The Nano iDSD is a terrific value. It does not provide the SQ of a full out home system dac but what it does provide especially while streaming an MQA file is remarkable. It has plenty of power to drive most headphones with ease as 50% volume on mine is an ear bleed.
nano iDSD Black Label
Take centre stage.
Ever dreamed of being a Rock ‘n’ Roll star?
To feel the rush as you step out on stage before thousands of adoring fans?
The nano iDSD Black Label, with its Hi-Res DNA and crystal-clear sound, brings that experience to your ears.
The nano iDSD Black Label is a powerful piece of kit.
It’s six times more powerful than an iPhone, drives almost any set of headphones and with up to ten hours of battery life, makes listening on the go stress-free.
And with its advanced engineering and balanced wiring, it’s ideal for single or balanced earphones alike.
A step closer to stardom.
Even if you’re listening through low-spec earphones in the gym or on large cans at home, the nano iDSD Black Label delivers rich, clean sound no matter what.
Tonight, you’re a Rock ‘n’ Roll star.
The tech spec.
The nano iDSD Black Label has two other iFi products built in:
- The iPurifier – To isolate sound and deliver clean, quality music,
- The iEMatch – To attenuate high-powered earphones and sensitive in-ear monitors
They take away hiss, buzz and distortion and provide studio-quality audio.
You’ll feel like you’re playing right alongside the biggest artists.
True Native® playback of all music formats from MP3 to DSD256, PCM384 and DXD384.
Listen to MQA straight out of the box.
For MQA tracks, simply connect to Tidal (on your computer) and check the options to stream MQA.
Hear music as the artist intended. The Burr-Brown True Native® chipset means file formats remain unchanged for the truest sound.
The iFi exclusive S-Balanced topology makes its debut in the flagship Pro iCAN. It delivers the maximum performance from single-ended and balanced headphones alike.
Reap the benefits of balanced, enjoy lower distortion and reduced crosstalk on headphones.
Visible analogue volume control. Its smooth action and smooth sound deliver the sonic goods with precision.
Choose between the ‘Listen’ (Minimum Phase Bezier Filter) and ‘Measure’ (Linear Phase Transient Aligned Filter) options.
It’s the only portable DAC to give you so much control.
With up to ten hours of battery life, you can max out your on-the-go listening. Just switch it on and then plug in your device. Plus it boasts a USB Type A connector for a stable wired connection.
Just use an Apple CCK cable or Android OTG cable and away you go.
|Input(rear):||USB2.0 type A ‘OTG’ Socket (with iPurifier® technology built-in)|
|Output(rear)；||1 x audio fixed line out L+R 3.5mm|
|Digital Filter:||2 positions. 2 filters|
|Outputs(front):||2 x 3.5mm headphone audio outputs. ‘Direct’ and ‘iEMatch®’|
|DAC:||DSD, DXD, PCM DAC by Burr Brown Bit-Perfect DSD processing, Bit-Perfect DXD processing|
|Clock:||Low-jitter crystal clock|
|Audio Formats:||DSD 256/128/64/12.4/11.2/6.2/5.6/3.1/2.8|
|MQA 88.2/96/176.4/192kHz filters|
|Filter–PCM:||Listen (transient optimised minimum phase)|
|Measure (frequency response optmised)|
|–DSD:||Listen (extended bandwidth transient optimised)|
|Measure (narrow bandwidth, low output band noise optimised)|
|–DXD:||Fixed Bit-Perfect Processing|
|–MQA:||Fixed MQA Filter|
|Amplifier:||Dual Mono 2 x 285mW Direct Drive, coupling capacitor free circuit for highest fidelity|
|Volume Control:||3.5mm TRRS with Balanced compatible wiring|
|Dynamic Range(including DAC):||> 109dB(A) @ 3v (Direct)|
|> 107dB(A) @ 0.5V (iEMatch®)|
|THD &N (@ 125mW/30R):||< 0.005%|
|Max. Output (<10% THD):||> 3.5V @ 600Ω Load (Direct) (20mW/600Ω)|
|> 2.9V @ 30Ω Load (Direct) (285mW/30Ω)|
|> 1.7V @ 15Ω Load (Direct) (200mW/15Ω)|
|Output Impedance :||< = 1Ω (Direct)|
|< = 4Ω (iEMatchsup>®)|
|Channel Separation:||> 79dB @ 600Ω Load (Direct)|
|> 79dB @ 15Ω Load (Direct) (1kHz, TRRS plug Balanced wiring)|
|Dynamic Range(Line):||> 109dB(A)|
|THD & N(0dBFS Line):||< 0.004%|
|Output Voltage(Line): :||2.15V (+/-0.05V)|
|Output Impedance:||< 240Ω|
|Channel Separation:||> 99dB (@ 1kHz)|
|Jitter(correlated):||Below test set limit|
|Dimensions:||96(l) x 64(w) x 25.5(h)mm|
|Weight:||139g (0.31 Ibs)|
|Warranty period:||12 months|
Bang For Buck Portable Amp/DAC 2018
I honestly can’t find fault with a device at this price point that can do as much as the Nano iDSD Black Label can. At $199 it is a bit of a steal to get IEMatch, decent levels of gain and power as well as a smooth analog type delivery with BitPerfect capability. Throwing in MQA is kind of like a selectively high-end cherry on a generally rather tasty cake.
If you have IEMs or even a wide range of medium efficiency headphones the Nano iDSD BL is a really smart entry-level choice for the price. It can handle both but with IEMatch it excels with today’s hyper-efficient IEMs which I suspect is where the majority of buyers will likely be.
It may well be the last release of the old iFi design ethos and superseded by the new X Series but the BL easily grabs our Bang For Buck award for 2018.
Astronomical bang for the buck
Oh golly, what an upgrade! It’s warm, smooth, detailed and punchy. Now, to be clear, I am using it with the tidal desktop app on a desktop computer in my office with an audioquest USB cable (iFi has the converter you need to get from USB-B to female USB-A right in the box), not in a portable mode. And so far I have just tried it with my office Grado SR325e’s and Tidal Hi-Fi (lossless) and Master- which the 5.30 firmware on my unit automatically recognizes and switches to MQA mode. (The current Tidal app automatically recognized IT as a MQA device too, and switched mode to outboard renderer by itself- how easy is that?) So I can’t say how it sounds with lesser sound sources. But as a desktop headphone front end it just sounds bloody marvelous for the price, much better than my old d/a. Which has already been tossed in a drawer where it will be living from now on. It’s small, unobtrusive, and well-built, with a very smooth volume control- which you NEED playing MQA since the Tidal app disables its own volume control when it detects an MQA sound device. If all you need to do is to drive headphones from a usb source this is an easy choice- the Nano has a number of iFi big brothers if you need more connections and choices. DO get the driver from iFi and install it first before connecting it to Windows 7 for the best installation experience.
ifi iDSD nano BL
With the Black Label you can drive pretty much everything… I had no headphone that I couldn’t drive with it.
iFi Nano iDSD Black Label portable MQA-capable headphone amp/DAC
iFi’s Nano iDSD Black Label is a brilliant headphone amp/DAC that offers serious sound quality in a very compact and affordable package- similarly priced rivals have far less functionality making it excellent value too. It is a wothy little brother to iFi’s also excellent Micro iDSD Black Label, but one whose distinctive S-Balanced amplifier and iEMatch circuitry give it a sonic appeal all its own. Go hear one. Soon.
Great little unit
Super happy with the BL Nano. I’ve come from a Dragonfly Red and this trumps it both in usage/flexibility, and sound (particularly the clear midrange and also the slightly fuller bass). I particularly love: the volume knob, which is smooth and easy to set (though probably too light if looking to use this in your pocket); the two outputs for different impedance headphones; the line out; MQA’s from Tidal sound great; the small form factor and build quality. This isn’t really a portable (as in walkaround) device, but I use it primarily at my home office desk and when working remotely e.g. from hotels, for which usage it’s absolutely perfect. I can also see the line out getting some heavy use. Really excellent and flexible little unit and I can’t imagine getting anything better for the money.