Optoma NuForce uDAC5

 

Introduction

Founded in 2002, Optoma is a multinational company which produces audio and video systems, being specialized in projectors, professional audio-video solutions, laser projectors, both LED and DLP. Optoma has headquarters in Europe, North America, Asia-Pacific and China, also Optoma is part of the Coretronic group.
NuForce is a company specialized in Hi-Fi audio products such as headsets, DACs and amps, that was founded in 2005, with its headquarters in Milpitas, California. In 2014, NuForce was aqquired by Optoma, becoming the brand NuForce Optoma.

 

Official product link:

https://www.optomausa.com/audioproduct/udac5

 

Packaging and accessories

The DAC is packaged in a white cardboard box with a small footprint.
On the front side, there is a simple diagram of the DAC while in the middle there is the name and logo of the manufacturer.

 

On the sides there is a diagram of the front and side panels and a few of the DAC’s features.

 

On the backside there is a Multi-language description of the DAC , as well as the model and number of it.

 

Accessories

The product comes with the following accessories:
– 1x Manual
– 1x USB A-USB B cable
– 1x Safety booklet

 

Specifications

Model: UDAC 5
Color: Silver
Power output: 2.0Vrms
Output impedance: RCA 100ohm, Headphone 4.7 Ohm
Maximum sampling rate: 384kHz PCM DSD256
Bit resolution: 16/24
Signal to noise ratio: 112dB
Power supply: USB Bus Powered, 1A/5V
Power consumption: 2W
Volume control: Rotary
Connections input: USB-B
Connections output: 3.5mm jack RCA L + R Digital coax
Dimensions (W x H x D): 68 x 21 x 45(mm)
Weight: 103g

 

Features

–  Greater power: The circuitry of the uDAC5 offers twice the power and nearly twice the current reserves of its predecessor. Music lovers can now connect their over-ear headphones while playing their favorite conventional or high-resolution music.
–  More flexible: The uDAC5 offers unrivaled flexibility. It generates superior sound whether it is being used as a high-resolution desktop audio controller, USB DSD DAC or a headphone amp. Additional analogue and digital outputs enables instant high-resolution connection to amplifiers and active speakers.
–  Hear more: DSD files generate a wider range of sound than CDs so you hear more of the detail. The uDAC5 is designed to play the most complex and demanding DSD256 format. This elevates the quality of any computer sourced audio files, adding weight and speed to the bass, clarity and substance to mid-range

tones and openness and extension to the highs.
–  At home and on the move: Small enough to fit in your pocket, the uDAC5 is the ideal audio companion for use on the move or at home. The ultra-portable DAC offers ease of use and connection for professionals and music lovers on-the-go.

 

Visual inspection

Weighting just 103g and having a compact format, the uDAC 5 is an analog-digital convertor and an amp ideal for use on mobile devices and desktops
The DAC is protected by a stainless-steel case with the dimensions 68 x 21 x 45(mm), it also offers protection against electromagnetic interference.

 

The front panel of the uDAC 5 is simple, here the main feature is the rotating volume knob, next there is a white status LED and to the right there is the 3.5mm Audio jack.

 

On the back side there are the four connectors of the DAC: 2x Left-Right Analog, 1x Coaxial Digital Output and the USB connector. In addition, all four connectors are gold plated.

 

On the top side of the case the NuForce company name is engraved next to a Hi-Res Audio sticker.

 

Testing

The first thing that stands out is the small size and the build quality, starting with the front rotative knob and continuing with the gold-plated connectors at the rear and the stainless-steel case.
The sound quality is very good, both low, medium and high frequencies are faithfully rendered. In addition, the quality of the sound does not degrade when the volume reached its maximum.

 

The uDAC 5 behaves very well in gaming by offering an open soundstage and a better representation of the sound spacing, especially in games that generate multi-directional sounds.

 

The following songs have been used to test the DAC:
– The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Soundtrack
– Daft Punk – Give Life Back to Music
– Daft Punk Feat Pharrell Williams – Get Lucky
– Daft Punk Feat Panda Bear – Doin’ It Right
– Parov Stelar – The Ride
– Parov Stelar – Everything Of My Heart
– Lorde – Tennis Court (Flume Remix)
– Desire – Under Your Spell
– Kavinsky & Lovefoxxx – Nightcall
– Glass Animals – Toes
– Alice Cooper – I’m Eighteen
– T-Rex – Get It On
– Jimi Hendrix – Foxy Lady
– Jimi Hendrix – Purple Haze
– Creedence Clearwater Revival – Fortunate Son

 

Final thoughts

The NuForce uDAC 5 delivers a good performance in a compact format. The performance of the DAC is best represented in music with a high-resolution format such as FLAC.
The sounds being rendered are balanced, as is the bass while all frequencies are played accurately regardless of situation, music or games.
Due to its DAC configuration along with the amplifier, the uDAC 5 is ideal for use with desktop systems or notebooks, and its small size, and the stainless-steel case, encourages its use outdoors.

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