First Look: iFi iDSD nano DAC/headphone amp & iCAN nano headphone amp

Digital-to-analog converters,
Headphone amps and amp/DACs
iFi Audio iCAN Nano,
iFi Audio iDSD nano
First Look: iFi iDSD nano DAC/headphone amp & iCAN nano headphone amp

Early this year I wrote a blog about iFi Audio’s iCAN nano headphone amplifier (click here to read), but mentioned at the time that my findings were based on a pilot production sample and not on a full production unit. iFi felt the product units would sound even better than the pilot production model had and they were also keen for me to hear what the iCAN nano could do in conjunction with their brand new iDSD nano DAC/headphone amp. Well, the production units just arrived on my desk a few days ago, meaning a follow-up blog was in order.

About the iDSD nano

iFi’s iDSD nano is a compact, portable high resolution DAC that is priced at $189 (US) or £165 (UK) and that can decode a stunning array of high-resolution digital audio file formats, including:

·      PCM files ranging from 44.1kHz to 384kHz sampling rates and resolutions ranging from 16-bit to 32-bit,
·      DXD files (PCM files at 352.8kHz or 384kHz with 24-bit resolution, or
·      DSD files captured at 2.8MHz, 3.2MHz, 5.6MHz, or 6.2MHz. *

* As many of you know, DSD (or Direct Stream Digital) uses 1-bit files, but with exceedingly high sampling rates, as is apparent above.

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