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Unison USB™

USB: Elevated

Model
Installation

$200

In stock

Description

FAQ

Want a USB input that can plug easily into all popular sources without drivers—and deliver performance that can go head-to-head with all the crazy inconvenient options out there? Then you want to upgrade your Bifrost, Gungnir, or Yggdrasil to Unison USB™. 
 
The new Unison USB input board features:
  1. A completely unique USB input receiver based on a Microchip PIC32 microprocessor with Schiit's proprietary code.
  2. Complete electromagnetic and electrostatic isolation.
  3. Self-power by the DAC for the critical low-noise re-clocking and latching sections.
  4. Precision local clocks for both 44.1 and 48k multiples.
  5. NO SUPPORT FOR ANTIQUE WINDOWS. If you're not on Windows 10, stick to Gen 5.
The new Unison USB board is an upgrade for any Bifrost, Gungnir, or Yggdrasil with the Gen 1, 2, 3, or 5 USB inputs, and now ships standard with every new Gungnir and Yggdrasil. Bifrost 2 uses Unison USB as standard with a unique Autonomy card.
 
Schiit Scheduling System Reduces Upgrade Time
Our convenient scheduling system that allows you to keep your Bifrost, Gungnir, or Yggdrasil until we’re ready to do your upgrade immediately. Just place your order, and follow the steps in the series of emails. You’ll be notified when your order is accepted, when to send in your DAC, when the work is performed, and when it’s shipped back to you, for complete transparency.
 
Other Installation Options
For Bifrost or Yggdrasil, you can choose to have the Unison USB board sent to you directly, fully tested and protected in an antistatic bag. Please note that by selecting this option, you are saying, "Yes, I am, or know, a competent electronics technician who does not need hand-holding for this installation, and I will not allow an inexperienced person to perform the upgrade, since I understand there are no user-serviceable parts inside." Gungnirs must come back to Schiit for motherboard reprogramming to be compatible with Unison USB. 
 
2-Year Warranty
Unison USB upgrades are covered by a 2-year warranty or the balance of the original factory warranty, whichever is greater. For factory-installed upgrades on out-of-warranty products, this re-activates the warranty on the complete product for 2 years. One caveat: Schiit may refuse to do upgrades on heavily modified products. For self-installed upgrades, you can return the card in its original packaging, in undamaged and operational condition, in 15 days for a refund, minus 15% reinspection and restocking fee. Schiit installed upgrades cannot be returned. 

What’s all this hoo-ha about Unison USB?
Unison USB is our own proprietary USB input, not based on C-Media or XMOS or any other off-the-shelf USB receiver out there. Instead, we spent a couple of person-years developing our own code for a standard Microchip PIC32 microprocessor, which allowed us to create a higher-performing USB input than anything else on the market.

But, USB inputs, like, kinda suck.
Not Unison USB. Even Mike Moffat, the famous “friends don’t let friends use USB” guy, prefers Unison to SPDIF.
 
Prefers?
Yes.
 
Mike Moffat prefers USB input?
Yes.
 
Wait a second, my head just exploded.
We know how you feel.
 
Why is Unison USB so special?
Unison USB is special because Mike Moffat harnessed the power of Prometheus with a sacrifice of ten thousand virgin deer and became The Digital God of the Universe, The Singular, The Bit-Sighted, The Master of All Ones and Zeros. Or, more seriously, because it was developed for a single purpose: to provide the highest performance input for PCM digital, period. It doesn’t have one beeelion un-used functions, nor is it trying to optimize for five different unicorn formats that will probably be gone tomorrow. It also uses very high-quality local clocks and offers complete electrostatic and electromagnetic isolation from the source. It also provides lower power draw and complete UAC2 compatibility. 
 
What formats does Unison USB support?
PCM, up to 24/192. That's it.
 
No DSD?
No.
 
No MQA?
Hell no.

No 32/384 or 32/768 or 64/1536 or whatever else people will make up tomorrow?
How much music you got at 32/384 or 32/768? That is really recorded at those rates? That has had those rates preserved through the mastering chain? That has been recorded at the center of a collapsed star at sub-zero temperatures using Gallifreyan technology to achieve the 192dB dynamic range of 32 bits? Yeah, thought so.
 
So what platforms does your Unison USB input support?
Actually, the question should be “What platforms support your Unison USB input?” since our Unison USB input is 100% UAC2 compliant (that is, USB Audio Class 2, the accepted standard for USB audio transmission.) So, here you go:
  • Linux. As in, most popular streamers, from the Sonore MicroRendu to the Salk Streamer. Note “most.” Also most Linux distros that support UAC2 natively will be plug and play. Please note that we cannot provide detailed technical support for Linux.
  • Windows 10. Yes, Windows 10 only. We don’t provide UAC2 drivers for earlier versions of Windows, sorry. Yes, it is time to step into the present (not the future, Windows 10 has been out for a couple of years now.) Yes, it is time to upgrade. Yes, it’s worth it. Windows 10 is actually a very nice platform.
  • Mac OSX. From 10.10 on up, Macs are good to go. Sometimes you’ll run into power management problems that will require you to turn off App Nap. Got an older version of MacOS? See the comments on Windows above. Time to upgrade. The software is free.
  • iOS. From iOS7 on up, iOS devices work with USB Camera Connection Kit, Lightning to USB Camera Adapter, a Lightning to USB3 Camera Adapter, or directly with the new USB-C models. 
  • Android. Most Android devices that shipped with Android M or above will work using a USB OTG cable. Some may require separate player software, like USB Audio Player Pro.