DACs

NuForce Icon HDP USB DAC

ARTICLE INDEX

Setup

Setting up the HDP is very simple. All recent versions of Windows and OS X include a USB Audio Driver that supports 24/96 sample rates, so no driver installation was necessary for the NuForce. Since I was using Windows XP still for my OS, I also installed ASIO4ALL so that my audio player (Foobar) would be able to bypass the internal Kmixer in Windows XP and have direct hardware access. This is easier to do in Windows Vista and 7 as you can use WASAPI instead of ASIO4ALL, but if you are going to be using USB audio, I recommend looking into either of these options as it ensures that Windows will not do any extra processing or latency issues with the signal. For my desktop setup, I used the HDP with Foobar for a media player, and all audio files were FLAC, ripped with either dbPowerAmp or EAC with AKG K701 headphones.

Since I also tested the HDP as an external DAC in my main system, my audio sources were a Logitech Squeezebox Touch, an Oppo BDP-83, and a Sony SCD-CE775 feeding a NAD T785 receiver and Definitive Technology Mythos STS speakers. All signals in the NAD were run in Analog Direct mode, bypassing all internal processing, room correction, and tone adjustments.