Bifrost 2 is nothing less than a complete re-invention of the affordable DAC. Compared to the outgoing Bifrost Multibit, Bifrost 2 offers:
- Balanced output: Bifrost 2 now has balanced output, as well as single-ended output, to simplify its integration with any system
- Remote control: Bifrost 2 now has a remote control for input select, mute, and phase invert
- Better DACs: Bifrost 2 now uses the 18-bit Analog Devices AD5781ARUZ D/A converter, rather than the 16-bit AD5547
- Better USB: Bifrost 2 introduces our Unison USB—a complete elevation of the USB input
- Easier updates: Bifrost 2’s Autonomy architecture means that both cards are replaceable from the back of the product for easy hardware updates, and firmware changes are handled with an external MicroSD card slot
- Improved power supply: Bifrost 2’s transformer is larger, and the power supply has more stages of local regulation, for insanely great low-noise performance
"As a result, Unison USB is now our preferred input over SPDIF," said Mike Moffat, Schiit's Co-Founder. "It's not 'just as good,' or 'close.' It's really better than SPDIF. And yes, that's me saying this, not an alien pod person."
The Autonomy platform is also the result of extended R&D, and a response to customer requests.
"Our customers were saying, loud and clear, that they liked the upgradability of our DACs, but they also didn't like sending them in for upgrade," said Mike. "And yeah, I get it, being without a DAC for a couple weeks really sucks. So we decided to do a platform where they won't have to send it in for USB, analog, or firmware upgrades."
In Autonomy, the USB and firmware upgrades slide in from the back, making user-installed upgrades possible. Also, firmware changes are done via microSD card, so the chassis does not have to be opened or sent back to us for code changes. The goal is an upgradable product that gives the owner all the benefits of upgradability, with none of the downsides. As far as Schiit knows, this is the lowest-cost, completely upgradable DAC (hardware and firmware) in existence.
Since Bifrost 2 is a new platform, Schiit is addressing current Bifrost owners with a reassurance that Bifrost will continue to be supported and upgradable. As an example, the Unison USB card for current DACs, expected in January, will be available for Bifrost, and Bifrost does not have to come back to the Schiit factory for upgrade.
In addition, current Bifrost owners or upgraders receive $100 off the price of a Bifrost 2, if they want to move to the new platform. Current Bifrost owners or upgraders are anyone who purchased a Bifrost or Bifrost upgrade from Schiit or an authorized reseller, at any time. Current owners and upgraders will be asked for a proof of purchase.
Bifrost 2 is available at schiit.com now at the following pricing:
- $599 for current Bifrost owners and upgraders
- $699 for all-new owners