About the iFi Audio NEO iDSD
Component-quality DAC/amp for your desktop
Position the iFi NEO iDSD either horizontally and vertically on your desk and get better sound from your computer or phone. (Sennheiser HD 800 S headphones sold separately.)
Component-quality DAC/amp for your desktop
The sleek iFi Audio NEO iDSD fits neatly into my modest work-from-home setup. But this aluminum-framed beauty looks, feels, and performs like a premium component-style DAC/headphone amp combo. I auditioned several pairs of headphones through the NEO iDSD, including some super high-end models, and it was powerful enough to drive them all.
I connected my laptop via USB and was able to bypass its ho-hum audio circuitry. I'll have more hands-on impressions soon, but I found that the Neo iDSD's strength was in its simplicity. Sure, there's a lot of cutting-edge tech and high-grade circuitry under the hood. But it doesn't feature all the extra DSP modes and tweaky controls often found in other iFi gear — this piece is designed to preserve audio purity.
The ins and outs
The NEO iDSD connected to my laptop using the included USB cable. This way I could stream lossless high-res tracks via Qobuz. (It also offers full MQA support if you use TIDAL Masters.) But there are also coaxial and optical digital inputs on the back panel.
iFi offers several back-panel wired connections along with Bluetooth 5.0.
I used this unit primarily for headphones, but it also doubles as a stereo preamplifier. On the back, you'll find unbalanced RCA and balanced XLR outputs for connecting a wide range of power amplifiers.
The latest and greatest in wireless audio
You can also play music wirelessly from your phone via Bluetooth 5.0 — the strongest, most reliable Bluetooth yet. iFi has included an advanced form of audio coding called "aptX-HD®," for improved sound quality with sources that support this technology. You can even take advantage of Sony's LDAC technology if you play music from a compatible device (like a Sony High-res Walkman).
Makes all your digital music sound better
The NEO iDSD features a high-grade four-channel Burr-Brown DAC chip that can squeeze out more musical detail from digital audio sources — including Spotify®, Apple Music®, and YouTube. This DAC will decode high-resolution PCM-based music files up to 32-bit/384Hz resolution, and DSD files up to 11.2 MHz.
iFi has been working with Burr-Brown chips for a long time, so they really have a handle on them. They've complemented the powerful DAC with an ultra-fast 16-core processor and their own "Gibbs Transient Optimized" digital filter. iFi developed this special filter in-house to remove ultrasonic noise and distortion, while keeping the audio signal pure and "unflavored."
Headphone amp with balanced and unbalanced outputs
On the front panel, there is a 1/4" stereo headphone jack along with a balanced 4.4mm headphone output. The latter is the new industry standard balanced connection that helps cuts down on signal noise and distortion. A growing list of headphones from multiple brands use it.
Either way you connect takes advantage of what iFi calls "PureWave" headphone amp technology. Their dual-mono circuitry keeps the left and right audio channels separate for as long as possible to avoid cross-talk and distortion.
- desktop USB DAC with built-in high-performance headphone amp
- improves sound from your PC, laptop, digital music player, iPhone®, and/or Android™ phone
- designed to keep audio signal pure without any digital sound processing (DSP)
- slim design with sturdy aluminum chassis
- can be positioned horizontally or vertically (four rubber feet and aluminum vertical stand included)
- preamp mode with balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA outputs for connection to an outboard power amp or self-amplified speakers
Built-in Bluetooth 5.0 for wireless music and audio:
- aptX® Adaptive automatically adjusts to prioritize audio quality or low latency, depending on the listening situation
- aptX HD, SBC, and AAC decoding provides high-quality music streaming from compatible devices
- LDAC Hi-Fidelity wireless music streaming from compatible sources
- voice prompts for connection and codec status
Built-in digital-to-analog converter:
- 4- channel Burr-Brown "True Native" digital-to-analog converter chip for high-quality sound
- allows for separate signal pathways for PCM and DSD
- plays PCM digital audio sources up to 32-bit/768kHz; DSD 512, and single- and double-speed DXD
- offers rendering for MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) audio files (up to 384 kHz)
Balanced headphone amplifier:
- two front-panel headphone outputs:
- one unbalanced 1/4" output (3.5mm mini to 1/4" adapter included)
- one balanced 4.4mm output
- low noise floor for clear audio reproduction
- iFi's dual-mono "PureWave" circuitry helps reduce noise and crosstalk between the left and right audio channel
- output impedance: 12-600 ohms (balanced); 12-300 ohms (unbalanced)
- output power (balanced):
- >1040mW @ 32 ohms
- >68.6mW @ 600 ohms
- output power (unbalanced):
- > 295mW @ 32 ohms
- > 17.6mW @ 300 ohms
Back-panel DAC/preamp connections and controls:
- stereo balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA preamp outputs
- digital audio inputs:
- coaxial digital supports signals up to 24-bit/192kHz
- optical digital up to 24-bit/192kHz
- asynchronous USB Type B for connecting a Mac® or Windows® computer — PCM files up to 32-bit/384 kHz, DSD up to 5.6 MHz
- not compatible with multichannel Dolby® Digital signals
General features and specs:
- detachable antenna for enhanced wireless Bluetooth range
- includes outboard "iPower" 5V power supply for clean, quiet power
- USB 3.0 cable (Type A to Type B)
- remote control
- THD + N: <0.0015% @ 32 ohms
- 8-1/2"W x 1-5/8"H x 5-3/4"D
- weight: 2.14 lbs.
- warranty: 1 year
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
- MFR # 313001
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