Perhaps its just our desire to anthropomorphise gadgets, but we can’t help thinking that NuForce’s new Icon uDAC2 USB portable DAC looks a whole lot like a big nosed man looking somewhat surprised. No matter; the important thing is the bag-friendly size (just 21 x 42 x 68 mm and 87g) and decent specs for a USB-bus powered DAC: 110dB, total harmonic distortion of -95dB and a SN ratio of 98dB.
There’s also the NuForce Icon2, a larger version which will work as a preamp and has boosted power. There are twin inputs and 24W x 2-channel amplification, while connectivity includes mini-stereo input, USB and RCA ports. However, it needs an external PSU unlike the uDAC2, and so is more suited to desk-bound applications.
Both are available now, priced at 15,750 yen ($185) for the uDAC2 and 45,150 yen ($532) for the Icon2.