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NuForce Introduces Icon iDo ($249) - Audiophile-Grade DAC and Headphone Amp for iPad®, iPhone®... - Page 2

post #16 of 37

iDo line out to active speakers. Volume control by iDevice or iDO? Analog or Digital?

 

From many sides we hear that with 24bit DACs, digital volume control is acceptable. Resulting dynamic range is still more than good enough for real world recordings and 16bit files.

post #17 of 37
Thread Starter 

We suggest max volume on iDevice and use iDo's analog volume control. If iDo is attached to the home stereo system, you can then use the iPod remote control to adjust the iDevice volume.

post #18 of 37

Excuse my ignorance, but if all you are doing is taking the raw data from the iDevice and using the iDo DAC and AMP (bypassing the iDevice DAC and AMP).... how does adjusting the volume on the iDevice effect the volume out of the iDO??

post #19 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueiz View Post

Excuse my ignorance, but if all you are doing is taking the raw data from the iDevice and using the iDo DAC and AMP (bypassing the iDevice DAC and AMP).... how does adjusting the volume on the iDevice effect the volume out of the iDO??


 

We have no control over anything that is happening within the iDevice.  To get unaltered and bit perfect data out of iDevice, set the iDevice volume to MAX.  In iOS4.x, when iDo is first connected to iDevice, the volume on iDevice is set to MAX. But in iOS5, the volume is set to 30% by default, so you have to adjust it back to MAX.  And the volume is adjustable within the application even if it is connected to a digital dock.

 

post #20 of 37

Jason.... How many steps does the digital volume control have? Thanks.

post #21 of 37
Thread Starter 

64 steps

post #22 of 37

well, in my house, the computer isn't really located in a place that's conducive to listening to music.. I thought about getting one with regular USB in, but in REALITY (my reality) my music is stored on ipods.  wall wart aside, this is way more portable than a 50ft USB cable running from my office to the livingroom couch.

 

FYI nuforce also makes DACs which support line out from any PMP, USB and toslink or S/PDIF - if you check their site for iDo, it's specifically calls out recent models of Apple gear, the page for the HDP says "mp3 player"... note that that HDP is 500 bucks though.

 

 

 

 

post #23 of 37

You should consider releasing a version that does away with the headphone amp and plug, so that the price can come down and the device can compete with the HRT iStreamer.  I don't need the headphone amp, and I don't want to pay for the $100 premium of that feature over the HRT iStreamer.

post #24 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonl View Post

Several use cases:

1) Many desk bound workers are not allow to use their company's computer (and they probably don't want to mix it up anyway) for entertainment.  Sales, engineering, you name it. Many of them.

They listen to good quality headphones and music for a long period of time.  Many of them use iPod or iPhone. By the way, when the phone rings, iDo will cut off music.

2) I listen to music to help me relax before I go to bed. Sometimes I watch a movie.  Now that I am use to the sound quality of iDo with iPad, I can never go back.  So I have iDo on a bed stand for my iPad to connect to and charge.

3) Many musicians now use iPad to record or edit music. iDo allows them to audition their music with better quality.

4) Some people read books and listen to music and they are usually near a power outlet.

 

 

While there would be uses for a small subset of people, considering the iDevices are mainly meant for portability I was shocked that this would be powered via an outlet. Sometimes I'll have a 30 minute break between classes at school and I wouldn't want to go hunting for an outlet. Then on my way to school it's useless without a battery
post #25 of 37

 

My thoughts on the iDo (posted online elsewhere, and much of this copied here):

 

I do really like the iDo and use it almost every day.  The iDo's primary job may be to replace the DAC and amp in the iPod with a nicer DAC/amp for desktop listening, but in my case I also use the iDo feeding the iPod > coax digital into my nicer desktop DAC and amp.  It's very useful for when I don't have my Macbook plugged in or turned on but I want to listen to my favorite playlists without a loss in sound quality.  I basically get the same sound quality with my iPod > iDo S/PDIF coax digital output > DAC > amp as I would if I was using my Macbook > USB DAC > amp.  It's like using a CD player's S/PDIF output into your DAC, but with playlists and not having to swap discs every 40-50 minutes!

 

The iDo headphone jack is more than adequate for casual music listening and sounds as good as my uDAC-2 headphone out, beating my Icon desktop DAC/amp for clarity and depth.  It doesn't have a lot of juice for the most demanding headphones, but with most of them it gets the job done better than my iPod or iPhone by itself (6v power supply).  Granted, it does sound better when feeding it's RCA outputs into a better amp, or feeding the coax output into a better DAC + amp.   I routinely feed the RCA outputs into my Pico Slim or RSA SR-71b balanced amp to listen to my custom IEM at home.  Just like with my uDAC-2, I find the iDo's RCA line-out sound quality is better than the headphone jack, and it rivals the RCA outputs of my more costly Pico DAC-only, but without having to boot up the computer to get that sound quality from a USB DAC.  

 

Sure, it's more expensive than something like the Pure Audio i-20 dock, but when you consider vs the Wadia digital dock that costs a lot more and doesn't include an amp or upgraded DAC, then the $249 price becomes much more attractive.  For those complaining that it still needs to be plugged into the wall, you can go spend $600 for a Cypher Labs battery operated digital dock, plus add an amp to that.  I'll concede that even a budget $180 desktop amp like the HiFiMan EF2A or Travagans Red sounds a little better than the iDo's headphone output, but to me the iDo is all about being a great source, extracting lossless digital music from the iPod, doing a better job converting to analog, or sending pure digital output to an even better DAC than the one included.  Having a decent headphone output is just icing on the cake for me.

 

I especially appreciate being able to use the Apple remote to control the volume and skip tracks, and being able to use it with my iPad as well (there is no funny shaped cradle that wont fit an iPad).  I like that if I don't want to use the remote I can have my iDevice in my lap with the sync cable running to the iDo, instead of the iDevice being stuck on a dock built into the device.  The only thing I'd like to see added is the ability to also act as a USB DAC for a computer (since it has a USB port on the back for the iPod sync cable), or maybe having pass-through video via the line out dock so you can connect the output to a TV.  I did once ask about the lack of 1/4" jack, and Jason Lim told me that they simply could not squeeze a 1/4" jack onto the PCB without a major re-design.

 
Overall, I would hate to be without my iDo.  When I listen in my bedroom I often like to use an iPod, iPad or iPhone and don't want to tie up my Macbook as a source.  I can quickly plug in and listen to music without much fuss, using IEM or full size phones with a 1/8" adapter.  

 

post #26 of 37

What is the max power output into 32 Ohms? I'd like to try using this with my HE400s. Does it have enough current to satisfy an Ortho? 

post #27 of 37

The specs on the product page say 88mW into 30 ohms. That should be enough for most listening levels on the HE-400. 

post #28 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Armaegis View Post

The specs on the product page say 88mW into 30 ohms. That should be enough for most listening levels on the HE-400. 

That's the thing about Specs. That's less output than a portable E17 puts out. But of course we don't know what criteria they use for the results. 

 

Either way, it's moot cuz i already pulled the trigger one one. There's not other desktop amp that can connect directly to an iPod Touch, so this is really my only chance of having a DAC. Couple that with an audiophile grade Amp and we are good to go. I just hope it has enough power (I need a little more than the E17 puts out) I also hope it doesn't bypass the EQ... As I understand it the EQ in in the signal path  ahead of the output stage so that would mean it should. I guess we'll see on friday... i'm keeping my fingers crossed because I really want to use the DAC wity iPod and this is one of the few solutions that will do it


Edited by bareyb - 2/21/13 at 3:24am
post #29 of 37

bareyb,

 

Thanks for giving the iDo a chance.  In the mean time, have no worries about the EQ.  All volume and EQ functions inside any/all iDevices takes place within the processor (DSP function) and well ahead of the DAC stage,  The iDo simply extracts the digital audio at the input point of the DAC stage, so all such functions have already been completed.  We hope this helps.  Thanks and...

 

Take care smile.gif

-Bob

post #30 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by nuforce-bob View Post

bareyb,

 

Thanks for giving the iDo a chance.  In the mean time, have no worries about the EQ.  All volume and EQ functions inside any/all iDevices takes place within the processor (DSP function) and well ahead of the DAC stage,  The iDo simply extracts the digital audio at the input point of the DAC stage, so all such functions have already been completed.  We hope this helps.  Thanks and...

 

Take care smile.gif

-Bob

Hi nuforce-bob! Thanks for the info about the EQ. I kind of figured that's how it worked and I'm relieved to hear it does. Wanted to thank you guys for putting out this product! It's the perfect solution for people like myself who use an iPod Touch as their music source who also want the benefits of an upgraded DAC. I hope you sell a ton of these.  

 

I'm surprised how little competition you have in this particular area. I'm also surprised how few people know or understand the benefits of this product! They are spending hundreds of dollars on Amps and then are using the crappy DAC in an iPod as their source! Crazy... I couldn't believe how much better the DAC in our iPad was compared to the Nano... Very noticeable. Even my kid could hear the difference. Can't wait to get a really GOOD DAC in line. 

 

Side Note: I will add that I do not need this to connect to my laptop. In my situation I have no need for that and would never use it. I prefer a smaller footprint and lower cost. I think you made all the right decisions with this.

Anyway, great idea, glad something like this is available. Thanks for hanging in there with Apple and getting it done! beerchug.gif


Edited by bareyb - 2/21/13 at 6:51pm
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