(as of Nov 17,2020 07:55:51 UTC – Details)
iFi was born in 2012 with one goal in mind: to produce ‘ultra-fidelity’ audio products that push the sonic envelope whilst still priced within the mainstream.
iFi audio is under our parent company, AMR, Abbingdon Music Research, which designs and produces top-end luxurious audio products. AMR saw in 2010 that customer demand for wireless and portable headphones was expanding as the whole audio dynamic was changing. Thus, iFi was launched.
iFi offers small but prodigious personal audio products thanks to the superior knowledge of AMR’s technology. Today, we are proud of our British (and international) roots. We continue to design and produce over 35 different products. We are headquartered in Southport, UK with distribution including retailers such as B&H and etailz with production overseas.
We source parts from around the world from manufacturers including AMOS (UK), GE Valves (USA), WIMA (Germany) and TDK (Japan).
Why do you need a DAC and Amp?
If you have high quality or hi-fidelity headphones you are going to need some power in the form of an amplifier to drive them to their true performance potential. You are also going to need an exceptional external HiFi Digital to Analog Converter (DAC) to process your music files in high resolution to enhance your experience even further. The DACs in a smartphone, computer, tablet or audio player on the market are not designed for processing high quality sound. iFi audio has developed top of the line products to meet the various needs and preferences whether you are an everyday listener or an experienced audiophile.
Pro iDSD Desktop DAC
There’s no wrong way to enjoy your music as long as you’re enjoying it, so we’ve created the Pro iDSD reference grade DAC and amp combo to be the centerpiece for whatever strikes your mood. When convenience matters, stream from your favorite services like Spotify, Tidal, and Qobuz over WiFi for up to 24 bit / 192 kHz high resolution streaming audio. For the ultimate in hi res audio connect your PC, laptop, tablet, digital audio player, Android, or iPhone (with Apple Camera Connection Kit, not included) to the high speed USB 3.0 input for native playback of all formats, including FLAC, WAV, PCM, DSD and even MQA decoding. The micro SD TF card slot and USB A inputs let you connect your external library, and you can run a network usb drive through the built-in ethernet port. Dust off your CD collection and plug in your DVD player via the SPDIF optical toslink jack to rediscover old classics. On the back, RCA jacks and a balanced 3 pin XLR output connection work directly with your home audio amplifier or receiver allowing the Pro iDSD to function as the preamplifier for your home audio. When speaker listening isn’t an option, the built-in headphone amplifier will drive your favorite pair of headphones with ease as you listen to your favorite beats. Choose a filter from one of five options or apply DSD Remastering to dial in the perfect sound signature, and switch between solid audio amplifier or tube audio amplifier on the fly for just the right amount of warmth. No matter the way you listen, this is the only digital audio converter you need for your home.
We believe that a product as feature-packed as the Pro iDSD deserves to have a brilliant looking, readable, nicely embedded display. OLED was the only answer. Such a display provides a true black colour and looks great. Its purpose is to provide you with all the key playback info you need when using the Pro iDSD. These are operation mode (PCM/DSD), current sample rate (44kHz, 45MHz etc.), Bitperfect/filtering mode, Base sample rate and currently used input.
We use one of the best and unknown tubes – General Electric 5670. Also just as important is the circuit design. Unlike other amplifiers that have the same circuit and just switch in/out the tube section, the Pro iDSD (along with Pro iCAN) is the very first of its kind that has two individual input circuits; one tube and one Solid-State. This results in the ‘best sonics of both worlds’ because the signal path is the shortest and there is no compromise to ‘shoe horn’ the tubes into an already existing solid-state circuit. There are two tube settings: Tube and Tube+. The Tube+ position reduces overall loop-gain and thus negative feedback to the minimum. This gives a different sonic perspective between the tube’s natural harmonics and transient performance.
Let’s focus on the Pro iDSD’s enclosure. This machine is the same size as the iFi audio Pro iCAN and both products look very similar. The enclosure is made out of aircraft grade aluminium and its main purpose is to dissipate heat from the devices inside as they will get hot when powered on. In order to further improve on this, the chassis has many venting holes on its sides and on top. These align in a pleasantly rounded shape with a magnifying glass with a pair of fabulous vintage JAN GE5670 valves underneath. (Quick note – these class act valves are now reserved ONLY for our Pro series products but that’s another story). Anyway, we reckon that the Pro series chassis looks very cool.
All incoming DC is converted to a high-frequency waveform then rectified and filtered by a choke input capacitor filter. This produces a first-level DC bus from which all further voltages are derived. The circuit also generates a galvanically-isolated power supply voltage for the USB input circuitry.
The digital section is powered by a bank of ‘Super Capacitors’ totaling 6.6 Farad (6,600,000uF). Individual low-noise TI LDO Regulators with local LC filtering provide the final low-noise power for all individual digital sections; a total of six individual regulators cover Clock, S/PDIF Input and the DAC’s digital section. For the analogue stage (especially the tubes) higher voltages are needed.
The whole stage effectively operates on a 60V rail offering massive potential dynamic range.
Smooth and slick
Listen to MQA straight out of the box. For MQA tracks, simply connect to Tidal (on your computer) and check the options to stream MQA.
The Fab Four
The ‘fab four.’ Quad ‘stack’ of Bit-Perfect DSD and DXD DACs by Burr-Brown. The ‘interleaved’ configuration means up to eight pairs of differential signals can be used and mixed, equal to four pairs of signals per channel. An original design concept that is even more difficult to implement.
Crysopeia FPGA Digital Engine
A first! The Pro iDSD brings studio-grade DSD1024 to a wider audience. For the DSD1024, if the MultiBit DAC is one half of the ‘heart’ of the Pro iDSD’s digital engine, then the other half is surely the Crysopeia FPGA. This is where we believe FPGA excels, by handling the remastering duties to attain the DSD1024 audio format.
In fact, the Pro iDSD can handle all audio formats up to DSD1024 or PCM 768kHz with user-selectable digital filters.
Global Master Timing
For all inputs data is sent to the Memory Buffer. Here it is de-jittered to eliminate any transmission of source jitter to the DAC output. The data from the Memory Buffer is further re-clocked by the low-jitter Global Master Timing clock, which also drives the X-Core 200 and FPGA.
Multi-talented! The Pro iDSD can link directly link to a router for online music playback. With LINKPLAY WiFi/network playback, built-in Spotify and Tidal, and wide protocol support for 32-Bit/192kHz and DSD64, the Pro iDSD can be also used without a computer to stream audio.
This is one of the ‘holy grails’ of computer audio. All inputs are galvanically-isolated (including USB). This is the same level of execution as found in the AMR DP-777 Digital Processor. 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.
Valve or Solid-State output
The amplifier audio circuit is fully-discrete, fully-balanced with either tube or J-FET input switchable, bipolar second stage and MOSFET-buffered bipolar Class A Power stage. The resulting circuit may be best described as a ‘tri-brid’ where each device is used to greatest sonic advantage while minimising any drawbacks. Furthermore, the circuit is pure DC coupled to avoid using any sonically-degrading coupling capacitors.
The new XMOS XU216 X-Core 200 Series 16-Core processor has a maximum of 2,000 MIPS (two billion instructions per second) calculation power in dual-issue mode as a USB interface. All-digital processing is Bit-Perfect, without employing ASRC or up-sampling unless digital filters are explicitly selected. It can decode signals from all Inputs, from USB (up to 768kHz/DSD512), AES/EBU or S/PDIF (up to 192kHz/24Bit) andWifi/Network/Mass-storage (up to 192kHz/32Bit).
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
Various digital and analogue filters can be selected for DSD and PCM up to 384KHz
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 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): < 1Ohm SE
Balanced: <2 Ohm
WiFi STREAMING – All controlled from the palm of your hand via an app, choose a wireless connection to stream your favorite tunes from Tidal, Spotify, Qobuz – 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
POWERFUL – Our balanced headphone amp outputs up to 4 Watts of power and will drive a wide range of headphones. Connections for 6.3mm (1/4″), 3.5mm TRS, and 2.5mm TRRS balanced IEMs
MUSIC YOUR WAY – Options include the ability to listen in solid-state, tube or tube+. We have also added digital filters to add flavor to your listening, such as the GTO filter, Bit Perfect, Bit Perfect+, Apodising, and Transient Aligned. Remaster any track (excluding MQA) to DSD 512 or DSD 1024. All there for you to customize you listening experience
MULTIPLE CONNECTIONS – All inputs (including USB) are galvanically isolated and the USB input is self-powered, femto precision clock, S/PDIF Toslink and Digital Coax, BNC, AES XLR, USB A and micro SD TF for external storage