micro – iDSD BL

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True Native® Playback

Latest iteration of
3D+ and XBass+

Custom Op-Amps

Exceptional parts quality

dualcore

microidsdbl_3dxbass

microidsdbl_opam

ecpumelf

Heart of Dual-Core
Burr-Brown remains at the core

Both Analogue Signal Processing
circuits new and improved

Only AMR/iFi goes
to these lengths

MELF, C0G and Sanyo
OS-CONs wherever possible


The iFi micro iDSD Black Label is the newest iFi micro flagship product.

At the heart, beats the Burr-Brown DSD512/PCM768/2xDXD True Native® DAC with headphone amplifier.

The Black Label looks very good on the outside yet the inside is even better where relentless attention has been paid to advancing the sonics with the very latest components:

  • DAC digital signal and digital power sections upgraded
• AMR Global Master Timing® femto-precision clock system upgraded for ‘super low’ phase-noise/jitter
• Analogue signal and power sections revised
• 3D+® performance-tuned / XBass+® performance-tuned
• Latest Output stabilisation network offers less distortion
 
The micro iDSD Black Label. The best, evolved.


  The High-Res heart remains – DSD512/PCM768/DXD2x
 
130417_logo-hiRes The micro iDSD BL retains the unrivalled technical capabilities of its predecessor. This means it is capable of true native playback of all music formats from MP3 all the way up to 512DSD/768PCM/2xDXD.
 
  Burr-Brown Chipset x 2
 
bb The Burr-Brown DAC chip used was one of the last chipsets from BB Japan (though it was introduced post-merger). This chipset was Burr-Brown’s ‘swansong’ and embodied all their converter technology. It is unrivalled in terms of subjective musicality and is a mainstay of the iFi line including the micro iDSD Black Label and is used in the upcoming showstopper, the Pro iDSD.
 
  3D+® and XBass+®
 
3dxbass The latest iterations of 3D+ and XBass+ are appreciated technologies that further enhance the enjoyment of music. With a larger soundstage and deeper, tighter bass respectively, both are even more engaging and satisfying than ever.
 
  Operationsverstärker
 
microidsdbl_opam iFi/AMR ‘OV’ series stands for ‘Operationsverstärker’ (German for Operational Amplifier). The ‘OV’ range IC’s use HCOFC copper lead-frames and 4N Gold bond-wire which are streets ahead of mainstream commercial chips that use inexpensive aluminum bond-wire, low-grade/low-cost copper in the lead-frames.

tqfp_leadframe_p2
It is seldom found because it requires the custom packaging of chips from wafers and has a very high MOQ (30,000 pcs per part and purchase) to do – a small insight into the parts used in the micro iDSD BL which are ‘above and beyond.’
 
  Sanyo OSCONs are go
 
sanyo-oscon Os-Cons, originally from Sanyo (now taken over by Panasonic), have been around for a good while. Among the larger value capacitors useful in power supplies, they hold a special place. They have been used in AMR components up to the revered CD-77 Reference Class CD Processor.

amr-cd77-aufmacher00006
So, despite their steep cost (around 10x that of common electrolytic capacitors), the micro iDSD Black Label is one of the first <US$1,000 products to feature them.
 
  Turbo-charge headphones
 
iDSD_micro_Turbo There are three power output modes, Eco, Normal and Turbo. If used in conjunction with the built-in iEMatch, the micro iDSD BL is able to have the power and gain dialed-in to perfectly suit all headphones from the super-sensitive Sennheiser IE-800 up to the hyper-hungry HiFiMan HE-6.
powermode-1024x796
 
  Intelligent In/Out SPDIF Digital Optical/Coax
 
spdif Digital Audio Players (DAP) and home SPDIF sources are abound. Flexibility remains key and the micro iDSD BL retains the intelligent SPDIF in/out socket for optical/coax signals. So for those who wish to upgrade their DAP, simple use it as a transport and feed the micro iDSD Black Label.
 
  Battery for music on-the-go
 
battery From the very hungry HiFi Man HE-6 down to the Sennheiser IE-800, the micro iDSD Black Label is able to play hi-res out and about for 6 to 12 hours respectively. Even when not in use, it is able to charge an iPhone from 0% to 100% two times through its side USB charging port.

Specifications:

   

Item

Description

Remarks

Inputs/Outputs

   
Inputs (rear) USB 2.0 type A “OTG” Socket
(with iPurifier® technology built-in)
Compatible with computers (Apple/Win/Linux), iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Android Devices, camera kit or USB-OTG cable required. (Full USB3.0 port compatible)
Intelligent SPDIF® Coaxial 3 Way combo SPDIF port (Coaxial In/Out; Optical In); Up to 192kHz PCM
SPDIF Optical
     
Outputs (rear) Audio RCA L+R
Intelligent SPDIF® Coaxial Up to 192kHz PCM
     
Output (right side) SmartPower® Socket Fast charge all portable devices. Compliant with USB Battery Charging Standard 1.2 – 5V @ 1.5A
     
     

Controls

Controls (front)
– HP Output Audio 6.3mm Headphone Jack
– Volume with Power On/Off switch Precision analogue volume control <2dB Tracking error
– 3.5mm Input Auto disable the digital section when this is in use
– X-Bass® On/Off
– 3D Holographic Sound® On/Off Auto-switching for Speakers® and Headphones® (two separate and distinct circuits)
     
Controls (left side)
– Power Mode Turbo, Normal, Eco Computer controlled power and gain scaling
– Polarity Normal/Inverted
– Filter 3 positions, 6 filters (see filter section below)
     
Controls (bottom)
– Line Direct/Preamplifier Preamplifier function Enable/Disable, 0/9dB gain selectable Fixed 2V or variable with up to 5V available
– iEMatch® Perfect-matching circuit for IEMs (eliminate hiss) Off / High Sensitivity Headphone / Ultra Sensitivity Headphone
     
     

DAC section

DAC Dual-core DSD, DXD, PCM DAC by Burr Brown 2-DAC Chip; 4-Channel; 8-Signals, custom interleaving for maximum SNR
Bit-Perfect DSD processing, Bit-Perfect PCM processing
     
Clock Ultra low jitter GMT computer controlled Femto Clock RMS jitter 12kHz – 1MHz < 280 Femtoseconds
     
Audio Formats DSD 512/256/128/64
24.6/22.6/12.4/11.2/6.2/5.6/3.1/2.8
All native decoding, no internal hardware conversion
DXD 2x/1x
768/705.6/384/352.8kHz
All native decoding, no internal hardware conversion
PCM 768/705.6/384/352.8/192/176.4/96/88.2/
48/44.1kHz
All native decoding, no internal hardware conversion
     
Filters
– PCM Bit-Perfect Processing/Minimum Phase/Standard Digital filters selectable
– DSD Extreme/Extended/Standard Range Analogue filters selectable
– DXD Bit-Perfect Processing Fixed analogue filter
     
     

Specifications (DAC Section)

   
Dynamic Range (Line) >117db(A)  
THD & N (0dBFS Line) <0.003%  
Output Voltage (Line) >2V  
Output Impedance (Zout) < 240Ω  
Jitter (correlated) Below AP2 test set limit  
     
     

Headphone Power Output

HP Amp Output Power (max) Power (continuous.)
– Turbo mode 10.0V/4,000 mW @ 16 Ohm >1560 mW @ 64 Ohm
> 166 mW @ 600 Ohm
 
– Normal mode 5.5V/1,900 mW @ 16 Ohm > 950 mW @ 32 Ohm
> 100 mW @ 300 Ohm
 
– Eco mode 2.0V/500 mW @ 8 Ohm > 250 mW @ 16 Ohm
     
     

Specifications (Headamp Section)

   
Dynamic Range (HP) >115dB(A) (Eco Mode, 2V Out)  
THD &N (HP 500mW/16R) < 0.008%  
Output Voltage (HP) >8V (Turbo Mode)  
Output Impedance (Zout) <1Ω (iEMatch not engaged)  
Maximum Output Power 4,000mW @ 16 Ohm Load when using sinewave testing the iDSD micro may engage protection circuits
Continuous Output Power 1,000mW @ 64 Ohm Load  

User Manual
UserManual
iDSD Black Label: “We have the iFi’s latest sorcery in our hands!” says Aero from Quantum Ears
“On a side note, they are a customer-oriented company. A rare thing nowadays……..iDSD Black Label comes with a well designed, elegant cardboard packaging. You can find everything about the Black Label on the box. Specs, features, technologies…
I must congratulate iFi for thinking and including the accessories like no company ever does….The only difference in the accessories between regular iDSD is the improved USB3.0 cable. It looks more durable now!…Black Label’s finish is truly mesmerising…BL looks utterly amazing….Black Label sounds more organic and musical compared to regular iDSD. I personally, always wanted my regular iDSD to sound fuller, more natural.. Well, I definitely got what I wanted!…….If you are looking for a DAC/AMP between 350-750$ this is your safest bet. Go get one!”

Thanks for the review Aero!

http://www.quantumears.com/ifi-idsd-black-label-the-silhouette-of-greatness/


“Christmas Decamp with all the trimmings.” A review by Takeanidea on Head Fi.
“So what is the BL model and what can the iDSD do?… The iDSD is a Decamp…It can be fed music from a laptop with it’s high quality USB cable….The iDSD also can be used as a preamp or direct line out, to form part of a full sized HiFi….The iDSD will easily outlast your phone so should be able to keep it going until you can get to a proper power source…The packaging is beautiful. The unpacking of the unit was a sensual pleasure…The iDSD is a clear winner …The iDSD BL offers an awful lot of options for the money….”

Thank you Takeanidea for a superb review.

http://www.head-fi.org/products/ifi-audio-micro-idsd/reviews/17642


iFi micro iDSD or micro iDSD Black-label? Great review by Darktores from Tellement nomade.
“….this Micro IDSD as much as its evolution Black-label give me a great listening pleasure. They are powerful, autonomous, resistant in time thanks to their all-metal short design a beautiful object and a high-performance product!….For iFi-Audio the work done on the first version of the IDSD seemed so fair, and well-designed that they simply did not want to replace the Micro IDSD. They have updated the components, taking care to choose the most recent and the best performers. So they have evolved with some optimizations and adjustments here and there the original model…..the IDSD or the IDSD black each has arguments and gives a lot of fun. On both the dynamics is excellent, one will be more sharp the other will be a can more tolerant!….I think it will not be very useful to continue to divide these two excellent amp / dac.”

Many thanks for an excellent review Darktores.

http://www.tellementnomade.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=101&t=15835


“IFI Audio iDSD Black Label Edition offers a bright sound reproduction” says Philippe Daussin of Qobuz
“This model dresses black for a special edition that has seen some internal components replaced by more qualitative models, a cosmetic evolution without touching the fundamentals….With the title You Win Again Album The Warner Bros. Years 1987-1991 Bee Gees, yet we are treated to a beautiful sound reproduction from the DAC micro iFi Black Label Edition, dense and warm and very present voice….As for the 3D process, it brings a pleasant feeling of space while preserving the salt of music, so to speak, with the headphones as listening on speakers, which is rather good.”

Merci beaucoup Philippe Daussin of Qobuz and iFi:France (Elite Diffusion)

http://www.qobuz.com/FR-fr/info/Hi-Res-Guide/Bancs-d-essai/iFi-Audio-micro-iDSD-Black-Label178812

Translated with Google


1214-8
iFi iDSD Black Label: “Swiss Army knife utility, top tier sound and flexibility that does everything extremely well, so much value it’s uncompetitive”
“Go get one. What the heck are you waiting for? There isn’t a so easily transportable DAC/Amp combo out there with the technical capabilities of the iDSD Black Label. It has a crisp, transparent, neutral presentation. It can power headphones from the most delicate flower sensitive custom IEMs all the way up to the man eating Bengal tigers of audiophilia: the HE-6 and other rare beasts. Beyond having power and finesse, it also plays any kind of music you throw at it natively—no signal degrading conversion. If you needed some dessert with this 15 course dinner, the XBass and 3D effect switches give it to you. Have all the pudding you like, I promise the enhanced treble and bass won’t screw up your appetite.”

Thanks Glassmonkey!

http://www.head-fi.org/products/ifi-audio-micro-idsd/reviews/17507


20161214-6
iDSD micro Black: “Black but beautiful compared to the silver original iDSD micro!
“Pros: Tonally similar to its predecessor yet packs in that last ounce of oomph, slam, musicality and finesse in just the right spectrums of audio. Worth it!”
“Went into the shop to audition the original Micro (my current desktop setup) vs the BL…….I have concluded that the upgraded components really make that last ounce of difference in an already fine product! Bass slam that was already pretty good in the original, is now more pronounced and adds to the oomph and color and the low end. Overall clarity, already good on the original, is now slightly increased and subtly smoother and sweeter. Overall image width and height, on the Senn HD599, is about the same to me, but then, with the added clarity+sweetness+slam, that same stereo image suddenly snaps into sharper focus on good recordings. On bad or average recordings the BL actually makes the music tolerable due to the added musicality. Ahhhh… musicality… that is the one elusive trait which could justify giving up my beloved Micro. The BL definitely has a palpable increase in musicality which I didn’t even know I was hungering for, til today. ”
Thank you Hardlok!

http://www.head-fi.org/products/ifi-audio-micro-idsd/reviews/17561


20161214-4
Digital Audio Review sheds light on the iDSD micro!
“So – why talk about the micro iDSD now?

iFi have today announced an updated version. The new Black Label edition has, as its name suggests, been moved to a satin black chassis with orange accents. However, this is no superficial re-skinning; it’s a complete overhaul. The upgrades can be summarised thusly:
· re-designed output stabilisation
· OV2627 op-amps upgraded analogue section
· Panasonic OSCON capacitors loaded power supply
· OV2028 op-amps loaded DAC power supply
· DAC voltage decoupling based on audio-grade ECPU film capacitors
· GMT® Femto precision clock system power supply upgraded”

Thank you John H. Darko!

http://www.digitalaudioreview.net/2016/11/ifi-audios-black-label-micro-idsd-can-go-everywhere-you-do/