New Release: iFi nano iDSD BL Portable DAC Amp

iFi nano iDSD BL New Release

iFi has become a premium brand name in the DAC and headphone amp world. Their latest creation is a take on their most popular model, the micro iDSD Black Label. The new DAC and amplifier is a pared down version called the iFi nano iDSD Black Label. The idea behind this new model is a smaller, more portable yet still powerful DAC / amp at a much more affordable price. It’s due to arrive in stores very soon. Let’s take a look at what you can expect from this brand new audio device.

Special Features

With the nano iDSD BL, iFi kept the same clean digital audio converters and powerful amp as the micro iDSD but the nano has a few special tricks up its sleeve. Here’s a list of the most noteworthy features.

  • S-Balanced Performance / IEM Match: iFi has increased the power (up to 285mW) over the original nano iDSD giving it the ability to power high-impedance headphones. The IEM Match function is built-in giving you the best “hiss free” response from your most sensitive IEM’s. And the S-Balanced circuit gives the same “balanced” benefit to unbalanced headphones.
  • MQA, PCM, DXD, DSD: The nano iDSD BL now offers support for Tidal’s MQA streaming format as well as the standard PCM, DXD and DSD file formats for a premium Hi-Res sound quality every time you use it.
  • 10-hour Battery Life: The built-in Lithium Polymer battery inside the nano iDSD BL delivers up to 10-hours of pristine audio playback.
  • Measure / Listen Filter: The ifi nano iDSD BL offers a special filter giving the listener two choices in listening. The first is “Measure” or (Linear Phase Transient Aligned Filter). And the second is “Listen” or (Minimum Phase Bezier Filter)
iFi nano iDSD BL supports MQA
iFi nano iDSD BL supports MQA

Premium Components

iFi is known for using some of the best components in the DAC’s and amps and the nano iDSD BL is certainly no exception. Here’s a list of the electronics under the hood.

  • Thin Film Resistors lowering noise & distortion over standard film and carbon types
  • Tantalum Polymer Capacitors for power supply
  • TDK C0G Capacitors for the analog filter
  • Panasonic ECPU Film Capacitor for critical DAC reference voltage
  • Analog volume control potentiometer for the best sound quality
  • Dual-Mono headphone amplifier with 3.5mm TRRS balanced wiring all the way to the amplifier. Although the amplifier is single-ended, this circuitry offers the benefits of balanced wiring
  • Built-in iEMatch with MELF resistors for matching even the most sensitive headphones and IEM’s
  • Burr Brown DAC Chip


Where Can You Buy It?

The iFi iDSD Black Label DAC and Amplifier is set to hit stores at the end of November. This nicely priced audio machine (just under $200) is sure to be wildly popular with music lovers on a budget. Ambitious audiophiles can pre-order the iFi nano iDSD Black Label at Audio46 Headphone Store.

iFi nano iDSD BL New Release
iFi nano iDSD Black Label


Input(rear): USB2.0 type A “OTG” Socket (with iPurifier® technology built-in)
Output(rear); 1 x Audio fixed line out L+R 3.5mm
Digital Filter: 2 positions, 2 filters
Outputs(front): 2 x Headphone Audio 3.5mm one direct and one with iFi iEMatch® integrated

DAC: DSD, DXD, PCM DAC by Burr Brown Bit-Perfect DSD processing, Bit-Perfect DXD processing
Clock: Low-jitter crystal clock
Audio Formats: DSD 256/128/64/12.4/11.2/6.2/5.6/3.1/2.8
DXD 384/352.8kHz
PCM 384/352.8/192/176.4/96/88.2/48/44.1kHz
MQA 88.2/96/176.4/192kHz filters
Filter–PCM: Listen(transient optimised minimum phase)
Measure(frequency response optmised)
–DSD: Listen(extended bandwidth transient optimised)
Measure (narrow bandwidth, low output band noise optimised)
–DXD: Fixed Bit-Perfect Processing
–MQA: Fixed MQA Filter

Headphone Amplifier
Amplifier: Dual Mono 2 x 285mW Direct Drive, coupling capacitor free circuit for highest fidelity
Volume Control: 3.5mm TRRS with Balanced compatible wiring
Dynamic Range(including DAC): > 109dB(A) @ 3v (Direct)
> 107dB(A) @ 0.5V (iEMatch®)
THD &N (@ 125mW/30R): < 0.005%
Max. Output (<10% THD): > 3.5V @ 600Ω Load (Direct) (20mW/600Ω)
> 2.9V @ 30Ω Load (Direct) (285mW/30Ω)
> 1.7V @ 15Ω Load (Direct) (200mW/15Ω)
Output Impedance : < = 1Ω (Direct)
< = 4Ω (iEMatchsup>®)
Channel Separation: > 79dB @ 600Ω Load (Direct)
> 79dB @ 15Ω Load (Direct) (1kHz, TRRS plug Balanced wiring)

Line Output
Dynamic Range(Line): > 109dB(A)
THD & N(0dBFS Line): < 0.004%
Output Voltage(Line): : 2.15V (+/-0.05V)
Output Impedance: < 240Ω Channel Separation: > 99dB (@ 1kHz)
Jitter(correlated): Below test set limit
Dimensions: 96(l) x 64(w) x 25.5(h)mm
Weight: 139g (0.31 Ibs)
Warranty period: 12months
iFi nano iDSD BLack

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An audio engineer living in Brooklyn, NY, Steven spends his spare time enjoying the sounds of ethereal indie rock and creating electronic music.