iFi Audio NEO iDSD - Official Thread

This is the place to discuss the Neo IDSD from iFi Audio

NEO iDSD from iFi audio

NEO. The new wave of digital sound.

Bleeding-edge Bluetooth. MQA decoding. Balanced.

The DAC/amp. Reloaded

The NEO iDSD is our new 3-in-one DAC/amp.

With balanced ‘PureWave’ circuitry, unbeatable hi-res Bluetooth5.0 and MQA, it is the ultimate in hi-res playback.

Place it horizontally or vertically to suit its surroundings. The OLED display flips to match orientation. One rotary knob controls functionality.

Sleek, sophisticated and versatile.

Show Less

All. Bases. Covered.

Enjoy the NEO iDSD as a pure DAC. Connect it to a separate integrated amp or preamp using the fixed-level analogue output.

Or treat it as a DAC/preamp with a variable output. The ideal companion to a power amp or active speakers.

And headphone users will love using the excellent amp stage to create a fabulous ‘head-fi’ system.

All. Games. Played.

Love your music but also love gaming?

The NEO iDSD will enhance your current or next-gen gameplay. Feel more immersed than ever before as sound finally matches picture in spectacular fashion.

Pair it with new the PS5 or Xbox Series X for the ultimate gaming experience.

Show Less

Enhanced engine

The Burr-Brown DAC chipset still fuels the NEO ‘s ‘digital engine’.

But we’ve souped it up with a new 16-core, XMOS microcontroller that processes the data via USB and S/PDIF digital inputs. Double the clock-speed. Four times the memory.

Add in jitter eradication including our GMT femto-precision clock, intelligent memory buffer and our GTO filter as standard, and you’ve got one heck of a super DAC.

Hi-res heaven

The NEO iDSD supports PCM up to 32-bit/768kHz, DSD up to 512 and DXDx2. All remain ‘bit-perfect’.

The NEO provides full MQA decoding to ensure the best possible sound quality. Check out our MQA set-up tutorial for Tidal, Roon and Audirvana here .

Plus with MQA over S/PDIF, take advantage of any MQA CDs in your collection.

Show Less

Bleeding-edge Bluetooth

iFi uses Qualcomm’s new QCC5100 Bluetooth processing IC.

All current high-definition Bluetooth audio formats are supported – aptx, aptX HD, aptX Adaptive, aptX LL, LDAC, HWA/LHDC, AAC and SBC.

The NEO iDSD ‘remembers’ up to 7 devices and has impressive range on Bluetooth5.0.

Ride the ‘PureWave’

Not only is the NEO iDSD a purist design – no DSP, no digital filter selection and no change in analogue playback – it is also all designed around a balanced circuit design named ‘ PureWave ‘. Read more below.

It uses audiophile-grade components and delivers sonic ‘purity’ thanks to the extraordinarily low levels of noise and distortion.

Show Less

Power and poise

The headphone amp stage maintains an engaging balance between sonic power and poise – no matter what it is tasked to drive. From high-sensitivity in-ear monitors to current-hungry planar headphones, it drives them with aplomb.

It has a continuous power output of over 1000mW into 32ohms available through the balanced headphone socket. Plenty of oomph for headphone user.

Just more music

The NEO iDSD contains top-notch audio components to back-up the outstanding balanced circuit design. Scroll down for more.

Even the OLED SilentLine display is engineered to ensure there is no electrical noise to interfere with the audio signal as it switches itself off when not in use.

Quality components mean more clarity and texture, a more engaging performance. You just hear more of the music.

Show Less

Majestic measurements

Equivalent Input Noise* (IEN)

NEO iDSD: 0.0015% THD

Typical DACamp: 0.05% THD



We use Qualcomm’s new QCC5100 Bluetooth processing IC in combination with proprietary circuits to create an audibly superior ‘Bluetooth engine’.

All the current high-definition Bluetooth audio formats are supported – Qualcomm’s aptX Adaptive and aptX HD, Sony’s LDAC and HWA’s LHDC, regular aptX and aptX Low Latency, AAC (Apple iOS devices) and SBC (the ‘plain vanilla’ Bluetooth codec).

Of the 24-bit-capable codecs, aptX Adaptive and aptX HD support up to 48kHz, while LDAC and LHDC reach 96kHz.

iFi’s ‘Bluetooth engine’ can also be updated over-the-air, so future codecs may be added.

Show Less

Balanced, differential analogue circuit design reduces noise and cross-talk within the signal path by fully separating the left and right channels.

PureWave is a new, balanced, symmetrical dual-mono topology with short, direct signal paths. The name refers to the sonic purity it achieves thanks to exceptional linearity and infinitesimally low levels of noise and distortion.

High-quality components are used throughout, including custom ultra-low-distortion op-amps, multilayer ceramic TDK C0G capacitors, MELF thin-film resistors and inductors from Murata and Taiyo Yuden. Their class-leading qualities such as low ESR (Equivalent Series Resistance), high linearity and low noise pay great dividends in terms of sound quality.

The headphone amp stage has a continuous power output of more than 1000mW into 32ohms available through the balanced headphone socket. To retain maximum resolution, the volume is adjusted in the analogue domain via a resistor ladder, under precise microprocessor control.

Show Less

MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) is supported through the USB and S/PDIF inputs, with full decoding of MQA files up to 384kHz thanks to the processing power of the new 16-core XMOS chip.

Check out how to set-up your MQA decoder via Tidal, Roon and Audirvana here .

This means that the full ‘three unfold’ decoding process is performed internally, as opposed to only the final unfold in the manner of an MQA ‘renderer’.

Globally, MQA has become an important consideration for any comprehensively equipped DAC. It is available through for Tidal Masters, Audirvana and Roon.

Show Less

The Burr-Brown True Native® chipset means file formats remain unchanged or ‘bit-perfect’. This means you are listening to music as the artist intended in the format in which it was recorded.

At iFi we use Burr Brown extensively in our products having selected it for its natural-sounding ‘musicality’ and True Native architecture. Our experience with this IC means we know how to make the most of it.

Show Less

The XMOS 16-Core chip processes the audio data received via the USB and S/PDIF digital inputs.

This new low-latency XMOS microcontroller has greatly enhanced processing power. Compared to the current generation of eight-core chips, this new 16-core IC delivers double the clock speed (2000MIPS) and four times the memory (512KB), as well as the latest SuperSpeed USB standard.

iFi’s in-house digital development team has programmed the XMOS firmware to optimise sound quality and ensure a perfect partnership with the Burr-Brown DAC.

Show Less

Hi-res audio support is state-of-the-art with True Native® playback. It handles PCM data to 32-bit/768kHz, DSD up to DSD512 and single and double speed DXD.

Thanks to the Burr-Brown DAC chip’s four-channel True Native design, PCM and DSD take separate pathways – this enables DSD, as well as PCM, to remain ‘bit-perfect’ in its native form right through to analogue conversion. This is not the case with all DAC devices from other brands – even if DSD compatibility is stated, many such DACs convert DSD signals to PCM.

Show Less

Extensive jitter-eradication technologies are applied to the digital stage, including our GMT (Global Master Timing) femto-precision clock and intelligent memory buffer. This represents a total ‘out-of-the-box’ systematic digital solution that solves jitter once and for all.

As with many other iFi audio products, we’ve incorporated a custom OV Series operational-amplifier. This top-notch component contributes to the extremely low noise, low distortion (0.0001%) and wide bandwidth.

Texas Instruments low-noise ICs offer great unity-gain bandwidth, very low noise and distortion, high output drive capability, Common-mode and Power Supply Rejection Ratios of over 100 dB, wide maximum-output-swing bandwidths and high slew rates.

TDK C0G (Class 1 ceramic) capacitors offer high stability and low losses for resonant circuit applications. They are pricey but are a perfect addition to our products.

muRata control-type, low-ESR high-Q multi-layer capacitors. The ‘ESR control’ aspect of the Murata is something special. Their noise suppression abilities are impressive.

Switching between settings has been engineered to ensure sonic transparency with advanced trench technology MOSFET is used as a muting switch.

This FET-based switching is handled by a micro-controller, which only ‘wakes up’ when the user changes a setting, thus eradicating any sonically deleterious interference.

iFi audio NEO iDSD DACamp

iFi audio NEO iDSD DACamp

iFi audio NEO iDSD DACamp

iFi audio NEO iDSD DACamp

NEO iDSD from iFi audio

iFi audio NEO iDSD DACamp



### Inputs
Digital USB3.0 B (USB2.0 compatible)/S-PDIF (coaxial/optical)
Bluetooth 5.0™ ( AAC, SBC, aptX, aptX HD, aptX Adaptive, aptX LL, LDAC, LHDC/HWA Codec)
Formats DSD512/256/128/64, Octa/Quad/Double/Single-Speed DSD

DXD (768/705.6/384/352.8kHz), Double/Single-Speed DXD
PCM (768/705.6/384/352.8/192/176.4/96/88.2/48/44.1kHz)
Bluetooth 96kHz|
|### Outputs|||
|Balanced XLR|6.3V / 7.7V max. (variable)|4.4V fixed|
|UnBAL RCA|3.2V / 3.9V max. (variable)|2.2V fixed|
|### Zout|||
|Balanced||<= 100Ω|
|UnBAL||<= 50Ω|
|SNR||-112dB(A) @ 0dBFS (UnBAL/BAL)|
|DNR||>116dB(A) @ -60dBFS (UnBAL/BAL)|
|THD + N||<0.0015% @ 0dBFS (UnBAL/BAL)|
|### Headphone Section|||
|Output|Balanced|>6.4V/68.6 mW (@ 600Ω)

5.77V/1040 mW (@ 32Ω)|
||UnBAL|>3.25V/17.6 mW (@ 600Ω)
3V/295 mW (@ 32Ω)|
|Output Impedance||<1Ω (UnBAL/BAL)|
|SNR||-112dBA (3.3V UnBAL/6.2V BAL)|
|THD + N||<0.0015% (125mW @ 32Ω)|
|Power consumption||No Signal ~0.5W
Max Signal ~2.5W|
|Dynamic range||-120dB(A)|
|Input voltage||DC 5V/2.5A, AC 100 -240V, 50/60Hz (with iPower)|
|Dimensions||214 x146 x 41 mm
8.4" x 5.7" x 1.6"|
|Weight||970 g (2.14 Ibs)|
|Warranty period||12 months|

All post info pulled from iFi website below


Well, iFi finally made a product I like aesthetically.

I don’t like being forced to find/build balanced cables with pentacon plugs. They suffer from the same shorting issues any TRS plug does. I guess 4 pin XLR plugs just aren’t sexy enough to use here. Fashion over function is an indicator of bad design choices, IMO.

MQA needs to die, and I feel they have been including it for some time as part of a “including the kitchen sink” approach to feature sets on their products to draw less informed customers. iFi, your products stand on their own now. You can take a stand against useless formats that are licensing leeches in the industry, and keep them out of your products. Seriously, stop paying Bob Stewart money. MQA is far from being “globally important”. That statement is utter nonsense.

As for the sound, I’ll have see. I’ve usually found Burr-Brown chips and most opamps to sound flat and unengaging, but hopefully you’ve done some kind of magic here to change my mind.

Also… 1 watt into 32 ohms is hardly a power house for amps these days.

I don’t know, I guess I’m just disappointed by this new offering. Is iFi becoming Topping now? Sad.


Yeah I didn’t like the missing XLR either, after looking at the power ratings wouldn’t this still be a better DAC only solution @ProfFalkin ?

Edit: I saw you addressed that in your post “Also… 1 watt into 32 ohms is hardly a power house for amps these days”.

I am viewing this as a DAC only option really

Also agree about MQA it’s one the main reasons I have never tried TIDAL even though I have gear that can unpack it.


Well, it should provide enough power for most headphones, even at 300 ohms, but you have very little headroom there.

Current hungry planar magnetic cans might be starved, but I don’t know for sure. Not enough info in the spec sheet.

Just using ohm’s law calcs, here is an estimated power delivery to a HD650 (333ohm load) using iFi’s stated max balanced output of 4.4V:

I = V/R = 4.4V/333Ω = 0.0132132132A
P = V×I = 4.4V×0.013213213213213214A = 0.0581381381W

So, 58mW into 333ohms, balanced connection.

Unbalanced is less.

I = V/R = 2.2V/333Ω = 0.00660660661A
P = V×I = 2.2V×0.006606606606606607A = 0.0145345345W

14.5mW into 333 ohms.

The HD650 power requirements are:

85 dB SPL 0.1 Vrms 0.3 mA 0.03 mW
100 dB SPL 0.55 Vrms 1.65 mA 0.91 mW
110 dB SPL 1.73 Vrms 5.2 mA 8.99 mW
115 dB SPL 3.07 Vrms 9.22 mA 28.3 mW
120 dB SPL 5.46 Vrms 16.4 mA 89.52 mW

I’m going to guess 600ohm Beyerdynamic users need not apply.


Where’s the Unison USB??

This seems more like a mass market product than an audiophile product.

Has typical IFI features. The pentacon thing seems to have enamoured IFI. Fair amount of BT codecs but otherwise a lot of technical mumbo with jumbo that probably doesnt amount to much acoustically. Might be a decent all in one office/bedside setup.

Anyone see a price on this? If they could pull this off for around 1K it could be a fairly popular device.

Im indifferent re MQA but if it fades away I will remain indifferent.

I do like BB DACs but I agree with @ProfFalkin they can be a little middle of the road, dont really do anything wrong but dont really wow you either. They are good even tempered DAC chips for mass market products.

Id read a review about how this sounds. Imagine this will be making the rounds in short order.


The Googles tell me it’s $699.

A Magnius/Modius stack is $400. That setup is just missing Bluetooth, something that most current desktops, laptops, and smartphones come with as standard kit. So it begs the question, do you want to pay an extra $300 to stream music to your Bluetooth headphones through this, or direct from your computing device?

I just don’t see this as being a value item.


Google was too hard for me!!!

Thats not much more expensive than the micro iDSD. For some reason I thought they’d be steering this more towards their Pro line of stuff. Which is why I thought 1K. I’ll bet it doesnt sound any better than the Black Label I have.

Only one way to find out. I volunteer Perogie as tribute!

Let us know what you find out.



It is shiny looking…

1 Like

It’s beautiful and packs a lot of features. Really seems like a good part of the market for ifi to target to compete against smsl. I prefer my ifi products to all products I’ve owned by smsl. I also prefer the option for mqa and really enjoy listening to it.


Edited power requirements post (see above).

1 Like

I think the only way we are going to find out is if @taronlissimore sends me one to listen to :wink:


This should be a moral imperative.


Canada wide tour! Ship it to @resolve and then send it a couple thousand clicks to me!

Uhh I love the design and price point.
As Burr Brown fanboy, I really wish that I would have a need for something like this.

For power, this might be fine for most, though wouldn’t be surprised, if there is a fitting amp with a similar footprint in ifi‘s portfolio, on the horizon… Something like the Pro iDSD and Pro iCAN stack.


Pretty but its crying out for a more powerful headphone amp and a proper XLR socket, even if on the back where it can’t be seen.


That’s what I was thinking too!
I bet we will see a matching amp soon, pure speculation though I have zero facts.


I also did watch this first look video earlier - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSk3RsWzVo0

Looks really interesting.

Hopefully you get your hands on a review unit!


Any folks happen to have there hands on a Neo iDSD? Would love to read your impressions here if you have any yet!

1 Like