iFi GO Blu : Ultra Portable DAC/Amplifier

 

 

 

 

iFi GO Blu: Ultra Portable DAC/Amplifier

 

iFi audio is a UK based manufacturer of desktop and portable high-end audio equipment that uses the latest technology, materials and consumer feedback to provide an audiophile quality listening experience at an affordable price.

The GO Blu Wireless BT DAC/Amplifier has been officially announced today seems to be created exactly for this goal.

GO blu is iFi’s most diminutive DAC/headphone amp yet that connects your wired headphones wirelessly to sources such like smartphones, tablets, laptops, or other Bluetooth audio source device.

 

 

Portability:

The iFi Audio GO blu can pair with your source device via Bluetooth. It is pretty small with diameters of about 55x34x13mm, which is similar in size to a Zippo lighter. It is also fairly lightweight with approx. 26g, which is less than an AA battery.

 

 

Hardware:

Most pocket-size Bluetooth DAC/headphone amps incorporate all-in-one ‘system on a chip’ solutions to deliver input processing, digital-to-analogue signal conversion and amplification.

The GO blu seems to be unique, for a device of this type and size, the GO blu’s design packs in separate Bluetooth, DAC and amp stages, each engineered in distinct blocks.

 

 

Connectivity:

The iFi Audio GO Blu is Bluetooth v5.1-compliant, to ensure the best possible range, stability and performance.

Making full use of Qualcomm’s latest four-core QCC5100 Bluetooth processing chip, every current high-definition Bluetooth audio format is supported, including aptX Adaptive and aptX HD, LDAC and HWA/LHDC. Other codecs covered include regular aptX and aptX Low Latency, AAC and SBC (the ‘plain vanilla’ Bluetooth codec).

The GO Blu can also operate as USB DAC/Amplifier when you want to go wired, just use the USB-C connection and enjoy High-Res USB audio too, with PCM audio up to 24-bit/96kHz.

The Bluetooth/USB stage feeds the DAC stage, with a Cirrus Logic 32-bit DAC chip at its heart. This is coupled with a customised digital filter to minimise pre-echoes and ringing artefacts, and a precision clock system to ensure ultra-low jitter, thus reducing errors and distortion in the digital audio signal.

 

 

Amplification:

The Go blu amplifier stage benefits from symmetrical twin-mono signal paths and utilises iFi’s Direct Drive design concept. It incorporates circuit components of a quality not commonly found in a device of this kind.

This means ultra-low distortion across the entire signal bandwidth.  The sound is purer, clearer and more naturally expressive.

The amp stage delivers up to 5.6V – considerably more power than other similarly sized devices – handling even relatively tough headphone loads with ease. To ensure signal strength suits the sensitivity of the connected headphones or earphones, auto-gain adjusts output up or down by 6dB.

 

 

The X-Factor: Sonic Tailoring.

Further sonic tailoring is provided by two user-selectable features familiar to users of other portable headphone amps from iFi.

The first is XBass, a sophisticated form of ‘bass boost’ that enhances low frequencies without muddying the midrange, particularly useful with earphones and open-back headphones that may lack deep bass.

The second is XSpace, a setting designed to compensate for the ‘in-head localisation’ effect that can occur when using headphones to listen to music that was mixed using a pair of speakers, effectively widening the headphone soundstage to deliver a more spacious and speaker-like experience.

Both these optional settings operate entirely in the analogue domain rather than messing with the digital signal via DSP (Digital Signal Processing) and may be switched in or out of the signal path.

 

 

Output Options (Single Ended & Balanced):

The GO blu is equiped with two outputs 3.5mm Single Ended and a Pentaconn 4.4mm output enabling headphones equipped with balanced connectivity to take full advantage of the GO blu’s balanced amp design.

In addition, the 3.5mm output benefits from iFi’s proprietary S-Balanced circuitry. This cuts crosstalk and related distortion in half when used with regular, single-ended headphone connections, this is especially beneficial with high-sensitivity in-ear monitors.

 

 

Design:

The Go blu has a lightweight, soft-touch polymer enclosure, which is a good material for Bluetooth reception, unlike signal-blocking metal. It has other design element such like a copper-coloured trim and watch crown-style control.

GO blu‘s ChronoDial offer a precise analogue control. You can use it to adjust volume, play, pause, and skip tracks forward and backwards and even activate the voice assistant on your Bluetooth-connected smart device.

 

 

Other Features:

GO blu’s chip-based CMOS-MEMS microphone enables hands-free calls and access to voice assistants such as Apple Siri and Google Assistant.

Battery life up to 8 hours will vary based on use, volume level, and power draw of headphones.

Further flexibility is provided by the USB-C charging port, which doubles as an audio input enabling USB connection from source devices that don’t offer Bluetooth connectivity. Hi-res PCM audio data up to 24-bit/96kHz is supported when the GO blu is connected in this way.

 

 

iFi audio GO blu – summary:

  • Pocket-size DAC/amp delivers heavenly headphone sound on the go
  • Connect wirelessly to phones, tablets and computers via high-definition Bluetooth
  • Separate Bluetooth, DAC and amp stages – individually optimised for maximum performance
  • Balanced analogue circuit design delivers captivating sonic power and finesse
  • Fully balanced and S-Balanced outputs make the most of all headphone and earphone types
  • Whatever the source device – Android, iOS, PC or Mac – GO blu delivers maximum sound quality over Bluetooth

 

 

iFi audio GO blu – key features:

  • Advanced Bluetooth module with QCC5100 handles every HD format
  • Supported codecs include: aptX, aptX HD, aptX LL, aptX Adaptive, LDAC, HWA/LHDC, AAC, SBC
  • Hi-res DAC stage with ultra-low jitter and customised digital filter
  • Amp stage with twin-mono signal paths and Direct Drive technology ensures ultra-low distortion
  • Precision rotary volume control with auto-gain – adjusts output to match your headphones
  • Delivers up to 5.6V of power – drives even tough headphone loads with ease
  • Two headphone outputs: 4.4mm Pentaconn fully balanced and 3.5mm S-Balanced
  • S-Balanced output cuts distortion by 50% with single-ended headphone connections
  • XBass and XSpace – tailor sound to suit your headphones and personal sonic taste
  • Built-in mic for hands-free calls when paired with your smartphone
  • Can also be used as a Bluetooth receiver in a speaker-based audio system (via the 3.5mm output) or as a USB DAC/headphone amp (via the USB-C charging port)
  • Battery life – approximately eight hours (varies according to volume level and the power demands of the connected headphones/earphones)

 

 

Technical Specs:

ChipsetQualcomm QCC 5100 Series
InputsWireless

Wired

Bluetooth 5.1 ( AAC, SBC, aptX, aptX HD,
aptX Adaptive, aptX LL, LDAC, LHDC/HWA Codec)USB-C up to 24/96kHz
Headphone OutputsBalanced
Single Ended
4.4mm
3.5mm
Power OutputBalanced
Single Ended
245mW @ 32Ω; 5.6V @ 600Ω
165mW @ 32Ω; 2.8V @ 600Ω
Output ImpedanceBalanced
Single Ended
<1Ω
<1Ω
SNRBalanced
Single Ended
111dBA
106.5dBA
DNR120dB(A) (BAL/UnBAL)
THD + NBalanced
Single Ended
<0.009% (6.5mW/2.0V @ 600Ω)/
<0.03% (100mW/1.27V @ 16Ω)
Frequency Response20Hz – 45kHz (-3dB)
BatteryLithium-polymer 450mAh approx. ~10 hours
Power SystemCharging via USB-C, BC V1.2 compliant up to
1000mA charging current and 6.3 volts
Dimensions55 x 34 x 13 mm
2.2″ x 1.3″ x 0.5”
Weight26g (0.92 oz)
Warranty period12 months

 

Price and Availability:

The MSRP price of the iFi GO Blu is $199 USD. More informations can be found under the link below;

 

 

Thank you for the Read!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: