KingRex UD-01

A massive jump in PC sound quality

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
KingRex UD-01
  • KingRex UD-01
  • KingRex UD-01
  • KingRex UD-01
  • Expert Rating

    4.50 / 5


  • Massive sound quality boost over on-board audio


  • Only stereo output, requires high-end components to be worthwhile

Bottom Line

KingRex's UD-01 digital audio converter replaces your PC's sound card for transporting audio to an amplifier. By cutting out the PC's noisy internal circuitry the UD-01 offers a significant boost in sound quality with a warm yet clear signature.

Would you buy this?

Special Offers

The UD-01, KingRex’s mid-priced USB digital audio converter, offers a sizeable leap in sound quality over a PC’s on-board sound solution, but you’ll need an equally high-quality system to take advantage of it.

In the world of audio, the personal computer is something of a black sheep. Long reviled by audiophiles as a source lossy, low-quality music fed out through noisy internal circuitry to cheap speakers, the PC is starting to slowly make itself heard as a legitimate digital audio hub.

Central to the process of outputting audio is a computer’s sound card. It’s the device that turns a digital avalanche of ones and zeros into an analog electrical signal that goes on to be amplified and blasted out through speakers. The problem with sound cards is that, by their very nature, they’re sensitive to electrical noise. The two simple ways around this are either to lower the card’s sensitivity, to block background noise — compromising sound quality — or to use higher quality components — raising prices and not fixing the problem entirely.

The only sure-fire way to eliminate digital noise is to physically separate the sound card from the computer enclosure. That’s the KingRex UD-01’s modus operandi — attached via a USB cable to the PC, it sits in its own enclosure and uses high-quality components to decode audio signals.

Working natively on both Windows and Macintosh systems, the UD-01 is simple to set up. A power pack is supplied as well as a USB cord, which uses a traditional USB-B plug to connect to the unit. Output is through stereo analog RCA ports, so it’s perfect to connect to a dedicated amplifier. Chances are that if you’re using anything that requires another type of connector (like entry-level PC speakers using a 3.5mm headphone jack, for example) you won’t benefit too much from the UD-01.

For our testing, we compared the UD-01 to the on-board sound from a Gigabyte P35 DS4 motherboard, as well as a Creative Xmod and Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1. The UD-01 is only capable of stereo output, so if you need surround sound the other systems' various digital and analog outputs might suit you more.

To establish digital noise levels we conducted a simple test. With the system connected to our test setup of a KingRex T20 amplifier and JohnBlue JB3 speakers, we cranked volume levels to max and listened for higher frequency hissing. Using the on-board sound system it was noticeably audible; it was less so with the consumer-level external solutions. With the UD-01 connected, however, we were pleasantly surprised by the lack of any audible hissing or interference — a testament to the high quality of the internal circuitry in the device.

Sound quality was stellar. Background noise aside, we did notice a slight difference in the timbre and clarity of sound with the different systems. The UD-01 reigned supreme throughout our test, with a more expansive sound range and a slightly warm signature.

The only problem with picking up a quality DAC like the UD-01 is that you’ll need to have equally high-quality components to be able to take advantage of the additional clarity and sound quality. If you’re currently getting by with a high-end system directly connected to your PC, consider this product carefully.

Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?