With the advent of Mp3 players, iPods and Smartphones the music industry has undergone a huge transformation. The audio industry which was ruled by optical disc and walkmans gave way to the new technologies. But even after many revolutionary changes there are lot of audiophiles who complain about the audio quality from them compared to older analog devices.
According to them the smart phone audio quality is not at all up to the mark. The reason for that is because of the fact these devices are designed to be compact and they pack in a lot many features. So the space available for an audio processing unit in it will be very minimal since that is not its top priority.
Nuforce analyzed all these problems and came up with Icon iDo. What it does simply is that it takes digital form music and converts it into the perfect jitter free top notch quality music. A small problem is that it is made especially for Apple’s devices including iPad and iPod. Even though the interface is USB the support is limited to only to them.
Nuforce Icon iDo has dimensions of only 6 inch x 4.5 inch x 1 inch. The device is extremely portable and has a silicone stand to hold it in a vertical position if it is kept in a desktop environment. The device comes in 4 colors. It includes red, silver, blue and black with all the variants having a dash of black in the front portion. The vibrant colors and the compact design give it a very attractive look.
A LED level in the front shows the amount of gain provided for the music. There is a volume knob in the front and a variety of ports in the back. The ports consist of USB input port, analog output ports and a coaxial digital output port. There is also an ON/OFF switch and a power input port.
The iPhone/iPad has a built in digital to analog converter so that you can plug in a 3.5 mm headphone but the problem is that the circuitry is not that much efficient compared to Nuforce Icon iDo. The reason behind the high sound quality is that the device has a dedicated power supply so it can boost the power levels of audio to very high levels.
What the device does is that it bypasses the inbuilt DAC and the associated circuitry along with it including the headphone amplifiers. With the raw digital signal the device gets it recreates the analog sound with much more efficiency. That means at the output, the device produces sound that is as pure as it can be and the distortion is reduced to about 0.01%. The final signal to noise ratio is found to be as high as greater than 95dB.
The device does no sample rate conversion and works in the inherent sample rate of the device. This results in very faithful reproduction of sound. Nuforce Icon iDo has a frequency response of about 10Hz to about 20KHz. It can very well connect to a home stereo system through either of the analog or digital connection options. Also it will accept infrared signals from iPod remote to adjust the volume and also to play and stop the tracks.
The gadget can also be hooked up with some power speakers increasing the practicality of the device. Nuforce Icon iDo exact price for the Indian market is not known yet.