Early final 12 months, Brit audio specialist iFi launched a pocket digital-to-analog converter known as the hip-dac, which the corporate claimed would deal with listeners to a “sound as flavorsome and richly detailed as a scrumptious single malt.” Now the hip-dac2 has arrived.
The job of DACs like this wee nip in your pocket is to assist enhance the audio coming from a cabled gadget like a smartphone, pill or laptop computer and right into a pair of headphones or earphones, typically leveraging a lot increased spec circuitry than supply gadgets might ever hope to make use of. And such is the case with the hip-dac2.
iFi has once more opted to mix its customized circuitry with a Burr-Brown DAC chip, which as earlier than helps playback of PCM and DXD audio information at sampling charges of as much as 374 kHz, and as much as DSD256. Parts elsewhere embrace a customized OV op-amp, TDK C0G class 1 ceramic capacitors, and a low-noise energy provide from Texas Devices.
The brand new unit now advantages from a 16-core XMOS chip for improved total efficiency whereas enabling the gadget to deal with full MQA decoding, reasonably than merely performing as a renderer – which implies that as a substitute of solely performing the ultimate unfold, all levels are undertaken by the hip-dac2. MQA audio know-how was developed to ship the sort of sound high quality you’d get from an authentic grasp recording in a file format that is sufficiently small for streaming, and is utilized by platforms like Tidal to ship excessive decision wi-fi music to listeners.
The crystal clock, which has the job of eradicating digital distortion, has been upgraded as effectively, for the promise of a “purer, crisper sound,” the hip-dac2 is alleged to be able to dealing with even probably the most demanding of audiophile headphones, and a characteristic known as PowerMatch on the amp stage will increase the sign energy for headphones requiring extra drive. There’s additionally a operate to up the bass response with out bleeding into the midrange, one thing that might be notably helpful for earphones.
The hip-dac2 connects to a supply gadget over USB 3.0 Sort A (there’s additionally a USB-C port for charging the two,200-mAh battery), and listeners can plug ear sweet in through an unbalanced 3.5-mm jack or balanced 4.4-mm Pentaconn output. It wears a placing orange aluminum jacket this time round, although a pretend suede case in grey is out there for folk who do not wish to threat injury to or from a supply gadget whereas out and about.
The iFi hip-dac2 measures 4 x 2.8 x 0.6 inches (102 x 70 x 14 mm) and suggestions the scales at 4.4 oz (125 g). It is accessible now for US$189.
Product web page: hip-dac2