There is a lot of interest in audio interfaces designed to get quality audio out of your iPad. I recently came across the Icon iDo audiophile USB audio interface DAC and headphone amp by Nuforce, which does exactly that.
Unlike many interfaces currently available, it comes with an iDock connector to Standard USB type A connector, allowing you to plug your iPad directly into the iDo. This this means you have an external audio interface without the need to use it with the Apple Camara Adapter kit (like most USB interfaces).
The iDo delivers audiophile grade CD quality 24-bit audio! Bypassing the DAC in your iPad, the iDo it’s own 24-bit DAC a special bit perfect – low jitter USB host mode at sample rates up to 48kHz. It bypasses the DAC inside your iPad (that usually send audio ou the headphone jack), instead ‘Bit Perfect’ digital audio is sent out down through your dock connector into the iDo where it’s converted to analogue and sent out of the high quality headphone or RCA output connection (to sent it off to your stereo em or powered speakers).
It’s also worth mentioning that there’s a co-axial digital output which you could use to send audio to your receiver/amp, if it has a digital coax connection.
A digitally controlled analogue volume control, gives accurate control over your volume, Nuforce’s rational for this is that digitally controlled volume also avoids channel tracking problems often associated with analogue volume pots, where volume can become unequal across two stereo tracks.
The iDo also has a built in headphone amplifier, accessible via a connector on the front of the unit. The headphone amplifier should provide enough power to drive the chunkiest, most power greedy headphones. The makers of the iDo quite rightly point out that this feature alone can improve the audio you hear in high quality headphones, as the iDo is capable of driving them at optimal operating range.
The Icon iDo also charges your iPad, iPhone or iTouch whilst it’s plugged in. So you won’t need to worry about sapping your iPad batteries whilst your enjoying listening to your music.
There’s also an ideal companion for the iDo. The Icon Amp, which takes the RCA analogue signal from the iDo and pumps it out of its 2 x 24w stereo speaker outputs.
Check out another short video by Nuforce featuring the Icon Amp:
Where to get one?
You can also find the Icon iDo at eBay.
You can also find the Icon Amp at eBay.