Hey, hey, hey, it's arrived. Shinier than the Bean in the windy city of Chicago.
So, the iFi team is at Axpona and we are proud to announce the new xDSD - the neXt gen of portable audio!INTRODUCTION
When iFi audio launched its original micro iDSD headphone amp, preamp, and DAC back in 2014, it raised the bar for small, portable, high-performing DACs. It’s been lifting it higher ever since. Last November saw the introduction of the nano iDSD Black Label, with a host of new features including support for MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) audio. Now, iFi has excelled itself again with the launch of xDSD – the first in the company’s next generation of portable DACs. A SONIC STEP UP
With a pure analogue volume control retaining full-resolution at all volume levels, the xDSD is a major sonic step up for all smartphones, digital audio players and computers. Its selectable 3D+ and XBass+ functions bring both sensitivity and power to the careful listener. The artist appears in the room with music and lyrics flowing all around.
The xDSD has pulled off the task of being ultra-portable and wireless while supporting high-resolution formats, including MQA, and delivering 500mW of power per channel. By means of aptX HD and AAC, it brings hi-res streaming to Bluetooth.FEATURE LADEN
In terms of attributes, the xDSD is similar to the micro iDSD, though it’s more advanced:
• Burr-Brown Hi-Res True Native DSD DAC chipset for discerning listeners
• Dual-mono headphone amplifier with 500mW of power per channel, which can unleash the full potential of both 32ohm and 600ohm headphones
• High-resolution audio up to PCM768kHz and DSD512
• MQA ready for playing back all high-res MQA encoded files
• Wireless Bluetooth (aptX and AAC) for CD-quality wireless sound
• S-Balanced compatible 3.5mm headphone output brings the benefits of the
balanced connection to single-ended headphones
• Advanced Analogue Signal Process (ASP), 3D+® and XBass+® headphone
• Pure analogue volume control retaining full-resolution at all volume levels
• Audiophile Digital Filter 'Measure/Listen' selectable
• Large 2200mAh Lithium-Polymer battery providing six-to-eight hours of playing timeSMALL IS BEAUTIFUL
All these features have been packed into a rugged magnesium-aluminium body measuring just 95x66.5x19mm and weighing 127g. Though it has some similarities with the micro iDSD, it’s control layout is very different because of its Bluetooth wireless capability.
Take a look at the front panel controls (left to right) below:
1. 3.5mm HP Jack (TRRS balanced compatible, no microphone support, switchable to line out).
2. Right of the jack, two separate RGB LEDs indicate sample rate and input selection.
3. Volume (Rotary with ‘push’ button) with translucent centre and volume indication backlight.
4. Right of the 3D+/XBass+ button are two separate white LEDs to indicate 3D+ and XBass+.
5. The 3D+/XBass+ button push button cycles between all off, 3D+, XBass+ and both.
Rear panel controls (left to right)
1. 3.5mm SPDIF (Coax/Optical combo, 192kHz supported).
2. USB A-type OTG Input mounted centrally.
3. Filter switch that slides between ‘measure’ and ‘listen’.
4. Micro USB connection for charging (power input only, full charger detection for fast charge).
5. Below the micro USB port, an RGB LED indicates battery status.
Time flies by when the listener is immersed in the music played by the xDSD. Guitars sound real and a Steinway piano sounds ‘woody’ instead of ‘glassy’ like an electronic keyboard. Musicality overflows.
The retail price of the xDSD is US$399 (ex-tax) or €449/£399 (incl VAT).