About the iFi Audio micro iDSD Signature
A super-handy, heavy-duty portable audio device
The compact, well-put-together iFi micro iDSD Signature accepts both balanced and unbalanced headphone connections.
A super-handy, heavy-duty portable audio device
iFi Audio brought a "kitchen sink" mentality to the battery-powered, transportable micro iDSD Signature. This compact device as an external DAC, headphone amp, or even a preamp. It sports a tough metal frame and can be used in a desktop setting or on-the-go.
When connected to your phone or laptop via USB, this space-blue beauty overrides the ugly audio circuitry within your device. iFi's top-notch audio technology takes over. The built-in headphone amp ensures your headphones have enough power to perform their best. The micro iDSD also doubles as a stereo preamplifier, with inputs for handling your digital music sources, plus RCA outputs for connecting directly to an amplifier.
Customize your sound
You get several controls for tweaking the sound and functionality. iFi "crowd-designed" the R&D, and asked the most hardcore music and headphone aficionados what they wanted from a DAC/headphone amp. The result is a collection of buttons and switches that give you control over gain, digital filtering, bass, sound dimensionality and more.
The back panel features digital inputs and RCA outputs for using the micro iDSD as a preamp.
Dual high-performance DAC chips
The micro iDSD uses two Burr-Brown DAC chips, each dedicated to a single channel to avoid noise or crosstalk. These high-grade DACs can squeeze out more musical detail from Spotify®, Apple Music®, YouTube®, and other digital audio sources. They will decode high-res PCM music files up to 32-bit/768Hz resolution,as well as single-bit DSD files up to 24.576 MHz (DSD 512). The micro iDSD also offers full MQA support.
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.
You can select from three different power modes to deliver the proper amount of power for your headphones. In "Turbo" mode, this amp can deliver up to 4,000mW to drive power-hungry, high-impedance headphones.
Power match for high-performance earbuds and IEMs
On the other end of the spectrum, you can use the iEMatch control to optimize the amp for highly sensitive headphones, like in-ear monitors (IEMs). iFi's proprietary iEMatch technology lets you adjust the power output while still preserving the sound signature of your 'phones.
- battery-powered desktop/portable USB DAC with built-in high-performance headphone amp
- improves sound from your PC, digital music player, iPhone®, and/or Android™ phone
- USB-A, USB-C, and USB-B cables included (Lightning adapter sold separately)
- balanced and unbalanced headphone connections
- compact design with metal chassis
Built-in digital-to-analog converter:
- dual Burr-Brown "True Native" digital-to-analog converter chips for precise stereo playback
- allows for separate signal pathways for PCM and DSD
- plays PCM digital audio sources up to 32-bit/768kHz; DSD up to 24.576 MHz (DSD 512)
- up to 24-bit/192kHz PCM via S/PDIF optical digital connection
- offers rendering for MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) audio files
- selectable digital filter settings for fine-tuning performance with different digital sources
Balanced headphone amplifier:
- two front-panel headphone outputs:
- one unbalanced 1/4" headphone output (3.5mm mini to 1/4" adapter included)
- one balanced 4.4mm output
- power output up to 4,100mW
- output power (max):
- >10.0V / 4,100mW @ 16 ohms (Turbo mode)
- > 5.5V / 1,900mW @ 16 ohms (Normal mode)
- > 2.0V / 500mW @ 8 ohms (Eco mode)
- high-precision volume control dial with power on/off switching
- on/off switch for XBass® (bass boost)
- on/off switch 3D Holographic® (expands soundfield)
- side panel controls:
- iFi's proprietary iEMatch technology optimizes ouput for sensitive headphones (like in-ear monitors)
- Power mode switch for three levels of output power: "Turbo," "Normal," or "Eco"
- selectable digital filters: "Bit-Perfect processing," "Minimum Phase," or "Standard processing" (PCM)
- Type A USB input for connecting PC, smartphone, and other mobile devices
- coaxial/mini optical digital combination input/output
- standard Toslink to mini optical adapter included
- functions as a coaxial digital output when USB audio signals are applied
- without USB audio signals, functions as an optical or coaxial digital input
- not compatible multichannel Dolby® Digital signals
- stereo unbalanced RCA preamp output with selectable fixed/variable level (RCA cables included)
- 3.5mm stereo aux input for connecting a phone or portable music player (3.5mm mini-to-mini cable included)
General info and specs:
- rechargeable battery provides up to 12 hours of playback on a full charge
- color-coded LED indicator for incoming sample rate
- rubber feet included
- cloth storage pouch
- headphone output impedance: < 1 ohm (direct); < 4ohms (iEMatch)
- 2-1/2"W x 1"H x 6-3/4"D
- weight: 10.9 oz.
- warranty: 1 year
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
- MFR # 303017
What's in the box:
- Digital-to-analog converter
- 6" USB cable (Type A USB on one end and USB-C on other end)
- 40" USB extension cable (Type A USB 3.0 male on one end and Type A USB 3.0 female on other end)
- USB adapter (USB-B female-to-USB Type A)
- Optical adapter (Toslink female-to-mini optical male)
- Headphone adapter (3.5mm female-to-6.5mm male)
- 20" RCA patch cable (stereo RCA plugs on each end)
- Silicone pad (4.75" x 2.25")
- 2 Black rubber bands
- Black velour pouch with drawstring closure
- User Manual
- Warranty / Terms & Conditions
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More details on the iFi Audio micro iDSD Signature
Overview: The iFi Audio micro iDSD Signature is a portable DAC (digital-to-analog converter) and headphone amplifier that will add smoothness and warmth to your digital music collection, and provide a boosted signal to your headphones or your home amplifier. It is designed for use with your smartphone or tablet, your home or office computer, or a home disc player with a digital output. The unit features two inputs (USB 3.0 and S/PDIF, two headphone outputs (4.4mm balanced and 6.5mm unbalanced), and an RCA analog output. It runs on a Lithium-polymer rechargeable battery, and comes with a variety of USB and audio cables and adapters. You can attach your smartphone to the DAC with the included silicone pad and rubber bands. When you're finished listening, you can store the DAC in the included soft black velour pouch. The micro iDSD Signature measures 2-1/2" x 1" x 6-3/4", and weighs just over 10-1/2 ounces.
Note: To connect to your iPhone or iPad, you'll need an Apple Camera Connection Kit (CCK). For Android, a USB On-the-Go (OTG) cable is required.
Digital-to-Analog Conversion: The micro iDSD Signature plays Hi-Res audio in the native format, including DSD (up to 512 MHz), DXD (up to 768 kHz), and PCM (up to 768 kHz). You can also listen to MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) audio from Tidal Masters. It uses dual Burr-Brown "True Native" DAC chips to lower noise (by 3dB) and provide better channel separation. The signal remains in its native format, so you get the best of each format. With iFi's GMT (Global Master Timing) femto-precision clock and intelligent memory buffer, digital jitter is virtually eliminated. The micro iDSD Signature portable DAC is compatible with the following audio formats:
- DSD: 512, 256, 128, 64 MHz (Octa-/ Quad-/ Double-/ Single-Speed DSD)
- DXD: 768, 705.6, 384, 352.8 kHz (Double / Single-Speed DXD)
- PCM: 768, 705.6, 384, 352.8, 192, 176.4, 96, 88.2, 48, 44.1 kHz
MQA (Master Quality Authenticated): The micro iDSD Signature includes MQA rendering technology, which enables you to play back MQA files and stream MQA audio from sites such as Tidal Masters. MQA delivers the sound of the original master recording, so you'll hear the music exactly the way the artist intended.
LED Indicator: The micro iDSD Signature has an LED that indicates the sampling frequency received from the source. It also shows the charging and battery status. The LED color scheme is as follows:
- Green: PCM 44.1 / 48 / 88.2 / 96 kHz
- Yellow: PCM 176 / 192 kHz / 352.8 / 384 kHz
- White: PCM 768 kHz
- Cyan: DSD 64 / DSD 128
- Blue: DSD 256
- Red: DSD 512
- Magenta: MQA
Headphone Amplifier: The iFi micro iDSD Signature has a strong headphone amplifier that can drive most headphones and in-ear monitors. There are two headphone outputs: a 4.4mm Pentaconn balanced output, and a 6.3mm (1/4") single-ended output. The 4100mW headphone amp offers 136x more output than a typical laptop headphone output. There are three power output settings: Turbo, Normal, and Eco, so you can choose the right amount of output for your headphones or IEM. The 3-position Power Mode switch is located along the side.
iEMatch: The headphone output is equipped with iFi's iEMatch technology. iEMatch uses MELF resistors to give you perfect and transparent matching of very sensitive headphones or in-ear monitors (IEMs) to eliminate hiss. On the side of the micro iDSD Signature is a 3-way switch that lets you set the unit for High Sensitivity headphones or Ultra Sensitivity headphones. You can also switch iEMatch off, if desired.
RCA Line Output: The DAC/headphone amp has an RCA stereo line output to provide a connection for devices with their own volume control. This includes Active Speakers, Aux Inputs, and Hi-Fi Systems.
XBass+ / 3D+: The device has two special circuits that can be applied to enhance your music. XBass+ adds back the bass frequencies that are often lost with some headphones. 3D+ Holographic Sound delivers a more immersive soundstage that simulates listening to a pair of loudspeakers. When no headphones are connected, the 3D soundfield is applied to the audio outputs for listening with speakers. These features are purely analog--no DSP, and can be enabled or disabled via two-way switches on the front panel.
Digital Filters: The micro iDSD Signature offers user-selectable digital filters. For PCM, you can choose between Bit-Perfect processing, Minimum Phase, or Standard processing. For DSD, extreme, extended, or standard bandwidth can be selected to help you find the one that sounds best for listening. For DXD, the default filter is a bit-perfect processing (fixed) analog filter.
Combo S/PDIF Input: The micro iDSD Signature has a combination S/PDIF input that accepts both electrical (coaxial) and optical signals, via the 3.5mm connector (Toslink mini plug adapter supplied).
Note: The S/PDIF port supports PCM signals only up to 192kHz.
USB Input: The micro iDSD Signature has a Type A USB 3.0 input that can be used with your smartphone, tablet, or home/office computer. For iPhone and iPad, you will need an Apple CCK cable, such as the Lightning to USB Camera Adapter or the Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter (sold separately). For Android, an OTG (On-the-Go) cable (with Type C or Micro USB, depending upon the device) is required. When connecting to your home or office computer, you should use the included USB 3.0 cable.
Power: The micro iDSD Signature is powered by a built-in 4800mAh Lithium-polymer battery. When fully charged, the battery life is dependent upon the selected power mode. In the Eco Mode, you can expect approximately 12 hours of battery life. In Normal Mode, approximately 9 hours is expected. In Turbo Mode, battery life is expected to be approximately 6 hours. You should always switch on the power first, before plugging in your device.
USB-C Power Port: On the side of the unit is a USB-C (5V) power port for charging the device's internal battery. A full recharge with a standard charger takes approximately 12 hours to complete. With a high-powered charger, the recharge would take approximately 3 hours. An LED indicator beside the charging port displays the battery status:
- White*: >75%
- Green*: >25%
- Red*: >10%
- Red (flashing): <=10%
* LED flashes during charging
- DAC Section:
- DSD: 512 / 256 / 128 / 64 (Octa/Quad/Double/Single-speed DSD)
- DXD: 768 / 705.6 / 384 / 352.8 kHz (Double/Single-speed DXD)
- PCM: 768 / 705.6 / 384 / 352.8 / 192 / 176.4 / 96 / 88.2 / 48 / 44.1 kHz
- DSD: Extreme / Extended / Standard bandwidth
- PCM: Bit-perfect / Minimum-phase / Standard
- DXD: Bit-perfect processing
- Line Output:
- Dynamic Range: > 117dB (A)
- THD+N (0dBFS): < 0.003%
- Output Voltage: > 2V
- Output Impedance: < 240Ω
- Headphone Amp Section:
- Headphone Power Output:
- Maximum: 10.0V / 4100mW
- Continuous: >1560 mW @ 64 Ohms; >166mW @ 600 Ohms
- Maximum: 5.5V / 1900mW
- Continuous: >950mW @ 32 Ohms; >100mW @ 300 Ohms
- Maximum: 2.0V / 500mW @ 8 Ohms
- Continuous: >250mW @ at 16 Ohms
- Dynamic Range: >115dB (A) (Eco Mode, 2V Out)
- THD+N: < 0.008% (HP 500mW/16R)
- Output Voltage: > 10V (Turbo Mode)
- Output Impedance: < 1Ω (IEMatch not engaged)
- Maximum Power Output: 4100mW (@16Ω load)
- Continuous Power Output: 1000mW (@64Ω load)
- Headphone Power Output: