Pros: Size, portable use, Sound quality, price, plug and play, and customer support
Cons: Lacks features that some people like on the more expensive and larger DACs but honestly you cannot complain
The ud110 was recommended in a few different serious threads in the audio community, and I was intrigued to say the least, myself looking for more affordable options with out sacrificing too much and getting nice audio quality. I have tried a handful of DACs that some would consider the best value for your money in the 100-300$ price range. I know everyone has a preference as far as the flavor of audio, warm, cold, sterile and detailed, smooth and warm, etc. I have yet to really find a specific preference, but this not that I have not found I what I prefer with my actual DAC as in I like a more spacious, detailed, and transparent representation of the music. With this being paired with a slightly warmer but accurate amp and or headphones. WIth that said I think you can appreciate what Stoner has brought to the forefront with their products, these past couple years have been exciting and rapidly changing times for audio gear. With more and more DAC's being lessened to a minimal and small footprint of a device, all extra features and connectivity cut from the fray being left with usb asynchronous connection. This opens the doors for much more affordable high quality audio devices to be used for a minimal desk set up or on the go with a tablet/laptop or in some instances a smart phone. I appreciate and respect both sides in this ever growing and changing audio revolution, because I feel the more I hear about it the more it is becoming known and marketed which can be an awesome thing for the average consumer looking for the best deal.
The UD110 v1 and V2 do something fantastic at a incredibly low price point, being that I can buy computer games for more than this audio converter... which given the quality of sound that I am about to delve into is really impressive, and for some people it may be all they need paired with their favorite headphones and a respectable amplifier. I know for some who always want to try something newer and potentially better, and even being a 3 percent margin difference they take the 150$ price leap. I have nothing against either side if this can be your end game then fantastic, if this is used for on the go and put away at home for something bigger and better, and believe me more expensive then great.
It starts out I did not know what to expect when receiving the replacement V2 for the V1 that was not usable even with my installation of windows 7, and to save frustration of always commandeering my girl's computer to use the V1 I was sent the UD110 V2 from the amazing and quick customer support of Stoner Acoustics(great people and company). I already how an idea how this unit sounded being the UD110 v1 and v2 sound the same and the only real differences lie in that one is plug and play and the other original needs special drivers to be used on certain os. I cannot explain that I still somehow was unprepared for what uninterrupted listening of this device would do to me and my opinions...
I was pretty much blown away that a device I have listen to here and there could make an impact on me used on my computer for prolonged periods of time, and it did just that with out prejudice made all my tracks sound more transparent and detailed. I was surprised how closed the sound quality came to two more much more expensive units I had previously reviewed .The tracks and amp that I used with this device for review and comparison consisted of 16-24bit and 44.1-96khz FLAC files, used on both Foobar2000 and MediaMonkey music player. As far as amps I am much more limited to than the DACs I have on hand currently, being the Schiit Vali(used in most tests and comparisons), Gemini Doctor's WS1.2 Bluebird amp, and the govibe 5. The UD110 sounded great with all three of these amps, hands down best DAC I have used under 100$, and this unit comes very close to stepping in line with units that are considered great buys for their price of around and under 150$, such as: ODAC, CDAC+, Modi, Audioquest D.F. 1.2, and HRT MSII. I have used and or tried all of those but the DF 1.2, and I can honestly say that this unit comes very very closed to the ODAC and sounds better to my ears than the HRT MS. It is the fact that it goes for 50$ before shipping and sounds so much more than anything in this price point so far having heard perhaps one or two units.
It comes down to the quality with the mix of detail, transparency, the snappy and tight lows, and very honest staging dependent of course on the headphones used. I am not going to claim to know if there is no other DAC better at this price point, but I will say I would be surprised if there was something better and priced the same. I think if you this is a great if you an affordable DAC that has great quality, small footnote, minimal and simple in it's purposes, and finally portable. Paired with a nice entry amp like Vali, O2, or perhaps something like the Asgard even.I believe if someone was deciding between the ODAC and this trying to consider their options and budget, I would buy this and put the extra into something like the M-Stage Amp, Darkvoice, Project Ember, V-Can Mk2, etc. I believe you would neither be to let down if at all with the difference in audio quality with the two DACSs.