iFi Audio Micro iDSD DSD256 support

I’m on a mac 10.4.4. with build 30. I’m not able to get dsd256 to go through roon to my ifi micro idsd. works fine with the same computer and hq player. when I go into audio settings the fastest speed that shows up is dsd128. when I play a dsd256 file it is converted to pcm.


1 Like

Is Max DSD Sample Rate (DoP) in your Output settings set to “Disabled” ?

yes…it is set to disabled…but the signal is being converted to PCM…DSD64 and DSD128 comes through as DSD64 and DSD128…only DSD256 seems to be converted

Hey @zorntel – how are you determining this:

Let me know and we’ll figure out what’s going on. Thanks!

the color lights on the ifi tell me what it is receiving.

DSD256 from HQplayer gives me a blue light (DSD256)
DSD256 from Roon gives me a yellow light (high resolution PCM)
DSD128 from either HQplayer or Roon gives me a cyan light (DSD128)

We don’t support DSD256 over DoP yet–Roon only does DSD256 output in native mode (meaning, on Windows using an ASIO driver).

The main barrier is: we haven’t got a piece of hardware in our test lab that supports that configuration. DSD256-over-PCM requires a DAC that supports 768khz PCM input–these are pretty rare.

Once we get our hands on some hardware, we can validate/test this configuration and then enable it in Roon.

We’ve reached out to iFi in the hopes of starting a discussion and certifying their products for use with Roon (including DoP for DSD256 content).

We’d love to work more closely with iFi, and we’ll update everyone when we have some news. If you’re an iFi customer, make sure you let them know you’re using Roon, and that further collaboration between the two companies is important to you.

Thanks all!

HQ Player is using DoP 1.1 and it works fine with the DSD256 content. Are you guys using DoP 1.0?

I’ll email IFI.

Ok…I emailed them.

Not sure how you guys plan to integrate HQ Player…but if you are able to send the files to it directly on the computer then the problem will be solved as it integrates with the ifi well.

We are using 1.1 as specified here, but have not enabled sending >DSD128 over DoP.

We understand the principle behind how DoP works at DSD256, it’s not really a technical problem. This is a support/QA problem, primarily. It’s difficult for us to release a feature that we cannot test or support. We are working on getting hardware.

Sending streams (not files, for a variety of reasons) to HQPlayer is something we are planning to do. This may provide an alternative solution too, when it gets done.

@brian I’m unable to play DSD256 files with my iDSD micro as well. When do you expect to have this DSD256 over DoP support issue resolved in Roon?

1 Like

We did this work a few months ago, after my last post in this thread. I’ve seen DSD256 over DoP work with other DACs.

I have an iDSD micro here, and I just plugged it in to test. It’s not doing DSD256 right now (playback stalls right at the beginning of the track), but–it’s also not working for me in Audirvana or HQPlayer. I dove a little deeper into the problem in Roon, and it looks like after we start up the 705600hz PCM stream that carries the DoP signal, the driver never comes back to ask for sample data.

Audirvana and HQPlayer appear to be getting stuck at the same point here–they stall right at the beginning of playback.

So at the moment, this feels like a device/driver problem, since it’s uniformly affecting multiple apps.

Can you tell me more about how to replicate working DSD256 over DoP with the iDSD Micro in another app? If I can get it working at all with any software, it would help convince us that the problem is on our end and not with the device or driver.

I have an ifi iDAC2 running right now with DSD256 files and HQplayer. This is even on just a 2009 duo core macbook pro.

I do two things to maximize performance. I go to the file menu and choose DSDIFF/DSF Settings and click direct SDM. Then I go to the HQPlayerDesktop3 menu and go to preferences where I choose pipeline SDM. I also make sure that the bit rate is set to 1228800, but I don’t think it matters. If I don’t click the pipeline SDM (and only the direct SDM) the file will start, play for a couple of minutes and then stutter. If I click pipeline SDM, but not the direct SDM the file will play ok but it uses a ton of CPU. If I check both the file plays great with only using about 10% of cpu.

As I understand it these options together stream the DSD256 straight with no actual processing. I can’t upconvert to DSD256 from any other type of file on this machine…not enough processor power. My quad core 2012 mac mini can do it though. I’ve also played 256DSD files with my ifi micro DAC mac that has the current firmware.

Hope that helps.

1 Like

Unfortunately, Roon is the only app on my MacBook Pro I can use to play DSD.

Hopefully, the information @zorntel provided (thank you for chiming in) can be of use for troubleshooting.

Just wanted to give an update that both of my ifi Micro iDSD (5.0B firmware) and ifi iDAC 2 (5.0A firmware) are playing DSD256 files fine with HQplayer. ifi recommends these versions of the firmware for DSD256 files.

Brian, might want to check to make sure the unit you have has the current firmware. As I mentioned previously, I need to use the direct pipeline to get the files to play in HQplayer.

I just tried this again…and it’s working now.

These are my settings:

And signal path:

I do not think anything changed on the Roon side of things since my last test, other than of course rebooting the machine and restarting Roon many times between then and now. We haven’t touched our CoreAudio related stuff in some time.

I did, sometime between then and now, let the iDSD completely discharge, and then re-charged it from scratch. Not sure if that does some kind of harder reboot/reset of the device or something. It’s also probable that at the time of my first test, the battery was very low (maybe too low to handle the increased CPU/DSP load from DSD256?).

I am using the 5.0 ‘Strawberry’ firmware available here. It is relatively recent, and they do mention doing some DoP/DSD256 related optimizations, so it is worth installing if you haven’t tried that yet.

This is behavior is all consistent with the hardware/driver getting into some sort of screwy state. When it happened to me, I could not make HQPlayer (at least, not with HQPlayer outputting DSD256 to the device) or Audirvana work either. Both are working for me now with the same settings as I used before.

1 Like

3 posts were split to a new topic: Best settings for DSD256