iFi iDSD Micro DSD512 / PCM768 DAC and Headphone Amp. Impressions, Reviews and Comments.

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by mlgrado, Jul 26, 2014.
  1. hemipowered007
    Loud does not equate to sound quality. The hd650 needs a good source to really get it's great qualities out of it. I havnt heard the 650 on the ifi, but I know it will give it better sq over that fiio a3. The thx00 ahouldnt scale a whole ton, i have a d2k which is similar, but they do sound more controlled and cleaner out of the ifi than straibht out of my fiio x3. If youre planning on continuing down the audiophile route, the idsd bl is a fantastic purchase as it really is a Swiss army knife and adapts to many rigs. I just can't see myself ever selling it, it's just too good of a piece of gear for the price, and a great multiuse gem FOR ME. Value of an audio purchase is always going to be subjective and individual user based, but knowing how the hd650 sounds on a mediocre rig compared to something of more substance and quality, it's worth the price difference, and I have yet to read anyone saying the black label wasn't a good pairing with their hps, it's done well with everything I have, and that I've tried it with. If you can grab it on Amazon with that 30 day return window then it's a no brainer.
    redryder, HungryPanda and cardeli22 like this.
  2. cardeli22
    I agree with all points. I have done my fair share of reading on the HD6xx/HD650 lately (been staring at the Massdrop sale a lot) and from what I gather the 650s scale really well with the gear. The fact that the ifi BL is smallish, battery operated, can receive optical, coaxial, usb audio, and analog in, allows me to use in on my pc, game consoles, at work, when traveling on a plane/train etc..., powerful amp, and it sounds great? A no brainer purchase.
    Jearly410 and redryder like this.
  3. Roscoeiii
    huh? I wouldn't get too worried about where you are on the volume dial of the iDSD Micro BL (unless you are detecting a channel imbalance which can happen on the low end of some pots, but I've never noticed this with the BL). I love it with my Andros. 9 o'clock with Ultra IEMatch is normal listening level and that's sufficient. Don't get caught up on one single detail like ideal pot position. Even at a less than ideal level on the dial, it may still sound stellar and better than any other options.

    And the Andros are VERY picky on sources.

    No hiss with Andros is a significant achievement, and the IEMatch settings of High and Ultra hit the sweet spot of output impedance for Andros (~1.5-2.5 ohms). Mojo, on the other hand has such a low output impedance that it makes the Andros a bit bassier than what many folks consider ideal. Higher output impedance makes them a bit too treble heavy for most.
  4. redryder

    I can’t enjoy the 30 day Amazon return since I don’t live in the US so the decision is a bit harder for me.

    The micro black label is a little too expensive for me, should I consider the nano black label or the original micro idsd? I have a range of iems and the aforementioned headphones. Usage will be at home since I don’t see myself pocketing the amp during commutes.
  5. dannyvstheworld
    Thanks for the detailed explanation. I was worried about the channel imbalance at low volume, but if you don’t feel any even at 9 o’clock, I guess it won’t be a problem for me either.

    Yes Andros can change a bit under different output impedance but most of the time I can live with some lower end uplift. What annoys me is the hiss since I’m listening at such low volume and the hisses become more noticeable. From all the review I’ve read it’s the part that iDSD really excels, even without the ultra settings on (but this is just from what I read somewhere).

    Wish I could see your post just a tiny bit earlier because I just missed a 15% discount on iDSD from a local distributor.. Now I’m taking time to decide so I’m gonna spend some time with Mojo and iEMatch, and if I’m not convinced then iDSD is my next step..
  6. Roscoeiii
    Find a way to listen to the iDSD Black Label Micro. Let your ears decide.

    15% off doesn't end up being too much money. Maybe even see if the distributer will still give you that price. Or try it from someplace with a good return policy. It also seems that sales on these from some retailers aren't too infrequent. Or perhaps keep an eye out for a used one here. If you don't like it you can resell it at a minimal loss.

    But trust your ears and try for yourself once you have narrowed down the options to a manageable number.
    dannyvstheworld likes this.
  7. coklatua
    Hi, is this mode also applied for the new IFi idsd Nano black label too?
    cardeli22 likes this.
  8. iFi audio
    This quote of ours doesn't apply to nano iDSD BL. In case of this device, just plug it and charge making sure the unit is switched off of course and you're good!
    iFi audio Stay updated on iFi audio at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
    HungryPanda and Dobrescu George like this.
  9. coklatua
    So, it doesn't have the powersave mode. Am I right?
  10. TheTrace
    Anyone use ifi micro idsd black label with these headphones?
  11. Dobrescu George
    With which ones? :darthsmile:
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  12. TheTrace
    Whoops lol wrong thread, meant to put this in the Nighthawk thread but here will do too.
    HungryPanda and Dobrescu George like this.
  13. Themordent
    I sold my vanilla Micro iDSD on USAM just a few weeks ago, RIP... was a couple of years old but still in perfect condition. If only I had joined sooner, could have given you a good deal.

    I've owned both the Mojo and the iDSD and heard the Andros out of a few other sources. The iFi unit is the only portable DAC/amp unit I've come across with such a low noise floor, no hiss with any IEMs I threw at it. Maybe the IEMatch can do this as well, but it's definitely more unwieldy than a single-box solution.
  14. dannyvstheworld
    Yeah the iEMatch is really good at eliminating hisses. Put one between Mojo and Andros and there's absolutely no hisses at all. But it's cumbersome to add another item between your gears, especially with Mojo which already has one more cable to deal with than most portable DACs.. With iDSD you only need a OTG cable, which is much more convenient.
  15. hemipowered007
    Hey ifi, please do us a favor and make a dap with the sound quality close to the black label, under 1k$. Even if it's almost the size of the micro, I would still be interested! So, if you could get on that, that'd be greaaaaat.
    audiomonkey777 and cardeli22 like this.

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