Head-Fi.org › Head Gear › Headphone Amplifiers › NuForce Icon HDP (High-end Headphone Amp, USB DAC, Preamp) › NuForce Icon HDP (High-end Headphone Amp, USB DAC, Preamp) Reviews

NuForce Icon HDP (High-end Headphone Amp, USB DAC, Preamp) Reviews

Positive Reviews

Sid-Fi

Nuforce Icon HDP - Fantastic Value and Performance

Posted

Pros: Outstanding 24/96 USB section, sleek form factor, great price to performance, clear and detailed sound signature, fast, synergy with Sennheiser HDs

Cons: Might not go well with bright cans

I purchased the Nuforce Icon HDP along with Sennheiser HD 650 headphones as my first desktop setup about six months ago. I'll start off by saying that the HDP has been a fantastic purchase that I am thrilled with and enthusiastically recommend, especially as a starter desktop setup.   The HDP has loads of power and easily drives my Sennheiser HD 650s and other high impedence headphones such as AKG 701 with lots of headroom to spare. This is an awesome attribute for a unit at this price point as it will have ample power for almost any headphone on the market, regardless of price. With my Sennheiser HD 650, I usually listen from 11 am to 1 pm on the dial and never go past 2 pm....
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Negative Reviews

colgatetotal

uDAC's big brother but has pathetic gain

Posted

Pros: Dynamic, aggressive sound

Cons: 24/96 optical input only, poor with IEMs, overheats when horizontal, newer model has poor gain

Having owned the $100 NuForce uDAC1 for over two years, I felt it was about time to upgrade. It had been acceptable, but I could still notice a bit of a veil in the midrange. The itch was also caused by going to a Head-Fi meet. When I plugged the uDAC1 into some high-end amplifiers, I realized how limiting it actually was. What does the HDP get you? Not much.   I had a good review on the HDP before, but I can no longer recommend it. The HDP, being a $500 product, has worse gain than their $100 uDAC1. It can barely amplify a Grado. I have posted on Head-Fi about this and NuForce has assured me that this is normal. That is complete bee-ess. My first unit had hissing when turned on....
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More Reviews

homeros8000

Nuforce HDP Is Not A Giant Killer!

Posted

Pros: Versatile, Small Size, Acceptable Performance

Cons: Amplifier is not powerful enough, Poor design, DAC sound is treble accentuated

I owned the Nuforce HDP for two months, I tried it with several headphones ranging from the 600 Ohms DT880 to the 300 Ohms Senn HD600 and HD650 and 62 Ohms AKG K702. Actually I wasn't impressed that much. I didn't feel that the amp had enough juice to drive any of the headphones mentioned above, and the DAC had too much emphasis on treble which seemed too exaggerated and unnatural to my ears. When listening to several audio tracks and in comparison to Headroom's Ultra Micro DAC I heard distortions in the upper highs that never showed in the Ultra Micro. The imaging and accuracy of the UM DAC was far beyond the reach of the HDP, but on the other side, the HDP performed better than my...
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SoulSyde

NuForce Icon HDP: 8/10

Posted
  Flat out, it's the best piece of audio gear I have purchased in my 2 1/2 year long audiophile career.   My previous DAC was an M-Audio Fast Track Pro run to an external amp, so that will be the standard by which I judge the HDP.  There frankly is no comparison between the two.  The HDP's internal DAC is world class compared to the Fast Track Pro.  It is extremely accurate without any coloring of the sound.  Separation and sound stage/placement is very well produced.  I get the impression that I am listening to exactly what the mastering engineer intended me to.  I am starting to notice how awful some of my recordings are, this DAC will...
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TheWuss

not exactly what i wanted, but i can see why folks like it

Posted

Pros: compact and affordable all-in-one DAC/amp and preamp

Cons: bright, analytical sound signature

After reading some glowing reviews, I decided to give the HDP a go.  I needed a compact and hassle-free solution for my work rig, and one that could drive any headphones I decided to bring to work with me (including the difficult-to-dive 600 ohm beyerdynamic cans).   After receiving the HDP, I was impressed with its looks and build quality.  Even the packaging and branding were pretty sleek.   However, it was upon powering up the device when my impressions started to turn for the worse.  The HDP is, to my ears, a pretty nice source paired with a somewhat bright and not exceptionally powerful headphone amp.   The DAC section of the HDP is nice, but perhaps a bit on the analytical side.  It...
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Ceja-Blu

Nuforce Icon HDP

Posted

Pros: excellent connectivity, USB, SPDIF, analogue out, headphone out

Cons: not really portable desk

This is an all-around terrific value for what it does very well and transparently. I'm listening to 200-hour burn Senn HD600s with cardas cable upgrade.   The headphone amp is dead quiet at full gain, super clear, and uncolored.  It delivers transparent, super quick transients and crispy detail without fatigue or pooling in any particular frequency. The Analogue outs go into my NAD C553BEE for a deep and fully detailed stereo experience through my KEF 103.2s.  As a Headphone amp it works without any fatigue, noise, coloring, or mud in the guitar samples. percusion, Cajón, tabla and deep african drums are accurately and clinically deep without any smear and harmonic...
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kite7

All around package for the price of one

Posted

Pros: Excellent pre-amp, headphone amp and dac for a great price

Cons: Nothing I can think of

After having a few dacs and amps , I wanted an all-in-one package that would leave me happy for a very long time. The size of this thing is small and portable which is an added bonus. I didn't like dealing with interconnects with amps and dacs so this thing was a blessing.   I only owned a handful of amps but I compared this Meier Corda Arietta and from what I was hearing out of my RS1 was better attack and speed. It is not as warm as the Arietta but for me this is a good thing. The transparency and soundstage depth is improved over the Arietta as well. I felt the HDP amp is a better match for my RS1 than the Arietta. If there was one thing that I wished it could improve on would be...
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trallala

By week’s end ...

Posted
My first headphone amp. No experience with others, so my impression of this one is in comparison to regular output from MP3-players and receivers. With this in mind I still feel the value is high (even though I realize I need to spend some time with other amps in order to justify my praise to this one in particular).   I'm very happy with the HDP. Price paid 3879SEK(VAT excluded) ~$500  
derbigpr

Nuforce HDP review

Posted

Pros: Small size, relatively portable, enough power for most low-mid end headphones, versatile

Cons: Can be harsh, funny volume pot

Awesome, buy it now.   Tested with K701, DT990 Pro, DT880 600, HD650 and HFi-2400's.
arhandrei

Small & Smart

Posted

Pros: good sound, compact, functional

Cons: nothing special

I like this unit as it delivers much possibilities for not a big price. Besides  an excellent amplifier, it has a modern DAC, separated digital and analog power lines onboard. Well done.
boyfrombluesea

Great Sounding DAC/Amp For My Senn 650

Posted

Cons: None So Far

    I mostly listening from my CD player and PC (flacs, HDTracks 24bit/96 and 192Khz files) with my Sennheiser HD650, so I decided to buy this NuForce Icon HDP as a DAC and headphone amp combo.   It is very decent DAC/Amp. It gives a more balanced, clean and transparent sound to my Senn 650. The build also has a very nice finished and touch. Overall, I'm satisfied!      
Head-Fi.org › Head Gear › Headphone Amplifiers › NuForce Icon HDP (High-end Headphone Amp, USB DAC, Preamp) › NuForce Icon HDP (High-end Headphone Amp, USB DAC, Preamp) Reviews