iFi Audio xDSD Gryphon balanced $599 Review

January 27, 2023 § Leave a comment


How we listen to music today reveals many things about who we are; music requires patience and desire, and if we make time for them, the components with which we listen to said music will also reveal moments of pleasure. The xDSD Gryphon is a beautiful, compact, complicated, and complete component. It’s the Swiss army knife of DAC/Amps. My only complaint is that it can be a little daunting if you’re starting in the world of DAC/Amps. Its features require time for attentive listening.

You do have to give credit to iFi for the retail price of the Gryphon of $599. You get features galore and solid engineering quality (not to mention firmware updates). With time you will understand all of the functions and you’ll get the most out of it. For audiophiles and music lovers, the iFi xDSD Gryphon is a welcome copilot. I highly recommend it.



January 11, 2023 § Leave a comment

I enjoyed my time listening to music with the BTR7. Its overall tonal balance and dynamics reminded me greatly of the K3 and E10K-TC desktop DAC/amplifiers I reviewed previously. The highs are astonishingly clean, the midrange smooth, and the bass is powerful. The musical dynamics are effortless. No matter what the recording, it makes the listening experience enjoyable. What’s amazing is that BTR7 does it with a Bluetooth connection.

Chord Mojo 2 Review

December 15, 2022 § Leave a comment

iFi Audio xDSD Gryphon Headphone Amp/USB DAC Review

November 11, 2022 § Leave a comment


However, until Qualcomm releases a chipset with lossless support – apparently in the works – Bluetooth will remain a lossy experience. At least iFi Audio seems determined to make it as high quality as possible, utilising the current top-spec QCC5100 silicon, and – crucially – the xDSD Gryphon supports an exceptional range of compression codecs. AptX HD and LDAC are the main, high-performance options, but even the HWA/LHDC codec, which supports (lossy) 96kHz/24-bit, is included. Of course, this last one is only relevant if you happen to own a Huawei smartphone, which is a rarity nowadays in Europe and the US.

There are plenty of other input options – USB caters for hi-res audio from a computer or network transport, and there’s an S/PDIF input too. If you want to use the device purely as an amp, a third-party DAC can be hooked up via single-ended or balanced 4.4mm Pentaconn rear-panel connections. This is another departure from the past, as the earlier xDSD sported only digital ins. Around the front there’s a similar dual-port arrangement of 3.5mm single-ended and 4.4mm balanced outputs.

FiiO BTR7 Bluetooth DAC/amp 

November 5, 2022 § Leave a comment

xDuoo XD05 Bal Review

November 2, 2022 § Leave a comment

AudioQuest DragonFly Cobalt Review

October 25, 2022 § Leave a comment


The DragonFly Cobalt might at first appear to be an odd addition to the range on paper, and if you need support for very hi-res PCM and DSD you will need to look elsewhere. In more real-world terms, though, this is a fantastic DAC that elevates the go-anywhere, work-anywhere abilities that the more affordable models do so well, providing an extra level of performance

Best portable DAC for you and my top picks

October 10, 2022 § Leave a comment

Best Music Players, Digital Audio Players (DAPs) of 2022

October 8, 2022 § Leave a comment

iFi Audio xDSD Gryphon Portable DAC/Amplifier $600 Review

September 24, 2022 § Leave a comment

With the XBass II setting disabled, it was rather clear that the xDSD Gryphon has very impressive low end performance; bass notes have strong definition, impact, and a lot of texture. The clarity in the low end was also excellent and when I used headphones that could show it off — it was clear that the unit is capable of letting you hear the differences between bass guitars and percussion instruments.

That is not very common with portable units like this and I was happy to hear that the performance did not fall off as we moved into the mid bass and upper bass regions; the impact remained very strong but with excellent linearity and texture.

There was no bleed into the lower midrange and it keeps things very clean in this range; even turning the XBass II on did not cause the bass to overwhelm the rest of the music.

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