In 2014, iFi launched their original iDSD portable hi-res DAC/headphone amp. Now they launch the xDSD. Connects to your phone, tablet, PC, Mac, DAP, TV, games console or any other digital audio device via cable, or streams wirelessly via Bluetooth.

iFi’s  digital-to-analogue conversion system supports PCM and DXD audio data up to 32-bit/768kHz and DSD up to 22.57MHz (DSD512). A customised ‘True Native’ Burr-Brown DAC chip handles PCM and DSD natively. Performance is optimised by high-end digital audio technologies trickled down from iFi’s sister company Abbingdon Music Research, such as the Global Master Timing (GMT) femto-precision clock and intelligent memory buffer that eradicate jitter.

Support for aptX and AAC codecs over Bluetooth enables enhanced-quality streaming from both Android and Apple devices, while the GMT clock system further improves performance The xDSD remembers up to eight devices once paired. The xDSD comes loaded with iFi’s latest firmware v5.3, including playback of MQA. iFi’s proprietary ‘3D+ Matrix’ and ‘XBass+’ circuits may be switched in or out as preferred, enabling a degree of personal ‘tuning’ to suit your headphones and the music. iFi’s new ‘Cyberdrive’ headphone amp stage combines analogue circuitry with digital control. Proprietary low-noise op-amps and dual-mono headphone drivers supply sufficient power to drive high-impedance headphones. Although digitally controlled, volume attenuation occurs entirely in the analogue domain.

The xDSD’s microprocessor-controlled Cyberdrive system optimises power drain and battery life, automatically switching between ‘portable’ and ‘desktop’ modes. The fast-charge-compatible internal battery is charged via a dedicated micro USB input and supplies up to 10 hours playback time, depending on usage. Asynchronous USB input is provided by a Type A interface, preferred for connection to multiple devices (Android via USB OTG; iOS via Apple CCK). Coaxial and optical S/PDIF connections are enabled via a combined 3.5mm/mini-TOSLINK input (a full-size TOSLINK adapter is also supplied). The xDSD’s output can be switched between headphone and line-level mode, the latter delivering a fixed 2V output that bypasses the volume control,

3D+ Matrix and X-Bass+ circuits for integration into a home audio system (the last-used settings are retained at switch-on). The xDSD is the first product in iFi’s new ‘x series’. Industrial design marks the start of this new portable range, encased in a ridged housing made from strong yet lightweight magnesium-aluminium alloy, ion-plated with a dark titanium finish. RRP: £399 inc. VAT.

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