iFi audio iDSD Diablo-X - eXperience innovation!

Discussion in 'Product Announcements' started by iFi audio, Jun 23, 2023.

  1. iFi audio

    iFi audio MOT iFi Audio

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    eXperience innovation!

    The Diablo-X is the first DAC/amp on the market to support the revolutionary xMEMS‘ solid state monolithic speaker technology.

    This unique technology features:
    • Ultra-fast mechanical response (~15µsec; 150x faster than a typical dynamic driver)
    • Flat 2° phase response for more accurate sound reproduction
    • +/- 1° phase matching (part-to-part) for more accurate spatial sound
    • Silicon speaker diaphragm (95x more stiff/rigid than plastic) for reduce speaker break-up (less muddy mids/highs)
    Brian Lucey, 8-time Grammy Winning Mastery Engineer, calls it “truly disruptive’ with “phase performance unlike no other speaker technology”. Discover why in 3 minutes.

    [​IMG]

    This level of performance requires a higher voltage solution to drive it, so iFi have partnered with XMEMs to produce the Diablo-X – a first to drive a first!

    xMEMS eXplained
    The xMEMS microspeaker technology uses the piezoelectonic effect to create a paper-thin solid-state speaker. These micro-speakers offer great potential to push the boundaries of IEM and headphone performance.

    [​IMG]
    Diagram taken from xmems.com

    As xMEMS themselves say, “The inverse piezoelectric effect is created by applying electrical voltage to make the piezoMEMS contract or expand, converting electrical energy to mechanical energy. This energy excites an integrated silicon membrane to move air and generate acoustic sound waves…. xMEMS’ piezoMEMs actuators offer an increased range of movement enabling rich, loud audio”.


    Still devilishly delightful…
    The Diablo-X can still also be used with your favourite IEMs/headphones and, just like the original, uses two Burr-Brown DAC chips and the 16-core XMOS chip to process the data received via the USB and S/PDIF digital inputs. This means the Diablo-X can handle up to PCM 768, DSD 512, 2xDXD. Both PCM and DSD remain ‘bit-perfect’. It provides full MQA decoding.

    Balanced, differential analogue circuit design reduces noise and cross-talk within the signal path by fully separating the left and right channels. The Diablo-X includes our PureWave tech – refinements to our balanced, symmetrical dual-mono topologies with short, direct signal paths.


    [​IMG]

    Negative feedback is used in amplifier circuits to compare the output signal with the input signal and correct errors. BUT there are drawbacks. iFi turns the negatives into positives with OptimaLoop.

    …and diabolically driven!
    Able to drive all manner of headphones with ease, including those incorporating the new XMEMs tech, the Diablo-X sports fully balanced 4.4mm outputs with 4,100mW of power.

    Three modes are used to adjust power and gain.[/URL]
    • xMEMS – use with compatible IEMs/headphones
    • Turbo – ramps up the level of drive for current-hungry headphones
    • Normal – for most over or on ear headphones
    Perfect pairings
    While we were working on the Diablo-X, two companies were pushing the boundaries to deliver XMEMs compatible earphones.

    Singularity have created the ONI. This sleek, minimalist looking IEM contains two xMEMS drivers to deliver superior sound.


    And
    Soranik are firing things up by combining both xMEMS and USOUND technologies in their new MEMS-2! Available within 21 days.

    Unadulterated performance
    The Diablo-X focuses on pure, unadulterated performance, means much attention has been applied to the power supply circuity.

    Battery power provides ultra-clean and stable DC current avoiding the issues of mains electricity – dips, spikes and noise-inducing RFI/EMI pollution. BUT there are sonic downsides resulting from low output voltage and inconsistent output impedance as batteries discharge.


    [​IMG]

    In order to make less efficient headphones, like planar magnetics, sing, the voltage needs to be stepped up from 3.7V to +/- 15V. We use a step-up converter running at 1.2MHz – a frequency far beyond audibility that is easier to filter than a typical switch-mode supply, enabling high linearity and ultra-low noise.

    The devil is in the detail
    Whether you are using your favourite IEMs/headphones or a pair of xMEMS compatible IEMs, the Diablo-X connections have you covered.

    At the front of the unit, alongside a standard 6.3mm single-ended headphone socket, resides a 4.4mm Balanced output for headphones offering balanced connection.


    [​IMG]

    At the back are two digital audio inputs: USB-A and a S/PDIF socket that accepts both electrical and optical signals, the former via a 3.5mm connector and the latter via a supplied adapter.

    The USB-A input features a ‘male’ connector, rather than a typical ‘female’ port for greater mechanical integrity. A separate USB-C charging port is also provided, along with a 4.4mm Balanced output to connect to an external amp.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2023
  2. Carlos CPA

    Carlos CPA Friend

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    Wtf is this post doing on the front page for SBAF? This is a glorified advertisement from the manufacturer’s rep.
     
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  3. roshambo123

    roshambo123 Friend

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    I was also confused by this. Very Head-fi of us!
     
  4. nishan99

    nishan99 Friend

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    Maybe it is an AD to pin it on the front page.
     
  5. Carlos CPA

    Carlos CPA Friend

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    I presume you said this as a joke, but the OP’s exact “post” (word for word, with the same pictures) was also posted on Head-fi about 2 minutes before the posting on SBAF:

    https://www.head-fi.org/threads/ifi-audio-idsd-diablo-x-experience-innovation.968735/

    Why does this drivel need to be pinned to the front page of SBAF? We are better than this.
     
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  6. roshambo123

    roshambo123 Friend

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    Oh damn
     
  7. Gazny

    Gazny MOT: ETA Audio

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    This is so cool.
     
  8. uncola

    uncola Friend

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    Well it is the introduction of a brand new headphone transducer type and the first amp for it. Can’t deny the significance
     
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  9. 3X0

    3X0 Friend

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    @iFi audio does the X feature the same line-in Easter egg when connecting an external DAC to the 4.4mm jack on the back to use the DX as a dedicated amp?

    I may be interested if primarily for preferring the color scheme (and hopefully more durable finish) over the OG Diablo.
     
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  10. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    1. LOL, I've been stretched in too many directions to post anything of significance lately. We need content.
    2. Summer is usually slow. Overall industry is slow. A few big buck items, but everyone here (who is experienced) knows that $8k gear is merely different, not necessarily better. It's about the system, the team, not any individual component. However, having the money to buy a Haaland helps. Then again, no one wants to spend big money right now.
    3. With respect to content, ask not what SBAF can do for you but what you can do for SBAF. Not giving anyone a hard time because summer is supposed to be slow. :)
    4. Every now and then, I like to throw one of our sponsors a bone. Especially sponsors who interact with us. This is good time.
    5. The x-mems stuff is actually interesting:
    I hope I'm not violating any NDAs, but I did have a prototype x-mems IEM. I will say that the tech has a lot of promise. The presentation was e-stat like. EQ'd to my tastes, sounded better than those STAX IEMs right out of the bat. Sounded better than those limp-dick e-stat drivers currently in the hybrid IEMs. By better, I meant with respect to timbre, dynamics, and separation to the point where I felt they were viable. I could not evaluate other factors such as microdetail and microdynamics because the prototype x-mems came with an off-the-shelf very basic chip DAC/amp.

    P.S. Elrog 300B tube review coming soon.
     
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  11. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    Forget the fancy schmancy transducer stuff, I wanna see if/how this tech changes the cooling ability of micro sized components.
     
  12. Tachikoma

    Tachikoma Almost "Made"

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  13. iFi audio

    iFi audio MOT iFi Audio

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  14. limesoft

    limesoft Friend

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    I've tried hard to find some reviews/impressions of these mems IEMs that are advertised alongside the diablo x, but there's nothing at all. I have no clue what their frequency response is like, is it as wonky as something like a Shure KSE1200 or have they done their homework.. no idea. It feels a bit fringe like buying the diablo x at the moment - the eco setting has been removed so any (non mems) IEMs I have are completely unusuable, and the mems IEMs that are out there are very mysterious.

    @iFi audio - you should provide some review/measurements of the mems earphones you tested the diablo x with if you can, to at least give us a taste of what we're currently buying into.
     
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  15. iFi audio

    iFi audio MOT iFi Audio

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    As with any new tech, reviews, and measurements are certainly going to be hard to come by, I will ask and see if we have anything of that nature that is shareable.
    Thanks!

    Cheers!!
     
  16. limesoft

    limesoft Friend

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    If anyone can give more detail it's you (IFI) - you probably have some mems IEM samples that you used during your development of diablo x - if you can measure them and give us something to chew on it'll help a lot.

    The silence on these MEMS iems is making me suspicious, some have been around since 2022, but there's zero objective/subjective info on their actual performance, nor opinions or a peep - has anyone actually heard them? IFI developing Diablo x gives a little more legitimacy but the landscape is still incredibly barren.

    @iFi audio Soranik integrate two different techs - xMEMS and USOUND technologies - this is still compatible with Diablo xMems setting?
     
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    Last edited: Jul 12, 2023
  17. Baten

    Baten Friend

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    Yeah I'm curious but at this point this MEMS stuff is anything -but- over hyped....
     
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  18. Lyander

    Lyander Official SBAF Equitable Empathizer

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    Other than the rare person on Head-Fi to drop USD 1500 on a pair of new MEMS IEMs that now claim it to be paradigm-changing totally not because they just dropped an alarming amount of money on a nascent toy (this is sarcasm). I was curious and trawled the net for a bit, saw something called the Singularity ONI MEMS IEM and while I don't share some others' reservations about its ergonomics, it reminds me too much of some Final Audio IEMs to be entirely placating-- for context, those are... very interpretative in how they sound.
     
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  19. iFi audio

    iFi audio MOT iFi Audio

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    I have asked about any associated measurements regarding this, and unfortunately, the unit itself, let alone the IEMS are so limited, I don't believe I will get a chance to try them (Personally).

    I will personally wait for opinions from people I trust to guide me. That being said I know that most of the initial thoughts and feelings on sound from CanJam NY were very positive on the XMems sound. And after all there is still the fact that it is also a Diablo by nature so I'm sure normal usage will be top notch!

    Cheers!!
     
  20. limesoft

    limesoft Friend

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    Soranik MEMS-2 measurements with Diablo x - Soranik kindly emailed me this, with caveat that it's preliminary and can change. Final version is expected on their website.

    I have no idea what tooling/params were used for the measurement, I asked for more info so I can try to cross reference with other IEMs (finger in the air, I know, but better than nothing maybe)

    upload_2023-7-13_16-18-46.png

    @iFi audio you can do better ;) If I can get this, I'm sure you can get us more juicy sbaf worthy information.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 13, 2023

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