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.
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 hip-dac among other iFi products) connects to an MQA Core signal (such as TIDAL) and completes the final unfold of an MQA file. Usually, the computer has carried out the decoding.
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).
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.
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.
||USB 3.0 Type ‘A’
|Power Output (@1% THD)
||Approx. 8 hours
||Charging via USB-C, BC V1.2 compliant up
to 1000mA charging current and 6.3 volts
||<2W idle, 4W max
||102 x 70 x 14mm
4.0″ x 2.8″ x 0.6″
||125g (0.28 lbs)
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.”
(Click name to read original review)