iFi xDSD Gryphon Portable DAC and Headphone Amplifier with Bluetooth®
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Portable DAC and Headphone Amplifier with Bluetooth®
A DAC of mythical proportions
iFi's xDSD Gryphon may not have the head of an eagle or the body of a lion, but it does have two powerful beasts housed inside. The company installed separate chips for the digital-to-analog converter and headphone amplifier. Each chip was fine-tuned by iFi to give you the most out of your music.
There are plenty of digital and analog audio inputs for your sources, as well as balanced and unbalanced outputs for your headphones. iFi even added a high-quality Qualcomm Bluetooth chip for pairing compatible sources wirelessly.
High-performance DAC chip
iFi doesn't play around when it comes to changing digital 1s and 0s into analog sound. They opted to give the Gryphon the same digital-to-analog converter chip used in their $3,000 flagship Pro iDSD Signature. The Burr-Brown 32-bit True Native® chip supports MQA, DSD, and DXD, as well as PCM files up to 768kHz. The company also used their GMT (Global Master Timing) clock to keep jitter and distortion to a minimum.
The circuits going into and leading out of the DAC chip are symmetrically laid out alongside the rest. This balanced circuit design is something found in a lot of iFi's products. It keeps crosstalk and distortion from interfering with the signal.
Clean, powerful headphone amplification
Despite the Gryphon's size, its headphone amplifier is nothing to scoff at. It's more than capable of powering most pairs of cans and IEMs (in-ear monitors). It boasts an impressive output of 1000mW at 32 ohms, and up to 6.7 volts at max output.
The amplifier uses iFi's PureWave circuit technology. The left and right channels run symmetrically in a dual-mono configuration, meaning each has its own respective signal pathway. That helps to drastically reduce crosstalk and noise in the signal. It also has iFi's iEMatch technology, which helps to keeps hiss out of high-sensitivity IEMs.
Superior Bluetooth sound
Qualcomm's latest QCC5100 Bluetooth chip handles the DAC's Bluetooth connection. It works in tandem with proprietary circuits to create what iFi calls "an audibly superior Bluetooth engine." It supports all current Bluetooth codecs and can be updated over the air if a new one comes out. With aptX® Adaptive and aptX HD, the Gryphon supports up to 24-bit/48kHz resolution. With LDAC and LDHC, the maximum resolution goes up to 24-bit/96kHz.
Technologies that optimize sound quality
There are a lot of technologies at play inside the Gryphon that optimize the sound. XSpace naturally expands the soundstage of whatever you're listening to, giving you more separation and better imaging. XBass II smartly adds missing bass back into tracks. If there's too much bass, you can switch the XBass II setting to "Presence" to add upper midrange frequencies correctly back into the mix. There are also three digital filter options to help you fine-tune the sound to your liking.
This DAC also features iFi's CyberSync technology. It perfectly syncs the volume levels between the Gryphon and your source device. Whether you make volume adjustments on the DAC itself or on your source device, CyberSync ensures the change is done by the DAC's superior analog volume control chip.
Informative screen and lots of control
The front-panel OLED screen shows all sorts of useful info, like battery life, source, and file format. iFi's SilentLine technology prevents the display from introduce electrical noise into the signal. The knob on the front panel serves as a rotary control for both volume and menu navigation. It also acts a multi-function button and lets you power the Gryphon on and off, mute the DAC's outputs, and more.
The settings button lets you dive into the Gryphon's menus and tweak its operation and sound. You can set screen brightness and choose from one of the three built-in digital filters.
The rear of the Gryphon has all your inputs. There are two USB-C ports; one is for charging, the other is for signal input. There's also a S/PDIF (mini optical/coaxial) input for connecting a CD player or any other device that uses these types of connections. You're not limited to just digital inputs, though. There's a 3.5mm and 4.4mm input as well. You'd use those if you're looking to bypass the onboard DAC.
The front panel has an unbalanced 3.5mm output and a balanced 4.4mm output for connecting headphones. The 3.5mm output uses iFi's S-Balanced circuitry, which gives the unbalanced connection many of the sonic benefits of a balanced one.
- portable headphone amplifier and DAC
- built-in battery for listening on the go
- 32-bit Burr-Brown True Native DAC chip
- GMT (Global Master Timing) clock reduces jitter and distortion
- supported audio files: up to 32-bit/768kHz PCM; DSD512 (22.5 MHz); DXD768
- offers full decoding for MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) audio files
S-Balanced headphone amplifier specs:
- two headphone outputs:
- one unbalanced 3.5mm stereo minijack output
- one balanced 4.4mm output
- iFi's dual-mono circuitry helps reduce crosstalk between the left and right audio channels
- XBass II sound control processing lets you add more bass or "presence" (upper midrange) to your music
- XSpace naturally expands soundstage
- CyberSync perfectly synchronizes volume levels between source device and headphone amplifier
- iEMatch helps reduce noise and "hiss" in high-sensitivity in-ear monitors
- output power:
- 4.4mm balanced: >1000mW @ 32 ohms; 74mW @ 600 ohms; 6.7V @ 600 ohms
- 3.5mm unbalanced: >320mW @ 32 ohms; 40mW @ 300 ohms; 3.5V @ 600 ohms
- signal-to-noise ratio:
- balanced: 116dB
- unbalanced: 115dB
- THD: 0.005%
- Qualcomm QCC5100 Bluetooth 5.1 chip
- supported codecs: aptX, aptX HD, aptX Adaptive, aptX LL, LDAC, HWA, AAC and SBC
- supports over-the-air updates for adding future codecs
- max. supported Bluetooth resolution: 24-bit/96kHz (using LDAC or LDHC)
Connections and controls:
- front panel:
- unbalanced 3.5mm and balanced 4.4mm outputs for connecting headphones
- rotary knob/multifunction button for changing volume and making setting selections
- settings and Bluetooth pairing mode buttons
- rear panel:
- unbalanced 3.5mm and balanced 4.4mm inputs for connecting external sources
- USB-C and 3.5mm coaxial/mini optical S/PDIF digital inputs
- XBass II switch
- bottom-mounted iEMatch switch for reducing hiss in high-sensitivity in-ear monitors
- top OLED screen displays battery information, track resolution, source, and more
- includes USB-C cable, Lightning-to-USB-C cable, and USB-C-to-USB-C cable
- 2-15/16"W x 3/4"H x 4-13/16"D
- weight: 0.48 Ibs.
- warranty: 1 year