Posted on 24th April, 2018

iFi audio has announced the availability of xDSD, an MQA-optimised DAC/Amplifier that works equally well as an ultra-portable or home-based device.

With aptX and AAC Bluetooth on board, the xDSD delivers hi-res audio up to PCM768kHz and DSD512 to amplifiers, active speakers and headphones of all types.

Announcing the xDSD at this week's AXPONA show, it follows the recent news that its v5.30 ‘Cookies & Cream’ latest firmware update adds MQA playback to a range of current and discontinued iFi devices.

The xDSD is all about hi-res audio on-the-go. Furthermore, it hands you the options of going wireless or wired.

Making a bold statement of both luxury and style, particularly with its dark chrome finish, the lightweight gropeable, undulating enclosure is constructed from 6063-T5 magnesium-aluminium alloy.

The moulded plastic end cap allows unrestricted Bluetooth transmission.

Ease of operation remains the focus of iFi, and all the switches and connections have been optimised to match the new chassis. The central analogue volume rotary dial is a prime example of this. Also, the middle of that also doubles up as the on/off and pairing button.


For connection to your smartphone, tablet or laptop, the unit's aptX/AAC Bluetooth radio will prove handy. However, if you are not on the move or have pocket space for a stack, then the USB and S/PDIF ports are your friends.

The unit also sports a USB A port that works with Android OTG as well as iOS when used with a Lightning connection camera kit.

iFi has generously bundled a variety of adapters, as well as a USB 3.0 cable.

The xDSD supports high-resolution formats (MQA and DSD) and includes the iFi S-Balanced 3.5mm TRRS headphone circuit.

This delivers 500mW of power per channel and should prove plenty to drive all but the most power-hungry headphones.

The 3.5mm line out provides fixed 2v line output for connecting to a hi-fi system or driving active speakers.

As it is portable, it makes perfect sense for it to be battery powered. The charge comes from a 2200mAh Lithium-Polymer battery that should be good for six-to-eight hours of playing time. This will obviously depend on headphone sensitivity, output etc.

Under the hood, much of the magic is due to the Burr-Brown multibit DSD1793 DAC Chipset. This is mated to the femto precision GMT Clock and intelligent memory buffer system derived from AMR Audio’s US$5,500 flagship DAC to eliminate jitter.

This all adds up to the xDSD being able to play nice with PCM up to 32/384 kHz and DSD up to 256 times the sample rate of a CD.

MQA is onboard as standard in the xDSD thanks to the new firmware as it does with the iDSD Black Label from now. However, should you prefer 22.57MHz DSD and 768kHz/32Bit PCM, then alternative firmware is available for the xDSD (but note, this will prevent MQA playback).

The iFi Audio xDSD NZ pricing has not been confirmed yet.

For more information visit iFi audio.

Jay Garrett's avatar

Jay Garrett

StereoNET’s resident rock star, bass player, and gadget junkie. His passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.

Posted in:Headphones
Tags: capisco  ifi audio