iFi Introduces the New xDSD DAC/Amplifier

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iFi-xDSD.jpgiFi has introduced the new xDSD, a small, portable DAC/amplifier unit with MQA support. The xDSD has both USB and S/PDIF inputs, and it has onboard Bluetooth with aptX and AAC. The Burr-Brown DAC chipset can support up to PCM 32-bit/768-kHz and DSD 512, and the S-Balanced 3.5mm TRRS headphone circuit delivers 500 mW of power per channel. The tiny unit is constructed of a magnesium-aluminum alloy with a molded plastic end cap, and it has a built-in 2200mAh Lithium-Polymer battery. The xDSD is available now for $399.

From iFi
iFi audio has announced the xDSD, an MQA-optimized DAC/Amplifier that works equally well as an ultra-portable or in a home-based application. With aptX and AAC Bluetooth on board, the xDSD can deliver high-resolution audio up to PCM 768 kHz and DSD 512 at 500 mW per channel to amplifiers, active speakers and headphones of all types. The xDSD is available for immediate delivery with an MSRP of $399.

iFi-xDSD-back.jpgThe xDSD is all about Hi-Res Audio on-the-go and can be operated either in wireless or wired mode via aptX/AAC Bluetooth (wireless) or USB and S/PDIF inputs (wired). It supports high-resolution formats (MQA and DSD) and includes the iFi S-Balanced 3.5mm TRRS headphone circuit, which delivers 500mW of power per channel, enough to drive all but the most power-hungry headphones.

Following a proud tradition of designing compact desktop audio products with remarkable performance, iFi has raised the bar even further with their latest entry. Despite its light weight and compact size, the xDSD is not only powerful but smart as well. It includes iEMatch, a clever feature that lets the user choose how much power to apply to their headphones, so it matches sensitive IEMs as well as larger headphones. For added convenience, the xDSD is battery powered, so it can go everywhere without draining the battery of the phone or player. A large 2200mAh Lithium-Polymer battery provides six to eight hours of playing time. Exact time is determined by factors such as headphone sensitivity, output, etc.

Hi-Res Certified 
As for its sound credentials, the xDSD is one of the most high-resolution DACs on the market, regardless of price. It supports PCM up to 32-bit/384-kHz and DSD up to 256 times the sample rate of a CD. It is also certified as 'High-Res Audio' by the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA) as well as the Japan Audio Society (JAS).

Master Quality Authenticated 
MQA is typically found in high-end audio components, yet it is on board the xDSD. MQA technology offers studio-quality sound exactly as the artist intended. Using pioneering scientific research into how people hear, MQA technology captures the full magic of the original studio performance. MQA is a revolutionary end-to-end technology that delivers master quality audio in a file that's small enough to stream or download, and because it's fully authenticated, listeners can be sure they are hearing exactly what the artist recorded and approved in the studio. MQA is the first technology to capture this crucial timing information--to transport the listener to the original performance, and it is built in with the iFi xDSD.

iFi believes their products should be seen as well as heard, so the xDSD was professionally designed to exude luxury and style. The lightweight enclosure is tactile, compact and made of rugged, ridged magnesium-aluminum alloy. The molded plastic end cap allows unrestricted Bluetooth transmission. All the switches and connections previously seen on iFi products have been optimized to match the new chassis, yet they still provide easy access to all the xDSD's standout features. Ease of operation was a key design objective of the xDSD.

Key features new with the xDSD are:
• Burr-Brown Hi-Res True Native DSD DAC chipset for discerning listeners.
• MQA optimized straight out of the box to play back all high-res MQA encoded files.
• High-res audio up to PCM 768 kHz and DSD 512 available with free firmware upgrade.
• Wireless Bluetooth (aptX and AAC) for CD-quality wireless sound.
• XBass and 3D Holographic ASP technologies for headphones.
• S-Balanced compatible 3.5mm headphone output brings the benefits of the balanced connection to single-ended headphones.
• Line out 3.5mm provides fixed 2v line output for connecting to hifi system or driving active speakers.
• Large 2200mAh Lithium-Polymer battery providing six to eight hours of playing time. Exact time is determined by factors like headphone sensitivity, output, etc.

"iFi is renowned for making compact, high-performance DAC/amplifiers that offer unsurpassed value," commented Victoria Pickles, Head of Global Marketing for iFi audio. "Building on the great success of our nano iDSD BL launch, we are excited to raise the bar with xDSD. Incorporating technology from our Pro models and trickling down to the xDSD, we believe this model delivers unmatched performance, ease of use and features in an ultra-portable size." 

Additional Resources
• Visit the iFi audio website for more information.
MQA Support Added to iFi Audio Products at HomeTheaterReview.com.

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