Video: NuForce Icon 2, Icon HDP & uDac-2
Dave Bar worked for Crutchfield from 1981 until his retirement in 2016. After a 23-year stint in the sales department, he joined the home A/V writing staff. Dave's expertise and good humor will be sorely missed.
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Heads up!Welcome to this article from the Crutchfield archives. Have fun reading it, but be aware that the information may be outdated and links may be broken.
More of us are listening to our music on computers these days. The NuForce Icon amps and uDac digital-to-analog converters improve the quality of the music you hear through your headphones and computer speakers.
Lots of us are listening to music on our computers and our iPods these days, but sometimes we find that the sound quality that comes out of the headphone jack on those devices doesn't always really sound that great. NuForce makes lots of products that help us get better sound from our music files stored on our computers.
First we're going to look at the NuForce uDac-2. This pocketable, tiny travel sized USB DAC is a great addition for the laptop road warrior music lover that just can't get the kind of sound they really want from the headphone jack on their computer.
Next we're going to look at the NuForce Icon 2. If you have a desktop with speakers or headphones this makes a great all in one solution. This connects to your computer by USB and bypasses the sound card inside of your computer to give you higher quality sound and this particular USB DAC also can handle high-res 2496 sources for people who love to download really high quality music on the internet. Whether you're listening to your music through your headphones, through a pair of powered speakers, or even a pair of bookshelf speakers driven right off the amp inside you'll get the kind of clarity and detail from your music that your tunes really deserve.
The Icon HDP makes a really great choice for people with high end headphones that tend to be sort of hard to drive that need that extra power to really bring out the best sound quality that they have available. When I listened to it on my system at home I could really hear the production, the engineering, all of those things that add a level of realism to the sound. You can plug your headphones directly into the front and take advantage of the high quality headphone amplifier built in. It also has preamp outputs on the back that let you connect to an external power amplifier that you can then use to drive your bookshelf or even floor standing speakers. It also has coaxial and optical digital inputs so if you have a CD player and you want to bypass the DAC in that CD player you can use the digital inputs into the HDP instead and take advantage of the high quality digital to analog converter built into this rather than the DAC built into your CD player.
So today we've looked at a few of the NuForce products that help you get better sound from your computer. For even more information and help picking out the right one just give us a call.