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NuForce Dia

Stereo integrated amplifier with built-in digital-to-analog converter (Blue)

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Item #: 773DIABLUE
 

Review Summary

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Original price $199.99
 
 
 
 

Our take on the NuForce Dia™

by Dave Bar
Nuforce
diared_front

Beef up the sound from your digital sources

Streaming music wirelessly around the house is cool, but sometimes the low-fi audio components inside those wireless devices can leave your tunes sounding flat. Fortunately, there's help. If your devices have digital audio outputs, just plug them into the NuForce Dia. It bypasses those inferior electronics and handles the digital-to-analog processing instead. The Dia's high-quality DAC (digital-to-analog converter) and powerful, built-in amplifier will deliver impressive levels of realism and detail — without the need for any additional receivers or peripherals.


Build a system that's right for you

With three digital inputs, speaker outputs, plus line-level out for a powered sub, the Dia can work in a number of different setups. For example, you can connect it to the optical digital output on almost any HDTV, satellite receiver, or set-top box, then add a pair of bookshelf speakers and a powered sub to create a space-saving 2.1 home theater system. Or, plug in your Apple TV® and enjoy high-quality music streaming from your Wi-Fi® connected computer or iPod. You can even use it to simply hook up a CD/DVD player and your favorite speakers for a sweet-sounding stereo system. The included wireless remote lets you adjust volume and switch sources from the comfort of your easy chair.

dia_connection_illustration
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Highlights:

  • 18 watts x 2 channels into 8 ohms at 1% THD+N
  • 24 watts x 2 channels into 4 ohms at 1% THD+N
  • built-in 24-bit/192kHz digital-to-analog converter
  • high-performance, digitally controlled volume knob provides precise level adjustments
  • 2 optical digital (Toslink) audio inputs
  • 1 coaxial digital audio input
  • 3.5mm minijack line output for a powered subwoofer
  • binding post speaker connectors (speaker wire not included)
  • frequency response: 20-20,000 Hz (± 1 dB)
  • IR remote control
  • non-slip silicone stand
  • AC power adapter included
  • 3-7/8"W x 6-7/16"H x 4-15/16"D (mounted in stand)
  • weight: 1 lb.
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
  • If connecting to a TV, please make sure you can select "PCM" output in its audio menu. This DAC is not compatible with Dolby® Digital signals.

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Integrated amp/DAC
  • AC power adapter (with attached 45" DC cord)
  • 6' AC power cord
  • IR remote control (with installed CR2025 3V lithium battery)
  • Silicon stand
  • Instruction Booklet
  • "A Beginner's Guide to Good Audio" letter

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Features

NuForce Dia Integrated Amp: The NuForce Dia Integrated Amplifier fits your digital audio lifestyle without the complexity. The NuForce Dia accepts audio input from your favorite consumer electronics products via its optical or coaxial digital input and converts the signal to high-quality audio using its 24-bit/192kHz D/A converter. Dia's high-performance 24W stereo power amplifier drives powerful, crystal-clear sound through your existing speakers for ultimate audio performance from your:

  • Widescreen high-definition TV
  • Satellite receiver/cable box
  • Gaming console
  • Blu-ray/DVD/CD player
  • Media Streaming device

Stereo Amplifier: The NuForce Dia employs a high-efficiency, analog-switching stereo amplifier for low power consumption, without digital artifacts. The stereo amplifier is rated at 24Wx 2ch in 4-ohm or 18W x 2ch in 8-ohm (1% THD+N). The amplifier's peak power is rated at 30W x 2ch in 4-ohm.

High-Quality Digital-to-Analog Conversion: The NuForce Dia Integrated Amplifier utilizes an audiophile-grade 24-bit/192kHz D/A converter for low noise and clarity.

Unobstructed Signal Paths: The absence of capacitors in the signal path allows for heightened purity, lower distortion, a wider sound stage, and better-detailed imaging.

Digital Audio Inputs (S/PDIF): The NuForce Dia Integrated Amplifier is fitted with two optical (toslink) digital audio inputs and one coaxial (RCA) digital audio input.

Note: If connecting to a television set's optical output, please make sure that you are able to select PCM as the default optical out audio format from your television's Audio menu. This DAC is not compatible with multi-channel audio signals and will not work with televisions that do not output PCM.

3.5mm Output: The NuForce Dia features a front-panel 3.5mm line output designed for connecting a powered subwoofer. This minijack line output is not meant for connecting headphones and does not cut off the output of the integrated amp.

Speaker Outputs: The NuForce Dia Integrated Amplifier is equipped with two pair of spring-post speaker terminals for connection of your speakers, using bare wire (up to 14AWG) or pin-connectors.

3-Way Rotary Dial: The NuForce Dia features a front-panel 3-way rotary dial for Power On/Off, Input (source), and Volume Up/Down control.

Remote Control: The NuForce Dia includes an IR wireless remote control for simple operation of the integrated amplifier. The remote provides Power On/Off, Volume Up/Down, Mute, and Input (source) controls.

Silicon Stand: The NuForce Dia comes with a silicone stand to mount the integrated amplifier vertically on your desktop.

AC Power Supply: The NuForce Dia Integrated Amplifier operates off of standard household AC current using the supplied AC power adapter and detachable cord.

  • Input: 100-240V~1.5A, 50/60Hz
  • Output: 15VDC - 4.5A
 

Product reviews from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Quick impressions from the Lab

Comment by Zak Billmeier Staff Writer - Creative,

Refreshingly simple, and great at what it does

Written by Zak Billmeier, Staff Writer - Creative, on 9/4/2013 11:02:00 AM

I've always preferred single-use devices over the "Swiss army knife" approach — my feeling is that if a tool is meant for one purpose, it'll do it better than it would if it has to perform several different tasks. The NuForce Dia is one such device.

I have the Dia running my TV sound with a pair of Audioengine P4 bookshelf speakers. Those are 4-ohm speakers, and the Dia pumps 24 watts RMS through them. Doesn't sound like much, but in my 12x16' room I don't think I've turned up the amp past halfway while watching anything. I sit about 8 feet from my TV and I can hear everything loud & clear.

The Dia is plenty loud enough through the P4 speakers. When I first got it, I played some music through my Google TV and cranked it as loud as I could stand. Not only did I hear zero distortion, but I had the amp on (maybe) 2/3 power and it was louder than I'll ever use it. That tells me NuForce isn't fudging that spec to sound impressive. Again, it's plenty loud for my living room.

The other thing that attracted me to the Dia was its built-in DAC. I noticed its effect right away when watching "Arrested Development" on Netflix — I heard some percussive details in the theme song I hadn't heard before.

Thanks to the DAC, bass response has improved. I wouldn't say the bass is all that much louder, but the quality of it is so much better. I will add a powered sub to my configuration in the near future, and I can't wait to hear it now that the Dia is giving it such nice definition. Movie and TV speech is clean and clear, and soundtracks really come to life. The benefit to having the DAC built in is subtle, but very nice.

One thing to note: the 1/8" jack on the front is not a headphone jack, but an output for a powered sub. So this isn't the answer to your headphone amp needs. But it's great at amplifying — and improving — any signal you throw at it.

Throw in the fact that the Dia takes up so little space, and it's a huge winner in my book.

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NuForce Dia™ Reviews

Average Customer Review:

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5 out of 5

Big results in a little package

Written By bjornmeansbear, Baltimore, MD on Saturday, August 31, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I've had this about a month and all I can say is that this little amp is AMAZING. Great onboard DAC (for the price), super-small footprint, and despite being only about 15W/channel it packs a lot of power. Since its got the DAC onboard, the signal coming in is nice and hot. Haven't tried the sub-out yet, but just hooked up to my Polk Audio TSi100's it is a great, clean sounding amp with great frequency coverage. Perfect for an office or small living room. I've got it hooked up to an airport express so I can air-play music to it from both my iPhone and computer, but would make a good stereo music listening station if hooked up to blueray or SACD player or the like - also, clean accurate sound for movies if you aren't interested in surround. Since it has 3 optical inputs you can actually hook up a lot to it despite it being so small. Lastly, I'm a graphic designer, and I appreciate the clean, modern look of the unit. Solid construction and great aesthetics. I'm extremely happy with this.
Pros:
Small Footprint, Clean & strong signal, super simple controls, aesthetically pleasing
Cons:
Only has optical inputs - this is only barely a con
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5 out of 5

NuForce

Written By Robert, Corpus Christi, TX on Wednesday, July 03, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Bought the unit on sale - a good start. After letting it sit for 30 minutes (per NuForce), I set this up and connected to a Blu-Ray in the bedroom. It provides a good amount of sound for it's size. I had a pair of Energy bookshelf speakers I wasn't using.The finish - in this case, red - is clean. I would recommend it anyone looking for a small amp for an office or bedroom.
Pros:
Size and finish. Decent power.
Cons:
None I've encountered.
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4 out of 5

Just What I Needed

Written By DaneJ, Virginia Beach, VA on Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Why more outfits don't make something like this is beyond me. Perfect for what I needed, which was making my TV sound better without a bunch of stuff I don't need. Optical input from a TV on the boat to this unit, couple with a couple of new Infinity speakers and a powered sub.
Pros:
Small size. Just the features I need.
Cons:
Must turn on unit separately from TV. Cannot remember volume level.
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4 out of 5

NuForce Dia™

Written By Arlo, San Francisco, CA on Sunday, March 17, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Great sound, easy to hook up. My only issue is the interface for switching to only headphones- I'd much rather there be a single button or switch; instead you have to use the remote, hold 'input' and hit 'power', then cycle through the inputs twice to get back to what you were on before. I know this unit isn't advertised as a headphone amp but sometimes I need to toggle over, and I wish this was easier.
Pros:
Sound, small size, clean design, input options.
Cons:
Annoying procedure to switch to headphone-only output.
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4 out of 5

"The Force"

Written By Rich, Ewa Beach, HI on Friday, February 08, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Easy to set up, small and unobtrusive yet big sound. Remote works great from long distances too! Well done NuForce!
Pros:
Small, lightweight, easy to use remote, easy to set up.
Cons:
None for my needs.
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Home Audio

Written By lonnieh58, Ponca City, OK on Sunday, January 20, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Perfect for my setup, sounds great! paired with a set of Polk Audio R150's and a Polk Audio PSW110 subwoofer. crystal clear, totally satisfied.
Pros:
Perfect!
Cons:
None
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Great partner for Apple TV

Written By Brian, Seattle, WA on Thursday, January 03, 2013
 
I am using this amplifier fed by the optical SPDIF outputs of an Apple TV and a VIZIO television to drive a Cambridge Minx 2.1 speaker system. It was simple to setup and works perfectly for my relatively small space (300-400 sq ft apartment living/dining area). There is plenty of clean power on tap to drive a system like this - the self-powered subwoofer is fed from the 1/8" line out on the front of the Dia. I am confident it would also be enough power for a set of small full-range bookshelf speakers. The Dia switches seamlessly between the digital sources with no glitches or pops, the tiny remote is easy to use and works great. Thanks to NuForce for recognizing the need for this excellent product and making it!
Pros:
Small sleek design, perfect feature set, quality construction and great sound
Cons:
nope
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Incredible

Written By PeteFitz, Baltimore, MD on Monday, October 15, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Wow. Before I got a chance to hear this thing in action, I thought I may have overdone it by spending this much on such a component, thinking I would only need to buy better speakers to put it to use. No dice! I had no idea my Klipsch bookshelf speakers could sound so splendid. Splendid.

For the first hour or so of listening, I had a Klipsch Promedia powered subwoofer connected to the line out on the front but soon realized that was completely unnecessary. The Dia makes a bass drum sound like a bass drum, even at the lowest volumes, and it sounds much more pleasant than the sound of a subwoofer trying to sound like a bass drum. I've caught the audiophile bug but don't quite have a gajillion dollars for vacuum tubes and the like so this has proven to be a great buy.
Pros:
Pulls out the detailed sounds at all freqs. and rendered my subwoofer unnecessary. Solid, sturdy build.
Cons:
Nada.
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Perfect!

Written By rww, Los Angeles, CA on Monday, August 20, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Just put the finishing touch on my modest media center in my new apartment: the NuFore Dia. I have it powering an older set of Definitive ProCinema speakers and a Definitive Sub through the Dia's line out -- I haven't heard sound this good out of these puppies in a while!

Simple idea: for the user who has the latest tech stuff (ie, apple TV, blu ray, cable, pumped through LCD tv), and not the biggest space to enjoy it with, to get great sound from their digital content. The NuForce is perfect for this. Don't let the 'low' wattage on this amp fool you -- it gets LOUD. And clean. Simplicity at its best. Simply put, if you know you need good stereo sound, and don't want the size and extraneous speaker outs (and probable lower quality amplification) of the X.1 monster home theater receiver, this is your buy!
Pros:
small footprint, simple set up and operation, amazing sound quality, great design
Cons:
uses own remote, but it's so simple that i can't fault it.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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Connect your speakers to this NuForce amplifier with high-quality wire for the best sound possible. See all categories & accessories

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For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the NuForce Dia™, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_773DIABLUE/NuForce-Dia-Blue.html ).