he Nuforce Icon HDP incorporates a full-speed USB DAC (24bit/96kHz) and full-function S/PDIF D/A converter (24bit/192kHz), plus a headphone-amplifier circuit and preamp output. Supporting digital USB, S/PDIF in coaxial and 3.5mm optical (3.5mm) modes, along with an analog line input, the HDP accommodates all manner of audio devices. The Icon HDP, which has been designed to serve as the heart of a high-performance audio system, competes head-on with DACs and preamps costing several times its price.
Note: The Icon HDP employs the same DAC as our high-end CDP-8 and a preamp similar to that of the P-8S. The following design features contributed to the stellar performance of the Icon HDP:
- The digital input has no capacitors in its signal path. The analog input utilizes a single DC-decoupling capacitor.
- Components along the signal path are minimized.
- The 24/96 USB interface outputs a I2S signal to a high-quality DAC.
- The digital circuit occupies a separate daughter board.
- The DAC chip consists of four internal 24/192kHz DACs that provide a fully differential and balanced output. The differential signal’s DC offset operates without a need for decoupling caps.
- Digital and analog voltages each have separately isolated internal power regulations.