iFi Audio Hip-Dac 3iFi Audio Hip-Dac 3
iFi Audio Hip-Dac 3

iFi Audio Hip-Dac 3: Portable headphone amplifier in titanium Color

Every time Apple introduces its new iPhone, iFi Audio brings a new hip-dac to market. The new iPhone 15 are distinguished by the use of titanium in their chassis, as does the new portable hip-dac 3.

For those who don’t know the hip-dac series has hopefully reached number three. Hip-dacs are similar in design but differ in color. Devices with an aluminum housing that has rounded corners so that it is comfortable to use and slips into our pocket.

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The original was tinted in ‘petrol blue’, the hip-dac 2 came in orange and now the new hip-dac 3 arrives in dark ‘titanium’, to match the new iPhones as we said.

Like the previous ones, the hip-dac 3 is a portable (i.e. battery powered) headphone amplifier with DAC. Its purpose is to improve the sound of our mobile phones, for those who listen to music on the go… but also at home.

Its thickness is only 14 mm, while the only element that protrudes from it is the metal level regulator that is placed in the middle of the “face”. On one side it has two headphone jacks, the classic mini jack and 4.4mm for balanced headphones. On the other hand there are two push buttons for the gain of the amplifier and for increasing the low frequencies, the well-known XBass that works in the analog section.

The new hip-dac 3, something previous hip-dacs lacked, features an IEMatch switch on the bottom to match the device to the sensitivity of our in-ear headphones. Also in hip-dac 3 the USBs are now both USB C and not one as we had in hip-dac 2. So connecting it to our mobile is more flexible and easy.

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Underneath the hip-dac 3 chassis are more improvements, including new metal film capacitors, new oscillators for higher clock accuracy and phase noise reduction. The integrated DAC remains Burr-Brown, the XMOS processor is a 16-core programmed by iFi Audio, while the output stage is also said to be upgraded with quality op amps. At the output it delivers 400mW for 32Ω headphones, while from the balanced output it drives with 6.3V even difficult headphones e.g. of 600Ω.

Otherwise the device is hi-rez certified, with MQA, PCM 384KHz and DSD256,

It charges its 2,200mAh battery via USB C and has an autonomy of 12 hours, which depends on our headphones and the levels we play.

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In the package you will find all cables-accessories, while iFi Audio also releases an optional protective case for the hip-dac 3.

Its price has not changed, it is 199 euros, the same as the price of the hip-dac 2.

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