iFi Audio make extremely high performance and incredible value audio accessories
iFi is the “baby brand” of Abbingdon Music Research (AMR), a high-end audio manufacturer. Their brand promise is “great sound for everyone” and judging by what we’ve seen and heard of their products so far we think they’re doing a pretty good job of it.
Hallmark of iFi Audio products is great performance, fine build quality and exceptional value for money. They also seem to make products that offer a solution for many individual requirements and some of them think outside the box.
We’re featuring mainly on the 4 iFi Audio products that we stock but we have a feeling we’ll be adding more in time.
iFi Audio Nano iCAN Headphone Amplifier
The iFi nano iCAN is the battery-powered, half-sized version of the multiple-award winning micro series. It costs only £149
For many, enjoying music requires the component to excel in both a ‘static’ high-end system as well as a ‘dynamic’ portable system. The nano iCAN fits this bill perfectly. Able to take RCA or 3.5mm inputs, running on lithium-polymer battery power, enjoy music wherever, whenever, whatever.
The nano iCAN maintains the iFi tradition of excellent sonics with canyon-deep bass. Its supreme circuit design uses DirectDrive® technology; without the need for output capacitors.
A truly remarkable headphone amplifier must also be user-adjustable. First, to suit each type of recording, the nano iCAN features the original 3D HolographicSound® for Headphones to take the sound ‘back out of the head. Second, to suit different headphones, XBass® and user-selectable gain unlock the maximum potential of each and every type of headphone, whether at home or on the move.
The nano iCAN’s power supply options offer two major benefits. First, it provides portable music enjoyment, simply by connecting a source such as iPhone/iPad/Android via the 3.5mm output. Second, at home, via the 9V mains power, it offers the drive to push headphones to their maximum potential with consumate ease.
The onboard lithium-polymer battery allows the user to enjoy over 70 hours of high-end music wherever, whenever, whatever.
There are portable headphone amps and there is the nano iCAN. Its DirectDrive® technology means no output coupling capacitors to provide the most direct signal path to retain the essence of the music.
The DirectDrive® technology is one of the core reasons why the iFi range of components has garnered such rave reviews.
iFi Audio iDSD Nano DSD D-A Convertor/Headphone Amp
Remarkable DAC for extremely sensible amount of money – £165
UPDATE – had a play with this the other day and it is pretty fine indeed. I sold the unit in question and here is a little feedback from the customer concerned. This particularly gentleman has connected it up to his Naim Audio pre/power.
“Hi Paul, I’ve been asked/told to turn the music down (haha) so still playing with my new iFi Nano DAC – but really pleased with it, just getting my head around the type of music it prefers, or let’s say, my system prefers with a MacbookPro using Spotify 320kbps and iTunes. I don’t seem to be able to place another review, but just to say, more plug and play simplicity, arrived promptly with phono to DIN adaptor as promised and was easy to set up with the component showing as an output device in the System Pref / Settings / Sound / Output area of the Mac. Once again highly recommended and definitely got the bug to upgrade what’s left of the Hi Fi not yet dealt with. With thanks, Steve”
The iFi nano iDSD is full of ‘firsts.’ It is the world’s smallest, portable (only 163g), battery-powered, serious DAC that plays ALL high-resolution formats: PCM/DSD/DXD natively.
Its portable form belies its bleeding-edge technological design. With the latest breakthrough True Native® technology from AMR, the music format remains unchanged throughout. PCM (32bit/384kHz), DSD256 (11.2MHz) and DXD (384kHz) via Computer or iPhone/iPad/Android simply sounds stunning; opening up a whole new world of high-end audio quality to a whole new generation of users.
In a palm-sized chassis with an onboard lithium-polymer battery and headphone output, the iDSD is as extraordinary ‘on the go’ as it is in a ‘high-end system’. It handles Computers/Smartphones with aplomb. It even features an SPDIF coax digital output for A/V receivers or similar to offer unrivalled flexibility.
The iDSD. Small in size. Tremendous in technology.
iFi Audio iCAN Micro Headphone Amplifier
Beautifully made and rather remarkable in terms of value for money – this minute box is a high quality headphone amplifier and offers better performance than the Nano. It costs £235
Creating a one-box-fits-all-headphones amplifier was a challenge. That’s because headphones are a diverse lot. So when our engineers designed the new iCAN, they didn’t start with the amplifier; they started with the headphones.
Unlike traditional headphone amplifiers, the design of the iCAN is based on the whole gamut of headphones. This atypical approach has bestowed upon the iCAN a unique ability to realise the full potential of each and every headphone.
First and foremost, it was designed for the finest sound quality. With XBass you hear deeper, richer and cleaner bass. The 3D Holographic Sound system creates headphone-based music that is free-flowing rather than restricted.
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iFi Audio iPHONE MICRO MM/MC Phono Stage
Our final product from iFi Audio is superb MM/MC phono stage costing £350
When you see the iPhono for the first time, you won’t believe your eyes. The compact package belies its serious, heavyweight performance. Its features include 6 x stereo EQ curves, adjustable MC load, dedicated ultra-low noise MC stage, adjustable MM load, adjustable gain, exemplary Class A circuitry with an ultra-wide dynamic range approaching that of CD.
Previously such high-end features have rarely, if at all, been available to only a very select number of phono preamplifiers costing at least 10x more. Despite its modest price and wealth of features, most important of all, the iPhono enhances your vinyl system.
With the iPhono in your vinyl playback system, from the moment the needle is seated in the record grove you will know the iPhono is something special. The fact that this is how vinyl should truly sound, is in no small part due to the Class A TubeState tri-brid amplification which offers a natural, real sound.
To achieve the ultimate performance not previously thought possible, our engineers went back to the Golden Age of audio design. The entire iPhono design is based on exquisite Class A TubeState amplification, a tri-brid of Bi-Polar devices, J-Fets and Advanced Discrete components. This is no ordinary phono stage.
With lower distortion, better dynamics, and excellent transient response, your complete music collection will simply sound alive. Your Rock, Jazz and Classical— music will sound sweet, vivid, and lifelike. The full potential of your music collection realised, at last.
The iPhono isn’t just a perfect match for your LPs. It’s a perfect match for your cartridge, too. With up to 66dB of gain, individually adjustable MM and MC load across a wide range (high-end features available only in phono amplifiers costing many times more) any cartridge at any price may be accommodated optimally, making the iPhono one of the most versatile phono stages to grace the vinyl sector.
When you see the iPhono for the first time, you won’t believe your eyes. The compact package belies its serious, heavyweight performance. Its features include 6 x Stereo EQ curves.
The iPhono has a total number of 6 different Stereo EQ curves to choose from. So you never have to play an LP with the wrong EQ curve ever again and put up with sub-optimal sound quality. This makes the iPhono one of the most tonally-accurate phono preamplifiers ever, period.
|Dynamic Range (MC):||>90dB|
|Signal to Noise Ratio (MM):||>76dB|
|Signal to Noise Ratio (MC):||>82dB|
|Total Harmonic Distortion(THD):||<0.01%|
|Frequency Response:||10Hz – 100KHz ±0.5dB|
|Output Impedance (Zout):||<110Ω|
|Input Voltage:||AC 100 – 240V, 50/60Hz|
|Power Consumption:||< 4W|
Come and have a look and a listen for yourself.
Go here for more info and to look at the potential these products have.