iFi - Micro iDSD Black Label USB DAC

Product SKU: micro iDSD BL

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  • Octa-Speed DSD512
  • Double-Speed DXD
  • PCM 32bit/768 kHz

    iFi – iDSD Micro Black Label USB DAC

    The iFi micro iDSD Black Label is the newest iFi micro flagship product.At the heart, beats the Burr-Brown DSD512/PCM768/2xDXD True Native® DAC with headphone amplifier.

    The Black Label looks very good on the outside yet the inside is even better where relentless attention has been paid to advancing the sonics with the very latest components:

    • DAC digital signal and digital power sections upgraded
    • AMR Global Master Timing® femto-precision clock system upgraded for ‘super low’ phase-noise/jitter
    • Analogue signal and power sections revised
    • 3D+® performance-tuned / XBass+® performance-tuned
    • Latest Output stabilisation network offers less distortion

    The micro iDSD BL retains the unrivalled technical capabilities of its predecessor. This means it is capable of true native playback of all music formats from MP3 all the way up to 512DSD/768PCM/2xDXD.

    The Burr-Brown DAC chip used was one of the last chipsets from BB Japan (though it was introduced post-merger). This chipset was Burr-Brown’s ‘swansong’ and embodied all their converter technology. It is unrivalled in terms of subjective musicality and is a mainstay of the iFi line including the micro iDSD Black Label and is used in the upcoming showstopper, the Pro iDSD.

    The latest iterations of 3D+ and XBass+ are appreciated technologies that further enhance the enjoyment of music. With a larger soundstage and deeper, tighter bass respectively, both are even more engaging and satisfying than ever.

    iFi/AMR ‘OV’ series stands for ‘Operationsverstärker’ (German for Operational Amplifier). The ‘OV’ range IC’s use HCOFC copper lead-frames and 4N Gold bond-wire which are streets ahead of mainstream commercial chips that use inexpensive aluminum bond-wire, low-grade/low-cost copper in the lead-frames.

    It is seldom found because it requires the custom packaging of chips from wafers and has a very high MOQ (30,000 pcs per part and purchase) to do – a small insight into the parts used in the micro iDSD BL which are ‘above and beyond.’

    Os-Cons, originally from Sanyo (now taken over by Panasonic), have been around for a good while. Among the larger value capacitors useful in power supplies, they hold a special place. They have been used in AMR components up to the revered CD-77 Reference Class CD Processor.

    There are three power output modes, Eco, Normal and Turbo. If used in conjunction with the built-in iEMatch, the micro iDSD BL is able to have the power and gain dialed-in to perfectly suit all headphones from the super-sensitive Sennheiser IE-800 up to the hyper-hungry HiFiMan HE-6.

    Digital Audio Players (DAP) and home SPDIF sources are abound. Flexibility remains key and the micro iDSD BL retains the intelligent SPDIF in/out socket for optical/coax signals. So for those who wish to upgrade their DAP, simple use it as a transport and feed the micro iDSD Black Label.

    From the very hungry HiFi Man HE-6 down to the Sennheiser IE-800, the micro iDSD Black Label is able to play hi-res out and about for 6 to 12 hours respectively. Even when not in use, it is able to charge an iPhone from 0% to 100% two times through its side USB charging port.

    iFi micro – iDSD Black Label USB DAC Technical Specs

    Formats supported: DSD512/256/128/64, Octa/Quad/Double/Single-Speed DSD
    DXD(768/705.6/384/352.8kHz), Double/Single-Speed DXD
    Filters: PCM – Bit-Perfect Processing/Minimum Phase/Standard
    DSD – Extreme/Extended/Standard Bandwidth
    DXD – Bit-Perfect Processing
    Digital Inputs: High-Speed Asynchronous USB 2.0 (32bit/768kHz)
    SPDIF Coaxial/Optical
    Digital Output: SPDIF Coaxial
    Audio Input: 3.5mm
    Audio Output: 6.3mm RCA Line out (2V fixed/2V-5V variable)
    Power Output: Turbo (8.0V max/4,000 mW @ 16 Ohm)
    Normal (4.0V/1,000 mW @ 16 Ohm)
    Eco (2.0V/250mW@16 Ohm)
    Battery: Lithium-polymer 4800mAh
    Power System: USB BCP V1.2 compliant up to 1500mA charging current
    Power (max): <2W idle, 4W max
    Dimensions: 177(l) x 67(w) x 28(h) mm
    Weight: 310g (0.68 lb

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    Amazing sound and power.

    After listening to a Plenue R, Plenue PM2, and Sony WM1A, my search is finally over with this incredible dac/amp. Transparent, dynamic with lots of slam, excelent transients, no grain even with 1840 which some have said sound slightly grainy. The 1840s are very revealing and if your dac/amp is grainy it will sound grainy. Not so with this idsd Black. Using it with my Shure SRH1840 I have now started to enjoy music again after months of trial and error. Even my wife said she could now hear the ambience of the recording, and then said something which made me happy and sad at the same time: It even sounds better than your $8,000 audiophile equipment in your music room. I drive my 1840s pretty loud, and I only use ECO mode at 2:30 oclock, but man can you feel the dynamics and power behind these 94db/mw head phones. I have not heard violin pizzicatos so life like, with excelent attack. It is hard to believe that a transportable dac/amp can compete with desktop devices. After 2 months of investigating I learnt that you pay a high price for DAPS where SQ is sacrificed for space and novelty. If you like me only need transportability you get better SQ for half the price.


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