I again remind our readers of the standard caveat that value is a function of your budget and your needs, not my budget and my needs. That said, it is hard to imagine someone who objectively would find the uDAC-2 anything less than a good value, assuming you need both a headphone amp and DAC, but don’t need a battery-powered unit that provides an analog input. You can get a battery-powered DAC/amp for even less than the price of the uDAC-2, but if you do you’ll probably give up a few things. First, you may get less headphone amp power. Second, you’ll probably get a slightly inferior overall sound. And third, you may not get the easy-to-use rotary volume knob, this latter item being a matter of personal preference, of course. If you spend more, you’ll probably need to double or triple your budget to get noticeably greater refinement. More likely, spending extra money will expand your choices if you need to find a DAC/amp that corrects issues with your headphones.
The NuForce uDAC-2 delivers a musically clear sound in about the smallest package possible for desktop use.
NuForce uDAC-2 USB DAC/Headphone Amplifier
Frequency Response: n/a
THD+Noise: 0.05% (1ｋHz)
Analog Inputs: none
Digital Inputs: USB 1.1 or 2.0
USB DAC: USB 32, 44.1, 48 kHz at 16-bit resolution or 96 kHz, at 24-bit resolution.
Analog Outputs: RCA
RCA Output level: 2 Volts
Digital Output: S/PDIF coaxial 75 Ohm
Headphone power output (mini-jack): 80mW rms @ 16 Ohm
Power Supply: USB bus
Dimensions (H x W x D): 2.7” x 1.5” x 0.8”
Price: $129 as tested
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