Cuttin-Edge, On-the-Spot Reporting

Previously, I wrote about three lavish stand-mounted speakers that I described as "sinfully sensational." I called them sinful because of how expensive they are, and I called them sensational because they're so darn cool. But being sensational isn't limited to expensive products; ironically, the product that caught my eye today is one of the cheapest I've seen at this show: the tricked-out NuForce uDAC-2.

NuForce uDAC-2 group

The uDAC-2 in its most basic form is a tiny (about 3"W x 1"H x 2"D) USB DAC finished in silver, black, or red that's capable of resolutions of up to 24-bit/96kHz and also has a headphone jack. For whatever reason, it even has a digital output. In the United States the uDAC-2 retails for $129. Add another $20 and you can get the Violet version, which is obviously violet colored and also has a Swarovski crystal on the volume control. For $399 you can get the most lavish version, which is also my favorite because of how "luxurious" it is without costing a fortune.

Tricked-out NuForce uDAC-2

According to NuForce, that's real 24k gold plating around the uDAC-2, along with stainless steel on the front and back. Like the Violet, it also has a Swarovski crystal on the volume control. But that's not all -- this fully tricked-out version is cryogenically treated and comes in a leather pouch, and it includes NuForce's best USB cable. To my eyes, the tricked-out uDAC-2 is sensational looking (perhaps even a little sinful considering how little the basic model costs), and it's a great way to purchase a luxury item without having to spend much at all.

Doug Schneider
Publisher and Founder, The SoundStage! Network