iFi Hip-Dac2 Portable USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier

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Colourful. Capable. Crisper.

Our much loved hip-dac has had a makeover!

This portable, hi-res DAC/headphone amp looks ultra cool in its new vibrant Sunset Orange finish. Not only has the hip-dac2‘s super sleek aluminum case had a 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 allows the addition of full MQA decoding to the hip-dac2‘s skill set. There also a upgraded crystal clock which eradicates jitter for purer 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.

Shooting from the hip

The hip-dac2 replaces the inferior DAC (Digital-to-Analogue Converter) and amplifier circuitry in smartphones, tablets, PCs and Mac computers 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 selected for for its fluid, highly musical sound quality and True Native architecture, together with iFi custom circuitry, 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.

iFi audio hip-dac2

MQA decoded

Thanks to the XMOS 16 core tech, the hip-dac2 is now an MQA Decoder rather than a Renderer only, fully unfolding the format.

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. It glows blue to indicate it is playing an MQA Studio file.

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 headphone amp delivers 660mW of power from the balanced output (520mW from the single-ended output) into a 32-ohm load – ensuring compatibility with a wide range of headphones. With a rating of 200mW from the balanced output into a 300-ohm load, it drives most power-hungry headphones with ease.

iFi audio hip-dac2

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.

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 Pentaconn 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.

iFi audio hip-dac2

Formats supported DSD256/128/64, Quad/Double/Single-Speed
Formats supported PCM384/352.8/192/176.4/96/88.2/48/44.1kHz
Formats supported DXD384/352.8kHz
Formats supported MQA384/352.8kHz
Digital Inputs USB 3.0 Type 'A' (USB2.0 compatible)
Headphone Outputs (Balanced)4.4mm
Headphone Outputs (S-Balanced (S-E))3.5mm
Power Output (@1% THD) (Balanced)400mW@32Ω; 6.3V@600Ω
Power Output (@1% THD) (S-Balanced (S-E))280mW@32Ω; 3.2V@600Ω
Battery - Lithium-polymer 2200mAh Approx. 8 hours
Power System Charging via USB-C, BC V1.2 compliant up to 1000mA charging current and 6.3 volts
Power (max) <2W idle, 4W max
Dimensions 102 x 70 x 14mm 4.0" x 2.8" x 0.6"
Weight135g (0.30 lbs)

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