iFi Hip-DAC Impressions Thread
Feb 17, 2020 at 9:17 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 537

inexactscience

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A new $149 portable DAC from iFi!

It comes in every colour you like, so long as it's blue!

Tech Specs:

Formats supportedDSD256/128/64, Octa/Quad/Double/Single-Speed DSD
DXD(384/352.8kHz),
PCM(384/352.8/192/176.4/96/88.2/48/44.1kHz)
MQA
Digital InputsUSB 3.0 type ’A’
High-Speed Asynchronous USB 2.0, (32bit/384kHz)
Headphone OutputsBalanced 4.4mm
Single-Ended S-Balanced 3.5mm
Power Output2.0V/400 mW @ 16 Ohm
BatteryLithium-polymer 2200mAh
Power SystemCharging via USB-C, BC V1.2 compliant up to 1000mA charging current
Power (max)<2W idle, 4W max
Dimensions102(l) x 70(w) x 14(h) mm
Weight125g (0.28 lbs)

Photos (Copyright iFi Audio 2020):
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Feb 17, 2020 at 9:26 PM Post #2 of 537

inexactscience

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iFi has released their Hip-DAC, a $149/£149 portable DAC with S-Balanced 3.5mm single ended and a 4.4mm balanced output.

The DAC, a Burr-Brown DSD1793, is capable of supporting native playback up to DSD 256/DXD 384/PCM 384kHz and MQA.

It utilizes quad J-Fet OV4627A OPamps and can output 2.0V/400mW @16 Ohm. It's powered by a li-po 2200mAh battery, and weighs 125g. Charging is via a separate USB-C input, and battery is stated to last up to 12 hours.

It's got the iFi treatment, with a male USB-A inset input, connecting to the V.4 AMR XMOS chipset for a stable, quality connection. It's got an XBass bass boost, as well as switchable gain in their Power Match toggle.

Oh, and this little thing is able to plug into a PC and work as a USB DAC from your Window or Mac computer.

I'm currently using it as a portable DAC for an iPod and Pixel 4. With UAPP on the Pixel 4, I can get MQA, but otherwise Tidal will suffer the Android SRC and output 16-bit 44.1kHz. Honestly, I can't tell the difference on the go, so I'm a happy camper!

One thing I will note: on the iPod, volume is maxed out, and on low volumes, the Hip-DAC has a noticeable channel imbalance, which can be corrected in the iPod accessibility settings. However, out of the P4 (with or without UAPP) I can control the volume output on the phone. Reducing volume on the phone and raising it on the Hip-DAC will eliminate the imbalance and allow for a very enjoyable experience.

What do the rest of you think about this little offering from iFi?
 
Feb 17, 2020 at 9:33 PM Post #3 of 537

artpiggo

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It is the most valuable usb dac I've ever experienced.
 
Feb 18, 2020 at 11:04 AM Post #6 of 537

BebopMcJiggy

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I could never tolerate a portable with a type A plug, C or bust thx. I understand it's for iphone users to use the camera kit or whatever... still, that's a deal breaker for me on a portable, though I suppose iphone users are a bigger market than me.
 
Feb 18, 2020 at 10:45 PM Post #7 of 537

inexactscience

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I could never tolerate a portable with a type A plug, C or bust thx. I understand it's for iphone users to use the camera kit or whatever... still, that's a deal breaker for me on a portable, though I suppose iphone users are a bigger market than me.
I understand where you're coming from. The Hip-DAC does come with a female USB-A to make USB-C cable and I've gotten a better experience pairing it with a Pixel than with an iPod Touch through the CCK. But you don't have to take my word for it.

One point for thought: there's more Android phones than iPhones, and now Samsung has dropped the jack...
 
Feb 19, 2020 at 8:07 PM Post #11 of 537

inexactscience

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So you mean soundwise they are same?
Meaning I have no idea about sound differences; I haven't listened to the DACport HD. They're also different products targeting different use cases. The Centrance DACport HD is filling a role where one needs something small, but can accept larger batter drain from the source device, and would be more comparable to the HIdizs S8/Tempotec Sonata HD than the iFi Hip-Dac. The Hip-DAC is competing with other larger, but still portable balanced options, where it supplies its own power and would be more comparable to the FiiO Q1 Mark II.

It really comes down to use case. For what I intend to use the Hip-DAC for, it's great; I get better volume control on the go, plus a more pocketable portable device.
 
Feb 20, 2020 at 10:55 AM Post #12 of 537

captblaze

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i have a Hip DAC incoming and am curious to see how it pairs (4.4mm) with Tin P1. As of now the only thing i have that drives the P1 with authority is an E1DA PDv2 and as much as enjoy how it makes the P1 open up, i am not a fan of having to carry around a power bank and extra cables to make it all work. Hip DAC looks like it may (if it has the umph) be an acceptable alternative

being a fan of Burr Brown sound signature i have my fingers crossed
 
Feb 20, 2020 at 1:01 PM Post #13 of 537

technobear

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Hip DAC looks like it may (if it has the umph) be an acceptable alternative
I think you need to take another look at the published specifications of the P1.

Rated Power: 5mW

Max Power: 10 mW

Sensitivity: 96dB/mW (+/-3dB)

Even the feeblest of DAPs can far exceed 10mW. If you are expecting a mobile disco in your head from the P1, sorry you have bought the wrong earphone. With a rating of 96dB/mW and a max power of 10mW (musical peaks only), you are going to hit no more than about 106dB peaks. Now that is loud but if you are expecting more then you need a different earphone.
 
Feb 20, 2020 at 3:40 PM Post #15 of 537

captblaze

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I think you need to take another look at the published specifications of the P1.

Rated Power: 5mW

Max Power: 10 mW

Sensitivity: 96dB/mW (+/-3dB)

Even the feeblest of DAPs can far exceed 10mW. If you are expecting a mobile disco in your head from the P1, sorry you have bought the wrong earphone. With a rating of 96dB/mW and a max power of 10mW (musical peaks only), you are going to hit no more than about 106dB peaks. Now that is loud but if you are expecting more then you need a different earphone.

numbers are fun to talk about, but I will let my ears be the judge
 

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