Tag Archives: headphone amplifier

Neil Young Archives Gets Cookin’ with Mojo

The following is a press release issued by Chord Electronics

23rd February 2021 | Kent, UK – In a new article posted on the Neil Young Archives, Neil Young and Phil Baker describe how they currently use Chord Electronics’ Mojo DAC/headphone amplifier with their phones and desktops. They created a web page dedicated to correct Mojo set up to help their members enjoy all that Neil Young Archives has to offer, at full resolution.

In the ‘Let’s Get Cookin’ with SOUND!’ article (neilyoungarchives.com), NYA author Phil Baker introduces the British-built Mojo and the simple recipe for ‘Xstream’ sound quality, which includes Apple’s Lightning to USB Camera Adapter and the Neil Young Archives.

Describing Chord Electronics’ Mojo Baker writes, ‘The Mojo, designed and built in the UK, is one of the best portable DACs/amplifiers available at any price. It’s what Neil and I use with our phones, iPads and computers to listen to NYA at its full resolution.’

The article also features practical Mojo advice from Chord Electronics’ Sales Director, Colin Pratt: ‘Mojo unlocks the hidden data that other DACs just can’t reproduce… it brings a real sense of presence to your listening experience.’

Neil Young Archives, described by The Guardian as, ‘A revolution in fandom’, contains the complete archives of Neil Young. The site is designed for a chronological exploration of artist output including music, books, films and videos. Neil Young and Phil Baker recently co-authored a book about high resolution audio, ‘To Feel the Music’.

Price and availability

Mojo is available now priced at £399

The post Neil Young Archives Gets Cookin’ with Mojo appeared first on The Absolute Sound.

Original Resource is Articles – The Absolute Sound

McIntosh MHA200 Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifier

Tubes going in, and tubes going out Honey, they’ve shrunk the MC275 (or recently reviewed MC1502) and made it for driving headphones. If that’s not exciting news, what is? The McIntosh MHA200 is an all tube affair, and no you’re not seeing triple, that’s a pair of McIntosh’s Unity Coupled Circuit output transformers. McIntosh MHA200 Connectivity includes, A pair of 3-pin balanced and a single 4-pin balanced output, along with standard 1/4-inch stereo jack. Inputs accept both balanced and RCA. On the front, something interested which is detailed below, a load impedance knob. Shipping is expected to being in March 2021, and at a suggested retail price of $2,500 USD. More specific details and pictures are included in the press release below. Press Release Below McIntosh Announces MHA200 Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifier Treat Your Headphones to McIntosh Vacuum Tube Amplification Binghamton, NY – February 4, 2021 – McIntosh, the global leader in prestigious home entertainment and ultimate-quality audio for 70 years, is proud to introduce the MHA200 Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifier. The McIntosh MHA200 Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifier is designed for discerning headphone enthusiasts who demand the most from their headphones. Its versatile set of connectivity options, including balanced inputs [...]

Original Resource is Part-Time Audiophile

CEntrance Updates HiFi-M8 Adding Four Outputs and Bluetooth

The following is a press release issued by CEntrance.
Chicago, IL | December 2020CEntrance has just announced the launch of the updated HiFi-M8, a portable headphone amplifier and D/A converter for audio enthusiasts on the move. The new version of the acclaimed portable device adds Bluetooth support, four headphone outputs, LED VU meters, USB-C, and many other features. The updated device fills an important gap for audiophiles, who like to listen to music with a variety of headphones. HiFi-M8 V2 follows in the footsteps of its predecessor, offering audiophiles a choice of balanced or unbalanced outputs, but takes the expansion a step further. The new product has two balanced and two unbalanced outputs for extra flexibility while jumping between sensitive and hard-to-drive headphone models. 

“Our customers like to compare the sound of different headphones,” said Michael Goodman, CEntrance CEO. “They need a reference device, compatible with their entire headphone collection and offering great sound quality on the move. The new HiFi-M8 is that reference. Paired with a Digital Audio Player or a Smartphone, it is designed to deliver plenty of power and pristine sound quality no matter where you are and which headphones you use.”

Because HiFi-M8 V2 offers simultaneous use of the four outputs at once, it’s easy to compare headphones at a retail store or at home, or to listen to music or watch a movie with a friend, even on an airplane. The device features a digital volume control, offering perfect channel matching all the way down to minimum loudness. HiFi-M8 V2 works with smartphones and tablets running Android and Apple iOS, as well as MacOS and Windows-based computers. It supports all standard sampling rates including 24-bit/44.1kHz up to 32-bit/384kHz, and DSD. An ASIO driver is available for Windows 10. 

The original HiFi-M8, released in 2013, garnered critical acclaim from CNET, HiFi+, Part Time Audiophile, and many other respected publications. Inner Fidelity placed it on its ‘Wall of Fame’ for portable headphone amplifiers. The new model adds balanced Bluetooth connectivity for wireless use, STAMINA mode for longer battery life, and calibrated VU meters for visually comparing differently mastered music. CEntrance engineers worked very hard to offer “pitch-black noise floor” for users of Balanced Armature In-Ear-Monitors (IEM). Some people like to fall asleep while listening to music but nothing is more distracting than background hiss. HiFi-M8 V2 was designed to eliminate audible hiss by using low-noise D/A converters and amplifiers. All of this, combined with the ability to deliver high power for overhead headphones, makes it a flexible, unique portable tool.

HiFi-M8 V2 features eight amplifiers in total, four on the “cool side” designed for IEM use, and four more on the “hot side”, designed to deliver higher power to hard-to-drive headphones. On the cool side it features a 2.5mm balanced output and a 3.5mm unbalanced output. On the hot side, it features a 4-pin XLR balanced output and a ?-inch unbalanced output. Customers using IEMs can engage the STAMINA switch, to disable the “hot side” amps and extend useful battery life to 11 hours. The internal battery can be charged from a USB socket in about four hours.

To help survive the rigors of daily use, the chassis is made of lightweight aluminum. Operation is easy and intuitive, and the recessed controls are kept safe while the product bounces around in a backpack. HiFi-M8 V2 is ideal for active audiophiles who don’t want to compromise sound quality nor flexibility while moving about during their day.

HiFi-M8 V2 is shipping now and retails for $749.99 USD.

The post CEntrance Updates HiFi-M8 Adding Four Outputs and Bluetooth appeared first on The Absolute Sound.

Original Resource is Articles – The Absolute Sound

FOCAL Stellia Headphone, Arche Amplifier | REVIEW

I don’t listen to headphones like the Focal Stellia (website). Okay, let me back up—I listen to headphones all the time, just not for pleasure, but rather to check my work in the studio and occasionally to make eq decisions on a master. Words by Dave McNair and Nan Pincus When Eric Franklin Shook asked me if I wanted to review some headphones, I said “Uh, I don’t think so.” “Wait, these are special ‘phones—the Focal Stellia AND their killer headamp the Arche,” he says. “Okay, I’ll give it a shot,” I reply since I know Eric to be the best at deciphering the fake news you can trust. Dave McNair’s Take So here I am with these gorgeous, French-made beauties. The Focal Stellia headphones look like they’d be at home on location at the season’s showing of the new Chanel or YSL line. Not too blingy but a certain unmistakable French elegance in fit and finish. After I whipped up a batch of Coq au Vin and got out a bottle of vintage Bordeaux, I sat down to listen to some Serge Gainsbourg. Tonight, the headphones will deliver you the words I can’t say The first thing I did [...]

Original Resource is Part-Time Audiophile

iFi NEO iDSD launches

The following is a press release from iFi.

An all-new design, state-of-the-art specifications and a sound that soars – iFi’s NEO iDSD hi-res DAC/headphone amp is every music lover’s perfect housemate

Southport, England – Since its inception in 2012, iFi has been at the forefront of DAC technology for home and portable use, delivering exemplary sound with digital music sources both online and offline. This autumn sees the launch of an all-new mains powered iFi DAC/headphone amp, sporting sophisticated circuits to supply scintillating sonics with every audio format in a home environment.

The NEO iDSD is designed for maximum flexibility, with sleek aluminium casework that can be positioned horizontally or vertically, the latter via a supplied stand. An informative OLED display flips automatically to suit the preferred orientation, while a smooth-acting multifunction rotary control ensures the NEO iDSD is simple to use, despite its sophistication and versatility.

Three operational modes ensure the NEO iDSD covers all bases with aplomb. It can be used as a pure DAC with a fixed-level analogue output to connect to a separate integrated amp or preamp in an audio system. Or, it can operate as a DAC/preamp with a variable output, ideal for connecting directly to a power amp or active speakers. And, of course, headphone users can make use of its excellent amp stage to create a fabulous ‘head-fi’ system.

Whether connected to source devices via cable or high-definition Bluetooth, the NEO iDSD’s next-level digital engine and fully balanced analogue circuits deliver captivating sound – brilliant with music, multimedia content or to enhance your next-generation gaming experience.

 

Custom-designed digital engine

The NEO iDSD’s ‘digital engine’ is based around a Burr-Brown DAC chipset that iFi uses extensively, selected for its natural-sounding ‘musicality’ and True Native architecture. iFi’s experience with this IC means it knows how to make the most of it; but whilst intrinsic to the resulting sound, the creation of an exemplary DAC stage involves much more than the selection of a particular DAC chip.

One such critical component is the XMOS chip that processes the audio data received via the USB and S/PDIF digital inputs. The NEO iDSD uses a new low-latency XMOS microcontroller with greatly enhanced processing power – compared to the current generation of eight-core chips, this new 16-core IC delivers double the clock speed (2000MIPS) and four times the memory (512KB), as well as the latest SuperSpeed USB standard. iFi’s in-house digital development team has programmed the XMOS firmware to optimise sound quality and ensure a perfect partnership with the Burr-Brown DAC.

Extensive jitter-eradication technologies are applied to the digital stage, including iFi’s GMT (Global Master Timing) femto-precision clock and intelligent memory buffer. The NEO iDSD also comes with iFi’s GTO (Gibbs Transient Optimised) digital filter installed; alternative digital filters can be loaded as firmware updates if preferred.

 

Every format at the highest quality

Hi-res audio support is state-of-the-art, handling PCM data to 32-bit/768kHz, all levels of DSD up to DSD512, and single- and double-speed DXD.

Thanks to the Burr-Brown DAC chip’s four-channel True Native design, PCM and DSD take separate pathways – this enables DSD, as well as PCM, to remain ‘bit-perfect’ in its native form right through to analogue conversion. This is often not the case with DAC devices from other brands – even if DSD compatibility is stated, many such DACs convert DSD signals to PCM.

MQA ­– the hi-res streaming codec, as used by Tidal’s ‘Masters’ tier – is also supported through the USB and S/PDIF inputs, with full decoding of MQA files up to 384kHz thanks to the processing power of the new 16-core XMOS chip. This means that the full ‘three unfold’ decoding process is performed internally, as opposed to only the final unfold in the manner of an MQA ‘renderer’. Globally, MQA has become an important consideration for any comprehensively equipped DAC; for Tidal Masters subscribers, the NEO iDSD is a brilliant way to make the most of the superior sound of which this streaming service is capable.

 

Bluetooth as you’ve never heard it before

As well as digital cable inputs, the NEO iDSD offers the convenience of wireless Bluetooth reception. But this isn’t Bluetooth as you’ve heard it before – not unless you’ve heard iFi’s ‘ZEN Blue’ Bluetooth receiver or ‘Aurora’ wireless music system, at any rate.

iFi was the first audio brand to deliver products using Qualcomm’s new QCC5100 Bluetooth processing IC when it launched the ZEN Blue and Aurora, combining this chip with proprietary circuits to develop an audibly superior ‘Bluetooth engine’ now also built into the NEO iDSD. While Bluetooth’s convenience and wide device compatibility is well recognised, many people don’t realise how good Bluetooth can sound because they’ve only experienced it at base-level quality using basic and outdated implementations.

All the current high-definition Bluetooth audio formats are supported, including Qualcomm’s aptX Adaptive and aptX HD, Sony’s LDAC and HWA’s LHDC. Other codecs covered include regular aptX and aptX Low Latency, AAC (the favoured format of Apple iOS devices) and SBC (the ‘plain vanilla’ Bluetooth codec). This means that every possible source device is covered at the highest audio resolution its Bluetooth specification allows. iFi’s ‘Bluetooth engine’ can also be updated over-the air, so future codecs may be added to the NEO iDSD’s specification.

The NEO iDSD ‘remembers’ up to seven paired Bluetooth source devices, making it easy to switch from one device to another, with impressive reception range thanks to the latest Bluetooth 5 specification. The DAC stage handles sampling rates well in excess of the maximum delivered by current hi-res Bluetooth formats – of the 24-bit-capable codecs, aptX Adaptive and aptX HD support up to 48kHz, while LDAC and LHDC reach 96kHz.

PureWave circuit design – the balance of power

The digital stage is only half the story in any DAC/headphone amp; when it come to the crucial analogue circuitry, many such devices fall short. Balanced, differential analogue circuit design has long been championed for its ability to reduce noise and cross-talk within the signal path by fully separating the left and right channels. However, this is more complex and costly than single-ended circuitry, and so has traditionally remained the preserve of high-end hi-fi components.

iFi has gradually introduced fully balanced circuit design across its range – first in the flagship Pro Series components, then in the entry-level ZEN Series devices. The NEO iDSD, which sits between the two in terms of price, features a new, balanced, symmetrical dual-mono topology with short, direct signal paths, developed specifically for this model – iFi calls this circuit design ‘PureWave’, referring to the sonic purity it achieves thanks to exceptional linearity and infinitesimally low levels of noise and distortion.

Renowned high-end audio electronics engineer John Curl, best known for his pioneering balanced circuit designs and now a technical consultant for iFi, has worked closely with iFi’s in-house technical team, headed by Thorsten Loesch, to perfect this design. High-quality components are used throughout, including custom ultra-low-distortion op-amps, multilayer ceramic TDK C0G capacitors, MELF thin-film resistors and inductors from Murata and Taiyo Yuden. These are more costly than commonly used equivalents, but class-leading qualities such as low ESR (Equivalent Series Resistance), high linearity and low noise pay great dividends in terms of sound quality.

The headphone amp stage maintains an engaging balance between sonic power and poise, no matter what it is tasked to drive – from high-sensitivity in-ear monitors to current-hungry planar headphones – with a continuous power output of more than 1000mW into 32ohms available through the balanced headphone socket. To retain maximum resolution, volume is adjusted in the analogue domain via a resistor ladder, under precise microprocessor control.

The NEO iDSD’s low-noise, high-bandwidth power supply circuity sports linear regulation and delivers excellent PSRR (Power Supply Rejection Ratio) performance. BiCMOS semiconductor technology using a PMOS device achieves ultra-low distortion and excellent transient response. This couples with iFi’s iPower AC/DC adapter, which engenders significantly less noise than other similar devices and is included with the NEO iDSD (£49 when sold separately).

The OLED display, which indicates audio format, sampling rate, volume level and input mode, offers user-adjustable brightness and SilentLine design, ensuring there is no electrical noise to interfere with the audio signal. Even the way the NEO iDSD switches between settings has been engineered to ensure sonic transparency – FET-based switching is handled by a microcontroller, which only ‘wakes up’ when the user changes a setting, thus eradicating any sonically deleterious interference.

In terms of measured performance, all this painstaking attention to detail results in THD (Total Harmonic Distortion) of <0.0015 per cent and SNR (Signal-to-Noise Ratio) of >120dB – highly impressive at any price. To the ear, this translates as more clarity and texture, and a more dynamic and engaging performance – quite simply, you hear more of the music, just as the artist intended.

Well connected

For cable connections, the NEO iDSD provides three digital inputs – asynchronous USB Type B, as well as both optical and coaxial flavours of S/PDIF. Three devices may be connected simultaneously via these inputs, plus a fourth via Bluetooth, with the desired input selected via the front-mounted rotary control.

Balanced outputs are supplied, to make the most of the NEO iDSD’s fully balanced circuitry. To the front, alongside a standard 6.3mm single-ended headphone socket, resides a 4.4mm Pentaconn output for headphones offering balanced connection. An increasing number of high-quality headphones and in-ear monitors either come so equipped or give the option of detaching the cable and upgrading to a 4.4mm Pentaconn connector (this output is particularly recommended for tougher headphone loads). Around the back, to connect the NEO iDSD to an amp and speakers (or active speakers), single-ended RCA outputs are accompanied by a pair of XLR sockets ­– the standard balanced connector for high-end hi-fi.

With an RRP of £699, (€749, $699) the iFi NEO iDSD is available from selected retailers from Friday 6th November 2020.

 

The post iFi NEO iDSD launches appeared first on Dagogo.

Original Resource is Dagogo

iFi introduces micro iDSD Signature DAC/headphone amp

The following is a press release from iFi Audio.

Sporting a host of enhancements both inside and out, one of the most highly acclaimed hi-res DAC/headphone amps on the planet just got even better–meet the micro iDSD Signature.

Southport, England –iFi audio, the acclaimed maker of audio devices for home and portable use, has redesigned one of its most popular products to createthe micro iDSD Signature, delivering a host of improvements to enhance performance and usability.Since launching in 2017 as an upgraded version of the original micro iDSD, the micro iDSD Black Label has been iFi’s top-of-the-range battery-powered DAC/headphone amp. The new Signature edition builds on its predecessor’s reputation for exceptional sound quality and versatility with enhanced circuitry in critical areas and a new 4.4mm Pentaconn headphone output, among other upgrades.

The new model is housed in the same 177 x 67 x 28mm extruded aluminium enclosure as the Black Label version, as all products in iFi’s longstanding ‘micro’ range have been. But, rather than black, the micro iDSD Signature sports a Space Blue finish –a new colour reserved for ‘Signature’ versions of some of iFi’s most popular products, of which there will be more in the months to come.

Although powered by a built-in rechargeable battery, the micro iDSD Signature is more of a desktop-sized device than pocket-sized one –a transportable DAC/headphone amp that can easily be moved around without requiring a mains socket. Being battery-powered gives it a performance advantage over mains-powered products, too –ultra-clean and stable DC power, negating the issues that can be introduced by AC mains electricity with its dips, spikes and noise-inducing RFI/EMI pollution.

The battery delivers 6-12 hours of playing time, depending on the type of headphones connected and the performance mode engaged. If thebattery runs low whilst in use, it can be plugged into a power source to charge and play at the same time.

Digital engine

The micro iDSD Signature’s ‘digital engine’ is based around a Burr-Brown DAC chip that iFi uses extensively, selected for its natural-sounding ‘musicality’ and True Native architecture. Here, as with the previous Black Label version, two of these DAC chips are installed in a custom ‘interleaved’ configuration. This enables four pairs of differential signals –two pairs per channel –which lowers the noise floor, improves channel separation and enhances the DAC’s ability to resolve fine musical detail and micro-dynamics.

Hi-res audio support is state-of-the-art, handling PCM data to 32-bit/768kHz, all levels of DSD up to DSD512, and single-and double-speed DXD. MQA–the hi-res streaming codec, as used by Tidal’s ‘Masters’ tier –is also supported. Thanks to the Burr-Brown chip’s True Native design, PCM and DSD take separate pathways –this enables DSD, as well as PCM, to remain ‘bit-perfect’ in its native form right through to analogue conversion. This is often not the case with DAC devices from other brands.

Extensive jitter-eradication technologies are applied to the digital engine, including iFi’s GMT (Global Master Timing) femto-precision clock and intelligent memory buffer. The micro iDSD Signature also comes with iFi’s GTO (Gibbs Transient Optimized) digital filter installed; alternative digital filters can be loaded as firmware updates if preferred.

Circuit training

The outgoing micro iDSD Black Label’s amp stage remains widely recognised as the finest available in any battery-powered portable DAC/headphone amp, able to drive all manner of headphones with aplomb, from highly sensitive in-ear monitors to current-hungry planar headphones. For the new Signature version, the circuitry has been fine-tuned –it still delivers the same prodigious power (up to 4100mW) and dynamic ability, but the signal path has been refined to maximise sonic texture and detail.

High-quality components are used throughout the micro iDSD Signature’s circuitry, utilising its larger form factor in comparison to pocket-sized DAC/amps. Custom ultra-low-distortion op-amps feature in both the digital and analogue stages (part numbers OV2028 and OV2627 respectively), together with a hand-selected range of capacitors including the multilayer ceramic type TDK C0G, polyphenylene sulphide film type Panasonic ECPU and aluminium-polymer solid type Panasonic OS-CON. MELF thin-film resistors and inductors from Taiyo Yuden and Murata also feature in the circuit design.

These are all more costly components, but class-leading qualities such as low ESR (Equivalent Series Resistance), high stability and low distortion pay great dividends in terms of sound quality. Many hours of listening tests, alongside rigorous analysis in the lab, has determined the optimum circuit design to deliver maximum musical enjoyment.

An important aspect of the circuit design is its direct-coupled nature –no coupling capacitor is present. This is achieved without a conventionally applied DC servo; iFi calls this design Direct Drive Servoless.

Versatile sonic tailoring

With the huge variety of headphones and digital music platforms available, all with different technical characteristics, the ‘one size fits all’ approach offered by many DAC/headphone amp manufacturers fails to deliver the versatility many users require to make the most of their music. iFi designs its products to be more flexible, delivering precision sonic tailoring via switchable settings to match any headphone set-up, the variation in quality of digital audio files and, of course, personal taste –the micro iDSD Signature offers this versatility in spades.

The digital stage benefits from a variety of filter settings: ‘Standard’, ‘Minimum Phase’ and ‘Bit-Perfect’ for PCM files, and ‘Standard Bandwidth’, ‘Extended Bandwidth’ and ‘Extreme Bandwidth’ for DSD. The amp stage also has three settings to adjust power and gain: ‘Normal’, ‘Turbo’ (ramps up the level of drive for current-hungry headphones) and ‘Eco’ (dials down the power to suit high-sensitivity in-ear monitors and/or extend battery life).

Further optimisation for sensitive in-ear monitors –an area of weakness for many DAC/amps –is supplied via iFi’s IEMatch technology, which adjusts the output level to suit. Once engaged, two levels of IEMatch are available –‘High Sensitivity’ and ‘Ultra Sensitivity’.

Those familiar with iFi headphone amps will recognise the company’s XBass+ and 3D+ settings. These proprietary circuits have been performance-tuned for the micro iDSD Signature and may be switched in or out according taste, fine-tuning the sound in the analogue domain to maintain sonic purity. XBass+ adjusts frequency response to enhance low frequencies –useful with ‘bass-light’ headphones, such as some open-back designs. 3D+ compensates for the ‘in-head localisation’ effect that often occurs when using headphones to listen to music that was mixed using a pair of speakers, effectively widening the headphone soundstage to deliver a more speaker-like experience.

Get connected

At the back of the chassis lie two digital audio inputs: USB Type A and an S/PDIF socket that accepts both electrical and optical signals, the former via a 3.5mm connector and the latter via a supplied adapter.

Unusually, the Type A USB input features a ‘male’ connector, rather than a typical ‘female’ port. This arrangement provides greater mechanical integrity than the USB/Micro USB ports commonly found on DAC/headphone amps from other manufacturers. It also offers an advantage to users of iPhones and iPads with Lightning ports, because it accepts Apple’s Lightning to USB Camera Adapter directly without requiring an additional female-to-male USB adaptor.

Between the digital inputs reside a pair of RCA analogue outputs –the micro iDSD Signature can be connected to a pair of powered speakers, or a power amp and passive speakers, to act as a DAC and preamplifier. When used in this mode, a different version of iFi’s 3D+ analogue signal processing may be engaged if desired, specifically designed to create a more spacious soundstage with speakers rather than headphones. Whether in preamp mode or driving a pair of headphones, volume is controlled by a precision analogue potentiometer delivering the quality expected of full-size hi-fi equipment.

On the front panel, beside the volume knob and XBass+ and 3D+ switches, are a pair of headphone outputs –a 6.3mm output for headphones that have a standard single-ended connector (headphones with a 3.5mm jack can be connected using an adapter) and a 4.4mm Pentaconn output for headphones offering balanced connection. An increasing number of high-quality headphones and in-ear monitors either come so equipped or give the option of detaching the cable and upgrading to a 4.4mm Pentaconn connector –this output makes the most of them.

Both headphone outputs utilise iFi’s ‘S-Balanced’ output circuitry, delivering the sonic benefits associated with balanced connections with all headphone/earphone types –even those with single-ended connectors –cutting crosstalk and associated distortion in half.

Ch-ch-changes

While the most obvious changes from the previous Black Label version of the micro iDSD are the fine-tuned audio circuitry, the 4.4mm Pentaconn headphone output and the new Space Blue finish, numerous other enhancements have been applied to the new Signature edition.

The faceplates at the front and rear have been trimmed for a sleeker look, with a redesigned volume knob and new switches for XBass+/3D+. A multi-coloured LED to indicate the sampling frequency of the music being played is now also sited on the front panel, while the IEMatch control has been moved from underneath the unit to the side.

A USB-C charging port now resides on the right hand side, next to a new battery status indicator. Damping feet now adorn the underside of the unit, too –it all adds up to a range of improvements that make this the best-ever version of iFi’s much-lauded micro iDSD.

The iFi micro iDSD Signature is available later this month from selected retailers, at an RRP of £649, (€699, US$649). Only a limited number will be made, so those wishing to get hold of the Signature edition of iFi’s landmark transportable DAC/headphone amp should act fast to avoid disappointment.

iFi is the sister-brand of Abbingdon Music Research (AMR) and is headquartered in Southport, UK. The two brands respectively design and manufacture portable, desktop and lifestyle audio products and high-end hi-fi components. Combined in-house hardware and software development teams and a ‘music first’ approach enable iFi and AMR to create advanced audio products that deliver new levels of design, functionality and performance at their respective price points. Since iFi’s formation in 2012, its products have earned many awards around the world, helping it to become one of the fastest-growing brands in its fidelity.

The post iFi introduces micro iDSD Signature DAC/headphone amp appeared first on Dagogo.

Original Resource is Dagogo

iFi introduces Micro iDSD Signature

SOUTHPORT, ENGLAND (PTA) — I’ve been a fan of iFi Audio electronics for some time now. iFi always has a great presence at audio shows, and their booths do more than impress. Currently I have an iFi Zen Blue in for review, and my experience with it is revelatory. But I won’t give away too much there. Recently Nan Pincus and myself have been going strong down the head-fi rabbit hole and have developed a lust for new and exciting headphone related gear. iFi’s iDSD products have been on our radar for some time now, and this new Micro iDSD Signature surely tantalizes. Do check out the detailed breakdown of ports, inputs, and outputs on the iFi Micro iDSD Signature at the bottom of the press release. Press Release Below iFi serves up micro iDSD Signature dish Sporting a host of enhancements both inside and out, one of the most highly acclaimed hi-res DAC/headphone amps on the planet just got even better – meet the micro iDSD Signature iFi audio, the acclaimed maker of audio devices for home and portable use, has redesigned one of its most popular products to create the micro iDSD Signature, delivering a host of improvements [...]

Original Resource is Part-Time Audiophile

Audio by Van Alstine SET 120 Control Amplifier | REVIEW

This is a story about that time I joined a cult (or two). In this review I stand to gain nothing and lose everything by telling you how staggeringly capable the Audio by Van Alstine SET 120 Control Amplifier is at delivering all of the musical goods. I am here to confess a rare and simple truth—that true high-end sound does not have to be a luxury. The mere utterance of this truth could shatter the system and render all of our phony-baloney writing jobs into the bin of oblivion. Words and Photos by Eric Franklin Shook I have read the forums aplenty as to the happenings at Audio by Van Alstine (avahifi.com) for at least a few decades. I have seen Audio by Van Alstine circuit designs come and go. With each new product the members of the AVA brand forum jumping for joy at the design implementations. I have seen the Audio by Van Alstine preference for the steel black box chassis become a mainstay characteristic of the iconic brand. Even as every other manufacturer clamors to stay ahead of the trending enclosure of the day. I have seen the fandom surrounding the AVA brand come with some [...]

Original Resource is Part-Time Audiophile

MAGNIUS, The New Beast from Schiit Audio

VALENCIA, CA — A new little beast from Schiit Audio arrives today in the form of a headphone amplifier/preamplifer. And it shall be called MAGNIUS! Jason Stoddard of Schiit Audio was so kind to provide us with some detailed insight on the new technologies implemented within the new Magnius. JASON: “The Magnius introduces our all-new ZZZ Technology™, with our exclusive Super-Nested-Opamp-Recombinant-Electronics topology (SNORE™). Because composite amplifiers have been around a long time and they aren’t super exciting. Just kidding… having some fun with some other “big name” technology. We make our own buzzword lingo, so feel free to razz on us.” Okay, you gotta admit that was funny. No razzing from us. Here’s the real scoop, the Magnius is a high-power (6-wpc @ 16-Ohm), super-high-performance headphone amp/preamp with both balanced and SE preamp outputs. At its $199 USD, the Magnius carries a price that is 45-150% LESS than competitive products made overseas, and yet it is still  designed and built in California, USA. Mind-boggling! Yes. $199. The new Magnius Headphone Amplifier stacks perfectly with Schiit’s recently released Modius DAC which also retails for $199 USD. Making the pair a sweet DAC/Headphone Amp/Preamp combo for only $398 USD (See Mom! I [...]

Original Resource is Part-Time Audiophile

FOCAL Utopia, Stellia, Cleara owners receive $1,000 voucher towards Focal Arche Amplifier

Focal is offering a $1,000 voucher towards the purchase of a Focal Arche Amplifier to anyone who owns a Focal Utopia, Stellia or Clear at any period of time before or during the promotion. What makes this offer especially great, beyond the savings, is that the Focal Arche Amplifier works with Focal headphones in a way unlike any other amplifier on the market.The Focal Arche amplifier offers a unique set of presets that are designed to optimize the sound for each Focal Utopia, Stellia and Clear model. The Arche solution combines a digital-analogue converter and two pure class A amplification modes, designed especially for headphone use. Making the Arch a perfect All-In-One solution for Focal headphones. The Focal Arche is manufactured in France.This promotion runs through the end of the 2020 calendar year, so if you’re already a Utopia, Stellia, or Clear owner, or yet to be — don’t worry, you have ample time to take advantage of this sweet deal. This promotion is valid from July 24th 2020 through December 31st 2020. How it works: INFORMATION REQUIRED: First Name, Last Name, Product, Serial Number and Country. To obtain the voucher, consumers must send their information to [email protected] Consumers will [...]

Original Resource is Part-Time Audiophile