Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
Great product! You can really hear a difference
Our experts help you pick the ideal gear for your needs.Meet our advisors
Free tech support for the life of your gear.Read about our one-on-one expert help
You may return items that are complete and like new for any reason within 60 days.See the details of our return policy
Earn one point for every dollar you spend and use those points to save on future purchases.Get full details on Crutchfield Rewards
We offer vehicle-specific installation instructions, dash kits, wiring harnesses, and speaker accessories at deeply discounted prices with car stereo and speaker purchases. Available for most vehicles.Learn more
Our customers have trusted us with their business, and they’ve helped us win awards for our service.Check out our most recent awards
The manufacturer’s warranty always applies.See more details
The experts at TEAC sure packed a lot into the compact UD-301. In fact, this multi-talented little performer is actually three components in one. First, it's a capable high-end DAC ready to convert your digital music into warm, detailed analog sound. Next, it's a high-performance headphone amplifier that delivers powerful, wide-range sound to your best headphones. Finally, it's a fully functioning preamp with volume control that can connect to your favorite power amp or active speakers to create a killer desktop system. And to top it off, TEAC gave it a sleek, all-metal chassis with aluminum panels that'll look fantastic in your home or office.
Versatile digital music handling comes courtesy of dual built-in Burr-Brown DACs that support high-resolution music, including DSD files and 24-bit/192kHz PCM files. The UD-301's asynchronous USB input allows the DAC to control the timing clock signal instead of your computer, reducing jitter to the lowest levels possible for smoother, more detailed sound. Plus this DAC gives you the option to upconvert digital signals of 96kHz and less to double or quadruple the original signal sampling frequency to reduce jitter even further. The TEAC website has the free USB driver download you'll need for computer playback available online. The UD-301 also uses a beefy toroidal transformer-based power supply and dual-mono circuitry throughout for powerful sound, optimum channel separation, and clear stereo imaging.
The TEAC UD-301 sports multiple inputs and outputs to handle your audio system's needs.
This DAC features three inputs: the aforementioned USB, plus two digital inputs (1 coax, 1 optical) for connecting a CD/DVD player, game console, or other audio device with a digital output. You also get unbalanced RCA and balanced XLR audio outputs for flexible connectivity with a wide range of consumer-level and pro-audio gear. A full-size headphone jack and front-panel volume control lets you take advantage of the DAC's built-in headphone amp for private listening.
Great product! You can really hear a difference
Trevor, Round Hill, VA
Average Customer Review(s):
Great product! You can really hear a difference
I was searching for an economical DAC for my main system with a budget of < $500. The Teac fit my budget and it also supported DSD. I am not sure if DSD will be a big deal in the next couple of years, but it is nice to already have the ability to support it. The finish of the UD-301 is very nice, it is a well built and solid piece of equipment. I like the fact that it uses a standard power cord and not a wall wart, this allows me to use an aftermarket power cord. It is very straight forward and easy to set up. The sound is very well rounded, not harsh in any. The device switches between bitrates without and hiccups. The headphone amplifier is capable of driving my Audeze LCD-2s without any problems, which is a plus for me. Overall I am very satisfied with my decision to purchase this unit and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a Headphone/DAC in this price range.
Pros: DSD support, Standard Power Cord, All Aluminum, Good headphone amp
Cons: No Remote (be nice for headphones or when using as a preamp).
For the price, none come close. Dual mono config out to the outputs, balanced outputs, excellent sound, and thus far, has been rock solid on Win10 using Foobar playing wavs. It's a neat, compact unit that you can place almost anywhere. Teac hit a home run with this little guy. It's serving as a preamp to a pair of JBL LSR305s, and what a great, simple system this makes.
This is a solid performing unit. Fit and finish are very good, controls are easy to operate and understand. So far I've played FLAC 44.1kHz, 24 bit 96kHz and DSD files. Solid sound. I described it in more detail and then ran out of characters for this review. Other good things: balanced outputs. Both my power amps in use at the moment have balanced inputs, and to be able to use balanced interconnects is a real advantage to my ears. So the good things about this unit: well built, good sound, replaces a component or two (to me, less is more when counting the number of components in your signal chain), does exactly what you hoped it would, especially at this price point. Here's why you should buy this unit, however (and the reason for the 5th star): the TEAC HR Audio Player that runs the unit with computer files. Couldn't be simpler: open an HD (or regular) music file on your computer in the HR Audio Player and hit "Play," and it does the rest. Whatever sampling rate the file is, the DAC just plays it instantly and perfectly every time. In one playlist, I have several of each of the above mentioned formats and the HR Audio Player just feeds the DAC and out comes the music and it sounds awesome. And the HR Audio Player is free. Buy this DAC, download the player and some DSD files, put your favorite chair between your loudspeakers and you're set.
Pros: Balanced Output Volume, Input Selector (Replaced my preamp) Neutral, Accurate Sound HR Audio Player makes playing different formats a breeze Good Value
Cons: None at this price point
I upgraded from an HRT DAC. The UD-301 is buttery smooth. Not as harsh as the HRT. The ability to hardware upsampling is great (if that is your thing). Nice display, and the ability to support DSD is nice. At this price, you can't go wrong.
Pros: Smooth sound - not harsh. DSD capability. All aluminum. Hardware UpSampling.
Cons: Runs a little warm
Over the years, I have tried many DACs and with the recent boom of multitude of great DACs, it's obvious as consumers we now have many choices to suit our listening preferences based on music that we enjoy. So, there is no one size fits all kind of a notion here. Having said that, this DSD DAC, TEAC UD-301 fits my need as I am starting to venture into DSD music. It pretty much brings it all together at this price point. It goes from 16 bit up to 32 bit depth and sample sizes from 44.1 kHz to 192 kHz. It has all source input connectors possibly you would ever need, optical, coaxial and USB. USB is the only one that uses async I/O for jitter free music and provide all other goodies like up sampling features only when you set your media player to use the async I/O driver that you can download from TEAC web site. Music is warm and not sweet, making it more natural. It uses a TI (Burr-Brown) PCM 1795 DAC chip but, DAC chip is not the only thing that makes this device great. Lot of other aspects of design plays a big role in the way this device is shaped. It's dual mono-aural design and pretty much all key aspects of L/R channel has been duplicated to give the immersive music experience you would ever expect from a device like this. Crisp highs, soothing warm mid and tight lows is what makes this device ideal for home listening without creating any fatigue during long listening hours. I am not a hard rock type of person so can't speak to it. This is a premium piece of equipment!
Pros: This is too good of a device for what you are paying.
Cons: None at this price point.
I have been using iPods (5th and 7th gens. using an line out doc) on my system for sometime due to its convenience. I got a GC for Crutchfield that I had to use. I wanted something I wouldn't normally buy, but increase my listening experience. I plan to re-rip my CD collection using Apple lossless, so I hoped to stream my iTunes collection to Apple TV connected by optical to drive my headphones and stereo (strangely wind up similar to other reviewer Dave.) With confirmation from Crutchfield rep. that it could be done, I ordered this. When I got it hooked up, I listened with my headphone, it sounded harsh from my ATV. It was feeding it at at some increment of 48khz, 96 or 192; turns out ATV resamples it and sends it out only at that rate for toslink. I wound up freeing up my old MacBook to be dedicated to my system. I can control the music selection and volume (to some degree) with iPad/iPhone with remote app. Worked like a charm, sounds great. I can't tell if it was better than my relately high end Rotel CD, but significantly better than the iPods' line or headphone out. I have a Senheiser hd570 as my favorite headphone; it even improved the sound on my Bose QC 15, but not to the level of the Sennheiser n. I compared it to the output of my iPods directly connected or thru my Carver preamp headphone jack. I am upsampling it to 4x44khz. There is a very slight improvement. Someday I try high res sources. This headphone/dac amp does what it promises.
Pros: Easy to setup. Great sound from digital audio files. Dual output. I hear detail with outstanding clarity that I never heard before. Better than my stereo's headphone output.
Cons: Ridiculous heavy computer grade power cord, replaced it with thinner cable. No remote.
I wanted a decent DAC with a built-in headphone amp. I really like this so far. It worked perfectly out of the box. Fit and finish is very nice. It has some heft to it for its size. Sounds good. I'm using it with a 2008 MacBook dedicated for music, going into an old Carver pre, and then amp... Then I supplement that with a universal drive for any optical needs. But I could see where this unit could easily be your center piece with just an amp, on a system revolving around a computer source. I haven't dealt with anything TEAC for a long long time, but they seem to have some nice stuff out these days. The only reason I took a star off, is for the lack of remote on the volume. That would have been nice to have.
This completely exceeded my expectations. The sound port on my Mac Pro sounded tinny, it now sounds like a full quality CD player. I ran my CD player through it and it sounds completely different. Comparing, back and forth, between a direct connection to my amp versus a connection through the TEAC, the quality upgrade is huge. A much fuller & detailed sound emerged. Also, my amplifier is able to play much louder without distortion. I have an average system: an older Harmon Kard0n AMP@30-40 watts per channel, made in Japan along with a good but not great CD changer. The upgrade is a huge upgrade in quality and my computer can now be my stereo without making sound compromiseswhich was my raison d'être for the purchase.
Pros: The headphone amplifier/jack gives us quality headphone sound through the computer.
The TEAC UD-301 deserves the "Reference" in it's name. While supporting DSD 2.8 and 5.6 MHz along with PCM 44.1 TO 192 khz you'll have upsampling PCM as an option, a superbly flexable preamp and an extremely capable headphone amplifier with ample output for all but most difficult of sota phones. Sonically, the UD-301 offers an accurate, layered in depth, expansive in width soundstage with an honest, unvelled presentation. The UD-301 as a stand alone DAC speaks of it's cutting edge heritage and will perfom along side units priced substantially higher. Quality metal work and all business appearance conceal the top notch internal components that make this TEAC hard to beat. In a computer based system, the UD-301 shines when used as an audio preamp. It tailors the output level from USB, TOSLINK and SPDIF sources with a silky smooth volume control. Headphones use shows off the black background and releases dynamic excitement to showcase your choice in personal listening with earbuds or headphones. Three state of the art components in one well designed easy to operate, awesome sounding TEAC UD-301. An affordable Reference that just over achieves!
Pros: Extremely accurate sound quality. Ease of operation. Three top shelf components in one attractive chassis. Affordability that belies it's performance.
Cons: I think NOT!
After realizing that I'm doing tbe "lion share" of music listening through my laptop and if I'm going to the trouble of ripping Cds to wav and flac files to my external hard drive I made the logical leap to a decent DAC and with the TEAC UD 301 you get all of the benefits offered by the more expensive model but with an amazing ease of use. The UD 301 smooths out the harshness of compressed music file and unleashes the nuances that the artists and producers wanted you to hear. You'll notice the difference even through low end powered computer speakers and will be astonished when you listen through headphones. Wits the "up conversion " feature which increases the bit depth (ie: 44 khz to 88 khz) , you notice better clarity and definition of sound from you existing cds and even mp3 files.. A great piece of affordable sound equipment.
Pros: Great Features, easy of use. Super value.
I got this mainly for the DAC which is almost as good as the UD-501 that my friend has. It took a lot of A/B switching over many genre of music for us to get a even a hint of what was different. For us it was that the UD-501 has a little more body in the sound, the bass and highs are slightly more extended and the sound stage seems a little deeper. We tried various amps and headphones (HD-800, HD-700, HD-650, LCD-2f, RS2e, HE-560, TH-600 and SennGrado) to find what little difference there was between the UD-301 and UD-501. Also, we used songs downloaded from HDTracks, most FLAC 24/96 or WAV 24/96. We didn't try any SCAD or DSD, I've had a SCAD player and some SCAD disk in the past but sold them when I started to download from HDTracks. My system is a custom built core i7 Xeon, 256GB SSD, 2-1TB WD Black in Raid 1, Xonar STX sound card, 16GB RAM, and a CoolerMaster case which as been fitted with water cooling and dust filters made of open-cell foam.
Pros: Great bang for your buck. The UD-301 compared to the Bifrost Uber has a more life like sound with better dynamics. The Bifrost has better drivers for using the USB, its more stable but I mainly use the optical or coax so it not an issue for me.
Cons: The USB driver for the UD-301 is not the best, I had some problems with it on one of my systems, it was conflicting with the drivers for the built-in sound card.
I purchased both the TEAC UD-301 and the Cambridge Audio DacMagic Plus as both fit my requirements (DAC/Pre for powered desktop speakers). I did extensive testing on RCA, XLR and headphone. I'm returning the TEAC and keeping the Cambridge: 1) first TEAC I got had a bad headphone jack (Crutchfield immediately sent a replacement which worked) 2) TEAC's volume control has static noise in it when you turn it up and down (poor engineering) 3) TEAC sent a buzzing sound to my powered speakers when off and signal pulses when powered off and on 4) TEAC's volume control is far, far less graduated than the Cambridge, which is easily and precisely adjusted; in fact, it has a minimum threshold which is unacceptably high (not an issue if you are using your own pre-amp, but i'm not) 5) TEAC tended to be less stable / lock up when switching back and forth between playback devices (I tested on both a Win8 PC and a Mac Mini). The Cambridge simply didn't have any of these issues. I went into this thinking I would keep the TEAC based on all the pre-purchase research. Not so. With all that said, the TEAC looks better / feels far more solid, has a better volume DIAL (but not control), and, I even think sounds just barely better than the Cambridge (despite having a lower signal-to-noise ratio) - slightly deeper, fuller bottom-end and just a smidge more attack on the high-end, but certainly not enough of a difference to offset the aforementioned issues (which should not exist at this price)
Impresionante el sonido , todo un sistema High End, la musica desde You Tube, es algo increible, los detalles, los ecos del recinto acustico, detalles unicos que llenan una sala de armonia. Awesome sound from a very High End product. Music from You Tube is just incredible, the details, acoustic echoes that fill the room with harmony.
Pros: Todo....captura todo el eco y resalta las senales mas debiles, he escuchado varios DAC y su sonido NO se le iguala a este. Everything.. Captures all of the very weak signals; I have listened to other DAC's and sound wise, they don't compare to this one.
Cons: Nada None.Crutchfield response on October 7, 2014 Translation provided by Crutchfield's Spanish Sales & Support team. Visit our new Spanish-language site at www.crutchfieldenespanol.com.
Dual Burr Brown DACs: The TEAC UD-301 uses two Burr Brown 1795 DACs for high performance and support of a wide range of digital audio sources. Its three digital inputs (optical/coaxial/USB) support sampling rates of 32, 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, and 192kHz. It's ideal for playback of FLAC, WAV, Apple Lossless, and other high-resolution file formats. The two internal Burr Brown 1795 digital-to-analog converters each work on a single channel (left or right) for true dual monaural operation. They are capable of 32-bit processing and even have the capacity to process 2.8/5.6MHz DSD data, for faithful and accurate playback of high-resolution sound sources.
192kHz Up-Conversion: When handling digital signals of 96kHz and less, you have the option to up-convert to double or quadruple the original signal sampling frequency - up to 192kHz. Even when playing back a 44.1kHz sound source (equivalent to CD sound quality) a smoother analog audio signal can be obtained in order to convert to a higher resolution digital signal. 44.1kHz input frequencies can be up-converted to 88.2 or 176.4kHz, 48kHz input frequencies can be up-converted to 96 or 192kHz, 88.2kHz input frequencies can be up-converted to 176.4kHz, and 96kHz input frequencies can be up-converted to 192kHz. Frequencies of 176.4kHz and higher will not be up-converted when input. This up-conversion feature can be switched on/off, according to your preference and application.
Dual MUSE Operational Amplifiers: The TEAC UD-301 employs dual MUSE operational amplifiers to transform the electrical current output of the D/A converter into a voltage signal. TEAC opted for a dual monaural configuration for the operational amplifiers, employing two MUSES8920 operational amplifiers, one on each of the left and right channels. These devices are made by New Japan Radio and are designed especially for hi-fi audio.
Dual Monaural Design: In order to process the audio signal from a high-resolution sound source in a purer state, TEAC adopted a dual monaural circuit design whereby each of the left and right channels comprises its own single monaural circuit. This avoids mutual interference between the left and right channels and enables pure stereo playback.
Toroidal Core Power Transformer: A high-efficiency toroidal core power transformer with low magnetic flux leakage is used to guarantee the stable operation of the twin left and right D/A converters that are so essential to the UD-301's high-speed signal processing. This transformer provides a stable power supply even in situations where a sudden surge of power is required, such as when starting up at very high volume.
Asynchronous USB Input: The TEAC UD-301 features a USB (type-B) port for connecting your Windows PC or Mac computer. The UD-301 accepts digital audio source material stored on your computer at up to 32-bit/192kHz. When receiving digital audio signals from a computer via USB cable, the unit can operate in asynchronous mode, controlling the timing of the input signal using the UD-301's internal clock. With asynchronous transmission over USB, signal compromising jitter is effectively eliminated, allowing digital audio signals to be transmitted in a pure, unadulterated state. This allows optimal playback of high-resolution digital audio files from playlists/libraries in your iTunes, Windows Media Player, or similar playback programs on your computer.
Note: Compatible with Windows XP (32-bit), Vista (32/64-bit), 7 (32/64-bit), 8 (32/64-bit), 8.1 (32/64-bit), and 10 (32/64-bit); Windows computer will also require the installation of a dedicated TEAC USB driver. Compatible with Macintosh OS X Snow Leopard (10.6), OS X Lion (10.7), OS X Mountain Lion (10.8), OS X Mavericks (10.9); no additional driver required for Macintosh computers.
HR Audio Player App (for Windows & Mac): The TEAC HR Audio Player is a free application software download to help you playback and enjoy your high-resolution audio files on your Windows or Mac computer with ease through the TEAC UD-301 and your connected home audio system. The TEAC HR Audio Player allows you to listen to your audio as soon as you connect the TEAC UD-301 and install the application; simply drag-and-drop the music files on your computer into the window of the application. Various high-resolution audio files formats are supported, including DSD (2.8MHz/5.6MHz), PCM (44.1-192kHz; 16-32-bit), and FLAC (44.1-192kHz; 16-32-bit), plus compressed music files like MP3 (32-320kbps). You can even choose between ASIO2.1 and DoP (DSD over PCM) modes when playing back DSD files from your Windows PC. In order to maximize the connected unit's performance, a simplified screen of the TEAC HR Audio Player helps reduce CPU load time while data processing. Furthermore, the RAM Buffer Playback mode that stores the audio data onto the internal memory is supported for the ultimate digital audio playback conditions. Additional features include Playlist, Repeat, and Shuffle playback.
Note: Compatible with Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, and 10. Compatible with Macintosh OS X Lion (10.7) or later.
Optical & Coaxial Digital Inputs: The TEAC UD-301 is fitted with optical (toslink) and coaxial (RCA) digital inputs for connection of other digital audio sources like your CD/SACD, Blu-ray/DVD player, or network player. These digital inputs will accept two channel linear PCM (not Dolby Digital/DTS). The coaxial digital input supports 32, 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, and 192kHz sampling frequencies (16- or 24-bit). The optical digital input supports only 32, 44.1, 48, 88.2, and 96kHz sampling frequencies (16-or 24-bit).
Headphone Amplifier: The TEAC UD-301 features a built-in headphone amplifier and front-panel 1/4" headphone jack that will accept headphone impedances from 8 to 600-ohms. The 100mW + 100mW output (at 32-ohms load) headphone amplifier uses CCLC (Coupling Capacitor Less Circuit) technology. In conventional headphone output circuits, a capacitor is used for output-stage coupling, and so the sound is unavoidably colored. When the capacitor is combined with a high-pass filter this often results in phase lags, or low frequency level degradation. With CCLC the negative impact of capacitors on sound quality is eliminated, providing full low-frequency sound and a responsive headphone listening environment with great spatiality.
Note: In addition to the dual monaural headphone circuits, there are options to switch off the XLR and RCA outputs on the rear panel. By cutting the power supply and isolating those circuits that are unrelated to the headphone output, the performance of the UD-301's headphone output can be maximized. This feature also makes the headphone amp very easy to use as the volume control for the headphones is completely separate from the output mode (Fixed, Adjustable or Off) on the rear panel.
Balanced & Unbalanced Outputs: The TEAC UD-301 is equipped with a stereo XLR balanced output that can be connected not only to other domestic hi-fi components, but also to professional audio equipment. As a highly versatile, high-performance DAC, the UD-301 offers a high-degree of interoperability with devices ranging from those used by discerning consumers all the way up to those used in the professional domain. The UD-301 also contains a stereo RCA unbalanced outputs to connect to most stereo receivers and integrated amplifiers.
Note: The XLR balanced output and RCA unbalanced outputs on the rear panel can both be set at Fixed, Adjustable or Off. Using the Adjustable setting, the UD-301 can be connected to a power amplifier to create a system with a separate pre-amp and power amp or, alternatively, can be directly connected to an active speaker.
All-Metal Chassis: The TEAC UD-301 features a compact chassis with aluminum panels and a motor-driven volume knob with the tactile feel you'd expect from controls found in high end full-size hi-fi components. The solid all-metal chassis is impressively inert, minimizing the effects of vibration on the unit's sound quality.
AC Power: The TEAC UD-301 operates off of standard household current using the supplied AC power cord. Thanks to its auto power save function, the unit goes into sleep mode after 30 minutes if it has failed to detect a sound signal. Power consumption in standby mode is 0.5W or less.
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.
Heard it was a quality item [ Helvi McCall Dec 19, 2016 ]
Features, 24/192 plus DSD [ TIMOTHY Oct 19, 2016 ]
Name brand product, very good reviews, great price to performance ratio, looks nice. [ Christopher Jul 06, 2016 ]
Looks great, headphone amp, variable pre out (unbal and balanced), DSD capability. Hopefully sounds good with my triode power amp. [ Michael Apr 03, 2017 ]
It does have the motor driven volume control for the more tactile feel of higher-end (and much more expensive) audio components. They do no list the type of volume control used but you can contact TEAC directly to see if they will disclose this information: 323-726-0303 I hope that helps. My Bio: http://www.crutchfield.com/Support/Bio.aspx?bio=5 [ Ryan Jun 29, 2016 ] Staff
Hi Chris, No, this is strictly a DAC (Digital to Analog Converter). If you're coming from your iPad, odds are you'd be playing it through the headphone jack which would already be an analog signal. I'm using this device to stream digital audio files from my PC through USB to the DAC where it can go L and R via a Balanced XLR to a mixer. If you're looking to play from your iPad you just need to adapt the 3.5mm phone jack (headphone) to whatever style you need. You won't need to convert the signal. Hope this helps! -Isaac [ Frontier Jun 19, 2016 ]
refer to my last answer a lightning to usb b connector might work [ COLEMAN Jun 18, 2016 ]
no not normaly [ COLEMAN Jun 18, 2016 ]
If you can find the proper cable I see no reason why it wouldn't. If you look at the rear panel picture of the UD-301 on Crutchfield you can see the available connections. [ Herbert Jun 18, 2016 ]
I do not know for sure, as I don't own any IOS devices but it might be possible. I think you'll need a Camera connection Kit, that is what I've seen for other DACs connected to iPad/iPhones. [ Anibal Jun 18, 2016 ]
You can connect to the UD-301 using a Lightning to USB adaptor and then USB to the DAC. [ Bruce Jun 18, 2016 ]
it depends on how you plan to connect the iPad to the headphone amplifier. I stream music to my headphone amplifier using airplay. I take the optical output from airport express to the headphone receiver. If you want to connect your iPad using a cable you will need to go from the iPads lightning port connector to a RCA jack. I don't know if that cables available but it wouldn't surprise me if you can find one [ Joseph Jun 18, 2016 ]
Thanks for your question. For information on comparing two or more models I would recommend reaching out to an Advisor by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat. They will be able to help determine the differences and help you make the best choice for your system and your budget. [ Krissy Aug 05, 2015 ] Staff