I love the sound signature of the hip-dac. A touch on the warm-analogue type, not the typical over analytic shrill sound. It goes perfectly with my Grado GS1000e. I was considering purchasing a much more expensive tube dac-amp but now I am wondering if I really need one.
This is the kind of sound signature that I like. Smooth, analogue like sound that I can listen for hours and not get fatigued.
I dont know how iFi did this at this price point, but this tells you how much the other products are over priced. Pretty much covers all types of files including hi-rez from 24/192, dsd, mqa etc.
What can be improved. Well I would still prefer a slightly more fuller sound. It is still a good bit full midrange sound but my personal preference is to have a bit more midrange full sound. The x-bass kind of helps in that area but then its a little too much bass to my liking. So I leave it off most of the time.
My future suggestion to iFi would be use the same button to apply different effects/functions. e.g. press it once for x-bass, press it again for x-midrange, press it again for off etc
Another suggestion for future is to add a bluetooth option. I see the future of these portable dac/headphone amps as a wireless device that connects to the phone wirelessly. This way I can leave the dac-amp in my pocket connected to my headphone and then use my phone to control and send music files from my phone to this dac wirelessly. Less cables to carry around.