Bifrost is the world's most affordable fully upgradable DAC, featuring 32-bit D/A conversion, a...

Schiit Audio Bifrost DAC

Average User Rating:
4.84615/5,
  • Bifrost is the world's most affordable fully upgradable DAC, featuring 32-bit D/A conversion, a fully discrete analog section, and a sophisticated bit-perfect clock management system, together with one of the most advanced asynchronous USB 2.0 inputs available (optional), as well as SPDIF coaxial and optical inputs, all with 24/192 capability. Fully Upgradable: The Future-Proof DAC
 Worried about rapidly-changing USB input technology? Concerned about future advances in D/A conversion? Bifrost's modular design uses separate, USB Input and DAC/Analog cards. The result? A virtually future-proof DAC that won't end up in the dumpster. AKM4399 D/A Converter and Discrete Analog Section
 Even without considering upgradability, Bifrost offers incredible value. Consider its AKM4399 32 bit D/A converter, one of the highest performance DACs in the world. Also consider that Bifrost uses a fully discrete, low noise JFET analog section-just like multi-thousand-dollar DACs. Advanced Bitperfect Clock Management
 Most DACs in this price range is sacrifice every single one of your original music samples to get their 192kHz spec. Every input is routed through a sample rate converter and upsampled to 24/192. Bifrost dispenses with the sample rate converter and uses a sophisticated master clock management system to deliver bit-perfect data to the DAC, preserving all the original samples--whether it's 16/44.1 or 24/192. Specifications* Inputs: Coaxial SPDIF, Optical SPDIF, USB (optional) 
Input Capability: up to 24/192 for all inputs
Input Receiver, SPDIF: Crystal Semiconductor CS8416
 Input Receiver, USB: C-Media CM6631A D/A Conversion IC: AKM4399 
Analog Summing, Filtering: Fully Discrete, JFET differential topology Output: RCA (single-ended) 
Output Impedance: 75 ohms

Recent User Reviews

  1. bosiemoncrieff
    5.0/5,
    "Bifrost Multibit: worth the price"
    Pros - transparency, realism
    Cons - not balanced?
    I only have my Mjolnir 2 Amp to test with Multifrost (Vali is in storage) so it's hard to tell where one ends and the other begins.
     
    That said, since I sent in my uberfrost for the upgrade, I've noticed a general lack of sibilance in my music, a smoothness that I associate with sitting in symphony hall itself. It feels more natural, organic, palpable, and real. My main criticism of the uber is that it sounded digital. I heard compression artifacts and the sound could come across thinner than it would be in reality.
     
    Bimby definitely isn't indistinguishable from a live performance, but the sound quality is still quite high, and represents an excellent value. I recommend it enthusiastically. The uber was certainly the weak link in my chain; now, although I would love to upgrade to the Yggy, there is no sense of bottleneck at the DAC.
     
    Listening to the Solti/CSO Resurrection Symphony of Mahler on the HD800, you get an incredible sense of being there. Strings have heft, the oboe has its glorious nasality. The soundstage is holographic.
  2. stigin
    5.0/5,
    "The new Multibit version is a game changer"
    Pros - Standalone DAC with multibit, 5 year warranty, beautiful, awesome build quality
    Cons - 45 seconds startup time not mentioned in manual
    This is a review for the Autumn 2015 Bifrost Multibit. 
     
    First reaction (after 5 minutes): this is certainly different than anything I have heard before. Clarity was the first thing that came to mind.
     
    Second reaction: I can actually hear the difference between this and the Modi Uber and the difference is much bigger than I expected. By comparison the Uber sounded a little woolly or the Bifrost is just crystal clear.
     
    Integral reaction: This DAC is so much fun to have in my setup and makes a (bigger than I expected) difference.
     
    Game changer: This used to be my opinion on any DAC I sampled: "This DAC sounds like any other (decent) DAC i have heard." Not any more, this is a game changer, I could easily hear the difference between the Bifrost Multibit and a few delta-sigma DACs. Maybe all the other multibit DAC's have the same audible difference (the technique is completely different) but as they all have price tags of (ten)thousands of euros they all fall in never-gonna-happen-land. This only costs 630 euros! Okay, it isn't cheap but still, 630 euros for a multibit DAC of this quality.
     
    Fun fact: my headphone setup is at work and although I am allowed to work from home I found myself getting in just to be able to listen to music using the new setup.
     
    Setup used (for those interested): Tidal HIFI (lossless) - USB - Schiit Bifrost Multibit - Schiit Magni 2 Uber - Audeze LCD-2F.
     
    Cons:
    -I was surprised by the 45 seconds startup time at first  (not mentioned in manual) so I wrote an email and within the hour Schiit confirmed this was normal.
    - Now I am contemplating buying at least another one for our main set at home and maybe for the secondary set too.
     
    Summary: This thing blew me away. It is good enough to motivate me to write a review. If you are shopping in this price range or higher you should at least try this!
    aamer23 and landroni like this.
  3. Padgett
    5.0/5,
    "More attention grabbing than an an ankle biting ferret and highly likely to render you oblivious to anything else. "
    This is my non review of the Multibit upgrade to the Bifrost ('Bimby'), in which I don’t try and describe to you how it sounds. I think reviewing audio equipment must be like trying to describe sex with smoke signals. Unless you actually experience it for yourself, it’s just a bunch of pointless puffing. Instead I’ll tell you how it feels, which is brilliant.
     
    Listening to Bimby I can’t hear what the second cellist had for lunch, and I can’t determine their spatial position relative to the violinist. Probably because I don’t listen to classical music and more thruthfully because either descriptions like that are bollocks and hyperbole, or my listening just isn’t that refined (which I’m willing to concede is plausible) or because I’m usually not paying that much attention to the music.
     
    To understand why I’m not paying that much attention to the music, I need to tangent a few degrees. My Schiit stack sits on my desk at work and for the most part I listen to music in order to tune out my co-workers and general office background noise.  My co-workers are awesome, and this isn’t a middle finger at management or a solitary sulk, it’s just my way of being able to concentrate so that I can get stuff done. I feel I need to make a reasonable attempt at being productive given I’m being paid and there’s a firm desire on my part to remain employed so I can provide for Wifey and the soon to be 2.2 kids (one is two and clearly the head of the household, one is on the way, and the .2 is furry and likes to wash the taste of cat food away by licking his butt.) 
     
    I’ve been listening to my my original Bifrost and Asgard 2 for a couple of months, and it’s been performing admirably and isolating me from the aforementioned distractions. As a baseline the Bifrost and Asgard is like a Honda Accord – It meets all of my expectations, is perfectly serviceable, does what it says on the box, nothing more or less. I have no complaints.
     
    Pay attention now because we’re back to the interesting bit.
     
    Bimby is utterly failing at allowing me to concentrate at work. It’s ruined my productivity, and I love it. The first album I played (Rush – 2112) did it’s job and I was able to focus on work. This is most likely because I was working to a deadline and had gone deep into 'the zone'. A ferret is using my ankles as a grinding stone for his teeth and I’m not going to notice deep. Then I put on some Doors (L.A. Woman). At some point I found myself sitting up - I had exited the zone and could feel my heart racing. The kind of heart racing you get from standing in front of the stacks at a live gig, where the sheer volume displaces enough air that you can feel it reverberate through your chest and you feel thumping bass comes up though the floor, though the soles of your feet* and out your mouth as you scream along with the band. Which incidentally I don’t recommend as a spontaneous action appropriate for an office environment.
     
    I found myself foot tapping and head bobbing. Which I hate because I’m male, middle class, white and uncoordinated. I think God have us head bobbing and foot taping to make up for the fact that when taken as a class of people, we can’t dance. And I didn’t care. I was lost in the music. I could feel the music, and it was wonderful. I’ve never experienced that outside of a live performance.
     
    My verdict? Bimby: More attention grabbing than an an ankle biting ferret and highly likely to render you oblivious to anything else. 
     
    This review was based on the following stack:
     - Schiit Bifrost Multibit
     - Schiit Asgard 2
     - Beyerdynamic T5p
     - Spotify Premium on a Mac Book Pro, connected via USB
     
    * Unless you’re in the Pony nightclub in Melbourne, in which case the flooring (at one point it may have been carpet, if the carpet was shaved down to the underlay) reverts from it’s mostly solid form to a slightly more squishy form as the years of spilt drinks, vomit and other bodily fluids liquify with the changing air pressure and body heat. You still feel it in your toes, though it’s more sticky and makes you want to shower.
     
    Note: The purchase price is actually the upgrade price from Addicted to Audio in Melbourne. 

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