xDSD: iFi's next gen of portable DAC & Headphone amplifier.

xDSD: iFi's next gen of portable DAC/Headphone amplifier.

Source: Press Release, Last Accessed: 2018/04/27

The xDSD is an MQA-optimized DAC/amp that can be ultra portable or home-based. With aptX and AAC Bluetooth, it delivers high-resolution audio up to PCM768kHz and DSD512 at 500mW per channel to amplifiers, active loudspeakers and headphones of all types. According to the press release, 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. Now, iFi has excelled themselves again with the launch of xDSD – the first in the company’s next generation of portable DACs.
The new device features a fully analogue volume control which retains full-resolution at all volume levels, selectable 3D+ and XBass+ functions, the former with two separate circuits, one optimised for headphones and the other for loudspeakers and the later delivering tight and deep bass sound. The xDSD is ultra-portable and wireless while supporting high resolution formats, including MQA, and delivering 500mW of power per channel. By means of aptX and AAC, it brings hi-res streaming to Bluetooth. For high-res audio, the DAC can handle up to PCM384 and DSD256. For those who prefer PCM768 and DSD512, a simple firmware download can be found on their site (in this mode, however there is no support for MQA). The xDSD is very much akin to the micro iDSD Black Label as both products are based on the Burr-Brown DSD1793 D/A converter chip and share extremely similar digital and analogue stages.
Connectivity is extended and with both aptX and AAC Bluetooth, the xDSD can be wirelessly paired with smartphones or DAPs. Wired, the USB type A OTG/CCK connector offers portability and dependability and the 3.5mm jack acting as a coaxial/TOSLINK combo S/PDIF input enhances these aspects even further, the company states.
According to iFi, S-Balanced technology extracts the maximum performance from single-ended and balanced headphones alike. Plugging in unbalanced headphones with a TRS connector instead of TRRS will cause zero issues and, in fact, crosstalk is cut by 50%, compared to using a TRS socket. The Cyberdrive headphone amplifier stage is one of the pivotal new circuit designs in the xDSD. According to the press release, this new design places all parameters of the fully analogue system under digital control for a "best of both worlds scenario".
A large 2200mAh Lithium-Polymer battery provides six to eight hours of playing time depending on headphones and connections (S/PDIF 10 hours, Bluetooth 8 hours and USB 6 hours).
The retail price of the xDSD is US$399 (ex-tax) or €449/£399 (incl. VAT).

For more information: https://www.ifi-audio.com/

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