DACs

NuForce Icon HDP USB DAC

ARTICLE INDEX

Introduction

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 stereo has become increasingly important. NuForce made a splash with their original Icon DAC, which featured a USB DAC, a couple 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 stereo setup, so I eagerly requested a review unit to see if I needed to replace my original Icon.

Specifications

  • Design: Stereo DAC
  • Inputs: USB, Coaxial, Optical, 3.5mm Aalog (shared with optical), Stereo Analog RCA
  • Outputs: Stereo Analog RCA, 6.3mm Headphone Jack
  • Sample Rates Supported: 44.1, 48, 96 over USB, 44.1 to 192 over Optical/Coaxial, All up to 24 Bits
  • Included Accessories: 6.3mm to 3.5mm Headphone Adapter, Mini Toslink to Regular Toslink Adapter
  • Dimensions: 1" H x 6" W x 4.5" D
  • Weight: 1 Pound
  • Price $449 USA
  • NuForce