Product Summary:The iFi Audio NEO iDSD serves both as a pure DAC, connected directly to an integrated amplifier or a preamplifier, and a headphone amplifier with a DAC source. The Bluetooth5.0 antenna allows for control of music streaming services with your smartphone or tablet. Amazing sound and functionality in a small package.... Click To Read More
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iFi Audio – NEO iDSD Streamer DAC
The iFi Audio NEO iDSD serves both as a pure DAC, connected directly to an integrated amplifier or a preamplifier, and a headphone amplifier with a DAC source. The Bluetooth5.0 antenna allows for control of music streaming services with your smartphone or tablet. Amazing sound and functionality in a small package.
The NEO iDSD is a new 3-in-one DAC/amp. Featuring balanced ‘PureWave’ circuitry, unbeatable hi-res Bluetooth5.0, and MQA, it is the ultimate in hi-res playback. Place it horizontally or vertically to suit its surroundings. The OLED display flips to match orientation. One rotary knob controls functionality. Sleek, sophisticated, and versatile.
All. Bases. Covered.
Enjoy the NEO iDSD as a pure DAC. Connect it to a separate integrated amp or preamp using the fixed-level analog output. Or treat it as a DAC/preamp with a variable output. The ideal companion to a power amp or active speakers. And headphone users will love using the excellent amp stage to create a fabulous ‘head-fi’ system.
All. Games. Played.
Love your music but also love gaming? The NEO iDSD will enhance your current or next-gen gameplay. Feel more immersed than ever before as sound finally matches picture in spectacular fashion. Pair it with new the PS5 or Xbox Series X for the ultimate gaming experience.
The legendary Burr-Brown DAC chipset fuels the NEO‘s ‘digital engine’. But it’s souped up with a new 16-core, XMOS microcontroller that processes the data via USB and S/PDIF digital inputs. Double the clock speed and four times the memory. Add in jitter eradication including our GMT femto-precision clock, intelligent memory buffer, and our GTO filter as standard, and you’ve got one heck of a super DAC.
The NEO iDSD supports PCM up to 32-bit/768kHz, DSD up to 512 and DXDx2. All remain ‘bit-perfect’. The NEO also provides full MQA decoding to ensure the best possible sound quality. Plus with MQA over S/PDIF and USB, take full advantage of MQA.
iFi uses Qualcomm’s new QCC5100 Bluetooth processing IC. All current high-definition Bluetooth audio formats are supported – aptx, aptX HD, aptX Adaptive, aptX LL, LDAC, HWA/LHDC, AAC and SBC. The NEO iDSD ‘remembers’ up to 7 devices and has impressive range on Bluetooth5.0.
Ride the ‘PureWave’
Not only is the NEO iDSD a purist design – no DSP, no digital filter selection, and no change in analog playback – it is also all designed around a balanced circuit design named ‘PureWave‘. It uses audiophile-grade components and delivers sonic ‘purity’ thanks to the extraordinarily low levels of noise and distortion.
Power and poise
The headphone amp stage maintains an engaging balance between sonic power and poise – no matter what it is tasked to drive. From high-sensitivity in-ear monitors to current-hungry planar headphones, it drives them with aplomb. It has a continuous power output of over 1000mW into 32ohms available through the balanced headphone socket. Plenty of oomph for headphone user.
Just more music
The NEO iDSD contains top-notch audio components to back up the outstanding balanced circuit design. Even the OLED SilentLine display is engineered to ensure there is no electrical noise to interfere with the audio signal as it switches itself off when not in use. Quality components mean more clarity and texture, a more engaging performance. You just hear more of the music.
Qualcomm’s new QCC5100 Bluetooth processing IC is used in combination with proprietary circuits to create an audibly superior ‘Bluetooth engine’. All the current high-definition Bluetooth audio formats are supported – Qualcomm’s aptX Adaptive and aptX HD, Sony’s LDAC and HWA’s LHDC, regular aptX and aptX Low Latency, AAC (Apple iOS devices), and SBC (the ‘plain vanilla’ Bluetooth codec).
Of the 24-bit-capable codecs, aptX Adaptive and aptX HD support up to 48kHz, while LDAC and LHDC reach 96kHz. iFi’s ‘Bluetooth engine’ can also be updated over the air, so future codecs may be added.
Balanced, differential analog circuit design reduces noise and cross-talk within the signal path by fully separating the left and right channels. PureWave is a new, balanced, symmetrical dual-mono topology with short, direct signal paths. The name refers to the sonic purity it achieves thanks to exceptional linearity and infinitesimally low levels of noise and distortion.
High-quality components are used throughout, including custom ultra-low-distortion op-amps, multilayer ceramic TDK C0G capacitors, MELF thin-film resistors, and inductors from Murata and Taiyo Yuden. Their class-leading qualities such as low ESR (Equivalent Series Resistance), high linearity, and low noise pay great dividends in terms of sound quality.
The headphone amp stage has a continuous power output of more than 1000mW into 32ohms available through the balanced headphone socket. To retain maximum resolution, the volume is adjusted in the analog domain via a resistor ladder, under precise microprocessor control.
MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) is supported through the USB and S/PDIF inputs, with full decoding of MQA files up to 384kHz thanks to the processing power of the new 16-core XMOS chip. This means that the full ‘three unfold’ decoding process is performed internally, as opposed to only the final unfold in the manner of an MQA ‘renderer’. Globally, MQA has become an important consideration for any comprehensively equipped DAC. It is available through Tidal Masters, Audirvana, and Roon.
The Burr-Brown True Native® chipset means file formats remain unchanged or ‘bit-perfect’. This means you are listening to music as the artist intended in the format in which it was recorded.
iFi uses Burr-Brown extensively in their products having selected it for its natural-sounding ‘musicality’ and True Native architecture. Their experience with this IC means they know how to make the most of it.
The XMOS 16-Core chip processes the audio data received via the USB and S/PDIF digital inputs. This new low-latency XMOS microcontroller has greatly enhanced processing power. Compared to the current generation of eight-core chips, this new 16-core IC delivers double the clock speed (2000MIPS) and four times the memory (512KB), as well as the latest SuperSpeed USB standard. iFi’s in-house digital development team has programmed the XMOS firmware to optimize sound quality and ensure a perfect partnership with the Burr-Brown DAC.
Hi-res audio support is state-of-the-art with True Native® playback. It handles PCM data to 32-bit/768kHz, DSD up to DSD512, and single and double speed DXD. Thanks to the Burr-Brown DAC chip’s four-channel True Native design, PCM and DSD take separate pathways – this enables DSD, as well as PCM, to remain ‘bit-perfect’ in its native form right through to analog conversion. This is not the case with all DAC devices from other brands – even if DSD compatibility is stated, many such DACs convert DSD signals to PCM.
Switching between settings has been engineered to ensure sonic transparency with advanced trench technology MOSFET is used as a muting switch. This FET-based switching is handled by a micro-controller, which only ‘wakes up’ when the user changes a setting, thus eradicating any sonically deleterious interference.
iFi NEO iDSD REVIEW
“The NEO iDSD has a slightly warm tone and smooth treble response. The soundstage is very solid, and I found it enhanced the feeling of space in virtually everything I plugged into it. It provides excellent detail and scales up nicely with high-resolution audio… If I had to pick two characteristics to highlight on the NEO, it would be the soundstage and musicality. The technical capabilities of the DAC, including the detail retrieval and resolution, are excellent for its price range”
USB3.0 B (USB2.0 compatible)/S-PDIF (coaxial/optical)
Bluetooth 5.0™ ( AAC, SBC, aptX, aptX HD, aptX Adaptive, aptX LL, LDAC, LHDC/HWA Codec)
DSD512/256/128/64, Octa/Quad/Double/Single-Speed DSD
DXD (768/705.6/384/352.8kHz), Double/Single-Speed DXD
- Balanced XLR
- 6.3V / 7.7V max. (variable)
- 4.4V fixed
- UnBAL RCA
- 3.2V / 3.9V max. (variable)
- 2.2V fixed
Balanced: <= 100Ω
UnBAL: <= 50Ω
SNR: -112dB(A) @ 0dBFS (UnBAL/BAL)
DNR: >116dB(A) @ -60dBFS (UnBAL/BAL)
THD + N: <0.0015% @ 0dBFS (UnBAL/BAL)
- >6.4V/68.6 mW (@ 600Ω)
- >5.77V/1040 mW (@ 32Ω)
- >3.25V/17.6 mW (@ 600Ω)
- >3V/295 mW (@ 32Ω)
Output Impedance: <1Ω (UnBAL/BAL)
SNR: -112dBA (3.3V UnBAL/6.2V BAL)
THD + N: <0.0015% (125mW @ 32Ω)
No Signal ~0.5W
Max Signal ~2.5W
Dynamic range: -120dB(A)
Input voltage: DC 5V/2.5A, AC 100 -240V, 50/60Hz (with iPower)
214 x146 x 41 mm
8.4″ x 5.7″ x 1.6″
Weight: 970 g (2.14 Ibs)
Warranty period: 12 months