Originally Posted by derbigpr
I've had the HDP for a few days now, got it used for about 250$ and feel I've been ripped off like never before. What the hell is wrong with people recommending this device and claiming its great value for 450$ new? No offense, but its crap even at 250, let alone 450.
The DAC inside sucks if we assume half of the $450 goes towards it, because its barely better than a Realtek HD integrated soundcard on my top of the line (2 years old mind you) motherboard, and it has this weird tonality where it sounds muffled and bright at the same time, as if highs are clear and brought forward, but the rest of the frequencies are muffled. Soundstage is small, I'd say that K701's have a bigger soundstage when plugged into an integrated motherboard headphone output, which says a lot. Asus ST runs circles around it as far as sound quality goes, it honestly at least twice as good, no contest whatsoever, as a DAC or as a headphone amp.
Amp on it...well, AKG K701 is inaudible up to 40% on volume knob, then it wakes up but volume stays low and almost unchanged to 70%, then it starts going up again, and at 100% its got a decent volume with K701's, but not LOUD. This definitely doesn't have the claimed output power, no fcking way, a motherboard headphone output gets the K701's almost as loud at 100%, and ST is louder at 70% and middle gain setting, or 50% at highest gain, AND not only is it louder, it sounds better two, and like its powered with more authority. Also, volume knob is funny, since at low volumes it take a lot of turning to get a volume change, but at high levels you just touch it and it changes volume like crazy. Again, overall, nowhere near as good as the ST, I don't think its even a subjective difference or a matter of preference, its simply a night and day difference between the two devices.
Sorry for being so negative, and this is the first time I've been so disappointed by a device that I actually decided to write a negative review, but as a device that EVERYONE seems to like, and doesn't have a single negative review about it that I've found....its very very very disappointing. For 450$, its a rip off of the century. Either everyone who wrote reviews on HDP never owned or heard anything half decent before buying the HDP, or Nuforce has a horde of people writing positive reviews about their products on the internet....or I'm just deaf, which I doubt, since I clearly like the sound of my other soundcard better.
This is the only thing I've bought that I want to sell after owning it for two days. I'm not saying "Don't buy it", all I'm saying is, audition it before buying it, don't be stupid like I was and believe all the positive reviews on amazon and head-fi, and dont order it only on the basis of other peoples opinion.