iFi Audio

iFi Audio - hip-dac

Portable DAC & Amp

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Designed in the
UK

1 Year of
Warranty

Ideal for
Audiophiles

Best Suited for
Portable Use

8 Hours of
Battery Life

4.4mm Balanced
Output

Burr-Brown True Native
DAC Chip

Metal
Build

Pair with Laptop
via USB

Connect With
USB 3.0

Upto 400mW @32 Ω
Power Output

Volume
Controls


The Hip Dac is so much more than a pretty face. Its a balanced DAC, with a powerful amp module, great battery life, and powerful enough to drive serious headphones. For an audiopihle looking for his first DAC to use on the move - this is Perfect!
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RAGHAV SOMANI

Headphone Guru Info

About Raghav Somani

Raghav Somani is the Founder & CEO of Headphone Zone. An avid audiophile and musician since 2008, his choice of headphones include STAX Electrostats, Audeze LCD 3, and for music on the go, the JH Audio Roxanne + Astell&Kern SP1000 is never too far away. On his playlist, you'll find A.R. Rahman, Michael Jackson, and the Eagles.

DESCRIPTION

MEET IFI'S LATEST SUPER-PORTABLE & STYLISH DAC/AMP

Get the best of the beauty and performance with the iFi Audio hip-dac. It has a tiny petrol blue body with a dash of copper which gives it a trendy look while being super-portable. Easily connect it via USB along with a headphone for a rich and dynamic sound. You can stream your music across major websites including Spotify, Apple Music or Tidal.
Hip-dac

iFi
Headphone-Zone-iFi
Headphone-Zone-iFi

ADVANCED BURR-BROWN DAC & FIRMWARE UPDATES FOR CERTIFIED HI-RES AUDIO

The hip-dac houses the Burr-Brown True Native chip to give you pitch-perfect and certified hi-res sound. It also supports PCM & DXD up to 384kHz along with DSD256 and MQA for Tidal users. It contains a maxed-out circuitry and easy-to-install firmware. Open DoP256 on your Mac and Linux with 'Limoncello' 5.2A. Add the special GTO filter through 'Cookies and Cream' 5.3C.
Hip-dac

iFi

STAY BALANCED WITH THE S-BALANCED® CIRCUIT

The balanced circuits are designed to reduce external noise and promote a clearer sound. Regardless of the single-ended or the balanced headphones, you are assured to get superior performance, thanks to iFi's S-Balanced® circuit. With the PowerMatch switchable cable, you can adjust the input sensitivity to match your headphone capacity. Turn it off while using the IEMs and put it on for low impedance headphones that require more oomph.
Hip-dac

iFi
iFi

ALL ABOUT THAT BASS

Missing out on bass is the last thing you need to worry about with the hip-dac. It comes with xBass®—an optional sonic adjustment from iFi that makes up for the low bass which is encountered in in-ear or open-back headphones.
Hip-dac

iFi
iFi
iFi

ENJOY LONG LISTENING SESSIONS WITH AN 8-HOUR BATTERY LIFE

The hip-dac comes with an amazing battery life that lasts for almost a day. Even if your headphone consumes a lot of power to run, the hip-dac runs efficiently for up to 8 hours. It comes with two outputs: 4.4mm for balanced headphone cables and 3.5mm for IEMs.
Hip-dac

iFi
iFi
iFi

SPECS

AUDIO SPECIFICATIONS
FORMAT SUPPORTED DSD256/128/64, Octa/Quad/Double/Single-Speed DSD DXD(384/352.8kHz), PCM(384/352.8/192/176.4/96/88.2/48/44.1kHz) MQA
DIGITAL INPUTS USB 3.0 type ’A’
High-Speed Asynchronous USB 2.0, (32bit/384kHz)
HEADPHONE OUTPUTS Balanced 4.4mm
S-Bal (SE) 3.5mm
POWER OUTPUT (@1% THD) BAL: 400mW@32 Ohm ; S-BAL(SE): 280mW@32 Ohm
BAL: 6.3V@600 Ohm ; S-BAL (SE): 3.2V@600 Ohm
BATTERY Lithium-polymer 2200mAh
POWER SYSTEM Charging via USB-C, BC V1.2 compliant up to 1000mA charging current
POWER (MAX) <2W idle, 4W max
DIMENSIONS 102(l) x 70(w) x 14(h) mm
WEIGHT 125g (0.28 lbs)
IN THE BOX
BOX CONTENTS
1. iFi Audio - hip-dac
2. 1 X blue ifi usb male to female cable
3. 1 X usb-c to usb male to female (direct connection to Android/DAP’s)
4. 1 X usb-a to usb male to female

COMPARISONS

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Warranty
Ideal For Smartphone Desktop Smartphone Desktop
Weight 125g 0.8 Kg 110g
DAC Chip Burr Brown Burr Brown AKM4462 ES9038Q2M
Sample Rate 32bit/384kHz 32-bit/384kHz 768kHz/32bit 32bit/768kHz
Inbuilt Battery
Battery Life 8 Hours USB In - PO: 10H
BAL: 8.5H
AUX In - BAL: 19H
Balanced Outputs
Outputs 4.4mm & 3.5mm 4.4mm, 6.3mm, RCA 2.5mm, 4.4mm & 3.5mm 6.35mm & RCA
Digital Inputs USB 3.0 USB3.0 Type C USB/Aux USB, Optical, Coaxial, Line In
Output level Unbalanced: 280mW@32 Ohm
Balanced: 400mW@32 Ohm
4.4mm Pentaconn (BAL)
330mW@32 Ohm; 6.6V@600 Ohm
6.3mm S-BAL (SE)
230mW@32 Ohm; 3.3V@600 Ohm
160mW (32Ω, THD+N<1%, USB IN)
(3.5mm Headphone Output port)
300mW (32Ω, THD+N<1%, USB IN)
325mW (32Ω, THD+N<1%, AUX IN)
(2.5mm/4.4mm Headphone Output port)
32ohms@560mW
Signal to Noise Ratio 116dB ≥114dB (32Ω) (3.5mm)
≥113dB (32Ω USB IN) ≥115dB (32Ω AUX IN)
(2.5mm, 4.4mm)
117dB
MQA Support
Volume Control
Expert Verdict "I love its ability to drive full-size headphones with enthusiasm. If you’re looking for a lightweight DAC/Amp to improve the audio from your laptop or mobile this is a no-brainer."
Hifi Trends
"If you want transparency with some light cleansing and arguably a few drops of color, the Zen DAC V2 is a great amp. The Zen DAC V2 competes with units well above its price point."
Major HiFi
"The Q3 encases a fully-balanced THX structure amplification module under the AAA Frontier series.It claims to be the “World’s Most Linear Amplifier Technology for Headphones”."
Headfonics
"Aune does good work. We all can agree, the X1S is a good DAC that offers a solid selection of possibilities. We can recommend this to middle-tier powered speaker owners foremost."
Headfonics

Buying Guide

Best Amp/DACs for your Headphones for Beginner Audiophiles

Best Amp/DACs for your Headphones for Beginner Audiophiles

by Shanth Swaroop May 09, 2020

To get the best out of your music, make sure your songs are of the best quality i.e. hi-res. A DAC only helps in churning out a good output if the input is good.
Read More

FAQs

DOWNLOADS

  • User Manual
  • Tech Notes
  • Warranty & Media Reviews

    1 Year Warranty

    Don't sweat it, this iFi Audio hip-dac comes with a 1 year warranty from iFi Audio that covers manufacturing defects. All products featured on Headphone Zone are backed by an original manufacturer's warranty.

    Read more about iFi Audio's warranty in India.

    IGN

    APPLAUSE AWARD

    Stereonet
    Apr, 2020

    Headfonics

    HIFI CHOICE AWARD

    HiFi choice
    May, 2020

    Trusted

    HIFI CHOICE RECOMMENDED

    HiFi choice
    May, 2019

    Audio-Reputation

    BEST
    DAC/Amp

    Headfonia
    Dec, 2019

    YouTube Reviews

    Watch the most popular YouTube reviews for the iFi Audio - hip-dac

    Customer Reviews

    Based on 57 reviews
    68%
    (39)
    23%
    (13)
    7%
    (4)
    0%
    (0)
    2%
    (1)
    D
    DEBIPRASAD SINHA (Hyderabad)
    Superb product for a beginner audiophile

    This is surely a worthy product. Sound is nearly neutral with little warm. First I've tried this with my 1more dual driver earphones. The sound quality was really amazing but I was overwhelmed when I tried this with my newly bought headphone beyerdynamic dt990 edition 250 ohms. But whenever you play any high impedance headphone like this you have to switch on powermatch button. This is the first and only dac-amp combo I bought. I don't have any idea about other dacs or amplifiers but this thing is a pure happiness for me. This thing has enough amòunt of power but I am not sure that it can drive a extreme power hungry headphones like the beyerdynamic 600 ohms one with full potential. This is my first purchase of any costly audio equipment (yes u heard it correctly that it's a costly product for me) but this product didn't give any chance to regret. And one important thing u will get all the necessary connectors (for charging, and connecting with smartphone using type-c and also with laptop or desktop) within the box.

    J
    Joseph Renthlei (Aizawl)
    Beautiful but only if paired with the right headphone!

    Got mine two days ago. Used it extensively for the past two days with different headphones and this is my review of the Hip Dac.
    Unless paired with the right headphone, the Hip Dac is not at all neutral, atleast to my ears. With warm sounding headphones, they sound boomy and at times muddy. They make even the Audio Technica Ath R70X sound too warm, atleast to my ears. They make Shures 215 sound summery warm. This is not necessary a bad thing if you are a bass head. To my ears, they are amazing with bright sounding headphones like the Dt 770. So, it is very important to pair the Hip Dac with the right headphone. If paired with the right headphone, the Hip dac is very enjoyable. If you have a bright sounding headphone or if you are a bass head, you should consider getting the Hip Dac.
    They do look really nice and hip with a solid build quality. One negative, the battery does not last very long.

    L
    LDM (Mumbai)
    Nice little portable DAC-amp

    I use the Hip DAC with my MacBook and iPhone and it enhances the output a fair bit on both. In both cases, I have hardly ever needed to push the volume dial past 12 o'clock to get it loud enough on my Sennheiser HD 599s.

    This unit gives the sound, across all genres of music, more definition, space, resolution and body. People have said the Hip DAC colours music slightly warm but I haven't really seen that - though in my defence, I'm no audiophile. I leave the bass boost off, though I do turn the Power Match on. (I believe you can leave it off for most high-sensitivity IEMs.) Turning Power Match on delivers a massive boost in sound quality and volume on the HD 599s for me.

    I've taken off a star because I'm fairly sure I was sent a unit that was previously opened (if not also used). There was no plastic wrap anywhere, and the box was somewhat scuffed in the flap area.

    Also, battery life is far from great. iFi claims ten-12 hours or so, but I get about half that or less. If you look at Head-Fi etc, you'll see this has been pretty much standard for all buyers.

    Anyway, the good thing is, you can charge and use the DAC at the same time. Though at any given time, the unit will only draw power from its own battery (and not from external power), so basically you're keeping the battery power topped up if you charge it while using it.

    A point of pain for iOS users is that you need to fork out 3k extra for an Apple CCK adapter (Lightning to USB-A female) to use this DAC with your phone or iPad. And since the adapter wire is short and squat, it's pretty unwieldy using your phone when you have the DAC hooked up to it. There will be cheaper alternatives out there, but you never know when those stop playing nice with Apple devices.

    U
    Uttam (Mumbai)
    Chord mojo killer

    After coming from a disaster experience with the mojo(I like the sound but unreliable), I was looking for something with a warm sound signature to use while on the move. And the hip dac fits right in with its burr brown warm sounding dac and super portable size. The sound is incredible if you wanna rock out but not very analytical. But then that's not its purpose. I can't believe I am getting chord mojo sound (I think, I havent used it for a few months) at 1/3rd thr price. My first ifi audio gear and definitely many. Also they give you all the necessary connection peripherals in the box( I am looking at you chord😒) Would recommend it blindly at this price. Punches well above its weight

    Thank you for sharing your review with us!

    N
    Neelabh (Hyderabad)
    Entry Level DAC/AMP

    This was my first foray in this DAC/AMP thing. I wanted to buy Schiit Magni+Modi but they were not available and Salim from HPZ suggested that this hip dac. I watched few reviews and almost every review was positive so went ahead with this.

    I am using this ifi Hip DAC with my Hifiman Sundara. It has been almost two weeks now and the music feels more smoother and bright compared to when i plug my headphone directly into the 3.5mm connection of laptop. I am almost addicted to it. It identifies MQA format from TIDAL and the light turns purple (that is how I know it identifies)

    The power match button drives the headphone a notch louder and most of the time I keep that volume between 40-50%.Xbass is on most of the times and it brings out the sub bass beautifully and clearly.

    I would recommend it if you want a clean and bright sound from your computer or phone. It comes with one USB connector, one USB - Charger cable, and one USB - C connector cable.

    The connection system is bit weird, it takes a USB female cable and USB-C is just for charging. I am getting around 4-5 hrs of play time after each charge. For iphone you have to buy a cable which could cost somewhere between 1000-1500 rs

    If you are beginner and confused what to get, you should definitely get this one.

    B
    Balaji Ramachari (Chennai)
    Pocket wonder

    I am an ifi fan boy and this is my 3rd ifi product, I had owned ifi micro idsd and currently own the ifi micro idsd BL. If I already own the BL then why the hip DAC again, I wanted a pocket sized DAC that can bring in the ifi SQ. Does the hip DAC deliver for me?

    TLDR rating :)

    SQ: 5
    Build: 5+
    Battery: 3.5
    Value for Money: 5
    Overall: 4.5

    Hip DAC lives up to the brand name when it comes to SQ, it offers a satisfactory punch with Hifiman Sundara (I am yet to try the 4.4mm balanced) and the rendition is smooth, you don't feel like wanting more unless you are spoiled by having a ifi micro idsd BL handy for comparison. It drives the Sennheiser HD650 to ear splitting volumes (both 3.5SE & balanced) and hip DAC has a neutral to warm signature for perfect synergy. I am sure everyone knows how well HD650 can scale with amps, so don’t come complaining about my statement here :)

    To me the perfect pairing comes in the form of Yamaha MT-5 which is my recent find for a budget closed back! Smooth rendering of the ifi hip DAC without compromising on the speed and attack added with sufficient bottom end on tap when needed (Xbass) makes it a perfect compact DAC/Amp on the go for revealing monitoring cans like the Yamaha MT-5. Yamaha MT-5 also has a brilliant staging for a closed back and the combo makes every song & genre enjoyable, with MT-5 pairing I never felt anything lacking compared to ifi BL.

    I am not an IEM fan and just have the Venture electronics BIE which did very well with the hip DAC with excellent staging and dynamics. Honestly I cannot understand some of the negative reviews about hip DAC, whilst my hip DAC was still on order I happened to stumble upon one famous reviewer’s comments about hip DAC, he mentioned the hip DAC as being warm and loose and has a rolled off high end, he in fact claimed hip DAC to be warmer than the Chord Mojo. Having owned the Chord Mojo I can confirm this is not the case with the hip DAC, the amp has been tuned for linear & smooth delivery throughout the frequency range while exhibiting proper attack on the transducers (ifi special IMHO) combining it with a perfect high end which delivers lot of details.
    With such a brilliant package the caveat comes in the form of battery life and the way circuit has been designed, the data port and the charging port has been separated and there is no way hip DAC can work on USB power from a PC (as claimed by the supplied manual which now has been corrected in the online version) and it solely depends on battery power unlike ifi BL. This was a major disappointment for me, I was able to squeeze somewhere between 4 to 6 hours only when running on high gain (power match) and balanced with a combination of Sundara and HD 650, probably with an IEM you should be able to do more than 8 hours. The battery charge indicator is handy and it has three colours to show battery charge, though I wish it had four colours like Mojo

    Red - less than 25%
    Green - 25 to 75%
    White - 75 to 100%

    To sum it up except for battery life and battery circuit design hip DAC scores very high in terms of SQ and build quality at a very affordable price and it deserves a place in your back pack if you cannot afford or if you are not a fan of the entry level Android based DAPs in the market like me.

    D
    Dixit (Davangere)
    Marvelous sound quality.

    Amazing sound quality, little forwarded to bass segment. However I am a bass lover so no issues. Wide stage, powerful, crisp clear highs and not overlapping frequencies are other best characters of this hip DAC.
    Only disappointment is no aux in port.... Little bit worried regarding this.... Don't know wether it supports analog signals by its USB A data in port!! If it support analog signals in then it's an looting device at this price segment!! Happy thumping!!

    So glad to know that you love them. We really appreciate your review, we hope it will help other potential customers to make an informed decision.

    S
    Sundaramurthy K (Ashburn)
    Awesome

    This is my first step into audiophile journey and i thoroughly enjoyed this investment. stop reading further if you needed audiophile terms. my reviews will be in layman terms only. Used to read many reviews on how using proper DAC will enhance your experience. mere words will not do the justice until you hear it yourself. i'm also happy with all the accesories provided which suits my needs.
    Design: compact just like hip flask ( hence the name i think). everything looks great except for the battery indicator. the battery indicator is way too small to notice and may end up drying out the charge. the body finish is glossy. so better dont have butter fingers. volume knob is super smooth and precise. rest all good.
    Sound: i used senheisser hd 598 and blown away by the sound output. able to hear every minute details. the bass boost featured did real justice to my open ear headphones. you have switch on the power gain for over ear headphone and off for iem. the amp part was neat. no noise distortion even at high volumes.
    Verdict: if you are music enthusiast and like to step up your game , better start with these. they are worth every penny.

    M
    Mohsin (Chennai)
    Best budget DAC

    My first external DAC, my first purchase from HPZ. DAP - fiio x5lll, phone- OnePlus 7. Earphones - fiio fh1, sony mdr xb55, TRi4. I played muse, fleetwood Mac etc, the sub bass is beautifully pronounced. No hiss, volume is loud, I just can't pass 30% of it. Decodes MQA, need to buy UAPP app and MQA plugin, for MQA to work. App+ plugin costs 700 Rs from playstore. MQA setup is tricky. The vocals, instruments, bass are much clearer than the fiio x5lll DAP. Bass is punchy, not overpowering. I could hear instruments, which I couldn't in my bookshelves, powered by AVR. Wide soundstage, totally enjoyable and addictive. It's heavy and gets warm after 30 minutes of usage, battery lasts for 6-7 hours on my usage. The powermatch and bass boost buttons, really work wonders. Firmware should be updated to 5.3 and 5.3c version, for MQA to work. Overall I am satisfied and I thank HPZ, for making the product available. The guys at HPZ are responsive about queries to the product listed on their site. I appreciate it. Great job HPZ

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