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Budget DAC Review: behringer UMC204HD

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umc202hd output is really low. I have to put atom on high gain and dial it to MAX vs pc onboard low gain 20-30%. On it's own 202hd sounds better than if its linked to atom. Oh well. Gonna wait for khadas board.
 

solderdude

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You can use the headphone out but do not push it past 1 o'clock.
The headphone out is crap with headphones but works well enough as a line out buffer.
 
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You can use the headphone out but do not push it past 1 o'clock.
The headphone out is crap with headphones but works well enough as a line out buffer.
This whole thing is powered by usb. Between powering all circuitry inside theres not enough juice left for the outs. On its own it beats atom+onboard pc as long as it's below 60% volume otherwise itll start clipping and audible hiss. Still amazing how much they packed into this for such a low price. Still intend to get a khadas tone board as my main dac though.

Update: Switched from usb 2.0 to 3.0 on the back of pc did increase the signal on the 202hd outs. By like 50%. Dont have to use high gain on atom anymore. Low gain max gets as loud as high gain max used to. XD

This by:
Blumlein 88
"The 204 is listed as a max output of 3 dbu. 0 dbu is .775 volts. So this would be like 1.09 volts which is definitely on the low side. There is a wide range of output voltages, but most DACs will put out at least 2 volts or a touch over +8dbu. So when looking at recording interfaces you'd like to see at least 8 dbu output. Other than the very cheapest ones you see +12 to 20 or 24 dbu. Keep in mind these are usually for balanced outputs. If using adapters for single ended connection you will lose 6 db."
This has to be why the output is lower than usual. The 202hd 1/4 outs are "balanced" but the connection to amp is not so it's -6dB?

Another update: Also connected the 1/4 mono to rca with a set of powered speakers and the max volume was 3 times lower than if it gets the audio signal from my pc onboard. Seems like 202hd outs are really weak and its definitely usb power fault. For headphones into amp out its okay and listening to 202hd internal amp/dac is too.
 
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This may be too old of a thread, but it is the topic I’m looking for. So after having read all those 20 pages of information, I feel very enlightened. However, I can’t get the Behringer umc204hd for the price mentioned, maybe it has gone up in price. You guys say that the 202 dac should sound the same as the 204 dac; would that still be true for the 22? I used to use $20 signstek dacs until mine died and the new signsteks seem noticeably worse than the old ones. But I’m still trying to stay cheap here. Thanks in advance for any help.
 
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This may be too old of a thread, but it is the topic I’m looking for. So after having read all those 20 pages of information, I feel very enlightened. However, I can’t get the Behringer umc204hd for the price mentioned, maybe it has gone up in price. You guys say that the 202 dac should sound the same as the 204 dac; would that still be true for the 22? I used to use $20 signstek dacs until mine died and the new signsteks seem noticeably worse than the old ones. But I’m still trying to stay cheap here. Thanks in advance for any help.
Depends on your headphones. Using umc22 to drive senn 558 at 20%. I can also plug in hd600 later. Some people mentioned high frequency noise on 204hd. I think these were designed for mic\instruments not dedicated headphone dac\amp but it certainly drives them with ease and its clean at under 50% volume. I cant say about the noise until i get another dac. Cant tell if im hearing it or not. umc22 might not have any of that.
 
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I would probably be using it almost exclusively as a preamp for my amp+speaker setup, so I'm not so worried about the other headphone jack. But I also own a Sarclett 2i2 for recording purposes. Maybe I should just get a dedicated dac like the topping D10 instead?
 
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I would probably be using it almost exclusively as a preamp for my amp+speaker setup, so I'm not so worried about the other headphone jack. But I also own a Sarclett 2i2 for recording purposes. Maybe I should just get a dedicated dad like the topping D10 instead?
I tried 202hd with a set of powered speakers and max volume was 3 times lower than if it was fed audio via S/PDIF from PC. So if you plan to do that avoid these. Definitely take topping D10.
 
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Well, but I have a decent amp though, so a weak signal from the fact should still be serviceable I think. The advantage to me if buying the behringer would be that it could double as a second interface if I ever needed it to, and it does have a headphones out. The topping can't do either of those and is pretty much only a dac.
 
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Well, but I have a decent amp though, so a weak signal from the fact should still be serviceable I think. The advantage to me if buying the behringer would be that it could double as a second interface if I ever needed it to, and it does have a headphones out. The topping can't do either of those and is pretty much only a dac.
Maybe it's my specific speakers cant be sure. You can always return the interface if it turns out to be not what u expected.
 
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Regular readers of this forum know that we have been searching for an excellent performing DAC for under $100. So far we have not found it. All DACs tested underperformed my reference, the iFi iDAC2 ($350).

If you missed them, here is the review of Schiit Modi 2: http://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/budget-dac-review-schiit-modi-2-99.1649/

And Micca Origen+: http://www.audiosciencereview.com/f.../budget-dac-review-micca-origen-usb-dac.1476/

Next up is a product from professional world (i.e. designed for music recording/playback), the behringer UMC204HD. I paid a meager $79.99 for it, shipping included: https://www.amazon.com/Behringer-UMC204HD-BEHRINGER-U-PHORIA/dp/B00QHURLCW

View attachment 6964

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Hi ! i would like to thank you very much for this excellent review. I am buying one soon.
However ... i wonder if using one ultra low noise power supply for this unit would lower further the already very low noise floor.
Maybe the cleanest way to do this is to try to add, with some diy, a dc socket close to the usb input and connect to that a very low noise dc power supply. This would avoid the dirty +5VDC coming from the pc bus to enter the interface.
I will try to do something without hopefully destroying the interface.
Thank you so much again for pointing at this wonderful cheap unit.
Kind regards, gino
 

Jimster480

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Hi ! i would like to thank you very much for this excellent review. I am buying one soon.
However ... i wonder if using one ultra low noise power supply for this unit would lower further the already very low noise floor.
Maybe the cleanest way to do this is to try to add, with some diy, a dc socket close to the usb input and connect to that a very low noise dc power supply. This would avoid the dirty +5VDC coming from the pc bus to enter the interface.
I will try to do something without hopefully destroying the interface.
Thank you so much again for pointing at this wonderful cheap unit.
Kind regards, gino
As amir has shown time and time again these "ultra low noise power supplies" typically do nothing at all for the performance of any unit.
 
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As amir has shown time and time again these "ultra low noise power supplies" typically do nothing at all for the performance of any unit.
Hi ! thanks a lot for the valuable advice.
Is that typically that leaves me wondering ... :rolleyes:
More seriously ... i remember the old EMU USB sound card that has reached a kind of cult status i guess for its very good Noise and THD figures.
https://c1.zzounds.com/media/produc...SB_front-223117e11bc293b596ad67a6f60880fd.jpg
Often used for noise measurements Problem is that EMU have stopped the SW support
It looks like this Behringer could be the new EMU ...
Regards, gino :)
 
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bequietjk

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@gino1961 You couod buy a 2-1 Dual USB head that seperates the power and data. I know Lavricables and iFi make one. But prepare to spend a bit of money.

Also, ive had good success powering my UMC404HD with a linear power supply. The sound is good for my own preference. I also lost my smps power supply hehe.

At the cost of both the linear psu and new cable you could purchase a higher performing DAC, though.
 
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@gino1961 You couod buy a 2-1 Dual USB head that seperates the power and data. I know Lavricables and iFi make one. But prepare to spend a bit of money.
Hi ! thanks for the helpful advice. I have seen some cables that can do the trick of isolating the interface from the pc supply and provide a socket for an external DC power supply
https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/sjAAAMXQVhFR~9OQ/s-l300.jpg
not very high end but it should work

Also, ive had good success powering my UMC404HD with a linear power supply.
yes ... i see the dc socket on the back of the unit ... i would prefer a little switch that allows to choose the DC supply from usb pc bus or external

The sound is good for my own preference. I also lost my smps power supply hehe.
At the cost of both the linear psu and new cable you could purchase a higher performing DAC, though.
did you check for noise and thd maybe ? i just need only two channels ... but the dc socket option tempts me a lot.
Thanks again.
 

bequietjk

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Found my SMPS. I'll have to reroute the polarity on my LPS for the 404HD and I'll let you know what I can detect, if anything!
 
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Hi there. I've been watching the thread for sometime and have a question io hope you can help me with. I've got the UMC202HD which I use as my audio interface for recording video with external mics. But I also listen to music with my iems off the P and was going to get a dac/Amp combo and now see it may not be necessary. If just get an external headphone Amp (JDS Atom) and run it from the monitor out (1/4 mono to RCA mono). Where would I set the the output level on the UMC202HD so that I can adjust the IEM volume on the Atom? Thanks
 

solderdude

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Atom to 1x gain. Set volume of Atom to '3 o clock' volume position. Set 202HD so that it the IEm sounds as loud as you want the IEM to go.
 
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I was looking at the specs for the bigger UMC1820 since i need more channels for active and likes that i can add an ADAT if i need extra channels for surround. I noticed that it has much beefier output, +16dbu on the line outputs.
Isnt this to much for most home audio? My old NAD amps are getting full output on 3dbu so for me this would just rise the noisefloor?
 
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