"The highest ratio of value to price of any product I've reviewed." - Jon Iverson, Stereophile
Newly Upgraded with 'Uber' Discrete Analog Stage
Schiit Audio's Bifrost Uber is an affordable fully upgradable DAC, featuring 32-bit D/A conversion, a fully discrete analog section, and a sophisticated bit-perfect clock management system. It has SPDIF coaxial and optical inputs, all with 24-bit, 192 kHz capability. You can also get a USB version of the Bifrost, which has one of the most advanced asynchronous USB 2.0 input sections available.
Schiit Audio has now produced its first major upgrades available for Bifrost. The first is the new Gen 2 USB input board, offering 24/176 playback and improved USB performance. The second upgrade is the Bifrost Uber, using the more advanced discrete analog output stage from Gungnir. The Gen 2 USB board ships with every new Bifrost or Gungnir ordered with USB.
"You Won't Find Anything Better Built"
"The Bifrost has the highest ratio of value to price of any product I've reviewed," reports Jon Iverson in the August 2013 issue of Stereophile. "Whether or not the USB option is fitted, it shoots over the top. And at the price, you won't find anything better built."
Even More Impressive Performance
With the Bifrost Uber, you get a discrete analog stage based on the more advanced Gungnir DAC. It has a sophisticated topology that improves sonic and measured performance, and a DC servo to eliminate capacitors in the signal path.
The Future-Proof DAC
Concerned about future advances in D/A conversion? Bifrost's modular design uses a separate DAC/analog card and USB input cards (available with the USB version only). When meaningful upgrades to D/A converters come out, you can add a new DAC/analog card. The cards are snap-in replaceable.
Worried about rapidly-changing USB input technology? If you're opting for the USB version of the Bifrost, when USB technology changes, you can simply add a new, better USB input Card.
The result of this modular approach? A virtually future-proof DAC that won't end up in the dumpster.
AKM4399 DAC and Discrete Analog Section
Even without considering upgradability, Bifrost offers incredible value. A case in point is its AKM4399 32 bit D/A converter, used in DACs costing many times more than Bifrost. The Bifrost Uber analog section is a fully discrete, low noise JFET design, just like multi-thousand-dollar 'statement' DACs.
Advanced Bitperfect Clock Management
According to Schiit Audio, the ugly truth about most DACs in this price range is that they sacrifice your original music samples to get their magic '192 kHz' spec. Every input is routed through a sample rate converter and upsampled to 24/192. Bifrost dispenses with the sample rate converter and uses a sophisticated master clock management system to deliver bit-perfect data to the DAC, preserving all the original music samples – whether it's 16/44.1 or 24/192.
Want USB? You Can Get It.
The non-USB version of the Bifrost offers coaxial and optical SPDIF inputs. The slightly more expensive USB version adds a high-speed Gen 2 USB 2.0 interface and asynchronous data transfer to 24/192, including 24/176. No drivers are required for Macs and popular Linux distros like Ubuntu, and Windows drivers are downloadable for Windows 8, 7, Vista, and XP.
Five-Year Manufacturer's Warranty
Bifrost is covered by a limited warranty that covers parts and labor for five years. Yes, that’s five years! Compare that to the competition. (Note from Schiit Audio: "Please note that this doesn't mean free upgrades for five years!")
"Regardless of price, the Schiit Bifrost is a carefully designed and beautifully built DAC. I can see its appeal. In fact, the Bifrost has the highest ratio of value to price of any product I've reviewed."
"For around $449 or $519, depending on whether or not the USB option is fitted, it shoots over the top. And at the price, you won't find anything better built."
"Put the Schiit Bifrost with Uber Analog board on your short list."
- Jon Iverson, Stereophile, August 2013