How to PC Audio with USB DAC?

Hello All,

I have a laptop running Windows XP and iTunes. I would like to attach it to my new Nuforce Icon Integrated amp/dac via USB. The Icon has a built-in USB DAC.

When I have the laptop connected to the Icon via USB cable, I still get sound out of the laptop's built-in stereo speakers, but nothing from the Icon.

How do I tell my laptop that I want the digital audio to stream via the USB connection, not through the internal speakers. I've checked the sound section in control panel and didn't find anything helpful.

Any assistance you may be able to provide is greatly appreciated.


First, I would not recommend using XP and iTunes. Bad combination, poor audio quality. iTunes is fine with Vista or Mac, but not XP.

Second, at the bottom of the iTunes window you can select speakers. This is where you do it. If the USB device does not appear there after you plug USB cable from the device to the computer, then it needs a software driver or something is broken.

You are better off to use Foobar or Jriver for XP.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
I use J River and just switched from Media Monkey and I really like the J RIver Media Jukebox!

Thanks for your comments and recommendations. I ended up rebooting the laptop while connected to the USB device and it started working without any need to change any configurations.


Thanks for your assistance.

Steve and Bill,

This is not a permanent solution. I just wanted to try it using a readily available laptop before investing in a permanent solution. Permanent solution will likely be a Mac Mini or a dedicate music server of some kind.


I want to make a few comments about the Nuforce Icon. I bought one during the introductory sale for $199. It's a 12W/channel switching amp, USB DAC, headphone amp, pre-amp (likely passive), and has multiple inputs and outputs. I must say for the price it is one incredible piece. I've only played it for about an hour, so it may get a bit better with some break-in, but out of the box it is a perfectly acceptable centerpiece for a budget rig, headphone rig or desktop music system. Build quality and packaging are absolutely first rate at this pricepoint. It's a really tiny and really cool piece. I'm thoroughly enjoying it as a cheap second system. It will likely take up permanent residence as a desktop music system in the future.