iFi micro iDSD Black Label

iFi

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
  • 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 <US$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

    battery 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.

  • 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.

    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.’

  • 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 USB 3.0 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

    Controls (front):                      
    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

    Controls (bottom):
    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

    DXD 2x/1x
    768/705.6/384/352.8kHz: All native decoding, no internal hardware conversion

    PCM 768/705.6/384/352.8/192/176.4/96/88.2/
    48/44.1kHz: All native decoding, no internal hardware conversion

    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

    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