Get better sound from your PC
Wouldn't it be nice if there was an easy way to pipe music from your PC into your home stereo or desktop sound system — and have it sound great? And not cost a fortune? This is where the NuForce uDAC-2 comes in. This tiny, pocket-sized component allows your computer and your audio system to become perfect partners. The uDAC-2 connects to a USB output on your computer and feeds your digital music through its built-in, high-quality digital-to-analog converter. From there, your tunes are output as analog audio signals ready for playback through your stereo. If you've never heard your digital music played through a high-quality DAC, you're in for a big treat. Every instrument and vocal stands out clearly and distinctly in its own separate space, allowing you to easily follow each one note-for-note. And you'll feel immersed in sound, with a greater sense of ambient space around you.

Outstanding sound through your headphones, too
Good headphones are the most economical way to get a taste of high-end audio. But you won't get high-end sound out of your headphones if you plug them straight into your laptop. That's because your computer's soundcard is handicapped by having to operate in the noisy environment inside your PC. And most computer manufacturers use low-cost, low-performance circuitry to power their headphone jacks. The headphone amp inside the uDAC-2 will quickly spoil you. It gives you richer, deeper bass and clearer highs while revealing layers of musical detail that ordinary headphone jacks obscure.

Easy to setup and use
Operation is simple — just plug the NuForce into any USB port on your computer, where it will install itself and be ready for use in a matter of seconds. There are no external power supplies to worry about because the uDAC-2 draws its power through the USB connection. The handy volume control lets you control listening levels, and turn power on and off.

Product Highlights:

  • built-in 96kHz/24-bit USB DAC
  • high-performance headphone amplifier (16 ohm to 300 ohm headphone impedance recommended)
  • tiny, pocket-sized design for great portability
  • powered by USB connection — no need for external power supply
  • low power consumption
  • 3.5mm stereo minijack headphone output
  • 1 pair RCA analog audio outputs
  • coaxial digital audio output
  • highly linear TOCOS volume control for improved channel tracking at low listening levels
  • high-voltage 2V analog output
  • no capacitors in any audio signal paths for cleaner sound
  • USB Type B input
  • 38" USB (Type A to Type B) cable included
  • 2-3/4"W x 7/8"H x 1-11/16"D (3-7/8"D including cable and volume knob)
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Turn 1s and 0s into sweet sounding music

Why buy a separate DAC? These devices are all about getting true high-fidelity sound from digital sources like computers, streaming music players, smartphones, and more. While these kinds of sources usually have their own digital-to-analog converters built in, you can expect a separate DAC to give you much better accuracy and finer detail.

NuForce uDAC-2 Reviews

Average Customer Review:

51 reviews
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Great Box

Written By Adam T, New York, NY on Thursday, November 14, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great little box. I brought it into work as a headphone amp / DAC because the sound card on my work PC is less than optimal.

Solidly built and you can really hear the difference. Also, installs seamlessly on a Mac or a PC.

ONE CAVEAT - there's a new version just out - I would have purchased it instead had I known it was available.

Pros: Sound Quality, Build, Easy to Use

Cons: Outdated

this and the sennheiserhd 598 sound really good together

Written By lee, hillsboro, missouri on Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

sounds fantastic worth the money this puts the life back into the music tried the hifi man express and this is a lot better

Pros: small easy to use and has a analog volume the advisor and online reviews said the computer volume changes the quality of the signal and if you use it the d/a can get a bad signal

Cons: the $2000 one is probably better

Great DAC Unit

Written By John, Cleveland, OH on Monday, August 05, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great compact unit that sounds great. Came just as advertised. I am using my uDAC-2 with a Mac and iTunes to play through my whole house audio system.

Pros: Small size, great sound and ease I'd set up.

Cons: None

NiForce uDAC-2

Written By Brian C, NY on Saturday, June 29, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I was looking to enhance music from my PC,and stay within a budget After talking to a Crutchfield Adviser, we narrowed the possibilities down to this converter. It provides an incredible boost in clarity and tone and well worth the cost. Thanks again Crutchfield.

Pros: Great value, small footprint. easy to install and set up

Cons: gets hot to the touch,

Excellent DAC for my needs

Written By Anonymous, Charlottesville, VA on Wednesday, May 01, 2013

I ordered this DAC from the Crutchfield Outlet Store and have been very pleased with my purchase. I have used the DAC with my laptop (Windows 7 - 64 bit) and with my computer at work (Windows XP - 32 bit). The driver self-installed in each computer flawlessly and the sound with Grado 325is headphones and with Bose Companion desktop speakers has been full and rich -- much better than can be gotten from the sound card of either computer. I have not experienced any of the problems reported by others of overheating, popping, or skipping. Nothing but rich, well-delivered music. Bravo Nuforce!

Pros: Compact, easily connected to computer, no software set-up required, excellent sound through both earphones and speakers.

Cons: None

Music Skips

Written By Marko, Chicago, IL on Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I like the sound, but only when it's not skipping. I may try another one to see if I have better luck.

Pros: Volume and sound clarity

Cons: Creates a "skipping" effect

Good Product w/issues

Written By Ryanp7, Boston, MA on Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Audio quality is super. I could hear the difference right away. Make sure you use high quality rips or actual CD content. It won't work well with Pandora/slacker or any type of compressed internet based radio.

I have had a bunch of issues with the product. I'm on my second unit. First one ran super hot. Would actually burn your hand after leaving it powered on for over an hour. It also made a popping sound that hurt my ear and sound would stop coming out of one of the ear buds. I would turn off and turn back on and problem would stop for a short period of time. Second unit isn't over heating but the click issues and lack of sound has come back, just not as often. I think I've done everything to troubleshoot...different USB cord, different USB port, different headphones, etc. Just the unit.

Pros: Sound quality is outstanding on high quality content.

Cons: Clicking sound can hurt ears and stops music from playing out of one of the ear buds. Runs hot Doesn't improve sound quality of compressed audio such as Pandora/slacker/etc.

If you are using good headphones, you need this.

Written By Chris P, Charlottesville, VA on Sunday, February 10, 2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I didn't think that my laptop 3.5mm jack was that bad. I enjoyed listening to my music with bose headphones and the quality was as good as I thought I could get out of a laptop. I had no idea that USB DAC's existed. It's a night and day difference. Everything after this will be fuzzy and scratchy.

Pros: Self powered small form factor and simplistic styling RCA, Coaxial, and 3.5mm Outputs Clean Amplification Impressive Clarity no drivers needed, plug and play very solid contruction, all metal exterior.

Cons: None so far.

nuforce udac-2

Written By Anonymous, Lexington, MA on Thursday, December 27, 2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

outstanding clarity with significant depth and fullness with sony mdrv6 headphones. improves sound through tivoli radio used as a pc speaker too

Couldn't tell the difference

Written By Tej, Richmond, VA on Sunday, November 04, 2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Only been using this with internet radio like pandora and spotify. I can't really tell the difference in quality compared to the hdmi output going to the receiver. I'm also no audiophile, so maybe this just isn't for me, but I'll keep it.

Pros: small, easy to set up

Cons: can't really hear a difference

NuForce uDAC-2

Written By gaerisch, Howard Beach, N.Y. on Monday, October 29, 2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I use this DAC when I am listening to music from my computer to my Magnepan electrostatic speakers. The output of the NuForce DAC is fed via its RCA jacks to my preamp then the signal is sent to my Adcom 555 series II amplifier. There is a definite difference in sound quality compared to the sound card in my computer(sound blaster X-Fi extreme music)and the NuForce DAC. The music has more bass detail, and there is more detail overall in the music. I hear sounds that I didn't hear before(except when playing the actual CD on my Sony ES CD player).

Pros: Great DAC for the money. Improves the overall sound of your mp3 files. Unit is very small for its capabilities.

Cons: It does cut out your sound card when you plug it in, but thats not really a problem for me.

Very Nice Audio

Written By EEWdad, Snohomish, WA on Monday, October 15, 2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I'm an audio guy -- and like many others have built my iTunes library. But truth-be-told, I have missed being able to listen to high quality music. Recently I built a music server and converted my CD library to FLAC files which I can now play through my home theater system or listen at my desk through B&W MM-1's using my PC -- the sound quality is great and the effort has been quite rewarding. However, at my desk, headphone listening (FLAC and Apple formats) with my PC still left something to desired. I recently had some Crutchfield reward points to use and opted to use them on a NuForce uDAC-2. I'm glad that I did. It is a very small, high quality unit -- it has a nice look and feel to it (I chose the red one). I plugged it into my PC with the supplied USB cable and the drivers loaded without a problem. Connected my earbuds (Monstercable Miles Davis) and listened for awhile.. very pleasing sound. While my FLAC recordings sound best, my iTunes music is actually pretty enjoyable now too. That's a treat.

Pros: Small, nicely built; easy to use. Great sound. Though I use it for just headphones, it can be used as an input DAC for small, powered speaker systems too.

Nice DAC

Written By PTB, FORT MYERS, FL on Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Nice DAC for the price. I have a Dell Alienware desktop which has a substantial sound card, but I definitely hear an improvement with this DAC. Head phone jack is powering Bose desk speakers or headphones - both have improved sound compared to sound card. I have RCA outs going to Denon reciever, sound improved here as well. Only drawback is both sources (headphone out & RCA) cannot be used at once.

Excellent at the price

Written By BT, Florida on Thursday, August 30, 2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I imagine there is a better DAC out there but I've reached the point where I'm done painting the edges of my CD's green and I just want to hear musicality, this little box delivers. It drives my Grado 125's with satisfying authority and is a nice piece at a good price point. I haven't used it with anything but headphones, though I'd like to hear the rca outputs one of these days when I get up the ambition to dust behind the preamp (or something like that)

Pros: Works without PC issues Potent Clean

Cons: It's one more wire and thing to carry around with your phones

Nice little DAC

Written By EJ, Portland, ME on Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The price is pretty good for the quality of sound this thing puts out. It made a very noticeable difference in the sound I got out of my Swan M50W's ( I VERY highly recommend these speakers). The size is nice too. You don't need to search for a good place to put it on your desk. It will fit just about anywhere. You could use a single piece of duct tape and hold it onto the bottom of your desk if you wanted.

Pros: Small, good value, good sound

Cons: Volume knob adjustment can sometimes cause audible popping sounds from the speakers

Poor Build Quality

Written By JF, Reston, VA on Monday, June 18, 2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Cleaned up the sound from my laptop very nicely and as one would expect. However, the construction is cheap which I found to be frustrating given the $100+ price. The volume knob rubbed against the body of the unit and transferred the sound to the headphones - not pleasant. I'd live with it if it were a $50-75 unit but otherwise, I'd spent the money for the Audioengine D1 which looks like a nicer piece.

Pros: Well-performing DAC

Cons: Cheap construction

Big bang, small size

Written By NY, NY on Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

No complaints! I was skeptical at first, but this little device really does make a noticeable improvement to my relatively cheap laptop speakers. There is a lot more highs and my subwoofer has never kicked so well. And, I barely crank it to the loudest setting in fear of blowing the speakers out! Highly recommended.

Pros: Small form factor Sound quality improvements

Cons: relative cost


Written By Alex, NYC on Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Fantastic - got rid of the hiss from my laptop with my mid-end IEMs (Klipsch Image X5). Smoothes out the sound, particularly the treble. Amazing for it's size (smaller than a portable mouse!) Every bit worth the price I paid, and Crutchfield's service was great! What did I wait so long for?

Pros: Size/performance/value/price

Cons: Can't think of any.

NuForce uDAC-2

Written By foss, Denver Co. on Saturday, February 18, 2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

When I first received the dac I was impressed by the sound quality. That's for the 3 stars. As for build quality, the volume button rubbed on the housing and when I would turn it on/off it would pop and their was crackling at low volume. Returned the unit and got a refund.

Pros: Incredible sound

Cons: poor construction

Great Little Product

Written By Larry L, Baltimore, MD on Friday, February 10, 2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great little product and I do mean little, you could fit several of them in the palm of your hand. The difference in sound quality was immediately evident, both on my netbook and my old desktop. Music is much more detailed, clearer and brighter and overall less muddy. This was true with a set of powered speakers, (with the netbook) and with an external amplifier and non-powered speakers with my desktop PC. Same with headphone, this device really opened up the sound and I heard much more detail and clarity. No doubt about it, if you've got even half-way decent speakers, the sound card is the weak link and having this device perform the D to A converstion makes a big huge difference--immediately noticeable. The other reviews, based on which I bought the product, were absolutely correct. One additional perk is that the level control works for both the headphone and line-level outputs. I didn't pick that up before I hooked up the product.

Cruthcfield, as usual, shipped very promptly. I ordered over the web on late Saturday and the package was at my door on Tuesday. Buy this item, the user reviews are not hype. If you're at all into quality audio, you'll be glad you did.

Pros: small, light, easily portable, does a great job

Cons: None that I can think of. Really was worth the price since I do a lot of listening to PC audio.

Good for the price

Written By Tim'aq, Bethel, Alaska on Thursday, February 02, 2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The sound quality is good for the price but if you have picky ears I'd look for something else. I took the Nuforce to work and plugged it in the RCA connectors in the back of my Denon RCD-M38. First I played a FLAC file then I played the original CD in the Denon player. The CD in the Denon sounded a bit better (sorry I don't have sound technology terms to explain 'better'). I'd like something closer to my Logitech Transporter but small and without complicated software. Like all my other Crutchfield orders, the Nuforce came quickly and in good shape.

Simple and effective!

Written By Budget audiophile, VA on Thursday, February 02, 2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Pleasantly surprised by how well this DAC works. Very reasonably priced and effective. The difference I immediately notices was in the midrange--it was much more present and detailed.

Pros: Size, sound improvement, convenience, cost.

Cons: Sometimes causes my computer to act up if the USB connection is jiggled. Not really a drawback, just a caution.


Written By DonH, Bainbridge Island on Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Much improved audio on my powered Bose desktop speakers. Most noticeable in the treble end of solo piano pieces, especially when played at good volume. This is an acid test for any playback. If those high notes break up it ruins the piece. whether it's Liszt or Chopin.

iMac People

Written By Curtis P, Portage, MI on Monday, December 26, 2011

If you have an iMac connected to external speakers and the sound output is less than stellar buy this!! I have my iMac connected to some older Sony Sava-7 speakers there was some annoying static constantly present when in use most irritating. This completely removed all static and distortion sounds amazing!!

Works Well for Headphones

Written By Drew, Laguna Hills, CA on Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

When I got this tiny little device, I hooked it up to my basic Logitech laptop speakers. No real noticeable difference in sound or range. Then I dug my headphones out of the closet and started listening to music through them plugged directly into the laptop. Sounding good. Then I plugged in my uDAC-2 to the laptop & then plugged in my headphones to it - now I notice the change. The lows sound richer, the range is broader, the detail is clear. I guess my simple speakers lack the range for this device to show off. I can see how this little guy can shine even more for people with a premium headset or high end desktop speakers. I'm tempted now to invest in good speakers. At least I know where to look for them. ;)

Pros: Improved range in headphones.

Cons: Nothing yet.

Improved my Audio Performance

Written By Koss, Anaheim, CA on Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I use uDAC-2 for DAC as well as a headphone Amp. This product definitely beats my Creative Sound Card. I've noticed substantial improvement on both of my Sony and BeyerDynamic cans. No problem setting up for Windows and Linux. Excellent Value for the price!

NuForce uDAC-2

Written By Kevin, Ruston, LA on Thursday, October 06, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

WOW! This product is quality everywhere! It is well made and solid. But, the improvement in sound quality over my headphone jack on the back of my iMac is unreal! Music has so much more detail. I should have purchased one of these a long time ago! Get one today!

The missing link

Written By TDiddle, LA, CA on Wednesday, October 05, 2011

I just bought an new imac and a pair of Audioengine 2 speakers. I was disappointed with the sound. Futzed with the equalizer via itunes which helped a little. I knew the Audioengine's were good- but I wasn't hearing it. Was going to return them and decided to try a dac first. What a world of difference! It really allows the Audioengine's to shine. So needed. Awesome product.

No longer a kludge

Written By Martin, Hinesville, GA on Monday, August 15, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Once I purchased this product, the digital audio from my computer no longer came from a kludge (makeshift circuit). Upon plugging this into an open USB, the sound quality markedly improved with good source material. The differences between 128Kbps broadcasts, 320Kbps MP3s, and full Red Book CDs became quite apparent. Although it exposes poor source material without mercy, the u-Dac 2 does not make matters worse by adding distortion. It only lacks the last degree of harmonic resolution, but for this price, this is a quibble.

Very Nice

Written By Scott, VB, Va on Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Setup on Windows 7 was a snap. I was up and listening in about 30 seconds. Crisp, clear response through the entire audio spectrum. It handles classical, jazz, blues, and hard rock equally well. Perfect size, volume knob good size. I also have a Creative X-Fi soundcard and the NuForce uDAC-2 blows it away. Asyou would expect, the higher the song bitrate, the more this shines.

What a difference maker

Written By Gary V, Moorpark, Ca on Sunday, July 10, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I have some $70 "store brand" computer speakers that I was disappointed in. I was planning on upgrading to a higher performance set of speakers when I came across uDAC-2. I decided to give it a try and what a difference it makes. Its obvious now that the speakers were not the problem and I will no longer be looking to get new speakers. The ones I have now sound great.

Outstanding Performance

Written By Wayne, St. Charles, IL on Friday, July 08, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The NuForce uDAC2 is an outstanding performer. The device is incredibly small and installation is as simple as can be. This DAC rivals the DACs in my high-end audio equipment. Music stored on my home computer never sounded so good; audio is crisp and clear, and I actually hear a mid-range in my audio files. Of course, the DAC can't perform magic. Your output is only as good as the input you provide. I find that the music files captured at 256Mbps or more sound as good as a CD. Highly recommended.

Impressive for the price

Written By SeanP, Rochester, NY on Thursday, June 16, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I got this pretty much because I didn't need anything else, and I had my credits to burn from recent purcahses, and all I have to say is WOW.

I Have a Creative X-FI with the front i/o bay, and figured that was great on its own, I was proven very wrong. If you own an XFI and arent convinced this is worth it, put your fears to rest. This DAC is worlds beyond the headphone output on the I/O drive in every possible way. I am driving AKG 242hd headphones and listening to some Acoustic FLAC files I had blew me away. even at loud levels, the distortion is non existant. I will never be buying a soundcard ever again after hearing this level of quality, and with it being so small, its just a bonus. I cant wait to listen on my reciever with the RCA outs this sports.

All in all. This is well worth the price, especially if you have high end headphones, you wont believe what you have been missing.

Big upgrade!

Written By Tim, Connecticut on Sunday, June 12, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This was a big upgrade to my computer listening experience. At first I used my older Sony studio headphones which I believe to be 32 ohms and the difference was immediate. Soundstage opened up and the articulation of instruments and vocals was vastly improved. I also noticed very big improvements with my Klipsch in ear monitors, although they were a little on the bright side. Unfortunately with my AKG 701's which are 62 ohms it was sorta a downgrade? These are the cans I prefer to use, so I was kinda bumming. The nice part is that I can feed the signal to another more powerful stand alone headphone amp and take advantage of the Udac-2's built in DAC which is superior to my soundcard. Overall worth the money for it's versatility and superior sound quality with most headphones.

NuForce uDAC-2

Written By Mark M., Asen Hill,Md on Saturday, June 11, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This makes my highly rated speakers sound much better all the way around.Also,the headphone jack is far better than plugged straight into my 2010 Dell computer's headphone jack.Recommended.

Good but not perfect

Written By DirkB, Lake St. Louis MO on Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

When it works, it works well. Mine occasionally gets very hot temperature wise and will distort the audio terribly until I reset it by turning it off and then on again. I play 100% through iTunes and their are occasions where iTunes must be restarted to get any audio out of it. When it works it provides a sometimes amazing audio stream and I've heard things in the same music that I haven't heard before. The owner's manual is very sparse. I was very glad to see the required USB-cable included. I do feel that this item is more than a bit pricey.

iPad users will need a powered usb hub

Written By jose, Miami, Fl on Friday, May 20, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I purchased this product to use it on my ipad since my ipad basically has replaced all my computers at home. I installed it (using Apple usb cord) then to my Grado head phones but I heard no sound at all even after I fiddled with the connections and settings on the ipad. I went on the nuforce website and discovered you need a powered usb hub to make it work which will require you to buy another piece of equipment. So unfortunately I returned it but before so I wanted to hear it so I connected it to a laptop then to my Grado headsets and WOW what a difference!!!! But since its used was to be on my ipad I reluctantly returned it

Lives up to its rep

Written By Rich, Westchester, NY on Friday, May 06, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Had high hopes for this based on the reviews. Main listening is internet radio,
in particular one program I listen to every Friday night. Plugged this in
tonight so I could run the audio stream through my desktop stereo and have not
been disappointed. The sound quality is stunning.
Just wish this particular model was a little more powerful

Small, but Mighty

Written By Dave, Baltimore on Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I bought this to make my compressed computer music (MP3, etc) sound better
while I'm at my workstation. I run this out of my computer and into a Roth MC4
Music Cocoon, which is an amazing little amp in of itself, and into 2 early 80s
Bose 301 speakers. It sounds great even with non-lossless music files. I had
a friend over who isn't an audiophile type dude but loves to listen to jazz on vinyl
and he was super impressed and wants a similar set-up now. This little DAC
really makes a big difference in the articulation of your music, and its price
makes it a no brainer, get one today!

Believe the Reviews!!

Written By Tom, Rochester NY on Friday, April 15, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

My main issue with audio from my PC (Dell Studio XPS i7) was the noise --
between songs and in quiet passages in songs, I heard a lot of static, hiss,
crackling, etc., with both headphones (Audio-Technica ATH-M50s) and Bose
Companion II speakers.

I was skeptical about the uDac, but figured it was worth a shot. It does what I
hoped and more. Most noticeable to me is the dead silence when no signal is
being output and significant improvements in clarity and stereo separation.
HUGE bang for the buck difference, and it installs itself in seconds -- took
longer to look for the non-existent instructions lol.

That's the good news. As with any improvement in the audio chain, the
remaining weak links are highlighted. This is the case for the Bose
Companion IIs. I had given them the benefit of the doubt for a year plus,
thinking that their bass issues were tied to limitations in the Creative X-
Fi sound card. But no more excuses, they've been exposed and are clearly out
of their league. So appears I'll be shopping for new speakers soon :)

Also, FYI this magnifies the need to reduce compression. My first tests were
with Apple Lossless files, and I was amazed. Then I moved down the food
chain to some 256kbps tracks and then some 128kbps. Might be able to fool
the X-Fi, but not the uDac-2. So along with new speakers, I'm seeing a 160G
ipod in my future as well. Upgrade-itis at its finest :)

Best Bang For The Buck !!!

Written By ricks0me, Lutherville, MD on Friday, April 01, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

You have to hear this device. Unbelieveable !!! High detail and resolution.
Enough Said. Now Go Listen

A steal for the moeny

Written By KelB, Ashburn, VA on Sunday, March 13, 2011

I bought this with low expectations, given it's price and my inexperience with DACs. Incredible difference in sound quality.

This baby is about the size of your thumb, hooks to your computer through USB. You can hook up your headphones, or run a coaxial or pair of RCA lines out to an amplifier/receiver. There is a noticeable improvement in clarity, stereo imaging, and what a musician would call presence. You can hear overtones of the instruments, especially with well recorded source material, classical - jazz - country.

I tried listening with three sets of headphones - a small expensive in the ear set, a mid-priced set, and a set of AKGs I used mainly for recording. The common results were more gain (louder) on the signal, what seems to be a boost to the mid-range response, and more headroom. Overall, you can listen at lower levels with great satisfaction. But the real improvement is when you connect the uDac 2 to your amp. I ran this into a pre-amp driven by a NAD with 150 watts per channel. I use an iMac at the source. Breathtaking. This sounds better than my CD player. Cleaner. More spacious. And I really am hearing things - nuances to the performances and recording - that I've never heard or never paid attention to before.

Definitely worth the price.

Definite Improvement

Written By Jeff K, Mountain Home, AR on Thursday, March 10, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I pretty much run the gamut of sound with my Dell--YouTube, CDs, DVDs, streaming
(primarily classical & jazz)--so I use my Sennheisers a lot. Haven't played with
the uDAC-2 long, but already improvements are obvious, especially in smoothness
and bass solidity. It's really tightened up the bass on the Sennheisers, which
tend to warmth and a touch of lower flab if plugged straight into the box.
Though the Senns are fairly efficient--16 ohms--the UDAC doesn't give as much of
a volume improvement as I'd been let to expect, but as Mercutio said--'tis
enough, 'twill serve. And the "manual" is a joke--2 pages of information which
is more legible on the back of the packaging and 14 pages of useless legal
boilerplate--so miscellaneous it spends a lot of space talking about power
supplies, which this doesn't even have. Finally, be aware there may be some
re-config to do. It installs itself effortlessly but my DVD player would only
sound through the headphone jack, till I played with its config a little. Now
all is both hunky and dory.

Biggest "Wow" factor of all my first audio equipment.

Written By CodyB, Columbus, OH on Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

After doing much research, I decided to settle on a desktop setup for my PC
consisting of a uDac-2, Little Dot MK III, and Beyerdynamic dt880/600 ohm. As I
eagerly awaited, the uDac-2 and dt880s arrived quickly while I had to wait a
little bit longer for the amp to come from China.

Without the amp, I just hooked up the dt880s to the uDac-2 and let er' rip! I
couldn't resist the urge to wait for the complete setup. I was not expecting
great sound at all as the uDac-2 is only rated up to 300ohms, half of my current
headphones... Boy, was I wrong..

The Udac-2 sounded fantastic! I am not an audiophile by any means and I was able
to tell a huge difference between the new sound it produced as opposed to
listening to music without it. I will admit that I had it turned to the 2-4
o'clock position at times to fully fill in the music and be loud enough but I
can honestly say I would bet 90% of the general public would be overly satisfied
with this combination. There were even some songs that I had to turn down the
Udac-2 because it was able to get the Beyers plenty loud.

After receiving the LD MKIII, I was disappointed. It did not make hardly any
difference to me than what the Udac-2 could do by itself. All it did was make it
louder. Do I think the Little Dot MK III is a bad amp? No. Do I think the uDac-2
stole the show? You bet.

The uDac-2 has been the most impressive audio device that I have owned to date.

Big improvement over onboard audio

Written By Steve T, Citrus Heights, CA on Friday, February 18, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I am connecting this device to a Harman Kardon HK3390 stereo receiver and couldn't be
happier. It sounds much better than the motherboard's onboard audio, a Realtek
ALC888 I believe. The onboard sound was overly bright, while the uDAC-2 is warm but
very detailed. The onboard audio also could not power my Sennheiser HD570s to an
adequate volume, the uDAC has no trouble. If you are looking for a replacement to
onboard audio, or even an upgrade to an existing soundcard, look no further.

Also compared this to the new Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi HD and the uDAC won. To
my ears it sounded better with better quality construction.


Written By eddie, sacramento on Monday, February 14, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

i'm no audiophile, but it makes my laptop with headphones sound much clearer and richer. Try it; you'll like it.

Just about perfect!

Written By Anonymous, Maryland on Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great product! Makes a difference on CDs and internet radio. Works well with my Sony
noise-cancelling headphones. Using the pot to control volume, the right channel cuts
out when set at a very low level. This can be avoided by using the digital controls on the
PC but I would have preferred the onboard controls to be a little more effective. I would
not use this point to rule out this excellent DAC/headphone amp. At all other levels this
sounds great, has plenty of power and is priced well. 4++ stars (just not quite 5).

NuForce uDAC-2

Written By Mark T., Cincinnati, OH on Thursday, January 27, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This is an outstanding product. Made the sound of .mp3 audio files played on my
laptop substantially better. And the USB power feature is nifty.

Modest Improvement to Sound, Great Splitter

Written By Darren J, Monterey, CA on Sunday, January 23, 2011

I ordered this DAC after reading that the one in my iMac's sound card was never going to give my mp3s the
justice they deserved. Obviously an mp3 can never compare with a CD but let's face it, CDs are just

Don't be alarmed if this device doesn't work immediately after plugging into your Mac. You must change the
audio output (in System Preferences>Sound>Output) before hearing anything through this. I did a side by
side comparison (using headphones) between the audio/headphone output in my Mac versus the Nu
Force. If I had to quantify the improvement I'd say a 25% improvement in clarity and bass response. My
Bose Companion's actually don't sound as good plugged into the Nu Force but I believe this to be the fault
of the Bose speakers. The Bose have too much trouble and use lots of internal EQ to replicate good sound.
The new clarity from the Nu Force only exacerbates their "hollowness."

I like how you can use the RCA/Analog and Digital RCA out simultaneously. I have both my computer
speakers hooked up through Analog and my living room speakers hooked up (using the Digital out)
which is nice proving my entire house with sound.

Think of this as a modest improvement to your sound (worth the price) and a high-end splitter.

Best upgrade for laptop possible

Written By greg, columbus ohio on Sunday, January 09, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I purchased this for my 13" macbook pro and i was floored with the sound quality. its connected to a pair of speakers i built and a polk sub cinnected to a denon 591 amp. this really is a must buy for any self respecting audiophile who plays anything off of their computer. it also greatly improved the sound coming from my AKG K242HD headphone

Excellent alternative to lousy computer audio !!

Written By Anonymous, Alexandria, VA on Saturday, January 01, 2011

As I listen to audio from my computer while working and surfing the internet, I needed something much higher quality than what was in my nettop. It's internal audio device was atrocious sounding.

I was planning on getting a much more expensive product than the uDAC-2 however stumbled upon this little gem. These are half if not more than half the price of other units with comparable quality. It is quiet, tiny in size, installs quickly, is durable, and most important sounds excellent !!

Many handy extras with the uDAC-2: coax SPDIF out for connecting a desktop or laptop to your home stereo for streaming playback with little to no loss, RCA analog outputs and a great quality volume control.

Highly recommended. Your ears will thank you !!

Hands-on research

What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • uDAC-2 USB Digital to analog converter
  • 38" USB cable (USB Type-A on one end and USB Type-B on the other)
  • Owner's manual

Product Research


Overview: The μDAC2 digital to analog converter is designed to connect between your computer's USB port and desktop audio system, or your primary audio system if you prefer. The input is a USB Type-B port (USB Type-A to USB Type-B cable included) and there are three outputs; stereo analog RCA, coaxial digital RCA, and 3.5mm headphones. All of the outputs are controlled by the rotary power/volume knob and the analog RCA and coaxial digital outputs are muted when headphones are plugged into the front panel mini-jack output. A small LED on the front panel lights when the μDAC2 is turned on.


  • Power Supply: powered by computer's USB
  • Input: rear panel USB Type-B; compatible with USB 1.1 and 2.0 (full speed and high speed); USB cable included; 96 kHz maximum sampling rate; 24-bit resolution
  • Analog Line Output: rear panel stereo RCA; 2.0 volts RMS; dynamic range 110 dB; S/N 98 dB
  • Headphone Output: front panel 3.5mm stereo mini-jack; 80 mW x 2 @ 16 ohms; S/N 98 dB; THD+N 0.05%
  • Digital Output: coaxial digital RCA; 75-ohms

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 verify what’s in the box, 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.

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