One of the most successful products now presented in a new generation is the portable D/A converter with integrated headphone amplifier iFi Audio micro iDSD Signature. It comes with a number of improvements to enhance performance and ease of use.
The company iFi Audio is clearly one of the major manufacturers in the field of high-quality solutions in the compact D/A converter segment. The company’s product range in this market segment is extremely versatile, although one product is considered to be particularly successful, namely the iFi Audio micro iDSD. This is now being launched in a new generation in the form of the new iFi Audio micro iDSD Signature.
According to the manufacturer, the new iFi Audio micro iDSD Signature is the latest generation of one of the company’s most popular and successful products. For this generational change, it was therefore necessary to retain existing virtues and to make further improvements in key areas. According to the manufacturer, a large number of improvements have been made to increase not only performance, but also user-friendliness.
Not surprisingly, iFi Audio says that the new iFi Audio micro iDSD Signature builds on its predecessor’s reputation for exceptional sound quality and versatility. However, the company has made significant improvements in critical areas of circuit design, using hand-picked components and adding new connectors for even greater flexibility.
The new iFi Audio micro iDSD Signature is also very compact, measuring just 177 x 67 x 28 mm, with a solid aluminium housing.
The signal processing of the new iFi Audio micro iDSD Signature is based on two Burr Brown converters from Texas Instruments, whereby the so-called True Architecture is especially emphasised as essential for a natural sounding musicality. According to the manufacturer, the two DACs are used in a customised so-called interleaved configuration. This configuration allows for four pairs of differential signals, two per channel, resulting in lower noise levels, improved channel separation and increased detail resolution and micro-dynamics. The new iFi Audio micro iDSD Signature is capable of reproducing signals in Linear PCM at up to 32 bits and 786 kHz (DXD and 2xDXD), signals in DSD at up to DSD512, and content encoded in MQA.
Of course, it is also possible to intervene in the sound of the new generation, using filters for D/A conversion. For example, the new iFi Audio micro iDSD Signature offers Minimum Phase and Bit-Perfect for signals in Linear PCM, as well as Standard Bandwidth, Extended Bandwidth and Extreme Bandwidth for DSD. Furthermore, DSP-based algorithms can be used to further refine the presentation, for which the functions iFi Audio XBass+ and iFi Audio 3D+ are available. According to the manufacturer, these have been specially adapted for the new iFi Audio micro iDSD Signature.
A very important aspect of solutions such as the iFi Audio micro iDSD Signature is of course always the output stage, after all, this should provide the basis for controlling a wide range of headphones as effectively as possible. Here too, the developers have made further improvements in the new generation, because in addition to a 6.3 mm stereo jack plug, a 4.4 mm pentaconn connection is now also available for balanced solutions. With a power of up to 4,100 mW, the new iFi Audio micro iDSD Signature should be able to operate any headphones, however power-hungry they may be. Three modes are available, Turbo, Normal and Eco, to guarantee optimum adjustment.
Even in-ear headphones have been thought of, as the output level is specially adjusted to them via the so-called iFi Audio iEMatch technology, with two levels – High Sensitivity and Ultra Sensitivity – also available here.
On the input side, the new iFi Audio micro iDSD Signature features a USB interface, designed as a USB 3.0 port, and a coaxial/ TOS-Link S/PDIF-COMBO input.
The new iFi Audio micro iDSD Signature is equipped with a particularly powerful integrated battery with 4,800 mW. Depending on the operating mode, this is capable of achieving a playing time of six to twelve hours.
The new iFi Audio micro iDSD Signature will be available from specialist retailers immediately. The recommended retail price for this new solution is € 699,-.
Getting to the point
The new iFi Audio micro iDSD Signature is the company’s most successful product, according to the manufacturer. For this generational change, it was therefore necessary to retain existing virtues and to make further improvements in key areas. According to the manufacturer, a number of improvements have been made to enhance not only performance but also user-friendliness.