Summary: I honestly don't understand how the NuForce Icon HD has multiple 5-star reviews. Although it's since been upgraded by the NuForce Icon HDP, I'd like to take a moment to share my experience with the HDP's little brother in the interests of anyone in the market for an entry level DAC/headphone amp.
Summary: This product worked as advertised for the first four months of light usage. Then I started to use the DAC for 8+ hours a day and sometimes just left it on. After four months, the unit now gets hot after a 5-6 hours of use, then produces a high pitched hum. This used to happen rarely in the first couple of months, now it is every other day. The only fix for this is to unplug the unit and let it cool down for half an hour.
Excellent product. Well packaged and sounds great.
28 September 2010
Summary: My on-board PC audio was very poor. It suffered from noise crossover from all the other kit in the PC and the drivers were crap. The sound was muddy and distorted. The problem with internal PC audio is they often have cheap digital to analogue converters (DACs). The DAC is the critical part that converts digital audio into an analogue signal that comes out your headphone/line out port.
Summary: This is exactly like the $100 more expensive Icon HDP. I'll quote the description on Nuforce's website: "The Icon HD is designed for users who want the Icon HDP's world-class USB DAC and headphone-amp performance without having a need for the Icon HDP's flexibilities"
It is an HDP stripped down to a usb input, a DAC, the RCA output, the volume control, and the 6.3mm headphone output.
Pros: Small, solid, visually attractive. Sounds both as clear and as hard and strong as diamond.
Summary: I didn't know things could be this good. Considering the criticism of NuForce, particularly around their uDac2, I doubted if they could make something good. I plugged my AKG's into this unit and the sound was wide and brilliantly detailed. The bass was alive and fantastic. The clarity was amazing. Nothing drowned out anything else (i.e. no bass wiping its snot all over the lower mids). I couldn't believe what I was hearing.
I played all kinds of stuff through this.
Summary: I ordered this amp together with the S-1 speaker pair direct from Nuforce. It arrived two days later--great service! I have it set up in my office on my Dell desktop running iTunes CD rips and Pandora Radio. After 2 days, I am very pleased with the setup. Everything worked great out of the box and was a snap to install, always nice.
Summary: The attached reviews are a bit drooling-fan-boy. It's a low-power amp, and simple as anything to use. Nice basic piece of machinery. Fit and finish are rudimentary, but better than you'd get on, say, a Ford or GM vehicle. The problem is that someone decided to use RC45 cable for speaker cable. In this, the rig falls far short of GM or Ford quality. Get a different model of this amp.
Summary: this item can help to improve the performance of your headphone. I used it with a AKG Q701.I meet some problem with the adapter, and sller sent me a new one.Generally speaking, this item worked well.
Summary: NuForce Icon HD greatly improves the sound of my computer and AKG 701 headphones combination. If you are listening to a music service like Spotify Premium you do not need to by CDs anymore, since it is very difficult to notice that CD sound is only a little bit better than the Spotify Ogg Vorbis 320 kbps sound. If your favorite music is available only in your own CD, it takes only two minutes to copy it to your computer.