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304 of 311 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars DON'T BE CONFUSED
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...
Published on February 26, 2011 by Pennywhistler

versus
125 of 157 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Functions, but not as high quality as advertized.
Update 4/2013:

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,...
Published on August 9, 2009 by T. Harward


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304 of 311 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars DON'T BE CONFUSED, February 26, 2011
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Behringer UCA202 Audio Interface (Electronics)
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 UCA202, 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.
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81 of 86 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great inexpensive tool for stereo recording via USB port, January 6, 2007
By 
This thing is great. I needed to bypass my crappy soundcard on my PC in order to record high quality stereo audio onto my computer for a podcast. I had just shelled out $80 for the Inport Deluxe package from Xitel, which is basically a little analog-audio-to-USB adapter box similar to this, with a long audio cable and some bad software thrown in to justify the steep pricetag. Luckily I saved the receipt on the Inport and was able to take it back after discovering this item, which you can find for about $30 all over the internet.

The UCA202 has a headphone jack with a volume control so you can monitor what's being recorded to your computer, as you record it. Just be aware that you won't be able to listen to the playback from your audio recording software through your computer's monitor speakers unless you unplug this device from your USB port first, and there is no warning about this in the manual, which is why the 4 star review instead of 5. On some review sites there seemed to be confusion about what drivers were required to work with this device, but the first page of the manual states clearly that you don't need any drivers. I am running Windows XP and was able to just plug and play, no drivers needed, audio is loud and clear. By the way this is not a paid endorsement or anything, I just wanted to spare someone else a lot of the research time that I spent by saying, go ahead and get it.

Oh and of course you do need a good audio recording software like ProTools, Sound Forge, or Cubase to do a decent job of recording audio on your computer and letting you edit it and manipulate it with professional sounding results. If you are recording audio from a turntable (digitizing your LP collection) don't forget that you need some sort of preamp or tuner amp between the phonograph and this device. The output straight out of your turntable is too weak a signal to drive this device.

A grateful shout-out and mad props for this device go the Germans at Behringer, who designed it.
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Product, April 21, 2007
By 
ComputerGuy (Coastal Carolina) - See all my reviews
I agree with the other reviewers with one exception. I recommend that a buyer download the driver provided at behringer.com. While UCA202 works without the driver, its capabilities are expanded and the user can better manage them with the driver. If you think it is good without the drivers, try it with them. By the way it also works with Vista.
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62 of 69 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Works well with Garageband -, January 22, 2009
This review is from: Behringer UCA202 Audio Interface (Electronics)
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.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eliminate Buzz, September 18, 2008
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Behringer UCA202 Audio Interface (Electronics)
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.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great item and can be monitored with the speakers, January 21, 2008
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I got this after purchasing a competitor's similar device (iMic) and finding poor reviews from audio purists about that model. This Behringer model had good reviews and was a similar price to I got one to try. It works well and has more rugged construction.

When I first set it up, it did not allow monitoring except through headphones. On my Windows XP system, I went to Control Panel and opened Sounds and Audio Devices. Then clicked the Audio tab and changed the Sound Playback device to the usual system device instead of the USB device that was apparently setup when this was installed. Then the music that was being recorded played through the computer speakers fine and that setting stayed when I closed the program and restarted. This was using Audacity for recording.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars also greatly improves audio output as digital to audio converter, November 29, 2008
By 
Bertran de BÚrn (Santa Monica, California) - See all my reviews
I bought this device to do audio recording and it works super for me for that. I've nothing to add to the other positive reviews in this regard except to emphasize that you need some sort of pre-amp to get the signal to line-level, and that the recording level will be controlled by whatever device you have to do that -- I use a Behringer mixer.

What I do want to add is that I discovered that it is also a superb digital to audio converter. Which is to say that, when listening to mp3s or web radio, or watching videos, the audio output through it is much, much better than that from the output jacks on on-board sound cards. What had sounded harsh and tinny now sounds musical and warm, and I've found this so with both a HP laptop and a Dell desktop, whether using headphones plugged into the UCA202's headphone-jack, or listening to a stereo system plugged into its RCA output jacks. The $30 that it cost would have been well spent for this improvement in audio output alone!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Works Great - Use to record LPs to iTunes, January 1, 2008
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This product works precisely as advertised. I use it to record my LPs to MP3 then import into iTunes. I have my old turntable feeding into a pre-amp, then from the pre-amp to this devise, which in turn plugs into one of my computer's USB ports. I use "Spin-it-again" software to capture the music files and save them to MP3 format. This set up was much cheaper than buying one of those USB turntables since I already had my old turntable. Good Luck.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great as a external sound card, October 4, 2011
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Behringer UCA202 Audio Interface (Electronics)
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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125 of 157 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Functions, but not as high quality as advertized., August 9, 2009
By 
T. Harward (Boston, MA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Behringer UCA202 Audio Interface (Electronics)
Update 4/2013:

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.

Original review:
===================================================

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.)
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Behringer UCA202 Audio Interface
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