General Information

iFi hip-dac warms the soul with intoxicating sound

With a sound as flavoursome and richly detailed as a delicious single malt, the hip-dac portable USB DAC/headphone amp delivers the perfect pick-me-up for any music lover on-the-go


Southport, England – iFi adds to its award-winning range of portable DAC/headphone amps with an all-new design – the hip-dac.

Smartly dressed in petrol blue with a touch of copper, the go-anywhere hip-dac is designed to slip discretely into a pocket and offers an extensive hi-res specification that belies its eminently affordable £149, (€159, $149) price tag.

The hip-dac replaces the inferior DAC (Digital-to-Analogue Convertor) and amp circuitry in smartphones, tablets, PCs and Macs to vastly improve headphone sound. Its design and performance set it apart from other DAC/headphone amps in its class – connect your playback device via USB, plug in your favourite corded headphones or in-ear monitors and the hip-dac delivers a sound brimming with bold dynamism and fluid refinement, effortlessly engaging the listener with all manner of music.

In the home, in the office, on a train or plane – the hip-dac is the music lover’s inseparable friend.

Latest reviews


100+ Head-Fier
Pros: Great Design
Battery Life
Great Sound Quality
Powerful Bass
Has IEMatch
Has X-bass (for those who need the extra punch)
Balanced Circiutry (Dual DACs)
Great Build Quality
Cons: Supplied Cable is short, stiff and looks cheap, also easily breaking connection
The Hip Dac is iFI's most affordable portable headphone amp, selling at around $250AUD. There have been two further renditions of the Hip Dac, with the Hip Dac 2, and Gold Edition, each slightly more expensive than the original. The original Hip Dac still holds it's own, however, delivering 400mW in 35 Ohms from the blanced output (4.4mm Pentacon), and 200mW from the unbalanced out, utilising iFI's S-balanced curciutry.

Design and Build:
The Hip Dac has a minimalsitic yet classy design, made to look like it's namesake, a Hipflask. it comes in a petrol blue colour, with a copper coloured volume pot, also acting as the power On/Off switch (a touch that I like, as it allows for a cleaner design). On the top (or front, depending on whether it's sitting on a desk of in your pocket) it has the volume pot, 4.4mm and 3.5mm outputs, and IEMatch and X-bass buttons. These are designed to mirror each other, with volume in the center, 4.4mm output to the right, then 3.5mm output beside that, then on the other side, the X-bass button is the same size as the balanced out, the IEMatch the same as the 3.5mm out. the input and charging (two different ports) are placed at the bottom, charging via USB C, and audio input via USB A. Interestingly, iFI have decided to put the male connecter on the device end, fully recesse in the bottom, with the matching female connecter on the supplied cable that slots into the gap. This supposedly allows for a more secure connection, although i find it to mean that it breaks connections, as the cable is very stiff, and doesn't curve around properly, meaning that it gradually wiggles loose. This cable also feels very Cheap and plasticy, although is very heavy duty.

the Hip Dac features a Burr Brown DAC, known to have a slightly warmer sound. This is the case on the Hip Dac, but it is very nicely done, without any bleeding of bass in to mids, or muddy bass. The bass on the hip dac is very punchy, and has good weight and presence, while not overpowering the treble, which is very light and airy sounding, but not overly bright. I find that the Hip Dac is better at powering full sized headphones, using normal gain settings, than it is at driving IEMs on low gain, not for a lack of power, but rather I find that in ears sound slightly less detailed and revealing. I pefer to drive IEMs with my FiiO E10K on low gain, which I find has greater detail, and slightly more spacious, whereas on the Hip Dac they tend to be a touch congested, with not as good instrument seperation.


The iFI Hip Dac is an excellent budget friendly headphone amp/DAC capable of driving most headphones (minus insanely low sensitivity planars or some of Beyerdynamic's beastly pro cans), while maybe not ideal for IEMs, which can drop in quality due to being held back by gain switching (like driving a pair of bookshelf speakers with a huge power amp).

Antick Dhar

New Head-Fier
iFi Hip Dac- A warm flask of audio goodness?
Pros: -Solid Build construction
-phenomenal looks
-Forward and dynamic sound
-Precisely administered Bass slam on X-Bass mode
-Warm with smooth sound presentation
-Non fatiguing treble
-Excellent midrange
-Value for money
Cons: -Slow Charging
-There is no LED for signal charging level
-Average Soundstage
-Not including OTG cable for Iphone
Summary- The hip-dac portable USB DAC/headphone amp helps improve your mood by adding the delicious, full-bodied flavor of single malt whiskey to your mind.

Disclaimer- No one has paid me or given me with a review unit for this iFi Hip dac, which I bought from Gears For Ears - Bangladesh with my own money. As a result, everything I've said in this review is totally based on my own personal experiences

Build (5/5)-
The quality of build is Solid and great with The aluminum case feels, and the metal volume control (which also serves as a power switch) has a pleasing cooled feeling to it.

-Both the 3.5mm and balanced Pentaconn 4.4mm jacks are available. The argument is that the balanced output takes full use of the DAC's internal circuitry, and offers the hip-dac something of a unique selling proposition (USP) in today ’s market.

-The Power Match button switches between low and high gain modes.

-Inputs: USB Type-A, USB 3.0, 3.5mm audio | Outputs: 3.5mm, 4.4mm | Bluetooth: No | Native sample rate support: PCM (up to 384kHz), DXD (up to 384kHz), DSD (up to 256kHz), MQA | Dimensions (hwd): 1.4 x 7 x 10.2cm (length) | Weight: 125g

-iFi still supports all of their features with the entry-level devices. The larger iFi devices have those X-Bass and 3D features, and they kept the X-bass on with the hip Dac.

-Up to 32-bit/384-kHz PCM and DSD256 files can be played on the hip-audio dac's output. MQA is on the menu as well. That said, there's a good possibility the hip-dac will serve as your personal music server.

-The 2200mAh Li-Poly battery is not particularly big. It lasts between five and seven hours, which is much less than I would want. Considering that I listened to it loudly, it might take you up to 8 or 9 hours if you listen quietly. The charge time is about two hours, which is again very slow.

Pairing IEMs- Dunu Zen , Dunu Titan 6 , Moondrop Aria , Final E5000, Fiio Fh3, Blon Bl-05s



N.B Use the 3.5mm S-Balanced for those ‘hissy' IEMs. Your single-ended connection gives you access to all the advantages of balanced audio. In my review sessions, though, I tend to utilize the 4.4 balanced output most often.

Sound Section (5/5)

Tonality- Warm, Smooth, Full

- The IFi Hip DAC's sound is controlled by its bass slam, which is the greatest section of its sound. This brand of Burr Brown Dac chips is famous. And the primary bass has a lot of substance. For most entry-level headphones, this amp offers excellent dynamics. When it comes to bass-loving headphones and IEMs with poor bass or bright tuning, the X-Bass may actually be useful as it is not boomy. The X- bass works very well, and with Moondrop Aria and Dunu Zen, it was a wonderful experience and extremely detailed.

Mids- The mids have an energetic yet detailed tone, with a forward but punchy sound. Even though it has a little thickness to it, the midrange sounds so dynamic. With music from artists like Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Safkat Amanat Ali, the iFi provides lots of punch and energetic sounds that are powerful, open and expressive. Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's unique voice comes through with complexity, while the background music is so good.

Treble- It's full, rich, and extremely smooth in the treble. In other words, a less fatiguing, smoother presentation is offered.

Soundstage – The soundstage is basically average and does not have an immersive soundstage. But after the GTO filter update, it increased and presented a decent soundstage. In imaging, I gave it a go with the GTO filter, but I felt little toward it on soundstage and separation.

Again, I really appreciated how the portable DAC/AMP adjusted for the tricky harmonic circumstances while listening to just a few songs. The Hip DAC has a warmer sound yet is still forward and dynamic. As a result, when I paired the Hip-dac with DUNU Zen, a notable peak in the upper midrange was entirely gone from Dunu Zen surprisingly.



It has a sleek and absent of harsh edges appearance. It takes a lot of energy to listen to a hip-dac for long periods of time, and you won't feel fatigued subsequently. In addition to that, the battery life, which is only adequate for one day of use, is a little disappointing. A second two-hour charge is required, although you may still use it during this time. I would recommend updating the GTO filter after purchasing the hip Dac. Lastly, for the price, this is the best value for the money and Hip Dac won't let you down.
Antick Dhar
Antick Dhar
Sifat Redwan
Great review ! Can this power the Hifiman 400se ?
Thanks for the review! Could you compare sound quality between 3.5 usual and 3.5 balance?

Sajid Amit

Headphoneus Supremus
Pocket Rocket!
Pros: Sound Quality, A well-executed Bass Boost, Build Quality, Looks, basically everything!
Cons: Charges a tad slowly, but nitpicking here!
Mini Review:

Using a Burr-Brown DAC Chip, the iFi Hip DAC offers surprisingly good sound quality for its price. I managed to get a review unit from Gears for Ears, a leading audiophile store in Bangladesh, and was very impressed. For reference, I am used to large desktop amps and dacs. My current setup is a Holo Audio May DAC and an Accuphase e380 Integrated Amplifier which I use to drive both headphones and speakers.

This is a warm sounding DAC Amp combo with 400 mW of power, which is enough to drive headphones. Both my Focal Clear and Sennheiser HD 650 were driven well. I used the Final Audio A8000 which can be analytical, and while the Hip DAC represented the A8000's sound signature well, I did notice a slight dip in lower treble, compared to the upper treble.

The bass-boost function works exceedingly well, and it was rollicking good fun with the Sennheisher HD 650. :)

Video Review:

Samin Zaman
Samin Zaman
Exilent Bhai ❤️
Do you think the Hip Dac is worth it for the A8000? How is the sound different than stock IPhone? I have a Chord TT2 that I can use in desktop mode but wondering what a good portable solution would be for the A8000. Thanks.



Headphoneus Supremus
Anyone tried connecting es100 to hipdac? Love the hipdac, but wondering if that would help make it less bulky on the go.


Headphoneus Supremus
So, got thr hip dac again after returning it the first time. Did some A/B connecting it with my G8 vs my m11. Hip dac has a noticeable hiss. M11 pro is dead quiet. Hipd ac has thr bass boost, which sounds great. Hip dac runs over ear better, whereas with the m11 Pro, I have to turn the volume waaaay up to drive my phantoms. In terms of clarity, stage, etc, I can't tell a difference yet. I remember thinking the m11 had better treble resolution prior, but I need to test again. So much time spent to eak out miniscule differences.


Zen dac and
Hip dac sound quite different, zen is mellow and hip is more
Detailed and edgy , which I prefer

micro signature is thx level neutral but full