Acoustic Research launches UA1 high-res DAC

A sucker for sound quality? The UA1 will make your music sound better than ever

Audophiles can be difficult to please with bog-standard audio tech, but plug in the new Acoustic Research UA1 and they won’t utter a word.

Acoustic Research has just debuted its new Digital and High-End Division, an entirely separate range from its affordable products. To kick things off, the company has just released the UA1 DAC.

This hi-res DAC (aka Digital Analogue Converter) is at the very top end of the market, promising to upgrade the sound from any computer to deliver genuine high-definition audio.

Play virtually any audio file through your speakers or Hi-Fi. There’s also a new and improved built-in headphone amp, which will get the best out of the most serious headphones.

It features gold-plated brass connectors and a premium build. Acoustic Research has constructed the UA1 out of aerospace grade aluminum, with exceptional anti-vibration properties.

High-end components are used throughout on a single circuit board and damped rubber feet are fitted on the bottom, ensuring the UA1 is securely gripped when used on a desk.

Best of all is its portability. The small, compact DAC is USB host-powered so needs no mains supply – so you can just take it anywhere and plug and play.

It'll come with software designed for FLAC, DSD64, DSD128, DXD, WAV, AIFF and ALAC files. On top of that a free copy of the expensive JRiver Media Centre software for Mac and Windows is included.

The Acoustic Research UA1 will retail at £399.99 when it hits stores later this month.

Can't find the DAC to suit you? Read our best DAC round-up to help you decide.