NuForce Icon HDP High Performance Headphone Amp, DAC and Preamp
Available in Black, Red, Blue or Silver
In the past couple of years, the market for DAC's with USB inputs has really taken off. As people move their whole music library over to a music server, and lossless and high resolution downloads of albums starts to become a reality, getting that audio from your PC to your Hi-Fi has become increasingly important. NuForce made a splash with their original Icon DAC, which featured a USB DAC, a couple of analog inputs, a 12W amp for a stereo speaker setup, and a headphone output. They have come back and improved upon that by releasing the new HDP model. The HDP drops the speaker outputs, but adds support for 24/96 USB audio, digital inputs that can handle 24/192 signal rates, and a more powerful headphone amp. While it seems like an ideal device for a desktop headphone setup, NuForce also says the DAC is good enough to be used in your main system setup,
The Nuforce Icon HDP incorporates a full-speed USB DAC and full-function S/PDIF D/A converter, plus a headphone-amplifier circuit and preamp output. Supporting digital USB, S/PDIF in coaxial and 3.5mm optical (3.5mm) modes, along with an analog line input, the HDP's flexibility has been designed to accommodate all manner of audio devices. Icon HDP is expected to compete with other DAC and preamp costing up to several times its price and serve as the heart of a high performance audio system.
Note: Icon HDP uses the same DAC as the high-end CDP-8 (MSRP $1450.00) and similar preamp as P-8S (MSRP $1650.00). The following design features contributed to the performance of Icon HDP
- The digital input has no capacitors in its signal path. The analog input utilizes a single DC-decoupling capacitor.
- Components along the signal path are minimized.
- The 24/96 USB interface outputs a I2S signal to a high-quality DAC.
- The digital circuit occupies a separate daughter board.
- The DAC chip consists of four internal 24/192kHz DACs that provide a fully differential and balanced output. The differential signal's DC offset operates without a need for decoupling caps.
- Digital and analog voltages each have separately isolated internal power regulations.
- USB 2.0 Full Speed compliant and 1.1 supported, 8-96kHz/16-24-bit
- S/PDIF input: Coaxial up to 192kHz/24-bit or Optical up to 192kHz/24-bit
- Analog input: 3.5mm or RCA input
Analogue Inputs RCA or 3.5mm when inserted
Digital input 8S/PDIF - Coaxial or 3.5mm Optical when inserted. Coaxial up to 192kHz/24-bit or Optical up to 192kHz/24-bit
USB DAC USB 1.0 and 1.1 up to 44.1kHz/16-bit, USB 2.0 Full-Speed up to 96kHz/24-bit
RCA Output 2.6 Vrms (cuts off when headphone is inserted)
288mW rms @ 30 Ohm
210mW rms @ 120 Ohm
152mW rms @ 300 Ohm
123mW rms @ 500 Ohm
Headphone Output 6.3mm full-size headphone output jack. Headphone power spec:
96mW rms @ 600 Ohm
59mW rms @ 1200 Ohm
43mW rms @ 1700 Ohm
35mW rms @ 2000 Ohm
THD+N 0.001% @ 1kHz
Frequency response 10Hz to 100kHz (-0.5dB)
SNR > 100dB
Power Requirement 15V, 1.6A, 100-240VAC (Worldwide AC)
- Audiophile-grade DA converter
- Low-distortion, high-current headphone amplifier
- High quality analog volume control