Consider this headphone amp if: you want an amp with a lively tonal balance and superb delineation of musical lines.
Look elsewhere if: treble warmth or bass extension is of paramount importance.
Ratings (compared to similarly-priced headphone amp/DACs):
- Tonal Balance: 9.0
- Clarity: 9.5
- Dynamics: 9.0
- Output Flexibility: 9.0
- Value: 9.0
Given the subtleties of different headphone amp designs, along with the wide variations in frequency response of headphones themselves, inevitably a certain amount of what we hear with headphone amps and DACs is conditioned by what is connected to them. That said, there are several basic characteristics of the Icon HDP that seem to be consistent across a variety of headphones.