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NuForce Icon DAC with Android/DSD support now release! - Page 4

post #46 of 96
Originally Posted by Armaegis View Post

If it's faulty they should be able to replace it for you.

My retailer agreed to replace it for me, but only if I send the entire package back to them, given that I am in Australia, I have already paid $50 USD to have it shipped to me, and it is a bit much for me to spend another $50 USD to ship it back. I have contacted Nuforce directly and I am trying to get them to send me a replacement adapter rather than going through the first option. 


Out of interest, i just want to know if I can find a better alternative. 

post #47 of 96

Something with equivalent voltage should work. You can try emailing them and ask what voltage range the DAC is compatible with, which might give you a bit more flexibility. You might have better luck getting a replacement from Nuforce as well, since I believe they do ship out of Taiwan (which might be cheaper for shipping?)


While it's not necessarily cheaper, I know people have used an AMB s11 to power the HDP.

post #48 of 96

ICON got game!

A Review On: Nuforce ICON-DAC-BLACK Headphone Amp with USB

Nuforce ICON-DAC-BLACK Headphone Amp with USB

Rated # 54 in Amp/DACs
See all 1 reviews Recent Pricing: Review Details:
Audio Quality


Posted 7 minutes ago · 4 Views · 0 Comments

Pros: Fantastic versatility and ease of use, solid build quality, great sound quality, powerful..

Cons: Power cord is too short, verticle stand can be improved, Windows Driver shows 16 bit audio only. Tested on 2 different computers.


Firstly I would like to thank Wofgang0119 @ Nuforce for the review sample..More info can be found here


The ICON dac has been burned in for over 200 hours and tested with my Samsung HDTV, Denon receiver, Sony CD and Bluray players, Panasonic cassette dec, Ibasso DX50 and Fiio X3, my Media laptop, Shure SRH1540, Fidelio X1, Sony XBA-H3, AD900X.


I remember the first time I really fell head over heels for a sound. It was my High school days during the 80s it was my Panasonic Shockwave Cassette player

This player to me was the proverbial Bomb! That big bass and that full sound was all I needed to take me to another level in sound. But truth be told compared to the sound of today's equipment these don't sound all that good but case in point I got the ICON DAC and even on open box trail it was clearly evident to my ears that I was dealing with a very nice sounding DAC..I will get to the sound later but I will run down the merits of the ICON DAC...



The ICON DAC  measures H 6” (15.24 cm) X W 1” (2.54 cm) X D 4.5” (11.43 cm) and weighs in at 1 lbs..It has a solid all aluminum build that one would expect from Nuforce. I am happy to report the build gets a solid A in construction and form factor. The ICON DAC was made to be used vertically so it comes with a thick rubber base that was provided.. Though this is one of my complaints about the whole package. While this works just fine for putting the ICON DAC into place. The actual holder has too much give and with a slight tug in one direction or the other the DAC itself can easily be tipped over. I think the holder needs to be more stiff with less give way. Maybe a hybrid plastic rubber footing would be better. Which leads me to my other minor complaint. The first night I tried the ICON on my PC I was excited to give it a go so I had it on my desk next to my PC and in my haste to plug it in the ICON, I went straight for the wall not somehow thinking it would have been long enough cord to make it there. Nope, it slammed onto the hardwood floor..So unknowingly I actually tested the build quality of the DAC. It survived the fall with no issues whatsoever. The cord is approximately 4 ft short. Just barely long enough to be connected to the wall but barely..4ft longer and it would have been perfect..Yes I am nit picking as these 2 were the only real faults of the player..Now to the good stuff.



To me a source is one that should be versatile as well have the sound quality to be worth the investment..The ICON succeeds in both of these fronts. I used the ICON as a pre amp between my TV and Denon receiver..Threw on Judge Dredd Blueray and Oh my the sound out of the subs was clearly THX in quality and impact. The power of the ICON was clearly evident..Rumble of the JVC Subs connected to the receiver shook the room with an earth quake like rumble.. Sound out of the ICON through speakers is clean dimensional, balanced and has that low impact that I appreciate from Nuforce sound tuning..Connected to my Sony CD player the room came alive with an invigorating full sound that kept me looking deep into my CD collection..The power of the ICON was undeniable. It supplied that extra juice that most sources just can't touch. I can definitely appreciate that raw power.  I think my NFB-5 is the only other source that can drive with similar ability to the ICON but all my others just don't hang..Connected to my media PC is where the sound qualities of the ICON was evaluated as well as my portable sources DX50 and X3 both connected to the 3.5 in on the back of the ICON.




I noticed one thing about Nuforce tuning..Each manufacturer has a "house sound" they like that is used for their various gears and the house tuning for Nuforce is clearly in full strength on the ICON. To my ears there are some similarities of how this source was tuned to the U-DAC-3 but obviously at a higher level in power and sound quality.. There are also similarities to the NE-700X earphones in sound to these sources as well.. What they all share is that full range sound and bass that is to die for..The abilities of the ICON in full force is very much in line with my own personal preference in sound signature. I would call myself a complete head.. Not a treble head or mid head or bass head.. A total head.. It is too much to ask to have all that your music has to be in full force? That is in fact what you get with this sound..Going from the DX50 by itself using my SRH1540 and then connected to the ICON. The difference is massive. It goes from the good performer to a full blown out sound that leaves one slack jawed.. There is more than just a little jump in performance. It is clearly audible. The stage and depth increases. Vocals a touch more forward and lush, bass has more texture, weight, treble is clean and more refined. I would say the overall tonality is a touch over neutral leaning toward warmth with a more musical tilt vs an analytical sound. Which is in line with my own sonic preference. A musical deep wide sound in approach and presentation. I notice vocals have and instruments have solid weight and definition..Using my Fidelio X1..That stage that depth..I found myself listening to my X1s till the wee hours of night enjoying every minute of the session..


That BASS.!!.

The detail of the sound is not only exemplary of a nicer tuned DAC but. That BASS!!. Using my XBA-H3 in ears the bass is in full bloom..While it is not the same effect as my JVC subs, for earphones these in ears house some of the largest dynamic drivers for a hybrid earphone that does bass when in conjunction with the ICON just flows them low notes. I am not talking about that bloated messiness stuff. I am talking about fully textured and layered real bass that digs deep into your soul.  It is the very essence of synergy on steroids. Authority with the best quality I have heard for low notes from a source easily.. It isn't just the low notes but the entire sound.Just when I think this synergy is the best using my H3s..Here come my SRH1540. I am simply blown away by what the ICON is doing for all my in ears and headphones. That lushness of sound using the SRH1540 connected to the ICON has brought the sound of the SRH1540 to another level..Now it is not all peachy with all my gears..I recently acquired a fantastic pair of in ears called the Zero Audio Doppios..These are a brand new dual BA in ears that while sound amazing on a simple source. It's 12 ohm sensitivity is a miss match for the ICON and was the only in ears that sounded terrible using the ICON. Minus this all my headphones from the AD900X to the SRH1540 all sound better than they ever have..



Nuforce got it going on. I have a new found respect for Wolfgang and company at Nuforce..To say I am enjoying the ICON DAC is an understatement. I kinda knew it was going to be better than the U-DAC-3 but I had no idea just by how much..The ICON easily hand my Audinst MX2, its lunch and dinner for similar functionality with much more power and engaging sound.. While I have been happy with my Meridian Explorer I have to admit I much prefer this sound tuning over the ME..Now the only real competition the ICON has was my NFB-5 and while I love the sound out of the NFB-5 It is simply too big to lug around. In comparison. The form factor and power of the ICON is much more ideal. Simple to use. Simple to play with it's plug n play functionality..Versatility and sound quality that merge into a powerful soild form factor..Fantastic job by the sound gurus at Nuforce..

post #49 of 96



I can expect it to be better than the modi or odac so Ill just order it. 

Edited by grizzlybeast - 1/24/14 at 10:24pm
post #50 of 96

Nice, thanks for the review. I can't wait to try mine....when it get fixed. 

post #51 of 96

better question:


I have an odac on the way here.. If I wanted the best sound quality I could get right now with the 300 or so smacks. what would do it:

A. ODAC +NuForce HA-200

B. NuForce Icon DAC


This is based on the SQ of the DAC alone. 

post #52 of 96

I own the Audinst MX2 which is a similar level of neutrality in sound of the O2..If a strictly neutral source is what your going for than those are fine for that but what I like about the ICON is it is a very musical sounding DAC. It is much more engaging than a strictly neutrally tuned sound..I have a feeling these have a Wolfson variety of chip inside because I can hear similarities in sound signature to my NFB-5 which has dual WM8741s..This DAC might not be the most neutral of sound but I would find it hard pressed to find another in the $300 range that is gonna sound as good with this amount of versatility..With a good quality headphone this source just makes the goodness of your headphones or speakers sound that much better..It is in every way an upgrade to my MX2..Everything about this sound just lets you enjoy your music to the fullest..Check Amazon reviews, not a single disappointment to be found..For me a source can do all sorts of things but if it don't have the SQ to justify the cost then what is the point. 

post #53 of 96

Well I bought one and will compare it to my ODAC and vali combo.. 


I wont be keeping all of them... maybe the odac since I put my logo on it. Its a really small piece. 

I am excited about this musicality part.  cant wait to hear it.

Edited by grizzlybeast - 1/25/14 at 6:11pm
post #54 of 96



I know this is off topic but obviously this amp pairs well with smooth heapdhones like the x1 and shure 1540. 


Would you say that the 1540 is worth the jump in price over the x1? 

post #55 of 96
Originally Posted by grizzlybeast View Post



I know this is off topic but obviously this amp pairs well with smooth heapdhones like the x1 and shure 1540. 


Would you say that the 1540 is worth the jump in price over the x1? 


Yes..Especially if you are into your deep smooth mids in your sound presentation..The SRH1540 actually has fuller bass over the X1 as well. They are not quite basshead but is enough to satisfy bass guys and detail guys at the same time. Now if you can get them for $400 like I did. It is a no brainer.  Earphonesolutions had a sale on them and I had to get em. I am so glad I did. I would check the sale forums as I have seen a few on sale there as well. As much as I enjoy my X1s. I can say the SRH1540 is definitely above the X1 in SQ. 

post #56 of 96
Thanks... I just saw the new he400i so if those don't work out I may pick these up
post #57 of 96

I found this review and google translated it.. They didnt like the hdp but said that this sounds nothing like it at all... I am excited


post #58 of 96

this thing is smaller than i thought. Barely bigger than the schiit vali and the sound!:L3000: 



so when I plug in my odac to the analog input it is clicking on and off and wont play any sound.

Edited by grizzlybeast - 2/1/14 at 5:35pm
post #59 of 96

Congrats on the ICON.. That sounds strange if it is turning on and off.  I didn't have any issues like that when I threw on my CD players and such through analog. I wonder if there is an issue with your ICON. I would try another source to see if you can repeat the issue.

post #60 of 96
Thanks. It may be me using a 3.5 to rca instead of just plain RCA.

It sounds great though a little bright but really clear! I like it better than the ODAC.
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