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iFi Audio Nano iDSD Black Label Portable DAC and Headphone Amplifier
- Drive your headphones to their maximum performance with the powerful dual mono 285 milliwatt headphone amp that's 6 times more powerful than an iPhone. Advanced engineering allows for balanced wiring all the way through making this perfect for single ended and balanced headphones alike
- Plays all high res audio formats including DSD256, DXD384, PCM 3384kHz and MQA with native digital to analog conversion so you can listen to any file the way the recording was intended
- Connect directly to your smartphone or PC using the USB A digital input (Apple Camera Connection Kit or Android OTG cable required)
- Small and lightweight with a rechargeable lithium polymer battery that provides up to 10 hours of non stop music enjoyment on the go
- Built in iPurifier technology rebalances the USB signal to reduce jitter and packet errors
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|Item Dimensions||—||2.36 x 0.79 x 1.18 in||5 x 3 x 2 in||1.57 x 3.15 x 5.91 in||3.94 x 2.95 x 0.98 in||2.99 x 0.98 x 7.01 in|
The nano iDSD Black Label is an MQA compatible DAC and headphone amp that can be both portable or home-based. With 6 times more power than an iPhone, it can drive any set of headphones (up to 600 Ohms) with aplomb, and, with a battery life of over 10 hours, you can take it with you wherever you go.It will work with an amp or active speakers via the 3.5mm line out. The new Black Label is one of the most high resolution DACs on the market plus we’ve added MQA rendering to give you even more file choices. Just connect your smartphone (OTG cable not included) and experience a level of Spotify, Tidal or Apple Music like never before.
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So how big of a difference is MQA on a great DAC? Here’s my story; I had been critical listening for about 2 days with the micro swapping between the Hifiman X, 800, & Clear with several HIRES Flacs. Then I swapped with the Dragonfly Red / Black and listened on Tidal master – Great music the MQA unfolding was good. Critical listening for a few hours. The next day I dropped in the Ifi iDSD Nano BL …. OMG – Seriously. OMG.. that has got to be the most incredible audio experience I’ve had in a while.. Chills .. goose bumps. Yeah the unfolding was fantastic better – sounded like the artists were sitting in your living room playing. That was awesome.
I hear all three sound dimensions with this unit, height, width and depth. thats rare. The line out is clean, HUGE sound through my Adam A7 powered speakers. Soundstage is enormous. powered speakers like this unit. Mid range shines on this unit, non fatiguing top end, punchy bass (more extended than Micro WITHOUT Xbass switch on).
I have owned the ifi micro BL and Mojo and I recomend this over the Micro BL for portability and over the mojo for listening enjoyment. The Mojo recesses the bass too much (which is kinda suppose to to expose other elements and what they are doing). I found the Mojo too analytical to enjoy what i was listening to and a snob with headphone pairings. I would get hung up on musical "parts" not in the whole picture. This is about MUSIC, not picking it to pieces. Mojo is perfect for OCD mixers? I also found the Mojo soundstage to tight. But If you like picking ish to pieces, and mid size soundstage with a more intimate feel, and hearing tonality separately to the point of losing a resolving sound signature, sell a child and buy the Mojo.
ifi micro BL is perfect for someone who wants to connect their dishwasher to their car, charge their phone, listen to speakers and watch a movie via optical at the same time. The filter/IEM switches on the bottom and side of the ifi Micro BL are flimsy, I returned mine because they broke, step those switches up ifi!!!
WOW WOW WOW. James blake on this nano with HE-4XX Planar Magnetic's.... Shiiiiiiaaaaaaaaaaaaa. Another planet. Textural definition on this unit is so yum yum, so honey and resolving. I don't know what other reviewers are talking about saying this unit has "recessed" mid range. The midrange is PERFECT. Low end is slightly pushed here, but does not in anyways cloud the midrange. Top end is not what i would call "sparkly". Top end here is smooth, almost weighty (if thats possible, weird i know) Instrument separation is enough to know whats up without distracting you. The guys at ifi clearly LOVE music. Thats all this should be about. Making a DAC amp that increases your listening pleasure. And nano BL does this effortlessly without telling you its in the way or even there in between you and the music. Killer work here ifi. I have had connection issues, so hey ifi, now that you've got the sound dialed, can you please assign some company funds to making your great gear actually connect better, especially with the program this unit is meant to work with, TIDAL? I have had to pull the usb connection in and out of my macbook so much i think its pregnant. Battery power is good! Took it to work and it played straight for 6 hours on HIFI TIDAL setting on tidal. Good stuff here.
$199? Really? Are you flipping kidding me? Just buy it and fall in love with your collection again. In my opinion this destroys the Mojo for listening pleasure, and I can't really hear a significant game changer sonic downgrade here from the micro apart from connectivity. Also because of the wonderful mid range on this unit Movies are killer, dialogue becomes very natural and dynamic. Rogue One blew my face off. Review done, time to find my face.
(-) Cons: 1) If you decide to upgrade the firmware to decode MQA (5.3C or 5.3C RC2), PCM files will be upsampled 8x (personally, I do not like). 2) Using Tidal/MQA, sometimes I must go back to the beginning of the song to activate the decoding process. Once these easy-to-solve firmware issues are resolved, I give five stars. (Edit 09/05/18 - Solved with the latest firmware v5.30 ‘Cookies & Cream’)
Tests performed with Sennheiser HD-25-1 II, Sony MDR-1A and Grado SR225i/V-Can II.
I then tried Tidal and a MQA track. Overall, the depth and clarity I heard from deep bass to crisp treble was something I'd never heard from my Triple Drivers before. I was pleasantly surprised that I could hear a real difference. I truly was not expecting such a rich audio experience. I also connected my Audio Technica ATH-M40x and was wow'd by the expansive sound.
I also did some frequency generator tests and found that Nano iDSD BL drove sounds down below 20hz and I was able to hear tones in the 12Khz to 16Khz range (I'm sure it went much higher, but I can't hear anything above 16Khz). But what it showed me was that both my Triple Driver and M40x were producing high frequencies that I did not hear from the on-board RealTek audio card on the laptop.
I plan on testing this on my iPhone X next week. I will post an update once I have tried it. The only quirk I have found is that you have to be sure the device is powered off when you start your laptop. Once you have loaded Windows then you can turn the Nano on. Otherwise it gets into a strange state. I've contacted iFi tech support and am waiting for an answer. But overall, I could not be happier or more pleased with his DAC/AMP.
Most recent customer reviews
Would be nice if we can use the regular lightening to male USB cable.
A male USB input at the back is so odd to me.Read more