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.