🔷 iFi iDSD Signature

This is the official thread for the iFi iDSD Signature Transportable DAC/AMP

This thread is for discussion and reviews.

  • transportable dac/amp
  • 6-12 hour battery life
  • XBass and 3D (crossfeed) circuits

:red_circle: Hifiguides Amazon Link


Z Reviews

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it really is unforgivable that they didn’t include Bluetooth.


Aye a slack release by iFi I reckon a BL with a 4.4mm…new stuff buy iFi in the new year I reckon :+1:

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Anyone have this new release that can fill us in on SQ and overall performance? Especially when compared with black label which can be grabbed new for about 200 less?

I’m looking for a portable Dac/amp I can use to power my 990 600ohm, as well as future proof to planars or anything other that is crazy thirsty to drive.

Is the sound signature typical ifi? Warmer, full bodied sound at expense of soundstage and separation, or is this Dac/amp a whole other animal?

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I just got the Signature and have had the BL for a while now. For the most part I can agree with Zeo’s review.

Breaking down the differences the things I noticed right away were the following:

  • better instrument separation
  • large wider sound stage
  • better control over mid-range
  • less congested sounding over the BL with certain tracks
  • better control over the bass
  • improved control with xBass (doesn’t sound as bloomy with some headphones)

I would say it’s definitely worth it over the BL if you’re buying new.


Wait, what? BL is still like $500 if you can find it new and 300+ used.

EDIT: Am dumb. You mean the the nano iDSD, not the micro

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Since apparently you can use the xduoo XD-05 Bt reciever as just a BT in optical out, I ordered one to give it a try with my BL. I’ll make a thread for it in DIY once it arrives next week

I just cant wait for it to be $500 used in like 6 months. Thats when ima probably jump (assuming the xduoo balanced doesnt somehow blow it away or the red micro come out and be better in basicaly every way)

not really looking at or wanting a work around. someone just needs to slap iFi for being so stupid!

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I mean, yes, they absolutely do, but a work around may actually make it a more viable device (at least for my use case it certainly will)

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Did you end up making a thread for it? Interested in ways of making it bluetooth. Another option would be the topping bc3.

Just too bad they did not incorporate. But I need something portable for more power. Have some planars laying around. Sundara and gl2k that can use more power than my current fiio q5s provides. I’m quite unimpressed by these headphones on my q5s.

Could also be I’m just no fan of these type planars…

The BC3 may be a better shout. I got the xduoo one (only one at tge time) and the ldac support is just horendus. Jitter so bad you think it’s intentional. Litteraky can’t hear the music over it. You have to turn ldac on and off a dozen times for it to finally catch. Right now I’m just using a pi with a battery pack yo stream roon too.

The Bass in God is a Woman (Ariana Grande), Dancing With a Stranger (Sam Smith) and Magic (Kylie Minogue) …are… SUBLIME with the Black Limba’s and the iFi iDSD Signature on normal gain @ 1 o’clock on the volume dial! This is how POP music should sound. MAGIC. :yum Loud in yer face and thumping.

That’s where type 1 or 2 woods truly rock! Type 4 Wild Chechen can’t compete with the kick, power and warmth of the Type 1 Black Limba where you just wanna feel da bass… and that’s without flicking the xBass or 3D switch on the Amp. Type 4 with the xBass come close to the Type 1 but still lacking a little warmth. They are still great though for rock or more complex music, or Jazz where you need a little more articulation in the bass.

Love the sound of the Signature which has now certainly replaced my RME ADI-2 DAC for ALL duties!!

iFi iDSD Signature - TH610 Lawton Black Limba by Hilton, on Flickr

Intimacy of Wild Chechen with Hoff Ensemble - Polarity…
iFi micro iDSD Signature TH610 by Hilton, on Flickr

Pocketable… with chromecast audio optical tethered hotspot to Note 20 Ultra for no wires ma on the go! (well nearly wireless… phone or tablet atleast! and it still fits in a pocket - just)
iFi iDSD Signature Chromcast Audio TOSLINK by Hilton, on Flickr

iFi iDSD Signature Chromcast Audio TOSLINK by Hilton, on Flickr

Great companion for the iPad mini with the short camera kit cable - anywhere around the house or the train, plane, bus and automobile! (or just while goofing off on the interwebs!)
For Better or for Worse - Too Far for Gracie by Hilton, on Flickr


Did you get to try out the Diablo too? Or have you only tried (and clearly are loving) the Sig? I’d like an upgrade to my Zen stack sometime soon and am debating between both.

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I listened to Diablo and it was a bit more aiming for neutral and pure and I was looking for something more musical as I already have an RME ADI-2 DAC for that neutral clean purist sound and the TH610 even with Lawton chambers could still do with a bit of warming up, which the Signature does perfectly!

Thanks for the impressions. That’s been generally what I’ve been understanding about the Diablo and I’m glad the Signature is working out for you! I am split between both as an upgrade but either way your impressions go a long way for the insight!

Today I listened to my Hyla Sarda’s (glorious IEM) on a ifi signature. I’m used to listening via my fiio Q5s type c. I ordered a signature just to check how it sounded like and also I’ve got a goldplanar lying around that I thought could use some more juice than the half a watt on the fiio.

The signature manages to make the Sarda’s sound flat. Signature + bass boost on DID NOT even compare to how great the bass is on the q5s with bass boost off.

I’m legit amazed, every day when listening to my Sarda’s. But this was just bad.

I heard better instrument seperation on the goldplanar in instrumental rock music. But overall the sound is really flat. Specially other genres. Don’t even try hiphop. The gl2000 is already a flat headphone and the combo is just bad. I really would’ve thought the ifi signature to be a different experience then it was.

Anyone experience with ifi signature like that? From what I’ve read a lot of people find the Bass boost of IFI to be very good and the signature over all to be a good unit. But for some reason it manages to make my very good and bassy IEMs sound boring and flat.

This is based off of a first listen. I’m not sure a thing like a signature needs a break in period or something. But how much can it change. The differences are crazy on the IEM.

So a few questions, do you have an iematch mode on, what power mode are you running it on, and also are you using 1/4 inch or 4.4mm? With the sarda I’d set it to ultra mode for the iematch, try out the different power modes, and also experiment with the dac filter options

Personally I’d give it a longer listen and see how things change as you get more acclimated to the sound

The sarda is fairly sensitive to source gear

Iematch mode on: yes
Sarda I mostly tested eco mode and ultra sensitive but I played with the other variations as well.
I did use stock cable on the Sarda so single ended. I could run it balanced and give that a shot as well.

I’ll give it this weekend, see whatsup.

Also, This thing doesn’t seem to charge which is weird. The charging led keeps switching off no matter what charging type I do. But when I turn it on, it gives me green light which means over 25% battery. So I should be able to charge it. I’ll now go and drain it , gaming with a friend, see if it charges over night. Not sure what that’s all about.