Based around two Burr-Brown DAC chips in a custom ‘interleaved’ configuration, the digital engine has four pairs of differential signals – two pairs per channel. This means:
– a lower noise floor
– improved channel separation,
– finer musical detail and micro-dynamics
The micro iDSD Signature handles up to PCM 768, DSD 512, 2xDXD and MQA rendering. All this is done natively. Both PCM and DSD remain ‘bit-perfect’.
With up to 4100mW of power the micro iDSD Signature can drive all manner of headphones with aplomb, from highly sensitive in-ear monitors to current-hungry planar headphones. The signal path has been refined to maximize sonic texture. High spec components featuring class-leading qualities such as low ESR (Equivalent Series Resistance), high stability and low distortion mean top-notch sound quality and maximum musical enjoyment. Add in the direct-coupled nature of the circuit – no coupling capacitor is present – and the micro iDSD Signature definitely runs rings around the competition.
Versatile sonic tailoring
One size no longer fits all when it comes to quality listening.
The digital stage of the micro iDSD Signature features a variety of filter settings:
– ‘Standard’, ‘Minimum Phase’ and ‘Bit-Perfect’ for PCM files
– ‘Standard Bandwidth’, ‘Extended Bandwidth’ and ‘Extreme Bandwidth’ for DSD
The amp stage also has three settings to adjust power and gain. As well as ‘Normal’, you get:
– ‘Turbo’ to ramp up the level of drive for current-hungry headphones
– ‘Eco’ to dial down the power to suit high-sensitivity in-ear monitors and/or to extend battery life
Further optimization for sensitive in-ear monitors – an area of weakness for many DAC/amps – is supplied via iFi’s IEMatch technology, which adjusts the output level to suit. Once engaged, two levels of IEMatch are available:
– ‘High Sensitivity’
– ‘Ultra Sensitivity’
Plus, iFi’s proprietary circuits have been performance-tuned for the micro iDSD Signature and may be switched in or out according taste, fine-tuning the sound in the analogue domain to maintain sonic purity:
XBass+ adjusts frequency response to enhance low frequencies – useful with ‘bass-light’ headphones, such as some open-back designs.
3D+ compensates for the ‘in-head localization’ effect that often occurs when using headphones to listen to music that was mixed using a pair of speakers, effectively widening the headphone soundstage to deliver a more speaker-like experience.
The micro iDSD Signature features two digital audio inputs – USB Type-A and an S/PDIF socket that accepts both electrical, via a 3.5mm connector, and optical signals – adapter supplied. Unusually, the Type A USB input features a ‘male’ connector, rather than a typical ‘female’ port. This arrangement provides greater mechanical integrity than the USB/Micro USB ports commonly found on DAC/headphone amps.
Simply add a USB-C OTG cable (sold separately) to connect to an Android phone. It also offers an advantage to users of iPhones and iPads with Lightning ports, because it accepts Apple’s Lightning to USB Camera Adapter (sold separately) directly without requiring an additional female-to-male USB adaptor.
The micro iDSD Signature also houses a pair of RCA analogue outputs to connect to a pair of powered speakers or a power amp to act as a DAC. There is a 6.3mm output for headphones that have a standard single-ended connector (headphones with a 3.5mm jack can be connected using the included adapter) and a 4.4mm Pentaconn output for headphones offering balanced connection.
Both headphone outputs utilize our ‘S-Balanced’ output circuitry. This delivers the sonic benefits of balanced connections with all headphone/earphone types – even those with single-ended connectors – cutting crosstalk and associated distortion in half.