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It is an inexpensive 2-in/2-out USB audio interface designed for do-it-yourself recording on your Mac or PC.

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Pros

Inexpensive - only $25

4 agree

No software drivers required

3 agree

USB bus powered - no external power required

2 agree

Dedicated stereo headphone jack for monitor ins and outs with volume control

2 agree

S/PDIF digital optical output for direct DAC conversion

2 agree

High quality components

2 agree

Small, portable unit

2 agree

High sound quality

0 agrees
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Cons

Only 48KHz/16-bit maximum

2 agree

Only 2 input channels (L/R)

2 agree

Line level inputs - no preamplification

1 agrees
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The Behringer UCA202 U-Control is an inexpensive 2-in/2-out USB audio interface designed for do-it-yourself recording on your Mac or PC. It's designed to sit as an interface between your mixer, instruments, or pre-amp and your computer. It is a USB bus powered device with no external power supply required, and also requires no additional drivers for installation; just plug the UCA202 into an available USB port on your computer.

The UCA202 features 2 analog line-level inputs (RCA) and and 2 analog line-level ouputs (RCA). There are high-resolution 48 kHz DAC converters to convert back and forth between the digital and analog domains. Additionally, there is a stereo headphone output with a dedicated volume level control for monitoring either your inputs or ouputs, and there is a direct S/PDIF optical output for direct digital conversion of your analag inputs.

Features

  • 2 RCA analog line-level inputs
  • 2 RCA analog line-level outputs
  • USB bus powered - no external power required
  • high resolution 48 kHz DACs
  • Stereo headphone monitor output with level control
  • S/PDIF digital optical output
  • No software drivers required

To connect your guitar or microphone to your computer, you will need a mixer or a pre-amp to boost your audio signals to line-level. For example, for $70 the Behringer TUBE ULTRAGAIN MIC200 with both 1/4" and XLR mic-level inputs can act as an interface between your microphone and the UCA202 recording interface. The UCA202 retails for around $25.

Post Review
Trisweb
07/28/2009 11:29

I love this little thing! I'm surprised at the high sound quality out of such a cheap USB interface. Just a nice clean signal, in and out. Can't ask for much more than that at this price.

It's also great that everything "just works" out of the box (I'm using OSX - but I assume for Windows as well). Other USB audio interfaces I've used have horrible drivers that required restarts of programs, unplugging the USB and plugging it back in, etc. - but not this thing - it just works. Awesome.

I highly recommend this for anyone who owns a laptop and a good pair of headphones or speakers, since it will probably be better than the headphone jack on any laptop. Even my MacBook Pro (which generally has the reputation of being 'good for media') has horrible muddy noisy sound out of the headphone jack. At this price, everyone with good ears can enjoy a nice clean sound from any computer.

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Update after a couple days of use:

Turns out that while this thing is an excellent value and works well with no hassles, but really doesn't give much in the way of audio fidelity. For those intrested, I popped it open and the chips used are a Burr Brown/TI PCM2902E USB Audio interface and codec, and three JRC J341H Op Amps. The Burr Brown DAC isn't very high spec'd, and the op amp is a cheap thing. In testing, I actually prefer the headphone out of my laptop to this thing, whose sound is sadly dry and flat with no definition. So while most people will not notice at all, if you have good ears and have been spoiled by high resolution devices, you might want to look for something that calls itself a "USB DAC" instead of a simple audio interface. It definitely does the job though, and I still recommend it for the price.

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