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Questions about Nuforce Icon hdp for my JH16s.

Discussion in 'Headphone Amps (full-size)' started by rhettd03, Nov 8, 2013.
  1. rhettd03
    Yo guys, so this is my first thread on head-fi, I've browsed the forums for about a year and finally have a question that I can't find a answer to. 
    So I just received a Nuforce Icon HDP for my JH16's. I've had my JH16's for about a year now, which I'm extremely happy with. 
    For the past year I've just ran my monitors through my macbook pro retina display and the pair sounds fantastic compared to my iPod or iPhone with the jh16s. Also, I know the JH16s are really easy to drive and some people say you don't need an amp.
    Anyway, so I got my Icon HDP set it up with my macbook and jh16's. The first few songs I listened to I was thinking I had to of set it up wrong or something can't be right. After a day or two of listening I decided there is maybe a slightly better sound or no difference at all.
    And I have listened to some pretty high-end audio equipment and headphones, so I believe I would be able to pick up the enhanced quality. My uncle has shown me the ropes of the hi-fi world so I'm no expert, but I'm not an idiot either. 
    For music, I use spotify, which is set on the 320kbps and I also have a few albums on my computer that are high quality. 
    So my questions are:
    1) Is my hearing just not refined enough to pick up the difference? 
    2) If the jh16's are really easy to drive and don't "need" an amp, I still want to test out new upgrades for it, but only if I can actually notice a decent enhancement? is that possible? (make sense? haha)
    3) Am I missing any components that are necessary? Should I replace my iem cable or any other cables?
    4)Any recommendations on buying a new amp(portable) or any upgrades?
    Thank you! Look forward to hearing what you all have to say!
  2. perhapss
    I have an Icon HDP and some sure 530s and Westone 3s and I can say the DAC on the HDP makes a big difference for me.This is my first experience with a exterior/usb DAC so I can't say if other DACs might be an improvement as well but I'm making an educated guess that they would.
    It was a big difference in terms of clarity compared to my Macbook Pro's onboard jack or my Cowon j3.
    Sadly my HDP just broke(the usb jack got pushed into the back of the unit) and I'm looking to replace it.
    Now that it isn't working I really notice what I'm missing.....

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