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NuForce Icon iDo - Mini Review - Page 4

post #46 of 87

The price is $149 now...

https://www.nuforce.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&layout=item&id=25&Itemid=188/

post #47 of 87
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfgang0119 View Post

The price is $149 now...

https://www.nuforce.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&layout=item&id=25&Itemid=188/

Wow. Great deal. I love mine as part of my beside rig setup!

post #48 of 87
Hi, have you had a chance to write your review about pairing Grado PS500 with iDo please as I am very interested to hear your opinion on it? Thx.
post #49 of 87
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GPAUDI View Post

Hi, have you had a chance to write your review about pairing Grado PS500 with iDo please as I am very interested to hear your opinion on it? Thx.

Sorry, I actually have and the pairing is VERY good! Not that driving a Grado is a hard thing to do, but there are definite improvements than say out of my iPad directly out or through my FiiO E10. Sorry to report, it's not on the same level as say my W4S DAC-2 / GS-X MKII, but that was expected. wink.gif

 

Overall, very good to my ears and a very good pairing!

post #50 of 87
Thx. You have helped me make up my mind!
post #51 of 87
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GPAUDI View Post

Thx. You have helped me make up my mind!

No worries. Glad I could help. 

post #52 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonnyRocket View Post

Great! Do you still get the "out of the head" soundstage effect with your shure or UE iems using this with 256k files? Also if it's not too much trouble do you know any websites or threads that discuss how to get apple lossless or FLAC onto your idevice without ripping CDs to iTunes? Thankyou very much.

I'm also in the market for an iDevice headphone amp/dac. Been looking at the iDo and the V-MODA VAMP. Any updated thoughts on comparison anybody?

JonnyRocket, I use a Synology NAS at home which has all my music (FLAC and other) and movies. It can stream to my Sonos Play-5, Peachtree Audio Decco 65 (over a-sync USB) laptop or any other mobile device at home via the app or server website. I set up a simple dynamic IP addy and can now access it worldwide (traveling now) to stream to laptop or iPhone anywhere with wifi. Doesn't degrade quality just need to give it a minute to buffer. It's a killer setup! Can even stream to all devices different music at same time!
post #53 of 87

I just got one of these (nuforce icon ido) last night. So far, I really like it. The difference between my ipad 4 and the nuforce is somewhat subtle, but definitely noticeable!

 

I'm using a streaming program called "streamtome" that streams my flac files from my desktop computer to my ipad. I think the nuforce makes the sound better, more refined. It plugs in with a lighting to usb cord. Pretty cool so far. Now I just have to look into getting higher end headphones now. Currently I use the Grado SR225.

post #54 of 87
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by acguitar84 View Post
 

I just got one of these (nuforce icon ido) last night. So far, I really like it. The difference between my ipad 4 and the nuforce is somewhat subtle, but definitely noticeable!

 

I'm using a streaming program called "streamtome" that streams my flac files from my desktop computer to my ipad. I think the nuforce makes the sound better, more refined. It plugs in with a lighting to usb cord. Pretty cool so far. Now I just have to look into getting higher end headphones now. Currently I use the Grado SR225.

 

That's great. Still got mine as part of my bedside rig with my iPad and really enjoy it.

post #55 of 87

I have been using one of these on my desk at work for several months.  I haven't tried any other DAC/Amps so i can't compare.  I am very happy with it.  It charges my iPhone, which I have sitting on a dock, and provides a dial for volume, which I like.  I can't speak to nuances in sound as my only real comparison is the phone by itself.  I'm fairly new to all of this, so my ears aren't as tuned as many others here.  I got a pair of Sennheiser HD 380 pro's at the same time as this amp and I really like this setup.  It's a major step up from my phone driving my old HD 428's.  I now have the bug and am looking to try some better headphones and perhaps get a bedside rig setup at home, though the amount I would use it probably doesn't justify it.  I listen all day at work though, so the cost for the first setup was easily justified.

post #56 of 87

I am a new user also and listen at work with iPod Classic 120GB through Sennheiser HD 280 Pro 64 ohm version, EAC ripped 320 VBR MP3s.  A definite improvement over straight out of the iPod and at $150 an excellent upgrade.  I also burned it in a little with my one of my home rigs - Yamaha rx-v995 to Mirage Omnis with NHT sub and would recommend it to anyone using it as a dock only.  I am considering upgrading all my home line-out docks.  If you are looking for a dock to set it in I can confirm it works with the original iphone dock, the iPad dock that can be found on Rakutan and other places for $10, but not the Universal dock with remote (although the silver metal remote works great).

post #57 of 87

Just got my iDo from Audio Advisor for $99................wow, what a value proposition!
 

This is feeding my Pioneer Spec amp rack system and I am astounded how good this sounds.  I just removed a laptop feeding a FiiO D5 into the system, and felt it sounded great.

 

Well, this sounds flat out amazing.  My iPod Touch has never sounded so good..............a side benefit is it fits nicely between my Brainwavz headphone stand.  Well done NuForce. 

 

post #58 of 87
Thread Starter 

^
 

I still use mine as my bed-side source/amp and it just makes sense!

post #59 of 87
And another great thing I found. My Apple TV remote controls the iPod so I can skip songs. Very cool.
post #60 of 87

I am really glad to see so many positive reactions to the Nuforce iDo here. On many other website forums I have seen people being very negative about it. I have bought a Nuforce iDo myself two months ago, and now that I really went through hours and hours of burn-in, I can only say: I love it.

 

Already on day 1, without any burn in time, the Nuforce iDo immediately sounded like a huge step up from listening directly to iPhone 4, iPhone 5 or iPad 2 or iPad Mini (tried them all). I have been listening at first to Nuforce's own NE-700M, a simple IEM that already sounds very nice. The difference in clarity, in precision and in soundstage is noticeable straight away; you don't need to be an audio expert to hear it. Already with the NE-700M it just gives much less fatigue, you just don't want to stop listening where after one hour listening straight from the iDevice without the iDo, my ears get tired and I want to stop.

 

But it wasn't for the NE-700M that I bought the iDo. Because at the same time as the iDo, I purchased a Sennheiser HD600.

 

I have been since my teenage years, now 20 years ago, a hifi freak. I've constructed my own loudspeakers and have a high-end audio installation and love listening to it. I've gone as far as also hearing the difference between the cables I use between my preamp and my amps, most of my friends think I am crazy- but I hear the difference between an OFC interlink or a 99.99 silver interlink. Late evenings turning off the light, well positioned on the couch exactly in the middle between my speakers and dreaming away, where you get to that point where you forget how big the room is you're sitting in, with sound as the only reference, and being taken into a huge area where the band or orchestra playing is all around in front of you and you feel the singer is standing in front of you. That effect, I never had with headphones, which is why I never spent time checking out the headphone market. To me, there was no alternative than to listen to stereo speakers.

 

Problem is, I have kids. When they are not there, I am at work, when I am home, they are either there and I cannot listen, or they are to bed and then I cannot listen either because it wakes them up. I noticed not having my regular dose of high-end music listening, I start to be naggy. So, it was time to check out the headphone arena.

 

After reading many posts on head-fi and knowing my taste of sound, I decided the Sennheiser HD600 was the best option in my budget. But I just wanted to listen in my bed at night. As all my music is stored on my Synology DS212+ NAS in FLAC format, I didn't want a portable music player, because I don't want to copy music back and forth onto it. And I also didn't want a laptop next to my bed. The user interface of the iPhone or iPad is much better when you listen in bed. But then, the iPhone or iPad could never drive the 300 ohm Sennheiser and the DAC in the iDevices is not good enough. I heard that already when hooking the iDevices I have to my hifi system, it sounds nice but nothing more than that.

 

So this is where the Nuforce iDo came in. A first step, I was expecting the HD600 would be too hard to drive. But the road to Rome wasn't built in one day, they say, so I figured- let me start with the iDo and see where I'll go some months later.

 

And so, I started listening to the Nuforce iDo with the HD600. And, I must say, the Nuforce has done surprisingly well! At first, the sound was sterile and dry. I read about the importance of burn-in, so during one week, every day before going to work, I put random music in the playlist and let it play all day until coming home. Doing that for five days without listening in the evening- just turning it off. Five days later, on Friday evening, listening again, wow. What a difference. Much deeper bass, much more refined sound. No one needs to convince me anymore that burn-in matters, because it does.

 

Anyhow, now the HD600/Nuforce iDo combination sounds so good, I just can't stop listening to it. I listen to a variety of music. From Dire Straits Telegraph Road, to Allan Taylor, James Blunt, or Miles Davis' Kind of Blue, Pat Matheney, or electronical music like Yello, London Grammar, or something completely different like Ludivico Einaudi's Time Lapse, or classical music like Tchaikovsky, it all sounds simply fantastic! And even though I still believe nothing beats listening to stereo speakers as even though the soundstage of the HD600 is good (I know it's not the best though), because eventually with headphones the show is in your head, but still, I enjoy very much listening to it and that is what matters.

 

Of course, time went on. When reading the specs of the Nuforce iDo, I read that it has very low power when driving the 300 ohm HD600's. Reading the forums here, it made me think maybe the Nuforce iDo isn't good enough. So two weeks ago, I went to various headphone shops that have other headphone amps available to listen to. I tried many. Some very popular on head-fi. I listened to various tube amps, such as the Little Dot MKIII, and or a class A amp like the Matrix M-Stage, all on the HD600. Yes, they have more power- I can pump up the sound substantially louder than on the iDo. But do I want to listen so loud? I don't, to be honest. And when listening at the same sound level, I must say, the Nuforce iDo keeps up surprisingly well. Yes, the sound colouring is slightly different. Tubes sound really nice. But it is a matter of taste I think. Because I just as much enjoy listening to the Nuforce iDo to be honest. I also compared it to Nuforce's own HDP and again, apart from the louder sound, I just as much enjoy the Nuforce iDo.

 

In other words, I have not purchased any amps, as I don't feel it worth the money. At least not now, maybe I get more picky later on. For now, the Nuforce iDo is just the perfect match for my Sennheiser HD600 and the convenience to just hook it up to an iDevice is something I'd lose with the other alternatives. I listened to most from a laptop with a variety of DAC's.

 

One can say the downside of using an iDevice is the quality of the source data. Let me start by saying that I don't buy my music, or rarely, from iTunes. I only listen to lossless audio.

I used EAC for ripping all my CD's to FLAC format. I only have a 16Gb iPad and a 16Gb iPhone, and I don't want to convert my entire collection of CD's and SACD's again to ALE (Apple Lossless) because I have everything already on my NAS as FLAC. And I most of the FLAC players available in the AppStore, I dislike.

 

The perfect solution however is DS Audio from Synology. I can browse my entire CD collection (hundreds of CD's in FLAC format) and listen it streaming over WIFI or 3G or LTE on my iDevice. And the good news is: even if I turn off transcoding, even 24/96 SACD rips in FLAC format play perfectly. For example, I have Dire Strait's Love over Gold in both 16/44.1 FLAC format (ripped myself with EAC from the CD) and in the 24/96 SACD FLAC format. Both sound good, but sound stage is much better on the SACD version and the piano sounds much more natural. To me it seems that the Nuforce iDo really is decoding 24-bit 96 kHz but I have no way to check it, as it doesn't display the bit depth and frequency. But as I hear the difference, I am quite sure that there is no resampling or transcoding.

 

So the combination of the Nuforce iDo and the Synology DS212+ to drive my HD600's seems just perfect!

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