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iFi audio Pro iDSD (Official) - NEW Firmware - MQA and more.

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  1. Khragon
    Would using OLED introduce burn in eventually, since the same content is being display all the time?
  2. iFi audio
    Things will happen!
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  3. iFi audio
    Pro iDSD
    Global Launch Update


    News from the Skunkworks!

    As you will know from recent iFi audio communications, we are about to launch the Pro iDSD. You may also know that the entire concept of this revolutionary new DAC was driven by you – the customer. Recent feedback has led us to make a small but significant alteration to the design of the Pro iDSD’s front panel.

    We have replaced the 3.5mm balanced headphone socket with a 2.5mm balanced socket for users with flagship IEMs. There is still, of course, a 3.5mm single-ended socket for music lovers with any other headphone/IEM.


    Unfortunately, this means a delay to the scheduled launch date of 15 February.

    We are the first to admit it has taken long enough for the Pro iDSD to come to market but we have taken everything on board in its creation – from the need for a standalone flagship DAC to match the technological wizardry of the Pro iCAN to the desire to touch the dizzying audio heights of DSD1024. That’s why we are incorporating this last nugget of customer feedback. In short it’s a case of ‘in for a penny, in for a pound’.

    To give the iFi Skunkworks time to implement this change, the updated global launch will be on 15 March 2018 and the Pro iDSD will feature at the Lisbon Audio Show, Portugal (16-18 March). However, we are pleased to announce that visitors to CanJam New York, USA (17-18 Feb) and Bristol Sound and Vision, UK (23-25 Feb) will still be able to see and demo the Pro iDSD on the iFi stand.

    Again, thank you for your feedback and your patience.

    We look forward to seeing you there!
    iFi audio Stay updated on iFi audio at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
    https://www.facebook.com/iFiAudio/ https://twitter.com/ifiaudio https://www.instagram.com/ifiaudio/ https://ifi-audio.com/ info@ifi-audio.com
  4. Torq
    So ... replacing a not-super-robust connection with an even less robust one?

    Maybe that's good for IEM users, but it's a lot less so for everyone else - given the generally heavier and less flexible cables (that'll put more stress on an already less-than-ideal connector) used with full-sized cans. Instead you're likely to wind up with more connector failures as people that don't want to bother with adding a Pro iCAN, but do want balanced drive, over-stress that tiny connector with big-honking cables for their full-sized cans.

    Maybe the customer base is predominantly IEM users, but somehow I doubt that.

    Surely including an external 3.5->2.5mm TRRS adapter cable would have made more overall sense here and without requiring another delay?
    omniweltall, cardeli22 and gr8soundz like this.
  5. JCruk
    Is there a balanced XLR output for the headphone amplifier? Or is the 2.5mm balanced connection the only options for balanced headphones?
  6. gr8soundz
    Should've thrown in an adapter and called it a day. I just got one a couple weeks ago in anticipation (for the lone 2.5mm cable I also got a few days ago; most of my balanced cables are already 3.5mm): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078N2B8MR

    Who requested a fragile 2.5mm over the 3.5mm? I've been watching all the Pro threads here and don't recall seeing any recent feedback on that (for either Pro device).

    So, instead of giving us XBass or 3D on the iDSD Pro (or even an optical output), you guys decide to weaken the balanced jack? Also sounds like the only balanced headphone out may now have less power (or iematch permanently enabled) making it more difficult to drive hungry headphones.

    If 'someone' finally decided 3.5mm balanced won't work (despite it already being on the iCan Pro, Nano BL, etc.), why not upgrade to the more robust 4.4mm balanced. I'd still have to get new adapters for all my balanced cables but at least that newer jack makes sense.

    I wonder if this change isn't designed to steer people toward the iCan Pro? The iDSD Pro alone would've been a stretch for me but I was glad to see it still had a balanced out. I do have a 2.5mm balanced adapter but would rather not use it on my desktop for fear of snapping it (already use extreme care when using it with portables).
    cardeli22 and Torq like this.
  7. Torq

    Based on what iFi Audio have posted, the only balanced headphone output is now a 2.5mm TRRS socket.

    There are balanced XLR outputs to feed a dedicated amplifier, such as the Pro iCAN, but the only balanced headphone output is now a fragile 2.5mm TRRS socket (sorry, they ARE fragile, I've stopped bothering with DAPs that use this because they fail regularly). Any reasonable full-size balanced headphone cable is going to be unduly stressing a 2.5mm TRRS connector. Unless it's POGO-pin based, but I seriously doubt that's the case.

    I wonder the same thing.

    For me, however, there's a borderline-too-much-overlap issue with the Pro iDSD as-is and the Pro iCAN ... and I'm starting to wish that, for my compact rig, I'd just not bothered waiting and just gone with RME ADI-2 Pro (or the new DAC) or Hugo 2.
    cardeli22 likes this.
  8. gr8soundz
    Same here. I had an iDSD Micro for about 18 months and was looking at the iDSD Pro as a nice, small all-in-one unit (my current ladder DAC is single-ended only). The switchable tubes and (originally) balanced headphone out were great and, despite the cost, hardware DSD1024 upsampling had just about sold me (no more pushing my PC to the limit for DSD512).

    Calculated I could probably get the iDSD Pro if I sold most of my gear but may not go that far for what now looks like an expensive tube DAC. We still don't even know what chips are being used. Not the most important detail but something that should have been disclosed by now considering the price (and the slow dissemination of specs/info). I'm guessing it has quad 1793 chips but still hoping iFi went with the 1792 this time.
  9. Khragon
    There seems to be plenty of realestate left to fit a 4pin XLR output I think. If not I rather loose the fancy screen for the 4pin XLR, this sceeen is guaranteed to burn in anyway and will cause trouble down the road. Loosing the OLED screen will probably reduce cost too, just replace it with normal LEDs indicators.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
  10. gr8soundz
    Unsure if there's enough internal room (shallow screen vs deep socket) for both front XLR and 6.3mm but doubt iFi would do it anyway due to even more overlap with the iCan Pro.

    I too was puzzled by their screen choice. Looks like an imitation of Chord's Dave. However, iFi aren't the first to use a monochrome OLED (i.e. Hifiman's SuperMini) so burn-in may not be an issue.
  11. Boringz
    Surprised iFi went the 2.5mm route, 4.4mm pentaconn would have been a better choice.
  12. Sc00p
    I guess they are thinking of the people who already own the pro iCan?
    I will stack the two and will now have a 2.5mm and 3.5mm balanced iem output. It may be easier now, but over the last months I found it hard to acquire a 2.5 to 3.5 balanced adaptor. Only options I could find in the UK where from usa and China.
    Ifi have made it clear that this is a dac. It already has a lot of overlapping features, each I find harder to take as I feel I am paying for features that I already own via the pro iCan eg iematch balanced outputs and tube options.
    This route gives the pro iCan users an extra output option, and an added bonus considering this is primarily a dac.
    Just reading the post above, a 4.4mm instead of 2.5 would be nice as I already aquired the 2.5to3.5mm.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
  13. Grimbles
    You can get fidue ones off ebay (to be fair they ship from china) that go 3.5mm balanced male->2.5mm balanced female and are reasonable quality.
  14. Sc00p
    Thanks for the heads up, fortunately I got one from Norne :)
  15. glassmonkey
    Regarding balanced output choice, I would echo that 4.4mm is the way of the future. 2.5mm is frail and 3.5mm is incredibly uncommon.

    Mini 4pin XLR is the easiest to wire and an inexpensive connector, but only RHA has made this rather logical choice.
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