Gryphon xDSD From iFi
26th January 2022
iFi’s latest DAC/headphone amp spans 123 x 75 x 19mm (5 x 3 x 1in – ish, kinda), so is compact enough to throw in a small bag while 215g (about half a pound) is light enough to use on the go
Contained in a gunmetal grey alloy enclosure, digital and analogue cable inputs are provided – the former in USB and S/PDIF and the latter via balanced 4.4mm Pentaconn and single-ended 3.5mm sockets. You can use the box as a headphone amp to use with digital and analogue sources, a pure DAC or DAC/preamp to connect to an amp and speakers.
Built into the top surface is a dimmable OLED display strip, showing a range of information including the input selection, volume level, battery level, digital audio format and sample rate and more.
The Gryphon is based around a Burr-Brown DAC chipset plus a 16-core XMOS microcontroller delivering the processing power.
Hi-res audio support includes 32bit/768kHz PCM and DSD up to DSD 512 plus 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. MQA support is included too.
Making full use of Qualcomm’s latest four-core QCC5100 Bluetooth processing chip, every current high- definition Bluetooth audio format is supported, including aptX Adaptive and aptX HD, LDAC and HWA/LHDC. Other codecs covered include regular aptX and aptX Low Latency, AAC and SBC (the ‘plain vanilla’ Bluetooth codec). The xDSD Gryphon is Bluetooth v5.1-compliant.
Inside is a fully balanced circuit design called PureWave, a symmetrical dual-mono circuit topology.
You also get a Xbass, bass boost control and a ‘Presence’ EQ (which focuses on the upper midrange) and ‘Bass + Presence’ (which implements both together). The XSpace EQ is supposed to give a more spacious, front speaker effect while listening to headphones. Price? £599.
To read more, click ifi-audio.com