NuForce (http://www.nuforce.com/) has announced the Icon iDo digital audio converter (DAC) and headphone amplifier for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch devices. It’s available now for US$249 from several online stores and Nuforce dealers.
It delivers audiophile-grade CD quality sound to digital music files stored on Apple mobile digital devices, according to NuForce CEO Jason Lim. iDo is ideal for music enthusiasts and musicians alike who primarily listen to — and have their digital music libraries stored on — these devices, he adds.
Users can connect any Apple mobile device to the Icon iDo with the Apple- approved, included 30-pin sync/charging cable, attach the power supply, and then plug the Icon iDo into a home stereo system using RCA cables or a single coaxial. Users can also plug in headphones directly into the Icon iDo for personal high quality sound playback.
Apple uses its own audio codec, Apple Lossless Encoder (ALE), to compress and store music files on its devices in original CD quality without loss. However, even ALE files only sound as good as the default DAC (digital-to-analog converter) found within the mobile digital device, says Lim. Icon iDo bypasses the built-in DAC and extracts the audio data stored on the device in its original digital form in USB Host Mode and converts the high-quality files for bit-perfect and low-jitter music playback, he adds.
The Icon iDo also offers a built-in headphone amplifier capable of powering power-hungry headsets. By properly powering headphones, it enhances the auditory performance of the headphones because optimal amperage is being delivered to them, allowing for greater audio clarity, says Lim.