Hifi News - iFi Audio

Review - iFi Audio xDSD

iFi Audio xDSD

Introducing the iFi xDSD – next-generation mobile audio
T he iFi xDSD is a portable h-res headphone amp and DAC that replaces the iDSD (and competes directly with the Chord Mojo) at £399.

■ Product summary

• Uniquely specified and supremely musical hi-res DAC tech – studio-quality sound in your pocket

Review - iFi adds MQA support to a host of products

iFi adds MQA support to a host of products
I Fi issues MQA firmware update which is a free update and adds support for MQA – the hi-res audio streaming codec – to a host of existing products from the company’s range.

Review - iFi Audio Ear Buddy

iFi Audio Ear Buddy

iFi Audio launch the Ear Buddy
I Fi Audio have launched the ‘Ear Buddy’, a low-cost, plug-in headphone optimiser that attenuates the output signal of your headphone socket to better suit headphones with high sensitivity, thus countering the negative effect of digital volume controls (which virtually all of today’s handheld devices contain). It increases useable volume range (allowing for finer adjustment), lowers background noise and improves dynamic range. It is particularly effective with good quality in-ear headphones, noise cancelling headphones and in-flight entertainment systems.

Review - iFi Audio iGalvanic 3.0

iFi Audio iGalvanic 3.0

iFi Audio launch the iGalvanic 3.0
U SB connectivity has become a crucial part of high-performance audio, as computers replace traditional hi-fi devices as the main source component in many systems. However, there’s a problem: computers and their USB interfaces are designed to support many functions and are not optimised for audio; USB connections are inherently ‘noisy’ and can introduce distortion to the audio signal, which affects sound quality.

Review - iFi Audio Pro iESL

iFi Audio Pro iESL

Make the most of electrostatic headphones with iFi's Pro iESL
I Fi adds to its flagship ‘Pro’ range of compact audio components with the Pro iESL headphone energiser – an ingenious device designed to make the most of electrostatic headphones.

Review - iFi Audio nano iOne

iFi Audio nano iOne

iFi Audio launch the nano iOne
T he iFi Audio nano iOne, at £199, is designed to be a convenient, high-quality digital audio ‘hub’ –a DAC (Digital-to-Analogue Converter) that is miniature in size yet big on features and performance. It can be used to boost sound from all manner of digital devices: smartphones, tablets, PCs, Macs, TVs, games consoles, media streamers and more. It offers wireless connectivity over Bluetooth, as well as USB and S/PDIF digital inputs.

Review - iFi Audio iGalvanic

iFi Audio iGalvanic

iFi Audio reveal the iGalvanic
T he iFi Audio iGalvanic, a lot smaller than the picture suggests, has just one digital input a USB type B and one USB type A output. What the iGalvanic offers (as the name suggests) is a means of doing Galvanic isolation for non Galvanically isolated USB DACs. Why does Galvanic isolation matter ? Well it offers complete separation between an electrically noisy source such as a computer and a sensitive (non Galvanically isolated) USB DAC. Without Galvanic isolation such a setup is prone to sounding noisy - examples being hissing sounds and ground loop hums. All of these degrade sound quality.

Review - iFi Audio iTube 2

iFi Audio iTube 2

iFi Audio launch the iTube 2 - valve buffer stage
T he iFi Audio iTube 2 is many thinks all in the one small box. The iTube 2 can be used as a fixed output valve buffer stage between DAC and amplifier to give a warmer less digital sound or even between a pre amp and power amp to provide the same function. Two can be employed one between DAC / pre-amp and one between pre-amp and power amp to double up ! The iTube 2 also has a volume control so can be used as a preamp for one analogue input. This could be useful if you have a digital pre-amp DAC feeding directly into a power amp and want to listen to a high quality analogue output only turntable, or its phono stage. Simplest option here is to connect the turntable to the iTube 2 and the iTube 2 into the power amp, disconnecting the DAC, to listen to the turntable. The 2 in the name suggests and upgrade to a previous version, the original iTube. However iFi point out that the iTube 2 is a complete redesign and the only commonality between the two is the General Electric GE5670 valve. Additionally the iTube 2 offers XBass+ for speakers, a bass boost for small speakers, and 3D Holographic+ matrix for Speakers, a means to increase the sound stage of two narrowly placed together speakers. Typically 3D+ would be useful for near field listening where two speakers have been placed on either side of a computer.

Review - iFi Audio nano iDSD Light Edition

iFi Audio nano iDSD Light Edition

iFi Audio launch the nano iDSD Light Edition DAC and headphone amp
T he iFi audio nano iDSD LE or Light Edition is a cut down version of the original nano iDSD, a Hi-Res Audio capable portable DAC/headphone amp, with a reduced price from $200 or £195 to $129 or £129. To enable a price reduction iFi have removed some of the features but sensibly stuck to the strengths of the original nano iDSD. The features removed are - no SPDIF out, no filter switch and no decoding of DSD128 computer audio files. The strong features retained are :-

Review - iFi Audio Micro iDSD Black

iFi Audio Micro iDSD Black

iFi Audio Launch The Micro iDSD Black
T he iFi Audio micro iDSD Black Label is a special edition version of the micro iDSD – USB DAC and headphone amp and retails for US$549 (ex-tax) or Euro599/£455 (incl VAT). iFi describe the micro iDSD Black as the world's most powerful DSD/PCM/DXD battery-powered DAC. The improvements made in the iDSD Black are :-

Review - ifi Audio iPhono 2

ifi Audio iPhono 2

iFi Audio launch The iPhono 2 - MM and MC Phono Stage
T he iFi Audio iPhono 2 is a phono stage that can amplify both MM and MC cartridge output up to RCA line stage. The iPhono 2 is an upgraded version of the original iPhono. The new iPhono 2 has a new circuit that significantly reduces the loading seen by the main amplification circuit. This improves the circuit inherent linearity while allowing it to drive even punishing 600 ohm studio inputs. The power supply filtering has been increased 5X in value. The iPhono2’s signal to noise ratio has also been improved.

Review - The Retro Stereo 50

The Retro Stereo 50

iFi Audio launch a valve based digital amplifier - The Retro Stereo 50
T he Retro Stereo 50 is an all-in-one tube stereo system: from Bluetooth aptx (phone/pad) to High-res digital (computer) to vinyl (turntable). Smart devices capable of Bluetooth, aptX (best mode of wireless transmission) and NFC (extreme ease) can be “wirelessly paired” to the Stereo 50. From there, it is a simple case of opening your music app, be it your music collection on your music player, Spotify or Tidal and hit play!

Review - iFi Audio DC iPurifier

iFi Audio DC iPurifier

iFi Audio Launch The DC iPurifier
T he iFi Audio DC iPurifier (yours for £95) is a DC mains purifier. The idea is that if you're using a standard plug into the wall switched mode power supply (SMPS) to provide DC supply to power HiFi Equipment (often known as a wall-wart power supply) then the quality of the DC power particularly the noise level could be improved on. The DC iPurifier solves this by plugging into the end of the DC power supply and then connecting to your HiFi equipment. The iFi Audio DC iPurifier then acts an in line active mains noise filter. The DC iPurifier comes with adapters for 2.5mm and 1.35mm dc plugs (called pig tails). As standard the DC iPurifier is fitted with a 2.1mm DC plug. A linear power supply is another option to improve DC from the mains, but these are a lot more expensive than the £95 for the iFi Audio DC iPurifier.

Review - iFi Audio - nano iUSB3.0

iFi Audio - nano iUSB3.0

iFi Audio Launch The Nano iUSB3.0 - USB Power Supply
T he iFi Audio nano iUSB3.0 is the smaller sibling version of iFi Audio’s flagship micro iUSB3. The nano iUSB 3.0 is similar in that it provides a clean 5 volt power supply (rather than the noisy 5 volts emanating from a Computer ) and cleans up the USB signal from the computer before allowing the option for both power and signal to travel separately (via the iFi Audio Gemini Cable) to the USB DAC. The nano iUSB3.0 can be used without the Gemini by attaching a standard USB cable to the signal output.

Review - iFi Audio Pro iCAN

iFi Audio Pro iCAN

iFi Audio Reveal The Pro iCan Headphone Amp
T he iFi Audio Pro iCan is officially being launched at the Bristol HiFi Show 2016. The Pro iCan is the first model in iFi's Pro Range and the Pro range is a renaming of the Mini range so instead of Nano, Micro and Mini it's now Nano, Micro and Pro. The Pro iCan is a balanced or unbalanced headphone amp, combined with a tube buffer stage (based on the iTube) and an analogue preamp. iFi Audios XBass and 3D Sound also feature in the Pro iCan.

Review - iFi Audio - micro iCAN Special Edition

iFi Audio - micro iCAN Special Edition

iFi Audio Launch the micro iCAN Special Edition - Headphone Amp
T he iFi micro iCAN Special Edition is an upgrade to the iCAN headphone using trickle down technology from the iFi Pro CAN headphone amp. The launch page has a collection of Star Wars terminology around the launch, which you can read via the first link below (and enter iFi Audio's Star Wars themed micro iCAN Special Edition launch competition).

Review - iFi Audio iUSB 3.0

iFi Audio iUSB 3.0

iFi Audio iUSB 3.0 - More Info From iFi Audio
I Fi Audio have released more information on their mains powered USB purifier the iUSB 3.0. Included is the extra functionality that the iUSB 3.0 offers over the iUSB 2.0 and the eight key features of the iUSB 3.0 which are :-

Review - iFi Audio iPurifier 2.0

iFi Audio iPurifier 2.0

iFi Audio Launch The iPurifier 2.0 - A USB DAC Signal Purifier
I Fi Audio’s iPurifier 2.0 comes in at £90 so a slight price rise for an improvement on the existing iPurifier. The iPurifier 2.0 even offers a variety of USB outputs, if you want to include one before your Chord Hugo just chose the micro USB output option. As well as the variable USB output options - The iPurifier 2.0 however goes further into cleaning up a USB signal before the signal enters a USB DAC than the original iPurifier. The improvements can be summarised as :-.

Review - iFi Audio iUSB 3.0

iFi Audio iUSB 3.0

iFi Audio Reveal The iUSB 3.0 - USB Computer Audio Solution
T he iFi audio micro iUSB 3.0 is described by iFi as a total USB solution. Like the iUSB 3.0's predecessor the iUSB the iUSB 3.0 splits the USB signal from a computer into power and signal USB channels replacing the noisy USB power from a computer with regenerated ultra clean power and ground noise elimination. The iUSB 3.0 goes a lot further now offering :-

Review - iFi iDAC2

iFi iDAC2

iFi audio Launch The iDAC2 - Portable USB DAC And Headphone Amp
I Fi Audio have launched the £315 iDAC2, a replacement and major upgrade upon the iDAC. Decoding wise the iDAC2 can decode up to Quadruple DSD or DSD256 and PCM384kHz. All decoding is now native with no internal conversion between formats prior to decoding.

Review - iFi Audio iPower

iFi Audio iPower

iFi audio Launch The iPower - Power Supply
T he £39 iFi Audio iPower is a power supply that improves upon the performance of iFi existing power supplies by using a 12 Element Output Array to lower the noise threshold below that of even an audiophile LPS power supply.

Review - iFi iDAC2

iFi iDAC2

iFi Reveal The iDAC2 - USB DAC
T he iFi iDAC2 is a replacement for and improvement on the iFi iDAC. In terms of iFi Audio's current product range the iDAC2 will sit between the iFi nano iDSD and the micro iDSD. One major area of improvement in the iDAC2 is in the analogue output stages.

Review - iFi Audio Retro

iFi Audio Retro

iFi Audio reveal the Retro Complete system
A n update on the iFi Audio Retro Complete System. The Retro 50 system ( which is tiny compared to the vintage Leak amps it's based on ) will sell in the U.K. at £1,650. This gets you the Retro 50 base unit , the Speakers and all the cabling.

Review - iFi Audio micro iDSD

iFi Audio micro iDSD

iFi audio - A recommendation for a USB charger for the micro iDSD - Portable USB DAC and headphone amp
I f you don't want to wait the 24 hours it takes to re-charge the iFi Audio micro iDSD - portable USB DAC headphone amp , iFi audio have an answer.

Review - iFi Audio micro iDSD

iFi Audio micro iDSD

Tips from iFi Audio ( Part II and final part ) on battery management and maintenance
S econd and final part of iFi Audio's tips on battery management and battery maintenance for battery driven portable audio devices. As they say full cycles stress the battery most ( fully discharged to re-charged ) and the typical battery in a portable audio device can only take around 200-400 of these cycles before needing replacing. Their iFi Audio Micro iDSD - Portable USB DAC and headphone amp has some smart battery saving built in. However a battery is a battery and a lot of their advice applies to all battery powered portable devices.


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