Out of this world
Sporting a Space Blue finish and powered by a built-in rechargeable battery, the micro iDSD Signature is a transportable DAC/headphone amp that’s ready for anything that the universe throws at it.
Battery power means it’s ultra-clean with ultra-stable DC power and avoids the pitfalls of AC mains – dips, spike and noise-inducing RFI/EMI pollution.
And with up to 12 hours playing time, depending on the headphones and performance mode engaged, it feels like you could take it to the moon and back.
Based around two Burr-Brown DAC chips in a custom ‘interleaved’ configuration, the digital engine has four pairs of differential signals – two pairs per channel. This means
- a lower noise floor
- improved channel separation
- finer musical detail and micro-dynamics
The micro iDSD Signature handles up to PCM 768, DSD 512, 2xDXD and MQA. All this is done natively. Both PCM and DSD remain ‘bit-perfect’.
Extensive jitter-eradication technologies are applied to the digital engine, including iFi’s GMT (Global Master Timing) femto-precision clock and the intelligent memory buffer.
The micro iDSD Signature also comes with iFi’s GTO (Gibbs Transient Optimized) digital filter installed. And exclusive firmware available on our website means you can change digital filters as you wish.
With up to 4100mW of power the micro iDSD Signature can drive all manner of headphones with aplomb, from highly sensitive in-ear monitors to current hungry planar headphones.
The signal path has been refined to maximise sonic texture. High spec components featuring class-leading qualities such as low ESR (Equivalent Series Resistance), high stability and low distortion mean top-notch sound quality and maximum musical enjoyment.
Add in the direct-coupled nature of the circuit – no coupling capacitor is present – and the micro iDSD Signature definitely runs rings around the competition.
Versatile sonic tailoring
One size no longer fits all when it comes to quality listening.
The digital stage of the micro iDSD Signature features a variety of filter settings:
- ‘Standard’, ‘Minimum Phase’ and ‘Bit-Perfect’ for PCM files
- ‘Standard Bandwidth’, ‘Extended Bandwidth’ and ‘Extreme Bandwidth’ for DSD
The amp stage also has three settings to adjust power and gain. As well as ‘Normal’, you get
- ‘Turbo’ to ramp up the level of drive for current-hungry headphones
- ‘Eco’ to dial down the power to suit high-sensitivity in-ear monitors and/or to extend battery life
Complete this with our iEMatch technology that adjusts output level and our XBass+ and 3D+ signature sonic tweaks, and the micro iDSD Signature is flexible to the max.
The micro iDSD Signature features two digital audio inputs – USB Type-A and an S/PDIF socket that accepts both electrical, via a 3.5mm connector, and optical signals – adapter supplied.
It also houses a pair of RCA analogue outputs to connect to a pair of powered speakers or a power amp to act as a DAC.
There is a 6.3mm output for headphones that have a standard single-ended connector (headphones with a 3.5mm jack can be connected using an adapter) and a 4.4mm Pentaconn output for headphones offering our S-Balanced connection.
Both headphone outputs utilise our ‘S-Balanced’ output circuitry. This delivers the sonic benefits of balanced connections with all headphone/earphone types – even those with single-ended connectors – cutting crosstalk and associated distortion in half.
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.
Doubling the DAC chips results in 3dB lower noise floor and better channel separation. Together with power supply advancements and advanced channel interleaving, the noise floor has been halved.
All of this equals stellar sonic performance.
Hi-res audio support is state-of-the-art with True Native® playback. It handles PCM data to 32-bit/768kHz, DSD up to DSD512 and single and double speed DXD.
Thanks to the Burr-Brown DAC chip’s four-channel True Native design, PCM and DSD take separate pathways – this enables DSD, as well as PCM, to remain ‘bit-perfect’ in its native form right through to analogue conversion. This is not the case with all DAC devices from other brands – even if DSD compatibility is stated, many such DACs convert DSD signals to PCM.
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.
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.
With output power up to 4,100mW, this headphone amplifier drives all headphones with ease. It has 3 power modes – Eco, Normal and Turbo. Power and gain can be dialled-in perfectly to suit ALL headphones.
iFi’s exclusive S-Balanced® circuit delivers maximum performance from single-ended and balanced headphones alike.
See our Tech Note to dig deeper.
3D+ Holographic® delivers an immersive, deep soundstage. Check it out here.
XBass+® delivers a deep, tighter bass sound. Discover the details.
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.
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.
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’.