Wadia 171iTransport and 151PowerDAC mini

Wadia introduced their iTransport/Dock at the 2008 CES a couple years back and, it's no understatement to say, changed everything.

Ever since that time, the company has been introducing improvements and companion products, and this year's CES is no exception. The 171iTransport (shown at top in this photo) continues the tradition, adding iPhone/Touch compatibility, power supply indicator and button remote for navigation through playlists and albums. They've dropped the S-Video output, with component and composite video instead. SPDIF and Toslink connectors are ready to connect to your DAC of choice. Delivery should be in the next couple months at around $579 or less the company said.

There was also a mysterious looking "pad" resting surface on top, which the company indicated is their way of anticipating Apple's possible tablet launch later this month. Wadia assures me they know nothing we don't know about this however. Still, it demonstrates some forward thinking.

Below the 171iTransport is the 151PowerDAC mini which has popped up at a few previous shows and houses a DAC, digital preamp and 25 Watt/channel into 8 ohms power amp. Priced around $1,200 the 151 sounded amazingly robust for its small size.

M Sagar's picture

Enough appearances for 151. Looking forward to see it on the shelves.

Jeff's picture

As an existing iTransport owner, I'm surprised to see this $200 price increase on the new unit. At $379, the original was pretty pricey for what it did. While the improvements are nice, I'm just not seeing $200 worth of value there. Unless there are other improvements or features not listed here, it doesn't seem worthwhile.

nunh's picture

^^ JeffI agree that (especially in today's economy) a $200 increase in such a product is substantial - looking carefully at the changes (considering licensing and functionality with any Apple product) concerning the addition of the iTouch compatability and the button remote - a $200 increase is not that bad for a first generation updated product. Give it time - you may see it slighly cheaper and of course the used market can be an option.

Paul's picture

I agree with the first comment, it sure would be nice if Wadia could provide updated information about when the PowerDAC is expected to ship. I'm much more interested in this product than the iTransport, and the lack of information (and flat out wrong information: Wadia's website still says "should ship by this fall") has been very frustrating.

John's picture

I agree with Jeff. I also wonder how much of this cost is because of the iPhone compatability? The i170 was, I thought, directed at audiophiles who would use their iPod as a digital server. I can't see an audiophile using his/her iPhone for this purpose. I would have rather seen them include licensing to allow the iPod info show on my TV so that I can actually use a remote with it instead of having to walk up to the player to see what is coming or to change songs.

Alex's picture

Using an iPhone or iTouch is actually not bad since they use a flash hard drive (no moving parts) and less interference/noise will be generated. I have a Classic 160GB on my i170 and every now and then, I can actually hear the hard drive spin up even though the music is cranked up on my HD650s. Flash memory doesn't pose the same problems. I just don't see anyone putting an entire FLAC or AIFF library on an iPhone; maybe a 64GB iTouch.

bob D. Stuckiez's picture

Remember the victims of the Haitian earthquake when you think of buying one of these -- but not too hard!!

Noumenon's picture

O.K., Mr. Stuckiez, I will do as you say when I buy the Wadia 171iTransport. You see when I buy something like this, it strengthens the economy,... yes, the same economy that will do more for Haiti than any other on the planet!

VITOR Portugal's picture

Hello. I'm from Portugal, and i want to see and listen to 170i and 150 amp dac.I'm interesting to listen together, and perhaps buying it.

VITOR Portugal's picture

Hello. I'm from Portugal, and i want to see and listen to 171i and 150 amp dac.I'm interesting to listen together, and perhaps buying it.

VITOR Portugal's picture

To Wadia;Why not think doing a CD with the same image of 170i and 151amp doc.Good idea,no?

stu gatz's picture

Noumenon sure the Chinese manufacturer will be helping the poor children. Cheapskate