For the first time, last month I got to listen to a DAC/amp for a wired pair of headphones that can connect to my phone via Bluetooth. This was such a revolutionary product for me and so now, I’m super excited to see one of my favorite DAC/amp companies, iFi, released one as well. It is part of their new DACs in the X Series. So, without further ado, here is the iFi xDSD Hi-Res Bluetooth Portable USB DAC review.
iFi xDSD Hi-Res Bluetooth Portable USB DAC Review
In the Box – iFi xDSD Hi-Res Bluetooth Portable USB DAC Review
-iFi xDSD Hi-Res Bluetooth Portable USB DAC
-USB-A female to male
-USB-B female to USB A female
-USB-A male to USB B female
-toslink optical adapter to 3.5 mm mini jack
-velcro patches for attaching to phone or music player
Specifications – iFi xDSD Hi-Res Bluetooth Portable USB DAC Review
-USB input: up to PCM 768 kHz to DSD512
-SPDIF Coaxial and optical inputs: up to 192 kHz/ 24 bit
-Output power: >2.82 V/ 500 mW @ 16 ohms; >3.7 V/ 270 mW @ 50 ohms; >3.8 V/ 48 mW @ 300 ohms; >3.8 V/ 24 mW @ 600 ohms
-Line out level: >2.1 V @ 0 dBFS
-THD+N (1 V/ 16R): <.0005%
-Output impedance: <1
-Battery: 3.8 V/ 2299mAh (6-8 hours of playback time)
-Bluetooth support: aptx and AAC; also supports MQA!
Design – iFi xDSD Hi-Res Bluetooth Portable USB DAC Review
Look and Feel
The iFi xDSD has a shiny and loud housing made of aluminum and magnesium. As a result, it is strong and lightweight. It’s reflective surface is interesting and has an futuristic vibe to it.
Additionally, it’s faceplate has a cool looking volume wheel with a light in the center. This light indicates both the xDSD’s mode and its volume level.
The iFi xDSD clearly was made with portability in mind.
Not only is it small and compact, but it also can connect to your listening device wirelessly via Bluetooth and/or aptX. This DAC/amp is the smallest of the iFi’s DACs and is about the same size as a deck of cards. As a result, it fits easily into pockets and can travel with you just about anywhere.
Inputs, Outputs, and Switches
-Inputs: USB, Bluetooth, and SPIDF coax and optical.
-Outputs: 3.5 mm headphone and line output
-Switches: 3D+, Xbass +, and filter
-3D+ recreates a holographic sound field like you’re listening to speakers.
-Xbass+ extends the bass response to suite different headphones.
– “Listen” is optimized for transient response while “Measure” is optimized for frequency response.
Sound – iFi xDSD Hi-Res Bluetooth Portable USB DAC Review
The sound signature of the iFi xDSD is clean and neutral. It doesn’t color the sound much at all. As a result, it recreates the mix just as expected without any surprises–good or bad. However, there seems to be hints of warmth in the high-mids. Additionally, the XBass+ and the 3D+ controls are subtle and sound extraordinarily natural. Sometimes I find these types of features to be unavailing but these ones are quite useful and beneficial to the sound. Additionally, the “Measure” and “Listen” filter switches both sound great and are very subtle. The “Listen” switch seems to feel slightly more emphasized in the high mids and the “Measure” switch feels a little smoother. Additionally, while the Bluetooth sound was good, listening via the USB input yielded a better transient response and soundstage. Lastly, it felt fuller in the low-mids and midrange.
Overview – iFi xDSD Hi-Res Bluetooth Portable USB DAC Review
Overall, for $399.00, the iFi xDSD is a great option for audiophiles who want a super convenient and portable DAC/amp. It is clean with a hint of warmth in the high-mids.
The iFi xDSD is available for the best price here: