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NuForce uDAC-5 DAC/Amp

NuForce uDAC-5 DAC/Amp

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2.2K requests
638 Sold
Product Description
Small enough to fit in your pocket. Powerful enough to play your music to its full potential Read More

Customer Reviews

(25 reviews)
Apr 14, 2024
checkVerified Buyer
daily desktop driver
form fits function like it souch bought another
Recommends this product? Yes
May 8, 2020
checkVerified Buyer
Pretty good dac/amp
This sounds pretty good. At really low volumes the right/left was a tiny bit unbalanced, and when I left it plugged in for 2 weeks it developed a hint of faint static. Unplugging it and plugging it back in cleared the static. I now leave it in my laptop bag for when I want to listen to something in a coffee shop or noisy park. It works fantastically at moderate volume and in a situation where it gets unplugged at least every once in a while. For my desktop I have since upgraded by spending about twice as much with Schiit Audio. I've also bought some $200 or so headphones. I keep toying with the idea of buying some Focal headphones, or planar magnetic ones. I guess the biggest risk in buying a NuForce is that it can be a gateway device, that wakes up your ears to how good audio can be, and end up impacting your wallet in a significant way.
Recommends this product? Yes
Nov 11, 2019
checkVerified Buyer
Very nice sound and easy to use portable DAC
Easy to use with Mac and Windows OS, plug and play.
Recommends this product? Yes
Jun 13, 2019
checkVerified Buyer
Lol worse than my budget motherboard
It gets louder than what my motherboard can but there’s a ton of white noise that is only unnoticeable when you turn the volume up enough to hurt your ears. Probably the biggest waste of money I’ve ever made. Also comically small, I laughed when I got it out of the box.
Recommends this product? No
Apr 13, 2019
checkVerified Buyer
use it for usb->coax on my macs, work well. haven't really tried the dac portion.
Feb 24, 2019
checkVerified Buyer
I bought this unit back in March of 2018. The unit stopped working about 2 months into use. Windows said that it cannot recognize the USB device and refused to work. I tried connecting to other computers to no avail. Contacted Massdrop about it back in July of 2018, they sent me the following response: "Joshua F (Massdrop Community Support) Jul 19, 3:00 PM PDT Hello, Thank you for reaching out to Massdrop. While we are working diligently to provide the best and quickest experience as possible to our members, we are still currently experiencing a high volume of requests leading to longer wait times for responses. We will respond to your message as quickly as possible and in the order in which your request was received. We apologize for any inconvenience. - Massdrop Community Support Team" I have NOT RECEIVED any update to my request since. It is now February of 2019, and the 1-year warranty is going to expire soon. I've tried everything from reinstalling the Nu force drivers, reinstalling the USB drivers, trying it on different computers and none of it worked.
Feb 15, 2019
checkVerified Buyer
Develops an electrical buzz after extended sessions, switching it off and back on fixes it for me, otherwise good sound. I'm happy enough with the purchase.
Sep 14, 2018
checkVerified Buyer
I use this to take usb off my phone and push digital audio over coax to my DSP in my car. For this purpose it works very well. I haven't tried the line out extensively but that also seems to have a clean output.
Sep 4, 2018
checkVerified Buyer
I was extremely unhappy with this purchase. A waste of $130. I plugged it into my windows PC and my 2012 retina macbook pro via USB and i used my sennheiser hd6xx and they would sound good at medium volume but if you blast them the music just distorts. Mediums are ok but highs are just unbearable. Its very well built though. I do truly appreciate the quality of the build.
Sep 20, 2018
moejaziThe impedence of this amp is not enough to drive the 6xx. try the O2 amp or Topping A30
Aug 22, 2018
checkVerified Buyer
I purchased this DAC/Amp to replace my computer's Creative Sound Blaster Z sound card. I couldn't believe how simple it was to load the Windows driver, as Creative products (which I've used for twenty plus years now) are notorious for their difficulty and instability. As a sound source, uDAC-5 is just a bit better than the sound card. It offers just a bit greater detail throughout the audible spectrum. I'm not sure if I would characterize its top end as clearer or harsher, as that's highly dependent upon the headphones I'm using.
This device sounds best with my NAD VISO HP50 headphones. My Samson SR950 headphones sound better than when being driven by the sound card. My Final E2000 earbuds sound pretty decent with this. My Fostex T-X0 planar magnetic headphones sound quite good as well, but because of their higher impedance I have to drive them harder. The uDAC-5 sounds a tiny bit fuzzy at that higher volume. The same thing happens with my Harman Kardon Soundsticks III, so I guess I just have to back off a few percent. Instead of turning it up to 11, 9 will have to do.
The DAC/Amp does get warm, but it's not significant enough that I worry about the longevity of the device.
Why didn't I give it five stars? The fuzziness at full power. And the price was a bit steep, considering this only plays sound. I'll have to enable my on-board sound to be able to use a microphone, since I'll probably be removing the sound card from my system.
I you need something like this and don't mind the price, go for it. I know when asked about this or other similar devices I suggest a Schiit Fulla 2 would be a better deal, but it won't go beyond 24/96 whereas the uDAC-5 goes well past that. This suits my listening needs and I'll adapt to it not being a sound card with a microphone input.
Dec 25, 2018
liteon163thx for review! As for 24/96 being not enough I'd say - do you have records bit higher bits/sampling? how many? I use to be in the same boat judging but bits - give me 32/768 or give me death. But the fact is even the best DAC in the world would not resolve more than 21 bit, more typical best ones will have around 19bits. And sample rate is irrelevant, you only hear 20Hz-20kHz, so 44Khz sampling is enough for any sound (Nyquist-Kotelnikov theorem). Read Schiit history on headfi if you want to learn more techi stuff.
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