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Behringer UCA202 Audio Interface
BEHRINGER U-CONTROL UCA202
Ultra-Low Latency 2 In/2 Out USB/Audio Interface with Digital Output
- Ultra-flexible audio interface connects your instruments, mixer, etc. with your computer for recording and playback
- High-resolution 48 kHz converters for high-end audio quality
- Works with your PC or Mac computer - no setup or drivers required. Free audio recording and editing software downloadable at www.behringer.com
- Stereo Headphone output with dedicated Level control lets you monitor both input and output
- Additional S/PDIF optical output for direct digital conversion
- Powered via USB - no external power supply needed
- High-quality components and exceptionally rugged construction ensure long life
- Conceived and designed by BEHRINGER Germany
The UCA202 provides two analog mono inputs and outputs (for monitoring), USB connectivity and an additional S/PDIF optical output for direct analog-to-digital conversion. The stereo headphone output features a dedicated level control and lets you listen to both the input and output.
Imagine the Possibilities...
When used as a professional interface between a mixing console and your computer, myriad options become available. Some of these might include connecting the UCA202 RCA outputs: to the TAPE INPUT jacks of your mixer; to powered monitors or to the input channels on the mixer. Connecting to the mixer input channels allows you to use the Aux Send feature of your mixer to build an extremely versatile monitor mix for recording sessions. These are just a few of the possibilities; let us know how you use your UCA202.
Tons of Free Software
To truly get the most out of your UAC202, you will need recording and editing software. So, we decided to give you lots of free software to choose from.
KRISTAL Audio Engine is a powerful multi-track recorder, audio sequencer and mixer - ideal for anyone getting started with recording, mixing and mastering digital audio. Kristal's main features include:
- Mixing console
- Audio sequencer
- 16 audio tracks
- 32-bit floating point audio engine
- Sample rates from 44.1 to 192 kHz
- 3-band parametric EQ
- 2 VST insert slots per channel
- 3 VST master effect slots
- ASIO low-latency audio driver support
Audacity is an easy-to-use audio editor and recorder for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux operating systems. With Audacity you can:
- Record live audio
- Convert tapes and records into digital recordings or CDs
- Edit Ogg Vorbis, MP3, WAV or AIFF sound files
- Cut, copy, splice or mix sounds together
- Change the speed or pitch of a recording
- And much more...
For a fraction of the cost of an over-priced USB audio interface from those other guys, you can have state-of-the-art digital conversion, world-class recording and editing software and hassle-free connectivity between your PC or Mac Computer and any piece of audio equipment.
Bridging the gap between your music and the rest of the world - the BEHRINGER U-CONTROL UCA202.
Ultra-flexible audio interface connects your instruments, mixer etc. with your computer for recording and playback
High-resolution 48 kHz converters for high-end audio quality
Works with your PC or Mac-no setup or drivers required. Free audio recording and editing software downloadable at www.behringer.com
Stereo headphone output with dedicated level control lets you monitor both input and output
Powered via USB bus-no external power supply needed
|Average Customer Rating:
|| based on 325 reviews|
Average Customer Review:
( 325 customer reviews )
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
228 of 234 found the following review helpful:
DON'T BE CONFUSEDFeb 27, 2011
Behringer makes three similar products with very similar names. This one - the UCA202 - provides line level RCA stereo inputs and line level RCA stereo outputs, a S/PDIF optical output, and a 1/8th inch stereo headphone output with a dedicated level control. There is also a small switch which turns the output monitor on and off (so the audio output doesn't interfere with your headphone listening).
The UFO202 includes a turntable pre-amp and a ground. The 222 is identical to the UFO202, but it has a snazzy red cover. To add to the confusion there is an identical UCA202 on Amazon for $10 more. God knows why.
I bought this to replace the similar Alesis in/out unit. The Alesis sounded dim, and the input volume control crapped out after four days - one channel was 6dB lower than the other. I sent it back.
Based on using the UCA202 constantly for a week, here is my assessment:
THE BODY - it is well designed, well thought-out, and well made. It's plastic, but is solidly made. (I wish it had that snazzy red body, though.) I like how the headphone volume control is recessed. I like how the connectors are all gold-plated (unlike the Alesis). I like the strong strain relief on the USB cord (unlike the Alesis). I like the reassuring LED that tells me it is connected to my computer. I like the way the labels are carved into the faceplate - no paint to rub off. I like having an optical digital output. I like the way it is small enough to take along with a laptop. (Gosh. I wish I had a laptop!)
THE SOUND - In short, it is fine. My cassettes go right from my premium Nakamichi deck into the computer, I edit the sound and bake a CD from the edit. And I get to bypass the cruddy soundcard in my old Dell (which has the sound quality and signal-to-noise of a six-transistor radio). The limiting factor is the cassette itself - not the analog-to-digital converter in the 202.
BTW - I compared two identical classical music recordings made with the Alesis and the UCA202. It was not even close - the Behringer was MUCH clearer and cleaner. I actually erased all the Alesis recordings and redid them through the Behringer, despite all the extra hours it cost me. The difference was THAT big.
I am not able to run the 202 directly through my big stereo rig, but it sounds pretty damn good on my $80 Grado headphones. It may not be the ultimate in audio refinement, but it is far more than adequate. For $30 I am a very happy audiophile. UPDATE - It is now plugged into a T-amp and good speakers and it sounds GREAT! UPDATE #2 - The 202 doesn't always sound good with cheap low-impedance headphone. See the end of this review.
I have looked long and hard at this product category - the next better unit up the food chain is the Cakewalk UA-1G USB Audio Interface for $90. The rest of the products at that price range ($100-200) include mic inputs, guitar inputs, multiple line inputs, mixers and other things I do not need. And the converters are about the same quality as the Cakewalk's.
Several devices will output your computer sound into RCA jacks, but this is one of the only ones that INPUT sound into your computer via RCA jacks. If you want to input (and edit and burn) cassettes, this is your baby! If you want to input LPs you either need a separate phono pre-amp or you go with the Behringer UFO202, which has one built-in. (I have not used it, so I can't comment on it, but Behringer seems to know what they are doing).
I'd give the USC 202 5 stars, but ....
THE INSTRUCTIONS - They stink. They go off on tangents about other Behringer products you don't need. They do not mention that the speaker in the diagram is a powered speaker. They do not explain that otherwise you need an amplifier to power your speakers.
They absolutely do NOT explain how you have to change some parameters in your Windows XP Control Panel. Or what those parameters are. They do not explain that you have to set up your computer's audio recording program (such as Audacity) to input and output through the USB connection. Figuring out all that jazz took me HOURS of research (though it takes only a few minutes to do).
That's one star down for pissing me off and delaying me two entire days. Unless you are willing to make a toll call, you reach Behringer tech support via email from their website. It takes a day or two to get an answer, but they are friendly and helpful and honest.
THE SOFTWARE - If you read the description, Behringer offers you "tons" of free computer software for your audio files. But don't think you will get some CD-ROM discs. It turns out that you have to download all three from different websites - and you have always been able to download them for free without buying any Behringer products. That's not dishonest or immoral, but it IS skeezy.
I'm a very happy camper with this product. If anything changes after a few months, I'll let you all know.
UPDATE - One year in and everything is still just fine. Now that I figured out how to set it up (with help from a Behringer tech guy), I'd give it 5 stars for sound. But I won't because I had to email them to make it work.
BTW - Please see my answer to the first comment for details about setup.
UPDATE #2 - Everything is still working fine, but I found out some new information.
1) The $90-200 devices that input audio into your computer don't actually sound any better than this device. But they come with inputs for mics, guitars, keyboards, guitars and the like. So if that's what you want to do, buy one of them. But if you already own a mixer that does not have a USB connector, just plug that mixer into this device and get on with your recording.
2) A professional audio engineer, NwAvGuy, has measured the 202 to be extremely flat and the noise level to be below audibility. He thought the build quality was good and the electronic circuit implementation was superb. He even liked the cheap headphone volume control. His bottom line: "the Behringer UCA202 line outputs measure very well even for a more expensive DAC."
But he notes that the headphone output only works well with high impedance headphones (like a pro would use). Cheap consumer phones that run at 16 or 32 ohms don't sound so good. I have pro phones, so I never noticed it. He'll tell you all about it.
NwAvGuy UPDATE - Apparently, Amazon will not let me link to the review. So put "NwAvGuy Behringer" into Google and click on "NwAvGuy: Behringer UCA202 Review", and "NwAvGuy: UCA202 DAC Take 2" for his follow-up.
or try [...]
53 of 55 found the following review helpful:
Works well with Garageband -Jan 22, 2009
I am new to the world of in-home recording. I recently purchased a computer primarily for Garageband. I was having trouble recording an electric guitar plugged directly into the computer input. The guitar signal was sporadic at best.
This product has solved my problem and seems, so far, to work well with Garageband. There is no additional software to install. It simply plugs into the usb port and is automatically detected by the computer.
I give it only four stars because there was some frustration involved. There are no 1/4" inputs for a standard guitar plug - Only RCA inputs for this device. This is something you may not discern from the items description (nudge, nudge). However, there are 1/4"-RCA guitar cables available that work just fine. I just thought others might like to know beforehand. Also, this item by itself is not good for CONTROLLING your signal. As I mentioned above, this recording business is new to me; so, maybe there are 'obvious' issues that I am unaware of. But, while the product does a nice job of making an electric guitar signal detectable, you will need to run it thru some other device to control the volume better. You do get some control from the guitar volume & Garageband itself, but not enough. I plug my guitar into a multi-effects processor, then the processor out into the Behringer (via 1/4"-RCA), then the Behringer into the MAC via usb. I also tried using the Behringer with a small practice amp in the chain, but there was too much hiss. Using the effects processor without the amp in the mix works best.
I am happy with the product and would recommend it for use with Garageband.
31 of 32 found the following review helpful:
Eliminate BuzzSep 19, 2008
By N. Webb
Had nasty ground buzz recording directly through sound card. This device cleared it up. I use it to record music and spoken word in stereo and have been very impressed with the quality and quietness. The headphone jack on the side with volume control is very handy during recording too. It helps hear exactly what you are recording. Stereo out is handy too. Works great on laptop and desktop.
123 of 151 found the following review helpful:
Functions, but not as high quality as advertized.Aug 10, 2009
By T. Harward
People have been coming at me with torches and pitchforks for this review lately, so let me clarify some things.
First, I made the evaluation using speakers and the RCA outputs directly. So it's not a headphone impedance mismatch issue. NwAvGuy had a great detailed measurements-based review of the UCA-202 that I'm fully aware of now, and I have to disagree with him. I think he's very headstrong and overconfident, and it biases his results toward trusting his methodology too much, and he gives no room for doubt in his results or for subjective output analysis. As a scientist, I find his attitude suspect. But that's an ad-hominem argument, so take it with a grain of salt: the point is that I personally believe he's missing something in his analysis.
Second, this review is SUBJECTIVE. Most reviews are! This particular subjective review was made from the point of view of getting an "audiophile-grade" experience. Of course we all want to believe we can get an audiophile experience for a scant $30, that would be great! And there are certainly some devices that do that--like the Sonic Impact T-Amp which really does live up to its hype. I think this little unit is an excellent sound utility! You will most certainly get audio that is good enough for almost any purpose out of this device. It is a DAC. It works. I'm not saying it sounds horrible here, I'm saying it doesn't have the top 2% needed to make the experience real. And it's not because of the price (I tested this DAC, as well as the comparison DACs, through that little $35 Sonic Impact T-Amp, which easily resolved their differences), but because of the device itself. I personally believe that the quality is somewhat limited by the price, but it doesn't have to be. There are DACs today for even cheaper than 4 years ago, FiiO makes some great ones, as do other companies. The UCA-202 however is still the same, and I don't think it's improved much while other companies have been innovating and bringing down the price of high quality audio.
If you're going to write a comment on this review attempting to argue with it, you're not the person this review was intended for, and you're wasting your time. Don't bother. Please, purchase and enjoy the UCA-202 instead--and don't worry about how it sounds, because it will sound just fine. If you're the kind of person this review was intended for, you probably won't be thinking about the UCA-202 anyway, but this review is intended to validate that obvious conclusion.
Thanks, and please, spend your valuable time doing something better than arguing about the sound quality of little $30 devices on the internet. I've moved on.
This device is great for those who just want to get sound in and out of the computer conveniently without plugging in too many audio cables. It is nice to sit down at a desk, plug in the USB hub, and get sound in and out right away. I used mine to connect out to my ADS monitors and in from my run-of-the-mill Behringer 802 mixer.
Key word "used." After a few hours of listening to the device, both recording and playback, I realized that it actually sounded worse than the headphone output on my laptop. Now, realize that I am a stickler for audio quality - your needs may vary - but for those with good ears this may be useful information. The sound is dead and lifeless, without much clarity or image. It seems as though a veil lies between me and the music that I can't get rid of.
This, my good-eared friends, is the problem with a cheap DAC. That's the Digital-to-Analog converter, and it's what takes the bits from your computer and decides how to make sound waves out of them. Devices such as this one are cheap for a reason - the DAC chips and op-amps and components in the signal path are cheaply bought and cheaply constructed, and you'll get that signature veiled Behringer (oops, am I generalizing?) 'cheap' sound.
If you have good ears and know you will be able to hear a difference - do yourself a favor and invest in a good DAC and ADC instead of this. You will thank yourself many times later on for it. There are many options in the $100-$200 range that those with good ears will (unfortunately for our wallets) require.
So this review is mainly targeted as a warning to folks with discerning ears. However, if you're just looking for simple input and output and aren't running it to a good set of monitors or doing serious recording, then this will do just fine. If you know you won't be able to hear the difference, there's obviously no point in spending any more than this. Enjoy!
(As a side note - if you're wondering why I care so much, let me put it simply: I think I end up listening to and enjoying more music when it sounds remarkably real. It's way more enjoyable. That's all. If you can avoid it, I suggest staying blissfully unaware of this fact; it's way cheaper.)
17 of 18 found the following review helpful:
Great as a external sound cardOct 04, 2011
By a new yorker
Was looking for a USB DAC. I'm using this as a external sound card. The UCA202 was easy to install plug and play, and one step. Behringer's instructions are sparse. Really sparse. Ikea sparse. If you just plug it in then Windows (tried it on Windows 7/64-bit and Vista 32-bit) will install a generic usb sound driver. This sounds fine. There is a lag with video clips.
Solution: Install the custom driver from the Behringer site. (32, 64, 32/64 flavors. Might have to change "Playback Device" manually in the sound control panel, I can't remember. WOW!!! The sound quality is AMAZING with the custom driver. No more lag. I read a few reviews that say the sound is poor, the reason is probably the *generic* driver. Volume dial could be a bigger. I don't know what the monitor switch does, I'm guessing you need additional software to enable it ???
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