Pro iDSD
iFi audio Pro iDSD

Our Pro iDSD is for all music lovers, looking for their stairway to heaven.

It’s a DAC and so much more. It will take your music, movies and gaming to new heights.

A hi-res trinity

Our flagship Pro iDSD is for those who like music in all its flavours, especially high spec.

It’s a standalone unit, a streamer and a DAC/amp.

And with the option to listen in solid-state, tube or tube+, there’s something for everyone.

iFi audio Pro iDSD

DSD1024 and more.

The Pro iDSD plays all files from MP3 up to hi-res DSD and MQA.

For the first time, it brings Studio Grade DSD1024 to a wider audience – a rare feat. You are well and truly future-proofed.

All controlled from the palm of your hand via an app.

GTO muscle

As with most iFi gear, we added filters to add flavour to your listening.

Check out the GTO filter. Just like the American muscle car, it adds gravitas and a new dimension to your driving…sorry, listening.

We’ve also given you Bit Perfect, Bit Perfect+, Apodising, and Transient Aligned.

Curious mind? User Manual, page 16.

iFi audio Pro iDSD

Your music. Your way.

Choose a wireless connection to stream your favourite tunes from Tidal, Spotify, Napster – the list is endless.

Take it up a notch by using a wired Ethernet connection to play from a router or NAS (Network Attached Storage).

Or relax with AirPlay to enjoy playback from your iPhone, iPad or Mac.

To USB or not to USB

Use USB Type A to connect a hard disk drive or a memory stick or Type B to connect a laptop or server.

Or slot in a micro SDHC card with music files for instant playback.

Enjoy soulful tunes from your CD transport and enhance your gaming or movie experience as you connect via the coaxial/digital input.

Sound has never sounded so good.

iFi audio Pro iDSD

Moved by music

Finally, we’ve given you a choice of headphone sockets and outputs to cover all tastes. Big ones, little ones, balanced ones…

The Pro iDSD now currently comes in two ‘balanced’ versions – with 4.4mm or 2.5mm balanced headphone sockets. You choose which version you need.

So, whatever your mood, however you connect or listen, the Pro iDSD has an option for you.

DAC (Digital-to-Analogue Converter)

DACs convert digital information, stored or streamed by computers, into music we can hear through speakers or headphones.

Every device that’s a source of digital sound has a built-in DAC (TVs, games consoles, CD players, phones, portable music players etc). Dedicated external DACs sound much better than standard DACs used in digital devices such as phones.

Solid-state 'v' Tubes

A solid-state amplifier uses electronics such as diodes and transistors to amplify the music signal. A tube amp uses valves/vacuum tubes to do the same job.

There is a noticeable sound difference between the two methods. Some feel that tube amps create a warmer, more musical tone. Some companies choose to build ‘hybrid’ models that combine the two methods.

File formats

MP3 – this is the most popular format, every device in the world can use it.

DSD – Direct Stream Digital is a very high-quality audio format, better than CD quality. The higher the number (sample rate), the better the recording – DSD64, 128, 256, 512 and 1024.

PCM – Pulse Code Modulation is the most common format for CDs and DVDs.

DXD – Digital eXtreme Definition is a very high-quality PCM format. It was developed to edit hi-res (high quality) recordings recorded in DSD.

DSD (Direct Stream Digital)

DSD is a very high-quality digital audio format that’s even better than CD quality. The higher the ‘DSD rate’ – DSD64, 128, 256, 512 and 1024 – the greater the amount of music information available, which means better sound quality.

Files can be remastered to higher file rates to improve sound quality. The pinnacle of this is DSD1024. Not many machines out there are capable of this feat.

NAS (Network Attached Storage)

Network-attached storage (NAS) is dedicated file storage that enables multiple users and client devices to retrieve data from centralized disk capacity.

Users on a local area network (LAN) access the shared storage via a standard Ethernet connection. NAS devices typically do not have a keyboard or display and are configured and managed with an app.

Airplay

Apple AirPlay is found on all Apple devices. It lets you share videos, photos, music, and more from Apple devices to your Apple TV, favourite speakers, and some smart TVs.

CD Transport

A CD transport concentrates on reading the information held on a compact disc without expending effort in turning that digital signal into an analogue output, unlike a CD player. All you need to do is add an external DAC.

Galvanic Isolation

Galvanic isolation is a design technique that separates electrical circuits to eliminate stray currents that contain noise. Signals can pass between galvanically isolated circuits, but stray currents, such as differences in ground potential or currents induced by AC power, do not pass. This means little or no noise interference to the audio signal from stray currents.

The Pro iDSD employs the new XMOS XU216 X-Core 200 Series 16-Core processor. All-digital processing is Bit-Perfect unless particular digital filters are explicitly selected.

Explore the XMOS here.

Listen to Master Quality Authenticated audio straight out of the box. Connect to Tidal Masters and check the option to stream MQA.

MQA is an award-winning audio technology that enables music fans to stream the original master recording into their home, car or on their mobile. In the words of Gilbert O’Sullivan, iconic Irish-born singer-songwriter, “The great thing about MQA is that it delivers the finesse that was there in the desk sound. It’s tremendous, it sounds really good.”

Our video tutorials on You Tube show you how.

The Pro iDSD is packed full of premium components – a Japan Alps rotary volume potentiometer, audio-grade ELNA Silmic capacitors and a bank of Elna Dynacaps ‘super capacitors’.

Discover how these benefit the Pro’s unique design here.

The amplifier audio circuit is fully discrete, fully-balanced with either tube or J-FET input switchable, bipolar second stage and MOSFET-buffered bipolar Class A Power stage.

The amplifier audio circuit is fully discrete, fully-balanced with either tube or J-FET input switchable, bipolar second stage and MOSFET-buffered bipolar Class A Power stage.

We’ve given the Pro iDSD an extra Tube+ setting. This reduces overall loop-gain and negative feedback to the minimum and presents a different sonic perspective between the tube’s natural harmonics and transient performance.

Sound it out in the User Manual, page 7.

Unlike other amplifiers that have the same circuit and just switch in/out the tube section, the Pro iDSD is the very first of its kind to have two individual input circuits – one tube (General Electric 5670 tubes!) and one solid-state. This results in the ‘best sonics of both worlds’.

Read more. Page 7.

Galvanic isolation is the ‘holy grail’ of computer audio.

All inputs are galvanically-isolated (including USB). The USB input section has its own separate power management system with multiple regulators and filtering operating from the galvanically-isolated voltage generated to power this section.

With LINKPLAY™ WiFi/network playback, built-in Spotify and Tidal, and wide protocol support for 32-Bit/192kHz and DSD64, the Pro iDSD can be also used without a computer to stream audio directly.

Data is sent to the Memory Buffer from all inputs. Here it is de-jittered to eliminate any transmission of source jitter to the DAC output. The data from the Memory Buffer is further re-clocked by the low-jitter Global Master Timing® clock, which also drives the X-Core 200 and FPGA.

Upsampling to DSD1024 has previously only been available to a select few. The Pro iDSD makes it available to a wider audience. The DSD1024 remastering is handled by the Crysopeia® FPGA and this is where we believe the FPGA excels.

Discover more on page 15 of the User Manual.

The Pro iDSD has a ‘quad stack’ of Bit-Perfect DSD and DXD DACs by Burr-Brown. The ‘interleaved’ configuration means up to 8 pairs of differential signals can be used and mixed, equal to 4 pairs of signals per channel.

Full lowdown? User Manual, page 13.

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Sample ratesPCM up to 768kHz
DSD up to 49.152MHz (DSD 1024)
DXD and double-speed DXD (2xDXD)
InputsUSB (required for DSD, DXD and sample rates above 192KHz)
AES3 (XLR – single link)
S/PDIF (coaxial/optical combo)
BNC multifunction (S/PDIF in or sync input)
OutputsBalanced XLR at 4.6V (+15.5dBu – HiFi) or 10V (+22dBu – Pro)
Single-Ended RCA at 2.3V (HiFi) or 5V (Pro)
Headphones 6.3mm & SE 3.5mm Jack at 0.55V/2.1V/5V
Headphones BAL 2.5mm/4.4mm Jack at 1.13V/4.6V/10V
Headphones out 1,500mW RMS X 2 @ 64 ohm, 4,000mW max. 2 X @ 16 Ohm
Headphone Output ImpedanceSingle-Ended (S-BAL): < 1 Ω
Balanced: < 2 Ω
Volume controlBalanced (6-gang) Alps potentiometer, motorised with IR remote control
XLR/RCA outputs can be selected as fixed level or adjusted
6.3mm headphone jack is always adjusted
Other FunctionsVarious digital and analogue filters can be selected for DSD and PCM up to 384KHz
PCM FiltersBitperfect 44.1 – 192kHz, always used for 352.8 – 768kHz
Bitperfect + 44.1 – 96kHz
Gibbs Transient Optimised 44.1 – 384kHz
Apodising 44.1 – 384kHz
Transient Aligned 44.1 – 384kHz
DSD filtersFixed 3rd order analogue filter @ 80kHz with correction for DSD’s -6dB gain
Gain (headphone section)User-selectable: 0dB, 9dB and 18dB
Dynamic range119dBA (solid-state, PCM, -60dBFS)
Output powerPro iDSD 4.4mm socket. (16 Ω, balanced/single-ended): >4200mW /1>1,575mW
Pro iDSD 2.5mm socket. (16 Ω, balanced/single-ended): >4000mW /1>1,500mW
Output voltage(600Ω, balanced/single-ended): >11.2V / >5.6V
Input voltage (Pro iDSD)DC 9V/6.7A – 18V/3.35A
Input voltage (iPower+)AC 85 – 265V, 50/60Hz
Power consumption< 22W idle, 50W max.
Dimensions220 (w) x 213 (d) x 63(h) mm
8.7″ x 8.4″ x 2.5″
Weight1980g (4.37 Ibs)

iFi Headphone Amp/DAC Review

In this video, we review iFi’s lineup of headphone amps and DACs. iFi’s headphone amp/DAC lineup offers plenty of options and has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a small, portable DAC for when you’re on the go or a high-performance desktop DAC for working from home or even gaming, iFi has a great option for you.
Watch the full video here…

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iFi Pro iDSD

“The Pro iDSD does so much so well, so afforably, that it offers a musical solution for just about anyone”

Watch the full review here…

YouTube

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IFI PRO IDSD HEADPHONE AMP/DAC/STREAMER REVIEW

“iFi Audio Pro iDSD is an incredibly musical, emotionally engaging, wondrously transparent, sound-staging champ with more options than Mad Max at Aunty’s weapons checkout station”

Read the full review here…

AudioKey Reviews

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IFI Pro iDSD DAC-STREAMER. Ofreciendo mucho más

Watch the full review here…

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Burr Brown goodness with all the extras!

Click the link to watch the full review.

David Sylvia

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Pro iDSD – it gives my set-up the most soul

“When I have it [Pro iDSD] set up with my 2 channel system I really enjoy the GTO filter the most. Much like the Grados with the Tube Setting, the GTO setting seemed to give my setup the most soul.”

HiFi Chicken

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iFi audio Pro iDSD 4.4 DAC/Headphone Amplifier/Streamer Reviewed

“iFi’s Pro iDSD 4.4 offers the richest mix of audiophile-oriented features and functions of any DAC/headphone amp/preamp/streamer near its size or price. I have chosen it for use in my personal audio reference system partly because it’s a really useful and versatile tool, but mostly because I can count on it to help my favorite transducers sound their best.”

Read more…

hometheatereview.com

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IFI Pro iDSD & Bel Canto e ONE 3.7

Watch the full review here…

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Is this the Best AMP DAC STACK? | IFI iDSD & iCAN

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ifi Pro iDSD Difficult to call it simply a DAC

ifi is a brand that we have come to know a little at a time and has brought us into the world of Hi-Fi with dedication and passion at every opportunity. We are therefore very happy to be able to review their flagship digital analog converter (DAC) , the ifi Pro iDSD today .

Defining it only as a DAC, however, would be extremely reductive, in fact in a single object, ifi has put together a series of really important functions and features.

Read more…

helpforshopping

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iFi Audio Pro iDSD – Full Review

“The Pro iDSD is not *just* a DAC, but a capable all in one DAC/Headphone amp/Streaming solution. Similar to the Pro iCAN, it offers solid state, tube, and tube+ modes, as well as a fully balanced architecture. I was honestly worried that with all these features, the Pro iDSD may not have managed to sound great as well, but, for the most part, it absolutely does.”

Headphones n' Stuff

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iFi Pro iDSD DAC Headphone Amp and Streamer

“The iFi Pro iDSD is an extraordinary unit. It covers digital signals that are verging on inconceivable”

Read more:

Gadget Guy

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HiFi test: iFi Pro iDSD

The Pro iDSD is a dream partner for active monitors, cuts a great figure on the desk and digitizes analog chains.

Stereo

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Review: iFi Audio iDSD Pro 4.4mm

Son-Video

“First, we tested the iFi Audio iDSD Pro’s headphone amplifier by pairing it with the Audeze LCD-4z headphones. This over-ear open-back model has an impedance of 15 ohms, a sensitivity rating of 98 dB and a recommended power level of 250W. Connected to the iFi Audio iDSD Pro’s unbalanced 6.5mm jack and balanced 4.4mm outputs, it was effortlessly driven with the gain selector set to 0dB. With the Dire Straits’ Sultans of Swing in 24-bit/88kHz, the iFi Audio iDSD Pro was incredibly dynamic. The soundstage was wide and each tiny detail was perfectly reproduced. The voices were centered and it was almost as if the band was on stage in front of us.”

“With the iFi Audio iDSD Pro DAC, the British manufacturer provides an ultra-effective and very comprehensive solution that can be used as a USB DAC, a network streamer, a hi-fi preamplifier and a headphone amplifier.”

“Its high output power allows it to effortlessly drive any pair of hi-fi headphones or earphones.”

Son-Video

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iFi Pro iDSD & Pro iCAN Review – Versatile, flagship DAC and headphone amplifier

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iFi Pro iDSD Review Powerful Headphone DAC AMP!

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ifi Pro iDSD: un IMPIANTO CUFFIE da oltre 5.000 EURO!

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Test: Ifi Audio iDSD Pro 4.4 mm

Son-Video

The iFi Audio iDSD Pro DAC is an ultra versatile audiophile model that acts as a USB DAC, headphone amplifier and network player. It is DLNA, AirPlay compatible and can access many online music services like Tidal, Spotify, Qobuz, etc. Hi-Res Audio certified, it implements four Burr Brown DACs to achieve precise conversion of PCM streams up to 32 bits / 768 kHz and DSD up to 49 MHz…

Son-Video

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EAN Audiophile Review! iFi Pro iDSD D/A Converter HP Amp/Line Preamplifier

“Feature-Filled DAC, Impressive Sound!”

Everything Audio Network

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DAC Headphone Amp Of The Year Over $1000

Judges’ Comment: “DAC, headphone amp, network streamer and preamplifier, all performed at impeccable quality. iFi is a company to watch.”

AV HUB

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iFi Audio Pro iDSD DAC/preamp/headphone amp/music streamer | Crutchfield

The iFi Audio iDSD is many tools in one. It is a top-of-the line DAC, preamp, headphone amp, and a network streamer. It brings out the most possible detail from all your digital music files.

YouTube

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IFI PRO IDSD 4.4 STREAMING DAC/HEADPHONE AMPLIFIER – TOMORROW’S TECHNOLOGY TODAY

At $2,749 the iFi Pro iDSD 4.4 is rather inexpensive for a reference DAC with many other offerings running between $10K and $15K, but in all other respects, it certainly fits the bill.

Being designed as a Pro-Audio piece, as well as consumer, it offers decoding of DSD 1024 as well as such exotic options as AES/EBU digital input and Atomic Clock external sync, but what truly sets it apart is the ability to choose between J-FET solid-state or triode tube analog stage…

Headphone.Guru

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Best Audiophile Desktop DAC/Amp? – iFi Pro iDSD DAC Review

This is my iFi Pro iDSD DAC review. The iFi Pro iDSD is iFi Audio’s flagship DAC that has an integrated solid-state and tube amplifier builtin. This DAC is perfect for listening to high-res DSD audio. This my best one of the best desktop dac amps out there.

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Outstanding Multi-Function Solid State / Tube DAC / Headphone Amp

Positives :
-Quality Construction
-Knobs for various settings are crisp and well made ( found the motorisation a nice touch)
-OLED display works as they advertise and is a great addition
-Fantastic DAC / headphone amplifier whether it in or over ear
-MQA support
-Best of both worlds with a built in Solid State and Tube Amps , at the flick of a switch
-The amount of potential settings is astronomical , between gain / filters / DSD upscaling etc

Negatives:
-It is pricey but you are getting a lot of function
-There is no in-house app , so you have to set up streaming via other applications , however there is inbuilt support for the likes of Spotify or even Tidal for the higher quality music files.

I’m not an expert in any shape or form but this device is something else , DAC / Headphone amp / streamer ( even wireless) the amount of features and tech packed into this relatively small device is astounding.
I use mine mostly as a DAC for headphone use (whether that critical listening / gaming or even just relaxing to music ) , as I have mine in stack with their other product the iFi Pro Can ( which is another fabulous addition dare i digress ) .
I use the streaming function via ethernet cables , it works well with my speakers so I can sit back in room if i have guests over and use the IR remote to control the volume / app on phone to change the music.

Overall I am thoroughly pleased , was hesitant on paying it but it’s a flagship model , it delivers in my opinion in all the right places , this is my 3rd iFi product and not been disappointed yet., my only regret was not getting the 4.4 mm model heh

Amazon

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IFI AUDIO PRO IDSD IN REVIEW – REFERENCE HEADPHONE AMPLIFIER WITH DAC & TUBE

Although each iCAN and Pro iDSD are two standalone devices, in the end, they have a great deal in common and so this report will be very much in comparison with the Pro iCAN. 

Since I have already tested the Pro iCAN and it is basically my reference device, I actually use some formulations, if necessary slightly changed or reformulated directly as a comparison.

I received the Pro iDSD with the 2.5mm jack connection as a balanced output for the test. The newer Pro iDSD has instead a 4,4mm Pentacon connection.

Mini Klangwunder

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From the Spirit of the Elders – A Review of the iFi Pro iDSD

The iFi Pro iDSD is serious business. It has very few flaws. The ones it does have can be worked around, but they are equally serious.

This DAC makes a handsome addition to your desk, no doubt about that. It’s doesn’t take up too much space, but has just enough presence to demand respect.

theheadphonelist

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REVIEW: IFI AUDIO PRO IDSD

“The Pro iDSD is a ridiculously good DAC, and likely the last D/A converter you’ll ever need”

According to the manufacturer, the iFi Audio Pro iDSD is “a standalone unit, a streamer and a DAC/amp”. In fact, it has a pretty boggling set of features and applications that might seem daunting for the average audio punter, and perhaps even for the seasoned digital audio veteran. First and foremost, it’s bread and butter proposition or raison d’être is to perform as a high-end digital-to-analogue converter…

Headfonia

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Ifi Pro iDSD : An Amazing tool to Listen to music

Six months ago I’ve initiated a pursue for a new DAC/Streamer. The existing one has served me very well until then but was the weakest link in my system and were outdated lacking some features needed to support new formats leaving some room for improvement.

Today the market is full of options and it is relatively easy to get a good product without compromising your retirement plan. But sometimes you get confused on the right way to go and if you are after a more suitable device to your present and future needs a desire/functions list is mandatory to help on the quest.

Flexibility, transparency, build quality, decoding capabilities, upgradability were some caracteristics on my list and ifi Pro iDSD fulfilled all of them and surpassed a lot all my spectations…

Amazon

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Best DAC and headphone Amp in this price range.

Received this DAC yesterday and pleased with the sound on my Sennheiser HD800s using gain of 18. These are power hungry headphone and had zero issues with this DAC. Everything from Jazz, blues, rock and rap were great.

You really need to use a balanced connector. This model uses a 2.5mm connector for balanced.

Ordered a Silver Dragon via balanced 2.5mm connector from moon-audio. Cable arrived and I’m now simply blown away with the difference.

Highly recommend when you receive this DAC you download the USB Windows 10 driver and the latest firmware. The unit supports MQA, but needs the firmware to work.

Streaming to wireless is ok. You won’t receive the same quality. Use a computer and USB 3.

I stream via Tidal and Spotify. If you want to support MQA with this device and windows 10, make sure in Tidal you tell it under settings not to use software compression of MQA and do a pass through.

For hifi, I run all Martin Logan electrostatics in dolby atmos in my media room. Preamp has 3d for atmos music. With my setup running three amps and about 4000 watts of prestine class A amps. Not bragging here, but it sounds freaking amazing for movies and music. What I’m getting at is with this media room setup, Im now relaxing in our master bedroom using my headset and this DAC.

Will this also power planar headsets? The answer is simply yes. Also have Audeze LCD-X with Black Dragon cable. No issues.

If you are looking at a separate DAC and amp, don’t. This is powerful enough.

Just buy it. It has been comparable to 14k DACs from hifi reviews.

Yes, it’s just this good

Amazon

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iFi Pro iDSD

“I don’t think that there is a feature that it doesn’t have.” 

Australian Hi-Fi

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REVIEW: IFI AUDIO PRO IDSD

“This sound signature is mirrored through the headphone output, with a wide soundstage, excellent layering and natural yet tightly balanced sound.”

“Turning on Tube mode does what you would expect, and I really love this option. It adds a little bit of warmth and body without taking away detail.”

“As with most iFi Gear, the Pro iDSD just gets the job done, and does it very well. It is a neutral and detailed DAC with excellent soundstaging, layering and resolution. Turn on tube mode and you get a little hint of tube magic without masking the finer detail. The Pro iDSD is versatile and flexible, allowing you to stream and play files from a harddrive/SD card along with accepting most of the current digital inputs.”

Sound Perfection Reviews

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iFi Audio Widens The Field For High Fidelity Headphones – CanJam SoCal 2019

“iFi Pro iDSD presents itself as such a balanced sounding, noise free, and power-ready multi-function standalone unit”

“The implementation of a dynamic sounding balanced protocol has paid off in spades as far as noise-free operation is considered.”

AudioHead

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The Ultimate All in One Device for Music Listening

I bought this for several reasons. I wanted a DAC and Headphone Amp for my desk. I also wanted a Tube and Solid State Headphone Amp. This also allows for network connection for several uses. It has balanced and unbalanced (single ended) connections for headphones, and a plethora of inputs/outputs.

What I got is a stunningly beautiful unit that plays music just as well as it looks. This checked all my requirements and I got a whole lot more. With some formats of music, I can get 45 permutations of how I want the music played. I can use this for solid state, tube or both combined. It has a variety of filter methods, and plays all of my files just fine. I can connect a CD player and bypass the built in CD DAC and sounds fantastic.

The other benefits, it supports upsampling, DSD and DXD, MQA (For Tidal Streaming and offline.)

Speaking of Streaming, this can be run independently with no other sources, other than network and stream Tidal or play right out of the microSD or USB connections via USB key or disk. I can also connect my iPhone through AirPlay or just connect it to the USB 3 port using the Apple CCK cable.

Did I say the sound is incredible? Makes my DSD songs come alive, and even regular CD quality audio sounds nicer and clearer.

I have been listening to music for decades, and this unit allows me to enjoy music again, old or new.

Hands down, one of the best investment in audio gear for playing music. If you’re purely focused on listening to MP3 and AAC, this may not be for you. But if you’re listening to CD quality and better (HiRes, DSD, MQA), then this unit is a must in any home or work environment.

Make sure you pair this with a nice pair of headphones as that is critical to hear the difference. I usually pair this with Planar or very large dynamic driver based headphones.

An added touch and coolness factor, take a look at the iFi Pro iRack to set this on. Makes it look even better.

Hope this helps.

Amazon

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iFi Audio Pro iDSD

“I kick off with a 24/192 FLAC recording of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.5 – The Emperor by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. The clarity of the piece is outstanding and the orchestra is superbly balanced with excellent spatial imaging. The top end is very clear and open, and the piano has a very real presence in the soundstage, even though I am listening on headphones.”

“With the output mode set to Solid-State, it produces an extremely clear and bright sound through the Sennheiser headphones, while selecting Tube rounds off the corners of this very bright rendition and produces a sound that is far more realistic and refined, without any loss of clarity or openness”

“The Pro iDSD is a phenomenally flexible component that delivers authoritative performances.”

HiFi Choice

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iFi Audio’s Pro iDSD: Streamer, DAC, Headphone Amp, Preamp — All in One!

“The Pro iDSD’s Solid State output stage captured everything gorgeously, and Tube+ certainly added a frisson that any fans of single-ended-triode amplifiers should love.”

SoundStage! Xperience

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iFi Pro iDSD

“Every section in the Pro iDSD has received massive attention to detail. Classic, very low-noise design techniques found in tube equipment have been combined with 21st century tech to deliver extreme performance.”

Dagogo

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High-end Musical DAC/Amp with a LOT of options

BLUF: This is a great DAC/Amp for those who like a more musical sound and a LOT of options to vary their music. If you like to tinker with sound this may be the endgame DAC/DAC-Amp for you.

Build: The build is rock solid and has the quality feel one would expect at this price point. The design follows in line with the other “Pro” series products from iFi with a brushed metal frame. The power knob is motorized and will adjust to zero when powered off and to the last volume state when initially powered on… nice touch.

Sound: It’s hard to completely nail down the sound into a particular category because there are so many options, filters, etc that will modify the sound. Similar to the Pro-iCAN is has the ability to switch to between solid state and tube-hybrid that adds a touch of warmth and has several digital filtering options. These along with the ability to upscale the audio coming in gives a significant number of combinations that I’ve admittedly haven’t gotten to the end of. This is the Pro-iDSD’s biggest plus and what puts it in a high category; I don’t know of many, if any, other products with this many options to tweak sound. As a person who likes to tinker, I love it.

The sound plays well between more transparent and more warm/musical. This is not a measurement lover’s device, however. It’s not going to win a battle for transparency or cleanness with several other DACs in it’s price range but for pure sound enjoyment it nails a range of sound that will match any track, genre or sound goal. There are those that want DAC & amp should be as transparent as possible, this is probably not the product for you.

Features: Haven’t had a chance to use them all but my favorites so far are the upscaling (has an effect of widening the music tracks a bit) and the filter choices (Transient Aligned is my goto). The various outputs and settings for those outputs allow this device to be versatile enough for just about any setup and is only missing an 4 pin XLR headphone output. It also can process MQA though having it decode the MQA will negate the other filtering/upscaling settings you have and defaults to a bit-perfect processing, I believe (Not iFi’s fault…). I tend to let my PC do the decoding so I can still utilize the other features.

Value: So, there’s probably no such thing as “value” in this price range. That being said, compared to it’s peers, the iFi product offers way more features for the money. That was the deciding point for me as some of the other products either didn’t pull me in with their sound characteristics or were lacking features I wanted at the price point.

I’m still playing/experimenting with the Pro-iDSD and will update more, if I find/discover something compelling. This is a fun DAC with many options to find the best sound for the music and other equipment you are using. It competes extremely well in a field of high end DACs by the likes of Chord, Benchmark, SMSL and others. Several of those may measure better but will come nowhere near the feature set.

Amazon

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iFi Audio Pro iDSD DAC/headphone amp/preamp/streamer

Stated simply, the Pro iDSD is far and away the most sophisticated and technically advanced DAC that iFi Audio has ever offered and its features set is so forward looking that it would not seem at all out of place in a DAC selling for, say, ten or more times the Pro iDSD’s price

Hi-Fi+

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Amplifier / DAC iFi xDSD and network amplifier / DAC iFi Pro iDSD

It moves headphones into the next class – this is the difference in sound it makes from when you just use the normal phone output.

(Translated from Russian)

Salonav.com

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iFi Audio iDSD Pro – Musique a la carte

The latest creation of the British AMR / iFI Research team tackles everything that exists on the high-quality converter market. The technologies implemented in the Pro iDSD Pro are among the most sophisticated of the moment and offer a great variety of settings and use. 

(Translated)

Haute Fidelity

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iFi audio Pro iDSD

It is designed for a new generation of audiophiles who download music to Hi-res audio, frequently use their computer as a source, are fans of online music services and listen to high-end headsets as well. than from their HiFi system.

(Translated)

On Mag

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iFi Audio Pro iDSD D/A processor/headphone amplifier

Bottom line: iFi Audio’s Pro iDSD lived up to the hyperbole of its owner’s manual. It did actually play music like “a ‘state of the art’ reference digital to analog converter.” It did indeed sound like “an all-out assault” on what is possible in DACs today . . . and it did both of those good things at a ridiculously low price. Highly recommended.

Stereophile

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Exceptional precision and balance

listening to my CDs in DSD1024 conversion, in pre-amplification mode transistors will remain in my memories long time. These listening sessions were, by far, the most significant demonstrations that the Pro iDSD could submit to me. And I can tell you that I took full advantage. There is not a day that the mechanics of this player did not work. I think this is rather revealing in itself.

TED

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Desktop Headphone Amplifier or Amp/DAC

In our listening tests, we found the Pro iDSD to be something of a desktop revelation

Hi-Fi+

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IFi’s Pro IDSD Is The Total Package

The Pro iDSD is as good as it gets at this price point. I know $2499 isn’t exactly cheap, but honestly, the price is fair. Its vast array of inputs and outputs makes the Pro extremely versatile and easy to integrate into any serious playback chain. Moreover, despite suffering from a bit of feature creep, at its core is still an end-game DAC that took the basic architecture out of the micro line and put it on steroids. The net result is a dynamic and fluid sonic profile that can also be fine-tuned and tailored to your particular tastes through the use of advanced filtering technology and smart amperage design – an iFi staple.

Head-Fi

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ifi Pro iDSD

As this DAC has DSD in its name I thought I should try that format and gave La Foliaa spin (Gregorio Paniagua, Atrium Musicae De Madrid, Harmonia Mundi) this changed the display from the 44kHz it had been showing for most of the tracks to 2.8MHz and had the wide open sound that you expect from the format. It proved a better match to the tube output because of the all acoustic instrumentation and sounded extremely good, the timbre of the instruments coming on strong and the whole ensemble being presented in highly coherent synchrony. The Pro iDSD does a lovely job with whatever format you present it with and reveals the quality of the source with ease. Everything was going smoothly until I put on Led Zeppelin’s Physical Graffiti, an old favourite that I rarely play on digital because the vinyl is so good (especially the Classic Records pressing from a few years ago). Next thing I knew I was off the sofa and in the band, at least in my head, this proved a truly transcendent experience and the most fun I’ve had with my clothes on for some time.

This sort of thing doesn’t happen very often with digital audio systems, especially those that are fairly affordable. The source is important but it was ever thus, no DAC can turn a noisy signal into beautiful sound although some do better than others. Ultimately you want transparency to detail, imaging and timing and the Pro iDSD is exceptionally good at all three with or without the charm of a glowing valve. I don’t think there are many DACs that have the feature list that the Pro iDSD offers at any price, but that would be meaningless if it didn’t make you want to listen. Fortunately that’s all you want to do when it’s in the system, I highly recommend you risk falling for it yourself.

The-Ear

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Pro iDSD

To describe the deck’s abilities, there is its positioning as iFi’s flagship D/A converter. But it’s also a full-fledged network streamer and more than capable headphone amplifier all stuffed into an enclosure many would consider very compact. But there’s more. D/A conversion of course is the most significant and as such comes before all else. This can process music from an external self-powered HDD/SSD/pen drive, a microSDHC card or NAS in wired or wireless mode. Once connected to a network, the MÜZO app is the software to operate all of it. It’s compliant with DLNA, AirPlay and allows streaming from Tidal or Spotify, a list likely to expand in the future. Even though not my first choice, the network component worked as intended, covering my fairly limited streaming needs. The takeaway is that when multiple filters, headphone outs, analog modes, digital inputs, studio readiness and compact size are taken into account, the Pro iDSD offers a feature set my eyes haven’t seen before; not just in this price range but in general.

6moons

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Pro iDSD Review

The Pro iDSD hearing offers what great DAC’s are expected to do (especially in Tube +): a large soundstage, extending the instruments sound in depth, with space and air, a lot of air among them, leaving an easily differentiation in timbres and contrasts, many sonic details that make hearing more truthful and forthcoming, a very large frequency range, accuracy in attack of the instruments and, of course, music. This both as a streamer attached to my home network or connected through SPDIF, replacing the DAC of my Arcam CD player. And the same on- the headphone outputs -a wonder in conjunction with Hi-FiMan 560 (although I had to maximize the gain). Clearly, an amazing DAC almost in the League of a Chord Dave or the Aqua La Scala MKII (at a fraction of price).

(Translated from Portuguese)

Audio&Cinema Em Casa

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My Quest for a New DAC, Part 4 – iFi Pro iDSD (and friends)

Considered as a standalone DAC, with no upgrades, the Pro iDSD is a standout value at its price point. This would be true based on its impressive feature set alone, but once you add in its outstanding sonics, I’m hard pressed to think of a DAC that can match it at $2495

But wait, there’s more. The Pro iDSD’s ability to scale up PSUs and clocks gives a buyer an upgrade path to better sound quality without needing to trade in anything.

The Pro iDSD was able to accept PSUs of increasing quality all the way up to a Paul Hynes SR-7, and produce commensurate increases in sound quality.

Further, the addition of a reference clock like the Mutec Ref-10 yielded another dramatic gain in sound quality, albeit at an increased price.

While these upgrades represent an increase in overall cost, the resulting combos matched up to comparable standalone DACs. The Pro iDSD/SR-7/Ref-10 combo stood head-to-head with the Ayre QX-8, which is no mean feat, given how outstanding the latter is.

Austinpop

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RMAF 2018: iFi xDSD and Pro iDSD impress at both ends of price spectrum

Listening to Nate Smith’s Kinfolk: Postcards from Everywhere album, the 3D-stage depth and neutrality of this combination was spot on. The wide range of instruments and textures all came through very well balanced and without any one sonic quality sticking out more than another. I could listen to each part individually, yet also enjoy them as a musical whole. Overall, a great balancing act between transparency and musical enjoyment.

Innerfidelity

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iFi Pro iDSD review

This is a spacious sound, one that is pleasantly free of clutter and hard edges. The music’s varied dynamics are rendered with fluidity and a good degree of finesse, though without quite the forcefulness that the piece demands

Moving on to OutKast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below double album allows the iFi to show off its organic midrange delivery. Big Boi’s rapid-fire delivery is rendered with skill, every word easy to understand and punched out with emotion intact. The Pro iDSD captures the shifting momentum of GhettoMusickwell, delivering all the excitement and energy of the track. The track’s distinctive bassline is deep, nicely textured and packed with a decent amount of authority

What-HiFi?

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Off-the-dial flexibility and value with iFi’s Pro iDSD DAC

The Pro iDSD is absolutely bursting with smart tech. There’s a quartet of Texas Instruments PCM1793 DAC chips combined with potent FPGA processing to create what iFi call an “interleaved” design.

John Grandberg

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IFI AUDIO IS BACK WITH ITS PRO IDSD HI-RES WIFI DAC, PREAMP AND HEADPHONE AMP

iFi Audio has combined classic design techniques used to achieve ultra-low-noise in tube equipment with cutting-edge, 21st-century technology to deliver stunningly superior performance.

The Pro iDSD uses a Quad ‘stack’ of Burr-Brown Bit-Perfect DSD and DXD DACs in a custom ‘interleaved’ configuration. The result is that a total of eight pairs of differential signals can be used and mixed – that’s four pairs of signals per channel.

Jay Garrett

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iFi Audio Pro iDSD

It’s safe to say that with the Pro iDSD the iFi people outdid themselves. I’m not aware of any other product as packed with options and complete as this one. Usually multi-purpose goods priced reasonably sport one prominent feature, whereas every other is of additive yet not equal value. The Pro iDSD felt very even on this count and also complex. A good long look under its hood, even longer at the user’s manual and a lot of free time all seem necessary to fully grasp what this full-fledged multi-tasker is and what it’s capable of.

Dawid Grzyb

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iFi-Audio Pro iDSD Desktop DAC/AMP Review

Of course, the main attraction point of the Pro iDSD is how it sounds. I’m gonna be frank and upfront about it…HOLY DAAAAAAAAAMN.

I absolutely love my Micro iDSD BL, and I still consider it to be one of the best value options out there, but there’s no getting around it, the Pro iDSD truly is something quite special.

Using the Micro iDSD BL as my personal benchmark, it was exceptionally interesting for me to see what kind of improvements and refinements in sound can still be had.

The Pro iDSD just renders music with such a wonderfully effortless and natural fluidity that it can make you wonder, “is there any other way to listen to music?”. OK, end of hyperboles.

Samma3a

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The Best sub $5000 dynamic DAC out there

The Pro iDSD sounds so good that I think just breaking down its SQ based on highs, lows, vocals doesn’t do it justice. Music is emotional, and how the Pro iDSD evokes your emotions is difficult to convey with words. Right off the gate without any burn-in, the Pro iDSD sounds very dynamic while maintaining excellent detail. Every track sounds more punchy with excellent layering. The most popular DACs have something special about them, and if you have to name one special trait about the iDSD is that it is one of the most dynamic sounding DACs on the market.

ChitoryuNY

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Amazing Sound Of The IDSD Pro

I purchased the ifi iDSD, it came in a beautiful package and well built, I connected the iDSD to my iMac and clicked on play on the iTunes App, a glimpse of what I have had in the past for a fraction of the price, for me it was it, the holy grail in price paid and return that I was receiving, so I started a new journey, maybe a never ending one certainly full of new product discoveries, but at every step taken up is a more engaging and pleasant one.

Applesnowleo

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One Of The Best Sounding DACs In The Class

The Pro iDSD sounds so good that I think just breaking down its SQ based on highs, lows, vocals doesn’t do it justice. Music is emotional, and how the Pro iDSD evokes your emotions is difficult to convey with words…

Gordec

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Pro iDSD – It is able to excel in a multitude of situations

Pro iDSD – It is able to excel in a multitude of situations– from wireless Airplay source to being the central DAC in an expensive high-end home system.

Every section of the Pro iDSD has received massive attention to detail. Classic design techniques for very low-noise design found in tube equipment have been combined with cutting-edge, 21st Century technology to deliver a superlative performance.

Samma3a

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