Thank you to Steve and Andrew for there patience with me, and with your assistance in purchasing this transportable DAC and Amp. I love the sound this unit gives, especially on my Audeze LCD-XC headphones using the X-bass. function, this is a prefect combo. Also purchased the LCD-XD from Bloom Audio, Highly recommend.
At first this Amp/DAC sounded like it had lower resolution than my THX Monoprice Portable at $300.
But then I realized 'this warmness' I was hearing only seemed to apply to macrodynamics. The THX has
'cleaner' macrodynamics, but the iFI DSD Signature seems to have slightly higher resolution microdynamics
than my THX Monoprice Portable. I might be hallucinating. I've only spend 6 hours listening to one kind of music
on this. But I've also heard somewhere that the THX Feed Forward Correction Technology 'smears' microdynamics.
Now this statement makes more sense to me. And intuitivelly, it makes sense to me that software should only be able
to splice out macro distortion, thus enhanced macrodynamics, yet perhaps, not so enhanced microdynamics if the hardware
and implementation of the hardware is not as good. Reminds me of Bose using software tricks. What you are paying an extra
$350 dollars more than the THX Portable is likley better hardware components & implementation. This is good news for amplifier
companies that are not THX, if it's not merely Analytical VS Lush, but also Micro Analytical VS Macro Analytical. #QuarantineThoughts : )
Unit sounds great very dynamic and smooth, slight channel and imbalance at lower volumes
It's as big as its predecessor (the black label), which is the only real complaint I have about this beast (that, and perhaps maybe the "wish I would have waited for the diablo" factor)... OK fine, I also don't love the fact that I can't power/charge it from the same USB-C port as the connected host (although I do understand the sonic benefit of having them separate).
In short, this thing rivals any desktop DAC/Amp combo I have seen under $1k, and I have yet to find something it doesn't drive with ease (everything from delicate Campfire Audio IEMS up through my Sennheiser HD800s, Audeze LCD-4, Focal Utopia, and the full range of ZMF cans). The 3-position gain switch is fantastic in dealing with the range of power requirements, and the 3D and XBass DSP (? Filters?) give you more options to tweak the spectrum to accommodate whatever you're listening to. Battery life is spectacular (although the status lights could be a little more intuitive), the 1/4" and 4.4mm headphone outs are much welcomed among the sea of other options' 3.5mm / 2.5mm ports - and built-in RCA out allows for the iFi Micro iDSD Signature to work as a preamp for your 2-channel setup. Decoding of (as far as I know) all the high-res formats, although pretty much a given, deserves mention.
Although I'm not going too many places these days, it's nice to have a desktop-worthy DAC/Amp that I can walk around with. I find myself using my Chord Mojo less, and instead reaching for the iFi when I'm not tethered to my Violectric V280. Well done iFi!
The TL/DR summary: this unit is amazing. If you’re on the fence, go for it. You will not regret your purchase.
After deciding to move beyond the limitations of on-board decoding on my devices, I had been making do with a dongle-type DAC, using fairly easy to drive IEMs and headphones. I spent a few months researching various desktop and portable DAC options, and finally dove in when the iFi Micro iDSD Signature was announced. It was love at first listen. If you want to discover new amazing in your favorite tracks, not to mention be blown away by capabilities of your headphones and IEMs, this unit will deliver with flying colors. It also delivers across the spectrum - I’ve been as dazzled by classical tracks and remasters of 70s albums as I have the latest Billie Eilish and Kid Cudi. I don’t remember the last time I’ve had this much fun with my music.
The sound itself is impeccable, and with the various output configuration options (Power Match, the iEMatch, multiple filter options, XBass and 3D audio) you can dial in the perfect sound for whatever you may be listening to. My only challenge has been finding the right power setting with each set of headphones/IEMs to listen at lower volume - the audio can fall off in the left channel when you drop the master volume below about 25%, though this varies with the output power setting.
A month in, I couldn’t be happier - this is an amazing bit of technology in a very portable form factor.