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

jamm8805

Too good to be true.

Posted

Pros: Really steps up audio quality

So I purchased this last week and must I say, there is nothing else like listening to my HD 650.  Sound quality was great with using the hd 650 straight with my iPhone, but boy did this step ti up a notch.
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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russelk

Superb!

Posted

Pros: Nicely balanced sound with good bass and soundstage. Detailed without being harsh. Excellent build quality and aesthetics.

Cons: None.

I was using a Meier Corda Move as a desktop DAC connected to active speakers. I know this is not how the Corda Move was intended to be used, and it definitely lacked something that I could not put my finger on. There's no shortage of desktop USB DACs these days but there aren't many with a headphone socket, which I do use for late-night music and gaming. I decided to buy the Icon HDP after reading a good review in HiFi Choice and the forum posts on head-fi. I was not disappointed. Even without burn-in it was significantly better than I what I was using before. The soundstage has opened up and the bass is no longer indistinct but now much tighter and deeper with increased slam. The...
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willcasp

Love it

Posted

Pros: Drives my mediocre headphones to the point that I have to upgrade my digital music

Cons: none

This is my first headphone amp. It drives a set of Sony MDR-V700 s. Definitely allows my headphones to exploit the dynamic range of classical music. Easy to discern bit rates that used to hide in my speakers and headphones before.
harpua

NuForce Icon HDP

Posted

Pros: Great DAC, Headphone Amp & Preamp for the money

Cons: wish there was a switch to enable output from headphones and speakers at the same time if/when desired

I just got an HDP (my first DAC/headphone amp!) a few weeks ago and have been enjoying it immensely since I got it.  So far, I'm just using it as a USB DAC and headphone amp plugged into one of my W7 laptop's USB ports and playing mostly lossless files with Foobar with the WASAPI plug in with Foobar's volume at zero db (max) going out to the HDP.  I've been pretty much blown away by the upgrade in sound the HDP provides over the stock sound of my HP laptop which I had previously thought was pretty decent with my 530 IEMs.  But now after experiencing the difference the HDP has made, I know better.   Compared to many here, I don't have a lot of money that I can spend on lots of audio...
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Stekos

Great headphone amp/DAC - from a newbie point of view

Posted

Pros: Great sound, high res DAC, analog volume control

Cons: Price?

I'd like to knock the price, since $450 seems like a lot for a little headphone amp/DAC, but you get what you pay for, especially in the high-end audio world.  And, in my opinion, this is a great product.   I am just getting back into high-end audio, building a new kit.  The first things I wanted to do were to digitize my CD collection in lossless, build a media server with direct digital out, get a really good headphone amp/DAC and good headphones.   After a long search, reading several forums, I bought the following:   Sennheiser HD650 Icon HDP Nuforce E7   I'm mroe than happy with all 3.     For the E7, I use that as a headphone amp between my laptop or my...
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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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gPope

My First Headphone Amp and it's Great!

Posted

Pros: Great value in a compact 3 in 1 package

Cons: Nothing yet - Does what NuForce said it would

This is my first headphone amp purchased with my first "better quality" headphones (DT 880/600) in years.  Nothing else to compare them with as of yet. The HDP is hooked-up to a Sony all-in-one desktop computer via USB.  The preamp outputs are connected to a pair of Audioengine 5 powered speakers.  The sound through the speakers is excellent for the type of setup, but with headphones connected, it is nothing short of Hi-Fi quality.  The volume turned up all the way, there is not even a hint of distortion.  Except for a slight bit of brightness at the higher end of the frequency range, the sound is dead flat with just enough bass impact and lively midrange.  Hopefully, I will have more...
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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