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iFi iDAC DAC / headphone Amplifier Reviews

pro1137

A Masterpiece in Sonic Performance

Posted

Pros: Transparency, built-in amp, appearance, accessories

The iFi iDAC provides a flawless sonic experience that is truly high-end.Big thanks to Avatar Acoustics for the review sample!The iDAC comes with a very nice USB cable and RCA cable for line-out.    This DAC has, by far, surpassed my expectations. It provides the finest of audio experiences.Everything sounds super-transparent and life-like, like most ESS Sabre DACs. What is truly impressive about this DAC is the full 24/192 support.  Headphones that I tested with the iDACBeyerdynamic DT770 ProTakstar Hi2050Audio Technica ATH-M50Audio Technica ATH-A700xPhilips DowntownRockit Sounds R50From what I can hear, the iDAC performs and powers extremely well, especially...
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Turrican2

Amazing clarity and hefty bass

Posted

Pros: The detail retrieval is astonishing, feels very solid and well made, relatively inexpensive

Cons: position of RCA/USB ports, no s/pdif input

Background   I first heard the iDac at the April 2013 head-fi meet in London.  It was part of the full ifi stack (at the time) consisting of iUSB, iCAN and iDAC.  I was amazed at the quality of the sound from this miniature setup and knew right there and then that I was going to own at least some of this gear.   Until recently I've been listening to my AKG K3003 and Hi-Fi Man HE-500 with the following setup:   iCan -> iTube -> Rcam rDac -> Squeezebox 3   As the Squeezebox 3 only has s/pdif out (no USB) I could not add the iDac as that would mean also buying a squeezebox touch, which at the time was out of my price range.  ...
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Faber65

Exactly what I was looking for

Posted

Pros: Very detailed but not fatiguing, very good PRaT, tight control extended to the bass

Cons: Not found yet

I spend my working days far from home and I was looking for something compact with two specific characteristics: keep the same feeling that I have when I listen to the Sennheiser HD650 driven by the Burson Conductor and have a non fatiguing and yet detailed sound to cool me down after a long and tiring working day.   During the SIAV exhibition in Shanghai last weekend I had the opportunity to try the iFi iDAC and at the first listening I understood that this was the stuff I was looking for: love at first sight. I purchased the iDAC on the spot and I completed the system by adding the iUSBPower to clean the signal, the Gemini and the Mercury cables,...
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Quadpatch

Sleek USB Sound, Easily Transportable

Posted

Pros: Neutral, Neat, Nice Volume Dial, All Metal

Cons: RCAs on the front, Wish the headphone connection was the larger type

Here is my review of the Ifi iDAC - originally posted on my Blog - http://noblehifi.blogspot.co.uk/    Disclaimer: A big thank you to Ifi for loaning me the iDAC for this review! The iDAC is a combined DAC and headphone amplifier. The ESS 9023 Sabre DAC and class 2 Asynchronous USB is capable of decoding audio up to 24bit 192khz. Being over the magic 96khz it requires a driver to function on a Windows PC, but it will work out of the box on an OS-X Mac or Linux system. It shares the same aluminium chassis, shape and styling as the rest of Ifi's 'Micro' range and weighs in at 193g. The back-plate houses only the full-size USB-B...
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ClieOS

ESS Sabre based DAC with excellent transparency.

Posted

Pros: A good headphone amp section wiht a clean, fully transparent line-out. No hiss at all.

Cons: No gain control, shape of housing.

iFi Audio is a new comer in the headphone amp scene, but it does share the same bloodline as the renowned U.K. based premium audiophiles brand AMR. While AMR already has some top end gears to offer to the speaker and full rig owner, its little sister brand seems to aim toward mainly the computer based headphone user as well as minimalist audiophiles. Their current ‘Micro’ line of devices includes the iDAC (headphone amp + USB DAC with line-out), iCAN (headphone amp), iUSB Power (USB isolator), iPhono (phone preamp) and the recently released iLink (USB to S/PDIF converter). We will cover the former three here, which are priced at US$299, US$249 and US$199 respectively (*price do vary...
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