The iFi Audio product range already includes many a fine D/A converter with integrated headphone amplifier, but the latest solution is supposed to be something special. The company even promotes the new iFi Audio xDSD Gryphon as “A HiFi System in your pocket”.
With the new iFi Audio xDSD Gryphon, the company iFi Audio is once again expanding its already very, very broad product range in the area of personal audio devices. Once again, it is a combination of D/A converter and headphone amplifier, designed primarily for mobile use.
But even though iFi Audio’s product range in this segment is already very large, the new iFi Audio xDSD Gryphon still stands out with several features, according to the company.
iFi Audio xDSD Gryphon – D/A converter and headphone amplifier
iFi Audio itself describes the market situation in such a way that one finds many, many solutions that combine exactly the aforementioned functions – D/A converter and headphone amplifier. Yes, they also offer many such solutions, but with the new iFi Audio xDSD Gryphon they have decided to develop another such device, one that can meet particularly high demands.
A HiFi System in your pocket
That’s why the company describes the new iFi Audio xDSD Gryphon as a “HiFi system in your pocket”, pointing out that many devices in this field always focus on one function and thus represent a compromise. The new iFi Audio xDSD Gryphon, on the other hand, has both an excellent converter and a fantastic analogue output stage, thus delivering particularly remarkable results.
Flexible in the choice of sources
It is striking that you can “make contact” with the new iFi Audio xDSD Gryphon in a variety of ways.
On the one hand, the classic range of interfaces such as USB and S/PDIF are available as inputs, but the new iFi Audio xDSD Gryphon also has an integrated Bluetooth module. In this regard, the manufacturer emphasises that separate modules are used here to ensure maximum performance.
As if that wasn’t enough, the new iFi Audio xDSD Gryphon is also equipped with analogue inputs, with a choice of 4.4 mm PENTACONN or 3.5 mm stereo mini-jack.
USB and S/PDIF
When it comes to digital interfaces, the new iFi Audio xDSD Gryphon allows signals to be transmitted via S/PDIF in Linear PCM at up to 24 bits and 192 kHz, and DSD can also be transmitted, using DSD over PCM – DoP for short.
USB is, of course, the most versatile interface of the new iFi Audio xDSD Gryphon, as it allows content to be processed in Linear PCM up to 32 bit and 768 kHz via the 16 core XMOS controller with firmware optimised by iFi Audio, meaning that the solution supports the so-called DXD format. Signals in DSD are also processed natively, including DSD512, and content encoded in MQA is also supported.
The USB ports on the new iFi Audio xDSD Gryphon are USB C interfaces.
A few details about the Bluetooth integration: iFi Audio relies on a Qualcomm QCC 5100 Series Bluetooth 5.1 chip, which ensures that aptX, aptX LL, LDAC and HWA/ LHDC as well as aptX Adaptive and aptX HD are supported in addition to lossy SBC and AAC. This enables signal transmission via Bluetooth up to 24 bit and 48 kHz or even up to 24 bit and 96 kHz.
Hybrid Burr-Brown DAC Chipset
The focus is on a so-called Hybrid Burr-Brown DAC chipset from Texas Instruments Inc., as iFi Audio describes it and points out in this context that these are the same features that can also be found in the iFi Audio Pro iDSD Signature.
Balanced output stage
The new iFi Audio xDSD Gryphon features a balanced, high-performance output stage. The developers rely on a number of special technologies.
The iFi Audio xDSD Gryphon uses the so-called iFi Audio PureWave Amplification Circuitry and is capable of delivering a power of 1,000 mW at 32 ohms. With a maximum output voltage of 6.7 V, headphones with high impedance can be used without any problems, as the iFi Audio xDSD Gryphon can drive them with ease.
The available 4.4 mm PENTACONN is best suited for the highest quality, as it allows for balanced control. Of course, a 3.5 mm stereo mini-jack is also available. According to iFi Audio, this is a so-called 3.5 mm S-Balanced. iFi Audio S-Blanced Technology is supposed to ensure that almost the performance of a balanced connection is achieved even via an unbalanced output. Especially for high quality, high sensitivity in-ear headphones, iFi Audio iEMatch is designed to guarantee the highest level of noise-free playback.
The volume is controlled with the help of CyberSync, according to the manufacturer. This is a software-controlled analogue volume control.
If desired, iFi Audio XBass II can be activated for a richer performance, and iFi Audio XSpace is also available for a wider soundstage.
Discreet OLED display
Interestingly, the new iFi Audio xDSD Gryphon not only has a front-mounted rotary encoder and a few buttons, but also an OLED display that has been discreetly integrated into the housing and always provides all the relevant information in a clearly readable form. By the way, according to the manufacturer, SilentlLine Technology is used here, so there is no need to fear any negative effects of the display on the sensitive signal processing. Of course, the display can also be deactivated if desired.
The new iFi Audio xDSD Gryphon is equipped with a high-density lithium-polymer battery, which is of course charged via USB-C.
The iFi Audio xDSD Gryphon measures 123 x 75 x 19 mm and weighs just 215 g with its elegant, solid aluminium housing.
The scope of delivery includes a carrying case and cables with USB-A to USB-C, USB-C to USB-C and USB-C to Apple Lightning connector. This means that nothing stands in the way of direct use on a PC or Mac as well as various smartphones with Apple iOS and Google Android.
The recommended retail price for the new iFi Audio xDSD Gryphon is € 599,-.
Getting to the point
With the new iFi Audio xDSD Gryphon, once again a portable D/A converter with integrated headphone amplifier is supposed to be available. However, iFi Audio promises a particularly high-quality representative of its genre and also provides analogue inputs, so that the new iFi Audio xDSD Gryphon can be called a hi-fi system in your pocket.
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