NuForce Headphone Amp, USB DAC & Preamp Icon HDP








NuForce Icon HDP

   "World-class performance from your digital source"
High Performance Headphone Amp, DAC and Preamp

The Nuforce Icon HDP incorporates a full-speed USB DAC (24bit/96kHz) and full-function S/PDIF D/A converter (24bit/192kHz), plus a headphone-amplifier circuit and preamp output. Supporting digital USB, S/PDIF in coaxial and 3.5mm optical (3.5mm) modes, along with an analog line input, the HDP accommodates all manner of audio devices. The Icon HDP, which has been designed to serve as the heart of a high-performance audio system, competes head-on with DACs and preamps costing several times its price.

Note: The Icon HDP employs the same DAC as our high-end CDP-8 (MSRP $1450.00) and a preamp similar to that of the P-8S (MSRP $1650.00). The following design features contributed to the stellar performance of the Icon HDP:

  • The digital input has no capacitors in its signal path. The analog input utilizes a single DC-decoupling capacitor.
  • Components along the signal path are minimized.
  • The 24/96 USB interface outputs a I2S signal to a high-quality DAC.
  • The digital circuit occupies a separate daughter board.
  • The DAC chip consists of four internal 24/192kHz DACs that provide a fully differential and balanced output. The differential signal's DC offset operates without a need for decoupling caps.
  • Digital and analog voltages each have separately isolated internal power regulations.


  • USB 2.0 Full Speed compliant and 1.1 supported, 8-96kHz/16-24-bit
  • S/PDIF input: Coaxial up to 192kHz/24-bit or Optical up to 192kHz/24-bit
  • Analog input: 3.5mm or RCA input
  • Audiophile-grade DA converter
  • Low-distortion, high-current headphone amplifier
  • High quality analog volume control


Analog Inputs
  • RCA or 3.5mm when inserted
Digital input
  • S/PDIF - Coaxial or 3.5mm Optical when inserted. Coaxial up to 192kHz/24-bit or Optical up to 192kHz/24-bit
  • Coaxial input impedance 75 Ohm
  • USB 1.0 and 1.1 up to 44.1kHz/16-bit, USB 2.0 Full-Speed up to 96kHz/24-bit
  • 88.2 kHz is not supported
RCA Output
  • 2.6 Vrms (cuts off when headphone is inserted)
  • Output impedance 100 Ohm
Headphone Output
  • 6.3mm full-size headphone output jack drives headphones up to 600-Ohm (96 mW@600-Ohm)
  • Output impedance 10 Ohm
Headphone power spec:
  • 288mW rms @ 30 Ohm
  • 210mW rms @ 120 Ohm
  • 152mW rms @ 300 Ohm
  • 123mW rms @ 500 Ohm
  • 96mW rms @ 600 Ohm
  • 59mW rms @ 1200 Ohm
  • 43mW rms @ 1700 Ohm
  • 35mW rms @ 2000 Ohm
  • 0.001% @ 1kHz.
Frequency response
  • 10Hz to 100kHz (-0.5dB).

SNR > 100dB

Power Requirement
  • 12-15V, 1.6A, 100-240VAC (Worldwide AC).
  • 6" x 4 1/2" x 1".
  • 1 lb.
Package Contents Include
  • Toslink to optical mini adapter
  • 6.3mm stereo plug (male) to 3.5mm stereo connector (female) adapter
  • Silicone stand
  • AC adaptor (15V, 1.6A, 100-240VAC)
Optional Accessories
  • Linear power supply
  • High performance USB cable