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.

Nathan George is a freelance journalist who has contributed to T3.com in the fields of gaming, social media, streaming services, autonomous vehicles, phones, virtual reality headsets, wireless speakers and future tech. He studied journalism at the University of the West of England and is a holder of the Bronze and Silver The Duke of Edinburgh Award.