hip-dac2

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iFi audio hip-dac2

Our hip-dac just got hipper!

Meet the hip-dac2. Now in Sunset Orange with full MQA decoding.

hip-case now available.

Colourful. Capable. Crisper.

Our much loved, original hip-dac has had a makeover!

Our portable, hi-res DAC/headphone amp looks ultra cool in its new vibrant Sunset Orange. Not only has the hip-dac2‘s super sleek aluminium case had an update, but its insides have also been enhanced.

The new 16-core XMOS chip, which processes data over USB, delivers double the clock speed and four times the memory. This improves overall performance and adds full MQA decoding to the hip-dac2‘s skill set. There is also an upgraded crystal clock which contributes to purer, crisper sound.

So, whether you are working in your favourite coffee shop or chilling on your daily commute, sunrise or sunset, you’ll definitely want to take the hip-dac2 with you wherever you go.

hip-case now available.

iFi audio hip-dac2

Shooting from the hip

The hip-dac2 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-dac2 delivers a sound brimming with bold dynamism and fluid refinement.

The Burr-Brown DAC chip is selected for its fluid, highly ‘musical’ sound quality and True Native architecture.  Together with iFi’s custom circuitry this enables the hip-dac2 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.

MQA decoded

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 versions of some other iFi products) connects to an MQA Core signal and completes the final unfold of an MQA file. Core decoding is included in streaming services such as TIDAL, as well as select media players.

iFi audio hip-dac2

Power hungry? hip-dac2 it!

The hip-dac2’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).

Switchable sonics

The amp stage features switchable gain, which we call 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.

iFi audio hip-dac2

Get connected

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 Balanced 4.4mm output enabling headphones equipped with balanced connectivity to take full advantage of the hip-dac2’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-dac2 sport a 102x70x14mm extruded aluminium enclosure, sufficiently robust to be ported around without fear of breakage.

However, some may wish to add further protection for the beautifully anodised metallic finish, whilst giving their beloved DAC/headphone amp a softer, suede-like feel – for them, the new hip-case is ideal.

Made from  ‘faux suede’ in cool Dove Grey, with stitch detail and an embroidered iFi logo, the hip-case fits both the hip-dac and hip-dac2 like a glove, protecting it without hindering functionality.

Protect the hip-dac2 and let it serve you well.

DAC (Digital-to-Analogue Converter)

DACs convert digital information, stored or streamed by computers, into music we can hear through speakers or headphones.

Every device that’s a source of digital sound has a built-in DAC (TVs, games consoles, CD players, phones, portable music players etc). Dedicated external DACs sound much better than standard DACs used in digital devices such as phones.

Bit Perfect

If a file is ‘Bit Perfect’ it means it has stayed the same. For example, if a PCM file is played through a DAC to improve the sound quality and the DAC does not change the file format. The file is ‘Bit Perfect’.

Balanced audio

This is a type of audio circuitry topology that uses individual left & right channels. It is a superior method to the single-ended circuit approach.

Balanced circuits reduce noise and crosstalk.

While single-ended is used by most at this price level, iFi is implementing balanced circuits across its product range which is quite a step-up.

Gain

Gain is the amount of increase in audio signal strength. Gain is often expressed in decibels (dB).

Analogue 'v' Digital

Most modern systems use Digital Signal Processing. DSP samples analogue soundwaves into a limited set of numbers and records them. The overuse of DSP can result in an over compressed unnatural sound and the translation and reassembly of data make digital devices prone to loss of quality. All iFi products use Analogue Signal Processing as we believe it is better suited to audio. ASP does not cause signal quality to be lost as it records waveforms as they are and produces a more natural sound.

The Burr-Brown True Native® chipset means file formats remain unchanged or ‘bit-perfect’. This means you are listening to music as the artist intended in the format in which it was recorded.

At iFi we use Burr Brown extensively in our products having selected it for its natural-sounding ‘musicality’ and True Native architecture. Our experience with this IC means we know how to make the most of it.

The XMOS 16-Core chip processes the audio data received via the USB digital input.

This new low-latency XMOS microcontroller has greatly enhanced processing power. Compared to the current generation of eight-core chips, this new 16-core IC delivers double the clock speed (2000MIPS) and four times the memory (512KB), as well as the latest SuperSpeed USB standard.

iFi’s in-house digital development team has programmed the XMOS firmware to optimise sound quality and ensure a perfect partnership with the Burr-Brown DAC.

MQA (Master Quality Authenticated)

MQA is an award-winning British technology that delivers the sound of the original master recording. The master MQA file is fully authenticated and is small enough to stream or download. The hip-dac2 adopts MQA technology to receive and decode MQA audio and provide master-level sound.

Visit mqa.co.uk for more information.

Hi-Res True Native® playback of all music formats from MP3 to DSD256, PCM384 and DXD384.

It is a superior method to the traditional single-ended circuit approach. Balanced circuits reduce noise and crosstalk. Less Interference – clearer sound.

You normally find this set-up in products at the higher end of the price spectrum such as the Pro iCAN Signature but iFi is now using this across its range to produce the best quality audio for all our customers.

XBass is an analogue headphone spatialiser. It opens up your music to give you the feeling of spaciousness experienced at a live concert.

iFi’s exclusive S-Balanced® circuit delivers maximum performance from single-ended and balanced headphones alike.

See our Tech Note to dig deeper.

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Engulf Audio

Alabama
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AudioVision S.F.

California
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Alma Music and Audio

California
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Sonic Culture

California
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Berkeley Stereo

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Guitar Center

California
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iFi audio USA (West Coast)

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Apos Inc.

California
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Crescendo Fine Audio

Colorado
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The Audio Alternative

Colorado
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Don Walker Audio

Colorado
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Listen Up

Colorado
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Listen Up

Colorado
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Listen Up

Colorado
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Laufer Teknik

Connecticut
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Upstream Audio

Florida
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Audio Surroundings

Florida
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HiFi Buys

Georgia
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Music Direct

Illinois
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Roberts Camera

Indiana
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The Listening Room

Maryland
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Gramophone

Maryland
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Audio Advisor

Michigan
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Stereoland, Inc

Minnesota
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MountRose Music

Nevada
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Care Audio

New Jersey
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High Definition Tape Transfers

New Jersey
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Dennis Hartwick

New Jersey
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Bloom Audio

New Jersey
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Listen Up

New Mexico
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Signature Sound

New York
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Sensorium AVR

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Audio 46

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Turntable Lab NY Storefront

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Jeffers Audio

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Liquid HiFi

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AudioAdvice

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AudioAdvice

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Headphones.com

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True Audiophile

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Oswalds Mill Audio

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Now Listen Here

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HIDEF Lifestyle

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Music & Sound

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Elevation Sight and Sound

Utah
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iFi audio USA (East Coast)

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Sound Approach

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Audio Video Concepts and Design

Washington
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Kitsune HiFi

Washington
Formats supportedDSD
PCM
DXD
MQA
256/128/64, Quad/Double/Single-Speed
384/352.8/192/176.4/96/88.2/48/44.1kHz
384/352.8kHz
384/352.8kHz
Digital InputsUSB 3.0 Type 'A'
(USB2.0 compatible)
Headphone OutputsBalanced
S-Balanced (S-E)
4.4mm
3.5mm
Power Output (@1% THD)Balanced
S-Balanced (S-E)
[email protected]Ω; [email protected]Ω
[email protected]Ω; [email protected]Ω
BatteryLithium-polymer 2200mAh Approx. 8 hours
Power SystemCharging via USB-C, BC V1.2 compliant up
to 1000mA charging current and 6.3 volts
Power (max)<2W idle, 4W max
Dimensions102 x 70 x 14mm
4.0" x 2.8" x 0.6"
Weight135g (0.30 lbs)

Plays back everything perfectly!

hip-dac2 wins ‘Recommended# award from Stereo & Video in the Czech Republic

“It can playback everything and perfectly.”

“Power on a 3.5mm socket is sufficient for loud, unlimited reproduction even through “hungry” AKG K1000 headphones and with the XBass function on.”

Stereo & Video

(Click name to read original review)

More detail, power and spaciousness

“Be prepared to have your ears and your mind blown away! You’ll have so much more detail, power and spaciousness, this thing opens up the soundstage so well!, The bass boost is almost perfectly gauged as well. At this level of performance versus price it’s almost impossible to find a more fantastic DAC/Amp!”

Click here to watch the full review..

GearUP with Aaron

(Click name to read original review)

Thank you Eduardo for your review!

“The hip-dac2 is an easy-to-use portable DAC/Amp that can satisfy demanding audiophiles, serving as an entrance into HiFi audio thanks to its support for many headphone types and formats. It has great audio quality with natural and precise sound” (translated)

You can read the full review here..

Eduardo Marín

(Click name to read original review)

Thank you to Machina Audio for this review!

“The hip-dac2 blew me away for the price! You will immediately improve the sound of any rig you have! There is nothing for this value that has this level of quality!” translated

You can watch the full review here..

Machina Audio

(Click name to read original review)

Small but mighty

This little guy rocks. Recommend if you want to get the true quality of your music and headphones. Even supports hifi audio and master quality audio from Tital. Battery life is also pretty solid.

Amazon

(Click name to read original review)

An essential headphone amp/DAC for high-res music

iFi audio hip-dac2

Discover what James Barber of TechHive has to say about our hip-dac2 here.

TechHive

(Click name to read original review)

A whole new world

“I’ve always been of the mindset that old fashioned hifi music was out of my reach (to got dam expensive) but I picked up a hifi magazine in the airport and wow! Without out going into details .I bought this unit and a pair of hifi man headphones and it’s changed my quality of life.”

Amazon

(Click name to read original review)

Portable & Extremely Detailed Hi-Res DAC & Amp

“Connecting the hip-dac2 to one of the USB-C ports and then playing from my current music service of choice ‘Apple Music’ was an absolute revelation.”

“Not only was the interference completely gone, but the leap in sound quality was pretty spectacular. The reproduction of the music left me stunned as the entire range of the source material expressed itself in such a way I actually sat back in awe. “

Pixel Refresh

(Click name to read original review)

Wonderful sound

I have many sources which I’m using with few favorite IEMs and Sundaras. Few Bluetooth dongles, including IFI Go Blue, Desktop DAC AMPs from topping and couple of DAPs in 700-800 range. Though they all sound great the IFI Hip DAC sounds the most enjoyable to me with U or V shaped gear like 64 Audio U12T or Fiio FD5. The DAC is on a warmer side with beautiful midrange and slightly elevated tasty mid bass, non fatiguing highs but with extended air and great resolution. It sounds a bit less detailed comparing to detail monster Fiio M11Pro, or Topping D50\A50 stack, however quite on par with my warmer Sony NWZX507 DAP. The main difference is HipDac’s tuning and open sounding presentation of IFI AMPs which I enjoy the most. The sound has analogue feeling with the stage which is not very wide, but it is very tall and quite deep which gives you that open space feeling comparing to more digital, in your head presentation of other sources I have. It is not as spacious as Zen Can AMP, but close.
The power is enough to drive Sundaras to their full potential from balanced. You need to burn it in for around 60 hours, it improves in resolution.
I have auditioned the first generation HipDac and while it had similar sound signature it had far less air, sub bass and overall resolution was much lower, it sounded beautiful and relaxed with U12T’s technical abilities, but had more hiss with balanced out – I was not really impressed. The v2 improved a lot in every way while retaining the signature and openness. It quickly became my favorite source. Outstanding product! Definitely recommend.

Amazon

(Click name to read original review)

5 stars from What HiFi? for the hip-dac 2

“Quality sound and impressive build for entry-level money – it may look like a hip flask, but iFi’s hip-dac 2 is the genuine article”

WHAT HI-FI?

(Click name to read original review)

Outstanding bit of kit!

First, confession I love Ifi products. Second, I was with a very big Japanese electronics manufacturer which made Walkmans and PlayStations. Third, I love Music especially if it’s hi res.

Ifi Hip Dac2. Yep it does what it says on the product blurb. The Uk tech press wows about Chord. They are good but are they great? You spend that sort of money and you are in the rarefied world of high end DAC’s chasing the elusive dream of perfect music.
Back to the Hip Dac 2. I had Hip Dac 1 and thought it was right up there. I have Mojo,Zen, Diablo and idsd and this can compete with the very best. I have used AKG N40 (now discontinued), Grado 325S, Sony XM4 but with the wire and the Hip Dac 2 delivers in spades. The processor is the same as the Diablo (more expensive Ifi Dac). The USB C charging is a plus. My streaming platform is Qobuz but the MQA masters will be a real big plus for Tidal Users. I love the Burr Brown chip as it warms up the music.
Conclusion. Buy yes. Especially if you want pin sharp clarity from your phone or portable music player. I hitched my DAC2to Sony’s Zx 500 and also to my A&K Norma and Kann and it stepped up their presentation. Most noticeable uplift was my Hi res streaming via my iPhone.
Product build and quality fantastic.
Any gripes- Would have preferred the pricing around £ 150 – £160 but versus the venerable Mojo this is a winner. Cases and accessories unnecessarily pricey.

Amazon

(Click name to read original review)

Upgrade from the dongle – MMORPG

“I also really enjoyed the X-Bass. As I mentioned previously, there seemed to be a bit of extra magic in it here. Turning it on with my Sennheiser HD6XX, it was like they came to life.”

Thanks to Christopher Coke for this review.

MMORGP

(Click name to read original review)

hip-dac2 review by Berkhan of Headfonia

The hip-dac 2 has excellent imaging as well, which is better than the original version. And it is combined with good transparency, especially in mids. Presentation-wise I think the device is mid-centric just as the first version. The tonality in the instruments is very satisfying and you have a good body in the whole sound.

So I liked the sound performance and I think it’s better than what hip-dac has to offer. The difference is not huge, but definitely meaningful according to my tests.”

Berkhan - Headfonia

(Click name to read original review)

hip-dac2 – thermonuclear power

“ifi hip-dac is a good option to have more high-end sound for less price and that’s what it does and it does it
really well”

Porta-Fi

(Click name to read original review)

The Sequel Adds Tremendous Refinement!

“I was ok with the teal blue on the first hip dac, but I LOVE the orange on the new model. It just looks more premium to me, like those Audi R8’s that come in a similar color.”

“I liked the detail on the original hip dac, but the hip dac2 definitely has more crispness than the first one. Top-end detail and harmonics are extremely rich, with strings and vocals just a little more filled out on the new model than on the old one. It’s a similar experience to when I compared the ZEN Dac and ZEN Dac V2.”

Hi-Fi Trends - Paul Cash

(Click name to read original review)

hip-dac2 and comparisions with the original and GO blu

Check out Gavin’s hip-dac2 and a review featuring a full comparison of the hip-dac vs hip-dac2, comparisons with other DACs including the iFi GO blu and ZEN DAC v2, sound quality with a variety of headphones and much more.

Gavin's Gadgets

(Click name to read original review)

Giant killer! Absolutely recommended

Wow! What an incredibly ‘Big’ sound from such a small package.

Listening via Tidal HiFi From an IPad Pro into the ifi hip DAC ii driving a pair of either Shure 535s or Sennheiser HD600 (Customcans Mod weight with all foam removed, Oem 3.5mm cable or Van Damme handmade 4.4mm balanced cable) both balanced and unbalanced I am absolutely blown away. Listening to Music I am very familiar with from a variety of Genres, the depth that this little gem adds is sublime.

Genuinely I’m not sure I’ve heard the HD600 sound better even on Tubes. The sound is very rich and opens up the Sennheisers (even compared to a Valhalla 2 or Darkvoice I dare say) but still not even sounding bloated. Balanced or unbalanced it’s still an enjoyable listen. Balanced I feel does give a noticeable improvement in soundstaging, I would say this is to be expected though?

Amazon

(Click name to read original review)

hip-dac 2 – Great DAC / AMP

“Excellent speed of shipment and packing. Item works great, plenty of driving power even for difficult loads. Really opens up the imaging of the headset.”

 

Amazon

(Click name to read original review)