The compact desktop DAC/headphone amplifier iFi NEO iDSD 2 is a major departure from its predecessor . In particular, the advent of Bluetooth 5.4 with support for aptX Lossless. According to the manufacturer, NEO iDSD 2 “is the only DAC that can deliver high-resolution, lossless audio over both a wired connection and Bluetooth, with the maximum performance that any source allows.”
The on-board headphone amplifier is also quite commensurate with these parameters, capable of delivering 5,550 mW at a load impedance of 32 Ohms (this is at the 4.4 mm Pentaconn balanced output). Moreover, the analog circuit, according to iFi, provides for the reduction of noise and crosstalk along the signal path.
Digitally, the new product processes PCM up to 32 bit/768 kHz, plus all DSD levels, and the four-channel chip provides separate processing of PCM and DSD. The device receives input signal via USB-B, four optical and coaxial digital inputs, as well as a 3.5 mm analog input. Not so small for a case with dimensions of 214x41x158 mm, where, in addition, it was possible to install a two-inch color TFT display of the Retina class. Moreover, it adapts to the orientation of NEO iDSD 2 in space.
The Nexis app from iFi for Android and iOS is suitable for setting up and managing the new product. Its ecosystem is steadily expanding. An alternative is an upgraded aluminum remote control. As a result, iFi NEO iDSD 2 works as a pure DAC, DAC/preamp with variable output and headphone amplifier. Audiophiles can combine four digital reconstruction filters and four gain settings. All this “in hardware” will appear in October 2023.
The iFi Neo iDSD 2 headphone DAC amplifier retails for £900 in the UK.