ifi NEO iDSD 2
The ifi NEO iDSD 2 is a groundbreaking new product featuring full-bandwidth Bluetooth connectivity, a first in a product of this kind.
Why the Old Bluetooth Codec Falls Short for Hi-Fi.
Bluetooth is a wireless technology that enables data exchange between devices over short distances. It’s commonly used to connect headphones, speakers, and peripherals to smartphones and computers.
However, Bluetooth’s biggest limitation has been transmitting high-quality audio. Originally designed for phone headsets and speakerphones, Bluetooth’s narrow bandwidth necessitates audio data compression, which compromises music reproduction quality.
What is Lossless Bluetooth, also known as aptX Lossless?
Many current Bluetooth codecs claim to support CD-quality and even hi-res audio. Yet, they employ lossy compression during transmission, leading to audio quality degradation. For context, AAC’s bitrate peaks at 320kbps, aptX Adaptive at 420kbps, and LDAC at 990kbps. Considering that a CD audio file’s bitrate stands at 1,411kbps, these codecs inevitably introduce some loss.
In contrast, aptX Lossless operates at a maximum bitrate of 1,200kbps. While it does use compression, the method produces results akin to FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec), ensuring no sound quality degradation. This distinction makes it the only Bluetooth codec delivering true CD-quality (16-bit/44.1kHz) audio.
The World’s First Lossless Bluetooth DAC/Amp the NEO iDSD 2
Our NEO iDSD 2 is a versatile 3-in-1 DAC/Amp designed specifically for CAS audiophiles. It seamlessly pairs with headphones as a Head-Fi DAC/Amp, serves as a pure DAC with an integrated amplifier, or functions as a DAC/Preamp for active speakers and power amplifiers.
Boasting the latest Bluetooth 5.4 technology, it supports the new aptX Lossless, the sole Bluetooth codec offering lossless CD-quality audio without sound quality compromise.
What differentiates us? Beyond using the standard QCC518X SDK (software development kit), we’ve partnered with Qualcomm engineers to bring new functionality and modules exclusive to NEO iDSD 2. These innovations encompass LDAC, LHDC, Custom XMOS interface, Personalized Device Name, Real-time receive & transmit switching, Stereo (non-TWS) receiver, SPDIF Input, aptX Lossless indicator*, and I2S Input*.
*Features are still under development.
It’s head-fi. It’s desk-fi. And it’s hi-fi.
The NEO iDSD 2 is our versatile new 3-in-1 DAC/Amp, designed specifically for CAS audiophiles. It pairs effortlessly with your headphones as a Head-Fi DAC/Amp, can be used as a pure DAC with your integrated amplifier, or serve as a DAC/Preamp for your active speakers and power amplifier.
It features the latest Bluetooth 5.4th, supporting the new aptX Lossless, the only Bluetooth codec capable of streaming lossless CD-quality audio without sacrificing audio quality.
The NEO iDSD 2 has improved headphone and line outputs, providing ample power for your high-demanding headphones, as well as power amplifiers.
My Blue isn’t your blue. It’s new and Lossless.
The NEO iDSD 2 features the latest Bluetooth 5.4th technology, supporting the new aptX Lossless codec, which provides a maximum bitrate of 1,200kbps. In comparison, aptX Adaptive has a maximum bitrate of 420kbps, while LDAC offers a higher bitrate of 990kbps.
However, aptX Lossless is the first and only Bluetooth codec capable of streaming CD-quality audio without using a compression method that degrades sound quality. While other Bluetooth codecs claim to support CD-quality and even hi-res audio, they employ lossy compression during transmission, which negatively affects sound quality.
The NEO iDSD 2 used Qualcomm’s new QCC518x Bluetooth audio chip, is qualified to Bluetooth 5.4th, supported all* Bluetooth formats including: aptX Lossless, aptX Adaptive, aptX, LDAC, LHDC/HWA, AAC and SBC.
*As of 22 Sep 2023. Check your device for Bluetooth codec support.
5x more headphone output power than its predecessor.
You heard me correctly – the headphone output power of the NEO iDSD 2 is a whopping 5 times more powerful than that of the 1st-gen NEO iDSD. With a maximum headphone output power of 5,551 mW (@ 32Ω), it outperforms even some dedicated headphone amplifiers, making them sweat. The headphone section has seen significant improvement, as we’ve essentially integrated a Diablo headphone circuit into it.
It features Auto iEMatch to reduce annoying hiss from high-sensitivity headphones without losing any dynamic range and four gain settings ranging from -12dB to +16dB, making it suitable for all your IEMs and headphone types, from super-sensitive to power-hungry.
The NEO iDSD 2 is not only a powerhouse, but it’s also tailored for your ears. The newly added analogue processing modes, XSpace and XBass II, along with the four digital filters, allow you to finetune the sound. Both XSpace and XBass II are pure analogue signal processing modes designed to adjust the soundstage and low-frequency response to match your headphones.
Stand by you. No matter up or down.
Whether you’re using the NEO iDSD 2 as a Desk-Fi or Hi-Fi, you can position it horizontally or vertically. The new 2-inch colour display automatically rotates to suit the orientation.
When using it as a Desk-Fi, you can position it vertically on your desk to save space. Set it to variable output, and with its powerful 19.5V maximum balanced output, it works well with your active speakers with volume control. The volume control is analogue, which is superior to any digital volume control.
When using the NEO iDSD 2 as a Hi-Fi, you can place it horizontally. It can serve as a pure DAC, playing all Hi-Res music files from PCM 32-bit/768kHz to DSD512 and full MQA decoding. You can also connect it directly to your power amplifier as a preamplifier, utilising its analogue volume control.
GMT Femto-Precision Clock. Upgradable.
The internal GMT femto-precision clock, combined with a smart storage cache, forms an advanced jitter reduction system. It effectively reduces jitter in the digital signal, producing cleaner and more accurate sound.
If you possess a more accurate external clock, or if you wish to synchronize with other devices such as CD players or network streamers that have an external clock input, you can connect both the NEO iDSD 2 and the other devices to the external clock via the 10MHz External Sync Clock input for even greater clock signal accuracy.
It’s rare to find an External Sync Clock input in this price range. Even if you don’t have an external clock, the internal GMT femto-precision clock still offers excellent performance in its class.
More than new features. Enhanced circuitry.
The NEO iDSD 2’s enhanced PureWave circuit design, with its balanced dual-mono topology and short signal paths, is known for outstanding linearity and minimal noise and distortion, offering you exceptional sonic purity.
The results are an improved Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) of >120dB(A), Dynamic Range (DNR) of -120dB(A), and Total Harmonic Distortion plus Noise (THD+N) of <0.0015%, bringing the NEO iDSD 2’s performance on par with DACs at a higher price point.
|Digital||USB3.0 B (USB2.0 compatible); S/PDIF (coaxial/optical)|
|Bluetooth 5.4 (aptX Lossless, aptX Adaptive, aptx, LDAC, HWA/LHDC, AAC and SBC)|
|Clock:||External Sync Clock 10MHz, 1Vpp nominal, 75Ω. Sinewave or Squarewave|
|Format:||PCM 768kHz; DSD 512 (22.6MHz); MQA Full Decoder|
|Balanced XLR||19.5V max. (variable) 4.4V fixed|
|UnBAL RCA||10.5V max. (variable) 2.2V fixed|
|Output Impedance:||XLR ≤100Ω; RCA ≤50Ω|
|SNR:||<-120dB(A) @ 0dBFS|
|DNR:||>120dB(A) @ -60dBFS|
|THD+N:||<0.0015% @ 0dBFS|
|Balanced 4.4mm||3.5V / 19.5V max. (12Ω – 600Ω Headphone)|
|UnBAL 6.3mm||4.5V / 9.50V max. (12Ω – 300Ω Headphone)|
|Balanced||>19.5V/650 mW (@ 600Ω); >13.3V/5,551 mW (@ 32Ω)|
|UnBAL||>10.5V/184 mW (@ 600Ω); >9.5V/2,832 mW (@ 32Ω)|
|SNR:||>120dB(A) (3.3V 6.3mm/6.2V 4.4mm)|
|THD + N:||<0.0015% (125mW @ 32Ω)|
|Power supply requirement:||DC 9V/1.5A – 15V/0.9A (centre +ve)*|
|Power consumption:||No Signal ~5W; Max Signal ~13.5W|
|Dimensions:||214 x 158 x 41 mm (8.4″ x 6.2″ x 1.6″)|
|Net weight:||916g (2.0 Ibs)|
|Limited Warranty:||12 months**|
|*A power supply unit must be able to deliver minimum rated repetitive current|
|**12 months typical or as permitted/required by local reseller laws.|
|***Specifications are subject to change without notice|