iFi Hip-DAC Impressions Thread
Apr 15, 2020 at 11:46 AM Post #77 of 759

tmb821

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Hi, I wanted to know if anyone can tell me if the IFI HIP or FiiO BTR5 is better.. I have sony XBA-N3, Thanks

Different devices. Hip dac is wired only, btr5 is bluetooth dongle. Better depends on your wants and application. I have btr3 and Fiio k3, one is for portable use (btr3) the other is for laptop use (k3). Of course you can also use btr5 in usb dac mode.
 
Apr 15, 2020 at 12:01 PM Post #78 of 759

Ynot1

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Zeos reviewed FiiO BTR5 and the Hip Dac. You can ask him which sounds better. I think Hip Dac is better if you use it with wired, because I don't think there is anything like it on the market. But if you must have wireless then BTR5 is a good option. But again I'm not allowed to say things about things that I don't own yet.
 
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Apr 15, 2020 at 3:03 PM Post #79 of 759

Luke Skywalker

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Hey guys, hoping to get some expert advice. I'm trying to decide between buying the HIP versus the xDSD ... The specs for the xDSD look superior to the HIP in every way (More power for headphones, better internals, DSD512) and Bluetooth would definitely be pimp

Do you think that the xDSD would be as easy as the HIP to carry around with an iPhone? The dimensions on the xDSD look pretty similar to those of the hip-dac. The HIP is a little thinner but the overall weight is the same.

I'd be using the xDSD in 2 ways:
1) Lola IEM -> JH Audio 2.5mm balanced cable -> 2.5 female / 3.5 balanced male adapter -> xDSD and
2) Audeze LCD-2 -> custom balanced cable with 4.4mm male end -> 4.4 balanced female / 3.5 balanced male adapter -> xDSD

I do kind of wish that the xDSD had a 4.4mm balanced output like the HIP (instead of the 3.5mm) but that doesn't seem like a very good reason to choose one DAC over another. For that matter, the HIP might not kick out enough juice to drive my LCD-2's and then I'd feel like a real bozo for not getting the xDSD

Can anybody think of any reason why I'd go HIP instead of xDSD? The cost is not a major consideration for me

One other huge advantage is that the HIP is sold out everywhere and I am not a patient man :)

Thanks for the help, I really appreciate the advice
 
Apr 16, 2020 at 9:13 AM Post #80 of 759

Kevintj604

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Let me know how it goes with Solaris+HipDAC. I've heard Hip DAC might be just too warm.

iEMatch just arrived. Spent about 30mins with it on a bunch of test tracks. It's a legitimate answer to the hiss/noise floor issues with Solaris and Atlas. I imagine Andromeda would be the same. There's absolutely no hiss whatsoever. It's perfect black. The settings were High Gain -12db. I experienced no loss in detail retrieval or dynamics. I did however need to bump the volume up considerably on the Hip Dac so that's the only downfall, but I had plenty of headroom still. The iEMatch comes with a "velvet" bag that fits the Hip Dac perfectly as well so that's a bonus.

You're correct with the warmth of the Hip Dac. I still vastly prefer the DragonFly Cobalt with Solaris as a portable option. I wouldn't say the Hip Dac and Solaris are a bad pairing though and it's nice to have both options to change the signature up a little. The Bass boost on Hip Dac with Solaris is nice for modern genres.
 

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Apr 16, 2020 at 11:18 AM Post #81 of 759

foto16

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Hey guys, hoping to get some expert advice. I'm trying to decide between buying the HIP versus the xDSD ... The specs for the xDSD look superior to the HIP in every way (More power for headphones, better internals, DSD512) and Bluetooth would definitely be pimp

Do you think that the xDSD would be as easy as the HIP to carry around with an iPhone? The dimensions on the xDSD look pretty similar to those of the hip-dac. The HIP is a little thinner but the overall weight is the same.

I'd be using the xDSD in 2 ways:
1) Lola IEM -> JH Audio 2.5mm balanced cable -> 2.5 female / 3.5 balanced male adapter -> xDSD and
2) Audeze LCD-2 -> custom balanced cable with 4.4mm male end -> 4.4 balanced female / 3.5 balanced male adapter -> xDSD

I do kind of wish that the xDSD had a 4.4mm balanced output like the HIP (instead of the 3.5mm) but that doesn't seem like a very good reason to choose one DAC over another. For that matter, the HIP might not kick out enough juice to drive my LCD-2's and then I'd feel like a real bozo for not getting the xDSD

Can anybody think of any reason why I'd go HIP instead of xDSD? The cost is not a major consideration for me

One other huge advantage is that the HIP is sold out everywhere and I am not a patient man :)

Thanks for the help, I really appreciate the advice
I don't see any reason not getting the xdsd if money is not a concern. It has better specs and is virtually the same size. If anything it's more mobile if you use bluetooth and cut the cable with the iphone.
 
Apr 16, 2020 at 12:17 PM Post #82 of 759

Kevintj604

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Hey guys, hoping to get some expert advice. I'm trying to decide between buying the HIP versus the xDSD ... The specs for the xDSD look superior to the HIP in every way (More power for headphones, better internals, DSD512) and Bluetooth would definitely be pimp

Do you think that the xDSD would be as easy as the HIP to carry around with an iPhone? The dimensions on the xDSD look pretty similar to those of the hip-dac. The HIP is a little thinner but the overall weight is the same.

I'd be using the xDSD in 2 ways:
1) Lola IEM -> JH Audio 2.5mm balanced cable -> 2.5 female / 3.5 balanced male adapter -> xDSD and
2) Audeze LCD-2 -> custom balanced cable with 4.4mm male end -> 4.4 balanced female / 3.5 balanced male adapter -> xDSD

I do kind of wish that the xDSD had a 4.4mm balanced output like the HIP (instead of the 3.5mm) but that doesn't seem like a very good reason to choose one DAC over another. For that matter, the HIP might not kick out enough juice to drive my LCD-2's and then I'd feel like a real bozo for not getting the xDSD

Can anybody think of any reason why I'd go HIP instead of xDSD? The cost is not a major consideration for me

One other huge advantage is that the HIP is sold out everywhere and I am not a patient man :)

Thanks for the help, I really appreciate the advice

Personally I hated the UI of the xDSD. The hold button and turn knob to switch inputs never worked for me and I returned it to the headphone shop within a week of frustration. Having said that I loved the sound. Had a ton of power and could drive everything that I threw at it with a descent amount of headroom. I’m using the 4.4mm on the Hip Dac and most of my library is MQA so for me it’s a near perfect device. If you don’t need 4.4mm, have DSD music and want Bluetooth the xDSD is a better choice. xDSD build quality is exceptional for the price especially if you can get used to the UI switching from Bluetooth to standard input. The size is a little bit wider in depth compared to the Hip Dac but they’re very comparable.
 
Apr 16, 2020 at 2:43 PM Post #83 of 759

Luke Skywalker

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Thanks a lot guys, I just ordered the xDSD. Super pumped! I too do mostly MQA Tidal tracks and although I have the DragonFly Red, I think this will be better in a lot of ways. Planning to pair the Bluetooth with my Nvidia Shield and watch the original Star Wars trilogy in 4K listening with my Audeze's :)

I also ordered two of the Penon HiFi Balanced Adapter Cables. :)
 
Apr 16, 2020 at 7:55 PM Post #85 of 759

foto16

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What are the differences between the ifi hip dac and zen dac?

  • I haven't seen a comparison but it seems safe to assume they have comparable sound quality.
  • The Zen is a small desktop DAC while the Hip is a portable DAC. You can move the Zen around the house, but it's too big to be taked outside walking, commuting, etc. So I would say let the mobility requirement dictate your choice.
  • Zen doesn't have a battery and can run directly off the USB port of a device. No battery to worry about. One can plug in an optional DC power supply.
  • Hip has to be run with the internal battery. If you forget to charge it, you are out of luck as it can't run off USB. If you use Zen with a mobile device, it will drain the battery of that device.
  • Zen has line out options in the back to connect to active speakers and amps if you want to integrate it into a hifi system.
  • They have the same power output. I'm a bit disappointed that the bigger one doesn't have higher power to differentiate from the small one, but I guess it's due to the need to run from USB power only.
 
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Apr 18, 2020 at 11:24 PM Post #87 of 759

Ynot1

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Mac and iPhone both support bluetooth. But if I can forgo bluetooth requirement and sound was the most important thing, I think Hip Dac is really tough to beat. It is the latest and greatest technology. It is not quite like CPU getting outdated. But Hip Dac in my opinion is a big jump in price to performance. I think it is best to try before rejecting it. Also if you listen only to soft and boring music, then dynamic performance is prolly not what you're looking for. I consider elevator music boring.
 
Apr 20, 2020 at 11:28 AM Post #88 of 759

Luke Skywalker

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Hey, so I picked up an iFi xDSD this weekend. One of the reasons was that I'm very impatient and I simply couldn't wait for the HIP-dac to be back in stock.

I absolutely love this device. I’m listening to Tidal Masters and DSD’s on my JH Lola IEM’s and the sound is unbelievable. I’m using a 2.5mm balanced male -> 3.5 balanced female adapter, which made a pretty dramatic difference versus an unbalanced.

I had hesitated a little because the xDSD looks much bigger in pictures. It’s actually quite tiny in my hand - the hand model must be a munchkin. Beautiful construction and intuitive controls. Love when the purple light tells me I’m listening to an MQA

Plenty of power on the IEM’s. Will test with my Audeze LCD-2’s as soon as my 4.4mm balanced female -> 3.5 balanced male adapter arrives

Haven’t tested the Bluetooth yet...
 

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