PMC Fact.8. Ex-Demo in Rich Walnut. £POA
Cambridge Audio CXA 60, integrated amplifier
Matrix Audio X SPDIF 2
Matrix Audio Quattro II
DEAL OF THE DAY
PMC Fact 12 speaker in graphite
2014 Midwest Audiofest Tent Sale & Vintage Audio Swap
Introducing the iFi xDSD – next-generation mobile audio
When iFi audio launched its original micro iDSD headphone amp, preamp, and DAC back in 2014, it raised the bar for small portable, high-performing DACs. It’s been lifting it higher ever since.
Last November saw the introduction of the nano iDSD Black Label, with a host of new features including support for MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) audio. Now, iFi has excelled itself again with the launch of xDSD – the first in the company’s next generation of portable DACs.
The pure analogue volume control which retains full-resolution at all volume levels, means the xDSD is a major sonic step up for all smartphones, digital audio players and computers.
Its selectable 3D+ and XBass+ functions bring both sensitivity and power to the careful listener. While the 3D+ function provides two separate circuits, one optimised for headphones and the other for loudspeakers, XBass+ delivers a tight and deep bass sound.
The xDSD has pulled off the task of being ultra-portable and wireless while supporting high-resolution formats, including MQA, and delivering 500mW of power per channel. By means of aptX HD and AAC, it brings hi-res streaming to Bluetooth.
As always, iFi audio likes to cater to user’s tastes. Out of the box, the xDSD comes already optimised for MQA and can handle up to PCM384 and DSD256. For those who prefer PCM768 and DSD512, a simple firmware download can be found on ifi-audio.com.
The retail price of the xDSD is US$399 (ex-tax) or €449/£399 (incl. VAT).
IN A NUTSHELL
The xDSD is an MQA-optimized DAC/amp that can be ultra portable or home-based. With aptX and AAC Bluetooth, it delivers high-resolution audio up to PCM768kHz and DSD512 at 500mW per channel to amplifiers, active speakers and headphones of all types.
MULTIBIT DIGITAL ENGINE WITH AMR GLOBAL MASTER TIMING
The xDSD is very much akin to the micro iDSD Black Label as both products are based on the Burr-Brown DSD1793 D/A converter chip and share extremely similar digital and analogue stages. The Burr-Brown Hi-Res Native DSD chipset is the one for discerning listeners.
HI–RES WIRELESS ON THE GO
With both aptx and AAC Bluetooth, the xDSD can be wirelessly paired with smartphones or DAPs. Wired, the USB type A OTG/CCK connector offers supreme portability and dependability and the 3.5mm jack acting as a coaxial/TOSLINK combo S/ PDIF input enhances these aspects even further.
OPTIMISED FOR MQA OR NON MQA FORMATS
Out of the box the xDSD comes pre-installed with firmware v5.30 and optimized for MQA. This can also handle formats up to PCM384 and DSD256. We also offer firmware v5.20 which is optimised for music file formats up to DSD512/PCM768 (non-MQA). This can be easily downloaded from our website.
S-BALANCED OPTIMISED FOR BALANCED IEMS
Our S-Balanced technology extracts the maximum performance from single-ended and balanced headphones alike. Plugging in unbalanced headphones with a TRS connector instead of TRRS will cause zero issues and, in fact, crosstalk is cut by 50%, compared to using a TRS socket.
BRAND NEW ‘CYBERDRIVE’
The ‘Cyberdrive’ headphone amplifier stage is one of the pivotal new circuit designs in the xDSD. This new design places all parameters of the fully analogue system under digital control for a ‘best of both worlds scenario’. Performance is increased, both noise and distortion are lowered. Find out more about ‘Cyberdrive’ and how else it enhances the xDSD on our website.
A large 2200mAh Lithium-Polymer battery provides six to eight hours of playing time depending on your choice of headphones and connections. S/PDIF 10 hours, Bluetooth 8 hours and USB 6 hours.
Input Options: USB Audio Class 2 (up to 768kHz/32Bit & DSD512)*
SPDIF Coax and optical (up to 192kHz/24Bit)
Bluetooth (up to 48kHz/16Bit)**
Automatic selection between USB and SPDIF
Manual switching between Bluetooth mode and USB/SPDIF
Firmware download required, DSD512 also requires ASIO support by playback software and operating system
**Bluetooth supports AAC for Apple iDevices at iTunes/Apple Music bit rates and aptX to deliver CD quality for all market-leading Android Phones and tablets
Ultra-low jitter GMT computer controlled Clock
RMS jitter 12kHz – 1MHz < 280 Femtoseconds
1750mAH/3.8V with Fast Charge support*
* Fast Charge support includes standard and proprietary high current chargers (Apple, BC1.2,
Samsung, Tom Tom etc.)
SPDIF > 10 Hours
Charging time: 500mA Standard USB <= 4.5 Hours
1A Fast Charger <= 2.5 Hours
Dimensions95 (l) x66.5 (w) x19 (h) mm
Weight 127g (0.28 Ibs)
At iFi (pronounced ‘eye-fi’) we design and manufacture high-end audio equipment – DACs, headphone amplifiers, phono stages, pre-amps, all-in-ones and a range of signal and power accessories. The company launched at RMAF 2012 with 4 units, won an EISA for Best Product in 2014-15, and now we have over 30 multi-award winning products in our portfolio.
Today, we have a global presence spanning all the major markets. Our retailers range from B&H Photo (NYC) to Virgin Megastore (Dubai) to Yodabashi Camera (Tokyo).
For further information and product reviews, please go to
Victoria Pickles – Markets
Balmoral Lodge, 139-141 Cambridge Road,
Southport, Merseyside, PR9 7LN
+44 (0)1704 227 204
Remember Dual? Once the biggest turntable manufacturer in Europe, the German brand was on most …