ido
For audiophiles, the MP3-revolution has been a painful experience. Audio files reduced in size by compression technologies like MP3 or AAC -- the technology the iTunes Music Store uses -- are not "lossless". Some of the audio fidelity is lost in the quest for smaller sound files. But so-called "lossless" audio files, which can be acquired by converting CD's in iTunes using the "Apple Lossless" format, retain all the quality and fidelity of a CD.

Load those files onto an iPhone or iPad and audio enthusiasts can have high-quality audio on the go. But, there is still a matter of the "inferior" digital-to-analog converters (DAC) built into the iOS devices themselves. That's where the NuForce Icon iDo comes in.

The Icon iDo delivers audiophile-grade CD quality sound to digital music files stored on Apple® mobile digital devices. iDo is ideal for music enthusiasts and musicians alike who primarily listen to—and have their digital music libraries stored on—these devices.

Apple products are becoming the hub of a person’s entire music and audio collection, so improving the audio quality produced by these devices is key. The Icon iDo delivers on that at very affordable price point.

The Icon iDo does two things. One, it acts as an amp and DAC for plugging headphones into an iPhone. It connects to the 30-pin dock connector on the bottom of the device, then converts the digital signal to analog and runs that through its own headphone amplifier. According to the company, the product "enhances the auditory performance of the headphones because optimal amperage is being delivered to them, allowing for greater audio clarity." The Icon iDo can output digital or analog signals to a stereo, as well.

The Icon iDo MSRP's for $249 and works with all recent-vintage iPods.

Hat tip to Gizmodo.

Top Rated Comments

Drumjim85 Avatar
143 months ago
Who comes up with the names for these things..

iDo.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Snypod Avatar
143 months ago
Who comes up with the names for these things..
iDo.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ChrisA Avatar
143 months ago
Ah yes, the audiophile. Technology's equivalent of the wine snob.

The better term is "audiofool". These are the people who buy the $100 wood knob and the gold plated power cords. They are mostly ignorant people with money.

There are real "audiophiles" who know snake oil when they see it and who can understand the engineering. These people are mostly invisible on Internet forrums
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Undecided Avatar
143 months ago
I really think modern music (recordings) suck more because of the "loudness war."

See //www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Gmex_4hreQ for a good explanation and demonstration.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rainmanbk Avatar
143 months ago
Who comes up with the names for these things.. How about something not silly that actually relates to what the product does.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tentales Avatar
143 months ago
Reality Check from a musician

Ok, both sides chill. It's juvenile to bash "audiophiles" as well as gloat if you have the $$$ to afford the finer things in life. I've written and produced albums and can tell you from a production side what matters.

99.9% of Pop/Rock stuff whether old or new is compressed and loudness enhanced, whether available from iTunes at 256kbps or on "remastered" CD.

Only some of the first CDs, ca. 1983/84 came close to using the full dynamic range (max. 96db). Compared to todays "remastered" releases, you can hear the difference in sound level to match today's listening devices. Very few people still have an analog amp with paper-cone speakers. Musicians & producers want to make money, so they produce music that sells to the masses, not a few "audiophiles".

As an example, compare the 1983 CD "Love Over Gold" by Dire Straits, to today's CD or iTunes store. I still have the original CD and it sounds way better musically, but less "loud".

In the Jazz & Classical genres, there's a few better examples of true high fidelity recordings, but even there many are "remastered" again for todays digital amps and speakers.

Now to the "iDo". For me it falls in between 2 markets, audiophiles & casual listeners and therefore probably won't sell well. I'm neither one, I appreciate music quality, not tech specs.

Here's my setup.
I have my Apple Lossless library stored on a MacMini, the equiv 256kbps AAC version on my MacbookAir & ipod/iPhone. If I'm in my car or on the road, I cannot (and I will claim most audiophiles won't either) hear a difference because you're not focused on the fine nuances when you're driving or otherwise mobile with ambient noise all around you.

The iDo has to be be plugged in, so if I need to be near a socket, I might as well use the optical output on the MacMini to feed into my digital amp with a BurrBrown DAC, which probably exceeds the DAC (since they don't name it) in the iDo. And I can control it with the Remote App on my ipod touch/iPhone/ipad. So, why would I buy an iDo ? It doesn't even include an optical S/PDIF (TOSLINK) connector. The USB->RCA doesn't give you electrical isolation, which is important to audiophiles.

A useless product especially at that price point. You can buy a $30 Line-Out ipod Dock connector and feed that into your headphone amp of choice. Good ones are available for $100. But again, if you're mobile with your ipod, just invest $50-$100 in a good pair of lightweight headphones instead of this bloated iDo. If you fly a lot, buy a $150 noise-cancelling set.

iDo? iWon't!
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Dummies 1 Feature

Everything Rumored for Apple's September Event: iPhone 14, Apple Watch Pro and More

Friday August 12, 2022 2:34 pm PDT by
There's just about a month to go until Apple holds its annual September event focusing on new iPhone and Apple Watch models. We thought we'd take a quick look at everything that's rumored for Apple's September event to give MacRumors readers a rundown on what to expect when the first fall event rolls around. iPhone 14 The iPhone 14 can probably be described more as an "iPhone 13S" because...
z fold 4 1

Hands-On With Samsung's Latest Foldable Smartphones, the Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip

Friday August 12, 2022 12:46 pm PDT by
Samsung this week launched its fourth-generation foldable devices, the $1,000 Galaxy Z Flip and the $1,800 Galaxy Z Fold. Though there's no sign of a comparable Apple foldable device on the horizon, rumors suggest prototypes are in the works, so we thought we'd take a look at Samsung's newest smartphones to see what Apple needs to measure up to when a foldable iPhone does come out. Subscribe ...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Rear Flat MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro: Analyst Believes Storage Will Continue to Start at 128GB Despite Rumored Price Increase

Friday August 12, 2022 7:04 am PDT by
It wouldn't be the month before an iPhone launch without a few back-and-forth rumors, with the latest debate concerning iPhone 14 Pro storage. iPhone 14 Pro render by Ian Zelbo While research firm TrendForce forecasted that iPhone 14 Pro models could start with an increased 256GB of storage, Haitong International analyst Jeff Pu today forecasted that the upcoming Pro models will continue to...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive feature

iPhone 14 Is Just a Few Weeks Away: Three Tips to Prepare for the New iPhone

Wednesday August 10, 2022 4:08 am PDT by
The launch of the new iPhone 14 is just a few weeks away, meaning millions of iPhone customers will soon upgrade their existing iPhone or perhaps get an iPhone for the first time. Exclusive MacRumors iPhone 14 Pro renders by graphic designer Ian Zelbo Whether upgrading from an older model or this is your first iPhone, we've rounded up a few tips to help you prepare for the next flagship...
iPhone 14 Pro Lineup Feature Silver

Kuo: Apple to Increase Prices of iPhone 14 Pro Models

Wednesday August 10, 2022 8:22 am PDT by
Apple plans to increase the prices of iPhone 14 Pro models compared to iPhone 13 Pro models, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo did not reveal exact pricing for the iPhone 14 Pro models. However, in a tweet today, he estimated that the average selling price of the iPhone 14 lineup as a whole will increase by about 15% compared to the iPhone 13 lineup. In the United States, the iPhone...
top stories 13aug2022

Top Stories: New Battery Percentage Icon in iOS 16, USB-C AirPods Rumor, and More

Saturday August 13, 2022 6:00 am PDT by
This week brought some shocking news for iOS 16 beta testers, with Apple bringing back the iPhone battery percentage to the status bar after a number of years. Other news and rumors this week included word that Apple has started recording portions of its media event planned for next month to introduce the iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Series 8, claims about iPhone 14 Pro pricing and Apple's...