About the iFi Pro iDSD Signature
Roll out the red carpet for for your digital music sources
Roll out the red carpet for for your digital music sources
The Pro iDSD Signature renders your digital sources in superlative detail with fantastic-sounding Class A solid-state or tube preamplification.
iFi's well-equipped Pro iDSD Signature packs an incredible level of audio performance and versatility into its compact chassis. It will let you hear detail and dimensionality from your favorite digital music sources — from high-res downloads to lossy MP3s, and everything between. And it fits into almost any digital system, whether you listen to music through a two-channel amp-and-speakers rig, a desktop powered speaker system, or a pair of audiophile-grade headphones.
First and foremost, the Pro iDSD Signature is a state-of-the-art DAC (digital-to-analog converter) that uses four high-resolution Burr-Brown chips to reveal nuances in your music you've probably never noticed before. It can also function as a stereo preamplifier, with an array of inputs for handling your digital music sources, plus both RCA and balanced XLR outputs for connecting directly to an amplifier.
And last but not least, the Pro iDSD Signature is a network music player, with app-controllable streaming for audio sources like TIDAL, Qobuz, and Spotify®, using either a wired Ethernet or Wi-Fi connection.
New Signature features
All of the high-performance features that make the original Pro iDSD such a fantastic piece of kit remain intact in the Signature. The new bells and whistles include an upgraded polished aluminum remote with expanded control, including filter switching. Upgraded galvanically isolated internal componentry reduces overall system noise by more than 300%, bringing you closer to that disappearing noise floor we all desire. And you get special sauce in the tube stage with a precisely matched pair of new-old-stock (NOS) GE5670s.
iFi's top-of-the-line iPower Elite outboard power supply is also now included. You'll notice heft of its aircraft-grade aluminum chassis, and you'll hear its ultra-quiet, clean power. To put it in perspective, a typical power supply has an audio band noise floor of 1,000 microvolts (μV); the iPower Elite achieves an amazing 1 μV.
Feed your head(phones)
The Pro iDSD also has a terrific built-in headphone amplifier, with standard 1/4" and 3.5mm outputs, along with a 4.4mm balanced output. The latter, developed by Sony, has become the new industry standard balanced connection. It cuts down on signal noise and distortion, and a growing list of headphones from multiple brands use it.
This DAC/amp combo performs well with most headphones and in-ear monitors, but if you own a pair of power-hungry premium cans, check out iFi's more powerful flagship headphone amp, the Pro iCAN.
Class A tube and solid-state output stages
The Pro iDSD offers three distinct output stages that color the sound in beautiful ways. Solid-state uses a fully discrete Class A topology for assertive but balanced output over an extremely quiet noise floor. You'll get characteristic "valve" warmth when you use either of the two tube output modes. Tube and Tube+ modes both use the previously mentioned matched pair of General Electric GE5670 tubes to drive this stage. Tube+ reduces negative feedback even further to emphasize the tubes' ineffably pleasing musical harmonics.
Powerful PCM and DSD upsampling options
For PCM-based signals, you can choose from five digital filter settings. Think of them as seasonings that subtly enhance the flavors of your music. It's a cool way to tweak and fine-tune the DAC's sound to match your system and room. The Pro iDSD employs a powerful FPGA (field programmable gate array) that runs on iFi's custom firmware and is responsible for digital filtering and upsampling.
DSD (Direct Stream Digital) is a high-quality digital audio format that some audiophiles prefer to PCM. The higher the DSD rate — DSD64, 128, 256, 512 and 1024 — the greater the amount of music information. The pinnacle of this is Studio Grade DSD1024, which is rarely found, even on the most expensive DACs. You can use the DSD modes not only for DSD content, but also for "remastering" PCM-based files.
Key to all of this processing is the Pro Signature's femto clock, which measures time down to the femtosecond — one quadrillionth of a second — for amazingly smooth, precise audio.
All the right connections for your digital audio gear
Flexible connections include plenty of digital inputs, plus balanced XLR outputs.
Flexible connections accommodate practically all types of digital audio sources. There's one combo coaxial/mini-optical input for use with any network streaming music player with that type of output. You also get a balanced digital XLR (AES/EBU) input that provides an ultra-low-noise connection for compatible high-performance CD transports. These inputs can handle files up to 24-bit/192kHz.
For higher-res files, use the USB Type A input to plug in a thumb drive, connect your computer via USB Type B, or stream files over your network (wired Ethernet connections recommended).
A few nice touches
The illuminated iFi logo at the top left of the front panel indicates power-on in four different states: green for warming up, white for solid-state mode, orange for tube mode, red for protection mode. And the circular OLED display provides useful information about the signal and processing mode.
While the Pro iDSD Signature includes an aluminum remote with expanded features from the original, you can also use the free WiiM Home app for your favorite Apple® or Android™ device, which integrates all your music choices into one simple interface. From the music stored on your home network devices, to thousands of internet radio stations, to streaming services like Spotify, this app puts everything at your fingertips.
- Featured in our article: Best DACs for 2023
- four Burr-Brown 32-bit/768kHz DACs operating in an "interleaved array"
- plays PCM digital audio sources up to 32-bit/768kHz; DSD up to 49.152MHz (DSD 1024), and DXD and double-speed DXD
- other formats include MP3, and MQA for TIDAL Master tier
- Crysopeia FPGA (field programmable gate array) Digital Engine handles digital processing and upsampling
- three types of digital processing:
- Direct — Bit-Perfect: neither PCM nor DSD signals are processed in any way
- PCM Upsampling: PCM is upconverted to 16X PCM (705.6/768kHz) using one of five filter options: Bit Perfect, Bit Perfect+, Gibbs Transient Optimized, Apodizing, and Transient Aligned
- DSD Remastering: incoming audio (except DSD512) is converted to either DSD512 or DSD1024
- connects to your network via wired Ethernet or Wi-Fi® for music streaming and file playback
- supports streaming playback from TIDAL (including MQA), Qobuz, Spotify, and other services
- stereo preamplifier with digital audio inputs
- three output modes:
- Solid-State: fully discrete Class A topology based on J-FETs
- Tube: Class A stage based on a matched pair of General Electric GE5670 tubes
- Tube+: emphasizes tubes' natural harmonic distortion by reducing negative feedback
- Alps Electric motorized rotary volume dial for precise volume control
- remote control (adjusts volume level only)
- OLED display
- free WiiM Home app for iOS® and Android let you use a compatible smartphone or tablet as a remote control
- three-position gain switch to match impedance (0dB, 9dB, or 18dB)
- "S-balanced" headphone amplification provides the benefits of a balanced connection for single-ended headphones
- iFi's dual-mono circuitry helps reduce crosstalk between the left and right audio channel
- full-size 1/4" output
- 3.5mm output
- 4.4mm balanced output
- stereo balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA preamp outputs with selectable fixed/variable level
- galvanically isolated digital audio inputs:
- coaxial/mini-optical supports signals up to 24-bit/192kHz
- multifunction BNC (S/PDIF or external clock sync input) up to 24-bit/192kHz
- balanced AES/EBU digital XLR up to 24-bit/192kHz
- USB Type A for connecting a thumb drive
- asynchronous USB Type B for connecting a Mac® or Windows® computer — PCM files up to 32-bit/768 kHz and DSD files up to DSD512 (22.5 MHz)
- SDHC card input
- Ethernet port for a wired network connection for streaming and downloads
- not compatible with multichannel Dolby® Digital signals
- built-in Wi-Fi
- Apple AirPlay for wireless playback from iPhone®, iPad®, and Mac® computers
- DLNA playback from compatible phones, tablets, NAS drives, or computers
- aircraft-grade aluminum case is specially vented to dissipate heat
- quad-damped isolation base mount provides solid foundation and absorbs vibrations
- outboard "iPower Elite" power supply for clean, substantial power
- 8-7/16"W x 2-1/2"H x 8-3/4"D
- weight: 4.4 lbs.
- warranty: 1 year
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
- MFR # Pro IDSD Signature
What's in the box:
iFi Pro iDSD Signature owner's manual
- Digital-to-analog converter/network audio streamer/headphone amplifier
- Wireless remote control
- 4" Wi-Fi antenna
- 19" Analog stereo RCA cable
- 19" USB 3.0 cable (Type A USB 3.0 on one end and Type B USB 3.0 on other end)
- Optical digital connector adapter (female Toslink-to-male optical mini)
- User Manual
- iDSD Warranty card
- iFi decal
- The separately packaged iPower Elite box contains:
- DC power supply with attached 41" DC output cord (DC output 15V 3.5A)
- 5' DC power cord (IEC C-13 3-prong plug)
- 5 Barrel connector adapters
- Reverse Polarity plug
- Power Elite warranty card
Scratch & Dent items may be missing non-essential accessories. In some cases the manufacturer's accessories have been replaced with generic equivalents.
See the difference between "Open Box" and "Scratch & Dent" Outlet items
iFi Pro iDSD Signature reviews
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More details on the iFi Pro iDSD Signature
Features & specs
|Built-in Rechargable Battery||No|
|Built-in Headphone Amplifier|
|Output Power||4200mW / 1575mW|
|Output Impedance (Unbalanced)||16 ohms|
|Output Impedance (Balanced)||16 ohms|
|Bit Depth (USB)||32|
|Max Sampling Rate (USB)||768 kHz|
|Bit Depth (S/PDIF)||24|
|Max Sampling Rate S/PDIF||192 kHz|
|S/N Ratio (Unbalanced, in dB)||0|
|S/N Ratio (Balanced, in dB)||0|
|THD (Unbalanced)||Not given|
|THD (Balanced)||Not given|
|Supported File Types|
|PCM||Up to 768kHz|
|DXD||2x speed DXD|
|USB||Type B 3.0|
|Stereo RCA Analog||None|
|Stereo 3.5mm Analog||None|
|Stereo XLR Analog||None|
|Other Headphone Outs||N|
|Line Level & Digital Outs|
|RCA Line Out||1|
|3.5mm Line Out||None|
|XLR Line Out||1|
|Optical Digital Out||None|
|Coaxial Digital Out||None|
|Parts Warranty||1 Year|
|Labor Warranty||1 Year|
Overview: The Pro iDSD Signature is iFi Audio's new reference-class flagship DAC (digital-to-analog converter), digital music streamer, and headphone amplifier. The Pro iDSD Signature lets you connect a wide variety of digital sources, from computers and routers to CD transports and NAS drives. You can also insert memory cards, USB drives, and external HDDs. Pro iDSD Signature can also stream Hi-Res digital music files from your favorite network sources. The unit has a reference-level DAC chip that supports PCM up to 768kHz and DSD1024. You can even choose between tube and analog output stage. The Pro iDSD Signature includes iFi-Audio's top-of-the-line iPower Elite ultra low-noise power supply. Dimensions: 8.384"W x 2.518"H x 8.1"L; Weight: 4.78 pounds.
Digital-to-Analog Conversion: The Pro iDSD Signature is equipped with a quad stack of Bit-Perfect DSD and DXD DACs by Burr-Brown that uses up to 8 pairs of differential signals (4 for each channel) in an interleaved configuration. It also has the 2nd generation XMOS XU216 X-Core 200 series 16-core processor that decodes the signals from all sources, whether it's from USB, AES/EBU, and S/PDIF, plus Wi-Fi, network, or mass-storage. The Pro iDSD Signature is capable of playing back audio at the following sample rates:
- PCM: up to 768 kHz
- DSD: up to 49.152 MHz (DSD 1024)
- DXD: DXD and double-speed DXD (2xDXD)
- MQA: full decoding of MQA files up to 384/352.8 kHz
MQA (Master Quality Authenticated): The Pro iDSD Signature includes full MQA full decoding, 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. MQA Studio files are identical to that of the source material, and have been either approved in the studio by the artist/producer or has been verified by the copyright owner.
Inputs: The Pro iDSD Signature features a wide variety of digital inputs to choose from. All inputs, including the USB, feature full galvanic isolation for ultra-quiet operation. The front panel Input Selector lets you select from the following inputs (or groups of inputs):
- Wi-Fi / Ethernet / Hard Disk / Micro SDHC:
- Wi-Fi: Using the WiiM Home app (for Apple iOS and Android), you can stream Spotify, TIDAL, Napster, QQ Music, and other services (up to 192kHz/32-bit) via Wi-Fi. You can also wirelessly stream music from a DLNA audio source. Your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac computer can also stream music via Airplay.
- Ethernet: Connect your router or NAS Drive via Ethernet. Stream Spotify, TIDAL, Napster, QQ Music, and other services using the WiiM Home app (for Apple iOS and Android).
- HDD: Using the USB (Type A) Host input, you can connect an external (self-powered) Hard Disk Drive (HDD) or USB drive for playing music through the WiiM Home (for Apple iOS and Android).
- microSDHC: The device has a slot for a microSDHC memory card with MP3, FLAC, or DSD files for direct playback. Cards up to 128GB and formatted in FAT32 are supported.
- Device USB: This Type B USB port is USB 3.0 compatible (and backwards-compatible with USB 2.0 and USB 1.0 standard), and can be used to connect your PC, laptop, or music server. You can also connect a PS4 or PS5. A USB 3.0 cable is included.
- Coaxial / Optical Digital Input: This combo RCA coaxial and 3.5mm mini optical input is for connecting a S/PIDF source, such as a high-end CD transport, or a CD/DVD disc player with a digital output. A Toslink-to-mini optical adapter is included.
- XLR Digital Input: This single AES/EBU XLR-3 input allows you to connect an XLR single link source unit, such as a high-end CD transport or a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW).
- BNC Digital Input: You can connect a device, such as a high-end CD transport, in this BNC multifunction input (S/PIDF / AES3id). You can also use the BNC connector to sync to an external clock device, and output the sync signal to another device via the second BNC connection. A rotary selector (adjustable with the included screwdriver) lets you choose the correct clock device: Atomic Clock, DARS (Digital Audio Reference Signal), or Word Clock. You should select "Standalone" if no external clock source is used.
Digital Filters: The iFi-Audio Crysopeia FPGA Digital Engine provides several options for digital filtering, selectable on the front panel:
- Bit Perfect: No processing for 44.1 - 192kHz, always used for 352.8 - 768kHz
- Bit Perfect+: 44.1 - 96kHz
- Gibbs Transient Optimised (GTO): 44.1 - 384kHz
- Apodising: 44.1 - 384kHz
- Transient Aligned: 44.1 - 384kHz
Output Modes: The Pro iDSD Signature has both solid-state and tube output stages. Using the front panel 3-way switch, you can select from the following output modes:
- Solid-State Mode: The device employs a pure solid-state circuit using J-FET transistors, with fully-discrete Class A performance.
- Tube Mode: The two NOS GE5670s tubes are engaged, and the J-FET circuits are bypassed, to give you an all-valve Class A operation.
- Tube+ Mode: The Tube+ position reduces overall loop-gain and minimizes negative feedback. This mode produces more of the tubes' natural harmonics, resulting in an even more luxurious sound.
Note: After a period of time in solid-state mode, the tube heater element will automatically power down and turn off the tubes. If you then switch to a tube mode, the tubes will need to warm up again. During the warm-up, music will continue to play in the solid-state mode until the tubes are ready.
Headphone Amplifier: The iFi Pro iDSD Signature has a strong headphone amplifier that can drive most headphones and in-ear monitors (IEMs). The headphone outputs are up to 1575mW RMS x 2 at 64 ohms, and up to 4200mW Max x 2 at 16 ohms. The front panel has three headphone outputs: 1/4" (6.3mm), 4.4mm (TRRS balanced), and 3.5mm (single-ended, TRRS iFi S-Balanced). S-Balanced is a special iFi technology that lets you enjoy the benefits of a balanced connection in single-ended headphones. Near the three headphone outputs is a 3-way headphone gain switch with the following options:
|Gain Setting||Output Voltage|
|1/4" (6.3mm) /
3.5mm SE |
Output Impedance < 1 ohm
|4.4mm Balanced |
Output Impedance < 2 ohm
Analog Outputs: In addition to the headphone outs, the Pro iDSD Signature has two other analog outputs: Balanced XLR stereo pairs and Single-ended RCA stereo pairs. You can set the signal output to different levels, depending upon the connected equipment and usage. You can choose between Hi-Fi Fixed, Hi-Fi Variable, Pro Fixed, and Pro Variable. The front panel volume control can make adjustments for the Hi-Fi Variable and Pro Variable settings. The analog outputs on the rear panel include:
- Balanced XLR: Two XLR-3 connectors present a balanced signal output. The max output is 4.6V (+15.5dBu) at the Hi-Fi setting, or 10V (+22dBu) at the Pro setting.
- Single-ended RCA: Left and right RCA outputs. The max output is 2.3V (Hi-Fi) or 5V (Pro).
Volume Control: The front panel aluminum rotary volume control can be operated by hand, or with the included wireless remote control. The volume control is a balanced (6-gang) Japanese Alps potentiometer. The volume control is motorized when used with the remote control.
Remote Control: The Pro iDSD Signature comes with a sleek aluminum infrared remote control (RC-101). With the remote, you can raise and lower the volume, change input, access the menu, turn on/off the display, and control some music playback (depending on the input). The remote has a range of approximately 5 meters (16.4 feet), and is powered by a 3V Lithium CR2025 coin-cell battery (not included).
iPower Elite: The Pro iDSD Signature ships with the separately packaged iPower Elite, iFi-Audio's flagship power supply. iPower Elite has a whisper-quiet noise floor at less than 1 μV, which is 1000 times quieter than a typical power supply, and 100 times quieter than audiophile linear power supplies. It features Active Noise Cancellation II to actively cancel all incoming noise. iPower Elite is made of aircraft-grade 6063 aluminum for excellent heat dissipation and long life. Its 41"-long, extra-large OFHC copper power cable delivers high power with low loss. The power supply is rated at 15V - 3.5A output, and comes with various DC barrel connectors and a reverse-polarity plug. Dimensions: Length 5.843", Width 2.178", Height 2.02"; Weight 1.2 pounds