iFi has released a new portable DAC called hip-dac. Affordable and versatile in terms of specs.
Portable DACs are becoming more popular by the day. One of the reasons for this is, of course, the disappearance of the headphone connection of more and more smartphones and tablets.
You have to make it just another half a millimeter thinner, so hipsters can flaunt it again. But these portable DACs are also popular because they often provide a strong boost in sound quality. With the onboard sound chips of laptops and PCs in particular, the quality is poor. And so the new iFi hip-dac (see the manufacturer’s Facebook page) is more than welcome.
Internally, a Burr-Brown DAC chip takes care of the digital to analog conversion. The maximum achievable PCM quality of the iFi hip-dac is 32 bit/384 kHz and DSD256. In this case, PCM and DSD are processed separately, which should achieve bit-accurate reproduction. Two LEDs indicate size and samplerate.
iFi also reports that the used clock eliminates jitter and that the USB chip is programmed in-house for optimal sound reproduction. The headphone output provides a maximum power of 700 mW, depending on the impedance of the connected headphones. There are also two USB ports on the iFi hip-dac: one for data and one for charging.
When fully charged, the built-in battery provides a playing time of between eight and twelve hours. The price is not that bad: €159; available soon. USB-A and USB-C cables are also included for that amount. IOS devices without a USB-C still require the ‘disputed’ camera adapter; in fact, a Lightning to USB converter.