Home Amp/DAC Comparisons iFi micro iDSD Black Label vs. Chord Mojo: 2 Unforgettable Products

iFi micro iDSD Black Label vs. Chord Mojo: 2 Unforgettable Products

by Stuart Charles Black
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Greetings mate and Welcome aboard!

Stuart Charles here, HomeStudioBasics.com helping YOU make sound decisions, so…

Today we’ll take a look at a couple of old favorites in the Black Label and Chord Mojo and go over how they differ, discussing things like build, value, sound, versatility, and more.

By the time you’re finished reading this, you should know which one is most worth a purchase in today’s overcrowded DAC landscape.

If neither are, I’ll point you in the direction of something that is.



Let’s dive in.

What Are They?

It’s always helpful to clarify what exactly we’re working with. Both the Chord Mojo and iFi micro iDSD Black Label are combo headphone amplifiers + DACS rolled into one.

This means they convert digital information into analog and also amplify the resulting sound for your listening enjoyment.

Build Quality

Right off the bat, you’ll notice these 2 are at extreme opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to build and design.

The Mojo comes in a small, compact, rounded rectangle shape and feels incredibly premium in your hand.

The top contains Chord’s 3 globe balls: one for power on/off, and 2 for volume control.

The Best Headphone Amps & DACS

AudioQuest DragonFly Red vs. Cobalt vs. Chord Mojo

Volume Globes and Power Globe.

The balls are really fun to play with, and they spin in all directions…

That said, you’re simply pushing them down to adjust the volume.

The right side of the unit contains a coaxial input, optical input, as well as 2 micro USB inputs; one for charging, the other for listening.

AudioQuest DragonFly Red vs. Cobalt vs. Chord Mojo

Coax, Optical, Charging, Listening.

The opposite side of the unit houses 2 3.5mm headphone outputs. This means you can easily compare headphones or share with a friend.

AudioQuest DragonFly Red vs. Cobalt vs. Chord Mojo

Dual 3.5mm Headphone Jacks.

iFi micro iDSD Black Label

The all-aluminum Black Label is more of an elongated rectangle shape, but equally as robust and durable.

Out of the 75+ Amps & DACS I’ve tested, this was certainly one of my favorites. 

It feels incredibly solid in your hand and has some serious weight to it.

Some may complain that it has a bit of an industrial look, but those people are weenies.

The Black Label is built Ford tough and don’t like no rough stuff.

Build Quality Winner: Black Label

Front Panel

iFi micro iDSD Black Label Review

Here we have a 1/4″ (6.35mm) headphone output, XBass+, a 3.5mm input, 3D+, and the Volume Potentiometer.

iFi has utilized countless XBass+ switches in their products, but I think this one was the most tastefully done. It adds just the right amount of emphasis for most songs and never sounds bloated, artificial, or overdone like your mom’s meatloaf. 

The 3D+ switch is just another way of saying the Soundstage/Spaciousness/Imaging is widened a bit, and this feature was also a cool addition to the Black Label.

It’s since been hit-and-miss, but I do tend to favor 3D+ over XBass nowadays as most of the time it makes a difference and sounds good.

Back Panel

iFi micro iDSD Black Label ReviewLike most iFi DACS, the Black Label has a pair of RCA outputs which means it also functions as a preamp into separate speakers like the Presonus Eris e3.5 (and/or any speakers that have RCA or line inputs). 

The SPDIF to the left of that comes in handy as it’s an input or output and also comes with a small Toslink Adapter for use with a console. 

This allows direct connection of digital audio sources like CD players or gaming consoles, bypassing the source device’s DAC for potentially better sound quality. Conversely, the SPDIF output enables passing the digital audio signal to other devices for further processing or integration into a larger audio setup, enhancing flexibility and fidelity in audio playback.

The digital input (USB port) on the right will be used with your PC, but thankfully iFi has since done away with the fat, bulky, blue, and incredibly annoying USB cable they used to ship with the majority of units.

Just look at this thing and tell me it’s not ridiculous:

Ugh. It looks like some type of hose you’d use in middle school science class to flush your eyes out.

I complained for years about that stupid thing and they finally did away with it in the newest iteration of the Zen DAC 3. Hopefully, the trend continues moving forward but I’m not holding my breath.

The left side of the unit contains a few things:

Power Modes

including Eco, Normal, and Turbo. Just push the switch right or left to adjust.

Polarity Switch

Next to that is a polarity switch.

A polarity switch in a headphone amp/DAC allows users to invert the phase of the audio signal. This means it reverses the polarity of the audio waveform, essentially flipping it upside down. This feature can be useful for correcting phase issues in recordings or for personal preference in sound presentation, potentially altering the spatial perception and timbre of the audio playback.


The last switch cycles between Bit Perfect, Minimum Phase, and Standard. I messed with this a little and could discern small differences in the sound, but nothing mind-blowing.

iFi micro iDSD Black Label Review

iFi micro iDSD Black Label Review


Turning the unit upside down reveals a few more options including IEM match; a great feature for very high sensitivity IEMs and headphones, as well as very low Impedance ones as well.

With great power comes great responsibility. This feature ensures you won’t blow out your headphones or earbuds.

On the right side of the unit opposite everything we just went over is your SmartPower Charging slot.

iFi micro iDSD Black Label Review

You can use this to charge your phone, and next to it is a Preamplifier/Direct switch.

iFi micro iDSD Black Label Review

  • If using Direct mode with a line out, the unit stops power coming from the RCA Output.
  • If using Preamp mode, the sound will come from anything connected to the RCA outs as well as any headphones plugged in.

Features Winner: Black Label


Black Label

ifi micro iDSD Black Label

Leonardo wants to see what all the fuss is about.

Both of these units come power-packed with plenty of juice like Tropicana.

Let’s take a gander:

In Turbo Mode:

  • 1,560 mW @ 64 Ohm
  • 166 mW @ 600 Ohm

Example: The K240 600 Ohm needs roughly 80mW to perform optimally. The Black Label provides more than enough for even the most demanding headphones.

In Normal Mode:

  • 950 mW @ 32 Ohm
  • 100 mW @ 300 Ohm

In Eco Mode:

  • 250 mW @ 16 Ohm

Food for Thought: The HD600s at 300 Ohm Impedance and 97dB Sensitivity only require 20mW from an amp. Normal mode on the Black Label provides 100 into this same Impedance load. This is why even Eco works with the 600s!

Not only is it more powerful than explosive diarrhea, but it also has a low output impedance. This ensures consistent output across all types of headphones and spec ranges. What is Output Impedance?

Chord Mojo

Interestingly enough, Chord specifies 35mW into 600 Ohm, 720mW into 8 Ohm, and that’s it. They don’t mention any other impedance loads, but rest assured this is more than enough for 99.7452% of headphones.

Yeah, I aced math class, WHAT OF IT?


  • Black Label: Up to PCM768kHz/DSD512
  • Mojo: PCM768kHz


With an Output Impedance of 75mOhms, the Mojo is very neutral but doesn’t sound cold, clinical, or soulless like its Hugo 2 sibling.

It also has a rather low Total Harmonic Distortion #, so that may have contributed to what was a pretty incredible experience with the Dan Clark Aeon Flow, pictured below, YO.

AudioQuest DragonFly Red vs. Cobalt vs. Chord Mojo

I’ll never look at music the same way again.

If you were curious, the output impedance of 75 milliohms (mOhms) is equivalent to 0.075 Ohms in standard notation. It’s common for companies to specify impedance in milliohms (mOhms) for precision and clarity, especially in the context of audio equipment where impedance values can be very low.

The Black Label actually doesn’t specify its Output Impedance, but if you’d like to take a look at the specs, click here, scroll down until you see it, and hit the User Manual button to download the PDF. I’ve already filtered it for Legacy Products. 

It’s also pretty neutral, and while iFi doesn’t specify Output Impedance, it’s definitely not as neutral as the Mojo.

That said, the “sound” differences between these 2, in my opinion, are fairly marginal. Keep in mind that yes, the Mojo was one of the more memorable DACS I’ve ever tried – but so was the Black Label.

They’re both right up there with the Bryston BHA-1 for best overall per my experience.

I listened to an array of tracks with both of these and the conclusion is that they provide a perfectly neutral backdrop for your headphones – nothing more, nothing less.

Final Verdict

iFi micro iDSD Black Label Review

Unfortunately, both of these products have been discontinued but a lot of people still search for them and, because I have a lot of experience with both I thought I’d compare them today.

When it was still in circulation, The Black Label was my go-to all-in-one Amp/DAC for a while. I also recommended the Mojo for many years until it became outdated and overpriced in the current overcrowded DAC market.

Both were fine products and I enjoyed my time immensely with them.

I would say this: if you can get a Black Label on the second-hand market for a good price (i.e. somewhere around $200) I’d say go for it. It’s a great device.

I haven’t tried the Mojo 2 yet but will update this article accordingly.

The original Mojo was an awesome DAC, but it had some issues over its lifespan according to people I’ve talked to. Battery issues, overheating, malfunction, etc.

My current recommendations are the ATOM, K11, or K7.

The K7 is the best value at $200 and has RCA inputs in addition to plenty of power. If you don’t need those, just get a K11 since it also has a balanced headphone output.



Black Label

  • Formats Supported: DSD512/256/128/64, Octa/Quad/Double/Single-Speed DSD, DXD (768/705.6/384/352.8kHz), Double/Single-Speed DXD, PCM(768/705.6/384/352.8/192/176.4/96/88.2/48/44.1 kHz)
  • Filters: PCM – Bit Perfect Processing/Minimum Phase/Standard, DSD – Extreme/Extended/Standard Bandwidth, DXD – Bit-Perfect Processing
  • Digital Inputs: High-Speed Asynchronous USB 2.0 (32-Bit/768kHz) SPDIF Coaxial
  • Audio Input: 3.5mm
  • Audio Output: 6.3mm, RCA Line Out (2V fixed/2V-5V variable)
  • Power Output: Turbo (8V max/4,000mW @ 16 Ohm), Normal (4V/1,000mW @ 16 Ohm), Eco (2V/250mW @ 16 Ohm)
  • Battery: Lithium-Polymer 4800mAh
  • Power System: USB BCP V1.2 compliant up to 1500mA charging current
  • Power (max): <2W idle, 4W max
  • Dimensions: 177(l)x67(w)x28(h) mm
  • Weight: 310g (0.68 lbs)
  • Warranty Period: 12 months



  • 1x Micro USB 768kHz/32-bit Capable Input
  • 1x 3.5mm Jack Coaxial 768kHz/32-bit Capable Input
  • 1x Optical TOSLINK 96kHz/24-bit Capable Input
  • 1x 1amp Micro USB Charging Port Input


  • 2x 3.5mm Headphone Jacks

Technical Specs:

  • Output Power @ 1kHz – 600Ω 35mW
  • Output Power @ 1kHz – 8Ω 720mW
  • Output Impedance: 75mOhms
  • Dynamic Range: 125dB
  • THD @ 3v: 0.00017%
  • Weight: 180g (0.4lbs)
  • Dimensions: 82mm (l) x 60mm (w) x 22mm (h)

Well, that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you enjoyed this iFi micro iDSD Black Label vs. Chord Mojo comparison and came away with some valuable insight.

Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please let me know down below or Contact me!!

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Do you still need a hand deciding? Be sure to let me know!! I would love to hear from you. Until next time…

All the best and God bless,





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