iFI Audio iDSD Micro - DSD512 capable but Roon displays DSD256 as max

So in OSX is not possible to play DSD 512?

Not directly. You could theoretically use a fairly powerful Mac running Roon Server or Roon to do the upsampling, but you’d need to output via a Linux or Windows endpoint that supported native DSD512 on your 512-capable DAC.

This is a Roon issue. I have the exact product and I get the same issue. I review a DAC every month and all of them are reporting one step lower then their specs. So, if a dac supports DSD 128, Roon will only use DSD 64. If another dac supports DSD256, yep, thats right, Roon can only use DSD128. All the dacs I have plugged in into Roon get the same treatment. All of them using DoP. So dear @eric, you are looking in the wrong place.

Hey Dusty,

The iFi micro iDSD will only work at DSD512 via ASIO or native DSD512 Linux drivers. You’ll need to select “native” in Roon.

There is no chance you’ll get DSD512 working via DoP, with this DAC with any software on the planet.

This thread is over a year old, but for clarity’s sake:

This is plain wrong. There are two ways of sending DSD to a DAC:

  1. ‘Native’, by sending the direct bitstream. This requires drivers – most (if not all) DACs make these available for Windows. For a number of DACs, patches are made to the Linux kernel, allowing native playback. For macOS, these drivers are (extremely) rare. When playing the native bitstream, DACs are able to receive DSD at their maximum advertised rates.

  2. Via DoP. Leaving out the details, this way the bitstream is encapsulated in PCM packets. This allows any Class 2 USB DAC to receive the stream without the need for special drivers, but this requires roughly double the bandwidth. Hence when using DoP, usually half the advertised maximum DSD rate is available.

All of this has nothing to do with Roon. The limitations of using DoP are at OS/driver level and apply to any application sending out the music. When the conditions for 1. are met, Roon is perfectly capable of shipping out DSD natively at full rates.


Thank you for the explanation. Now I understand whats going on. When I connect my iFI Micro iDSD BL to the Auralic Aries Mini and set it to use it as DAC then I am able to select DSD512. Why is that? The Aries Mini has drivers built in? Whats going on?

I am not intimately familiar with the Aries Mini, but in all likelyhood it is running a Linux kernel of sorts. In that case, it will probably have the kernel patches that support native DSD playback for the iFi applied.

Am I right in guessing that you are using a Mac for your other DAC explorations? That would explain why you are limited to using DoP.

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Yes, I’m using a Mac.

This is right.

I run my ifi iDSD under Linux native DSD512, I could only do it after a patch…

And my mac will not use native DSD ether… I agree, Its a kernel limitation and not Roon.

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I understand. Thanks for the input.