While so far our hands- and ears-on experience of iFi has been with its budget DAC offerings in the form of the iFi nano iDSD BL and iFi nano iOne, the British brand’s ambitions reach much higher up the DAC market too.
Here's the most ambitious iFi DAC of all: the new Pro iDSD, which we first clocked eyes on at the Bristol Show earlier this year and whose launch was threatened long before that. Needless to say, this flagship DAC has been a long time coming.
The Pro iDSD uses a quad ‘stack’ of Burr-Brown DSD and DXD DACs in a custom configuration, enabling four pairs of signals per channel, with each signal re-clocked by the same clock that features on the (roughly £3000) DP-777 DAC from iFi’s parent company AMR.
With LinkPlay support and built-in Spotify and Tidal, the Pro iDSD can stream music from streaming services or those stored on a NAS drive over DLNA, as well as play directly from an SD card.
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The Pro iDSD can handle file formats up to PCM 768kHz and DSD1024 depending on the input, which include optical, BNC, XLR and USB. The latter, which is self-powered, is required for DSD, DXD and sample rates above 192KHz, and all inputs are galvanically isolated.
The Crysopeia FPGA (field-programmable gate array) handles the up-sampling duties to the DSD1024 format, and there are nine audio filters (five for PCM, four for DSD) to choose from.
The outputs, meanwhile, span balanced XLR and RCA, as well as 6.3mm and balanced 2.5mm headphone sockets.
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