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Nuforce Icon Mobile: Early impressions - Page 2

post #16 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
So, do you also find that the Nuforce is less prone to RFI from the iPhone than the D3, but that it still has minor RFI?
Hmmm. I've been thinking of getting this unit for use with my iphone via a LOC. I want to be able to use it while streaming pandora off the safari browser (not in airplane mode) But if I will end up with constant RFI--no way.

Is there anyway around this RFI issue with the iphone?
post #17 of 129
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
Nice feedback! I'm still burning mine in since Monday and will be adding it to my big "10 USB DAC amp review" by the end of next week, I hope (see link to review in my public profile). I agree with the things the OP is hearing, as the Nuforce is able to better grab and control the headphone drivers than the Touch headphone out. And it WILL sound even better from the line out dock of the touch (or USB from computer). I am giving the amp at least 300 hours of running (burn-in) to let it settle in before my review.

It is a decent amp, and because it is a little more forward sounding in the mids than my iBasso D2 Boa it reminds me of the Meier Headsix. It is not up to the level of my Predator and Pico or iBasso D3, but I think I might like it more than the D2 Boa so far. It is more cheaply made than most of the amps I am comparing it to, but that also gets the price down well below the competition.

I have been using it in low gain with ATH-ESW10, and Denon C700 which through an RSA tomahawk could sound harsh but they sound smoother with the Nuforce, as well as trying it with my Westone 3 and Nuforce NE-7M.

The only big problem I have run into is that "static discharge" makes the amp go nuts - so don't shuffle across the carpet and then touch the amp or headphones or laptop or all kinds of nasty noises will emanate from the headphones! Shrieking or clacking noises, take your pick. The second issue is more minor and that is just a little interference from the iPhone 3G; but the RFI is less than the RFI with the D2 Boa, and both of these are much more resistant than the D3 Python which is highly irritating when the iPhone is around.
I'm eagerly awaiting your comparisons! Prior to finding out about the Nuforce, I was looking at getting a Meier HeadSix but I liked the form factor on the Nuforce better. I originally was going to get a Mustang but since I use iTunes AAC files as my source, I thought a less revealing amp might be a better choice.
post #18 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by helmerkelps View Post
Hmmm. I've been thinking of getting this unit for use with my iphone via a LOC. I want to be able to use it while streaming pandora off the safari browser (not in airplane mode) But if I will end up with constant RFI--no way.

Is there anyway around this RFI issue with the iphone?
I've got this special business card made from a material that is claimed to block much of the RFI, but it is too thick to insert in my clear case, so I gave one to Blutarsky to try. I have a spare that I suppose I can tape to the top of the amps between the iPhone and amp and see what happens. Will have to deal with it later this weekend.
post #19 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
I've got this special business card made from a material that is claimed to block much of the RFI, but it is too thick to insert in my clear case, so I gave one to Blutarsky to try. I have a spare that I suppose I can tape to the top of the amps between the iPhone and amp and see what happens. Will have to deal with it later this weekend.
So you are in fact getting some RFI from the iphone through the Icon Mobile? The guys at NuForce assured me by email wouldn't be a problem. The kind of RFI I get when my iphone is near my office phone is a nearly constant "chatter". Is this happening with the connection to the Icon Mobile? I've never had a headphone amp and this would be my first for mostly portable use with my phone. I'm concerned!
post #20 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by helmerkelps View Post
So you are in fact getting some RFI from the iphone through the Icon Mobile? The guys at NuForce assured me by email wouldn't be a problem. The kind of RFI I get when my iphone is near my office phone is a nearly constant "chatter". Is this happening with the connection to the Icon Mobile? I've never had a headphone amp and this would be my first for mostly portable use with my phone. I'm concerned!
Yes, but it is much better than some other amps like D3 Python and D2 Boa, and it is positional - i.e. if I have the amp slid father up and away from the bottom of the iPhone it seems to improve a little, but occasionally the buzz still kicks in full gear. It may actually be slightly less noisy than my $500 Pico. And, it depends on the headphones plugged into the amp, that act as an antenna. My Westone 3 headphone cable is a better antenna than my ESW10 cable.

Most often I am using the Line Out Dock because the audio signal is usually much cleaner than headphone out, but iPhone line out is much noisier with RFI from iPhone than the headphone out jack. If I switch to the headphone out and use the mini-mini from iPhone to Nuforce (or my other amps) the noise is improved but not totally gone. Fortunately the iPhone 3G headphone out is clean enough that it doesn't hurt the sound to connect an amp to it if you have a hard to drive headphone, or one that needs a lot of current like the SR-225.

If I plug the Nuforce or my other amps into USB and Macbook, the USB cables act like antennae and I have to keep the iPhone 1-3 feet away from the amps then. The Nuforce and Pico are more resistant to the noise through the USB than the iBasso amps. My Predator lives in my fanny pack in the car with my 3G nano, so I don't often use it with Macbook or iPhone, so I haven't tested it's RFI resistance to the iPhone.

NO OTHER DEVICE HAS CREATED AS MUCH RFI HAVOC ON MY SYSTEM THAN THE IPHONE, with my old ATT Sony 810i being in second place.
post #21 of 129
I have the 1st gen iphone still that runs on the Edge network. I suppose it's no better than the 3G? These cell phone companies really get away with a lot of crap. :-(
post #22 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by helmerkelps View Post
I have the 1st gen iphone still that runs on the Edge network. I suppose it's no better than the 3G? These cell phone companies really get away with a lot of crap. :-(
No better - Blutarsky's original iPhone buzzes just as much. I'm gonna try the antistatic bag trick soon too.
post #23 of 129
So far the nice thing about the Nuforce is that I am using it for USB on my Macbook and my iPhone is 9 inches away and there is no buzzing, but the iBasso D2 Boa buzzes even when the phone is 2 feet away. The Pico is similarly resistant, but the iBasso D3 buzzes unless the iPhone is over 3-4 feet away.
post #24 of 129
The great thing about the NuForce company is they are saying they will guarantee this from happening to me and will offer a full refund including shipping if I am not satisfied. They claim to have tested this with their LOD and iphone banded to the Icon Mobile. I am in Manhattan. I am curious to find out if this is something that differs depending on where you are (Rocky Mountains vs NYC) I might go for it and we can find out if it's a regional issue or a global ATT provider issue.
post #25 of 129
I suppose I'll need to buy "their" LOD, but I promise you many of my other amps are worse than the Nuforce which is one of the more resistant amps. But it is not immune to the "charms" or lack thereof of the iPhone. I will try 4 other portable amps with iphone this weekend and report back by tomorrow.
post #26 of 129
Larry;
I would be interested in your findings with the iPhone and the Predator.
And BTW, just curious as to why you would use the Predator as an amp only when it has the DAC built-in?
Did you find that the DAC in the Predator was inferior to some of the other DACs?
Thanks
post #27 of 129
I have not been through all my headphones yet as I only have 125 hours of the 300 hours of burn-in that I want before I do my review.

But I must say this amp is sounding more and more transparent as it burns in via the USB DAC on my Macbook. I'm fairly sure I like the Icon Mobile more than my D2 Boa, and maybe also my Meier Headsix - it has a similar forward sound as the Headsix, but with added ambience and air or space (via analog input or USB DAC).

It also sounds very nice from the line out dock of my iPhone 3G and so far I have not heard any buzzing from my iPhone 3G interference all night. I am watching that closely, and so far the Nuforce has been one of the best portables at rejecting the dreaded iPhone chatter - but until tonight it was still possible to hear noise if the amp was within 6-8 inches of the phone. Now that has gone away for unexplained reasons. It's possible burn-in further improves its resistance to iPhone chatter or buzzing.

I have identified iPhone chatter with my Pico, D2 Viper, D2 Boa and D3 Python, with the Python being the worst offender, and Pico being almost as resistant as the Nuforce - until the Icon Mobile got quiet tonight. I have brought the Predator in from the car and will play with it more tomorrow. I find the Predator with 3G Nano to sound almost as good as my iMod with Pico, so I just left the two paired together the most since I have a pethora of good USB DAC amps to use in the house.
post #28 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadphoneAddict View Post
I suppose I'll need to buy "their" LOD, but I promise you many of my other amps are worse than the Nuforce which is one of the more resistant amps. But it is not immune to the "charms" or lack thereof of the iPhone. I will try 4 other portable amps with iphone this weekend and report back by tomorrow.
If I buy the Icon Mobile I was planning to get a LOD from Whiplash. Their Elite Silver Cryo is going on sale for $60 including shipping. The NuForce LOC looks bulky for portable use at the gym etc. One reason I like the I.M. so much is how small and thin it is. Unless the whole LOD route will be too bulky all together in an exercise situation? I guess I can report on that. HeadphoneAddict: You're reviews and feedback are really awesome!
post #29 of 129
Hah! my teenage daughter tricked me and installed a Quick Bridge Solutions - EM Shield for iPhone RFI blocking business card into the back of my new silicone iPhone case, and I'm pretty sure that since she did it yesterday that I have found the reason my Nuforce is silent with the iPhone now.

I was complaining to her how the card wouldn't fit into my crystal case because it was too tight, and we went to Best Buy to get a DLO silicone case. So while I was driving I had her put the iPhone in the new case. I went out to the car to get the RFI blocking card today and it wasn't there, and then she pointed it out to me as being in the silicone case already.

Huge thumbs up for this product from Quick Bridge Solutions - EM Shield for iPhone !!

Now I have to do more testing with and without the EM blocking card.
post #30 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by helmerkelps View Post
If I buy the Icon Mobile I was planning to get a LOD from Whiplash. Their Elite Silver Cryo is going on sale for $60 including shipping. The NuForce LOC looks bulky for portable use at the gym etc.
Can you elaborate why the Nuforce LOC for Ipod is bulky? This is the smallest adapter on the market It has the same width as the full size iPod or iphone, and about 1/2 inch in height. We provide a very short 3.5mm stereo cable for connecting the LOC to Icon Mobile.

May be you have the iPod Nano and the LOC would be too wide for it.
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