iFi Neo iDSD Headphone Amp and DAC
A great solution for those who want a high quality DAC and sleek headphone amp in the sub-$1,000 range! iFi continue to provide amazingly well-built products that very much outperform their price tags!
NEO. The new wave of digital sound.
Bleeding-edge Bluetooth. MQA decoding. Balanced.
The DAC/amp. Reloaded
The NEO iDSD is our new 3-in-one DAC/amp.
With balanced ‘PureWave’ circuitry, unbeatable hi-res Bluetooth5.0 and MQA, it is the ultimate in hi-res playback.
Place it horizontally or vertically to suit its surroundings. The OLED display flips to match orientation. One rotary knob controls functionality.
Sleek, sophisticated and versatile.
All. Bases. Covered.
Enjoy the NEO iDSD as a pure DAC. Connect it to a separate integrated amp or preamp using the fixed-level analogue output.
Or treat it as a DAC/preamp with a variable output. The ideal companion to a power amp or active speakers.
And headphone users will love using the excellent amp stage to create a fabulous ‘head-fi’ system.
All. Games. Played.
Love your music but also love gaming?
The NEO iDSD will enhance your current or next-gen gameplay. Feel more immersed than ever before as sound finally matches picture in spectacular fashion.
Pair it with new the PS4 or Xbox One X for the ultimate gaming experience.
The Burr-Brown DAC chipset still fuels the NEO‘s ‘digital engine’.
But we’ve souped it up with a new 16-core, XMOS microcontroller that processes the data via USB and S/PDIF digital inputs. Double the clock-speed. Four times the memory.
Add in jitter eradication including our GMT femto-precision clock, intelligent memory buffer and our GTO filter as standard, and you’ve got one heck of a super DAC.
The NEO iDSD supports PCM up to 32-bit/768kHz, DSD up to 512 and DXDx2. All remain ‘bit-perfect’.
The NEO provides full MQA decoding to ensure the best possible sound quality. Check out our MQA set-up tutorial for Tidal, Roon and Audirvana here.
Plus with MQA over S/PDIF, take advantage of any MQA CDs in your collection
iFi uses Qualcomm’s new QCC5100 Bluetooth processing IC.
All current high-definition Bluetooth audio formats are supported – aptx, aptX HD, aptX Adaptive, aptX LL, LDAC, HWA/LHDC, AAC and SBC.
The NEO iDSD ‘remembers’ up to 7 devices and has impressive range on Bluetooth 5.0.
Ride the ‘PureWave’
Not only is the NEO iDSD a purist design – no DSP, no digital filter selection and no change in analogue playback – it is also all designed around a balanced circuit design named ‘PureWave‘. Read more below.
It uses audiophile-grade components and delivers sonic ‘purity’ thanks to the extraordinarily low levels of noise and distortion.
Power and poise
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, it drives them with aplomb.
It has a continuous power output of over 1000mW into 32ohms available through the balanced headphone socket. Plenty of oomph for the headphone user.
Just more music
The NEO iDSD contains top-notch audio components to back-up the outstanding balanced circuit design. Scroll down for more.
Even the OLED SilentLine display is engineered to ensure there is no electrical noise to interfere with the audio signal as it switches itself off when not in use.
Quality components mean more clarity and texture, a more engaging performance. You just hear more of the music.
We use Qualcomm’s new QCC5100 Bluetooth processing IC in combination with proprietary circuits to create an audibly superior ‘Bluetooth engine’.
All the current high-definition Bluetooth audio formats are supported – Qualcomm’s aptX Adaptive and aptX HD, Sony’s LDAC and HWA’s LHDC, regular aptX and aptX Low Latency, AAC (Apple iOS devices) and SBC (the ‘plain vanilla’ Bluetooth codec).
Of the 24-bit-capable codecs, aptX Adaptive and aptX HD support up to 48kHz, while LDAC and LHDC reach 96kHz.
iFi’s ‘Bluetooth engine’ can also be updated over-the-air, so future codecs may be added.
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.
PureWave is a new, balanced, symmetrical dual-mono topology with short, direct signal paths. The name refers to the sonic purity it achieves thanks to exceptional linearity and infinitesimally low levels of noise and distortion.
MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) is 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. It is available through for Tidal Masters, Audirvana and Roon.
The Burr-Brown True Native® chipset means file formats remain unchanged or ‘bit-perfect’. This means you are listening to music as the artist intended in the format in which it was recorded.
At iFi we use Burr Brown extensively in our products having selected it for its natural-sounding ‘musicality’ and True Native architecture. Our experience with this IC means we know how to make the most of it.
The XMOS 16-Core chip processes the audio data received via the USB and S/PDIF digital inputs.
This new low-latency XMOS microcontroller has 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.
Hi-res audio support is state-of-the-art with True Native® playback. It handles PCM data to 32-bit/768kHz, 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 not the case with all DAC devices from other brands – even if DSD compatibility is stated, many such DACs convert DSD signals to PCM.
Extensive jitter-eradication technologies are applied to the digital stage, including our GMT (Global Master Timing) femto-precision clock and intelligent memory buffer. This represents a total ‘out-of-the-box’ systematic digital solution that solves jitter once and for all.
As with many other iFi audio products, we’ve incorporated a custom OV Series operational-amplifier. This top-notch component contributes to the extremely low noise, low distortion (0.0001%) and wide bandwidth.
Texas Instruments low-noise ICs offer great unity-gain bandwidth, very low noise and distortion, high output drive capability, Common-mode and Power Supply Rejection Ratios of over 100 dB, wide maximum-output-swing bandwidths and high slew rates.
TDK C0G (Class 1 ceramic) capacitors offer high stability and low losses for resonant circuit applications.
Getting ever closer to the theoretical ideal of pure, frequency-constant capacitance, these capacitors reduce capacitor-induced distortion to vanishingly low levels.
They are pricey but are a perfect addition to our products.
muRata control-type, low-ESR high-Q multi-layer capacitors. The ‘ESR control’ aspect of the Murata is something special. Their noise suppression abilities are impressive.
Switching between settings has been engineered to ensure sonic transparency with advanced trench technology MOSFET is used as a muting switch.
This FET-based switching is handled by a micro-controller, which only ‘wakes up’ when the user changes a setting, thus eradicating any sonically deleterious interference.
Digital USB3.0 B (USB2.0 compatible)/S-PDIF (coaxial/optical)
Bluetooth 5.0™ ( AAC, SBC, aptX, aptX HD, aptX Adaptive, aptX LL, LDAC, LHDC/HWA Codec)
Formats DSD512/256/128/64, Octa/Quad/Double/Single-Speed DSD
DXD (768/705.6/384/352.8kHz), Double/Single-Speed DXD
Balanced XLR 6.3V / 7.7V max. (variable) 4.4V fixed
UnBAL RCA 3.2V / 3.9V max. (variable) 2.2V fixed
Balanced <= 100Ω
UnBAL <= 50Ω
SNR -112dB(A) @ 0dBFS (UnBAL/BAL)
DNR >116dB(A) @ -60dBFS (UnBAL/BAL)
THD + N <0.0015% @ 0dBFS (UnBAL/BAL)
Output Balanced >6.4V/68.6 mW (@ 600Ω)
>5.77V/1040 mW (@ 32Ω)
UnBAL >3.25V/17.6 mW (@ 600Ω)
>3V/295 mW (@ 32Ω)
Output Impedance <1Ω (UnBAL/BAL)
SNR -112dBA (3.3V UnBAL/6.2V BAL)
THD + N <0.0015% (125mW @ 32Ω)
Power consumption No Signal ~0.5W
Max Signal ~2.5W
Dynamic range -120dB(A)
Input voltage DC 5V/2.5A, AC 100 -240V, 50/60Hz (with iPower)
Dimensions 214 x146 x 41 mm
8.4" x 5.7" x 1.6"
Weight 970 g (2.14 Ibs)
Warranty period 12 months