IFi Zen DAC vs Micro iDSD BL

I currently have the iFi Zen Stack interconnected with 4.4mm Pentacon Cable. I have an option to get a used 2 year old Micro iDSD BL for ~440 USD.

  1. Should I sell the Zen Stack and get the Micro BL?
  2. What improvements will I get purely in sound quality?
  3. Will there be any benefit if I sell only the Zen DAC and use Zen CAN with iDSD as DAC?

You shouldn’t pay more than $350 for a used micro BL.

Is that not a good deal? The new Micro iDSD Signature costs ~850 USD here.

Maybe it actusky is in your country, im not super sure. Something to keep in mind if that there are 4 tiers of micro idsd.

OG silver - nor sold anymore ~ 6 years old
BL - $550 new in US and ~5 years old
Sig - $700 new in US and under a year old
Diablo - $900 in US and just a couple months old

Each model is a step up on SQ from the one below it so you should pay attention to the tiers when pricing stuff out.

Imo, the micro BL is a realy solid device. I use mine litteraly daily. But I think it has some issues that make it tough to recomend as an exclusive device. Namely, that minimum listening volumes are not super low. If you use lower impedence cans or IEMs, the lowest volume yiu can get to is still a moderate volume level. This is not an issue on harder to dive over ears for the most part, but it can be for some (focal clear and LCD-X I’ve particularly noticed it on). The Mico BL can take line in or do line out, so you can keep whichever you want of the zen stac. The signature and diablo do not have line in. That means you can only keep the amp as an option.

Again, the volume problem asside (something i suspect won’t ve an issue for most, I just like auet listening and most shit doesn’t get low enough for my tastez) the SQ is good, the versatility is great, imo it can 100% be used truly portable (its how i use mine), over all a real solid device. I just feel like the volume issues need to be mentioned.

As far as cost, outside of the US yiu will have to judge the market in your country. Ik they are still only luke 350 eur in most of Europe and 300-325 gbp but if you aren’t in one of those countries I cant help much

For portable use I’ve got the Mojo paired with xDuoo 05BL Pro module for wireless. I was mostly looking to improve Desktop performence.

I did read there was a slight channel imbalance at lower volume, although I doubt I’ll have volume below 12 ‘O’ clock position for Sundara or Meze 99C.

So, purely for desktop use, would I benefit greatly with iDSD BL over Zen Stack or should I save money for something else?

Unfortunately I havent had a zen stack to be able to say. Hopefully someone else can chime in here with direct comparisons

Yes, it would be awesome if some one who owns or tried both could share their impressions. Thanks for trying though.

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