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Schiit Audio Bifrost DAC

  • 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 Reviews

  1. robertbudding
    Not So Good
    Written by robertbudding
    Published Feb 6, 2018
    Pros - Made in the USA
    Cons - Noise caused by computer activity
    Distortion during complex musical passages
    I tried to like this DAC, but it just didn't sound right. Noise would come through whenever I saved files onto my computer, and it would distort during complex musical passages. So, in summary, my Schiit sounded like crap. Yes, I burned it in. Yes, I tried various high-quality cables. Yes, I really wanted to like it. But I finally threw in the towel and sold it on eBay. The replacement, a Teac UD-301, is fantastic. Detailed, accurate, and reliable.
    1. adydula
      Using a Bifrost on 4 different pc's in different rooms...never any interference when doing PC stuff ...You should have called Schitt and have them repair it. Their customer service is great. Something with your setup or in your listening environment was causing this to occur...hope you told whoever you sold it too this anomoly!
      adydula, Apr 10, 2018
      riffrafff likes this.
  2. Army-Firedawg
    A DAC that's leagues above the others
    Written by Army-Firedawg
    Published Jul 11, 2017
    Pros - Outstanding sound, build quality, and design.
    Cons - I guess that it doesn't support DSD on its own.

    I often say when talking to either audio enthusiasts or people inquiring about my gear that this is a never ending quest in finding what’s better. I compare it to opening Pandora's box. Before we get a taste of what's possible, we’re more than content spending $10-20 on headphones. But once we’ve been tainted we grave to make it better and find the sound that we enjoy the most, often times spending multiples more money on a product that’s fractionally better than our current gear. And I am of no exception to this. In fact it’s what led me to the purchase of the Schiit Bifrost 4490 when I already had a fantastic combi unit (Aune X1s [and now the purchase of the PS Audio DL3 I’ve now {which I’ll compare to as well}]).

    I continuously kept hearing how great this dac was for its price and seeing as it was the #1 DAC on head-fi (before the website layout change [I’ve no idea how to find the current listings]) I just had to pull the trigger on it. So fast forward almost a year and I would like to now share my thoughts on just how I see the Schiit Bifrost 4490 performs.

    A little about me

    I would like to say that first and foremost I am NOT an “audiophile” but rather an audio enthusiast. I listen to music to enjoy it. Do I prefer a lossless source? Yes, of course. But I can still be very happy streaming from Pandora or even my YouTube “My Mix” playlist. I also prefer equipment that sounds the best to me personally regardless of what frequency response it has or rather or not it's “sonically accurate” and I always have and shall continue to encourage others to do the same.

    I'm a 26 year old firefighter, for the City of Concord, North Carolina as well as the U.S. Army North Carolina National Guard. The cliché of wanting to do this since I was born couldn't be more present with me. I've worked hard over the last several years to earn this position and now it's time for me to work even harder to keep it.

    My interests/hobbies are power lifting, fishing and relaxing to audio products and reviewing them to help other decide on what products would work for them. Few things make me as an audio enthusiast/review feel more accomplished than when someone tells me that I helped them find the type of sound they've always been looking for.

    Now, the sound signature I personally favor is a relaxing, warm and sensual sound that just drifts me away in the emotional experience of the music being performed. Yes, accuracy is still important but I will happily sacrifice some of that if I'm presented with a clean, warm sound that can wisp me away into an experience that makes me yearn for more.

    My ideal signature are that of respectably forward mids and upper bass range with the bass being controlled but with some slight decay. I like my treble to have nice extension and detail reveal with a smooth roll off up top as to not become harsh in the least. Examples of products that have given me chills and keep giving me the yearning for more feels are the (in no particular order) Bowers & Wilkins P7, Oppo PM-1/2, Empire Ears Hermes VI & Zeus XIV, Audeze LCD-XC, Meze Headphones 99 Classics.

    Equipment used at least some point during the review


    -Schiit Lyr 2

    -w/ matched '68 Amperex Orange Globe 6DJ8 tubes

    -SPL Audio Phonitor e

    -iFi Audio iCAN Pro


    -Meze Headphones

    -99 Classics

    -Empire Ears Hermes VI

    -Bowers & Wilkins P7

    -Sennheiser HD650






    -I’m sure there’s many MANY other headphones I haven’t included on this list that have been listened to during my time with the Schiit Bifrost 4490, but there’s just too many to list.


    -LG V20

    -Playing Tidal Hifi, Pandora, YouTube, and various lossless FLAC etc... music

    -Luxury & Precision L3

    -Misc. Equipment

    -Source cleaner

    -iFi Nano iUSB3.0


    I am by no means sponsored by this company or any of its affiliates. I purchased this product with my own money off the Head-Fi classifieds.

    The following is my take on the product being reviewed. It is to be taken “with a grain of salt” per say and as I always tell people, it is YOUR opinion that matters. So regardless of my take or view on said product, I highly recommend you listen to it yourself and gauge your own opinion.

    The Opening Experience

    Why I feel so strongly about the initial unboxing experience

    Please allow me to explain why I feel so strongly about the initial unboxing experience with a product. Maybe it’s due to my southern roots in the hills of eastern Kentucky, but I’ve always been raised under the pretense of when you introduce yourself to someone for the first time you present yourself with confidence, class, character, pride, and competence. You greet the other person with a true warm smile, eye contact and a firm handshake. Anything less or short implies to other person that you either don’t care about them, are too full of yourself, too busy to be bothered by the likes of them, or worse, just generally disrespectful.

    As a consumer, I take this same belief to when I open a new product. Why? Because think about it this way. How else can a company introduce themselves to their customers? How do they present their products? Are they packaged with pride and presented in such a way that makes the listener eager to listen to them? Or maybe they’re just wrapped up and placed in an available space. How about the box itself? Is it bogged down with jargon that says look at this, look what I can do. I’m better than anything on the market and here’s why read this and check out that. Or, is the package clean, simplistic and classy? As if saying to the customer ‘Good day, pleasure to meet your acquaintance. Please give me a listen and allow me to show you what I can do and allow my actions to speak louder than my words.’

    This is why I feel so strongly about the initial presentation of a product, and I feel it’s truly a shame more people don’t. But with all that aside, let’s discuss how this products introduced itself shall we?


    Now, I will be upfront and disclose that I purchased this DAC second hand and it didn’t come in its original packaging. However, I also purchased the Lyr 2 which did come exactly as new, Schiit also packages their models similarly (which can be seen on many other unboxing videos) so I will be communicating off that. But again I will state, I personally did not open the Bifrost 4490 in its original packaging.

    The Schiit Bifrost 4490, and all other variants of the Bifrost model, come in a standard white cardboard box with the only identifying mark is the oh so well known Schiit logo on the sides along with the corresponding model number written in a box next it.

    As you open the box you’re greeted by, IMO, a very nice presentation and care given to a product to ensure it arrives safely and in one piece. Each side of the unit is encased in a very firm foam material that, from appearance (I never tested the durability myself), seems to be able to handle any reasonable falls or hits; also, right on top is the user/instruction manual. Finally the product itself is covered with a plastic sleeve to prevent dust from entering the unit, which even it is sealed by a Schiit quality approved sticker. Lastly, on the bottom of the package, you’ve the power cable.

    I will say that Schiit does a fantastic job at packaging their products and keeping them safe until they arrive at their customer's doorstep. They then present their product so that us as enthusiasts are genuinely excited to hook it up and hear what ti can really do. This is exactly the kind if thing I look for in a “handshake” given by a company in their unboxing experience. And finally, this is only a personal thing and doesn’t effect the review, rather for or against, but Schiit is an American based company that also builds their products here; and I personally really respect that.



    Luckily, this is an area that I rarely find a company slack in (in relation to DAC’s), and the Schiit Bifrost 4490 is of no exception. The main chassis is built of a beautiful and very durable U shaped piece of aluminum that covers the front, top, & bottom, while the sides and back are of a thinner metal that is meant for heat dampening. Getting into a little more detail and starting with the front and proceeding left to right then top to bottom, the front holds the Bifrost (which regardless if you’ve the original, 4490, or multibit model this doesn’t change) logo and the source selector button (USB, Toslink, Coaxial) with the corresponding selections LED indicator lights. The top only has the Schiit logo and cooling vent ports. Finally the business end, the back. The back shows a sticker as to which model you own, RCA outputs, a little information about the unit, the Coaxial input, USB input, Toslink input, power switch, and finally the power cable port.

    The Bifrost has a really good weight to it as well and, to me, doesn’t feel cheap or at all flimsy. In fact this DAC feels way better than what I’d personally expect to find at this price point.

    Despite being able to see the screws that are holding the DAC together, this is also one of the cleanest units I’ve seen. So in addition be being able to be a strong performer, it’s a great looker as well, and when matched to its corresponding Schiit stack partner (Valhalla 2 or Lyr 2) the look really goes nicely together. And it’s for all of the above mentioned points that I feel Schiit did an outstanding job with their Bifrost model. I’m confident that any who choose to buy one will have it satisfy their audio needs for many years to come.

    Specifications (copied straight from the Manufacturers website)


    D/A Conversion IC: AKM Verita® AK4490

    Analog Stage: Fully discrete, DC coupled

    Frequency Response: 20Hz-20KHz, +/-0.1dB, 2Hz-100KHz, -1dB 

    Maximum Output: 2.0V RMS

    THD: <0.003%, 20Hz-20KHz, at max output

    IMD: <0.004%, CCIR

    S/N: >108dB, referenced to 2V RMS

    Inputs: Coaxial SPDIF, Optical SPDIF, USB

    Input Capability: up to 24/192 for all inputs, including 24/176.4

    Input Receiver, SPDIF: AK4113, USB: C-Media CM6631A

    Output: RCA (single-ended)

    Output Impedance: 75 ohms

    Power supply: 5 stages of regulation, including separate supplies for critical digital and analog sections.

    Upgradability: Separate, modular USB Input Card and DAC/Analog Card are snap-in replaceable.

    Power Consumption: 12W

    Size: 9 x 6.75 x 2.25”

    Weight: 5 lbs


    I’m finally to the part I’ve been most excited to talk about. Now granted, I’ve reviewed a fair number of products and have had the pleasure of being able to listen to and demo a great deal more. And I say that not to brag, not even remotely, for there’s people on here who’ve forgotten about more products than I’ll ever have the opportunity to try. I say that to express how impressed I’ve been with the performance that this product has provided during my time with it. The level of detail that has been revealed to me, and the level of realistic imagery that is given to my headphones (and accentuated by my amp.) is more than beyond the $399 MSRP given by Schiit. Earlier I mentioned that audio is like opening up Pandora’s box, how once you’ve been tainted with the knowledge of how good your audio can sound you continuously want to seek out better and how I upgraded to a PS Audio DirectLink 3 (my model also has the Cullen Stage 4 mod) because of this. Now my DL3 originally retailed for just shy of $1,900 or almost 5X what the Bifrost 4490 sells for. And this is where the term diminishing returns really comes into play and even more so with the Bifrost. Yes the DL3 is better than the 4490, I won’t even remotely start by implying it’s not. However, it is nowhere remotely close to 5X the value, in fact, the DL3 is only slightly better than the 4490 to my ears.

    When listening to the Schiit Bifrost 4490, regardless through your choice of amplifiers, you become aware of details that you never even thought to think about being there. I LOVE listening to live performances ever since I acquired this level of DAC, I can hear, and somewhat understand, ambient chatter amongst people in the audience and if it’s an acoustic performance, the reverb that the string instrument makes just sends chills down my spine and a smile to my face.

    Earlier I mentioned I upgraded to the Bifrost 4490 (and Lyr 2) from the Aune X1s and in that review I mentioned how I loved the song “Pirates of the Caribbean” by the Rhapsody Philharmonic Orchestra. In this flash mob performance (which is unfortunately ONLY on YouTube) it takes place outdoors and in front of a seemingly rather busy street and as the double bass begins to play you can still make out the level of depth present by the cars driving and honking in the background and also by the people talking and whispering about what I assume it what’s going on (it’s in another language). Through the Aune X1s the idea of instrument and vocal separation and imagery was taught to me, but with the Bifrost 4490 it was instilled in me. Each instrument sounds so clean and realistic that whatever headphone you’re listening to, will sound much better than you thought possible. And I love listening to this song when reviewing products because it provides so much of that.



    To conclude my thoughts on the Schiit Audio Bifrost 4490 is that this is what I knew would be possible in this price range. For those of you who don’t know or follow me that closely, I’m a rather frugal person. Rarely do I find something worth the full price of its MSRP (kind of contradictory in this hobby I know) and after seeing so many different brands and hearing the quality difference in respect to asking price my frugalness just gets worse and worse. But in respect to all the Schiit products I’ve personally tried and more specifically in this case the Bifrost version 4490 I find it full forth the $399 MSRP for it out performs MANY other units I’ve tried that cost HUNDREDS of dollars more and is only slightly outdone by a product costing almost 5X as much. Schiit provides their customers a great “handshake” in its unboxing experience and goes even further by making their products built incredibly well. I love the company’s sense of humor but that doesn’t deflect them from making a solid DAC and I for one have been tremendously satisfied with my Bifrost 4490 this past year.

    Also, make sure to check out my unboxing and review videos. They’re pretty awesome AND you getta put a face to the Army-Firedawg name. If this review helped you out at all please hit that thumbs up button for it really helps me out a lot. Till next time my friends, stay safe.
      IkSak, ofilippov, kazsud and 2 others like this.
  3. bosiemoncrieff
    Bifrost Multibit: worth the price
    Written by bosiemoncrieff
    Published Jun 23, 2016
    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.
  4. stigin
    The new Multibit version is a game changer
    Written by stigin
    Published Dec 2, 2015
    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.
    -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.
    1. aamer23
      BiMB is more musical, tuneful, immersive, better defined harmonies and melodies more fun. More fluid coherent better defined and controlled base WOW!!!!!! and it is getting better as the hours of use increase 
      aamer23, Dec 6, 2015
    2. USAudio
      I too emailed Schiit about the long startup time (~30 seconds) and was quickly informed it was the DSP booting up. Hopefully they will add that to the website and/or user manual.
      USAudio, Dec 13, 2015
  5. Padgett
    More attention grabbing than an an ankle biting ferret and highly likely to render you oblivious to anything else.
    Written by Padgett
    Published Nov 12, 2015
    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. 
    1. View previous replies...
    2. bronzboy
      You weren't kidding about LA Woman.  Holy S.   Asgard 2 / Bimby
      bronzboy, Jan 7, 2016
    3. DanPerezSax
      Awesome and hilarious review!  +20 points for the Ben Folds reference.
      DanPerezSax, Sep 14, 2016
    4. tekkster
      Best Bifrost review I've read so far.  Engaging.
      tekkster, Sep 15, 2016
  6. bretemm
    GREAT, better then Modi, but modi is still great
    Written by bretemm
    Published Oct 10, 2015
    Pros - music sounds stronger, more of a "base" to your music, switching,no noise using with Valhalla2
    Cons - needs to warm up (to break in that is)
    the new Bifrost Delta Sigma is great, 
    i first got the Modi and Magni then after 1 and a half years i got the Valhalla2 and wanted a better Dac,
    so i waited for the Schiit event for the Bifrost to be updated, then went for it!
    verses my modi using it with my Valhalla2, i noticed noise, BUT, now with the Bifrost (DS) I have yet to year noise. 
    I'm actually using some klipsch IEMs (g3) before the s4i, I NEED BETTER IEMs I KNOW,-im limited to IEMs because i can't get by strong magnets.
    I'm going to possibly get Klipsch X11i, Westone or Shure next.
    the audio quality i put SLIGHTLY lower because some tracks off youtube (HQ or FLAC files if they even were)  didn't sound that well at first, but that might be because it needs to warm up more (break in).
    Schiit is a great company with great support for their customers and the Bifrost DS is my 4th purchase.
    its really has added more detail to my music and a even wider sound range and "space" the Valhalla2 is a great compliment to the BIfrost (as well as with Modi) 
      watchnerd likes this.
    1. watchnerd
      When you compare vs the Modi, is that the original Modi or the Modi 2 Uber?
      watchnerd, Nov 29, 2015
    2. bretemm
      the original Modi
      bretemm, Dec 4, 2015
  7. Aurthur
    Great DAC, can't imagine improvement
    Written by Aurthur
    Published Apr 7, 2015
    Pros - Great build quality, easy to set up, sounds great
    Cons - Doesn't support DSD natively (Loki add-on or DSD compatible player required)
    Amazing little DAC.  Fits easily on my desk without any hassle.  It even improved the sound of Pandora so much that I can barely hear the difference between their stream and local FLAC or uncompressed WAV files anymore.  Setup on Windows 7 was plug in and go.  Updated the drivers to the ones from Schiit's website just to get the additional sample rate options per their instructions.  Changing to the improved drivers was a breeze for anyone familiar with driver installations on Windows.
    My only complaint, if I had one, is that it doesn't natively support DSD.  I don't actually have any DSD files to play, so that doesn't bother me, and the explanation from Schiit makes perfect sense to me as to why they didn't include it.  I do have some SACDs I wouldn't mind playing, but it's not really a high priority for me, as I use this primarily at work where I'm all digital.  If I really care about it in the future, I'll grab a DSD compatible player to plug into one of the toslink connections and switch input to that.
    1. gr34td3str0y3r
      They don't sell the Loki anymore :frowning2: 
      gr34td3str0y3r, Jun 17, 2016
  8. hodgjy
    End game DAC for my system
    Written by hodgjy
    Published Feb 24, 2014
    Pros - Space, imaging, PRAT, micro detail, dogmatically vigilant sound
    Cons - None at this price
    Holy Schiit!
    That's the first thing that came to mind when I connected the Bifrost Uber to my system and gave it a listen.  Here's a rundown of a few things.
    Amp: Trafomatic Head One
    Cans: Sennheiser HD600
    Old DAC: V-DAC ii with V-PSU ii
    Apple lossless -> iPod Classic -> Pure i20 dock -> coaxial connection
    For a long time, I felt my rig was basically end game.  But, over time, I began to notice some weaknesses in my overall sound, which I started to attribute to the V-DAC.  Some of the hailed strengths started to be weaknesses to me.  For example, at times it was too smooth and polite.  It rounded some notes off.  Then, I began to realize a lot of the weaknesses, too.  It had some grain in the upper frequencies, even though the overall sound was smooth.  This just drew more attention to the grain because the mids and bass were silky smooth.  Despite the bass being smooth, it wasn't overly authoritative.  Also, the image got crowded at times and it struggled with micro details.  The V-DAC also lacked PRAT during some complex passages.
    So, I began to look for a DAC upgrade.  My research lead me to the Bifrost Uber.
    Specifically, here's what I noticed immediately when playing my reference tracks with the Bifrost Uber vs. the V-DAC.  Granted, differences between DACs are subtle, but I can hear them.  It's not my attempt to overstate things or use hyperbole to describe the sound.  But, I need to describe the differences somehow.  Below are the subtle differences I noticed immediately:
    1) The sound is alive!  There's no better way to say that.  The sound has energy and is alive and real.  Not dull.  No veil.  No boring politeness. 
    2) The background is absolutely black.  The blackest I've ever heard.
    3) The bass is authoritative.  It's textured.  It runs deep and hits hard.
    4) There's no grain in the upper frequencies.  It's smooth and life-like.
    5) The imaging is exquisite.  I have to retrain my brain to imagine where the instruments are on stage because it's filling is spaces that weren't previously there.  I'll be spending many late nights re-listening to my music collection.  The sound isn't the "three blob" image we hear about from time to time.  It's more 3D and complete.  Great width and depth.  Height is pretty good, too.
    6) The attack and decay are dogmatically vigilant. The DAC attacks the music and throws it at you with enthusiasm.
    7) The midrange is superb.  Guitars have texture I'm not used to hearing.
    8) Space.  There is space between instruments and voices that simply wasn't there with the V-DAC.
    9) Micro detail.  The detail retrieval is much better than the V-DAC using the same source files.  I'm hearing sounds I've never heard before.  Unfortunately, I'm hearing flaws in some recordings that the V-DAC's politeness masked.
    10) PRAT monster. 
    In my mind, there's no comparison between the V-DAC and the Bifrost Uber.  Sure, differences between DACs are subtle  But, the collection of these subtle differences put a huge gap between the V-DAC and Bifrost Uber.
    I'm not trying to cut the V-DAC down.  When I first bought it, it was was a major upgrade to my CD player and I was super excited to have it.  But, time has passed it over and the Bifrost Uber is the better piece of equipment at this time.  And, but a pretty large margin.  Well, if you add up all the small differences, it becomes a large margin.
      spiderking31 likes this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. spiderking31
      I have to wait until I have the money, but the funny thing is, I'm using a pair of sennheiser hd650's with a blue Dragon v3 headphone cable, with the coaxial cable, and I can relate big time to what the reviewer is stating here! We both have the 6xx series, and the HD600 and hd650 are very revealing themselves! That's how I am having the same experience as him. Uber just has less THD, that's about it. The hd650 has half the distortion as HD600's, and many people have said there is subtle difference between the two
      spiderking31, Dec 27, 2014
    3. wahsmoh
      slightly OT but would the Bifrost Uber benefit from an external jitter clock like the Remedy Reclocker??
      wahsmoh, Mar 15, 2015
    4. riverlethe
      Dogmatically vigilant?
      riverlethe, Sep 21, 2015
  9. dc-k
    Perfect complement to Lyr, completes my digital music system
    Written by dc-k
    Published Oct 27, 2013
    Pros - Great DAC for the price
    Cons - slightly awkward placing of power switch
    I bought the Bifrost to complete my home audio system. This started with me listening to my portable player at home, followed by open headphones, then headphone amp and finally HDD based music and the DAC.
    The more home listening I did the more I needed something to link my HDD full of high resolution music to my lovely LCD2 headphones. As I'd been using a Lyr amp for some time, the Bifrost was the obvious solution. Fortunately, computer has optical audio output so I could get away with the basic bifrost without the USB option, so for me the USB as optional is a money saver rather than a cost.
    I can't compare the sound with any other DAC, but the quality of playback is far better than when I connected my PC to the Lyr via standard audio connectors. The gain over IBasso DX-100 to Lyr via its line out is greater in convenience terms than in audio terms and certainly less of a leap than the gain from PC to Lyr direct.
    My only minor quibble is the power switch is not easy to use, being placed right at the back, so I tend to leave mine on for more time than I would like.
    In short, I now have easy access to my 250 GB of mostly high resolution music straight from desktop to ears and the Bifrost is a great, cost effective, neat link in my digital music chain. I would happily recommend this DAC to anyone.
      watchnerd likes this.
  10. Tibwolf
    Wonderful Clarity
    Written by Tibwolf
    Published Apr 29, 2013
    Pros - Bright and crisp sound, 3 different inputs to match your setup, Solid construction, Great and prompt customer support
    Cons - USB addon is pricey, Bright input indicator LEDs on front (color mismatched to a Schiit Lyr)
    ALAC lossless music > MBP > Optical > Schiit Bifrost (previously a Nuforce uDac) > Schiit Lyr > Audeze LCD2r2 (previously a Denon d2000)
    Artists listened to:
    The Birthday Massacre
    Dub Fx
    Feed Me
    Flux Pavilion
    The construction of the Bifrost is superb, with only minor quirks. The aluminum chassis is rigid and sturdy; there's no body flex or any loose components inside. The only downsides are that the input indication LEDs on the front are bright and not the same temperature of white as the Lyr.
    The jump in sound quality from a simple entry-level DAC is definitely noticeable. Everything about my music improved, if only slightly. The soundstage has noticeably opened up, with the highs becoming more crisp and the lows having a more defined texture. At lower volumes, the Bifrost retains its clarity and resolution over the uDac, which gives a greater impression of dynamic range.
    Overall, I would really recommend this to anyone looking to sate their latest temptations in the pursuit of greater sound. This is a great component to any setup and it feels like it will last a long, long time!
      evilscientist likes this.
    1. money4me247
      Just an comment on this quote: "Bright input indicator LEDs on front (color mismatched to a Schiit Lyr)."
      I have the Schiit Bifrost Uber USB Gen 2 & Lyr 2, and the lights on both units match. Seems to me that the lights are exactly the same in this generation of products at least.
      money4me247, Jan 5, 2015


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