Ifi PRO DSD "dac"

Pro iDSD by iFi audio | Solid State or Tube DAC, WiFi Streaming Headphone Amp (ifi-audio.com)

Recently I purchased the iFI PRO DSD piece of gear a dac with a linestage internally that can drive
headphones SE and balanced. But iFI states its a dac first with a ton of bells an whistles…

Here are my initial comments about this “swiss army” knife of a headphone device:

Well its day 3 with this neat little “box” full of wonderful engineering and technology for sure…
Why did I buy this?

Its expensive, small and has lots of function and features buried inside it.
My father told me if you want something good then go to a store that specifically deals in that item your interested in. Well I think iFi is kind of that “store” that specializes in AIO’s and cramming a lot of good quality stuff in a small box.

This is the iFi Pro DSD for sure, in spades.

Been doing this headphone stuff for many years…had / have 30 + amps and many dacs and many headphones…they come and go.

We all have differing tastes and preferences and bias…for sure.

What interested me in the Pro DSD was its engineering and design philosophy ?
Class A
NOS plus several other filter choices that are available for quick selection.
Tubes ! ? ! Yes even them.
Upsample yes if u want
DSD etc
Mix and match many choices…OMG yes.
A dac that’s really a well thought our dac…lovely.

Yes I read all the stuff all over the net…SBAF. Head-fi, ASR, and all the reviews and videos.
But in the end its my ears that count.
So I had to try and buy.
Still a 30 day send back from the retailer I bought from.
But don’t think this one is going back anytime soon.

I am using a set of HD 650’s and Final Audio D8000 Pros…just sold most of my other totl cans and have settled in on these 2 stellar performers.

They both work and pair very well with the Pro DSD nicely.

The main attraction was how well the dac would work and compared to what I have been using for years.

I just sold my long time favorite. Done.

Well many often ask well how does it sound?
Well the answer is very good dependent on you source.
Crap in crap out, stellar recordings in u get stellar out.
This is what I am looking for and I have found it with this device.

The internal linestage (iFi doesnt call this an amp…but it is)…is not as great as some other TOTL amps but very close IMO…so it could be “the” amp for you depending on your music and headphone sensitivity.

For me I have compared the internal linestage to feeding the dac to my PassLabs HPA-1, ACP +, Schiit Jotenheim 2, Lyr 3 and a few other amps…I dont have the iCan Pro amp…and IMO this is the way to go…

Of the internal tube selections I like the “tube” better than the “tube +” selection…personal taste.
The tube part is really exceptional as well…

The performance from this dac to the HPA-1 is as good as it gets/ Period…just lovely with both sets of cans.
You get lost in the music and this IMO is what its all about.

You can read all the reviews about the technicalities, speeds and feeds, specs, filter tech etc…but for me being able to easily dial in something and hear with my own ears the +/- 's is this Pro DSD strongest traint.

Is is expensive. YES it is…

Is it worth it? You can get great sound for less. But IMO this dac/amp is in a league all its own with all the various attributes.

So the real thing here is I have started selling a lot of stuff that is good but not needed anymore…this little swiss army knife of an audio tool is just what the doctor ordered!

If I sell enough I just might be tempted to buy the iCan Pro amp!!

My hats off to iFi for a wonderful product…



I would LOVE to try that with my Pro iCAN. I’ll bet it would blow away my BF2.

The Pro iCAN is a hell of an amp. It is very good with all headphones and outstanding with some.


makes me wonder what the tube on tube action would be like… lol :smirk:

It would be interesting. I still haven’t even rolled the tubes in the amp yet.

I think if you open the unit your warranty is voided. I read this on the IFI support FAQ site area.

Last night I got lost in the music listening to Tracy Chapman, George Harrison, and a few oldies…some are really really well recorded for the timeframe…things like the depth of the soundstage and details are stellar…

These are songs and recordings I use for judging things and have listened to for years.

I sold my Bifrost 2 the other day, been using Schiit MB dacs for 4+ years. Excellent dacs. But I wanted to try this Burr Brown implementation and the filters and DSD functions.

Read all the stuff on the net good and bad, and finally decided that its my ears that have to make that decision…so it was a try and buy, 30 day return policy so no real risk…but after 2 days I sold the B2. Sad, but a good move in the right direction for me.

The amp or linestage in this product is not called an amp but IFI but it is. And they state its ok, bit the iCan Pro is the TOTL amp from them…

So taking the dac output into a great amp like the HPA-1, I get to see how well it really is as a dac…and with these D8000 Pro’s…its indeed one of the best overall systems I have listened to.

I sold my Empys, Hedds and Focals.

Selling several of my other amps.

Been thru so many things and finally realize this is about as good as it gets…not that other combos are great…its just that this one is right up there with most anything else.

Here are the conclusions from stereophile’s review:

“” To my mind, analog audio still produces a more authentic and believable sense of force and corporeality, so I naturally prefer digital audio gear whose sound comes closest to those qualities. In previous reviews I’ve praised the HoloAudio Spring “Kitsuné Tuned Edition” Level 3 and Mytek’s Manhattan II for precisely those traits. I can now add the Pro iDSD to this short list of DACs that recover an enjoyable illusion of dense bodies playing music.

I’ve also noticed that audiophile DACs vary widely in their ability to transmit a believably natural-feeling transparency. My beloved HoloAudio Spring reproduces empty spaces that feel completely and uniquely nondigital, and that surround performers with a sense of breathable air that makes the forms of those dense bodies seem more three-dimensionally there. While the Pro iDSD’s air didn’t feel quite as naturally oxygenated, the iFi did consistently surpass the HoloAudio Spring in generating expansive soundstages that directed my attention toward the positions and corporeality of the performers and/or their instruments. This dramatic, wide-open clarity was the Pro iDSD’s most distinguishing characteristic.

Bottom line: iFi Audio’s Pro iDSD lived up to the hyperbole of its owner’s manual. It did actually play music like “a ‘state of the art’ reference digital to analog converter.” It did indeed sound like “an all-out assault” on what is possible in DACs today . . . and it did both of those good things at a ridiculously low price. Highly recommended. “”

These devices are in that upper level of audio “thin” air…where the tech, design and implementation is well…state of the art. With all the bells and whistles this product has, some of which I will not use I still often go back to the NOS bit perfect mode. This IMO allows me to see what the dacs in this box really can do. And the results so far is pretty dang good…



Thanks for the love buddy! Mind if I forward this wonderful writeup along to the team?

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Sure no problem!
Great device!

Appreciate it!

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I ordered a iCan Pro today 2-3 weeks wait.

Woohoo! Also looking forward to seeing your writeup there.

Maybe u can expedite my order!!



I thought they were discontinued. Congrats!

We are talking about their small desktop iCan Pro amp…still being sold by all the major retailers…Audio46, BHphoto, Adorama etc as far as I know…

Mine is on order.


Cool! When I got mine I was looking around and they were a little hard to find.
I thought I read that they were being discontinued.

Again, congrats on the purchase!

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I have been in contact with iFi and they gave no indication of them discontinuing this amp…

That said, its still a wait for one from several vendors…I ordered to get in line and hope the order is fullfilled…


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UPDATE on the iCan Pro amp.
My order was cancelled.
Seems that they cant get anymore amps from iFi.
Its still on their site.
The only ones in stock I found were (2) at Crutcfield yesterday.

Looks like they might be coming out with something new ?



@sebastien_chiu_iFi any comment on this Seb? :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

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Hey folks,

All I can say is yes, the Pro iCAN was discontinued due to part shortages! Sorry for the confusion with distributors, we are working to get that resolved.

Unfortunately I can’t say anything more than this at this time!

Thanks for you understanding.

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Read…new product imminent lol.

After a entire week with this dac, I have sold my other dac that I loved to death. This dac is a step up for me here…its an amazing multi-bit dac…with the D8000 Pros…its never been as open, accurate and with outstanding resolution and detail.

Its a light saber listening experience. Your at the mercy of the quality of recording and how it was mic’d and mastered.

My other dac was a multibit dac, but there is some magic here with the Burr Brown implementation…such a wide soundstage, instrument separation and articulation. The linestage out is also excellent. Compared to my other stuff and it holds it ground very well and exceeds in some areas.

The most important trait is just getting lost in the music time after time after time…I do have my favorites (amps) being fed by the dac…The HPA-1 is solid. The Schiit Lyr 3 is solid as well…totally euphonic and musical…

The only thing better would be if iFi made a dac only unit without the dsd upsample and filters and get the cost down to say $1500. At the price now its up there cost wise but dang its really so good I would by the dang thing again!