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There are portable DAC’s, there are portable headphone amplifiers. There are also full sized versions of both which sit on the ifi_audio_micro_idsd_diag (1)equipment rack. Very rarely is there a portable DAC that can replace most full sized equivalents. But there has never been an equivalent to the iFI Micro DAC as far as the author knows. Certainly not at under £500 either.

Recently appearing in Hi-Fi+ magazine the editor Chris Martens described the Micro as a “gift” which means for the price of £415 the unit does so much and does it so well its difficult to imagine anything better ever being available for anywhere near the asking price, so it’s not just a bargain but a gift.

See the MCRU website for full details of this little gem of a product, suffice to say it handles every known audio format natively with no internal conversion taking place, if you have DXD files listen and be amazed, likewise DSD and 24/192 sound exceptional, even standard red book CD quality has something about it when listened to through the iFI Micro. It will drive almost all headphones and again sounds superb, MCRU use HiFiMan HE-560’s and the realism of the music being played is stunning.

The unit can also be used as a stand alone DAC as well as a portable music player, as the former it also excels whatever source ifi_audio_micro_idsd_bottomyou connect it to, macbook, music server, laptop anything. It will even spruce up old CD players with digital outputs (s-pdif). We could waffle on for hours about it but have to go and make some cables now so rest assured if sound quality and convenience are top of your list then treat yourself to one of the bargains of the year.

The iFI Micro I-DSD DAC / Headphone Amplifier is available from MCRU for £415 here.

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