Multibit or Delta-Sigma DAC

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Bifrost is the DAC that changed the game in affordable digital audio—bringing full upgradability to the most inexpensive platform in the world, and introducing concepts like bit-perfect clock management and modular USB architecture. Now, Bifrost changes the game once again with the all-new Bifrost and Bifrost Multibit.

Bifrost: Excellent Performance With All-New AKM DAC
Choose Bifrost, and you get a great DAC at an amazing price. Featuring the 32-bit AKM Verita® AK4490 D/A converter and a fully discrete stage for summing, current gain and filtering, Bifrost bests all previous delta-sigma Bifrosts—including the acclaimed Bifrost Uber—for a lower price.

Bifrost Multibit: The Most Affordable, Upgradable Schiit Multibit DAC
Choose Bifrost Multibit, you get Schiit’s proprietary closed-form, time- and frequency-domain optimized DSP-based digital filter like Yggdrasil and Gungnir Multibit, coupled to a precision Analog Devices AD5547CRUZ digital to analog converter—a D/A never before used in any other audio product. 

Future-Proof, Not Dumpster Fodder
With Bifrost, you’re choosing a DAC that won’t become obsolete when technology changes. Unlike all other DACs anywhere near its price point, Bifrost is fully modular and upgradable—making it virtually future-proof, rather than dumpster fodder.

Advanced Clock Management, USB Gen 5 Standard
Bifrost uses a sophisticated master clock management system to deliver bit-perfect data to the DAC—unlike many DACs that use asynchronous sample rate conversion (ASRC), which destroys the original samples. And, our Gen 5 USB features full galvanic isolation via transformers, self-power for low-noise and reclocking sections, and high-quality local clocks for both 44.1 and 48k multiples. (And, if you don’t understand the technobabble, here’s the bottom line: it works and sounds great.)

Designed and Assembled in USA
By “designed and assembled in USA" this is what we mean: the vast majority of the total production cost of Bifrost—chassis, boards, transformers, assembly, etc—goes to US companies manufacturing in the US. Our chassis are made minutes from our facility. Our PCBs are done just over the hill from us, or done in NorCal. Our transformers are also made in California. You get the picture. 
5-Year Warranty
Bifrost is covered by a limited warranty that covers parts and labor for five years. That’s 5 years. Yes. FIVE. Compare that to the competition. Please note this doesn't mean free upgrades for five years!

15-Day Satisfaction Guarantee
Don’t like your Bifrost? No problem. Send it back for a full refund, minus 5% transaction fee, within 15 days of receiving your DAC. When was the last time you spent a couple of weeks in an audio store? With your own equipment? Thought so.


D/A Conversion IC: AKM Verita® AK4490 
Analog Stage: Fully discrete, DC coupled

Frequency Response: 20Hz-20KHz, +/-0.1dB, 2Hz-100KHz, -1dB
Maximum Output: 2.0V RMS

THD: <0.003%, 20Hz-20KHz, at max output
IMD: <0.004%, CCIR
S/N: >108dB, referenced to 2V RMS

Bifrost Multibit

D/A Conversion IC: Analog Devices AD5547CRUZ
Digital Filter: proprietary Schiit bitperfect closed-form digital filter implemented on Analog Devices SHARC DSP processor
Analog Stage: precision I/V converter and output buffer based on AD8512

Frequency Response: 20Hz-20KHz, +/-0.1dB, 2Hz-150KHz, -1dB
Maximum Output: 2.0V RMS

THD: <0.005%, 20Hz-20KHz, at max output
IMD: <0.008%, CCIR
S/N: >109dB, referenced to 2V RMS

All Bifrosts

Inputs: Coaxial SPDIF, Optical SPDIF, USB 
Input Capability: up to 24/192 for all inputs, including 24/176.4
Input Receiver, SPDIF: AK4113, USB: C-Media CM6631A with electromagnetic and electrostatic isolation

Output: RCA (single-ended)
Output Impedance: 75 ohms

Power supply: 5 stages of regulation, including separate supplies for critical digital and analog sections.

Upgradability: Separate, modular USB Input Card and DAC/Analog Card are snap-in replaceable.

Power Consumption: 12W
Size: 9 x 6.75 x 2.25”
Weight: 5 lbs

Well, Bifrost Multibit is one of the least expensive options for multibit DACs—
Wait. Stop. Let's fix that for you. Bifrost Multibit is only inexpensive multibit DAC that:

1. Isn't based on ancient NRND, NOS, or "pull" parts.
2. Offers performance far better than chips from the Jurassic Age of digital (THD -104dB, noise at 22 bit levels).
3. Has Schiit's proprietary, closed-form, "comboburrito" digital filter.
4. Is on an upgradable platform for non-obsolescence.

Are you saying the new Bifrost Multibit is a desktop Yggdrasil?
Nope. You said that. But people say a lot of things. What we said was that Bifrost Multibit is the most affordable upgradable Schiit multibit DAC. It uses our proprietary, closed-form digital filter like Yggdrasil, and it uses a high-precision multibit D/A converter more usually seen in medical and military applications. And it does fit nicely on a desktop.

How the heck can you do Bifrost Multibit so affordable? Gungnir Multibit and Yggdrasil cost a lot more!
Because it’s a much simpler DAC than either of them, using less parts, a more basic power supply, a single dual-channel DAC, and a 4X digital filter, rather than an 8X digital filter. However, it still offers amazing value, from its advanced bitperfect clock management system to USB Gen 2 input to upgradable, modular design.

So what platforms does your USB input support?
Actually, the question should be “What platforms support your USB input?” since our USB input is 100% UAC2 compliant (that is, USB Audio Class 2, the accepted standard for USB audio transmission.) So, here you go:

  • Windows 7, 8, and 10. Windows 10 is highly recommended. It is usually plug and play with our DACs. Sometimes you have to install drivers, which are available at Windows XP, Vista, and Windows Server editions are all untested and are not recommended.
  • Mac OSX. From 10.7 on up, Macs have been plug and play with our DACs. Sometimes you’ll run into power management problems that will require you to turn off App Nap.
  • iOS. From iOS7 on up, iOS devices have been able to interface with our DACs using a USB Camera Connection Kit, Lightning to USB Camera Adapter, or Lightning to USB3 Camera Adapter. You may have to use a hub to avoid a “Draws too much power” error.
  • Android. Most Android devices that shipped with Android M or above will interface with our DACs using a USB OTG cable. Some may require separate player software, like USB Audio Player Pro. 
  • Linux. Most Linux distros that support UAC2 natively will be plug and play with our DACs. Please note that we cannot provide detailed technical support for Linux.
I can’t get over the fact that Bifrost Multibit is only 16 bits!
You didn’t have any problem with delta-sigma being 2 to 5 bits, did you?

But, 16 bits!
Yeah, and most music is still 16 bits—99.9%+, in fact. 

But what happens when I use 24 bit music?
We transform it to 16 bit, and it plays just fine. Just like the 2- to 5-bit delta-sigma DACs do. Except with a lot more bits.

What’s this about a non-oversampling (NOS) mode?
For 176.4kHz and 192kHz input sample rates, Bifrost Multibit passes the music right along—no digital filter, no oversampling. Have fun! Upsample lower-rate music with another algorithm, and compare to our “comboburrito” filter.

Hey, wait a minute, let’s talk Bifrost, the delta-sigma version. It’s less expensive?
Yes. It’s also better than any previous version of Bifrost, including Uber. 

But it’s less expensive!
Yes. The AK4490 D/A converter is less expensive than the one we used previously (even though it’s better in both measured and sonic performance in this application.) And, our volumes have gone up enough that we can pass savings along. We’re also not the kind of company that uses a sub-$3 D/A chip in a DAC that costs $3000+. Isn’t that the way things are supposed to work? 

Yeah, but…
But you’re used to paying for overpriced jewelry. We get it. It’s OK. We believe you have the strength to recover.

But, what does the Bifrost sound like?
We think it sounds really good. It’s a very capable $399 DAC with USB input. And there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s not like you have to go multibit. 

So can I upgrade my old Bifrost to the new Bifrost “4490” or Bifrost Multibit?
Yes, you can! Both upgrades are listed in the Upgrades section of the site.

Why aren’t there any balanced outputs?
At these prices, balanced lost to upgradability. If you want balanced outputs, we have Gungnir and Yggdrasil, which have real hardware balancing and hardware summing for the single-ended outputs.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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