Yulong Audio U200 DSD 32bit 384KHz DAC Headphone Amplifier

General Information

Yulong Audio U200 is a high price/performance ratio USB DAC and headphone amplifier which is designed for dedicated high performance audio. It supports PCM formats up to 32Bit/384KHz and DSD.

AKM 4495, the flagship DAC chip of the Premium Audio series from AKM is playing in the core of decoding. It may not have the best measurement performance; Oxygen Free Copper (OFC) lead outs internal hook ups and filters optimized for actual listening experience rather than measurement. Such details distinguish this chip from other solutions, which are mostly optimized for measurement performance, and make it a DAC chip with music sense in its nature. The power supply in U200 is AC internal regulation which is a step up from the external DC supply on its predecessor U100, and provides an optimized distribution for the DAC and the headphone amplifier, and results in a full output scale comparable to full sized system.

The headphone amplifier is fully discrete, class-A construction and paired with a dedicated analogue input, so the U200 can be used as a pure headphone amplifier if desired. AKM4495’s musical nature in mind, U200 is an all-around rich and full, very musical DAC with exceptional driving power in its class, and it can drive most popular dynamic headphones with satisfied result.

WiFi Support: Smart phones and tablets based on iOS or Android platform can install the free app, and then it can play music stored either on the phone/tablet, or NAS and media server. All these applications support up to 32Bit/384KHz and DSD format.

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Pros: smooth and detailed sound, low output impedance, lots of power, build quality, good WiFi module, great DAC, analogue RCA inputs
Cons: some minor channel imbalance with my unit, source selector on the back

Before I start with my review, I’d like to thank Yulong Audio for providing me with a sample of their U200 in exchange for my honest opinion. Please note that I’m not affiliated with Yulong Audio in any way.

The U200 is the U100’s (which I used to own some years ago, and it could satisfy me with every headphone I used, so I’ll include some comparisons in my review) successor that was improved in many ways, not to say all.

Technical Specifications:

USB input supports PCM 16-32 Bit, 44.1KHz, 48KHz, 88.2KHz, 96KHz, 176.4KHz, 192KHz, 352.8KHz, 384KHz, and DSD64 and DSD128.
USB supports Mac OSX, Linux, and Windows XP to Windows 8, 32 bit or 64 bit system (driver required).
Signal to Noise Ratio: 120dB
Dynamic range: >115dB
Distortion: 0.0016%
Frequency response: -0.2dB @ 20Hz and 20KHz
Crosstalk: -110dB
Maximum line output: 2V RMS
Headphone output power: 60mW @ 600Ω, 150mW @ 300Ω,280mW @ 250Ω, 500mW @ 32Ω
Power consumption: <15W

DAC: AKM4495
Amp: Class A
USB controller: Saviaudio SA9227

Delivery Content:

In contrast to its predecessor, the U200 comes with partly slightly less accessories and lacks of a traveling pouch, a 6.35 to 3.5 mm adapter and 3.5 mm to RCA adapter, although the latter is not necessary due to the analogue RCA inputs.

The cardboard box the amp arrives in is very sturdy and well bolstered and shows a blue-coloured audio measurement graph on its outside.
Next to the amp itself, it contains the WiFi module, the fitting antenna, a USB cable (that is usable with the WiFi module and a PC), a power cord for connecting the U200 to the WiFi module, self-adhesive foam feet for the WiFi module and last but not least a grounded IEC cable with Chinese pin-layout.
As the U200’s (which is by the way longer than its predecessor) power supply is now integrated to the case, one doesn’t have to buy a separate power supply that fits into German/European wall sockets, but can use any grounded IEC cable.

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Looks, Feels, Build Quality:

The black brushed metal housing looks timeless, feels very well and is comparatively heavy in weight and very well built. The hexagon socket screws are flush bordered into the front, just as the Yulong emblem.
On the far left is the analogue power switch (that doesn’t have a power-up delay, just like the U100), next to three orange LEDs that indicate power, playback in USB and WiFi DAC mode and DSD playback. The recessed 6.35 mm headphone jack is located on the right half of the centre, next to the volume potentiometer that is on the right, which is not stepped like the U100’s, but free-running and has got a good resistance that doesn’t feel too loose.
One will notice several changes on the U200’s back. Next to the RCA DAC Line Out is now a pair of analogue RCA Line In sockets, as well as a source selector switch (that I’d rather liked to see on the front or alternatively two source indicator LEDs) next to the USB input that can either be used to connecting a PC or the WiFi module. Right to the USB output is a 5 V DC output for powering the WiFi module.
A useful improvement was to move the power supply into the U200’s housing, wherefore just an IEC cable with country-specific pin layout is required for powering the amplifier. Underneath the IEC socket is an easy accessible port for the fuse with a spare one next to it.

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The small WiFi module has got a connector for the antenna, a 5 V DC input for using the U200’s 5 V DC output, a USB input (wherefore no special cable is required for the connection), a reset button and three orange LEDs that indicate power, operational readiness and possible fails.

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In general, the U200 has got a whole range of additional features and improvements compared to its predecessor, the U100.
Besides the improved ingredients (the power supply has moved into the enclosure, the Saviaudio SA9227 chip is used as audio interface, a renewed customized ultra-low phase noise clock is used to reduce jitter and noise from the audio signal, and the great AKM4495 DAC chip is used for the USB decoder), the front features additional LED indicators and the rear has got a dedicated pair of analogue RCA inputs along with a source selector switch and a digital USB input that can also be used for connecting the WiFi module with its antenna and power supply, which allows wireless streaming from Android and iOS devices and can also be used for accessing media servers together with the Yulong app for Android and iOS.
The U200 is able to decode PCM files with a bit rate of up to 32 bit and a resolution of up to 384 kHz and DSD files both in USB and wireless mode.

Headphone Amplifier:

The U200 can also be used as pure headphone amplifier only, wherefore it has got, unlike its predecessor that featured just a 3.5 mm analogue input, a pair of dedicated analogue RCA inputs on its back.


For using the U200 as USB DAC with a Windows computer, one firstly has to download and install the required audio drivers from the Yulong website. It’s not plug and play, but it is so easy that chances to fail are minor and the installation process is fairly easy and fast.
After a system reboot, the U200 can be selected in the Microsoft control panel’s audio settings.

I used the U200 with Foobar 2000 as playback software with additionally installed ASIO, DSD and SACD drivers.


After just a few seconds of initialising after powering on, the WiFi module is ready to use, which can be seen by the orange “Fail” LED disappearing.
With iOS devices, one has to select “YULONG Audio” in the wireless network settings, and then the iDevice connects to the U200. In the quick settings (that can be accessed by sliding from the bottom of the screen to about its centre), one then has to select the U200 as Airplay device, then music is played through the Yulong U200, which then also shows an orange shining “Play” LED on its front.
A convenient thing is that the Volume can be lowered in the iDevice’s playback software (just as when it is used as USB DAC with a Windows PC) to gain a better adjustment range with sensitive headphones and In-Ears.

With the iOS app (there’s also an Android app), the U200’s wireless display name can be changed, and, as it seems, the DAC can be used to access a NAS server.

I didn’t further test with Android devices, integrated networks and NAS, as I lack of experience in this field of application and failed getting it working, but DSD and 32 bit PCM playback are also possible with them.
Airplay with iDevices however worked great and easily with easy setup.


I evaluated U200’s sound, for its class A amplifier Yulong suggests a warm-up time of at least 15 minutes, with full-sized headphones (Superlux HD681, Beyerdynamic DT880 600 Ohm, Sennheiser HD 800, Audeze LCD-X) and In-Ear monitors (Etymotic ER-4S, Ultimate Ears Triple.Fi 10, Shure SE846, UERM).
Source devices that were connected analogue (a) and digitally (d) were my iPhone 4 (d), my Windows 7 Laptop (d), my iBasso DX90 (a) and Pioneer PD-S 701 (a); music files were stored as MP3s (320 kBps cbr), AACs, CDs, FLACs, Hi-Res and DSD files.

Output Impedance, Frequency Response:

Although the potentiometer has got a good channel matching right from the start, it shows some minor imperfection with the U200 I received. Almost over the whole adjustment range, it shows some slight imbalance of (depending on its position) 1 to 0.5 dB – the U100 I used to own behaved better as it had perfect channel matching after just four steps, but I know at least one owner that had a U100 which showed slight channel imbalance, just as my U200 now does. I guess it is due to minor production tolerance of the potentiometers.
Imbalance is moderately audible with sinus and pink noise signals, but only very slightly audible with music and only with very hard concentration, and it can be corrected in the Windows sound settings when used as USB DAC.
Except for the minor channel imbalance, frequency response is commendably flat, just as it should be and my (unloaded) measurements below prove:

Analogue Input:






Frequency response also remains commendably flat with critical In-Ear monitors that have a varying impedance response, such as the Ultimate Ears Triple.Fi 10 that will get a highly altered frequency response when connected to high-impedance sources, which the U200 isn’t:
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The deviation of just less than 1.5 dB shows that the U200’s output impedance is less than 2 Ohms (and therefore iPhone 4S-level, a device that has shown to be one of the best smartphones for critical In-Ears due to its quite low output impedance), which also makes the amplifier suitable for critical In-Ears with multiple Balanced Armature transducers, although it is better suited for full-sized headphones due to the lack of a gain switch and the high output power, but it is good to know that the Yulong engineers developed the U200’s circuit so well that it even performs extremely well with critical In-Ear monitors with varying impedance response which is due to their crossovers and multiple Balanced Armature transducers. With dynamic In-Ears and full-sized headphones, frequency response is just as perfectly flat as without any load at all.

Just as its predecessor, the U200’s output impedance is very low with less than two Ohms.


With all of my tested full-sized headphones and the ER-4S, I couldn’t detect any hiss or ground noise, just as I expected from a well-designed amplifier circuit, and even with my sensitive UERM and Triple.Fi 10, hiss was extremely low and close to being inaudible. With one of my most hiss-revealing IEMs, the Shure SE846, I could hear some ground noise, but it was covered by the music, even in rather quiet passages, once I started playback.
That there is only little hiss even with very sensitive multi-Balanced Armature In-Ear monitors shows that Yulong’s engineers did a great job in terms of clean implementation – neat!

Resolution, Precision, Soundstage:

If I had to subjectively describe the U200’s sound, I’d say its signature is very clean, rather on the analogue-smooth side than analytical, but with detailed highs and an overall high resolution.
Lows are precise, though rather on the musical side, but without sounding undefined or imprecise or even slow, and have got a good amount of details and impact.
Mids are detailed and lush; voices are reproduced very well and detailed.
Highs are rather on the analogue side too, but are high resolving, but with a slightly forgiving character and zero listening fatigue.

The DAC’s and amplifier’s resolution are on a high level and the U200 doesn’t have any problems driving high impedance cans or critical In-Ears with varying impedance response.
Soundstage is of a good shape and balanced in terms of width and depth and with good imaging and spatial presentation and three-dimensional.

Differences between the Inputs:

Analogue Input:

With the WiFi module being connected, there is some minor noise (that disappears when it’s disconnected), but only with sensitive IEMs. I can’t say whether it occurs because of EMP interferences from my WiFi router and other radiation or comes from the WiFi module itself, but it is so small and only audible with the Shure SE846 (and inaudible with the ER-4S and my full-sized headphones) wherefore it is irrelevant, as the U200 was mainly developed for full-sized headphones, although it performs extremely well with In-Ears, too.


Sound in USB DAC mode is highly transparent and detailed and lacks any interruptions or other interference.


To my surprise, sound remains transparent when using the WiFi module and is on the same level of resolution and precision as with the USB DAC or analogue input, but shows some interference noise in rather quiet passages of the music, even with full-sized headphones. If it occurs due to EMP interference of my WiFi router and other devices or is generated by the module itself isn’t fully replicable. As it only occurs in rather quiet passages, it may only be bothering with music that has got a high dynamic range with suddenly changing volume and very quiet passages and low listening levels.


The successor of the already excellent U100 features fundamental improvements with today’s decoding electronics and a subjectively and metrologically excellent sound and premium and solid build quality. Ground noise is extremely low and far from being audible with full-sized headphones and even very low with highly sensitive In-Ear monitors.
Sound is transparent, smooth and very detailed, and the amplifier doesn’t have any problems driving high impedance and low sensitivity headphones with its powerful 2 V class A section. Sound remains transparent and doesn’t lack behind wired inputs (except for some minor noise) when the WiFi module is being used.
The only small criticism I have is the (with my sample) small potentiometer imbalance of between 1 and 0.5 dB, although there is quite a good balance right from the start and this slight imbalance can only be heard with mono recordings or very hard concentration. Two other things that I found somewhat unhandy are that the source selector switch is located on the back (I’d prefer it on the front or source indicator LEDs on the front instead if the switch remains on the back) and that the amplifier lacks a power-up delay, but those are just very minor flaws in my opinion and are up to one’s personal preferences.

All in all, I can definitely recommend the superb U200 that is well made and has a subjectively and metrologically great sound.
Pros: Expansive, Natural & Relaxed Sound presentation, Excellent Build Quality.
Cons: Absence of Alps Blue Velvet Pot

Me: I am a 21 year old student living in a small town in India. I would like to call myself a music enthusiast, rather than an audiophile. I was inspired by music since childhood, and as the time passed, the passion of music grew in me, and that subsequently led me to join Head-Fi. Eventually, I found the pleasure of listening to music mainly by the HD600 and recently, by the seductive LCD2 headphones, and realized the true components of recorded music. I usually like to listen to Indian Classical Music along with Bollywood songs. My main listening genres include classical, vocal, instrumental, jazz and sometimes pop.  With time, my sonic preferences have very much grown. I avidly admire transparency, accuracy along with neutrality, I mostly listen to full sized open back headphones and my all-time favorite headphones are Sennheiser HD800 & AKG K812, which I run from solid state amplifiers. I prefer & admire transparent solid state headphone amplifiers simply because they provide best possible accuracy, transparency & reliability.
I am an average consumer & a humble enthusiast, I pen down my thoughts, & I love to express my feelings. I do not receive for any sort financial benefits through this review. My articles are a purely honest writeup aimed for fellow enthusiasts here at Head-Fi community. My profound thanks to Yulong Audio for arranging a sample unit of U200 for my evaluation.

Intro:  Founded in 2009, ShenZhen YuLong Electronics Co., Ltd, (better known as Yulong Audio) is a company specializes in designing and manufacturing High-end headphone amplifiers & DAC’s. The R&D of the company consists of senior audiophiles and a team with proven experience of electronic product development for more than a decade. YuLong is devoted to produce components that are not only sonically superior to the ear, but also economically affordable on the wallet.
Yulong Audio is a well respected brand specializing in the area of high end solid stage Amplifiers & DAC’s. Even though a relatively newer establishment in the field,  Yulong Audio managed to capture attention of the world by their attractive offerings. Yulong Audio made well performing devices to be available in a very competitive price, and by retaining a world class technology & superior quality.   This made them a well known name across the Audiophile World.  
Yulong Audio’s U200 is a high performance USB DAC and headphone amplifier which is designed for dedicated high end audio. It supports PCM formats up to 32Bit/384KHz and DSD.

The U200 utilizes SaviAudio SA9227 for its USB audio interface solution. AKM 4495, the flagship DAC chip of the Premium Audio series from AKM internal hook ups and filters optimized for actual listening experience rather than measurement. Such details distinguish this chip from other solutions, which are mostly optimized for measurement performance, and make it a DAC chip with music sense in its nature. The power supply in U200 is AC internal regulation which is a step up from the external DC supply on its predecessor U100. The headphone amplifier is fully discrete, class-A construction and paired with a dedicated analogue input, so the U200 can be used as a pure headphone amplifier if desired.
Technical specifications of U200:
USB input supports PCM 16-32 Bit: 44.1KHz, 48KHz, 88.2KHz, 96KHz, 176.4KHz, 192KHz, 352.8KHz, 384KHz, and DSD64 and DSD128

USB supports Mac OSX, Linux, and Windows XP to Windows 8, 32 bit or 64 bit system (driver required).
Signal to Noise Ratio: 120dB

Dynamic range: >115dB

Distortion: 0.0016%

Frequency response: -0.2dB @ 20Hz and 20KHz

Crosstalk: -110dB

Maximum line output: 2V RMS
Power consumption: <15W

Headphone output power:  500mW @ 32Ω, 280mW @ 250Ω, 150mW @ 300Ω,60mW @ 600Ω,

Packaging & Accessories: The U200 comes packed in Yulong Audio’s standard white coloured cardboard box having a graphical illustration, there are ample amount of accessories included in the package
Included Accessories:
User manual: Contains instruction about operating U200, aswell as warranty information.
USB Cable: Good quality USB A-B cable to connect U200 to computer.
Power Cable: Plug as specified US/UK/AU/EU
WiFi Module: Which includes a separate DC power cable& an antenna
Rubber feets: 3M branded rubber feets to attach the WiFi module to main body.

Design and Build: The U200 excellent  top-notch overall build quality with perfect finishing. 
The outer case is made up of aluminium, and is polished & brush finished. Excellently finished surfaces with utmost precision. The U200 is fairly compact in size. Weighs about two kilograms. On the front side, we have Volume control knob, headphone jack is present in 6.5mm format along with a power switch. On the rear side, we have USB input port, power ports a switch for input swapping along with analogue Input & output ports. Power button is very rugged & tough, Volume knob operates in a very smooth  & steady fashion. RCA jacks are gold plated, feels good quality platings. Headphone socket is ball bearing type & goes easy on the headphone jack, does not cause scratches on the surface.
Considering the Internal components, U200 has a double sided PCB with no manual wirings. All components used are carefully selected; including all dale resistors, Alps-16 series pot, premium caps. For D/A conversion, the U200 employs SaviAudio SA9227 for USB & 32 Bits/384 KHZ capable AKM Chip. There are no user replaceable/serviceable parts inside the U200. Board is well soldered and has a reliable workmanship. The U200 runs very cool, sometimes gets slightly warm due to being Class-A. It supports 32 bits 384 KHZ & DSD format. Driver installation is a must, & drivers can be downloaded easily on Yulong Audio’s website. It can also act as standalone headphone amplifier when fed with RCA inputs & standalone DAC when output utilized via RCA outputs sockets. DAC output is very powerful & sonically very well performing. When used in standalone amplifier mode fed with external DAC’s, the output power is still ample & plenty, and retains its transparency, with sound signature of the feeding source.
The U200 also contains optional WiFi module which can be connected to U200 main body & have wireless flow of input signals to U200. Smartphone users have to download an Yulong Audio app over Google Play, then can activate WiFi operation, hence avoid hassle of input USB cable. But this is not always useful since U200 is a desktop device & generally we all have PC right beside our amp/dac's.

Sound:  The U200 provides a very neutral, detailed  & vast, sound character with a touch of ‘naturalness’ in sonic presentation. Sound-stage width is superb & expansive. Overall an amazing performance. Lows are full bodied , very accurate and go very deep. Mids sound clear, slightly sound ‘sweet’ if I must say; U200 has a very slight ‘mellow & sweet’  flavour here in mids. Highs are very clean, airy, very detailed, but slightly smoother in presentation.
Soundstage in U200 is spatial & expansive. It has a fully circular 3D imaging. Detail retrieval, and dynamics are excellent, perhaps one of the best for an Amp/Dac under 500$ (along with HPA-3U). Overall the sonic presentation is very pleasing yet maintains high level of transparency and accuracy.  Absolutely zero audible hiss/noise, and zero EMI pickup.  But slight ‘pop’ is heard on headphones, when U200 is switched on/off.
Driving Power: The U200 is very powerful when it comes to driving headphones. Drove my AKG K702 (which is a demanding headphone when it comes to amplifiers) well with 25% volume pot utilized. Both AKG K812 & HD800 shined with U200.  Also tried my trusty LCD-2’s, U200 drove them very well, but lacked synergy. It anything drives from IEM’s to planar magnetic with ease. Volume pot does a very good job here, volume increase very steady and in a smooth fashion. No channel imbalance, starts right away with both R & L equally.
Overall, the U200 impressed me in sound department, It provided a vast & relaxed listening experience to me for hours together.

Comparison:  A very good competitor for U200 we have here is none other than the Matrix-M Stage HPA-3U, which is also similarly priced & has similar functions. Now we have a tough competition, both newly released amp/dac’s, are priced around very well @ 400$ & both perform really well.
The HPA-3U has user-changeable gain 5/10/20X settings, & 230V/110V AC voltage switch to use in various parts of world without any hassle. It also has an internally swappable op-amp for any such rolling. Another advantage the HPA posses over U200 is that the HPA-3U has Alps blue velvet pot, which is simply well ahead of  Alps-16 used in the U200. The U200 offers WiFi module for an additional 100$, which I sometimes feel not very necessary.
Whereas the Yulong U200’s gain is fixed, but it drives all earphones & headphones well. AC voltage switch is not present, and can be a drawback for frequent international travellers. In terms of build quality & workmanship, the U200 clearly has an upper hand with superior build inside& out, HPA-3U follows very closely, with slightly inferior part quality & design in few areas. The U200 has a very neutral & expansive sound quality with a touch of naturalness: sweet mids, slightly smooth highs & full bodied bass. Soundstage is  deeper & more expansive in U200. HPA-3U has stronger bass with a slight bump, clear & open mids along with clear, & revealing highs, and not exactly ‘natural’ if I must say. I would rather call HPA-3U more analytic & clinical that the U200, but only with a slight margin.
In end of the day, both HPA-3U and U200 have an excellent performance & high value aspect associated with the price paid. Here the decision makes up of preferences only & sound quality almost same on both the devices.

Conclusion:  The Yulong Audio U200 is a very well performing USB DAC/Amp combo unit.  It impressed me in sound presentation. I can recommend the U200 for any music enthusiast who would like a full size headphone amp/dac with excellent sonic qualities & performance aspect under a decent price tag. I feel the U200, is more suitable for musical pleasure, rather than critical listening. Its workmanship is of high standards, and thus very reliable & robust in operation. U200 also has very good synergy & pairing with world famous high end headphones like HD800 & K812. Sonic presentation was in a very relaxed, expansive and in a natural manner, but without losing out on transparency & details.
Though excellent performing , I will reduce half a star from five star rating, for excluding Alps blue velvet pot & 230/110 Voltage input switch.
1) Design and Build: U200 has very well designed and implemented build.  Both internal & external build quality is supreme with very good workmanship.
2) Sound quality: The sonic presentation on this little unit is very neutral & expansive but with a touch of”sweetness & naturalness” in presentation. Sonically, performs very well.  Powerful enough to drive any dynamic headphones.
Cons:  The U200 did not have employ blue velvet pot, which disappointed me slightly. It is well known fact that Blue velvet does indeed provide few considerable sonic improvement than rest of the volume pot’s.


great review,
Good review
Is the dac out volume controlled?
Can you use the wifi from a laptop? iOS/Android?


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