Schiit Audio Upgrades Bifrost Desktop DACs As Promised

October 5 2015, 03:00

Schiit Audio introduced new Bifrost and Bifrost Multibit upgraded units with USB input as standard. This upgradable DAC now offers optical, coaxial, and USB inputs and is available in the Bifrost Multibit configuration with proprietary closed-form DSP-based digital filter and Analog Devices’ AD5547CRUZ D/A converter, or as the affordable Bifrost version, using an AKM AK4490 D/A.
As Schiit Audio explains, the Bifrost DAC, available as either a delta-sigma or multibit DAC, is a complete upgradable platform to “use for many, many years in the future.” Proving they are serious about their promises, Schiit Audio introduced the new Bifrost Multibit, showcasing the same proprietary technology as Schiit’s Yggdrasil and Gungnir Multibit (yes, they use strange names…) in an affordable desktop DAC, as well as a new Bifrost based on the top-line AKM AK4490 D/A converter. At the same time, Schiit has streamlined the Bifrost line, making USB input standard, as well as lowering the price of Bifrost to $399 (Bifrost Multibit is $599.)

“With this introduction, almost anyone can afford a precision multibit DAC with our unique time- and frequency-domain optimized, closed-form digital filter,” says Mike Moffat, Co-Founder of Schiit Audio. “Or, they can choose a very affordable, great-sounding DAC based on the newest AKM Veritas platform.”
Bifrost 4490
Both Bifrost and Bifrost Multibit are the only fully upgradable DACs at their price point, meaning they will not become obsolete when technology changes. In fact, all Bifrosts sold previously can be upgraded to the new Bifrost “4490” or Bifrost Multibit. “We’re proud of the fact that our gear won’t end up in a dumpster in a few years. And thrilled that our customers aren’t forced to buy a completely new product when times change,” Mike Moffat added.

The Bifrost Multibit uses the same unique, proprietary closed-form digital filter algorithm as the acclaimed Yggdrasil and Gungnir Multibit, but running at a lower rate with less taps in order to fit within Bifrost. The filter is followed by a medical/military grade AD5547CRUZ D/A converter (which has never been used previously in an audiophile product). Bifrost Multibit features an NOS (non-oversampling) mode for 16- and 24-bit inputs with sample rates of 176.4kHz and 192kHz, where there is no digital filter applied.
Bifrost Multibit
Bifrost uses the new AKM AK4490 Veritas D/A converter, a highly-rated delta-sigma design that is used in other DACs costing up to $3500. It provides performance that exceeds all previous Bifrosts, including Bifrost Uber, for a very attractive price.

Bifrost Multibit and Bifrost are available immediately, at prices of $599 and $399 respectively. All existing Bifrosts can be upgraded to Bifrost Multibit for $250. The process requires firmware changes, so the Bifrost will have to be sent to Schiit or an authorized service center for the upgrade. All existing Bifrosts can also be upgraded to the new AK4490 Bifrost from $70.
Like all Schiit Audio products, Bifrost Multibit and Bifrost are made in the USA, with the vast majority of cost going to US-based manufacturers manufacturing in the USA. Schiit’s PCB assembly house, chassis manufacturers, and transformer manufacturers are all in California. Bifrost and Bifrost Multibit are both covered by a 5-year warranty.
About Schiit Audio
Founded in June 2010 by Jason Stoddard and Mike Moffat, Schiit has grown into a leader in the “personal audio” market, with a wide range of products spanning DACs, headphone amplifiers, and preamplifiers, from $49 to $2299. Schiit is also a leader in the direct sale of audio products.
Jason Stoddard was the former engineering lead at Sumo, designing power amps that included Polaris II, Polaris III, Andromeda III, Ulysses, Ulysses II, The Ten, The Five, as well as preamplifiers including Athena II, Diana, and Artemis, and Sumo’s first digital line: Axiom and Theorem.

Mike Moffat was the founder of Theta, Theta Digital, and Angstrom, and his audio history covers an impressive list of firsts, including the first standalone DAC, the Theta DSPre, the first use of digital signal processing and bit-perfect digital filter algorithms, the first DTS surround processor, and more.

“If you’ve been wondering if any start-up can succeed without investment, rich relatives, or crowdfunding, the answer is yes,” says Jason Stoddard. “We are a leader in the personal audio industry now, and have been profitable every year we’ve been in business—with no investment, no bank loans, and no neuroses over ‘making the numbers’ for the beancounters.”
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