iDSD Diablo 2 from iFi audio

Can you handle the beast?

Your ultimate portable DAC/amp for Home and Mobile.

Heavenly Sound. Devilish Power.

The Diablo 2, dressed in Devilish Red, succeeds the Diablo-X, boasting a slew of enhancements such as increased headphone output power, support for lossless Bluetooth codecs, xMEMS technology, iEMatch, a USB-C input, improved circuitry, and more.

As an audiophile, you likely use different systems for home and mobile setups. The Diablo 2 offers the best of both worlds with its powerful 5,180mW maxmium output and balanced dual-mono circuitry, making it the most powerful headphone amplifier of its size.

Diabolical Innovation. Shattering Boundaries.

The Diablo 2 is the world’s first portable DAC/Amp with Bluetooth 5.4, it supports aptX Lossless, the only Bluetooth codec for lossless CD-quality streaming without sacrificing audio quality.

The predecessor of Diablo 2 pioneered support for xMEMS solid-state micro-speaker technology, enhancing IEM and headphone performance with several unique benefits:

  • A 15µsec mechanical response, 150 times faster than typical drivers.
  • A 2° flat phase response for precise sound and precise +/- 1° phase matching for enhanced spatial sound accuracy.
  • A speaker diaphragm made of silicon, 95 times stiffer than plastic, reducing speaker break-up and delivering clearer mid-high frequencies.

Due to the high voltage requirements of xMEMS, iFi has partnered with them to integrate this technology into the new Diablo 2. It utilises the piezoelectric effect to create paper-thin solid-state speakers by converting electrical energy into mechanical energy, exciting an integrated silicon membrane to generate powerful acoustic sound waves for enhanced audio output.

“It’s got a NOS fogger system and a T4 Turbo, Dominic.”

Struggling with your power-hungry headphones? Press the NOS button, and our Diablo goes into beast mode. The Diablo 2 offers three power modes: Normal for IEMs, Turbo for mid-sensitivity headphones, and Nitro for demanding headphones, boasting a 19.2V maximum output.

A switch underneath activates iFi’s iEMatch technology. This feature is tailored for high-sensitivity headphones and earphones, greatly benefiting your in-ear monitors (IEMs). It removes background noise and increases the usable volume range.

The Diablo 2 accommodates a wide range of headphones, from IEMs to power-hungry over-ears. It features a 6.3mm single-ended headphone socket and a 4.4mm balanced output. Additionally, a 3.5mm to 6.35mm adapter is included for versatile connectivity.

Ruling all Bluetooth codec and music formats.

The Diablo 2 features the latest Bluetooth 5.4 technology, supporting the new aptX Lossless codec, which provides a maximum bitrate of 1,200kbps. In comparison, aptX Adaptive has a maximum bitrate of 420kbps, while LDACTM offers a higher bitrate of 990kbps.

The Diablo 2 used Qualcomm’s new QCC518x Bluetooth audio chip, is qualified to Bluetooth 5.4, supported all* Bluetooth formats including: aptX Lossless, aptX Adaptive, aptX, LDACTM, LHDC/HWA, AAC and SBC.

*As of 10 Nov 2023. Check your device for Bluetooth codec support.
**LDAC and LDAC logo are trademarks of Sony Corporation.

Dual Core Burr Brown chipset provides Bit-Perfect DSD and PCM support at sample rates up to 768kHz, DSD512, and Full MQA decoding. Even as Spotify is moving towards Lossless, don’t get left behind.

iDSD Diablo 2 from iFi audio

Wings of Inferno.

The Diablo 2 comes with four wings that you can customise to position it horizontally, like a desktop DAC/amp, or vertically to save space.

Additionally, it features twenty-two rails for improved cooling performance, with eight of these rails being compatible with the Diablo wings, enabling desktop stand use.

iDSD Diablo 2 from iFi audio

Devil in the details.

When examining the Diablo 2’s front panel, you’ll find a new Volume Lock switch next to the volume control, preventing accidental adjustments during transport.

At the back panel’s left side, there’s a switch for mode selection and Bluetooth pairing. On the right side, two USB-C ports streamline cable management—one for audio and the other for charging.

Sound So Moving. Even the Devil May Cry.

Diablo 2 features PureWave, Servoless DirectDrive, OptimaLoop, and Advanced Jitter Reduction Technology, delivering exceptionally pure, detailed, and emotionally touching sound, these technologies elevate performance to unparalleled heights, even challenging desktop DAC/amps.

PureWave’s full balanced dual-mono circuitry elevates clarity by separating channels and reducing noise. DirectDrive removes the need for coupling capacitors, ensuring purer audio.

OptimaLoop employs tailored multiple feedback paths in amplifiers, refining gain control and reducing distortion. The enhanced GMT femto-precision clock with Smart storage cache minimises phase noise for cleaner sound.

Diablo 2 is the most formidable DAC/Amp on the planet. Your headphones should be scared.

iDSD Diablo 2 from iFi audio

Diablo’s Energy Sources

The Diablo 2 can be powered by battery or mains.

Battery power provides ultra-clean and stable DC current, avoiding mains electricity issues like dips, spikes, and noise inducing RFI/EMI pollution. However, there are sonic downsides due to low output voltage and inconsistent output impedance as batteries discharge.

The bundled iPower2 power supply features Active Noise Cancellation II, effectively cancelling out all incoming EMI and RFI noise and making it more than 10 times quieter than most audiophile power supplies.

To make less efficient headphones, like planar magnetics, sing, the voltage needs to be stepped up from 3.7V to +/- 15V. We use a step-up converter operating at 1.2MHz – a frequency far beyond audibility and easier to filter than a typical switch-mode supply, ensuring high linearity and ultra-low noise.

Accessories for Diablo 2

Diablo 2 comes with a variety of accessories, all included with the product, so you won’t need to make separate purchases.

These accessories include the iPower 2 power supply (which is 10 times quieter than typical audiophile power supplies), a USB-C cable, a USB-C-to-A adapter, a TOSLINK optical adapter, a 3.5mm to 6.3mm headphone adapter, and an iTraveller carrying case.

Contents

CONTENTS:

1 x ZEN Stream

1 x Ethernet cable

1 x Plastic screwdriver

1 x Power adapter

1 x Antenna

1 x User manual

1 x Instruction card

The XMOS 16-Core chip processes the audio data received via the USB* digital input.

This low-latency XMOS microcontroller has greatly enhanced processing power. Compared to the current generation of eight-core chips, this 16-core IC delivers double the clock speed (2000MIPS) and four times the memory (512KB), as well as the latest SuperSpeed USB standard.

iFi’s in-house digital development team has programmed the XMOS firmware to optimise sound quality and ensure a perfect partnership with the Burr-Brown DAC.

(* Also on S/PDIF on the Diablo-X)

Extensive jitter-eradication technologies are applied to the digital stage, including our GMT (Global Master Timing) femto-precision clock and intelligent memory buffer. This represents a total ‘out-of-the-box’ systematic digital solution that solves jitter once and for all.

The Burr-Brown True Native® chipset means file formats remain unchanged or ‘bit-perfect’. This means you are listening to music as the artist intended in the format in which it was recorded.

At iFi we use Burr Brown extensively in our products having selected it for its natural-sounding ‘musicality’ and True Native architecture. Our experience with this IC means we know how to make the most of it.

An important aspect of the circuit design is its direct-coupled nature (no coupling capacitor is present), achieved without a conventionally applied DC servo.

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’.

MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) is supported through the USB with full decoding of MQA files up to 384kHz thanks to the processing power of the new 16-core XMOS chip.

Check out how to set up your MQA decoder via Tidal, Roon and Audirvana here.

This means that the full ‘three unfold’ decoding process is performed internally, as opposed to only the final unfold in the manner of an MQA ‘renderer’.

Globally, MQA has become an important consideration for any comprehensively equipped DAC. It is available through for Tidal Masters, Audirvana and Roon.

‘Negative feedback’ is used in amplifier circuits to compare the output signal with the input signal and correct errors, in order to control gain and reduce distortion.

For sound quality, this is positive; BUT commonly applied, one-size-fits-all ‘global negative feedback’ can also highlight different problems at the same time as solving others – corruption of the error signal, phase shifts, group delay and so on can all have a negative impact on sound quality.

We recognised that different parts of a circuit benefit from specifically optimised feedback loops and have developed a negative feedback system that is much more accurate than the usual approach. This incorporates multiple feedback paths instead of a global loop, each path optimised for a particular function and working synergistically with the others to deliver optimal overall performance.

As with many other iFi audio products, we’ve incorporated a custom OV Series operational-amplifier. This top-notch component contributes to the extremely low noise, low distortion (0.0001%) and wide bandwidth.

Balanced, differential analogue circuit design has long been championed for its ability to reduce noise and cross-talk within the signal path by fully separating the left and right channels.

PureWave is a new, balanced, symmetrical dual-mono topology with short, direct signal paths. The name refers to the sonic purity it achieves thanks to exceptional linearity and infinitesimally low levels of noise and distortion.

Switching between settings has been engineered to ensure sonic transparency with advanced trench technology MOSFET is used as a muting switch.

This FET-based switching is handled by a micro-controller, which only ‘wakes up’ when the user changes a setting, thus eradicating any sonically deleterious interference.

TDK C0G (Class 1 ceramic) capacitors offer high stability and low losses for resonant circuit applications.

Getting ever closer to the theoretical ideal of pure, frequency-constant capacitance, these capacitors reduce capacitor-induced distortion to vanishingly low levels.

They are pricey but are a perfect addition to our products.

Vishay MELF resistors – complex, costly but superior.

These metal electrode leadless face resistors have excellent accuracy, stability, reliability, and pulse load capability. They provide optimal power rating and pulse load capability. They show some of the lowest noise and distortion of any resistor available in the market, period.

Panasonic OS-CON caps totaling 5,410uF give very-low Equivalent Series Resistance (ESR), excellent noise reduction capability and frequency response characteristics. In addition, OS-CONs have a long-life span and its ESR changes little even at low temperatures since the electrolyte is solid.

They are not often found in products costing <US$1000.

Texas Instruments 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.

muRata control-type, low-ESR high-Q multi-layer capacitors. The ‘ESR control’ aspect of the Murata is something special. Their noise suppression abilities are impressive.

iDSD Diablo 2

Read Reviews

1,299.00

Retailer

HiFi Hut

Dublin

Digital

Hi-res support768kHz
DSD512
full MQA
Bluetooth formatsaptX Lossless
aptX Adaptive
aptX
LDAC
LHDC/HWA
AAC
SBC

Maximum^ output power

Output4.4mm
6.3mm
4.4mm>19.2V/611mW (@600Ω);
>12.87V/5180mW (@32Ω)
6.3mm>9.6V/153mW (@600Ω);
>8.85V/2450mW (@32Ω)
xMEMS>28Vpp (4.4mm output)

RMS output power

4.4mm>19.2V/611mW (@600Ω);
>7.4/1710mW (@32Ω);
>11.5/2060mW (@64Ω)
6.3mm>9.6V/150mW (@600Ω);
>8.1V/2050mW (@32Ω);
>9.3V/1360mW (@64Ω)

Line output

Output impedance≤200Ω
SNR≥114dB(A)
DNR≥114dB(A)
THD+N0.002% @ 0dBFS 200kΩ

General

Power consumptionNitro 12W
Turbo 5W
Normal 2W
xMEMS 8W
BatteryLithium-polymer 4800mAh
ChargingVia USB-C – BC v1.2 compliant up to 1900mA
Dimensions166x85x28.5mm
Net weight455g (1.0Ibs)

Connectivity

Digital inputs1x USB-C; 1x S/PDIF (optical/coaxial)
Bluetooth 5.4™
Headphone outputs1x balanced 4.4mm
1x 6.3mm
Line output1x balanced 4.4mm
Power/charging1x USB-C
^See FAQ for more information.

“The Powerhouse Just Got Better!”

The Diablo II is a powerful, detailed reference-level DAC/Amp that you can take with you on the go.

Anton Wyler

(Click name to read original review)

“its desktop-grade sound earns praise!”

“Despite its high gain and quirks like IEMatch, its desktop-grade sound earns praise!”

Rudi Putnins, Headphonesty

(Click name to read original review)

“An absolute powerhouse!”

Discover more by reading the full review.

Jamie Biesemans, HiFi News

(Click name to read original review)

“Excellent build quality!”

“The iFi Diablo 2 is the best we can get if we are looking for a powerful amplifier – Excellent build quality”

Matteo Esposito, Help for Shopping

(Click name to read original review)

“…. a nice sense of fullness without being overwhelming!”

“It had a good sense of space that felt natural and wasn’t distracting, The bass is also strong, with good extension and a nice sense of fullness without being overwhelming”.

John Exby, SBAF

(Click name to read original review)

‘Its like stepping through a noisy environment into a room full of music!’

‘The separation and sense of spaciousness is superb’; ‘more or less sonic perfection’

L. Robinson

(Click name to read original review)

The audio quality is vibrant and dynamic!

‘The Diablo 2 delivers seamless sound quality and sonic depth, showcasing high-end resolution and sophistication typical of a premium product!’

Petros Laskis, Ichos Reviews

(Click name to read original review)

“The sonics are really quite addictive!”

” There are also many interesting innovations on this device, such as an xMEMS compatible tab, being the world’s first portable source that utilizes Bluetooth 5.4, and compatibility with the ultra-high bitrate aptX Lossless codec.”

BaskingShark, Head-Fi

(Click name to read original review)

“Warmth and Power!”

“It genuinely brought some of my headphones to life in a way I didn’t expect!”

Chris Coke, MMORPG

(Click name to read original review)

“A complete, versatile, portable, and future-proof package!”

“One could say it’s also a complete, versatile, portable, and future-proof package with the inclusion of all the new features!”

Louis Gonzalez, Headfonics

(Click name to read original review)

“The power is honestly more than you ever need!”

“The finish on this thing is probably my favorite part, it just looks like a more premium type of product!
It’s kind of like a desktop replacement that you can fit in your backpack.
The power is honestly more than enough that you ever need!
The sound is very neutral so you hear everything, the bass, the mids, the treble, everything is exactly where you want to be, it’s very detailed!”

Ryan Ho

(Click name to read original review)

“… beats many DAPs priced higher!”

“The iDSD Diablo2 is a wonderful sounding DAC/AMP that beats many DAPs priced higher and is better than any DAC/AMP option I’ve tried before!”

Colin Aitken, Head-Fi

(Click name to read original review)

“The Diablo II has a lot of potential!”

“The Diablo II has a lot of potential. With the right pairing — i.e. a relatively insensitive headphone or IEM that is warmer in nature — I found the Diablo II to really sound solid with good clarity and air.”

Antdroid

(Click name to read original review)

“A superb headphone amplifier!” (Review in Polish)

“The iFi Audio iDSD Diablo 2 is a superb headphone amplifier created primarily for the discerning computer-headphone player, but not only.
If you have adequate outputs in a full-size amplifier or want to connect only one source (for example, a streamer) with a digital connector, the “devil” will also cope with ease, and will satisfy even the most picky lovers of portable hi-res file players or phones”.

Stereo Life

(Click name to read original review)