The Unison USB option debuted in Schiit's all-new Bifrost 2 DAC launched in 2019. Now, Schiit is bringing Unison USB to all of its upgradable DACs: Bifrost, Gungnir, and Yggdrasil. As Schiit Audio explains, all models of these DACs, regardless of age, can be upgraded to Unison USB. Gungnir requires a motherboard firmware re-flash, which means it needs to be sent to Schiit Audio for the upgrade. Bifrost and Yggdrasil can be upgraded by any competent technician, or can be sent back to the factory, at the owner's choice. If the user chooses to have Schiit do the upgrade, they can continue to enjoy their DAC until it is ready to be upgraded, thanks to Schiit's upgrade queuing system.
The Unison USB boards feature Schiit's own USB input based on a general-purpose Microchip PIC32 microprocessor with the company's proprietary code, and using precision local clocks and complete electromagnetic and electrostatic isolation. "No more off-the-shelf USB for us — this unique, USB Audio Class 2 Device (UAC2) -compliant input provides the highest performance and lowest power draw of any USB input we’ve offered to date," explains Jason Stoddard, the company's co-founder.
"Unison USB is designed to do a single thing, and to do it better than anything else: deliver exceptional PCM audio performance," adds Mike Moffat, Schiit's Co-Founder and head of digital development. "As a result, Unison USB is now our preferred input over SPDIF. It's not 'just as good,' or 'close.' It's really better than SPDIF. And yes, that's me saying this, not an alien pod person."
The new Unison USB board is an upgrade for any Bifrost, Gungnir, or Yggdrasil with the Gen 1, 2, 3, or 5 USB inputs. Bifrost 2 uses Unison USB as standard with a unique Autonomy card. All new Gungnir and Yggdrasil models will now include the Unison USB input standard. Gungnir cost increases to $899 for the delta-sigma model, and $1299 for the Multibit version. Yggdrasil increases to $2449.
The Unison USB upgrade is available for purchase now for $150, or for $200 including installation by Schiit.