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Sony UDA-1

Stereo integrated amplifier with built-in DAC (Black)

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  • Sony UDA-1

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  • Sony UDA-1

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  • Sony UDA-1

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Our take on the Sony UDA-1

by David Brown
Sony

Everything you always wanted in a stereo receiver, except the radio

An integrated amplifier is essentially a receiver without a built-in AM/FM tuner. You get power to drive your speakers, audio controls, and inputs for music source components. Connect an iPod, a computer, a network music player, or any other device that can play Internet radio, and you may find you have no need for an AM/FM radio.

Turn your computer into an audiophile-grade music source

Computers are great sources for music except for one glaring problem: they don't sound very good. That's where a high-quality digital-to-analog converter, or DAC, will help by transforming your digital audio files into sweet-sounding music. Sony's UDA-1 does just that, with all kinds of formats, including high-resolution DSD and FLAC files. Better yet, it's also an integrated amplifier, so it can power your speakers and accept other sources like CD players, an iPod® or other portable device, and even a turntable with a preamp. The UDA-1's small footprint makes it a great fit for a high-performance desktop system alongside your computer and bookshelf speakers.

Read more

Handles DSD and other high-res formats

There are lots DACs out there capable of decoding high-resolution files in formats like FLAC and AIFF. But the UDA-1 also offers full support for Direct Stream Digital, or DSD, a Sony-developed format first used in Super Audio CD. These high-resolution files offer sound that, for many listeners, is closer to analog than digital has ever come. With more record labels, including Sony Music, rolling out DSD downloads, this DAC offers the versatility to enjoy this exciting format as well as many others.

Make all your digital tunes shine

Besides DSD, the UDA-1 handles the most popular digital audio formats, from MP3s to CD-quality lossless and high-res files. The Digital Sound Enhancement Engine helps make even low bitrate files sound their best by digitally restoring high frequencies that are lost in file compression. So whether you're playing old MP3s downloaded from iTunes® or high-res downloads from sites like HDtracks, the UDA-1 will deliver them with rich detail and smoothness.

It's also an integrated amp

The UDA-1 makes a great standalone DAC as part of a hi-fi stereo system. But if you're setting up a desktop system with your computer, connect a pair of bookshelf speakers and let the UDA-1 also serve as an integrated amp. The dual-mono circuit layout minimizes interference between the left and right channels for faithful reproduction of your music. And the rigid chassis with aluminum top and front panels prevents vibration-induced distortion from creeping into playback. Need more power? You can use the UDA-1 as a preamp and connect it to a power amplifier to drive more demanding speakers.

Highlights:

  • 20 watts x 2 into 4 ohms (20-20,000 Hz) at 10% THD
  • built-in digital-to-analog converter decodes high-resolution digital music files, including DSD (up to 5.6448 MHz) and FLAC (up to 24-bit/192 kHz)
  • compatible file formats: DSD (.dsf, .diff), WAV, AIFF, FLAC, ALAC (Apple Lossless), MP3, AAC, WMA, ATRAC, (unprotected, 2-channel files for all formats)
  • Digital Sound Enhancement Engine (DSEE) restores high-frequency signals to compressed digital formats like MP3 for more natural, expansive sound (settings: On, Off, and Auto)
  • asynchronous USB (Type B) input for connection to a computer (requires driver download)
  • front-panel USB (Type A) input for connecting compatible smartphones, including an iPod or iPhone®
  • frequency response: 10-100,000 Hz
  • digital inputs: 1 optical, 1 coaxial
  • 1 pair of stereo RCA inputs
  • 1 pair of analog stereo outputs for connection to a separate amplifier
  • binding-post speaker terminals
  • full-sized (1/4") headphone jack
  • detachable power cord
  • remote control
  • 8-3/4"W x 2-7/8"H x 11-15/16"D
  • weight: 8.9 lbs.
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Features and Specs
General
Watts RMS per Channel (8-ohms) 0
Watts RMS per Channel (6-ohms) 0
Watts RMS per Channel (4-ohms) 20
Frequency Bandwidth 20-20k
THD 10%
Minimum Impedance 4 ohms
Signal to Noise Ratio Not Given
Number of Inputs 5
Phono Inputs No
Preamp Outputs No
Width (inches) 8-3/4
Height (inches) 2-7/8
Depth (inches) 11-15/16
Weight (pounds) 8.9
Parts Warranty 1 Year
Labor Warranty 1 Year
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • USB DAC Amplifier
  • 6.5' AC power cord
  • Remote control (RM-ANU182)
  • CR2025 3V battery (installed in remote)
  • 4' USB type-B to USB type-A cable
  • Reference Guide
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Warranty Information
  • Online Product Registration

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Features

High Quality Construction: The Sony UDA-1 USB DAC Amplifier features solid aluminum (3mm thick) construction. The UDA-1 employs an acoustically tuned, custom block capacitor and concentrates all its audio signal paths into a single ground point to eliminate fluctuation of left- and right-channels, and contributes to dynamic sound.

Digital Sound Enhancement Engine (DSEE): When turned on, the DSEE offers natural sound with a spacious feel by restoring high frequency sound and the tail shape of the waveform that likely disappears during the audio compression process.

Analog FIR Filters: This digital-to-analog converter effectively reduces high-frequency noise in DSD signals. It features independent right and left channels, with four analog FIR (Finite Impulse Response) filters per channel producing a combined one-clock delay. FIR filters are ideal for D/A conversion of DSD signals.

USB (type-B) Port For Computer Audio: The Sony UDA-1 features an asynchronous USB (type-B) port which can be used to connect the USB DAC Amplifier to a free USB (type-A) port on your Windows or Mac computer for music playback. You'll be able to use any music player like iTunes, Windows Media player, Media Go, or Sony's Hi-Res Audio Player software to enjoy high-resolution music stored on your computer. Your computer must meet the following system requirements:

OS Version Browser Additional Driver USB Port
Windows 8 (32/64bit), 7 (SP1-32/64bit), Vista (SP2-32/64bit), or XP (SP3-32/64bit) Internet Explorer 8, FireFox, or Google Chrome Requires additional driver USB 2.0 Compliant
Mac OS X 10.6.8, 10.7.4, or 10.8.4 Safari ver. 5 or later, FireFox, or Google Chrome Additional driver not required
Note: The UDA-1 provides no control over your computer's music. You will continue to use the music player on your computer to navigate your music and view song/artist information.

Supported Audio Formats: The Sony UDA-1's built-in digital-to-analog converter decodes the following high-resolution digital music files with true sound closer to the original master.

  • DSD DFF (2.8/5.6MHz): Direct Stream Digital-DFF is the professional, uncompressed 1-bit format used in recording and mastering Super Audio CDs.
  • DSD DSF (2.8/5.6MHz): Direct Stream Digital-DSF represents a PC-friendly version of 1-bit DSD used to burn files onto DVD.
  • PCM: CD audio quality recording (44.1k/48k/88.2k/ 96k/176.4k/192kHz, 16/24/32-bit).
  • WAV: The Waveform Audio File Format captures music as uncompressed, linear PCM and is a mainstay of computer audio.
  • FLAC: The Free Lossless Audio Codec saves space by compressing files while maintaining 100% bit-for-bit accuracy during playback.
  • AIFF: The Audio Interchange File Format also records uncompressed, linear PCM and was developed by Apple.
  • ALAC: The Apple Lossless Audio Codec also maintains 100% bit-for-bit accuracy while saving storage space.
  • Others: MP3, WMA, AAC, ATRAC, and ATRAC Advanced Lossless.

Sony's Hi-Res Audio Player: Sony's Hi-Res Audio Player (for Windows or Mac) is player software that allows you to play back high-quality audio files stored on your computer through the UDA-1. You can play back high-resolution audio files, such as DSD files, purchased in music distribution websites, simply by connecting the USB DAC amplifier to your computer via USB. You'll be able to create, save, and edit playlists, and play your favorite music in any order.

Front-Panel USB Port (Apple & Sony Compatible): You can connect select Sony or Apple devices to the USB (type-A) port on the front-panel of the USB DAC
Amplifier using the USB cable that came with your mobile device and enjoy music playback from that device through the UDA-1's connected speakers or headphones. The UDA-1 will also charge your Sony or Apple device while connected. You will continue to navigate your music and view song/artist information from your mobile device. Compatible devices include (as of 1/22/2014):

  • Sony: Xperia and Walkman (w/ Android 2.3 or later)
  • Apple: iPhone (2G/3G/3GS/4/4S/5/5C/5S), iPod touch (1st/2nd/3rd/4th/5th gen), iPod classic (80/120/160GB), and iPod nano (3rd/4th/5th/6th/7th gen)
Note: The front-panel USB port does not support USB thumbdrives, computers, HDDs or other Android and Apple devices not listed.

Digital Inputs: The Sony UDA-1 is also equipped with one optical (toslink) and one coaxial (RCA) digital input for connection of a CD player, SACD player, DVD player, or Blu-ray player. The digital inputs only support 2ch PCM and do not decode 5.1ch (Dolby Digital/DTS).

Analog Inputs & Outputs: The USB DAC Amplifier features a stereo analog RCA input to connect an external analog audio source. A stereo analog RCA output lets you use the UDA-1 as an external DAC for your your home stereo system.

Two-Channel Class AB Amplifier: This analog 20W x 2Ch (in 4ohm) Class AB amplifier utilizes an EBT (emitter balance transistor) with a cutoff frequency of over 300MHz for the final transistor. The amp device features minimal phase variation up to the high range and excellent transient response. Its twin mono format with separate left and right channels eliminates left-right sound interference and ensures clear, high-quality sound reproduction. The resilient high range reproduces sound with rich musicality and a high degree of faithfulness.

Binding Post Speaker Terminals: The USB DAC Amplifier is equipped with a set of binding post speaker terminals to connect a pair of loudspeakers. The binding post speaker terminals will accept bare wire (up to 12-gauge), banana plugs (single/dual), or pin-connectors. The amplifier can accept 4-ohm to 16-ohm speakers.

Note: Switch the unit's rear-panel Equalizer switch to "Bypass" when you use speakers other than Sony's SSHA3 speakers (sold separately).

Headphone Output: When headphones are plugged into the full-size 1/4" jack on the front-panel, the speaker outputs are automatically muted.

Remote Control: The UDA-1 comes with an IR remote for wireless operation of the USB DAC Amplifier's input and audio controls. You will continue to navigate your music from your computer or mobile device.

Auto Standby: If you switch the Auto Standby switch on the rear-panel of the USB DAC Amplifier to "ON", when you are not using the USB DAC Amplifier or there is no digital signal input to the UDA-1 for 20 minutes, the unit will automatically turn off and enter standby mode to reduce the power consumption.

Protection Circuit: When an abnormal current is output to the speaker terminals, or when the internal temperature of the USB DAC Amplifier is too high, all the input indicator lamps flash for 5 seconds, and the UDA-1 turns off automatically.

 
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