SHOOTING FROM THE HIP
The Hip-DAC 2 replaces the inferior DAC (Digital-to-Analogue Convertor) and amp circuitry in smartphones, tablets, PCs and Macs to vastly improve headphone sound.
Connect your playback device via USB, plug in your favourite corded headphones or in-ear monitors and the hip-DAC 2 delivers a sound brimming with bold dynamism and fluid refinement.
The Burr-Brown DAC chip selected for for its fluid, highly 'musical' sound quality and True Native architecture, together with iFi custom circuitry, enables the hip-DAC 2 to deliver excellent sound quality across digital audio formats, including bit-perfect PCM, native DSD and MQA.
The upgraded crystal clock eradicates jitter (digital distortion), using iFi's GMT femto precision clocking system. This maintains the integrity of the digital signal until conversion to analogue and enhances sound quality.
Thanks to the XMOS 16 core tech, the hip-dac2 is now an MQA Decoder rather than a Renderer only.
This enables you to play back MQA audio files and streams, delivering the sound of the original master recording. The LED glows green or blue to indicate that the unit is decoding and playing an MQA stream or file, and denotes provenance to ensure that the sound is identical to that of the source material. It glows blue to indicate it is playing an MQA Studio file, which has either been approved in the studio by the artist/producer or has been verified by the copyright owner.
MQA rendering technology (used in the original hip-DAC among other iFi products) connects to an MQA Core signal (such as TIDAL) and completes the final unfold of an MQA file. Usually, the computer has carried out the decoding.
POWER HUNGRY? HIP-DAC 2 IT!
The hip-DAC 2's amp circuitry, like the original, is of balanced (differential) design.
The circuitry incorporates a range of high-quality components, carefully selected for their performance in an audio context, including a custom iFi OV op-amp, TDK C0G class 1 ceramic capacitors, a precision low-noise power supply IC from Texas Instruments and a high-quality analogue volume pot.
The amp stage can deliver 400mW into a 32-ohm headphone load, ensuring compatibility with a wide range of headphone and earphone types with power to spare. Even high-impedance headphones are handled with ease thanks to output voltage of 6.3V into 600 ohms (from the balanced output).
The amp stage features switchable gain, which iFi Audio calls PowerMatch. This matches the level of drive to the load presented by the headphones, by adjusting input sensitivity and thereby signal strength. Use the lower setting with high-sensitivity headphone. If your headphones require more drive, use PowerMatch to increase gain.
XBass is another user-selectable feature - a sophisticated form of 'bass boost' that enhances low frequencies without muddying the midrange, particularly useful with earphones and open-back headphones that may lack deep bass. It operates entirely in the analogue domain rather than messing with the digital signal via DSP.
There are two USB ports - Type A for audio data and USB-C for charging. The Type A port features a male connector to provide greater mechanical integrity than a USB/micro USB ports commonly found on other DAC/headphone amps.
Two outputs are provided - a 3.5mm socket for headphones with a single-ended cable/connector and a Pentaconn 4.4mm output enabling headphones equipped with balanced connectivity to take full advantage of the hip-DAC 2's differential amp design.
In addition, the 3.5mm output benefits from iFi's proprietary S-Balanced circuitry, cutting crosstalk and related distortion in half when used with regular, single-ended headphone connections - this is especially beneficial with high-sensitivity in-ear monitors.
PROTECT AND SERVE
Both the original hip-DAC and the new hip-DAC 2 sport a 102x70x14mm extruded aluminium enclosure, sufficiently robust to be ported around without fear of breakage.
- Formats Supported:
- DSD: 256/128/64, Quad/Double/Single-Speed
- PCM: 384/352.8/192/176.4/96/88.2/48/44.1kHz
- DXD: 384/352.8kHz
- MQA: 384/352.8kHz
- Digital Inputs: USB 3.0 Type 'A'(USB2.0 compatible
- Headphone Outputs:
- Balanced: 4.4mm
- S-Balanced (S-E): 3.5mm
- Power Output (@1% THD):
- Balanced: 400mW@32Ω; 6.3V@600 Ω
- S-Balanced (S-E): 280mW@32 Ω; 3.2V@600 Ω
- Battery: Lithium-polymer 2200mAh: Approx. 8 hours
- Power System: Charging via USB-C, BC V1.2 compliant upto 1000mA charging current and 6.3 volts
- Power (Max): <2W idle, 4W max
- Dimensions: 102 x 70 x 14mm / 4.0" x 2.8" x 0.6"
- Weight: 125g (0.28 lbs)
- Cables Included:
- Male USB A > Female USB A Cable (for PC to hip-dac)
- OTG Cable USB Type-C > Female USB A (for Android phones to hip-dac
- Male USB A > USB C (charging cable)
- [for connection to iOS devices, use an Apple Lightning to USB Camera Adapter, sold separately]