iFi iDSD Diablo 2 Portable Amp/DAC Seems Hellishly Capable

Posted on 15th November, 2023

iFi iDSD Diablo 2 Portable Amp/DAC Seems Hellishly Capable

The devil is in the details with the re-engineered iFi Diablo 2 headphone amplifier and DAC, which offers aptX Lossless support.

There is apparently no end-of-the-year wind down for iFi as it continues to treat listeners to its special recipe of quality and sound-per-pound and announces the iDSD Diablo 2.

iFi iDSD Diablo 2

Following the release of the first iDSD Diablo DAC/headphone amp in 2021, the new iDSD Diablo 2 is ready to “deliver an exhilarating sonic performance”.

iFi iDSD Diablo 2

With the original iDSD Diablo being “built for purists – true headphone enthusiasts who crave pure, unadulterated sonic performance”, the Diablo 2 has been redesigned from the inside out with this in mind. Naturally, iFi continues with its proven pairing of a Burr-Brown DAC chip combined with the brand's custom architecture. Here, a pair of chips are installed in an interleaved configuration, enabling four pairs of differential signals, which, says iFi, produces less unwanted noise while improving channel separation.

iFi iDSD Diablo 2

Also part of iFi's 'digital engine' is the 32-bit, 16-core XMOS Cortex microcontroller, which optimises sound quality, unlocking the full potential of the BurrBrown DAC chip. Extensive jitter-eradication tech is also applied, including the latest version of iFi's GMT (Global Master Timing) femtosecond-precision clock and smart storage cache.

iFi iDSD Diablo 2

The iDSD Diablo 2 offers support for all levels of DSD up to DSD512 and PCM files up to 32-bit/768kHz, as well as decoding and upsampling of MQA files up to 384kHz.

As well as cabled connectivity via USB-C, coaxial/optical and 4.4mm balanced inputs, the Diablo 2 adds aptX Lossless Bluetooth with the promise of CD quality (16-bit/44.1kHz) lossless wireless streaming. Of course, other flavours of Bluetooth are also catered for, including aptX Adaptive, aptX HD, LDAC, AAC, etc.

iFi iDSD Diablo 2

Meanwhile, output ports include a 4.4mm balanced headphone port, a 6.3mm headphone port and a 4.4mm balanced line-level output which are fed by the iDSD Diablo 2's amp stage that is listed as offering 5,180mW/12.9V into 32 ohms and 611mW/19.2V into 600 ohms through its 4.4mm balanced output with the boast of “more power to drive the toughest headphone loads than any other portable DAC/headphone amp on the planet.”

iFi iDSD Diablo 2

iFi's clever IEMatch tech is onboard, which tailors the amp's power and performance to match the sensitivity of the headphones being used; xMEMS compatibility with bias voltage, EQ and amp circuits dedicated to making the most of headphones/earphones that use xMEMS drivers and, finally, a “high-quality” analogue potentiometer for volume control.

The Diablo 2's distinctively groovy 166x85x28.5mm red aluminium casement is designed for more than heat dissipation. We are told that this fiendishly clever design also allows you to fit “devilish wings”, enabling you to stand the unit horizontally or vertically on your desk.

iFi iDSD Diablo 2

Battery stamina is listed as between 6-12 hours, depending on the playing volume and the power/sensitivity of the headphones used.

Typically generous, iFi bundles the iDSD Diablo 2 with a host of accessories, including a low-noise AC/DC adapter, a USB-C charging cable, a USB-C OTG cable, an extended USB-C cable and a Lightning to USB-C cable, along with a host of adapters, a desktop stand and a travel case to protect the Diablo 2 on the go.

The iFi iDSD Diablo 2 is available to buy now for an RRP of US1,299.

Visit iFi for more information

    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: ifi audio 


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