Last month, iFi Audio announced the iFi micro iDSD Black Label Edition, a new and improved version of their original micro iDSD. The original micro iDSD has been in the market for quite some time and it’s also one of the popular portable DAC/Amp, thanks to its sonics, flexibility and outright power. The new iFi micro iDSD Black Label offers a number of improvements from the original version, not only its physical appearance, but also the internal components and sound quality as well. It’s also a little bit more expensive compared to the original one, with an MSRP of $549, and it’s already available here. Check out more details about the new iFi micro iDSD Black Label DAC with headphone amp below.
iFi Micro iDSD Black Label Features
If you are familiar with the original micro iDSD or better yet own one, I’m sure you already know how good that portable DAC/Amp is. Basically speaking, the new micro iDSD Black Label is sonically better than the original one and iFi Audio claims that it’s superior compared to the original one. I haven’t tried or tested the new Black Label yet, but the new Black Label was built with new components and improved features.
For starters, the micro iDSD is built with the new 3D Holographic+ and XBass+, where the sound difference is more discernable compared to the original one. According to iFi Audio, it is “Sonically, much smoother, more weight and with a full-bodied mid-range. The bass is deeper and cleaner. The Black Label is in every way, the ‘turbo charged’ version of the normally aspirated micro iDSD.”
The digital engine of the micro iDSD Black Label features the following:
- DAC Power supply upgraded with iFi custom ultra-low noise Operationsverstärker OV2028
- DAC reference voltage decoupling changed to Panasonic audio-grade ECPU film capacitors
- Digital power supplies upgraded with Ultra-low impedance Panasonic OSCON capacitors
- GMT Femto precision clock system power supply upgraded for super-low phase-noise/jitter
And the analogue section of the micro iDSD Black Label features the following:
- Analogue section upgraded with iFi custom low noise FET input Operationsverstärker OV2627
- Analogue power supplies upgraded with Ultra-low impedance Panasonic OSCON capacitors
- 3D+ performance-tuned; now deeper and wider, and more spacious
- XBass+ performance-tuned; now deeper and cleaner bass and is more audible
- Re-designed Output Stabiliser network for less distortion
The iFi micro iDSD Black Label also features a dual Burr-Brown DSD 1793 DAC chips from Texas Instruments. It supports almost all audio formats including Octa-DSD512, PCM768 and Double DXD and plays them natively. It can also support various audio gear, from sensitive IEMs / CIEMs up to full sized headphones. In terms of battery life, the micro iDSD Black Label can play hi-res music from 6 to 12 hours depending on your setup. It can even charge your phone thanks to its 4800mAh internal battery. Of course, the main function of the internal battery is not for charging your phone, but to add power to the iDSD BL itself.
In terms of aesthetics, the original micro iDSD and Black Label Edition are quite similar except for the color. The original one has a silver / aluminum finish, like most of the iFi Audio’s portable device. While the micro iDSD Black Label is coated with a matte black finish and burnt orange silk prints. I personally love and enjoy the original micro iDSD, but I think I will enjoy the new iDSD Black Edition more. You can check out the rest of the features and specifications from the table below.
iFi Micro iDSD Black Label Specifications
|Formats supported||DSD512/256/128/64, Octa/Quad/Double/Single-Speed DSD|
DXD (768/705.6/384/352.8kHz), Double/Single-Speed DXD
|Filters||PCM - Bit-Perfect Processing/Minimum Phase/Standard|
DSD - Extreme/Extended/Standard Bandwidth
DXD - Bit-Perfect Processing
|Digital Inputs||High-Speed Asynchronous USB 2.0 (32bit/768kHz)|
|Digital Output||SPDIF Coaxial|
|Audio Output||6.3mm RCA Line out (2V fixed/2V-5V variable)|
|Power Output||Turbo (8.0V max/4,000 mW @ 16 Ohm)|
Normal (4.0V/1,000 mW @ 16 Ohm)
Eco (2.0V/250mW @ 16 Ohm)
|Power System||USB BCP V1.2 compliant up to 1500mA charging current|
|Power (max)||2W idle, 4W max|
|Dimensions (LxWxH)||7 x 2.6 x 1.1" (177 x 67 x 28mm)|
|Weight||0.68 lbs (310g)|
Price and Availability
The new iFi micro iDSD Black Label is now available in the US. It comes with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $549 (ex-tax) or Euro 599 / £455 (incl VAT). See latest pricing and availability of micro iDSD Black Label here.