iFi audio is back again with another high-value, high-performance portable headphone amp/DAC.
It’s called the hip-dac, and unlike the ZEN DAC they shook the world with last year, it’s meant to be used on the go. The hip-dac has a very slim form factor that’s pocketable (102x70x14mm) while still maintaining the first-rate performance of some of their earlier models like the nano iDSD Black Label (which I loved by the way) or the xDSD (which I also loved).
The hip-dac is based around the same Burr-Brown DAC chipset used in many of their other products and it supports bit-perfect PCM, native DSD and MQA. (supports sampling rates up to 384kHz, alongside DSD from 2.8MHz to 12.4MHz) It also uses the venerable XMOS chip (with bespoke audiophile firmware) to process the USB input data.
iFi fans will also recognize a lot of features from the ZEN DAC desktop DAC/amp, like a balanced amp section (700mW of power balanced, 400mW single-ended), PowerMatch switchable gain, and XBass bass enhancement.
As far as ports are concerned, the hip-dac has two USB ports (Type A for audio, USB-C for charging) and two output jacks (one 3.5mm single-ended and one Pentaconn 4.4mm output for balanced headphones.
The hip-dac also has a 2200mAh battery that’s rated for around eight to 12 hours of playing time, and it comes bundled with three USB cables: one USB-C OTG (On-The-Go) cable, a USB Type-A cable, and a Type A to USB-C charging cable.
iFi hip-dac will be available in February at an RRP of $149 in the U.S and will be showcased at CanJam NYC 2020.
Features/Benefits from the manufacturer:
Enjoy mind-blowing music at your fingertips quickly and easily with the user-friendly, compact hip-dac.
• Connect the hip-dac via USB between your smart device, laptop and corded headphones while out and about.
• Hook it up to your PC or Mac at home or in the office.
• The hip-dac delivers hi-res, ‘bit perfect’ PCM and DXD up to 384kHz and up to DSD256 DSD256 as well as MQA.
• Make the most of your balanced headphones wherever you are with the hip-dac’s 4.4mm sockets.
• Reap the benefits of balanced even with normal headphones as the 3.5mm single-ended socket uses our unique S-Balanced technology
to cut crosstalk and distortion in half.
• The analogue output stage of the hip-dac is a balanced (differential) design which means less interference and crosstalk.
• Talior the sound of the hip-dac to your playback priorities with additional, exclusive iFi firmware.
• Benefit from PowerMatch – switchable gain – to cater for headphone sensitivity.
• Turn on XBass to add missing base to open backed headphones or IEMs