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iFi xDSD Gryphon

Portable DAC and headphone amplifier with Bluetooth®

Item # 246XDSDGRY

As its mythical name implies, iFi's xDSD Gryphon houses two beasts inside, and it dishes out serious sound quality.

As its mythical name implies, iFi's xDSD Gryphon houses two beasts inside, and it dishes out serious sound quality.

Item # 246XDSDGRY

In stock
$599.00

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About the iFi xDSD Gryphon

A DAC of mythical proportions

iFi's xDSD Gryphon may not have the head of an eagle or the body of a lion, but it does have two powerful beasts housed inside. The company installed separate chips for the digital-to-analog converter and headphone amplifier. Each chip was fine-tuned by iFi to give you the most out of your music.

A DAC of mythical proportions

iFi's xDSD Gryphon may not have the head of an eagle or the body of a lion, but it does have two powerful beasts housed inside. The company installed separate chips for the digital-to-analog converter and headphone amplifier. Each chip was fine-tuned by iFi to give you the most out of your music.

There are plenty of digital and analog audio inputs for your sources, as well as balanced and unbalanced outputs for your headphones. iFi even added a high-quality Qualcomm Bluetooth chip for pairing compatible sources wirelessly.

High-performance DAC chip

iFi doesn't play around when it comes to changing digital 1s and 0s into analog sound. They opted to give the Gryphon the same digital-to-analog converter chip used in their $3,000 flagship Pro iDSD Signature. The Burr-Brown 32-bit True Native® chip supports MQA, DSD, and DXD, as well as PCM files up to 768kHz. The company also used their GMT (Global Master Timing) clock to keep jitter and distortion to a minimum.

The circuits going into and leading out of the DAC chip are symmetrically laid out alongside the rest. This balanced circuit design is something found in a lot of iFi's products. It keeps crosstalk and distortion from interfering with the signal. 

Clean, powerful headphone amplification

Despite the Gryphon's size, its headphone amplifier is nothing to scoff at. It's more than capable of powering most pairs of cans and IEMs (in-ear monitors). It boasts an impressive output of 1000mW at 32 ohms, and up to 6.7 volts at max output.

The amplifier uses iFi's PureWave circuit technology. The left and right channels run symmetrically in a dual-mono configuration, meaning each has its own respective signal pathway. That helps to drastically reduce crosstalk and noise in the signal. It also has iFi's iEMatch technology, which helps to keeps hiss out of high-sensitivity IEMs. 

Superior Bluetooth sound

Qualcomm's latest QCC5100 Bluetooth chip handles the DAC's Bluetooth connection. It works in tandem with proprietary circuits to create what iFi calls "an audibly superior Bluetooth engine." It supports all current Bluetooth codecs and can be updated over the air if a new one comes out. With aptX® Adaptive and aptX HD, the Gryphon supports up to 24-bit/48kHz resolution. With LDAC and LDHC, the maximum resolution goes up to 24-bit/96kHz.

Technologies that optimize sound quality

There are a lot of technologies at play inside the Gryphon that optimize the sound. XSpace naturally expands the soundstage of whatever you're listening to, giving you more separation and better imaging. XBass II smartly adds missing bass back into tracks. If there's too much bass, you can switch the XBass II setting to "Presence" to add upper midrange frequencies correctly back into the mix. There are also three digital filter options to help you fine-tune the sound to your liking.

This DAC also features iFi's CyberSync technology. It perfectly syncs the volume levels between the Gryphon and your source device. Whether you make volume adjustments on the DAC itself or on your source device, CyberSync ensures the change is done by the DAC's superior analog volume control chip. 

iFi xDSD Gryphon

The Gryphon's front panel has two headphone outputs, a multi-function control knob, and LED indicators that show the active input and signal quality.

Informative screen and lots of control

The front-panel OLED screen shows all sorts of useful info, like battery life, source, and file format. iFi's SilentLine technology prevents the display from introduce electrical noise into the signal. The knob on the front panel serves as a rotary control for both volume and menu navigation. It also acts a multi-function button and lets you power the Gryphon on and off, mute the DAC's outputs, and more.

The settings button lets you dive into the Gryphon's menus and tweak its operation and sound. You can set screen brightness and choose from one of the three built-in digital filters. 

Connections

The rear of the Gryphon has all your inputs. There are two USB-C ports; one is for charging, the other is for signal input. There's also a S/PDIF (mini optical/coaxial) input for connecting a CD player or any other device that uses these types of connections. You're not limited to just digital inputs, though. There's a 3.5mm and 4.4mm input as well. You'd use those if you're looking to bypass the onboard DAC.

The front panel has an unbalanced 3.5mm output and a balanced 4.4mm output for connecting headphones. The 3.5mm output uses iFi's S-Balanced circuitry, which gives the unbalanced connection many of the sonic benefits of a balanced one. 

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Product highlights:

  • portable headphone amplifier and DAC
  • built-in battery for listening on the go
DAC specs:
  • 32-bit Burr-Brown True Native DAC chip
  • GMT (Global Master Timing) clock reduces jitter and distortion
  • supported audio files: up to 32-bit/768kHz PCM; DSD512 (22.5 MHz); DXD768
  • offers full decoding for MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) audio files
S-Balanced headphone amplifier specs:
  • two headphone outputs:
    • one unbalanced 3.5mm stereo minijack output
    • one balanced 4.4mm output
  • iFi's dual-mono circuitry helps reduce crosstalk between the left and right audio channels
  • XBass II sound control processing lets you add more bass or "presence" (upper midrange) to your music
  • XSpace naturally expands soundstage
  • CyberSync perfectly synchronizes volume levels between source device and headphone amplifier
  • iEMatch helps reduce noise and "hiss" in high-sensitivity in-ear monitors
  • output power:
    • 4.4mm balanced: >1000mW @ 32 ohms; 74mW @ 600 ohms; 6.7V @ 600 ohms
    • 3.5mm unbalanced: >320mW @ 32 ohms; 40mW @ 300 ohms; 3.5V @ 600 ohms
  • signal-to-noise ratio:
    • balanced: 116dB
    • unbalanced: 115dB
  • THD: 0.005%
Bluetooth specs:
  • Qualcomm QCC5100 Bluetooth 5.1 chip
    • supported codecs: aptX, aptX HD, aptX Adaptive, aptX LL, LDAC, HWA, AAC and SBC
  • supports over-the-air updates for adding future codecs
  • max. supported Bluetooth resolution: 24-bit/96kHz (using LDAC or LDHC)
Connections and controls:
  • front panel:
    • unbalanced 3.5mm and balanced 4.4mm outputs for connecting headphones
    • rotary knob/multifunction button for changing volume and making setting selections
    • settings and Bluetooth pairing mode buttons
  • rear panel:
    • unbalanced 3.5mm and balanced 4.4mm inputs for connecting external sources
    • USB-C and 3.5mm coaxial/mini optical S/PDIF digital inputs
    • XBass II switch
Other info:
  • bottom-mounted iEMatch switch for reducing hiss in high-sensitivity in-ear monitors
  • top OLED screen displays battery information, track resolution, source, and more
  • includes USB-C cable, Lightning-to-USB-C cable, and USB-C-to-USB-C cable
  • 2-15/16"W x 3/4"H x 4-13/16"D
  • weight: 0.48 Ibs.
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
  • MFR # 0310003

What's in the box:

  • Portable DAC/headphone amp
  • 12" USB cable (Type A USB on one end and USB-C on other end)
  • 5" USB-C cable (USB-C plugs on both ends)
  • 5" Apple/USB cable (Apple Lightning connector on one end and USB-C on other end)
  • Soft storage case
  • User Manual
  • Warranty card

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More details on the iFi xDSD Gryphon

Mark G.

Features & specs

Design
Type Portable
Built-in Rechargable Battery Yes
Built-in Headphone Amplifier
Output Power 6.7V bal/3.5 un
Output Impedance (Unbalanced) < 1 Ohm
Output Impedance (Balanced) < 1 Ohm
Audio Specs
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) 115
S/N Ratio (Balanced, in dB) 116
THD (Unbalanced) 0.005%
THD (Balanced) 0.005%
Supported File Types
PCM Up to 768kHz
DSD DSD 512
DXD DXD 768
MQA MQA 384
Inputs
Total Inputs 5
USB Type C
Optical Digital None
Coaxial Digital None
3.5mm Digital 1
Stereo RCA Analog None
Stereo 3.5mm Analog 1
Stereo XLR Analog None
Headphone Outputs
3.5mm Unbalanced 1
1/4-inch Unbalanced None
4.4mm Balanced 1
XLR4 Balanced None
Other Headphone Outs N
Line Level & Digital Outs
RCA Line Out None
3.5mm Line Out 1
XLR Line Out None
Subwoofer Out None
Optical Digital Out None
Coaxial Digital Out None
Wireless Connectivity
Bluetooth Yes
Wi-Fi No
Apple-compatible Yes
Android-compatible Yes
General Info
Width (inches) 3
Height (inches) 0-13/16
Depth (inches) 4-7/8
Weight 0.48 lbs.
Parts Warranty 1 Year
Labor Warranty 1 Year

Product Research

Features

Overview: The iFi-Audio xDSD Gryphon is a powerful DAC (digital-to-analog converter) for digital and analog, wired and wireless sources. It has multiple inputs (including Bluetooth) with dual headphone and line outputs. xDSD Gryphon can handle virtually any digital format or Bluetooth codec. Its side-mounted OLED display keeps you informed of the music format, settings, and battery status. This portable device is 2.944" wide, 0.766" high, and 4.836" deep, and weighs 7.65 ounces.

Separate Stages: xDSD Gryphon is built with separate Bluetooth, DAC, and amp stages. Each stage is optimized for maximum performance for superior sound and reliability.

Bluetooth Stage: xDSD Gryphon is equipped with the advanced Qualcomm QCC5100 Bluetooth module which can handle every HD format. This chipset establishes a solid wireless connection without the typical 40% loss of quality found with standard Bluetooth. As new codecs are introduced, they can be added through a firmware update. xDSD Gryphon supports the following Bluetooth 5.1 codecs: SBC (standard Bluetooth), AAC (Apple iOS), Qualcomm's aptX, aptX HD, aptX Adaptive, and aptX LL (low latency), Sony's LDAC, and LHDC/HWA (Hi-Res Wireless Audio). It is compatible with Android, iOS, PC, and Mac devices. aptX HD and aptX Adaptive support up to 24-bit/48kHz, while LDAC and LHDC can support up to 24-bit/96kHz.

Digital-to-Audio Conversion: Connecting the xDVD Gryphon via the USB-C port lets you input multiple digital audio formats from your computer, including PCM, DSD, DXD, and MQA. The device's Burr-Brown True Native MultiBit chipset is the same as used in the flagship Pro iDSD Signature. The DAC in the xDVD Gryphon is far superior to the standard DAC in your digital device, and allows you to enjoy the following formats:

  • PCM: Ultra-res PCM up to 32-bit/768kHz via USB, or up to 192kHz via optical/coaxial input
  • DSD: Bit-perfect DSD512, 256, 128, 64; Octa-, Quad-, Double-, and Single-speed
  • DXD: Bit-perfect DXD768, 705.6, 384, 352.8kHz; Double- and Single-speed
  • MQA: Full MQA decoding of 352.8kHz and 384kHz through the XMOS 16-core controller. An MQA decoder enables you to play back MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) audio files and streams, delivering the sound of the original master recording. Plays back MQA and MQA Studio files.

PureWave Amplification Stage: xDSD Gryphon's PureWave amp stage utilizes balanced, symmetrical dual-mono signals with short, direct signal paths. This design is well known for reducing noise and crosstalk within the signal path by fully separating the left and right channels. PureWave outputs 1000mW at 32 ohms and 6.7m max output, and can drive even the most difficult headphones and in-ear monitors.

OLED Display: The xDSD Gryphon features an OLED display on the side of the unit to give you a quick glance at the input, volume level, format, settings, and battery status. You can configure the device using the CyberSync operating system and menu system. There are high and low brightness modes when the display is set to stay on. If the brightness mode is set to "Off", the display will go to sleep after three seconds. With SilentLine technology, the OLED does not add noise into the system, because it's decoupled from the main PCB. Therefore, there's no need to shut off the display (although you can, if preferred).

XBass II + XSpace: You can tailor the sound to your personal taste through iFi-Audio's XBass II and XSpace technology. XBass II adds back the missing bass lacking from open-backed headphones, or for those times you just need more bass. You can select "Bass" for adding bass, and/or "Presence" to also add in some upper midrange for a more natural sound, if needed. XSpace adds back the cavernous sound stage of recordings, creating a holographic sound field to present the sensation of listening to speakers. This is sometimes preferred over the "music inside the head" sensation.

iEMatch: iFi-Audio's iEMatch technology designed to reduce hiss from sensitive IEMs (in-ear monitors), due to too much gain. Switching on iEMatch attenuates the signal by -12dB, but maintains all of the dynamic range. There are dedicated iEMatch circuits for the 4.4mm balanced output and the 3.5mm Single-Ended output.

Digital Filters: When listening to digital sources, you can choose between three digital filters via the on-screen menu:

  • Bit Perfect: no digital filtering
  • GTO (Gibbs Transient Optimized): Upsampled to 384/352kHz, minimum filtering, no pre-ringing, minimum post ringing
  • Standard: Modest filtering, modest pre- and post-ringing

Battery Power: The xDSD Gryphon is powered by a 3600mAh Lithium-polymer battery. The unit has a dedicated USB-C charging port which is compatible with Battery Charging version 1.2 (BC v1.2). The port will accept a charging current of up to 1900mA. Due to the high-power nature of the xDSD Gryphon, it will take approximately 6 hours to charge the battery using a high-powered charger, and 12 hours with a standard charger. If the unit is powered on, the battery will only charge to about 70%. Typical battery life is approximately 8 hours.

Connections: xDSD Gryphon features the following connections:

  • Front Panel: The front panel offers dual headphone outputs--a 4.4mm Pentaconn balanced output and a 3.5mm S-Balanced Single-ended (unbalanced) output. The headphone jacks are gold-plated to resist corrosion and to maximize contact quality. When not in Line-In mode, the 4.4mm and 3.5mm jacks on both sides will output audio simultaneously.
  • Rear Panel:
    • USB-C: Two USB-C are provided on the xDSD Gryphon. One is a dedicated charging input, and the other is a USB-C input for connecting your PC, Mac, iOS, or Android device.
    • Digital: A 3.5mm digital input is provided for connecting a coaxial or optical digital source using a Toslink mini-plug. The USB signal has priority over the S/PDIF input, so you must disconnect the USB input if using the the S/PDIF input.
    • Analog: On the rear panel, you'll find a 4.4mm balanced line input/output and a 3.5mm Single-ended input/output. When the input mode is USB, Bluetooth, or S/PIDF, these analog jacks become variable line outputs.

Controls: The xDSD has controls on both the front and rear panels. The front panel includes the rotary volume knob which also doubles as a multi-function control. In addition to turning the knob to vary the volume, short presses can power the device on/off, mute/unmute, and activate the menu settings. Smaller buttons beside the volume knob allow you to cycle through the audio settings, select the input, and pair the device to Bluetooth sources. Other controls include the iE Match switch for the headphone outputs, and the XBass II mode adjustment.

LED Indicators: Multiple LEDs keep you informed of everything, including inputs, audio formats, resolution, audio settings, digital filters, and battery status:

  • Audio Format: Yellow (PCM 44.1-48kHz), White (PCM 88.2 to 768kHz), Cyan (DSD 64-128), Red (DSD 256-512), Green (MQA), Blue (MQA Studio), Magenta (Original Sample Rate)
  • Input: Magenta (USB), Blue (Bluetooth), Green (S/PDIF), Yellow (Line)
  • Volume: Red (-2 to +6dB 100%-92%), Yellow (-20 to -3dB 91%-74%), Green (-38 to -21dB 73%-56%), Magenta (-56 to -39dB 55%-38%), Blue (-95 to -57dB 37% to 0%), Flashing: Mute
  • Battery: Green (> 85%), Yellow (</= 85%), Red (flashing)(</= 10%)
  • XSpace Matrix and XBass II LEDs light to indicate feature is on.

Specifications:

Inputs:

  • USB-C
  • Bluetooth 5.1 (aptX, aptX HD, aptX Adaptive, aptX LL, LDAC, HWA, AAC, SBC codecs)
  • S-PDIF Coaxial
  • Balanced 4.4mm
  • Single-Ended 3.5mm

Line Section:

  Balanced Unbalanced
Outputs 6.7V max (variable) 3.5V max (variable)
Output Impedance </= 200Ω </= 100Ω
SNR < 110dBA @ 0 dBFS < 110dBA @ 0 dBFS
THD+N < 0.007% @ 0 dBFS < 0.015% @ 0 dBFS

Headphone Section:

  Balanced (4.4mm) Unbalanced (3.5mm)
Outputs 6.7V max @ 600Ω 3.5V max @ 600Ω
Output Power >1000mW @ 32Ω
>74mw @ 600Ω
>320mW @ 32Ω
>40mW @ 600Ω
Output Impedance < 1Ω < 1Ω
SNR < 116dB(A) @ 0 dBFS < 115dB(A) @ 0 dBFS
THD+N <0.005% (1V @ 16Ω) <0.005% (1V @ 16Ω)

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