – enjoy