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iFi Audio’s new DAC looks like a hip-flask

With iFi Audio’s new hip-dac you can pour some of that audio goodness into your setup

British audio company iFi has come with a rather novel look for a DAC – it looks exactly like a hip-flask.

Likely made with the purpose of getting you intoxicated on your music library, the hip-dac (£149) is designed to slip easily into your pocket and works just fine as desktop USB/headphone DAC.

Arriving in a petrol blue colour, with the dial and connections in a copper finish, you can connect your mobile device/laptop via USB with a 3.5mm jack available for a wired headphone/in-ear connection.

The DAC section is based around a Burr-Brown DAC chip, which iFi has selected for its highly musical performance. The True Native design of the this chip also allows PCM and DSD to take separate pathways, ensuring they remain ‘bit-perfect’ all the way through to analogue conversion, a feature iFi says is not the case with other DAC/headphone amps.

Audio jacks and volume dial

Combined with the company’s custom circuitry, they claim the hip-dac is able to deliver excellent sound across all digital audio formats, including PCM, DSD and MQA.

PCM and DXD (Digital eXtreme Definition) files are supported up to 384kHz, along with DSD from 2.8MHz to 12.4MHz (DSD64, 128 and 256). The hip-dac features a GMT femto-precision clocking system that is said to eradicate jitter (digital distortion) from the audio signal.

The hip-dac’s battery last for 8 to 12 hours (depending on the volume). Tucked with the DAC are three types of USB cables: a USB-OTG (on-the-go) for connection to Android devices or PC/MACs with a USB-C connection, a USB type-A cable and a Type-A to USB-C charging cable. iOS devices can be attached via the Camera Adapter, but that is only available to buy separately.

The iFi hip-dac goes on sale in February for £149.

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