iFi micro iDSD Signature — Transportable USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier

Regular price $999.98

One of the most highly-acclaimed products of its kind, iFi's signature battery-powered DAC and headphone amp will supercharge your listening.

Use it at home in your stereo system to improve your Streamer or CD Player, or with your headphones when on the move.


Out of this world

Sporting a Space Blue finish and powered by a built-in rechargeable battery, the micro iDSD Signature is a transportable DAC/headphone amp that’s ready for anything that the universe throws at it.

Battery power means it’s ultra-clean with ultra-stable DC power and avoids the pitfalls of AC mains – dips, spike and noise-inducing RFI/EMI pollution.

And with up to 12 hours playing time, depending on the headphones and performance mode engaged, it feels like you could take it to the moon and back.


Finely tuned

Based around two Burr-Brown DAC chips in a custom ‘interleaved’ configuration, the digital engine has four pairs of differential signals – two pairs per channel. This means:

  • a lower noise floor
  • improved channel separation,
  • finer musical detail and micro-dynamics

The micro iDSD Signature handles up to PCM 768, DSD 512, 2xDXD and MQA rendering. All this is done natively. Both PCM and DSD remain ‘bit-perfect’.


Circuit training

With up to 4100mW of power the micro iDSD Signature can drive all manner of headphones with aplomb, from highly sensitive in-ear monitors to current-hungry planar headphones.

The signal path has been refined to maximize sonic texture. High spec components featuring class-leading qualities such as low ESR (Equivalent Series Resistance), high stability and low distortion mean top-notch sound quality and maximum musical enjoyment.

Add in the direct-coupled nature of the circuit – no coupling capacitor is present – and the micro iDSD Signature definitely runs rings around the competition.


Versatile sonic tailoring

One size no longer fits all when it comes to quality listening.

The digital stage of the micro iDSD Signature features a variety of filter settings:

  • ‘Standard’, ‘Minimum Phase’ and ‘Bit-Perfect’ for PCM files
  • ‘Standard Bandwidth’, ‘Extended Bandwidth’ and ‘Extreme Bandwidth’ for DSD

The amp stage also has three settings to adjust power and gain. As well as ‘Normal’, you get:

  • ‘Turbo’  to ramp up the level of drive for current-hungry headphones
  • ‘Eco’ to dial down the power to suit high-sensitivity in-ear monitors and/or to extend battery life

Further optimization for sensitive in-ear monitors – an area of weakness for many DAC/amps – is supplied via iFi’s IEMatch technology, which adjusts the output level to suit. Once engaged, two levels of IEMatch are available:

  • ‘High Sensitivity’
  • ‘Ultra Sensitivity’

Plus, iFi's proprietary circuits have been performance-tuned for the micro iDSD Signature and may be switched in or out according taste, fine-tuning the sound in the analogue domain to maintain sonic purity:

  • XBass+ adjusts frequency response to enhance low frequencies – useful with ‘bass-light’ headphones, such as some open-back designs.
  • 3D+ compensates for the ‘in-head localization’ effect that often occurs when using headphones to listen to music that was mixed using a pair of speakers, effectively widening the headphone soundstage to deliver a more speaker-like experience.


Get connected

The micro iDSD Signature features two digital audio inputs – USB Type-A and an S/PDIF socket that accepts both electrical, via a 3.5mm connector, and optical signals – adapter supplied.

Unusually, the Type A USB input features a ‘male’ connector, rather than a typical ‘female’ port. This arrangement provides greater mechanical integrity than the USB/Micro USB ports commonly found on DAC/headphone amps.

Simply add a USB-C OTG cable (sold separately) to connect to an Android phone. It also offers an advantage to users of iPhones and iPads with Lightning ports, because it accepts Apple’s Lightning to USB Camera Adapter (sold separately) directly without requiring an additional female-to-male USB adaptor.

The micro iDSD Signature also houses a pair of RCA analogue outputs to connect to a pair of powered speakers or a power amp to act as a DAC.

There is a 6.3mm output for headphones that have a standard single-ended connector (headphones with a 3.5mm jack can be connected using the included adapter) and a 4.4mm Pentaconn output for headphones offering balanced connection.

Both headphone outputs utilize our ‘S-Balanced’ output circuitry. This delivers the sonic benefits of balanced connections with all headphone/earphone types – even those with single-ended connectors – cutting crosstalk and associated distortion in half.


You get an RCA cable, a recessed type USB cable, and a USB adapter for different types of cables. You also get a short USB Type C charging cable, a Toslink adapter, two rubber bands for stacking, and a soft pouch for traveling. There’s also a 6.3mm adapter.

 

  • The Burr-Brown True Native® chipset means file formats remain unchanged. Listen to music as the artist intended in the format in which it was recorded.
  • Doubling the DAC chips results in 3dB lower noise floor and better channel separation. Together with power supply advancements and advanced channel interleaving, the noise floor has been halved. All of this equals stellar sonic performance.
  • Hi-Res True Native® playback for all music formats from MP3 to DSD512, PCM768 and 2xDXD.
  • MQA Renderer completes the final unfold of an MQA file. Listen to Master Quality Authenticated audio straight out of the box. Connect to Tidal Masters and check the option to stream MQA.
  • The OV series operational amplifier is another example of a top-notch component used to get extremely low noise, low distortion (0.0001%) and wide bandwidth.
  • With output power up to 4,100mW, this headphone amplifier drives all headphones with ease. It has 3 power modes – Eco, Normal and Turbo. Power and gain can be dialled-in perfectly to suit ALL headphones.
  • iFi’s exclusive S-Balanced® circuit delivers maximum performance from single-ended and balanced headphones alike.
  • 3D+ Holographic® delivers an immersive, deep soundstage. XBass+® delivers a deep, tighter bass sound.
  • TI low-noise ICs offer great unity gain bandwidth, very low noise and distortion, high output drive capability, Common-mode and Power Supply Rejection Ratios of over 100 dB, wide maximum-output-swing bandwidths and high slew rates.
  • iFi always uses the best components possible. These OS-CON™ capacitors provide excellent noise reduction and have a long life span. They are not often found in products under $1000.
  • DirectDrive® equals a direct signal path which means less signal degradation. This direct signal path is unequalled in audio and is the reason why the sound is so ‘true’.


Reviews

"The truth is that, however you look at it, iFi’s micro iDSD line has virtually no competition. No other portable device in this size and price class can shell out as much power while boasting a comparable battery life and with similar accessory features. This is really the Ferrari of portable DACs – and you pay for that, but it’s a fair price for the features, a bit like Ferrari cars. The streamlined design, the great build quality, the large amount of options and the incredibly high power output all concur to making the micro iDSD Signature a great device, possibly the best portable DAC/amp under $1000. It’s an option you should definitely consider if you want a device to power all of your headphones at the desk as well as everywhere you take it."

Soundphilereview read the review

"I've enjoyed my experience with the iFi iDSD Signature. I understand now why the Black Label version was so popular. Providing plenty of power for full-sized headphones, yet almost complete silence even with sensitive IEMs, the iFi Nano iDSD Signature has a punchy, warm and engaging sound that makes it a joy to listen with, and options to bring out a bit more entertainment from the music"

Headfi.org read the review

 "The iFi Micro iDSD Signature is surely a special unit. It is an excellent performer with a premium build, design, and internal components. It’s also very versatile with outputs and features. If you need something more out of a DAC/Amp then I don’t know what else would fulfill that. When it comes to sound, iFi always delivers and the Signature is no exception"  Headphonia read the review

 

Specifications

Input range

16 – 32 bit / 44.1 – 384 kHz PCM, 352 – 768 kHz DXD, DSD64, DSD128, DSD256, DSD512, 88.2/96/176.4/192kHz MQA
Suitable headphones impedance 16 – 600 Ω
Output impedance < 1 Ω (without IEMatch)
Maximum output power 500 mW (8 Ω, Eco mode)
1,900 mW (16 Ω, Normal mode)
4,000 mW (16 Ω, Turbo mode)
1,560 mW (64 Ω, Turbo mode)
166 mW (600 Ω, Turbo mode)
Dimensions 172 x 67 x 27 mm | 6.8" x 2.6" x 1.1"
THD+N (@1 kHz) < 0.008%
SNR 115 dB
Crosstalk 79 dB


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