Ifi Pro IDSD device setup

ROON sees my Pro IDSD day on the network but only plays in 16 bit through airplay. No MQA choices available in device setup. Am I missing something ? anybody have a similar day problem w/ROON?

I have one of these devices. In spite of how it is advertised, a firmware update is needed for MQA. That firmware may be available on the web site ( I don’t care about MQA, so I don’t keep up on the firmware), but the unit out in the field can’t play MQA, yet.

The device is not Roon Ready so you can’t use Ethernet or WiFi to connect to Roon, other than using Airplay. I use USB and output via the XLR jacks.

I use the GTO filter and upsample to either 705K or DSD1024 on the USB connection., depending on the music and my mood. You should be able to do the same.

BTW - IMHO, the Tube mode is not ready for prime time. The solid state mode is good to go.

Oh yeah, using Airplay on this device is a travesty.

Which iDSD firmware version are you running?

All firmware updates are only available by contacting iFi Support for now (for this DAC). Nothing is available for you to download yet. The MQA firmware was released as a beta (v2.0) a few weeks ago and again, you need to contact iFi for a copy of this beta. Naturally being beta, it is a bit buggy.

However I found v1.60 firmware very stable overall (the latest v1.x release before the v2 beta)… I’ll test Airplay later and report back.

Thanks for responding.
Are you playing ROON from your computer through the USB on your IDSD?
XLR jacks out to your system?
I plan on about 95 percent headphone use.

From my Googling, the 16 bits with Airplay doesn’t appear to be an iFi thing… That appears to be an Airplay thing.

I’ve been Airplaying now for an hour to Pro iDSD without any issues.

I’m using USB output from a Minix x86 computer as an endpoint. XLR out to my monoblocks.

I had a disconcerting experience using the headphone output. I used the headphones to see what they sounded like, but then I couldn’t get the speakers to come back on line after unplugging the headphones. After fiddling with the headphone input, re-plugging and re-unplugging, the speakers came back. Needless to say, I’ve never tried headphones again. Not a headphone person anyway, so I guess it doesn’t matter.

@dabassgoesboomboom - if you use Airplay will the Pro upsample?

Sean are you getting anything better than 16 bit?

Hi Fran, as mentioned above, I don’t believe the 16 bit Airplay limitation is a Pro iDSD issue… just Googling around, this appears to be an Airplay limitation…

The ethernet input itself is capable of 24b/192k (I can play 24/192 from Audirvana direct to Pro iDSD…)

Yep right now it’s selected to the GTO filter, up-sampling to PCM705kHz. I can also choose DSD ‘re-mastering’ too… just like any input on the Pro iDSD really.

The only differences between the inputs are sample rates supported… apart from that, all inputs behave the same (in my experiences/observations so far…)

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USB input is very good. One of the better designed USB inputs I’ve come across.

You can sell your iUSB3.0 ! You can finally get that one foot from out of the dark side :grin:

Funny you should mention that. I just lash the USB3 into the chain.

Some superstitious behavior about noise floor.:roll_eyes:

Ha. I did say one of the better designed USB inputs.

It seems less sensitive to up-stream gadgets than many DACs I’ve demo’ed. Doesn’t mean it’s isolation is absolutely perfect but it’s very good.

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Thanks. I figured it was an AirPlay issue. While I have your “ear”, have you used the micro SD card input? I can’t get the MUZO app to see it…

Apart from the 16 bit Airplay limitation, Airplay has been rock solid for me. No issues at all. As mentioned earlier, I’m on firmware version 1.6 (the last release before the MQA beta firmware).

Never tried the SD card input. You might need to contact iFi Support there. They’re very helpful. First class support.

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I’ve been waiting a couple days now on a different product issue reply. Slow to respond for sure. I wish I could just call someone!

Yes their support is great but agree it is slow.

It is a shame there’s no number to call, agreed.

AirPlay is 16-bit. You need to use USB input, not network input because it does not run RAAT.

Thanks Peter!

(Reviving this thread after 1+ year …)

One of these arrived at my door a few days ago.
Stereophile covered it a while back, offering a very glowing review but then only a “B” rating in an annual (?) list of recommended devices. After spending a couple days with it, I think I “get” both the glowing review and the B rating.

For sound quality, holy cow – this thing sounds good. And in some respects the whole package is done up very well, but with little quirks that detract a bit from the overall user experience (starting with the opening the box, which seemed to be vacuum sealed).

WRT wifi device set-up, I have not found detailed instructions for configuring it. After attaching an ethernet cable and spinning the (rather wobbly) input knob to “apps”, it seems to set up its own wifi network rather than joining the one I set up for everything else. I have not found detailed instructions for next steps. Presumably they involve using the mysterious “WPS” alternate function of the filter selection knob. About this, the manual only says, “For ease of use, simultaneously use the WPS button on the Pro iDSD and the router so that they can both complete the handshake to pair up.”

I haven’t messed with that, and decided to remove the WiFi antenna, because as far as I’m concerned it’s just a vector for RFI noise. Who would want to use a device this pricey and sophisticated to stream music over WiFi/Airplay, anyway?

The remote control is a joke. All it controls is volume. No power on/off, not even a mute. Plus superfluous volume buttons for a device I don’t even own (the iCan).

It took hours of futzing to activate MQA processing complete with the MQA indicator on the beautiful little OLED window. Somewhere on the package or in the manual indicated that it would handle MQA “out of the box”. It only worked for me after downloading a firmware upgrade (which I must have just guessed rightly was necessary) and also messing with a bunch of settings (a process I’m not sure I could even repeat reliably). The on-site firmware upgrade instructions come with scary warnings about the risks involved. Actually, once you’re wire up to ethernet and download the upgrade, the process is pretty slick (on a Mac at least). You just mount the upgrade disk image to your desktop, click once or twice, and away it goes.

The rear panel connections are closely-spaced, which may present problems for fat fingers or cables with big terminations. They use a USB 3.0 connection, which is new to me but seems to be a good thing (apparently it better separates the data path from the power path). They also have a clever port that accommodates either coax or mini Toslink connections. Apparently, the DSP options apply not only to USB inputs but also to S/PIDF, which is very nice, although the highest input sample rates remain limited to USB. I take it that is an engineering constraint of S/PIDF, not an iFi cost-cutting measure.

I haven’t messed much with the tube function. Seems gimmicky to me. If I were King, I’d probably command iFi to build me one of these without the tube or WiFi, but with a better remote, maybe an i2s input, and a built-in linear power supply. Oh, and upgradeable FPGA firmware. Basically, a PS Audio Directstream (senior) … at half the price. Then we’d have a real functional pre-amp/DAC/streamer. Connect it via balanced outputs to a power amp, resulting in less box/cable clutter and awesome SQ. As delivered, I’m not sure I could dispense with a preamp (or integrated amp) … unless I wanted to ditch my old school IR remote (which I really like) then control everything via Roon with an iOS device and apps.
Out of curiosity, to see how things would sound if I bypassed the preamp section of my Peachtree integrated amp, I activated its “Home Theater Bypass” mode and also switched the iDSD from HiFi Fixed to HiFi variable mode. Nope, in my system as configured, that introduces background noise (from somewhere). Maybe with a fancier power amp, one with low SNR and balanced inputs, that would not be an issue.

As for all the combinations of DSP settings (especially in combination with Roon, an ultraRendu, and HQ Player) holy cow again. Good thing I’m retired (and single). I spent half of yesterday playing whack-a-mole with it all, trying to find a way to get both full-throttle HQPlayer DSP (with DSD output) and also full MQA decoding/rendering from the DAC. Haven’t found it yet. I’m finding I like the sound of DSD for most recordings but also the way this thing renders MQA. Dunno if I can get both without having to initiate wonky re-sets every time the music format changes. Help!

I bought this unit and returned it. Sound quality was excellent but set up was a nightmare for me. The MUSO app is a joke and didn’t work half the time. Also it’s not a ROON endpoint (or wasn’t at the time). After waiting for Ifi support for to answer and not getting it to do what I needed (stand alone streaming headphone amp mostly) I gave up. Now living happily ever after with a Mytek Brooklyn Bridge…