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A sonic difference really exists...

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
...between these 2 DAC, Behringer UCA 202 ($30) and Audioengine D1 ($170) ? Seems both do the job, no sonic perceivable differences (?), USB output from macs to stereo receiver. And yes, never 'heard' both.



post #2 of 14
Worthwhile reading on DACs, incl UCA202
http://nwavguy.blogspot.com.au/2011/02/behringer-uca202-review.html
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks A9X-308.
Very elucidative site.smile.gif
post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by galvs View Post

Thanks A9X-308.
Very elucidative site.smile.gif

In a level-matched blind test in typical use, audible differences are highly unlikely. The low price of the UCA 202 would be due to economies of scale.

The big weakness of the USA 202 is the high source impedance of the headphone jack which can be addressed as the article points out. Or, just add a low cost high quality headphone amp such as the FIIO E5.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

In a level-matched blind test in typical use, audible differences are highly unlikely. The low price of the UCA 202 would be due to economies of scale.

The big weakness of the USA 202 is the high source impedance of the headphone jack which can be addressed as the article points out. Or, just add a low cost high quality headphone amp such as the FIIO E5.

Connection between UCA and Fiio throught a 2RCA male to P2, I suppose?

And thank you very much Mr Arnold smile.gif !
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by galvs View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

In a level-matched blind test in typical use, audible differences are highly unlikely. The low price of the UCA 202 would be due to economies of scale.

The big weakness of the USA 202 is the high source impedance of the headphone jack which can be addressed as the article points out. Or, just add a low cost high quality headphone amp such as the FIIO E5.

Connection between UCA and Fiio throught a 2RCA male to P2, I suppose?

Eggzackely! ;-)

It's a bit messy as compared to having everything in one box, but truth be known, my E5 moves around a bit.
post #7 of 14
@arnyk: I just bought the FiiO E5 on your recommendation. It gets the job done splendidly, and is nice and compact too. My only gripe is that if I've got it plugged in to USB power and it's not charging (i.e., the battery's full), it starts hissing quite noticeably. Which means I can't just leave it plugged in and forget about it; I have to unplug the USB if I hear the hiss, and then plug it in again when the battery dies. I suppose that provides a natural battery conditioning, but still, mildly irritating.

(My headphones are AKG K242 HD's, rated at 55 ohms IIRC.)

So thanks for saving me a bundle!
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by PrimeJunta View Post

@arnyk: I just bought the FiiO E5 on your recommendation. It gets the job done splendidly, and is nice and compact too. My only gripe is that if I've got it plugged in to USB power and it's not charging (i.e., the battery's full), it starts hissing quite noticeably. Which means I can't just leave it plugged in and forget about it; I have to unplug the USB if I hear the hiss, and then plug it in again when the battery dies. I suppose that provides a natural battery conditioning, but still, mildly irritating.

(My headphones are AKG K242 HD's, rated at 55 ohms IIRC.)

So thanks for saving me a bundle!

My E5 is plugged into a USB port on the computer all of the time, no problems with hissing with my Audio Technica ATH-M50.
post #9 of 14
That's odd. I'll have to experiment a bit.
post #10 of 14
In case anyone's interested, here's what I discovered investigating the hiss.

It occurs under the following conditions:

(1) Device's battery is fully charged.
(2) Device is connected to a computer's headphone out.
(3) Device is on.
(4) Device is connected to a computer's USB port.

I happen to have two computers on my desk, and tried connecting it to one computer's headphone out and the other one's USB. Makes no difference. However, the hiss does NOT occur if I plug the USB to a wall wart, even if the other three conditions apply. Go figure.
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by PrimeJunta View Post

In case anyone's interested, here's what I discovered investigating the hiss.

It occurs under the following conditions:

(1) Device's battery is fully charged.
(2) Device is connected to a computer's headphone out.
(3) Device is on.
(4) Device is connected to a computer's USB port.

I happen to have two computers on my desk, and tried connecting it to one computer's headphone out and the other one's USB. Makes no difference. However, the hiss does NOT occur if I plug the USB to a wall wart, even if the other three conditions apply. Go figure.

It seems likely that there is some interaction related to the USB ports on the computers.. The E5 only "sees" the 5 volt lines on the USB port. There may some nearby source of EMI that is riding into the E5 on the USB power lines. You might want to test other USB cables or just continue to use the external power supply which has the advantage of freeing up the USB pert.
post #12 of 14
Thanks. I'll do that, as soon as I find a suitable cable long enough to reach the wall wart from my desk. I don't, as a general rule, listen to music while sitting on the floor, which is what I did just now. – I did try two different cables, but it didn't make any difference.
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

It seems likely that there is some interaction related to the USB ports on the computers.. The E5 only "sees" the 5 volt lines on the USB port. There may some nearby source of EMI that is riding into the E5 on the USB power lines. You might want to test other USB cables or just continue to use the external power supply which has the advantage of freeing up the USB pert.

I would expect the PC USB power source to be quite dirty from EMI inside the computer. The wall wort should be much cleaner. The fact that he's hearing hiss tells me this is the harmonics of HF trash above the audio band.
post #14 of 14
Sounds likely. It's interesting though that the hiss is somehow "soaked up" by the device when it's charging the battery.

In any case, I found a nice long USB cable with the right connector in a drawer somewhere, and my FiiO is now happily plugged in to the wall wart, with no extra hissing. So, problem solved.
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