miniDSP Flex

The Flex are a new series of devices announced by miniDSP - a company that produces Digital Audio Signal Processors for the home theater, Hi-Fi systems, and headphone setups.

https://www.minidsp.com/products/minidsp-in-a-box/flex

Some may have already heard of some of their existing products - UMIK-1, 2x4HD, SHD, EARS, etc. I have owned and used their 2x4HD in my home theather system mostly for level and phase matching of subs.

The new Flex seems to be a slim down version of the Streaming HD / SHD series, without the built-in streaming features & in a compact enclosure, and comes in 3 versions:

  • Unbalanced RCA - I believe this is an upgraded 2x4HD with 2 analog RCA inputs.
  • Balanced TRS (6.35mm aka. 1/4")
  • Digital - I think this replaces their discontinued nanoDIGI with multiple digital outputs.

It appears to use the same plugins as the 2x4HD providing an interface for configuring routing of your inputs to the available outputs as well as parametric EQ. Within the UI, you can save profiles of various configs and load/reload between the saved/configured profiles. There’s also the option of adding a DIRAC license for automated room correction.

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Specifications
(slimmed down, see https://www.minidsp.com/products/minidsp-in-a-box/flex for full)

Unbalanced RCA Balanced TRS Digital
DSP Engine Analog Devices Floating point DSP SHARC ADSP21489 @ 400MHZ
I/O Configuration 2 channels in / 4 channels out
Digital Inputs 1 x SPDIF on RCA connector
1 x OPTICAL on Toslink connector
1 x USB
1 x Bluetooth with support for: LDAC™/aptX™HD/aptX™/AAC/SBC
Digital Outputs 4 x Output channels 4 x Output channels 4 x Output channels SPDIF & TOSLINK
(duplicated)
Analog Inputs 2 x Unbalanced RCA 2 x Balanced TRS 2 x Unbalanced RCA
Analog Outputs 4 x Unbalanced RCA 4 x Balanced TRS N/A
Filtering Technology FIR + IIR / Optional Dirac Live® 3.x
Dimensions 150x180x41 mm
Power Supply Included external switching PSU 12V/1.6A (US/UK/EU/AU plugs)
Power Consumption 9.0 W (idle)
2.5 W (standby)
10.3 W (idle)
3.1 W (standby)
7.5 W (idle)
2.5 W (standby)
Pricing* USD475 USD550 NYD

* At the time of writing


Example uses as per the diagram taken from the manual:

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For me personally, I’m interested in the Digital version so I could insert it into my headphone chain. That way, I can reuse my existing set up and have separate EQ presets/profiles for the headphones in my collection. It’s an alternative to EQing using Roon, for those without a Roon core.

ASR has a couple of measurements for the SHD and 2x4HD for those interested.

Minidsp SHD Review Updated (DSP, DAC & Streamer) | Audio Science Review (ASR) Forum
Review and Measurements and miniDSP 2x4 HD DSP and DAC | Audio Science Review (ASR) Forum

5 Likes

Where did you get the info on the digital output version? I can’t find it on the miniDSP site.

Looks like a replacement/upgrade to the 2x4 HD to me. Very cool.

From the manual:

It’s also mentioned all over the place, e.g. " * Flexible Output versions: Unbalanced (RCA), Balanced (TRS), Digital (Future)" as well as in the “Specifications” tab. Also the product brief too:

2 Likes

This sounds really cool. I love the option of being able to use EQ with your existing headphone chain via the digital out to your DAC.

Quick measurements and a tear down:

Sadly, 4th channel showing much higher distortion than the other 3. Hopefully bad/faulty unit.

1 Like