D/A Converter NuForce Icon HDP

The term distortion is entirely foreign to the NuForce icon HDP (450 euros), only microscopic traces of it can be found.

  1. D/A converter NuForce icon HDP
  2. Data sheet

The name HDP stands for “DAC, headphone amp, preamplifier” and describes it quite well what can do the small NuForce. What you didn’t see the box, but only step by step need to be explored in laboratory and listening room sessions is the quality with which it handles its manifold tasks. Rarely, the tester in the face of a 450-euro device has so amazed.

The HDP via coaxial, USB or fiber optic will contact with digital feeding devices. The latter entrance is a combined optical-electric mini jack and also serves as a second analog input. There are a total of five inputs, solid snap-switch offers but only three positions: “U” for USB, “D” for digital, “A”, for analog. A signal is present at both digital inputs, the optical has priority automatically.

Why this is so, remains the mystery of NuForce developer. It is only a secret of many. Also the chips installed in the HDP remain anonymous, all beetles have their own “NU”-type numbers. The suspicion in this way cheap material should be discreetly hidden, could be no more far-fetched – already in the laboratory, he is definitively refuted: 113 dB keeps a distance of the DAC to the noise, the analog input are also very good 102dB.

With three output voltage and 100 ohms output impedance output stage limits no facilities projects of the user, and also the headphone amplifier (a class running A chip that will sound warm) is low impedance and powerful enough for top models. Where the NuForce sounds then also very fine one. On the reference system (and especially directly on the amplifier) sounded the all-rounder revamped brighter and slightly slimmer than the three times as expensive ‘major’ DACs in this test, amazed but also with a very suggestive representation of space – a crazy little thing with cult potential.

NuForce icon HDP

Manufacturer NuForce
Price €450.00
Rating 110.0 points
Test procedure 1.0

Technical data and test results

Dimensions (W x H T) HöheTiefe 15.0 x 2.5 x 11.5 cm
Weight 0.3 kg
Digital volume control
Analog volume control
Remote control
Display sampling rate
Word width display
Digital effects loop
Maximum sampling rate RCA / AES 192
Maximum sampling rate optical 192
Maximum USB sample rate 96
USB asynchronous mode USB
Adjustable digital filter characteristics
Number filter options 0
Have Headphone amplifier, 2 analog inputs, directly to the power amplifier can be used.
Inputs CD player
Digital RCA 1
Digital BNC 0
Digital optical 1
Digital ST 0
Digital AES / EBU 0
Digital DSD
I2S 0
FireWire 0
Output D/A converter
RCA outputs 1
Outputs XLR stereo 0
Outputs headphone 6, 3 mm / 3, 5 mm 1 / 0
Digital output to RCA
Optical digital output
Digital output other: –
Test results
Conclusion +. Very versatile, technically absolutely asuber made DAC preamplifier.
Sound RCA 110
Balanced sound 0
Sound SACD
Facilities outstanding
Operation Very good
Processing Very good
Sound judgment well over 110
Predicate 5 ears
Price / performance Very good
tested in issue: 8 /.