iFi Micro iDSD BL Headphone Amp. Reference sound on a budget.
Now at True Audiophile
NOW MQA CERTIFIED AND READY
We heard so much about this line from respected dealers and audiophiles we had to hear them to believe it. Yup, the buzz is right. This is incredible Audiophile grade gear on a tight budget. Secret is they've been designed by a group of engineers who normally work on gear well over $5,000.00 and wanted to give back to music lovers who have more ears than money. Loaded with brilliant tech and careful parts selection. Can't go wrong.
Once our testers were done listening they proclaimed the iFi Micro iDSD the best for the money. Even Blacker with a richer background. Incredible PRAT. Improved timber, speed and pitch. Liquid midrange and deep bass as compared to the Nano. They also said it performed world's better to a Headphone Amp they tested that was 3x its price and very famous. They were so astonished after hearing dozens of competitors at the same price we decided to give it our Best in Class Award.-- TA
“★★★★★ Great sound and looks!”
Micro iDSD Black Label: “Good gaming devices do not have to cost a fortune!” “The Black Label functionality is also fabulous…Wow! I am very impressed…”- hifichoice.pl
Read more reviews in the Pro Reviews Tab
DSD Micro Black Label: “A marvellous all-rounder!” “Pros: Sound, functionality, build quality, price-to-performance ratio…..Go for the iDSD BL, you’ll thank me later!”
“The iDSD BL is a great product to have. It’s well-made, exceptionally versatile, quite convenient to use, has enough power to handle literally every set of cans out there and it’s price-to-performance ratio is – in my humble opinion – off the charts.” -- HeadFi
iDSD Black Label : “….taking hold of USA like wildfire”
“iFi announced their top-dog DAC and amp combo the Micro iDSD Black Label was their #1 seller in Japan so it’s no wonder it’s taking hold of audiophiles in the US like wildfire.” -- MajorHiFi
“Mirco iDSD Black Label is a transportable high-end audio product” “The iFi Micro iDSD will recharge a smartphone from its side-mounted Type A USB port. Perhaps this is how we might best think of iFi’s latest portable DAC/headphone amplifier: a smartphone charger that will also extract the very best performance from a nice pair of connected headphones.” John H Darko Knock Out Award. LINK HERE to Review
"The ifi Micro iDSD BL is a solid and well made unit that goes for a sensible price. Its many inputs and outputs make it a unit that can be used with a variety of products.
The sound of the ifi Micro iDSD BL model is one of clarity, great details, authentic reproduction of the source materials, medium to wide sound stage, full bodied sound in the lows and mids without become flabby, dark or boomy, the highs are soft and extended.
It certainly packs enough power to drive most headphones with ease. And has enough subtle settings to also make it suitable for sensitive IEMs. A wide variety of setting switches means that the user can also customize it to their preferred sound signature.
To conclude the ifi Micro iDSD Black is a versatile product that does neutral very well, but also by way of various switches and settings allows the users to customize their sonic experience. It plays well with large headphones and also more sensitive IEMs.
Its compatibility and many inputs and outputs make it a versatile future proof machine.
Plus it looks sexy." -- Headpie
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 Black Label. Can't stop getting better and better.
The High-Res heart remains – DSD512/PCM768/DXD2x: 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.
Burr-Brown Chipset x 2: 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.
3D+® and XBass+® : 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.
Operations: 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.’
Sanyo OSCONs are go: 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.
So, despite their steep cost (around 10x that of common electrolytic capacitors), the micro iDSD Black Label is one of the first less than $1,000 products to feature them.
Turbo-charge headphones: 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.
Intelligent In/Out SPDIF Digital Optical/Coax : 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.
Battery for music on-the-go: 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.
Inputs (rear) USB 2.0 type A “OTG” Socket
(with iPurifier® technology built-in) Compatible with computers (Apple/Win/Linux), iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Android Devices, camera kit or USB-OTG cable required. (Full USB3.0 port compatible)
Intelligent SPDIF® Coaxial 3 Way combo SPDIF port (Coaxial In/Out; Optical In); Up to 192kHz PCM
Outputs (rear) Audio RCA L+R
Intelligent SPDIF® Coaxial Up to 192kHz PCM
Output (right side) SmartPower® Socket Fast charge all portable devices. Compliant with USB Battery Charging Standard 1.2 – 5V @ 1.5A
– HP Output Audio 6.3mm Headphone Jack
– Volume with Power On/Off switch Precision analogue volume control <2dB Tracking error
– 3.5mm Input Auto disable the digital section when this is in use
– X-Bass® On/Off
– 3D Holographic Sound® On/Off Auto-switching for Speakers® and Headphones® (two separate and distinct circuits)
Controls (left side)
– Power Mode Turbo, Normal, Eco Computer controlled power and gain scaling
– Polarity Normal/Inverted
– Filter 3 positions, 6 filters (see filter section below)
– Line Direct/Preamplifier Preamplifier function Enable/Disable, 0/9dB gain selectable Fixed 2V or variable with up to 5V available
– iEMatch® Perfect-matching circuit for IEMs (eliminate hiss) Off / High Sensitivity Headphone / Ultra Sensitivity Headphone
DAC Dual-core DSD, DXD, PCM DAC by Burr Brown 2-DAC Chip; 4-Channel; 8-Signals, custom interleaving for maximum SNR
Bit-Perfect DSD processing, Bit-Perfect PCM processing
Clock Ultra low jitter GMT computer controlled Femto Clock RMS jitter 12kHz – 1MHz < 280 Femtoseconds
Audio Formats DSD 512/256/128/64
24.6/22.6/12.4/11.2/6.2/5.6/3.1/2.8 All native decoding, no internal hardware conversion
768/705.6/384/352.8kHz All native decoding, no internal hardware conversion
48/44.1kHz All native decoding, no internal hardware conversion
– PCM Bit-Perfect Processing/Minimum Phase/Standard Digital filters selectable
– DSD Extreme/Extended/Standard Range Analogue filters selectable
– DXD Bit-Perfect Processing Fixed analogue filter
Specifications (DAC Section)
Dynamic Range (Line) >117db(A)
THD & N (0dBFS Line) <0.003%
Output Voltage (Line) >2V
Output Impedance (Zout) < 240Ω
Jitter (correlated) Below AP2 test set limit
Headphone Power Output
HP Amp Output Power (max) Power (continuous.)
– Turbo mode 10.0V/4,000 mW @ 16 Ohm >1560 mW @ 64 Ohm
> 166 mW @ 600 Ohm
– Normal mode 5.5V/1,900 mW @ 16 Ohm > 950 mW @ 32 Ohm
> 100 mW @ 300 Ohm
– Eco mode 2.0V/500 mW @ 8 Ohm > 250 mW @ 16 Ohm
Specifications (Headamp Section)
Dynamic Range (HP) >115dB(A) (Eco Mode, 2V Out)
THD &N (HP 500mW/16R) < 0.008%
Output Voltage (HP) >8V (Turbo Mode)
Output Impedance (Zout) <1Ω (iEMatch not engaged)
Maximum Output Power 4,000mW @ 16 Ohm Load when using sinewave testing the iDSD micro may engage protection circuits
Continuous Output Power 1,000mW @ 64 Ohm Load