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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.