Product Summary:The iFi Pro iDSD is the company's high-spec, high-performance, all-in-one flagship product, at an unbelievable price. It’s a standalone unit, a DAC, a streamer, a stereo preamplifier, and a headphone amplifier. Not only that... you have the option to listen in solid-state, tube or tube+ modes, giving you tremendous flexibility to dial in the sonic character you're going for.... Click To Read More
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iFi Audio – Pro iDSD Streamer DAC w/ Preamp and Headphone Amplifier
The iFi Pro iDSD is the company’s high-spec, high-performance, all-in-one flagship product, at an unbelievable price. It’s a standalone unit, a DAC, a streamer, a stereo preamplifier, and a headphone amplifier. Not only that… you have the option to listen in solid-state, tube or tube+ modes, giving you tremendous flexibility to dial in the sonic character you’re going for.
A hi-res trinity
iFi’s flagship Pro iDSD is for those who love music in all its flavors.
It’s a standalone unit, a streamer (ethernet and wireless), DAC, preamp, headphone amp, with a tube stage that can be optionally engaged for tube sound.
DSD1024 and more.
The Pro iDSD plays all files from MP3 up to hi-res DSD and MQA.
For the first time, it brings Studio Grade DSD1024 to a wider audience – a rare feat. You are well and truly future-proofed.
All controlled from the palm of your hand via an app.
As with most iFi gear, we added filters to add flavor to your listening.
Check out the GTO filter. Just like the American muscle car, it adds gravitas and a new dimension to your, listening.
It’s also Bit Perfect, Bit Perfect+, Apodising, and Transient Aligned.
Your music. Your way.
Choose a wireless connection to stream your favorite tunes from Tidal, Spotify, Napster – the list is endless.
Take it up a notch by using a wired Ethernet connection to play from a router or NAS (Network Attached Storage).
Or relax with AirPlay to enjoy playback from your iPhone, iPad, or Mac.
To USB or not to USB
This small unit covers all your Audiophile and Home Entertainment needs. Use USB Type-A to connect a hard disk drive or a memory stick or Type-B to connect a laptop or server.
Or slot in a micro SDHC card with music files for instant playback.
Connect your CD transport or video player and enhance your gaming or movie experience via the coaxial/digital input.
Your sound has never been so good.
Moved by music
Finally, there is a choice of headphone sockets and outputs to cover all tastes. Big ones, little ones, balanced ones…
The Pro iDSD now currently comes in two ‘balanced’ versions – with 4.4mm or 2.5mm balanced headphone sockets. You choose which version you need. Determine your jack size here:
Whatever your mood, and however you connect or listen, the Pro iDSD has an option for you.
The Pro iDSD has a ‘quad stack’ of Bit-Perfect DSD and DXD DACs by Burr-Brown. The ‘interleaved’ configuration means up to 8 pairs of differential signals can be used and mixed, equal to 4 pairs of signals per channel.
Full lowdown? User Manual, page 13.
The Pro iDSD employs the new XMOS XU216 X-Core 200 Series 16-Core processor. All-digital processing is Bit-Perfect unless particular digital filters are explicitly selected. Explore the XMOS here
Upsampling to DSD1024 has previously only been available to a select few. The Pro iDSD makes it available to a wider audience. The DSD1024 remastering is handled by the Crysopeia® FPGA and this is where we believe the FPGA excels. Discover more on page 15 of the User Manual.
Galvanic isolation is the ‘holy grail’ of computer audio. All inputs are galvanically-isolated (including USB). The USB input section has its own separate power management system with multiple regulators and filtering operating from the galvanically-isolated voltage generated to power this section.
Unlike other amplifiers that have the same circuit and just switch in/out the tube section, the Pro iDSD is the very first of its kind to have two individual input circuits – one tube (General Electric 5670 tubes!) and one solid-state. This results in the ‘best sonics of both worlds’.
The amplifier audio circuit is fully discrete, fully-balanced with either tube or J-FET input switchable, bipolar second stage and MOSFET-buffered bipoaWe’ve given the Pro iDSD an extra Tube+ setting. This reduces overall loop-gain and negative feedback to the minimum and presents a different sonic perspective between the tube’s natural harmonics and transient performance.
The Pro iDSD is packed full of premium components – a Japan Alps rotary volume potentiometer, audio-grade ELNA Silmic capacitors, and a bank of Elna Dynacaps ‘super capacitors’.Discover how these benefit the Pro’s unique design here.
Listen to Master Quality Authenticated audio straight out of the box. Connect to Tidal Masters and check the option to stream MQA. iFi video tutorials on YouTube show you how.
Note: We strongly recommend adding the iFi iPower Elite Power Supply anywhere else you can use an external power supply in your system. In our listening tests, the iPower Elite improved the sound so dramatically we now consider it essential. It comes with a 45-day trial period but we heard the results in about an hour.
“Bottom line: iFi Audio’s Pro iDSD lived up to the hyperbole of its owner’s manual. It did actually play music like “a ‘state of the art’ reference digital to analog converter.” It did indeed sound like “an all-out assault” on what is possible in DACs today… and it did both of those good things at a ridiculously low price. Highly recommended.
(High-end Musical DAC/Amp with a LOT of options)
BLUF: This is a great DAC/Amp for those who like a more musical sound and a LOT of options to vary their music. If you like to tinker with sound this may be the endgame DAC/DAC-Amp for you.
Build: The build is rock solid and has the quality feel one would expect at this price point. The design follows in line with the other “Pro” series products from iFi with a brushed metal frame. The power knob is motorized and will adjust to zero when powered off and to the last volume state when initially powered on… nice touch.
Sound: It’s hard to completely nail down the sound into a particular category because there are so many options, filters, etc that will modify the sound. Similar to the Pro-iCAN is has the ability to switch to between solid state and tube-hybrid that adds a touch of warmth and has several digital filtering options. These along with the ability to upscale the audio coming in gives a significant number of combinations that I’ve admittedly haven’t gotten to the end of. This is the Pro-iDSD’s biggest plus and what puts it in a high category; I don’t know of many, if any, other products with this many options to tweak sound. As a person who likes to tinker, I love it.
The sound plays well between more transparent and more warm/musical. This is not a measurement lover’s device, however. It’s not going to win a battle for transparency or cleanness with several other DACs in it’s price range but for pure sound enjoyment it nails a range of sound that will match any track, genre or sound goal. There are those that want DAC & amp should be as transparent as possible, this is probably not the product for you.
Features: Haven’t had a chance to use them all but my favorites so far are the upscaling (has an effect of widening the music tracks a bit) and the filter choices (Transient Aligned is my goto). The various outputs and settings for those outputs allow this device to be versatile enough for just about any setup and is only missing an 4 pin XLR headphone output. It also can process MQA though having it decode the MQA will negate the other filtering/upscaling settings you have and defaults to a bit-perfect processing, I believe (Not iFi’s fault…). I tend to let my PC do the decoding so I can still utilize the other features.
Value: So, there’s probably no such thing as “value” in this price range. That being said, compared to it’s peers, the iFi product offers way more features for the money. That was the deciding point for me as some of the other products either didn’t pull me in with their sound characteristics or were lacking features I wanted at the price point.
I’m still playing/experimenting with the Pro-iDSD and will update more, if I find/discover something compelling. This is a fun DAC with many options to find the best sound for the music and other equipment you are using. It competes extremely well in a field of high end DACs by the likes of Chord, Benchmark, SMSL and others. Several of those may measure better but will come nowhere near the feature set.
(The Ultimate All in One Device for Music Listening)
I bought this for several reasons. I wanted a DAC and Headphone Amp for my desk. I also wanted a Tube and Solid State Headphone Amp. This also allows for network connection for several uses. It has balanced and unbalanced (single ended) connections for headphones, and a plethora of inputs/outputs.
What I got is a stunningly beautiful unit that plays music just as well as it looks. This checked all my requirements and I got a whole lot more. With some formats of music, I can get 45 permutations of how I want the music played. I can use this for solid state, tube or both combined. It has a variety of filter methods, and plays all of my files just fine. I can connect a CD player and bypass the built in CD DAC and sounds fantastic.
The other benefits, it supports upsampling, DSD and DXD, MQA (For Tidal Streaming and offline.)
Speaking of Streaming, this can be run independently with no other sources, other than network and stream Tidal or play right out of the microSD or USB connections via USB key or disk. I can also connect my iPhone through AirPlay or just connect it to the USB 3 port using the Apple CCK cable.
Did I say the sound is incredible? Makes my DSD songs come alive, and even regular CD quality audio sounds nicer and clearer.
I have been listening to music for decades, and this unit allows me to enjoy music again, old or new.
Hands down, one of the best investment in audio gear for playing music. If you’re purely focused on listening to MP3 and AAC, this may not be for you. But if you’re listening to CD quality and better (HiRes, DSD, MQA), then this unit is a must in any home or work environment.
Make sure you pair this with a nice pair of headphones as that is critical to hear the difference. I usually pair this with Planar or very large dynamic driver based headphones.
An added touch and coolness factor, take a look at the iFi Pro iRack to set this on. Makes it look even better.
Hope this helps.
PCM up to 768kHz
DSD up to 49.152MHz (DSD 1024)
DXD and double-speed DXD (2xDXD)
USB (required for DSD, DXD and sample rates above 192KHz)
AES3 (XLR – single link)
S/PDIF (coaxial/optical combo)
BNC multifunction (S/PDIF in or sync input)
Balanced XLR at 4.6V (+15.5dBu – HiFi) or 10V (+22dBu – Pro)
Single-Ended RCA at 2.3V (HiFi) or 5V (Pro)
Headphones 6.3mm & SE 3.5mm Jack at 0.55V/2.1V/5V
Headphones BAL 2.5mm/4.4mm Jack at 1.13V/4.6V/10V
Headphones out 1,500mW RMS X 2 @ 64 ohm, 4,000mW max. 2 X @ 16 Ohm
Headphone Output Impedance:
Single-Ended (S-BAL): < 1 Ω
Balanced: < 2 Ω
Balanced (6-gang) Alps potentiometer, motorised with IR remote control
XLR/RCA outputs can be selected as fixed level or adjusted
6.3mm headphone jack is always adjusted
Other Functions: Various digital and analogue filters can be selected for DSD and PCM up to 384KHz
Bitperfect 44.1 – 192kHz, always used for 352.8 – 768kHz
Bitperfect + 44.1 – 96kHz
Gibbs Transient Optimised 44.1 – 384kHz
Apodising 44.1 – 384kHz
Transient Aligned 44.1 – 384kHz
DSD filters: fixed 3rd order analogue filter @ 80kHz with correction for DSD’s -6dB gain
Gain (headphone section): user-selectable: 0dB, 9dB and 18dB
Dynamic range: 119dBA (solid-state, PCM, -60dBFS)
Pro iDSD 4.4mm socket. (16 Ω, balanced/single-ended): >4200mW /1>1,575mW
Pro iDSD 2.5mm socket. (16 Ω, balanced/single-ended): >4000mW /1>1,500mW
Output voltage: (600Ω, balanced/single-ended): >11.2V / >5.6V
Input voltage (Pro iDSD): DC 9V/6.7A – 18V/3.35A
Input voltage (iPower+): AC 85 – 265V, 50/60Hz
Power consumption: < 22W idle, 50W max.
Dimensions: 213 (l) x 220 (w) x 63 (h) mm
Weight: 1980g (4.37 Ibs)