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"All-in-One" Options (e.g. Nuforce Icon-2)

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I'm interested in others' opinions on options for an all-in-one USB audio, DAC, headphone and small power amp combo. The most popular along these lines that seems to be decent is the Nuforce Icon-2. I'm basically in the market because I want to save space and simplify my setup. Here is what I have:


27" iMac

Teralink X2 for USB -> S/PDIF

Zero DAC / Headphone Amp

Lepai LP-2020A+ for desktop speakers


(The reason I have the Teralink is an annoying one--the iMac's optical out causes the Zero DAC to go to sleep when there is no audio, so starting a new track after silence for a while results in the very beginning being cut off.)


Budget is in the < $400 range. Do not need excruciatingly high volumes. Just enough to drive a pair of 89 dB/W speakers at a comfortable level. (And to be clear, the use case for this is music, 99% of the time.)

post #2 of 6
What about the Matrix M-Stage USB? That would at least allow you to reduce down to one headphone amp/DAC + the Lepai. The M-Stage describes the line out as a pre-amp out. If you can control the line out with the volume on the M-Stage (verify that), then you can hide the Lepai out of the way. For instance, if your desktop speakers are big enough, you could mount the Lepai on the back of one of them.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Not super keen on a device that doesn't integrate the speaker amp as well. But maybe I'm asking for too much.
post #4 of 6
What you are wanting is very specialized. Most people don't want that all combined. Probably a very small market for it.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Indeed. Thanks though!
post #6 of 6

For under $400, the NuForce Icon HDP is a good choice. Icon-2 does good too.


I have a mint condition HDP for $325 if you're interested.



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