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TL;DR: iFi Micro iDSD produces more sound in left ear than right, to the point where at a sufficiently low volume there is no sound at all, and at higher volumes the vocals are produced on the left side. What should I do? After months of thinking I might be going deaf in one ear, I've just found out that my Micro iDSD has a weird fault. I don't really know how to explain it in technical terms, since I regretfully admit that I don't know much about audio, so bear with me. I have a SACD file (Wish You Were Here) that I've been enjoying very much since I bought the DAC, but one thing always bothered me: it felt like the vocals were not fully centered and it was always on the left side of my headphones. Since I've been happy about the quality of this combo (SACD + Micro iDSD + ATH-M50), I've pretty much accepted that my right ear has started giving up. After all, it seemed natural that after six months of rifle shooting in the army without protection, and going to nightclubs and standing in front of the speakers, and the worsening tinnitus, that this would happen. Recently I've purchased Shure SE846 and ten minutes ago, enthusiastically plugged it in the DAC and started playing the same music. The vocals still seemed left-centric. Of course I didn't expect it to change, because it's my ear that's not functioning as it should be... ...or so I thought. I just plugged my headphones directly into my mac, and vocals seemed...centered. Then I played some music on YouTube, before I played some left-right testing videos, and it all seemed centered. This prompted me to try lowering the volume to see if anything changes and it didn't; even at the lowest volume, it seemed centered. At this point, I plugged the earphones back into the DAC, and lowered the volume slowly. Oh my god. In Audirvana (volume control set to DAC only), while listening to the same music, when my DAC volume knob is at 9 o'clock, the right side is completely silent, and ALL of the sound comes from the left ear. While listening to the same song at higher levels (10-11 o'clock), the vocals seem to be at around 11:15 (you know what I mean...) in my head. While I'm happy that I'm not really going to be deaf in the right ear as soon as I thought, this means the DAC is bad. Now, don't ask me why I never tried to wear my headphones the wrong way, to test if it was the headphones; I just didn't think of it, it's that simple. But the DAC is really favoring left. Can anyone who has the same DAC try if it's the same case for them? And if not, what do you think I should do?
Dear Friends, I am currently using Apogee quartet as a DAC. I've downloaded DSD files recently, (Miles Davis On the Corner and Weather Report Black Market) and listened to them on Audirvana. My dac turned the files to 24/192. It was the first time I heard DSD and I was kind of blown away by the difference from my other flax files. Instrument separation, dynamics etc. Now I would like to upgrade my dac. Will I be able to hear the difference between DSD and 24/192? if there is an audible difference, I would like to buy ifi Idsd. If not, I would like to but United Audio Apollo thunderbolt, I'm also professional musician, and I will use need recording capabilities. Any help on this topic would be appreciated.