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Reviews for Bifrost

New York Times
Roy Furchgott

“The crowd favorite…The outstanding difference was that the Bifrost reliably made the soundstage larger in each dimension. Ed Dorsey, co-owner of Soundscape, said that switching from the DAC while listening to a CD of “All Right Now,” a classic rock song by Free, “was like going from stereo to mono.”

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Alan Henry

 “Schiit doesn’t mess around. Just read through their FAQ page, and specifically their FAQs on the Bifrost—they’re serious about audio, and they don’t pull punches. Just as well—The Bifrost is a powerhouse. It’s actually an upgradable DAC that you can pair with other Schiit audio gear, like their amplifiers. The Bifrost accepts optical, USB, and S/PDIF inputs and outputs via RCA for speakers (so it’s not like the other DACs here, designed to drive headphones). The unit is modular and customizable, so you can get one with or without a USB input card, or upgrade the onboard USB to their Gen2 card.”

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Steve Guttenberg

“With a great jazz piano recording, like Milcho Leviev’s Man From Plovdiv I’m so much more aware of the room the piano is in. I sense Leviev’s touch, exactly how hard he’s hitting the keys. Some listeners might confuse this level of hyper detail with a tipped up treble response or bright balance, but the Bifrost is quite neutral. I also equate transparency with low distortion, and here it’s apparent when I compared the Bifrost with another DAC, like the CEntrance DACport ($399). I love that DAC, but the Bifrost is more see-through transparent.

I briefly compared the Bifrost teamed up with the Schiit Valhalla tube headphone amp ($349) with the Antelope Zodiac DAC/headphone amp ($1,500). The Zodiac sounded leaner, dimensionally flatter and generally less engaging. I tried to give it a fair shake, but it couldn’t hold my attention.”

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Absolute Sound
Steven Stone
Best Budget Gear of RMAF: Greatest Bargain (individual product)

"The Schitt BiFrost DAC with fully upgradeable/replaceable USB and DAC boards wins this category hands down. It’s the first budget USB DAC that won’t be obsolete in less than a year. For $349 w/o a USB card and $449 with, it makes you wonder why other manufacturers don’t offer obsolescence–proof DACs."

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Srajan Ebaen

 “Judging the Bifrost purely on its own merits—inserting it into the usual system and leaving it there to play—I quickly forgot about the Eximus DP1. That’s because like Zu’s Essence, Schiit’s DAC covered the timing essentials of continuous flow to avoid all edgy choppiness or pixilation. Yet one never feels shortchanged on organically nutritious calories. This particular take on what’s essential differs from the detail-über-alles obsession that’s currently en vogue.”

“From the very beginning it gives us more advanced goods like temporal coherence which has music play straight in the pocket. That the Bifrost can cover those bases for $450 inclusive of asynchronous USB 2.0 is unexpected (192kHz files play without fuss). This catches us up with Schiit’s engineers. Despite dude talk, they know how to tap true essentials even when allowable parts costs are slim.”
“The greatest compliment is that in my usual reference system—grotesquely mismatched on price but review etiquette only changes one item at a time—I wasn’t at all unhappy to listen to it.”
“USB direct was superior to performing external USB to S/PDIF conversion, then sending the results down two connectors and a digital cable of Stereovox caliber. As a computer audio user I’d thus not worry about the—very minor—trash talk Schiit has aimed at USB in general. Their implementation is clearly solid.”
“Given that the Bifrost had to tough it out in my big system rather than via headphones, I was simply more surprised than I perhaps should have been. After all, class A bias, no feedback, discrete FET-based outputs – these are suggestive items with in the right hands predictive outcomes. The Bifrost delivers. It thus plays outside what its spartan appearance or low price might predict.”

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Tone Audio
John Darko
“For listeners that enjoy a warmer musical bath or whose setup is already (over)-enthusiastic at the top end, the Bifrost could well be the DAC to obtain. It doesn’t suffer the usual—and sometimes predictable—sonic compromises commonly found at its price point…”
“Additional applause goes to Stoddard and Moffat for making it all happen at a USA-based manufacturing facility. Excellent work, chaps.”

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 “The very holographic soundstage on the Porcupine Tree song “Stars Die” was very satisfying, and I didn’t feel like I was missing anything via the Bifrost.  It was very well fleshed out, and Steven Wilson’s voice was well defined and centered, versus the much more spread out harmony vocals.”

“First, the Bifrost absolutely stomps the iStreamer.  The iStreamer seems grainy, veiled, threadbare, and thin sounding by comparison.  It’s not even close.”

“Frankly, the Bifrost turned me off so much to the Havana that I sold it.  It’s just too colored, in the end.  Pretty sounding, but untruthful.  The Bifrost is more truthful, even if sometimes there is less beauty in the truth.”
“At its price, it is a very nice piece of kit, and a good value. Schiit should be commended for providing a high performance product at this price.”

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Jon Iverson

Stereophile Recommended Component, Class B!

"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."

"...when we drop to DACs for $1000 or less—where, let's face it, sonic compromises are unavoidable—the Bifrost with Uber Analog upgrade is near the top of the stack. 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."

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Another Knockout Award from Digital Audio Review
John Darko

"Right now the Bifrost Uber w/ Gen 2 USB is without peer; it’s my goto recommendation for ANYONE seeking out a high quality decoder at five hundred clams."


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The Ear: Schiit Bifrost Uber DAC
Richard Barclay

 "The Bifrost and Bifrost Uber are excellent DACs and both represent seriously good value for money. Both are equipped with state-of-the-art technology and will continue to be supported going forward. Which one you should choose will ultimately depend on your budget and preferences for sonic transparency. If you are limited on funds and/or enjoy a richer sound that is delivered with a mild and forgiving haze in which the delicacies of detail and intimacy take a back seat, then the standard Bifrost will more than likely delight. If on the other hand you crave a more open and revealing presentation delivered with refined finesse and a closer emotional connection to your music, then go for the Uber and don’t look back."

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Positive Feedback: Neoteric Listener
Dean Seislove

"I compared the Schiit combo with other headphone amp/DAC solutions. Travel size contenders included the Light Harmonic Geek Out, CEntrance DACport LX, the aforementioned ADL X1, and the Devilsound DAC v2.1. The larger amp/DACs used included the Audioengine D2 and Peachtree Audio iNova integrated...the Lyr 2 and Bifrost Uber DAC simply bests the competition in every aspect that matters. The Schiit opened the soundstage dramatically to fill the headphones with space and sound, as if the musicians stopped playing in the backstage waiting room and started again on the stage."


"All three Schiit products [Lyr 2, Bifrost Uber, Valhalla 2] are stellar accomplishments that should please even the fussiest headphone audio enthusiast."

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HiFiPig Outstanding Product
Janine Elliot

"There’s a real feeling of pace and overall a big sound that is sure to bring a smile to your face.On more laidback tracks such as The Rolling Stone’s Lady Jane, there’s a warmness of the sound overall, particularly mids, but the plucked strings still manage to sound fast, precise and sparkly. Actually there’s an addictiveness to this little DAC that belies its asking price."

The Schitt kit reviewed here offers great value for money and at the price point they offer a very high level of sound that most will fail to achieve. They are certainly a step up from many of the products I’ve heard at a similar price.
I have no qualms in heartily recommending each of the Schiit products reviewed here and they do punch well above their weight."

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Golden Clef Award