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iFi xDSD 国外评测

发表于 2018-10-13 15:07 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
本帖最后由 ifi-audio 于 2018-10-16 17:16 编辑

Have You Heard the ifi xDSD Hi-Res Bluetooth Portable USB DAC? xDSD.png
“This thing is incredible,” our 30-something year old son said handing the little ici xDSD Hi-Res Bluetooth Portable USB DAC and Headphone amplifier back to me while pulling off a pair of headphones. “With that and a decent pair of headphones, you’d have a really good portable audio system to travel with.” He travels frequently and had just gotten home from a multi-day cross-country trip, so that was on his mind. He went on to add that this little DAC would be great for other situations where a full audio system just wasn’t possible. And, having traveled over an hour each way to the city for my job for about 15 years, I know it would be great for commuters.
I discovered this product in April in the Market Hall at AXPONA where it was being shown for the first time, and I asked for one to review. Recently, I’ve been reviewing CDs, and I wanted something that would improve the sound of music downloaded to my iPhone. Yes, I realize that music ripped to an iPhone is about the lowest quality there is, and that’s why I wanted something better.
Listening Experience
Anyway, here’s my experience with this ultra-portable little DAC that retails for a mere $399 on Amazon. Our youngest granddaughter takes a preschool gymnastics class, and I needed to take her to the class. She’s graduated to a class where basically my role is to provide transportation to and from the class. So while waiting for her and watching her out of the corner of my eye, I decided to play a Willie Nelson album that was on my iPhone. Now, I love Willie, but this wasn’t my favorite album, and one of the singers on the album had such a nasal, bluegrass style voice that I wondered how he ever got a recording contract. It was almost not listenable, but there were a couple of Willie’s solos on the album that I wanted to hear, so I didn’t switch to something else. Overall, however, the quality of the music was very thin and scratchy with no dimension.
Later in the day, Jack and I were in the car together running errands, and the same album started playing on the car’s audio system since my phone is paired to the car. We drive a 2018 BMW i3 with the premium audio package, so even without any added audio gear, the car’s stereo is very good. The sound of the album through the car stereo was much improved from just the straight iPhone, and there was a discernible difference in the voices, instrument placement and real bass. Still, it was nowhere near a high-end audiophile experience.
I decided having listened to the same album twice that day, I’d listen one more time using the ifi DAC, which I hadn’t really had much time to play with yet. It was sonic magic! Now, I’m not saying it sounded better than that album would have sounded on Jack’s reference system, but that’s not the point. The little DAC took poor quality audio files on an iPhone and transformed them into a listenable audio experience with bass and a soundstage that were unbelievable. Somehow this little DAC has the ability to add tonal quality to fill in what your ears tell you is missing. Again, this DAC is not intended to replace your high-end system, but it’s not designed to do that. Whether you use it wireless or wired, it sure goes a long way for turning your Bluetooth device and a pair of headphones into a premium and portable way to enjoy music.
User Experience 3.png
I’ll include the specs at the end of this post, but to start with, this little DAC is very portable. Its dark titanium vacuum ion plated metal enclosure is roughly the same size and weight as a large box of Altoid mints, or slightly smaller than your average cell phone. It delivers CD-quality Bluetooth connectivity for Apple/Android to stream the latest music on iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal and any other streaming platforms. It also delivers the very highest quality PCM768/DSD512 and MQA formats for downloaded and Tidal streamed music in full studio-quality.
This DAC is intended to be used with headphones, and iFi says they use an exclusive S-Balanced technology that delivers the maximum performance from single-ended and balanced headphones alike. Compared to standard balanced circuitry, noise and distortion are lowered by up to 3-fold (9dB). Even with non-balanced headphones, crosstalk and related distortion are reduced by 50%.
The 3D+ Matrix and XBass+ built into the amp prevents the “in your head” sensation common with headphones. This technology is able to let you hear the correct placement of an artist in a studio and outside of your head and basically makes listening through headphones more enjoyable and less tiring because it just sound right. So, just plug-in your headphones and enjoy the music!
ifi claims the DAC is super user-friendly, and our son thought it was remarkably easy. I’m having cataract surgery in a couple of months and can’t see a darn thing right now, so while the DAC came with really good printed information, the print was too small for me to read. If you are visually challenged like me, they do have a very good website with user information and a downloadable PDF. You will also find several recent reviews of this product online by searching the product name. It is getting some very favorable press.
So, my conclusion is that this DAC is amazing! It’s going to be a great present for our son’s birthday next month. It is truly worthy of being called a next-generation product for portable audio.
Technical Specifications
USB Input:
up to PCM768kHz & DSD512 (24.6/22.6MHz)
S/PDIF Coaxial and Optical Input:
up to 192kHz/24Bit
Dynamic Range:
> 113dB (A)
Volume Control:
-101dB…0dB in 1dB steps
Output power:
> 2.82V/500 mW @ 16 Ohm
> 3.7V/270mW @ 50 Ohm
> 3.8V/48 mW @ 300 Ohm
> 3.8V/24 mW @ 600 Ohm
Line out Level:
> 2.1V @ 0dBFS (& 0dB Volume)
THD &N (1V/16R):
< 0.005%
Output Impedance:
< 1 Ohm
95 (l) x66.5 (w) x19 (h) mm
127g (0.28 Ibs)
Warranty period:
12 months
详细查看原文https://theaudiobeatnik.com/have ... h-portable-usb-dac/

 楼主| 发表于 2018-10-13 15:28 | 显示全部楼层

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 楼主| 发表于 2018-10-13 16:11 | 显示全部楼层
iFi-Audio xDSD Specs
Output Power: 500mW into 16Ω
Dynamic range: 113dB
THD+N: 0.005%
Inputs: USB, SPDIF (coaxial / optical), Bluetooth (AptX, AAC)
Output impedance: <1Ω
Sample-rates: up to PCM 786 khz / DSD512 / MQA (Renderer)
The packaging for the xDSD is typical of what you could expect from iFi in being near identical to that of the rest of their Nano line of devices.
The outer sleeve boldly displays an image of the device, along with some logos and other text to showcase the fact that the xDSD has Bluetooth functionality, is MQA compatible, and can handle up to DSD512 files.

Removing the outer sleeve leaves us with a very familiar what box that simply has the iFi logo printed in silver.
What's in the box?
  • iFi-Audio xDSD
  • USB data cable
  • USB-A to USB-B adapter
  • USB-A to USB-B cable
  • 3.5mm Optical adapter
  • Storage pouch
  • Dual lock strips
  • Warranty / Instruction guide


With the xDSD, iFi included pretty much all of the bits and bobs that we’ve grown accustomed to receiving with their portable devices. The various included adapters ensure that you can use the device on your desktop rig even if you don’t necessarily have the correct USB cable at hand. The only parts missing from iFi’s usual array are the silicon/rubber bands, silicon stacking pad, and their famous purple RCA cables. In the case of the xDSD, the stacking pad and bands would not only be unnecessary, but actually somewhat useless due to the shape of the device. Instead, iFi included some Dual Lock with which you could attach a DAP (or phone) to the xDSD. This method tends to be “cleaner” and often more practical than using bands to secure a device, especially in the case of a smartphone or DAP that utilises a large touch display.



The xDSD is the first and only product in iFi’s “x” model lineup. In fact, the design of the xDSD is unlike anything we’ve seen thus far from iFi. The only slight “hint” of a resemblance to any of iFi’s other products would be that of their Pro line. The slightly corrugated design of the Pro iCan and Pro iDSD’s case is carried over onto the enclosure of the xDSD, albeit far more dramatically. In the case of the xDSD the design resembles corrugated sheet metal much more closely, making for an interesting yet awkward design.


The awkwardness of this design element becomes apparent when we consider the implications it has on “stacking” a DAP or smartphone to it. Due to a lack of a flat surface, it’s not really possible to use the regular ol’ ‘silicone pad and rubber-band technique’. Instead, the provided Dual Lock strips are needed here. This would require you to stick the thinner strips in between the crests of the corrugated casing, and the larger piece is to be stuck to the rear of the source device.

Moving on to the rest of the design, the xDSD’s case has 2 different finishes due to the fact that there are 2 different materials used. Both the main chassis as well as the front plate is made of metal, but the rear portion is made out of plastic. This was required as the Bluetooth transmission would struggle to pass through a metal rear-plate.
The metal parts are coated in what appears to be a sort of gun-metal grey, and an extremely glossy (almost mirror-polish) finish. This does make the xDSD exceptionally susceptible to fingerprints, and could potentially also make scratches to the finish rather obvious. Had iFi kept the same colour but given the device a matte-metallic finish instead, it would have been far more resistant to showing fingerprints and the effects of wear-and-tear.


On the front of the device (the faceplate) we get a headphone jack which can be used with both single ended and balanced connection (3.5mm in both scenarios), just like we saw on the Nano iDSD Black Label. Here the xDSD has lost out on the IEMatch function that can be found on both the Micro and Nano iDSD Black Label, which means that some hiss can definitely be heard on ultra-sensitive IEMs like the Dunu DK-3001 (13Ω, 110dB/mW) when music isn’t playing. But, this hiss isn’t noticeable at normal listening levels.

Next there are 2 LED indicators which are independently used to denote the current sample-rate being fed to the device, as well as which input has been selected.


The centre of the faceplate houses the large volume-control knob, which also acts as a power-switch. However, instead of turning the knob to power the device on/off, it needs to be pressed in and held for about 2 seconds. The knob also houses an LED which is used to indicate what the current volume level is. This is very similar to how Chord indicates various functions and levels on the Mojo and Hugo 2.
The control knob also has distinct clicks when turning, and also has no start or end points. This suggests that the actual volume control might be digital, but iFi explicitly states that the xDSD’s actual volume control operates entirely in the analogue domain.
I did notice here a little quality control issue, though, as the knob isn’t centred quite correctly. However, this won’t have any negative influence on the actual functionality of the part.

Moving towards the right of the faceplate are 2 more LED indicators to show the status of the 3D+ and XBass+ effects, and lastly we get a “Setting” button which is used to cycle through the aforementioned effect, and/or to put the xDSD’s Bluetooth module into pairing mode.


Finally we move to the rear of the xDSD which houses the COAX/Optical combo port, a male USB-A connector (as we’ve seen on various Micro and Nano devices from iFi), a filter switch to select between the measure and listen digital filters, and a microUSB connector. Unlike iFi’s previous portable devices, the xDSDs male USB-A connector functions solely as a data input port, and so cannot be used to charge the internal battery. Thus the microUSB port is used to connect the xDSD to an external source of power.

The xDSD has a slightly larger footprint than the Nano iDSD BL (less than 5% larger), but is also a considerably thinner device, making it noticeably more compact than the Nano iDSD BL overall, and it also feels less “hollow”, more premiumthan the Nano iDSD BL.


Due to a lack of buttons and the amount of features built into the xDSD, accessing all of those features can be a little unintuitive to some extent. For example, as mentioned previously, to turn the device on the power knob needs to be held in for around 2 seconds. But, this is also the same steps required to switch between Bluetooth and wired mode. So, let’s say that the last mode you used was USB input – pressing in and holding the power button for 2 seconds and releasing the button will power the device on and it’ll be back in wired mode, and the same is true for Bluetooth mode.
However, in order to change modes, this requires you to press and hold the power button when the device is off for 4 seconds (2 more than when simply turning the device on). What this means is that, if you want to change modes, you must first turn the device off. That’s not exactly the end of the world, but just a little inconvenient.
Then there’s something else that a little annoying, and actually a bit weird. For whatever reason, if the xDSD has been powered off for more than about 30 seconds, when turning the device on again the XBass+ function will be turned on. But, if you turn off that function, then switch off the device and then turn it back on again before 30 seconds have elapsed, then the XBass+ function will still be in whatever state you left it before turning the device off (either on or off).
The last little issue here is that, because you’re required to use the same button to cycle between the XBass+ and 3D+ effects, it’s impossible to really be able to compare the effects. For example, let’s say that both effects are turned off – pressing the setting button once will turn on XBass+. Pressing the button again will turn off XBass+, but at the same time turn on the 3D+ effect. Pressing the button again will leave 3D+ on and turn on XBass+ as well. So, if you just wanted to cycle between the 3D+ effect, you can’t do that, and likewise for just the XBass+ effect.

There’s also a lineout mode, meaning you can take the signal directly from the DAC chip and completely bypass the amplifier circuit. To do this, we once again have to turn off the device completely. Then, whilst pressing and holding the setting button, press and hold the power button as usual, but let go of the power button and continue to hold the setting button for a further 3 seconds once the power button lights up for the first time. If the xDSD is in lineout mode, the power button will be lit in a solid white colour. To turn off lineout mode, simply repeat the process. there is no preamp level control for the lineout signal though.

So, changing modes and so forth certainly isn’t exactly rocket science, but it can be a little cumbersome.


If there’s one capability that iFi lacks entirely, beyond the shadow of a doubt, it would to create poor sounding equipment. It doesn’t matter which of their products we look at,
iFi always delivers very well in this regard.
The xDSD is no different as it lives up to the expectation of excellent sound reproduction in quintessential iFi fashion. Music comes across as being organic and engaging, drawing you in and surrounding you with a sense of enjoyment and relaxation. But it’s when you actually sit down and compare the sound of the xDSD to it’s other siblings that you realise just how much bang-for-buck is packed into the xDSD.

xDSD vs. Nano iDSD Black Label
This is perhaps the most obvious comparison to make, as both devices are intended to be used for the same purpose – near-desktop performance in an ultra-portable package.
Discerning sonic differences between the 2 devices isn’t quite as obvious as one might think, as it requires a good couple of minutes for your ears to acclimate to one of the devices, after which switching to a different device reveals those differences more prominently. In terms of sonic character, the Nano iDSD BL sounds somewhat “thinner” than the xDSD. It’s as though there’s just a little bit of added warmth and fullness to the xDSD’s sound. Perhaps due to this apparent “thinness”, the Nano iDSD BL comes across as having a brighter signature in comparison. And yet, despite the brighter character of the Nano iDSD BL, the xDSD also renders musical notes with greater definition and less “smoothness”. When it comes to how smooth a device portrays the audio signal, that “smoothness” can come across as either being refined (i.e not analytical, yet notes are still well defined), or it could make it seem like the music is a bit “smeared” together. The Nano iDSD BL definitely falls more in the latter category when compared to the xDSD.

Read:IFI Nano iDSD Black Label DAC/AMP Review

xDSD vs Micro iDSD Black Label
This may seem like a more unfair battle, as the Micro iDSD BL is certainly intended to be more of a Jack of all trades powerhouse than the xDSD, but again, their sound has more in common than what you might expect.
Hearing the differences between these device again showed how well the xDSD performs and it impressed me a lot, especially considering its size compared to the barely portable Micro iDSD BL.
The most obvious difference in their character was that the xDSD seemed more “congested”. There also seemed to be less “air” between the instruments, which makes the Micro iDSD BL sound “bigger” and portrays a slightly wider sound stage.
There’s also a more refind sound coming from the Micro iDSD BL, as it offers a smoother character, but without making the sound feel smeared either.
The Micro iDSD BL’s sound incorporates all of the favourable characteristics of the Nano iDSD BL and that of the xDSD. That extra refinement shows, but the xDSD really is right on its heels.

Read:IFI Micro iDSD Black Label DAC/AMP ReviewValue

Value is something I’ve personally come to appreciate from iFi. What I appreciate most, however, is that they seem to be following the exact same pricing scheme to what I would’ve done, in the sense that it mimics my philosophy on how a manufacturer of audio products should price their products in relation with one another.
At an MSRP of $400, the xDSD sits squarely in the middle between the Nano iDSD BL and the Micro iDSD BL. And yet, their actual sound quality isn’t exactly a far cry from one another. iFi doesn’t go and intentionally cripple the sonic performance of their devices in order to “make them fit” into a designated slot within their product portfolio, but instead they do the best that they can for that price category and add in features accordingly.
The xDSD might cost double that of the Nano iDSD BL, but with that jump in price does come an improvement in sound quality, extra features, and a more compact size. The extra cost is justified.
In comparison to the Micro iDSD BL, the xDSD doesn’t have nearly as much power available, but it does add Bluetooth capability and a far more compact design. Sure, it does lose out on some of the Micro iDSD BL’s other features, but most of what the Micro iDSD BL’s got is available on the xDSD too.
Overall, when looking at all 3 of these devices, the xDSD actually seems like the device that packs the greatest bang-for-buck. Unless you actually need the extra power of the Micro iDSD BL, or a device that can pretty seamlessly morph between a portable solution and a desktop one, then the xDSD makes much more sense in terms of a truly compact and portable Hi-Fi DAC solution. Whatever your personal need is, one thing’s for damn sure…iFi really knocked this one out of the park!

详情查看原文https://www.samma3a.com/tech/en/ ... -audio-xdsd-review/


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 楼主| 发表于 2018-10-16 17:08 | 显示全部楼层
本帖最后由 ifi-audio 于 2018-10-16 17:16 编辑

Pros - Incredible sound quality, strong build, very lightweight and slender, battery life, impressive feature *offerings*, good power. Intangible difference in sound quality from wireless or wired modes.
Cons - Price is a hard sell over the Micro iDSD BL. Instruction manual. Not a very noticeable difference having the main selling features on/off (3D+/XBass).
This review has been edited to correct my mistake I made in about the Features section of the combi. I was able to try the unit out again for a few days and correctly utilized the wireless mode I had such an issue with originally. The rest of the review was correct.

During my few years I’ve been reviewing audio products, there’s been a few brands that I’ve had the honor of coming to both learn about and listen to several of their products and consistently be impressed with. One of those such brands is iFi. It seems that every product that I’ve the honor of being able to listen to and/or review I’m always impressed with. Now enter another of their offerings into the mobile market, the xDSD. Coming in at twice the price of its iDSD BL older sibling that I really came to love, I’m quite interested to see what it brings to the table.

A little about me

I would like to say that first and foremost I am NOT an “audiophile” but rather an audio enthusiast. I listen to music to enjoy it. Do I prefer a lossless source? Yes, of course. But I can still be very happy streaming from Pandora or even my YouTube “My Mix” playlist. I also prefer equipment that sounds the best to me personally regardless of what frequency response it has or rather or not it's “sonically accurate” and I always have and shall continue to encourage others to do the same.

I'm a firefighter for both the civilian and military sector and the cliché of wanting to do this since I was born couldn't be more present with me. I've worked hard over the last several years to earn this position and now it's time for me to work even harder to keep it.

My interests/hobbies are powerlifting, fishing and relaxing to audio products and reviewing them to help other decide on what products would work for them. Few things make me as an audio enthusiast/review feel more accomplished than when someone tells me that I helped them find the type of sound they've always been looking for.

Now, the sound signature I personally favor is a relaxing, warm and sensual sound that just drifts me away in the emotional experience of the music being performed. Yes, accuracy is still important but I will happily sacrifice some of that if I'm presented with a clean, warm sound that can wisp me away into an experience that makes me yearn for more.

My ideal signature are that of respectably forward mids and upper bass range with the bass being controlled but with some slight decay. I like my treble to have nice extension and detail reveal with a smooth roll off up top as to not become harsh in the least. Examples of products that have given me chills and keep giving me the yearning for more feels are the (in no particular order) Bowers & Wilkins P7, Oppo PM-1/2, Empire Ears Hermes VI & Zeus XIV, Audeze LCD-XC, Meze Headphones 99 Classics.

Equipment used at least some point during the review


-Empire Ears Hermes VI

-Meze 99 Classic

-Oppo PM-1

-Sennheiser HD650


-LG V20/HP Pavilion

-Playing Pandora, YouTube, and various format personal music


I am by no means sponsored by this company or any of its affiliates. They were kind enough to send me a product for an arranged amount of time in exchange for my honest opinion. I am making no monetary compensation for this review.

The following is my take on the product being reviewed. It is to be taken “with a grain of salt” per say and as I always tell people, it is YOUR opinion that matters. So regardless of my take or view on said product, I highly recommend you listen to it yourself and gauge your own opinion.

20180809_111855.jpg 20180809_111845.jpg
Why I feel so strongly about the initial unboxing experience

Please allow me to explain why I feel so strongly about the initial unboxing experience with a product. Maybe it’s due to my southern roots in the hills of eastern Kentucky, but I’ve always been raised under the pretense of when you introduce yourself to someone for the first time you present yourself with confidence, class, character, pride, and competence. You greet the other person with a true warm smile, eye contact and a firm handshake. Anything less or short implies to other person that you either don’t care about them, are too full of yourself, too busy to be bothered by the likes of them, or worse, just generally disrespectful.

As a consumer, I take this same belief to when I open a new product. Why? Because think about it this way. How else can a company introduce themselves to their customers? How do they present their products? Are they packaged with pride and presented in such a way that makes the listener eager to listen to them? Or maybe they’re just wrapped up and placed in an available space. How about the box itself? Is it bogged down with jargon that says look at this, look what I can do. I’m better than anything on the market and here’s why read this and check out that. Or, is the package clean, simplistic and classy? As if saying to the customer ‘Good day, pleasure to meet your acquaintance. Please give me a listen and allow me to show you what I can do and allow my actions to speak louder than my words.’

This is why I feel so strongly about the initial presentation of a product, and I feel it’s truly a shame more people don’t. But with all that aside, let’s discuss how this products introduced itself shall we?

As with about all of iFi products the xDSD is delivered very professionally albeit in my opinion a bit cluttered. The outer packaging is iFi’s standard white box with the product pictured on the front and a bit of features the product has. The sides and back continue this with the back being in much greater degree with input/output power etc… listed. Though I can understand the specs being printed on the packaging somewhat I still personally believe the vast majority of it can be placed inside a pamphlet on the inside of the box.

As you open the exterior cover and the inner box, which is a solid white box with only the iFi logo printed on the top (which is what I like seeing), you’re greeted with the owners manual and startup guide, a cloth pouch that holds the xDSD inside, and a square box that holds A LOT of cables and adaptors and the like.

I feel like I’ve received a consistent handshake from iFi as I have with all the previous unboxings I’ve done from them. I was delivered a very nice product with the level of care and conscious thought that I personally appreciate seeing company’s take the time to put together, and I at least appreciate it.


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 楼主| 发表于 2018-10-16 17:15 | 显示全部楼层
本帖最后由 ifi-audio 于 2018-10-16 17:20 编辑

Construction 20180808_191000.jpg

The construction of the xDSD is, as I’ve come to expect from iFi, very well made. The vast majority of the frame is of an aluminum like material with minimal plastic, that at least I could see. The front of the xDSD consists of a 3.5mm balanced OR unbalanced output port, the input source and sample rate lights, the volume knob/power button/mode switch (as I’ll discuss later), 3D+ and XBass+ identifier light and the settings/bluetooth button. The bottom has 4 rubber feet to keep it from scratching both itself as well as the product it’s paired with. Finally, the back has a 3.5mm line out port (yup, it can also be used in line out mode bypassing the amp completely), usb jack, listen/measure filter switch and lastly a micro USB charging port (which I wish would’ve been a type C but oh well).

I believe iFi did a great job in the build quality of their xDSD. It’s very lightweight yet feels structurally sound in my hands. It’s slim and only minimally adds to the size of my phone that I’ve tethered the xDSD to, so my pocket isn’t maxed out. So well done.

Features *CORRECTED*

Like most iFi products, it’s not simply an insert here product. The xDSD is not only a portable amp and dac (or combi as I call them) but it also has a few, pretty darned neat, settings that I believe set it apart from others in the combi offering.

The first feature(s), that I noticed at least, is that the xDSD has 2 available modes that you can take advantage of, them being 3D+ and XBass+. Now, as unfortunate as it is, I personally could not hear any tangible difference in sound when switching between the modes. The XBass+ I completely heard nothing different and the 3D+ I kinda sorta heard a little bit different sound. This was really disappointing because I have SO much praise for it when I heard it on the iCAN Pro (granted it’s MUCH bigger and MUCH more expensive). Something I think would have made it better though is the ability to turn on/off each mode individually vs having to cycle through them like you currently do. I still don’t believe I would hear much but having the ability to turn it off and immediately back on would have really helped test if there’s a difference or not.

The next thing I noticed is that it’s Bluetooth capable. Admittedly, I only used the Bluetooth setting to test it for my review for I personally can foresee very few instances where I’ll not have my phone on me but will a pair of headphones and the xDSD. But during the time I was using the xDSD in wireless mode I will say, it’s, at least from my memory, the cleanest sounding bluetooth that I’ve ever heard. I went from wireless mode to wired mode and, at least personally, couldn’t tell any difference in sound quality. I can already hear the mobs lighting their torches at that sentence but I really couldn’t. Now, while it was in wireless mode I was able to hear a SLIGHTLY more noticeable difference between having the 3D+ and XBass features on or off, so that did give it some added feature but I must stress, to my ears, the difference was very slight.
To switch between wired and wireless mode is quite simple (though it's not listen under the wireless mode in the instruction manual [it's under the power section]), while the unit is off, hold the power button down until the light changes from green/blue to the other color and then once it changes, simply release the button. The xDSD should also automatically go into pairing mode at this point as well. However, if it doesn't all you need to do is, while it's on and in wireless mode, hold down the settings button for about 3 seconds and it will force pair to your device.

So overall I think that iFi did a really good job with making a well made wireless combi unit with some cool features. Though I personally didn't hear too much of a difference with the 3D+ and XBass, that's not to say others will not. They did do an amazing job with the no loss of sound quality (which I'll of course touch on next) when going from wireless to wired mode. My only real complain is that I wish the instructions would be organised a bit better.

As with all iFi products I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing, this is one aspect that they consistently impress me with, and the xDSD is of no exception. Before I go into this section, I judged the sound off of NOT having the 3D+ OR the XBass+ setting turned on. Though, as said above, I personally heard no discernable difference with it turned on, I wanted to ensure I’m hearing the xDSD for its performance and not a setting that may swade the opinion one way or another. Also, I had it connected to my phone via USB. As I also said earlier, I personally didn’t hear any difference between the wired and wireless modes, my same reasoning applies (I also didn’t want to mess with the wireless mode and get frustrated again).

For the most part I find the xDSD to present its sourced music very accurately. The level of detail that this little device can push forth is quite impressive to say the least. A song I’m listening to as I’m writing this section is such a nice piece in general but it’s certainly catering to my current love for the Violin. But “Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso” by Saint-Seans from the Your Lie In April anime is played amazingly clean from the xDSD. Yes, all I have to work with is the YouTube video (CD hasn’t came in yet) but just from that low quality playthrough it’s no amazingly impactful and the xDSD, in my complete surprise, didn’t miss a beat on the impact of the piano or violins duet. Now, I will say that I do believe the treble is very slightly toned back a little bit. There’s a few notes that, when played on my desktop setup, just come alive but the xDSD, though keeps a close level of detail, it doesn’t bring that realism to the degree my desktop rig does, as I wouldn’t expect it to, but the slight treble reduction I did notice.

One thing I would like to cover is the ability for the xDSD to drive a pretty impressive array of headphones. From the oh so infamous HD650 to my hypersensitive Hermes VI, the xDSD was able to play them without a skip. Now, the Hermes VI did still sadly have the hiss that a vast majority of products just can’t quite play a black enough background to get rid of but it was very subtle. So as long as you’re not wanting to power an absurdly hungry headphone, you’ll very likely be more than happy with the xDSD’s ability to power your product.


我对IFI xDSD最后的想法是,在大多数情况下,他们已经做了精彩的工作,价格没有对象。构建质量是我对iFi的期望以及液体流畅的声音。虽然说明书对我来说更好,但功能非常扎实且易于使用(对大多数人来说))。对于那些像我一样很少使用无线组合的人来说,这比他们出色的Micro iDSD BL要难。


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 楼主| 发表于 2018-10-17 15:59 | 显示全部楼层
My iFi iDSD has made up the centrepiece of my desktop set-up for the last 3 years. Since then I’ve tried numerous DACs and amps – but still the iDSD remains. More recently its coupled with an iUSB (for clean power input), a Gemini cable (to separate signal from power), an iTube (my my LSR 305’s), and it sits nicely on an iRack. Yep – I’ve become a bit of an iFi fan. Every part I’ve just mentioned is owned by me – no review samples.
My review today is the iFi xDSD – a portable DAC/amp in one, only this time we have a Bluetooth connection (so you can go source > Bluetooth> xDSD and have your headphones plugged into the xDSD). Its a solution not unlike FiiO’s Q5 (which I reviewed recently). So why is a device like this an important step in the evolution of HQ portable audio? For me its simply because I always have my smart-phone with me, and it has a lot of my audio library on it. Its interface is fast and well organised. I can stream, I can add apps. Its issue is that its not optimised for audio, and the hardware (while decent) is not audio focused. The perfect marriage of devices for me (rather than carrying another DAP) is to simply lever the UI, software interface and connectivity of my smart-phone and output that through a high quality portable device. And rather than having to carry a stack, be able to look at simpler wireless options.
So lets take an in-depth look at the iFi xDSD, see how it performs, and compare it to FiiO’s Q5 along the way.
iFi Audio is a subsidiary of well known high-end audio product manufacturer Abbingdon Music Research (AMR). AMR is one of the UK’s largest manufacturer of high-end audio systems (founded in 2000). In 2012, AMR introduced iFi as a subsidiary company with the aim of bringing high-end audio to a more mainstream audio audience. By levering trickle down technology from their parent company, iFi have developed a series or audio family product lines (Pro, Retro, Micro, Nano and now the X series) which feature a full range of DACs, amplifiers, power purifiers, cables, and other audio related devices. They have been actively involved in on-line audio communities to grow their brand, and in my own personal experience their support network is also extremely good.
The one thing I’ve noticed with iFi as I’ve used their products is their passion for sound, and their ability to create great sounding products at an affordable price point.
The xDSD DAC/amp that I’m reviewing today was provided to me as part of a review tour. There is no incentive to write the review (other than getting to listen to the product), and at then end of my period with the xDSD (7 days) it is sent to the next participant in the tour. The retail price at time of review is ~ USD 399.
If you haven’t read any of my reviews, I suggest starting here, as it will give you an insight into my known preferences and bias.
For the purposes of this review – I used the iFi xDSD primarily with my iPhone SE, FiiO X7ii, X5iii, and as a DAC/amp with my PC, but also with a lot of other DAPs just to check compatibility (Bluetooth or coax only with the Android devices). I tested with a selection of different earphones (both IEMs and full sized),
In the time I have spent with the xDSD, I have noticed no change to the overall sonic presentation (burn-in). This is a purely subjective review – my gear, my ears, and my experience. Please take it all with a grain of salt – especially if it does not match your own experience.
The xDSD arrived in a 90 x 205 x 47mm retail outer retail sleeve (over internal box and lid). The sleeve is white with a picture of the xDSD on the front, and features and specifications around the sides and rear. Opening the box reveals an inner box with foam insert which holds the xDSD, and to the side there is another compartment with the accessories. The total accessory package with this unit included:
  • The xDSD DAC/AMP
  • Velvet carrying pouch
  • Cable : USB A (male and female connectors)
  • Cable :USB B (female socket) to USB A (female socket)
  • Adaptor : USB A (male connector) to USB B (female socket)
  • Toslink optical adaptor to 3.5mm jack
  • “3M type” dual lock tape for attaching xDSD to source device
    Note that someone earlier in the tour had used most of this leaving only a sliver.
  • Documentation
ifi-xdsd-02.jpg ifi-xdsd-01.jpg
I’ve included the relevant xDSD specs + (where known) comparison to the FiiO Q5
ifi xDSD
FiiO Q5
Approx Price
USD 399.00
USD 370.00
Device Type
HQ Blue-tooth DAC and Amp
HQ Blue-tooth DAC and Amp
95 x 66 x 19mm
124 x 64 x 16mm
DAC Chipset
Burr Brown DSD173
AK4490EN x 2
Output Power 16 ohm
500mW (2.82V)
230mW SE / 470mW Bal. (THD+N <1%)
Output Power 32 ohm
Not stated
160mW SE / 440mW Bal. (THD+N <1%)
Output Power 50 ohm
270 mW (3.7V)
Not stated
Output Power 300 ohm
48 mW (3.8V)
24mW SE / 93mW Bal. (THD+N <1%)
>113dB (A-weighted)
>115dB (A-weighted)
<0.005% (1V/16ohm)
<0.001% (1 kHz/32ohm)
Peak Output Voltage SE / BAL
3.8V RMS
>2.1V RMS SE / >3.7V RMS Bal.
Not stated
>73 dB SE / >97 dB Line-out / 99 dB Bal.
Output Impedance (32 ohm loaded)
<1.0 ohm (load not stated)
<1.4 ohm SE, <2 ohm Bal.
Battery Capacity
2200 mAh
3800 mAh
Battery Performance / Recharge
6-10 hours use (varies on input/output), <3.5 hours recharge
8-10 hours use (varies on input/output), 3.5 hours recharge
Blue-tooth Support
aptX, AAC, SBC
aptX, AAC, SBC
Sample Rate Support – Up To:
Up to PCM 768 kHz / DSD512 (USB)
Up to 192/24 (Coax & Optical)
Up to PCM 384/32 (USB)
Up to 192/24 Coax / 96/24 Optical
DSD Support (USB In)
DSD64 / 128 / 256 / 512
DSD64 / 128 / 256
MQA Support
The xDSD is a lot smaller and a lot lighter than I expected. It’s about the same width and only marginally higher than the Q5, but a whopping 3cm shorter in length and almost 70g lighter. One would be forgiven (especially after handling the Q5) to think that the wavy body of the xDSD is a high tensile polycarbonate. But in reality it is a light-weight magnesium alloy.
The xDSD has 3 distinct sections. The main body and cap are magnesium alloy, while the lower section is a black polycarbonate (presumably to allow transmission of Bluetooth). The casing is a wavy or ridged design which feels comfortable in hand, but the glossy surface is a real fingerprint magnet. For stacking, iFi includes an adhesive product which works very much like 3M dual-lock – and this should allow stacking quite easily with most devices. I’d show this in the photos but unfortunately others on the tour must have thought it was a good idea to use practically all of it up (and yes this is a dig at them) – so I would suggest checking other reviewers if you need a closer look.
ifi-xdsd-05.jpg ifi-xdsd-04.jpg   
To the left of the pot is the 3.5mm headphone out jack – which has iFi’s S-Balanced technology (I’ll discuss this in a little more detail later in the review), but essentially you can use balanced headphones or single ended, and it will know which is plugged and compensate accordingly. Next to this is an LED showing which input is in use, and also the output sample rate. To the right of the pot is the 3D / XBass LED indicators, and next to that is the settings button which is used for switching the 3D / XBass, setting the line-out mode, and also Bluetooth pairing.
The front (or top) cap is dominated by the central volume control knob – which has an inner LED which changes colour depending on the volume and the functionality active at the time. In the centre of this is the iFi logo – and small “nitpick” from me. Ifi – it would be nice if the logo did not move when the volume knob is rotated. In my experience some audiophiles can tend to be a little OCD – so a static logo would have looked aesthetically better. Anyway – the central knob or pot also doubles as an on/off and also a mute switch. ifi-xdsd-07.jpg ifi-xdsd-06.jpg

At the rear of the xDSD is the S/PDIF port for coaxial or optical input. Next to this is the USB audio input (type A male connector). Unfortunately There are no USB OTG cables included (either lightning or micro USB) requiring purchase of separate suitable cables. Next to this is a digital filter switch which according to iFi offers a transient optimised minimum phase option (listen) or the frequency response optimised filter (measure). I’ve tested both with a variety of music, and I’m afraid the change is far to subtle for me to notice any real difference. Finally at the far right is a micro USB port solely for charging the xDSD. A charging cable is not included (which I personally find quite strange).
On the bottom of the device are 4 rubber feet (for desktop use).
All in all, the build quality seems pretty solid, although some of the finer points I normally expect from iFi are missing. The rubber bottom cap does not squarely align with the magnesium alloy body creating a slight ridge which is very unlike any of their other products I own. Also the audio jacks may fit well, but they are not exactly firm, and a gentle tug is enough to dislodge the 3.5mm main port. The Q5 is definitely more reassuringly tight. When I was using the xDSD portably during the week, I lost connection a couple of times when my headphone cable was bumped out of the socket.
Like the FiiO Q5, iFi have really given us the whole 9 yards as far as inputs go, and included are USB, COAX, Optical, and Bluetooth. The only thing missing so far has been analog line-in. I’ve been able to check all of the available inputs, and so far they have worked flawlessly. With my iPhone SE, I simply used aac256 for starters, and then transferred a DSD album via the FiiO app, and via USB it successfully natively played (the DSD indicator LED lit up with the correct colour). I checked coax via the coax out from the X7ii, and once again flawless transmission (and automatic detection and switching by the xDSD).
Unfortunately the one thing I could not test was USB out from any of my Android devices to USB in on the x-DSD. I actually have a couple of cables which could have possibly worked – but neither terminated ina USB-A female. Why iFi uses this method of connection is a little beyond me. Because it is a slightly unusual connection method, it would have been nice to have a USB OTG / output cable included.
My first check was to see if the xDSD could use Windows 10’s basic drivers and be recognised as a DAC without further installation. For this I used my work laptop (64bit Surface Pro running Win10). I have some music on the lap-top, but our Company locks down the OS so we can’t install anything like programmes or DAC drivers. I checked the control panel, and the Windows Sound Mixer had the xDSD recognised and capable of playing up to 32/384. Next was firing up Groove music and queuing an album, and then ….. beautiful music. Two thumbs up iFi.
Next onto my home PC. This one already has the iDSD universal driver set installed, so the xDSD was instantly recognised, and I soon had JRiver running and the xDSD playing native DSD. I quickly ran through my test suite of formats and it does indeed play everything I threw at at it (including ogg, APE, AIFF, WAV, FLAC and ALAC).
ifi-xdsd-09 (1).jpg

Booting out of Windows, my next step was to connect to my main OS (Debian Linux). Again the xDSD was recognised. I ran my purchased installation of Jriver Media Centre for Linux, and played some native DSD. Again – easy recognition, and again the test suite of formats ran easily.

Finally my iOS devices(my iPhone SE and iPad mini). Once again no issues with either, and using the FiiO music app, I can successfully play hi-res including DSD.
I can honestly say not a single hitch. This is ease of use the way its meant to be. Well done iFi – really well done.
Getting into Bluetooth mode was simply a matter of switching the device off, and then keeping the power button depressed for a few extra seconds until the blue light was engaged. Pairing was easy (when it works), with both the i-devices or Android (X7ii / X5ii). Range was very good out to 10m and beyond, and for the most part has been pretty stable. There has just been the odd time I’ve had minor drop-outs and a little static (pops and crackles). These have not been prevalent though, and perhaps simply a sign that the Bluetooth driver may need a little bit of work. All in all though the Bluetooth performance is pretty good and I often use it for walking and especially around the house. The one issue I have is with my iPhone – I’ll go into it down the page a little (see “issues”).
The xDSD supports SBC, AAC and aptX codecs. From what I understand, iFi’s implementation of Bluetooth is not using the on-chip codec, and instead pushing the digital stream to the high quality Burr-Brown DAC. And like the FiiO Q5, this means very good quality audio. So good in fact that I can’t tell wired from wireless. To me aac256 is transparent (I have tested myself many times) and while I’ll use FLAC on my home system – I’m perfectly fine with my lossy aac files – especially for portable use. Between the xDSD and the Q5, I think Bluetooth audio has finally “come of age”.
iFi advertises 6-10 hours life for DAC/amp use dependent on the input source, and unfortunately I simply haven’t had the time to test this fully in the last week (between travelling and using the device). If you’re using USB out, then unfortunately this is the lower end of the scale with ~6 hours, Bluetooth is 8 and S/PDIF is around 10 hours. The 8 hours for Bluetooth feels about right and I’ve easily been getting a full day at work – and for me personally this represents reasonable performance. With a 5V 2.1a charger, full charge (from practically empty) is easily achieved in around 3 hours.
The power output on the xDSD is genuinely surprising. I saw no true balanced output and was concerned that it was mainly going to be a device for portable headphones and IEMs. I love using my Q5 with my HD800S around the house – and was hoping the xDSD could possibly mirror that performance.
My concerns were unjustified. The xDSD uses what iFi calls a CyberDrive battery and amplifier system. Don’t be fooled by the small size either – the xDSD is both able to handle IEMs with finesse and an impressively low noise floor, then without a hitch switch to an HD600 or HD800S and put 48mW into those loads (easily able to drive them to listening levels of ~100dB). And both the HD600 and HD800S sounded well driven too – no obvious signs of being under powered.
ifi-xdsd-14.jpg ifi-xdsd-16.jpg


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 楼主| 发表于 2018-10-17 16:03 | 显示全部楼层
As far as heat goes, the xDSD has only been very slightly warm during a long listening session, but generally I’ve found the ambient heat dissipation to be excellent. So good in fact that I wouldn’t even call it lukewarm.

The digital filter is controlled by the rear listen / measure switch. The two modes are transient optimised minimum phase option (listen) or the frequency response optimised filter (measure). As I alluded to above, I tried the switches with a lot of different music – especially jazz (with a lot of cymbal action). I’m certain that it is making a slight change, and people with better hearing than I will be able to set this to their preference. The change is incredibly subtle though, and I really can’t tell a difference.

The XBass is a different matter though, and while subtle with most music, any tracks having a decent amount of sub-bass (rumble) will definitely notice the boost. It starts very small (1dB at about 100Hz), and by the time you get to 20Hz there is a nicely linear rise of about 7dB. xDSD-XBass.png

The 3D matrix is another interesting switch. When engaged, there is a very gentle widening of the stage. The interesting thing is there is absolutely no change to measured frequency response (on my rig), yet the change is easily audible. I’m not sure how iFi has achieved this (a slight change of phase maybe). The really nice thing with the 3D switch is that iFi haven’t over-done it, and for me its a really nice addition to be able to subtly tweak those intimate headphones or that intimate recording – and with a push of a button get a little more spacious presentation.
Before we get to the sound and comparisons, I need to bring to light a couple of niggles (one of which has been really annoying). Both are related to Bluetooth. The first I’ve mentioned, and its the occasional drop-out from both Android and iOS (experienced as clicks and sometimes 1/2 second pauses). In comparison to the Q5 – the xDSD Bluetooth just seems slightly less stable (even though it has very good range).
The real issue is with my iPhone SE. I’ll connect – the iPhone recognises the xDSD, the headphone icon lights up on the iPhone tool bar, and shows in the output. But when I go to play – no sound. Its definitely playing too – everything looks 100% good. Just no sound. If I connect the Q5 – instant sound. I know its not the iPhone. And it doesn’t happen all the time either. Sometimes the iPhone will play without a hitch – others it seems no matter what I do, it simply won’t output sound. The “glitch” happens less with Android devices (or at least it seems that way), but on least one occasion I’ve had the same thing happen with the Cayin N5ii and also my X5iii.
I’d be interested to see if anyone is having similar issues – as I do know that Amos also experienced it with his review – so I don’t think its isolated just to this unit. I do hope iFi can get a Bluetooth upgrade through to the xDSD eventually. FiiO did the same with their Q5 and it made a world of difference (stability and range). If iFi could fix this issue – they’d have an absolute winner on their hands. The only solution I can find so far is getting the iPhone to “forget” the xDSD and doing a manual set-up when it happens. Its now got to the annoying stage – and would seriously influence a buying decision for me.
I’m going to preface this section with a little critique I received a while ago, and my answer to it – so that you can understand why I don’t comment on some things, and why I do comment on others. I was told my review on another amp was poor because I didn’t include sections on bass, mid-range, treble, sound-stage, imaging etc – yet referred to an amp as warm, full, or lean.
Now I can understand the reference to warm / full / lean – as they are very subjective terms, and whilst I’d like to avoid their use, they are invaluable to convey true meaning. Comparing my NFB-12 to the Aune X1S for example – the Audio-gd does sound richer and warmer. It’s the nature of the DAC and amp which is used.
But I choose not to comment on bass, mids, treble, and most definitely not sound-stage – simply because when we are talking about a DAC/amp – IMO they shouldn’t be discussed. An DACs job is to decode the signal in as linear fashion as possible, and the amp’s job is to amplify the signal with as low distortion as possible. If the device is doing its job properly, there is no effect on bass, mids, or treble – except if hardware boost is concerned. And IME an amp does not affect sound-stage (unless there is DSP or cross-feed in play) – that is solely the realm of the transducers and the actual recording.
So we have that out of the way how does the xDSD perform sonically?
To test tonality, I usually compare (using same source/transport) with my E17K. The FiiO E17K is one of the most linear devices I own, and is essentially ruler flat from 20Hz to 20kHz. Both devices were volume matched and had my iPhone SE as source. For headphones – I used the HD630VB – mainly because the E17K may have struggled a little with the HD800S.
In subjective comparison, the xDSD is different. Both have a tonally neutral signature but where the E17K is comparatively flat to the point that it can sound bright next to warmer DAPs or DAC/amps, the xDSD seems to have a slight touch of wamth, yet still remains vibrant. It’s neither dull nor overly rich.
This one is easy – the xDSD is able to convey a lot of detail, yet do it without sounding either etched or harsh. One of the tracks I use often to check cymbal realism and decay is Pearl Jam’s “Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In a Small Town”. There is a lot of crash cymbal action, and with a really good DAC and good pair of headphones you can easily hear the decay. The xDSD delivers it effortlessly with the HD600s. Switching to Nils Lofgren’s “Keith Don’t Go” from his Acoustic Live album, and every detail from the crowd, and change of fingers on the fret board is laid bare – yet the xDSD manages to do it while drawing you into the music. This is really classic iFi and I’m reminded a lot of my iDSD.
The obvious choice is the FiiO Q5 – and for that comparison we’ll use the Bluetooth connection. For the second comparison, it’ll be a DAC/amp that I know incredibly well – iFi’s own iDSD and the centre of my home system.
I used all of the devices with my HD800S (balanced with the Q5, SE with the other amps). With each test – the same files were used, volume was set and matched with test tones and a calibrated SPL meter. Listening was at my average normal level of 70-75 dB. These comparisons are completely subjective and simply my view on the differences.
As a portable Bluetooth device
iFi xDSD vs FiiO Q5
Ifi xDSD
FiiO Q5
Size / Footprint / Design
Smaller and lighter, and the difference is noticeable. But there is a trade-off. Whilst the portability (in terms of size is good), I miss the actual play/pause prev/next Bluetooth controls from the Q5.
Larger and heavier, and definitely not as truly portable (something I had not noticed until spending time with the xDSD. The advantage the Q5 has though is the on-device controls.
Battery life
~6-10 hours. Quite comparable – both are dependent on mode and the earphones/headphones you are driving. I can easily get a normal day’s use.
~8-10 hours. Quite comparable – both are dependent on mode and the earphones/headphones you are driving. I can easily get a normal day’s use.
The xDSD has a very subtle sub-bass boost, and a very good 3D effect (which I really do love). It only has 2 filters and I find these very subtle. There is a high learning curve to the various settings (overly complicated and un-intuitive).
The Q5 has a host of features available via the device and the app. They include – bass boost, gain, filter selection and even balance. In Bluetooth mode, you can control the connected device play/pause fwd/back. The actual feature set is easier to engage (intuitive by design).
Extremely good with USB, Bluetooth, S/PDIF Optical (with converter) and Coaxial. Missing an analog line-in option.
Extremely good with USB, Bluetooth, S/PDIF Optical (with converter) and Coaxial. Also has an analog line-in option.
Bluetooth Performance
Good when its working. Very good range (10m easily). Does have the occasional glitch or drop-out. Has issues connecting with iPhone (connects OK – but no sound). These are sporadic.
Very good and rock solid after upgrade. No glitches or drop-outs. Easy connection and re-connection. I can easily get 10m range.
Power Output
Very good, and able to handle both sensitive IEMs and full sized headphones (up to HD800s) with no issues – all from the single ended output.
With AM3A (default). Sufficient Balanced for up to HD800S. SE more suitable to portable / IEMs. With other modules (AM5) can easily drive an HD800S single ended.
Tonality / Sound
The xDSD has a natural slight warmth but is essentially neutral. Saying this, it does exhibit a depth of soundscape which does sound better and more “vital” or more “vivid” than the Q5.
The Q5 is also essentially neutral and compared with the xDSD sounds quite flat, and very smooth. It does not have the same vitality or depth – even though it is essentially a spacious and clean sounding amplifier. It almost sounds clinical in comparison.
Excellent – easily handles micro-details, and delivers in a clean and vivid presentation.
Excellent – easily handles micro-details, and delivers in a smooth presentation.
Personal preference
If the xDSD had better Bluetooth connectivity (more stable), I really do think that sonically and in terms of portability it has a very strong feature-set. What lets it down is the current connectivity issues (iPhone), and its feature set is not quite as good overall as the Q5. If iFi added an app for additional controls – this could be a winner.
The Q5 really does nothing wrong and many things very, very right. It feels more mature than the xDSD both in terms of stability and feature-set and the ability to utilise different amp modules cannot be under-estimated (eg 4.4mm AM3B). Sonically it is flatter and smoother, but paired with the right headphone, it can be very close to end-game with the ri
As a desktop device
iFi xDSD vs iFi Micro iDSD
ifi xDSD
ifi Micro iDSD
Size / Footprint
Smaller and lighter – ideal if space challenged
Larger and heavier – more suited to a desktop stack (particularly a modular system)
Input Power
Via USB + battery option
Via USB + battery option
Driverless under Linux / iOS, and can use generic Win driver (dedicated driver provides native DSD support)
Driverless under Linux / iOS, and can use generic Win driver (dedicated driver provides native DSD support)
Input/Output support
In : USB, COAX, optical, Bluetooth
Out : Headphone out, Line Out
In : USB, COAX, optical, Line-In
Out : Headphone out, RCA Line-out
Power Output
500 mW into 16 ohm
270 mW into 50 ohm
48 mW into 300 ohm
24 mW into 600 ohm
Up to 4000 mW into 16 ohm
Up to 1560 mW into 50 ohmThe iDSD is a lot more powerful and has gain setting allowing different power modes to suit headphones being driven.
Tonality / Sound
(using USB)
These two sound very, very similar. Tonally they are very much alike, and because of the time taken with switching it is very hard to do the comparison. The xDSD sounds very slightly brighter and the tiniest bit more vibrant.
The iDSD is tonally similar, but just a little richer and smoother than the xDSD.
Excellent – easily handles micro-details, and delivers in a smooth presentation, but with a sense of vibrancy.
Excellent – easily handles micro-details, and delivers in a smooth presentation. Rich but not lacking in details.
Personal preference
Either of these devices would make an excellent desktop set-up, and I think preference would depend on usage. For a laptop, the added portability of the xDSD may appeal. For a true fixed desktop – unless you had other options from the Nano line to make a stack, and need the Bluetooth – I personally think the iDSD is a better option. The xDSD is really meant to be a portable, and the lack of RCA out makes things awkward with a speaker and amp set-up.
The iDSD remains my desktop set-up of choice. The richness, smoothness and effortless presentation of detail still ticks all of my boxes. While the xDSD is similar, it doesn’t have the power of the iDSD, and ultimately the current issues with playback (losing output) would be enough for the iDSD to self select. The iDSD gives me the options for a near-field speaker set-up (with iTube), and for a desktop set-up is simply more versatile.
This ultimately come down to personal use. If you’re adding simply as a DAC/amp wired to an existing set-up, and not using all of the xDSDs features, there may be cheaper equivalent options out there. But if I look at my own personal use:
Paired with the iPhone via Bluetooth as DAC and amplifier (and able to drive the HD800S portably around home)
  • Used with my work lap-top
  • Used with my desk-top if the whim took me
then the xDSD’s value increases. The hook for me would be the Bluetooth sound quality. Even with AAC, performance is on par with a high end system – and all of this via my iPhone!
For $399 with the features the xDSD (especially XBass and 3D) has, this is very good value. It is marred somewhat by the current stability issues.
If I did not already have the Q5, I would more likely to be noting the xDSD’s limitations, but still claiming it as a real game changer. And in a way it is – true high quality Bluetooth is very rare, especially portably. The Q5 and xDSD both deliver – but just with a slightly different presentation.
With both devices, I can use my smart-phone, and get true audiophile sound quality.
The xDSD delivers excellent sound quality in a durable and portable form factor. It is user friendly in terms of DAC set-up, and simply plug and play use. It has very good power output and has proven to be able to handle both sensitive IEMs and full sized cans (HD800S) from its single ended output.
The xDSD does have some weaknesses, and at the moment it is not a finished product. Hopefully the primary issues can be fixed via software updates. The major bug (no sound output) happens a lot and is incredibly annoying. At times I’ll connect, and everything will look like its playing normally – but there is no sound. This happens more often with Bluetooth, but has also happened with USB. When it happens, its a matter of turning the device off, back on and hoping. Sometimes (with Bluetooth) deleting the old profile and setting up again.
So – is it worth the asking money, and does it edge out FiiO’s Q5? The answer to both questions – at the moment – is “it depends”. Sonically the two are close enough to be brothers, and depends on your preference. Personally I do like the xDSD (especially with 3D engaged) – perhaps slightly more than the Q5. But the Q5 sounds excellent, and never glitches for me. It always plays, and I don’t have to fight it to get it working. And to get the value proposition the xDSD should achieve, iFi need to fix this and fast. I’m an unabashed iFi fan – but in its current state – I’d take the FiiO Q5.
Once again thanks to iFi for allowing me to be part of the tour. My usual tabular scoring is listed below:
My Score
Out Of
Weighted Score
2.50 %
Build & Design
7.50 %
10.00 %
Battery Life
10.00 %
Inputs & Outputs
5.00 %
Output Power
15.00 %
15.00 %
Overall Sound Quality
15.00 %
Gain Control
2.50 %
Hardware EQ
2.50 %
Overall Stability
5.00 %
Value (based on overall performance)
10.00 %
100.00 %

详细查看原文https://www.headphone-earphone.r ... d-amplifier-review/

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 楼主| 发表于 2018-10-25 17:26 | 显示全部楼层
“It sounds great. The Bluetooth playback is impeccable. The xDSD has features and file support other lesser products can only dream of.”Pros:
Small form-factor with excellent bulid quality.
First-rate,transparent sound quality(even via Bluetooth).
Balanced headphone 3.5mm/line output with dual-mono amplifiers(includes line output mode).
Many connectivity options(USB,optical and Bluetooth aptX/AAC).
Playback of most high-resolution file types suppprted.

Chrome finish on the magnesium alloy case will ALWAYS be covered in fingerprints.(Unless,perhaps,you are aglove-wearing serial killer.)
Complexity and wealth of features require a(maybe impossible) learning curve to operate and interpret.
No USB C,OTG or portable cables included.
Complicated multi-featured plastic volume control just doesn't 'feel' premium.
Switching between wired and wireless connections was never seamless
What’s in the box?
  • USB A (male-female) extension cable (blue).
  • Short black USB micro (male) to USB A (male) cable for charging.
  • TOSLINK optical adapter.
  • USB A-B adapter (female).
  • Strips of 3M double-sided tape.
  • Black velvet fabric storage bag.
  • Folding instruction card. (This is important – so don’t misplace it!)
  • Playback: High-resolution audio up to PCM 768kHz, DSD 512, and MQA.
  • DAC: Burr-Brown true native DSD DAC chipset.
  • Amplifier: dual-mono with 500 mW per channel and pure analog volume control.
  • Headphone Support: 32-600 Ohm headphones (3.7V/270mW @50 Ohm, 3.8V/48mW @300 Ohm, 3.8V/24mW @600 Ohm). S-Balanced compatible 3.5mm headphone output. 2.1V line out mode.
  • Wired Connectivity: USB and S/PDIF Coaxial and Optical (up to 192kHz/24Bit) inputs.
  • Wireless: Bluetooth aptX and AAC support.
  • Signal Processing: analog Signal Process (ASP) 3D+ and XBass circuits.
Build Quality and Aesthetics
Make no mistake; the glossy magnesium alloy shell with a black plastic cap on the rear (for improved Bluetooth reception) has a premium fit and feel. The solid feeling mass (127g) and brilliant mirror finish imply intrinsic worth.

But I hate it.
Smudge Magnet
You can’t touch the surface without smearing it with fingerprints. While it does look terrific in pictures (after much polishing), as soon as you pick it up it becomes a smudged mess. This isn’t a desktop unit that you will never touch. It’s meant for picking up and putting in pockets. I can’t believe testers didn’t express concerns about the finish in the design phase.


Small Enough
The dimensions are: 67mm wide, 95mm long, and 19mm high. While not super-svelte, it can cabletether reasonably with a phone for portable use. Of course with Bluetooth, it doesn’t need to be connected via a wire to function. The inputs are all located on the back plastic band on the rear of the unit, with audio controls and output on the front.
Size comparison with the JDS Labs C5D DAC Amp.The Multi-Function Volume Wheel
I’m torn on the analog volume control. On one hand, it’s a wonder of multi-function technology. It is centrally located and pushes in to turn the xDSD on/off and hold to select the input mode (wired or Bluetooth wireless). It changes color depending on volume level range (blue-magenta-cyan-green-yellow-red – in that order as volume increases). It’s not a potentiometer with fixed endpoints – it spins with a clicky-feeling resistance in either direction. It functions well and is reasonably resistant to unwanted adjustment while in a pocket.
However, it really isn’t entirely intuitive. Seriously are 6 color-coded volume level ranges necessary? I just can’t decide if it’s a helpful feature or simply a gimmick. Nor is the volume wheel as satisfying or premium feeling to operate as a standard metal knobbed volume pot.
Color Does Not Equal Safe Listening Levels
Please note that just like any other amplifier, the volume that the user experiences is a function of the characteristics of what headphones are attached, the volume output of the playback device and of audio file itself, as well as the amplifier. So one cannot always expect a particular color range on the volume control to always indicate a safe listening level. As always use caution when listening at loud volume levels.

Time with the instruction card was necessary for me to figure out how to work the iFi xDSD. This is a function of the sheer amount of features and files support, (admittedly cleverly) miniaturized into a small form factor. However, the increase in the average size of cell phones over the last few years speaks to there is such a thing as too many features in too small a device.
Pretty (Confusing) Colored Lights
Tiny labels and multi-color status LEDs are present for 3D+, XBass, kHz, INPUT and charging. If you could memorize the meaning of the vast variety of colors, it does indicate bit rate and type of digital file being played. I’d happily trade the shiny print-capturing finish for a flat matte black cover with a laser engraved chart on the case listing LED color with associated description.
The tiny LEDs work well (and I personally like this sort of indicator) but keep in mind, there is A LOT going on with this diminutive piece of high-tech portable high-fi.
I do acknowledge that only requiring one small switch on the back, and one small button plus the volume control on the front, keeps the controls about as clean as they can be.
I tried both wired OTG connections with Android and Apple (using a Lightning to USB Camera Adapter). The recessed male USB A jack on the back of the xDSD is clearly designed with the Apple camera adapter in mind. It fits perfectly without requiring further connectors. Desktop use via USB with Windows 10 and Apple OS High Sierra was literally plug-and-play.
Apple-Camera-Connection-Cable.jpeg Android-OTG.jpeg
Wireless Playback
But let’s be honest. It’s the Bluetooth support that really sets this device apart. In a portable environment, any potential sound quality loss is negligible, and the convenience of not having to stack devices or worry about rubber bands or finicky little cables was terrific.
In my experience, switching back and forth between wireless and wired never seemed to work quite right the first time.
It’s unlikely that an owner (who is not interested in testing every function repeatedly back and forth) will run into this frustration, but it seemed I had to always have my phone “forget” the device and reconnect in order to change back to Bluetooth connection from a wired connection. First, it would appear to connect normally, yet produced no sound during playback.
This testing was done was with an iPhone X and iOS 11.4.1 (current as of writing). YMMV. On the positive, once connected, I experienced no dropouts.
Battery and Charging
With 6-8 hours of claimed battery life (3.8v, 2200 mAh), it will meet most portable needs but will need to be charged daily for heavy users. The rear micro USB port’s sole function (somewhat surprisingly on this device) is for charging the internal battery only.
Charging LED on iFi xDSDSound Quality
Line out mode allows for a high quality 2-channel stereo connection, so the xDSD is a great option for desktop or home stereo use. While one could connect their computer or playback device via USB cable, IMO the wireless convenience of Bluetooth outweighs any minor perceived or imagined impact on the sound quality. For my uses it was indistinguishable from a wired connection.
That Digital Filter Switch
iFi has again included a ‘Measure/Listen’ digital filter switch on the back to change between optimum sound quality for testing gear or for usage, but the difference between modes was so minor I left the device in ‘Listen’ mode and forgot about it. This is what I expect the vast majority of owners will do.
Sound Enhancement Features
I’m not a die-hard audio purist at heart. I use the ‘loudness’ button on my vintage stereo gear, and depending on mood, song, headphones, etc. I’m not averse to applying equalization (EQ) to enhance my enjoyment.
So yes, I played with the XBass and 3D+ features on the xDSD. I can unconditionally say these are applied thoughtfully and carefully, and are analog in function rather than digitally implemented. XBass is a light-handed bass boost, while 3D+ is intended to widen the soundstage to recreate a live stage atmosphere.
Impact on the sound is quite subtle and I found it did help to add a bit of fullness to my custom Grados. Use them if you like and don’t let those purist snobs scare you away from trying them out.
Overall the sound quality can be described as transparent, clean and clear. It’s what you want from an amplifier. It is what it should sound like. Not emotionless, crunchy or digital sounding. The xDSD presents the music with authority but without adding or removing anything.
Power and Headphone Pairing
No question there is enough power on tap to run most headphones. I used the iFi quite a bit with my Sennheiser HD650 headphones and while the xDSD is certainly powerful enough to drive them to a loud listening level, I’m so used to pairing the 300 Ohm Sennheisers with a Bottlehead Crack OTL tube amplifier that I found myself fairly dissatisfied when listening to them from a solid-state device such as this. The overall experience was flatter than I like and I wouldn’t personally say this is a great match with the xDSD.

However paired with Grado SR325, Symphones v8 custom Grados, and Meze 99 Classics, I thought the xDSD sounded great.
当iFi提出贷款xDSD用于审查目的时,我很兴奋并且有些担心。“哦 - 哦”,我对自己说,“一旦我使用它,我就会有严肃的装备嫉妒并且想购买这个装置。”我喜欢我信赖的老式iDSD nano,所以新功能丰富,声音更好的iFi设备可能会认真测试我的冲动控制。
奇怪的是,这不是发生在我身上的事。哦,不要误会我的意思; 这是一个非常好的产品。
对我来说,iFi xDSD不是一个完美的搭配。我从来都不熟悉控件。我可能永远不会记住LED指示灯颜色的含义。我只是不太热情于clicky,spinny,音量轮。让我们不要忘记在奇怪的波纹外观上美丽,毫无意义,并且很容易涂抹。


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