S/PDIF. A joint venture between Sony and Philips to extract digital audio from a CD transport in order to feed to an external DAC. It comes in two forms – electrical (coaxial) and optical (TOSLINK). Nowadays, we often find both types of S/PDIF connections on the back of CD players, the Sonos Connect/Port but TOSLINK only on the (now discontinued but extremely popular) Google Chromecast Audio and the majority of TV sets.
The gotcha with entry-level hardware like this is that these digital outputs have been implemented for convenience more than sound quality. We know this from first-hand experience with iFi’s S/PDIF iPurifier that takes aim at S/PDIF’s jitter; where ones and zeroes arriving at the DAC early or late can introduce small audible distortions to the resulting analogue waveform. Watch PS Audio’s Ted Smith explain jitter in this video.
This week iFi has announced version 2. The S/PDIF iPurifier2 once again puts its bit-perfect, 192kHz-capable, DoP/DTS/Dolby-compliant jitter-correction circuit between a coaxial socket that doubles as a mini-TOSLINK input and individual TOSLINK and coaxial outputs to give us four ways to connect. Power comes from one of iFi’s low noise switch-mode wall-warts.
From the press release:
“The SPDIF iPurifier2 stamps out S/PDIF jitter, fully restores compromised signal integrity, rejuvenates sound quality, and creates increased warmth, depth and dynamic contrast. It challenges jitter on four levels:
1) Reclocks with the 10MHz Global Master Femto Clock
2) Regenerates with the full galvanic isolation of the source device from the DAC
3) Restores with the reduction of the ambient and power-related electromagnetic interference
4) Revitalises with the ultra-clean iPower supply”
Want a more simple takeaway? This dangling dongle will lift the sound of a TV, a Google Chromecast Audio, a Sonos Port, a games console or a vintage CD player out of the doldrums.
Further information: iFi Audio