Customer Review

60 of 62 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good, reasonably priced DAC for digital music fans, 27 Nov 2009
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This review is from: Behringer UCA202 U-Control Ultra low-latency 2 In/2 Out USB/Audio Interface (Electronics)
I bought one of these to act as a digital-to-analogue converter when sending music data from an external hard drive to a stereo amplifier and speakers. The DAC itself is a Burr Brown chip manufactured by Texas Instruments, and while it is not of audiophile quality its output is a big step up from that of the Realtek sound card in my netbook. To improve on the UCA202 you have to start spending serious money. The law of diminishing returns quickly kicks in.

The UCA202 takes its data from line-in phono (RCA) sockets or via USB. Windows XP and Mac OS X were quick to recognize it, but I had to do some tweaking to get Amarok to play along under Xandros Linux on an Asus Eee PC.

There are three outputs. The first is digital, a Toslink socket carrying an S/PDIF ("Sony/Philips Digital Interconnect Format") signal. If you have an amplifier or receiver with an optical input, this is the one to use, since it's odds on the DAC in your amp/receiver will be better than the UCA's.

The other two outputs are analogue. A switched, standard female 3.5 mm socket is designed principally for monitoring using headphones, while stereo analogue signals to your amplifier (etc.) should be taken from a pair of phono sockets. You will need to supply your own paired male phono to male phono lead. Such leads are often supplied when you buy a stereo component like a CD player or tuner. When I first hooked up the UCA I used a basic, bog-standard lead. Then I tried some audiophile interconnects I made myself and was surprised how much better the UCA performed, a testament to its quality. Playing FLAC files from foobar2000 or Amarok, even into my relatively modest system, the results are impressive.

Physically, the UCA is small and neat, and the integral USB cable is a reasonable length. I would recommend it for someone normal setting up a system to play music from a computer -- someone who is not a confirmed slave to hi-fi upgrade mania, but if you are unlucky enough to have been bitten by that bug, you'll probably want to look upmarket!
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 6 Sep 2012 12:11:50 BDT
mjy58 says:
Thanks a useful, informative review

Posted on 1 Sep 2013 10:51:16 BDT
Last edited by the author on 1 Sep 2013 10:52:09 BDT
Although Richard says "The UCA202 takes its data from line-in phono (RCA) sockets or via USB", having purchased the unit, I note that there's no USB input socket, so unless I can find a USB to phono (RCA) convertor (currently investigating this but not looking very hopeful) it's useless to me.

Posted on 2 Sep 2013 08:34:37 BDT
I must retract my earlier statement. Once I downloaded the ASIO driver for the UCA202 and read the readme, it dawned on me that as the driver is applied to the USB port that the UCA202 connects to, all I needed to do was to attach a 4 way USB hub or similar, and connect the UCA202 and my USB input to that, and I was in business. The unit is now working fine!
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Location: Hampshire, UK

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