(Review) iFi Audio Diablo II, The Powerhouse Just Got Better

ifi diablo II

iFi Audio, arguably my favorite brand in the mobile hifi space have outdone themselves with the Diablo II. The Diablo II is a redesign of the original mobile powerhouse amp and DAC, the Diablo. The original Diablo was one of my favorite products from their lineup, so I was elated when they reached out to check out version two. The Diablo II comes in at a retail price of $1,299.00 (U.S.) which is a bit more than the original version we reviewed a while back which retails for around $999.00 now. Is it still the powerhouse that it was but even better now? That is what we set out to find in this review, so let’s listen and see how it stacks up.

ifi diablo ii

Unboxing and Setup

Every iFi product I have checked out has been very well packaged and easy to use. The Diablo II is no different, in the double box with a sleeve, then inside all the carefully divided out components. You get quite the kit with the Diablo II, including the original carry case, a 1/4″ to 1/8″ adapter, a handful of different cables to connect to your devices, and the power cable. As you will see the new Diablo looks quite a bit different from its predecessor, now having a more contemporary shape as well as a darker red anodizing. In the flutes along the chassis, you can slide in the included feet that get the amp up off your desk for better cooling and angle it up towards you. Another change you may notice early is the volume lock to prevent the knob from spinning if it’s in your bag or if you have large enough pockets.

ifi diablo ii

The setup is super simple but may seem a little intimidating at first due to the slew of switches and input/outputs. The switches though are labeled well and all you have to do is see them to match your choice of headphone/IEM. And then there is the Turbo switch which pushes the power for those hard-to-drive headphones. I used the USB c input and Bluetooth primarily, however, there are optical and balanced inputs on the rear of the Diablo. On the back you will see there are two separate USB C ports, one of them is for charging the battery and the other is for your audio input, keeping them separated means less potential noise and no need to choose where you have to charge to listen to music

ifi diablo ii


The Diablo is possibly the best-sounding portable DAC/Amp I have ever heard. It has loads of clean power that will effortlessly push nearly any headphone on the market. I tested it with a variety of headphones and loved the result with all of them. The Diablo II imparts no tonality or character onto the sound allowing the headphones of your choice to shine. The headphones I listened with are the Meze Rai Solo IEM, the Meze 99 Classics with silver balanced cable, and the Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro (250 Ohm). It drove the Dt990s with ease and in turbo mode only need the volume knob about halfway up to get to reference levels. With the IEM match you get better control of the volume, as with it out the volume knob is a bit touchy. The Diablo II also has a MEMs switch for those of you with headphones that take advantage of this tech. I was able to listen to both the Meze headphones with the gain switch set to normal and used the IEM match with the Rai Solo.

meze rai solo

I want to talk about the sound, but really it feels like it is more a review of the headphones’ sound than anything. The Diablo II truly adds nothing and takes away nothing from your music. It is rare that a device has no sonic character but the Diablo II either has none or its simply too subtle to detect over the differences in headphones themselves. The power is ultra clean up into uncomfortable listening levels, so as far as distortion, you shouldn’t be able to hear any unless you are interested in damaging your hearing. I actually turned up the volume all the way up on normal mode with the 99 Classics, not on my head but next to me, and still heard no distortion. There is no reason the Diablo II couldn’t be a reference-level DAC/Amp for testing different headphones.

If you have been around for a while you know I listen to a wide variety of music making it easy to put gear through its paces and try to find where it may excel or perhaps have downfalls. I played over Bluetooth with PCM signal, as well as via USBc out of my Macbook using both Spotify and ALAC files, and finally out of my FIIO M9 playing FLAC files. This is where the review of the Diablo II sound really comes in, is the detail and quality of the audio. There is no debate the sound quality of the Diablo II is much better than my MacBook Air M2. The MacBook can push my DT990 Pros, but the volume needs to be nearly maxed out so it is unlikely that it will power higher ohm headphones to the levels most like to listen at. The lack of power also means the lack of bass extension and control. The Diablo II has much cleaner bass, especially with the DT990s.

One of the tracks I listened to is “In This River” by Black Label Society. It is a beautiful song with an awesome guitar solo that you need to hear if you haven’t. Zack Wylde plays both the piano and double-neck guitar and sings. He also recorded and produced the song. After Dimebag Darrel of Pantera was shot and killed on stage, Zack dedicated the song to him which led to the music video. The somber piano is a juxtaposition to the heavy guitar and solo section. Listening through the Diablo and at this time 99 Meze really presented the tone of the song and the tension of the lyrics. The guitar has wonderful texture, speed, and attack, pulling you into the mood of the track.

Switching gears I listened to a favorite, Laufeys Bewitched album. The whole album is simply wonderful. She has a wonderful soft silky voice and the instrumentals are great. The Diablo II while powerful handles Laufey’s voice with a delicacy that helps keep it natural sounding. A lot of the instruments also have a delicate touch and the Diablo II shows its versatility going from metal to jazz and beyond. I love the transients in the album and the background sounds that give her tracks dimension and I get all of it in spades, especially with the DT990 Pros, while I absolutely love the 99 Classics they are a bit warm for this music and I like the more balanced nature of the 990 Pros. I will say the Diablo II does tame the warmth of the 99 Classics a bit as compared to various tube headphone amps I have tried them with.

Pros and Cons


  • powerful
  • plenty of flexibility for
  • mobile
  • crystal clear detailed sound
  • well built


  • a little big for a mobile device


  • Digital Inputs
    • USB-C
    • S-PDIF (3.5mm coaxial/optical)
    • Bluetooth 5.4 (aptX Lossless, aptX Adaptive, aptX, LDAC, LHDC/HWA, AAC, SBC)
  • Headphone Outputs: 4.4mm (BAL) | 6.3mm
  • Line Output: 4.4mm (BAL)
  • Hi-Res Support: 768kHz | DSD512 | full MQA
  • DAC: Dual-core native Bit-Perfect DSD & 2x DXD DAC by Burr Brown
  • Line Output Impedance: ≤200Ω
  • Line Out SNR: ≥114dB(A)
  • Line Out DNR: ≥114dB(A)
  • Line Out THD+N: 0.002% @ 0dBFS 200kΩ
  • Headphone Output Power
    • BAL: >19.2V/611mW (@600Ω) | >12.87V/5180mW (@32Ω)
    • UnBAL: >9.6V/153mW (@600Ω) | >8.85V/2450mW (@32Ω)
    • xMEMS: >28Vpp (4.4mm output)
  • Power Consumption: Nitro 12W | Turbo 5W | Normal 2W | xMEMS 8W
  • Battery: Lithium-polymer 4800mAh
  • Power System: Charging via USB-C (iFi iPower included) | BC v1.2 compliant up to 1900mA current
  • Dimensions: 6.5″ x 3.3″ x 1.1″
  • Net Weight: 1 lbs
  • IFi Warranty Card (1 Year)

Associated Equipment

  • Meze Rai Solo
  • Meze 99 Classics – Balanced Silver Cable
  • Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro
  • iPhone 14 Pro
  • MacBook Air M2


The Diablo II is a powerful, detailed reference-level DAC/Amp that you can take with you on the go. There are not many mobile Hifi Options that have the power on tap to run high ohm headphones and make them sound as good the Diablo II does. On top of that the battery life is fairly reasonable for the power it puts out, I was able to get a few hours of playback with the balanced output at fairly high levels. Listening to the Meze Rai Solo IEM I was able to get a full workday out of the Diablo II before it needed to charge, grated I didn’t need the turbo or nitro mode with them which buys you an extra couple hours of battery. My favorite aspect is how it stays out of the way lets me choose my sound through my headphone choice, and simply feeds them with clean detailed rich power that can excitingly present your music. The bass is tight and controlled, and the mid-range lush and airy highs. The price can be intimidating but for audiophiles on the go that want the most out of their headphones or IEMS, it may very well be the best option on the market.

For more information and where to buy click the link below:


iFi Audio provided Hifi Chicken with a Diablo II for the purpose of this review. iFi Audio nor any affiliate paid part or full in exchange for this review

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