The uDAC5 will generate the original recorded notes exactly as they were captured in the musician’s studio. DSD recordings far surpass the range of frequencies available from a CD. The uDAC5 will play any audio format to the highest standards and resolution available, via your headphones, traditional audio settings at home or during a commute. The uDAC5 is carrying the coveted Hi-Res certification elevating it above many of its competitors.
DSD files generate a wider range of sound than CDs so you hear more of the detail. The uDAC5 is designed to play the most complex and demanding DSD256 format. This elevates the quality of any computer sourced audio files, adding weight and speed to the bass, clarity and substance to midrange tones and openness and extension to the highs.
The circuitry of the uDAC5 offers twice the power and nearly twice the current reserves of its predecessor. Music lovers can now connect their over-ear headphones while playing their favourite conventional or high resolution music.
The uDAC5 offers unrivalled flexibility. It generates superior sound whether it is being used as a high resolution desktop audio controller, USB DSD DAC or a headphone amp. Additional analogue and digital outputs enables instant high resolution connection to amplifiers and active speakers.
Small enough to fit in your pocket, the uDAC5 is the ideal audio companion for use on the move or at home. The ultra-portable DAC offers ease of use and connection for professionals and music lovers on-the-go.
The uDAC5 is able to process DSD content, which captures the full range of frequencies from the original studio recording. DSD relies on a different means to clock decode and convert signal from raw data in to audible sound. The illustration below demonstrates the vast difference in both file size and frequency range when compared to various other formats.
High resolution files are vast. The files are required in order to retain the much greater range of frequencies and information that was retained from the original recordings.
All figures rounded and represent theoretical maximum resolution
The basics behind the DSD formats involve a rapid rate of sampling of data processing small samples at a high speed. The rate of sampling is 64 times greater than that of a CD sampling rate. It creates a “sound curve” that is far more accurate and is nearer to the way in which an audible note is created. In addition it is able to cover a far wider range of frequencies than that of MP3 files or CD quality disc/files.
The uDAC5 is able to process both the highest DSD sample rate and PCM highest sampling rate (DXD) of 384kHz
The final result is a far more immersive and life like performance delivered through speakers or in/on ear headphones.
The term high resolution is generally applied to all audio formats with higher resolutions than that of a CD (44.1/16) and WAV/AIFF audio files.
Other formats that use high resolution audio:
DSD recordings are not compatible with PCM audio format. DSD files require a dedicated media player which is able to interact with the host computer and play them.
For PC Users
For Mac Users
HiFi Choice gave the uDAC5 five stars and a Recommended badge and said:
“In conclusion, the uDAC5 can deliver a really refined performance, especially with the higher resolution formats. Given its price, portability and ability to handle a wide range of up-to-date formats, this headphone amplifier/DAC is perfect for those that don’t want to compromise the quality of their music at home or on the move.”
“The NuForce uDAC5 from Optoma is as big as a fist behind the ears. In addition to the versatility of usage, the DAC and headphone amplifier combination convinces primality in sound reproduction. Due to the uniform frequency response and the resulting, neutral – almost analytical sound, the DAC surprises with a rich, detailed sound.”
Tested Technology explains Hi-Res audio with some help from the Optoma NuForce uDAC5 pocket-sized DAC:
“The µDAC5 is clad in a solid stainless steel case to give it excellent electromagnetic isolation.”
“µDAC5 also handles what some manufacturers claim to be the highest end of high end audio, a recorded sound format called Direct Stream Digital, or DSD for short.”
"Bottom line: the combination of JRiver’s Media Center and the µDAC5 was able to play everything I was able to bung at it with minimal loss of quality.”
"Small DAC, but big sound. This is the best way you could summarize the tonal talent of the uDAC5. Anyone that listens to music via a notebook does not want to miss this compact device any more.”
"If you’re someone who travels often and needs the best possible sound to drown out that crying baby on the airplane or screaming patron in the hotel lobby, the Optoma µDAC5 Mobile DAC is must have."
"With an ultra-portable, discreet design and budget price, this is the best pick for anyone who just bought a pair of headphones over the $100 mark and want to be sure their laptop or desktop is holding up its end of the high-end audio bargain. "
“There was no compression, no hiss, no noise, and only a little bit of crispness, which came out most on electronic, highly-produced tracks. On vocals and bass lines, from blues to classic rock, the Optoma NuForce uDAC5 was a champ.”
“The difference the NuForce uDAC5 makes on your music is dramatic and immediately noticeable. The uDAC5 tightens up the bass, cleans up the mid-range, and opens up the top end. It’s like getting an audio tuneup.”
“A lightweight DAC champion”
“If you're looking to make a relatively modest investment that pays big audio dividends, Optoma's NuForce uDAC5 is a sure bet. This USB-powered, portable DAC will improve just about anything you feed it. It shines particularly bright with stellar recordings in hi-res. Factor in DSD support, the ability to work with powered speakers, and analog or digital connectivity to a high-end audio system and you have a real winner.”
"Extremely small extremely light yet a tonal heavyweight, the Optoma NuForce uDAC5 of Optoma spices up the music playback through a PC/Notebook effortlessly."
"Extremely small, extremely light, but an epic heavyweight. The Nuforce uDAC5 from Optoma peps up the sound reproduction via computer and laptop by the slightest resistance. Especially from high-resolution Audio files, the Optoma uDAC5 tickles phonetic delicacies, highly detailed and with a quite good bass combined with a very good vice intelligibility."
uDAC5: “This is one of the smallest and lightest high resolution DACs on the market.”
“It is really nicely made. It gave so much more weight to the music.”
Primo8: “These are beautifully designed.”
“These sound fantastic plugged straight into your device but with the uDAC5 it brings it to a whole new level – it seemed to bring out so much more detail in the audio.”
“Together they created an amazing listening experience.”
“If you are looking to improve your audio listening, this is well worth checking out.”
“Small DAC, but big sound. This is the best way you could summarize the tonal talent of the uDAC5. Anyone that listens to music via a notebook does not want to miss this compact device any more.”
Price/performance: very good
“The spec on this little DAC is very much up to the moment with support for PCM up to 384kHz and quad DSD (DSD256) as well as the totally audiophile DXD format.”
“The Nuforce µDAC5 is a cute little converter that ticks all the boxes spec wise and delivers an energetic and entertaining sound. It is transparent to source and format quality and would make a good starting point for those taking a first step with computer audio.”