We’re rather excited about the new TEAC Reference range. We received a super-sneak preview a few months back and liked what we saw: a family of diminutive components with near-identical chassis, all enticingly priced in the region of £300.
This, the DAC, is the first one of the family that we’ve seen. We certainly like the design. There’s a good variety of sizes of DACs around, but we think the UD-H01 is about right, at just over 21cm square and 5cm high.
Smart and nicely put together, it feels substantial enough to justify the money required but will still slot in to a relatively compact space alongside the rest of your system.
A good number of inputsThere’s a headphone output and volume control on the front of the unit, alongside a button for switching between inputs. It’s well covered in this regard, with USB, coaxial and optical inputs, plus stereo analogue and XLR outputs.
We connect via USB and work through a few test tracks in WAV format. The TEAC delivers a clean and crisp sound. Bombay Bicycle Club’s Shuffle sounds suitably upbeat and perky, while Drake’s Over shows there’s plenty of bass extension, though we could do with a little more detail and agility.
More after the break
The TEAC will take hi-res Studio Master 24bit/192kHz files via coaxial and optical inputs. We turn to Linn Records’ recordings of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and the H01 imparts impressive scale and dynamic reach on the music.
And yet, the extra detail we might expect isn’t quite realised. Treble notes, as is the case with other files, lack a little detail and warmth. Minor quibbles apart, this is a smart, versatile and accomplished little box.