iFi introduced the micro iDSD Black Label, their newest micro DAC/Headhone amplifier flagship.

iFi introduced the micro iDSD Black Label, their newest micro DAC/Headhone amp flagship.

Source: Official website, Last Accessed: 2016/12/02

The Black Label looks very good on the outside yet the inside is even better, since relentless attention has been paid to advancing its sonic character with the very latest components. The new micro iDSD sounds much smoother with more weight and with a full-bodied mid-range and the bass is deeper and cleaner than the original device. The Black Label is, in every way, the “turbo charged” version of the normally aspirated micro iDSD, the company says.
The micro iDSD BL DAC/Headphone amplifier retains its predecessor native playback capacity of all music formats, from MP3 all the way up to 512DSD/768PCM/2xDXD. The Burr-Brown DAC chip used was one of the last chip-sets from BB Japan (though it was introduced post-merger). According to iFi, this chip-set was the Burr-Brown’s swansong and embodied all their converter technology. The micro iDSD BL features a composite S/PDIF in/out connector (acting either as an optical/coaxial in or as a coaxial out). So for those who wish to upgrade their DAP, simple use it as a transport and feed the micro iDSD Black Label.
The analog stage is based on iFi/AMR OV series circuits (OV stands for ”operationsverstarker”, German for operational amplifier). The OV range IC’s use HCOFC copper lead-frames and 4N Gold bond-wire, unlike the mainstream commercial chips that use inexpensive aluminum bond-wire, low-grade/low-cost copper in the lead-frames. This approach is much more expensive since it requires the custom packaging of chips from wafers. The device, also, uses Os-Con capacitors, a part originally from Sanyo (now taken over by Panasonic), been around for a good while. Among the larger value capacitors useful in power supplies, they hold a special place. They have been used in AMR components up to the revered CD-77 Reference Class CD Processor. Despite their steep cost (around 10x that of common electrolytic capacitors), the micro iDSD Black Label is one of the first products with cost below $1,000 to feature them.
The headphone amp offers three power output modes, Eco, Normal and Turbo. If used in conjunction with the built-in iEMatch, the micro iDSD BL is able to have the power and gain dialed-in to perfectly suit all headphones from the super-sensitive Sennheiser IE-800 up to the hyper-hungry HiFiMan HE-6. The amp features the latest iterations of 3D+ and XBass+ to further enhance the soundstage and for deeper, tighter bass respectively.
The micro iDSD Black Label has a battery life between 6 to 12 hours. Even when not in use, it is able to charge an iPhone from 0% to 100% two times through its side USB charging port.
The retail price of the micro iDSD Black Label is $549 (ex-tax) or €599/£455 (incl VAT).

For more information: http://ifi-audio.com/

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