Posted by CD Scott on 23rd Feb 2012
After reading the reviews below and many, many other reviews online (6 moons, etc) of the HDP, I finally bought my HDP in black. I use it for all three features: DAC from my iMac, headphone amp and preamp going to amp. This HDP is in my 'mini system', next to my main hi-fi rig. I can say that after having run the thing for a few hundred (I lost count after 2 weeks: 168 X 2= 336) hours, the sound definitely warmed up and became even more musical than right out of the box (which sounded great even brand new). I also run the headphone amp with a few different cans. One of them being the Etymotic ER4-S; which, are very difficult to drive for any headphone amp. The HDP drives them with gain to spare.
Not much to add to all of the other reviews other than if you're serious about sound quality and have use for even one of the three main features that the HDP offers, get it! It IS worth all of the $449.00.
Posted by EstelaSilas on 21st Oct 2011
<a href=http://www.ezeen.net/Art/169779/263/Whey-Protein-The-Fundamental-Supplement-to-Your-Lifting-Endeavours.html>Deanne Narcisa</a> <a href=http://www.free-articles.dckl.com/Art/314939/377/A-Few-Facts-about-Protein,-the-Most-Crucial-Powder-on-the-Globe.html>Bryan Jettie</a> <a href=http://www.freearticledirectoryonline.com/Art/181227/52/A-Few-Facts-about-Protein,-the-Most-Crucial-Powder-on-the-Globe.html>Isela Janella</a> <a href=http://www.getfreearticle.com/casein-amino-acids-are-ideal-for-weight-lifters-as-they-hit-the-sack.html>Milton Kimberley</a> <a href=http://www.hamstoo.com/Art/422956/385/Milk-based-Items-Are-Absolutely-Vital-for-Weight-Lifters-plus-Exercise-Lovers.html>Lester Luisa</a> <a href=http://www.idoarticles.com/the-slow-growth-of-casein-or-the-fast-hurry-of-whey-peptides-which-protein-is-better/>Colton Junita</a> <a href=http://www.iinformyou.com/Art/412964/283/Success-of-the-Fittest-Isn't-the-Case-With-regards-to-Protein-Peptides.html>Elois Gabrielle</a> <a href=http://www.inclinenetwork.com/important-dissimilarities-among-whey-and-casein-peptides.aspx>Colton Coletta</a> <a href=http://www.internetvive.com/wanetayolande594/24118/venture-lift-dumbbells-whey-drink.html>Maryalice Britt</a> <a href=http://www.look4articles.com/Art/217282/270/Who-Would-Care-to-Exercise-with-Weights-Lacking-A-Whey-Drink.html>Paulita Coletta</a> <a href=http://www.malaysiapos.com/articles/Art/102839/52/Important-Dissimilarities-Among-Whey-and-Casein-Peptides.html>Calista Danial</a> <a href=http://www.maxref.com/archives/56528>Weston Steven</a> <a href=http://www.netarticledirectory.com/Art/99180/418/Protein-Can-Come-in-a-Large-Selection-of-Forms-Each-Fitted-to-A-Distinct-Application.html>Jerrica Tommie</a> <a href=http://www.nichearticleslive.com/Art/203020/263/Important-Dissimilarities-Among-Whey-and-Casein-Peptides.html>Malik Adrian</a> <a href=http://www.nippomac.info/sportsExercise/do-not-disregard-whey-peptides-in-cases-where-you-want-to-be-a-powerful-weightlifter.html>Roberto Gilberto</a> <a href=http://www.noarticle.com/Art/8540/52/Unquestionably-Essential-Education-Regarding-Protein-Powders.html>Ricky Domenic</a> <a href=http://www.perfectarticles.com/index.php?page=article&article_id=406089>Emilee Archie</a> <a href=http://www.phenomenalarticles.com/Art/231383/390/Put-Aside-Fancy-Gimmicks,-Adhere-to-Easy-Whey-for-Optimum-Gains.html>Weston Johnathan</a> <a href=http://www.portarticles.com/some-truths-regarding-protein-the-most-vital-powder-on-this-planet.html>Milton Samual</a> <a href=http://www.procontentsite.com/articles/index.php?page=article&article_id=228102>Hee Jackson</a> <a href=http://www.save-on-everything.co.uk/sports/fitness/put-aside-complicated-tactics-stay-on-basic-whey-for-maximum-gains.html>Van Jeffrey</a> <a href=http://www.southamericanarticles.co.uk/health/fitness/just-how-much-amino-acids-does-one-need-and-more-importantly-when.html>Ricky Lorrine</a> <a href=http://www.swim-articles.com/Art/59713/52/Whey-Protein-Your-Fundamental-Supplement-to-Your-Lifting-Endeavors.html>Forrest Janella</a> <a href=http://www.theauthorplace.com/Art/213806/52/Unquestionably-Essential-Education-Regarding-Protein-Powders.html>Felton Brenton</a> <a href=http://www.tipbus.com/Article/Some-Miracles-and-Charms-of-Several-Types-of-Peptides/175245>Renato Toney</a> <a href=http://www.uniquearticles.info/Art/245672/52/Precisely-How-Much-Amino-Acids-Does-One-Need,-And-More-Significantly,-At-What-Time.html>Eugene Danial</a> <a href=http://www.vibaku.com/no-person-has-got-enormous-without-whey-amino-acids/>Megan Sherwood</a> <a href=http://www.wordsdepot.com/Article/Some-Truths-regarding-Protein--the-Most-Vital-Powder-on-this-Planet/281373>Farah Kenton</a> <a href=http://www.worldportal.us/no-one-has-become-huge-without-having-whey-protein/>Gordon Micheal</a> <a href=http://www.yourarticlesource.com/Art/418280/264/Some-Miracles-and-Charms-of-Several-Types-of-Amino-Acids.html>Bryanna Andrea</a> <a href=http://your.internetbusinessopportunity-1.com/2011/07/03/whey-protein-the-fundamental-supplement-to-your-lifting-endeavours/>Robyn Toney</a>
Money well spent
Posted by Unknown on 1st May 2011
To be honest, I was hesitant initially about spending hundred of dollars on something that I thought my PC and Ipod could do. Thankfully nuforce delivers its promise. HDP is a handy dac/amp combo with very good sound. It drives my DT770 with no problem, while at the same time works with IEMs like Turbine Pro Copper and ER4s. Money well spent.
Reference: Order #1737 from nuforce e-store
Giant killer DAC/headphone amp combo
Posted by Amazon Customer Reviews-- David Dennis "David Dennis", March 27, 2010 on 8th Apr 2011
I've been waiting ages for a moderately priced headphone amp / DAC combo that could handle high resolution audio (>16 bits, >44.1kHz) straight from my computer, while also working well with my hard-to-drive (but great sounding) AKG 701s. Upon first reading about the NuForce ICON HDP I thought it would fit the bill and, after a few months of product release delays, it's finally here.
I actually got the silver version, rather than the black one, which has a blasted aluminum appearance which matches well with my source, my MacBook Pro. The fit and finish is quite good and has a mimimalist, yet stylish, appearance. The HDP doesn't have the fugly parts-bin look that many well-regarded headphone amps have.
When using with a Macbook Pro over USB, it's automatically detected as an external DAC (nice!) with a choice of bit and sample rates available via the Audio MIDI utility. Just make sure iTunes is opened *after* you connect the DAC, select the sample/bit rate you like, make sure it's selected as the output source, set the Icon HDP control knob appropriately ('U' if using USB), and you're good to go.
After that, sit back and enjoy amazing bang for the buck sound through your choice of high end headphones.
Posted by Amazon Customer Reviews-- S. Kosloske on 8th Apr 2011
I did a lot of reading trying to find a high-quality headphone amp that didn't cost a fortune, and did everything I wanted/needed it to.
USB-input for connection to iPad (via camera kit) or laptop.
Mini-optical input for connection to MacBook Pro.
3.5MM audio out for connection to line-out adapter on iPod.
It also has a co-axial optical in, and RCA line-in, in case you need them.
Sound quality is amazing. I'm currently using it with Sennheiser HD650 headphones, and have used my iPad, iPod, and laptop as audio sources. You definitely want to make sure you rip your audio CD's in lossless format. If you're using a high-quality headphone amp like this, and have a good set of `phones, you will want your source material to be of equal quality. And since the HDP has a built-in DAC, having a purely digital input is about as good as you're going to get for this.
My HD650's are 300ohm, so they need a good driver, and the HDP drives them perfectly well. They'll get much louder than I would ever use. I also tested it with my Grado 60's, and it switches over to low impedance headphones with no problems.
Great headphone amp for the money. There are better, but they also cost much, much more. There are cheaper, but they will not have all these features, the build-in DAC, or the quality.
If you want something portable to carry with your iPod, I would probably recommend a battery-operated micro amp, since the HDP with it's external adapter and power cable, can get pretty big to carry around. For home or office use, though, HIGHLY recommended.
Posted by Amazon Customer Reviews-- asbjoern, November 19, 2010 on 21st Mar 2011
Guess i have only one thing to add to the other reviewers. - Be patient with this amplifier. Personally i wasnt impressed with it at all when i first recieved it. The sound was cold, closed and hard - the treble was hysteric. It was even hurting my ears. So i left it on for 24 hours as many reviewers advices. Still i wasnt really impressed - so if you get this amp and get the same experience as me - try to burn it in for a few hundred hours before you decide. I think mine has been running for at least 300 hours now. And only the last couple of days i really started to enjoy this amp. The sound has become just excellent. It has changed completely. I cant understand that many people apparantly are impressed with amp right out of the box.
Very good unit with a few caveats
Posted by Amazon Customer Reviews-- K. Hou, August 12, 2010 on 21st Mar 2011
I've had the unit for about 3 months now. Overall, I would give it 4.5/5 stars.
Here were my initial impressions on the first day:
The unit was packaged very nicely when it arrived. What I didn't like was the packaging within the box. The HDP and its accessories were stuffed onto a thin plastic with a velvet texture on one side. It definitely feels cheap, so if I wanted to transport the HDP, I'll probably need to buy a separate case.
The silicon stand that the HDP comes with feels solid and securely holds the HDP in place. What I didn't like is how it smelled like feet (chemical smell) when I got it. I tried washing it with soap, which helped the problem slightly.
With the unit standing upright on the stand with the volume knob at the top, the off position is at 7 o'clock, and the max position is at 5 o'clock. There is no sound that comes from the unit until the knob is turned to 8:45-9 o'clock. The volume will suddenly come up at that point. I can only hear channel imbalance between 8:45-9 o'clock, where you can actually hear the slightest bit of sound from your headphones. Past this, it sounds very even. I use the HDP with my HD650 almost exclusively. There's no turn-on popping sound, and it's completely silent with no music playing until I turn the volume knob to 3 o'clock, where hissing begins. I can't imagine anyone needing to turn it past 12 o'clock, so the hissing isn't an issue.
There is a little bit of play in the USB (type B) plug when it goes into the HDP. It's not a tight fit, and the cord wiggles a little bit.
I wish they designed the power plug that goes into the HDP a little better. The L-shaped male plug fits semi-loosely into the female port on the HDP, so it rotates very freely. Additionally, the plug must be staggered (rotated) with the RCA inputs in order to insert the power plug all the way into the unit.
With my HD650, a normal listening volume for me is at 10 o'clock with my Windows 7 computer sound set at 100% and my Winamp set at 80% sound. If the album is fairly soft like the Head-Fi "Open Your Ears" album, I need to turn it up a little to 11 o'clock.
I plugged in my HiFiMan RE0 IEMs into the unit only to discover that there is hissing -- a very low level amount of hissing. When I unplug it, there's silence, but when I plug in my RE0 1/8"-->the 1/4" provided adapter-->HDP, I can hear a low level amount of background hiss. It's not so much as a hissing sound as it is a low level humming sound. It's definitely there and audible to my ears. When there's music playing, I don't notice it at all because the hum disappears into the background with the music. I guess this is due to the fact that Nuforce designed the HDP to be used with circumaural/high impendance headphones and not IEMs. Apparently the problem can be fixed by buying a 75 ohm high impedence 1/8"-->1/4" adapter.
Occasionally I'll hear the "badada, badada, badada" buzzing sound. I've also heard it with my previous Meier Move. I'm thinking that it's noise generated by my computer associated associated with anything plugged into a computer. It's very intermittent and occurs maybe once an hour for 2 seconds.
In contrast with my HD650 directly plugged into my Sansa Clip+, with my HD650 plugged in using the HDP as a DAC/amp combo, there's definitely a noticeable improvement in the lower frequency response. The sound is cleaner and more crisp, with noticeably more "oomph" in the bass. The midrange and higher frequencies sound noticeably more realistic. I can hear micro-details in the background like the musician counting softly to the band "1, 2, 3, 4" to synchronize before the start of a section or the instant when a violinist stops his vibrato on the ending note to a piece.
Here are my impressions now:
Letting the silicon stand air out has definitely gotten rid of the smell almost entirely.
The unit will continue drawing power even if the unit is turned off using the knob on the front. I noticed this because the unit stays warm even if it's turned off. In order to cut off power entirely, you must remove the power plug from the back.
I haven't used the RCA input or RCA outputs yet, so I can't really comment on it.
I think I have over 500 hours of time on the unit already. Violin sounds silky smooth, and I can really hear the reverberation when something has been recorded on a stage. I can really hear the biting of the bow into the strings during spicatto.
Listening to Diana Krall - "Live in Paris" album is amazing to listen to. I can hear everything as though I'm there, from the very soft scatting in the background to the last bit of decay in cymbals. Songs like "Take it easy" by "The Eagles" make it hard to resist tapping your feet to the music. Guitar and the human voice in "Simple Man" by Shinedown sound so natural that they send shivers down my spine. Classical music like Itzhak Perlman's 24 Caprices by Paganini sound as though you're getting a private performance.
I was looking for a DAC/Amp all in one solution that is small enough to be transportable while powerful enough to drive full-sized headphones so they sound good, and in my opinion, Nuforce really delivered with their HDP. It should be noted that the unit should really be used with higher-impedance full-sized headphones that require an amplifier to sound their best. With my IEMs, RE0, I can hear a low level hiss, but I haven't used a 75 ohm adapter to fix the issue since I use the unit exclusively with the HD650. I can't really find any fault with the unit performance-wise.
Audiophile Quality from an iPod Using Digital Out
Posted by Amazon Customer Reviews-- mysticriver, March 10, 2011 on 21st Mar 2011
I am a long-time lover of classical music who upgraded my home stereo equipment last year to audiophile grade equipment including a Violectric V800 DAC and V181 headphone amplifier. While these changes were quite costly, the improvement in listening experience over my previous configuration (PC soundcard) has made an enormous difference in my enjoyment of music.
After upgrading my home system, listening to my iPod Classic 160gb at work was seriously disappointing. I wanted a rich, detailed listening experience similar to what I was getting from my home system, without spending an arm and a leg to get it.
With further research and listening tests using my home equipment, I realized that the only way to get quality sound out of my iPod was to completely bypass the internal DAC and amplifier. The iPod is great for storing and retrieving digital files, but the analog circuitry is not designed to audiophile standards.
Bypassing the iPod DAC is possible by using a device that plugs into the dock connector and outputs a digital signal. Wadeia has provided such a device for several years now, but at a cost of $379. The Onkyo ND-S1 is a similar product for about $200, but I happily settled on a Pure i-20 for $99.
When I received the Pure i-20, I was able to confirm that outputting data from the iPod through the i-20 digital coax out into my Violectric equipment produced the same excellent results as I was getting by using the USB feed from my PC into the Violectric. I should mention that the DAC in the i-20 is not any better than the iPod DAC to my ears, so only the digital output is worth using. Now all I needed was to find a DAC/headphone amplifier suitable for taking to work.
There are some tempting DAC/headphone amp products available direct from China which have gotten a lot of commentary in the audiophile forums, but I decided to steer clear of them after reading mixed reviews and cautionary tales of service problems. Frankly I am not an electronics nut and will not be opening up my equipment to roll the op-amps or whatever. I just want reliable, quality equipment at a reasonable price.
When I became aware of the Nuforce Icon HDP, I read as many reviews as I could find. I was struck by the fact that there were no negatives. I was also impressed by Nuforce's claim that the HDP DAC was the same as the one in their $1600 CD deck and the HDP preamp is similar to their audiophile preamp product. Since I could order it from Amazon with a money-back guarantee, it was a slam dunk, even at $449. Some of the reviews I read pointed out that this little unit has no equals under $1,000. I cannot testify to the competition, but my experience with the HDP has been wonderful.
To make a long story short, I have been completely satisfied with my iPod Classic -> Pure i-20 -> Nuforce Icon HDP setup and can't believe I could ever have lived without it!
Almost perfect, 1/2 star deduction for one small criticism
Posted by Amazon Customer Reviews-- J. Kohn, August 4, 2010 on 21st Mar 2011
I purchased this for use at my computer because I could connect powered speakers to it as well as my headphones. The headphones are Sennheiser HD650's, and the speakers are Audioengine A5's (chosen to be bit more forgiving of rock and pop recordings which can sometimes sound too harsh on more revealing equipment). My music library is in FLAC format, a combination of CD rips, high-res releases from audiophile labels, and DVD-A rips. I'm using the USB DAC of the HDP.
The DAC is quite good. I don't claim to be a golden-ear who can hear minute differences between mega-priced audio components and cables, but I do care about sound quality. I'm of the belief a DAC should be transparent, not adding its own colorations to the sound (you choose your amp and speakers/headphones for that if desired). The HDP delivers in this regard, with excellent dynamics, deep clean bass, and revealing highs.
The headphone amp is sufficient to drive my 650's louder than I would want to. I usually have volume between 1/2 to 3/4 (depending on source material) when using headphones. That's a bit higher than I would have expected, but means I still have some headroom so I think it's sufficient. The sound is never fatiguing with this combo, even at high volume levels.
In addition to its reputed audio quality, I chose the HDP because of several key features:
- Both headphone and pre-amp outs, with auto switching (speakers disabled when headphones are plugged in).
- High quality analog volume control for both headphone- and preamp-outs. This gives me easy access to a volume control on my desktop (leaving the computer's software volume at 100% where it should be for maximum audio quality), and allows me to leave the volume control on my powered speakers at a high enough level to avoid channel imbalance issues at lower listening levels.
- USB DAC that can handle 24-bit/96khz sound. All the other devices I researched only support up to 24-bit/48khz over USB.
- The USB DAC can auto-switch between output formats when using WASAPI exclusive mode, without the need to go into the Windows Sound settings to change the default output format. So I can seamlessly switch between a CD rip and an high-res FLAC with no extra configuration steps.
My one minor complaint, and the reason I give 4.5 stars instead of 5, is that the USB DAC does not support 24-bit, 88.2khz sampling level. For the few recordings I have in this format, I have to use a re-sampling plugin. I don't see any reason for this format not to be directly supported except simple oversight, given that 24/48, 24/96, and 16/88.2 are all supported.
If all you need is a DAC, the Musical Fidelity V-DAC is probably a better value. But if you also need a headphone amp, multiple outputs, or 24/96 over USB the Icon HDP is worth the price premium IMHO.
Nuforce HDP is Shockingly Good DAC/Amp
Posted by Amazon Customer Reviews-- J. Spalding, March 10, 2010 on 18th Mar 2011
I bought one of the original 12 HDPs as soon as they became available. Since I got it I've been running it 24/7 & it keeps getting better. For 6 months I've been looking for a dac or dac/amp combo that sounded good enough to allow me to move my $1895 Benchmark DAC1 HDR (which was further modded with $995 worth of upgrades) off my PC back to my stereo system (for which it was purchased). ll dacs later I've finally got the unit I was looking for. In fact, I can already say that when using full-size headphones to listen to music off my computer, I actually prefer listening to the HDP over the Benchmark. I can also say that using the HDP as a dac only feeding my Doge headphone amp, that the HDP is ALMOST as good as my highly modded DAC1 HDR. Now that is comparing this $449 device with what is essentially a $2900 device (one that probably has received more positive professional reviews over the years than any other dac.
I've got a good collection of headphones including the AKG K702, Senn. HD650, Grado SR325is, Shure SHR840, & Ultrasone HFI700 & the HDP drives them all easily, even the K702s which are notoriously hard for amps to drive well enough to get the best sound out of them. Many of the 11 dacs & dac/amp combos I've tried in the last 6 months of searching cost 2-4 times what the HDP costs & IMHO, none of them sounded as as good to me as this little Nuforce DAC. That makes this dac an unbelievable value for the dollar.