Meze Audio + iFi GO Pod Bundle Review
Meze Audio + iFi GO Pod Bundle Review
Meze Audio has partnered up with iFi Audio to bring HiFi grade True Wireless wearable audio to there High-End IEM’s with the new GO Pods. The GO Pod is a TWS (True Wireless) Bluetooth DAC/Amplifier with a SoC (System on a Chip) solution to integrate the requisite tech into a tiny space.
The device features Qualcomm’s top-tier QCC5144 module, with its 32-bit, quad-core architecture and low power draw in order to minimize the battery drain on the go. To that end, the GO Pod incorporates two Cirrus Logic MasterHIFI chips – one in the left pod, the other in the right. The GO Pod supports Hi-Res Wireless Audio Codec’s such like LDAC and LHDC (HWA) and offers also Qualcomm’s highly praised 24-bit aptX Adaptive codec.
I would like to thank Meze Audio and iFi Audio for providing me the GO Pods for review purposes. I am not affiliated with Meze Audio and iFi Audio beyond this review and these words reflect my true and unaltered opinions about the product.
Price & Availability:
Meze Audio offers two bundle options, which are the RAI Penta + GO Pods bundles sold for 1,199 US$ and the ADVAR + GO Pods bundle that is available for 899 US$. The GO Pods alone are sold for 399 US$ by iFi Audio, which makes both bundle options to a very good deal.
More information’s can be found under the links below;
Package & Accessories:
The iFi GO Pods do come inside rectangular white box that is wrapped with a cardboard that features some brandings and illustrations of the device on the top and some product related information’s at the bottom.
This box of the iFi GO Pod contains the following items/accessories;
- 1x pair of iFi GO Pod True Wireless BT Amplifier
- 3 x pairs of GO Pod ear loops (MMXC, Pentaconn, 2-Pin)
- 1x Charging Case
- 1x USB Type-C to USB A charging cable
- 1x Print Material (User Manual, Quick Start Guide, Warranty Card, iFi Sticker)
Design, Build Quality, Comfort:
The iFi GO Pod’s are IPX5 rated water/sweat resistant True Wireless BT DAC/Amplifier modules that do have a relative compact and lightweight design and do fit perfectly with both the Meze RAI Penta and Meze ADVAR. Each module weights about 12g and has dimensions of approx 43.5 x 16.4 x 9.5mm.
The GO Pod’s do come with 3 pairs of swappable Ear Loops that do utilize MMCX, Pentaconn and 2-Pin male connectors, while iFi Audio offers also other connector options depending on your purchase (Westone T2, A2DC, etc.). The so called Ear Loops do have 2-Pin male connectors at the bottom that do need connect to the female ports on the main modules.
The adapters do have a pretty robust looking plastic housing in black color with a nice textured surface that replicates faux leather that reminds me to the surface area of DSLR cameras.
On the front of each module is a metal surface, divided in to two separated parts that seem made from metal material with engraved surface, which offers a good grip. The large part sports a small LED indicator right at the center that gives information about the actual status (charging, connection, pairing, etc.) of each device.The smaller part that is located at the end of module utilizes a pretty responsive touch sensitive surface.
At the bottom of each GO Pod module is a built-in microphone (mic) for hands-free calls when paired with your Smartphone. The microphones do have a special type of water resistant sound-permeable isolation that is part of the IPX5 water resistance structure of the GO Pod’s.
The rear side of the main module body has a L (left device) or R (right device) marking and features a magnetic surface with 3 small connectors in forms of metal dots, which are dedicated to charge the internal battery of the units.
On the top of each module is a 2-Pin female connetor where you will plug the ear loops.
Charging Box & Battery Life:
The charging box that comes with the GO Pod modules is one of the main attractions, with its futuristic diamond shaped design, which looks pretty impressive. The charging box is entirely made from plastic material in matte black color with a premium look and feel. The box has dimensions of approx 116 x 76 x 38.5 mm and weight about 126g.
On the top of the box is the iFi Audio brand logo.
On the front of the box is a diamond shaped small lid part with a fisnish in gold color.
The left surface sports 4 LED indicators that give information about the battery percentage and charging status of the box.
At the bottom of are four rubber isolations feet’s, some technical specifications & industrial certification.
On the rear surface are the hinge mechanism and the USB Type-C charging port.
Another attraction of the charging box are the two LED lights that do illuminate the GO Pod’s in a beautiful dim blue color that will be activated immediately when you open the lid. The inner surface has a black velvet fabric coating that protects the earphones and the modules from scratches.
The seats do have a magnetic surface to ensure a tight/save connection for the charging process and to avoid any drop out of the monitors. Here are also left and right marking and a small circular pairing button that resets the pairing status when you put both adaptors in to their seats.
The charging box has a 1500mAh built-in battery and offers up to 35 hours of additional battery when fully charged. The case supports both Qi wireless charging and USB-C fast charging. Each iFi GO Pod TWS module features a relative large 180mAh build in battery that offers an average continues playback time of about 7 hours on a single charge, when used at %60 volume and in combination with the AAC codec.
- Model : iFi Audio GO Pod
- DAC : Cirrus Logic MasterHIFI chips
- BT SoC : Qualcomm QCC5144
- BT Version : Bluetooth 5.2™
- BT Codec’s : LDAC*, LHDC/HWA*,aptX Adaptive, aptX, AAC, SBC
- Frequency response : 10-20 kHz(-3dB) LDAC
- THD+N : ≤0.002% (1kHz/32Ω)
- SNR : 32Ω ≥ 129dB (A) / 300Ω ≥ 132dB (A)
- MAX Output Power : 120mW@32Ω; 4V@300Ω
- Auto Impedance Detection : 16Ω / 32Ω / 64Ω / 300Ω
- Transmission distance : approx. 10mt
- Battery : GO pod 180mAh / charging case 1500mAh
- Battery Life : about 7 Hours (with AAC Codec)
- Power System : 5V/1A or 5V/2A Qi certified charger
- Waterproof Level : IPX5
- Charging Connector Type : USB Type-C
- Dimensions (GO pod) : 43.5 x 16.4 x 9.5 mm
- Dimensions (Charging case) : 116 x 76 x 38.5 mm
- Net Weight : GO Pod 12g / Case 126g
Pairing, Navigation, Signal Strength & Call Quality:
The pairing process of the iFi GO Pod’s is pretty simple. Just simply hold the left and right touch surface for 2 seconds. Once you have pair the modules for the first time, the next pairing will done with the paired source automatically. You only need to take it out from the charging box/case at the same time and a female voice will announce the status of your Go Pod’s.
The touch sensitive control surface of the iFi GO Pod’s is very responsive. You can make actions like play/pause, next/previous track, volume up/down, wake up for voice assistant, pairing and reset over the same surface.
The operating distance of the iFi Audio GO Pod modules are about 10 meters, which is pretty stable thanks to the latest Qualcomm QCC 5100 Series chipset and the built-in BT antenna.
The call quality is pretty decent when paired with my Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, since the voice transmissions was quite clean. The built-in microphone utilizes Qualcomm’s cVc noise reduction technology.
Qualcomm QCC5144 Bluetooth SoC:
The iFi Audio GO Pod TWS DAC/Amplifier modules are equipped with Qualcomm’s top-tier QCC5144 Bluetooth 5.2 SoC that utilizes a 32-bit quad-core architecture and low power draw.
The SoC supports high-definition Bluetooth formats such like LDAC and LHDC (HWA) with up to 990kbps bitrate in use with Android devices that support Snapdragon Sound (660kbps with other LDAC-enabled devices).
Another Qualcomm technology enabled in the GO pod is TrueWireless Mirroring. Both the left and right pods can receive Bluetooth signals, but only the one with the strongest connection acts as the receiver while the other mirrors the connected pod. If the listener moves position and the connection to the mirroring pod becomes stronger, they swap over so the mirroring pod becomes the receiver without interrupting the audio signal.
The iFi GO Pod offers a pretty powerful output for a wearable TWS Bluetooth DAC/Amplifier module with up to 120mW @ 32Ω and approx 4V @ 300Ω, which is quite impressive. The GO Pod’s can easily drive the Meze RAI Penta and the ADVAR to pretty high volume levels and do show a decent SNR of 129dB (32Ω ≥) and THD-N value about ≤0.002% (1kHz/32Ω).
- Cirrus Logic MasterHIFI chips
- TDK C0G Multilayer Ceramic Capacitors
- Taiyo Yuden and Murata Inductors
- IPX5 Water & Sweat Resistance
- True Balanced Output Signal
- Analogue Volume Control
- TrueWireless Mirroring
- Qualcomm Snapdragon Sound
Equipment’s used for this review:
- TWS Adaptors : iFi Audio GO Pod
- Paired IEM’s : Meze Audio RAI Penta, Meze Audio ADVAR
- Paired Sources : FiiO M11 Plus ESS, Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, Apple iPad Air2
Albums & tracks used for this review:
- Adele – My Little Love
- Diana Krall – So Wonderful
- First Aid Kit – My Silver Lining
- Sertap Erener – Aşk
- London Grammar – Interlud (Live)
- Isaac Hayes – Walk On By
- Dave Gahan – Kingdom
- Sting – Englishman in New York
- Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight
- B.B. King – Riding With The King
- Edith Piaf – Non Je Ne Regrette Rien
- Charly Antolini – Duwadjuwandadu
- Gogo Penguin – Murmuration
- Alboran Trio’s – Cinque Lunghissimi Minuti
- Fazıl Say – Nazım Oratoryosu (Live)
- Vivaldi – Le QuarttroStagioni “The Four Season
- Otto Liebert& Luna Negra – The River
- Daft Punk – Doin’ it Right
- Lorde – Royal
- Massive Attack – Angel
- U2 – Sunday Bloody Sunday
- Metallica – Sad but True
- Megadeth – Sweating Bullets
- Slayer – Angel of Death
- Tom Player – Resonance Theory
- Liquid Tension Experiment 2 – Acid Rain
The iFi Audio GO Pod’s do have a relative uncolored presentation with slightly boost in the lows and the upper midrange. The lower frequency region is produced with a decent level of depth, intensity and control, especially for a TWS DAC/AMP adapter. The midrange shows a good grade of clarity, airiness and resolution, especially in the upper midrange register, while the treble area is shown with a nice sense of presence and brilliance, which also stands out with its texture and extension with all IEM’s I have paired.
Both the Meze RAI Penta and the Meze ADVAR do show a great synergy when paired with the iFi Audio GO Pod’s. The sense of resolution, imaging and dynamism produced with both combos is quite impressive, especially in TWS (True Wireless) standards.
Meze Audio RAI Penta + iFi Audio GO Pod:
The Meze RAI Penta + iFi Audio GO Pod’s combination shows a very good synergy from the lows up to the highs. It is really nice to have such a True Wireless experience with a high-end flagship IEM.
The bass gains a small but audible amount of extra volume and intensity that is not overdone. Subbass region of the Meze RAI Penta is produced with a slightly higher sense of depth and rumble, which is welcome and the level of speed and control is pretty close to what you get with a cable connection. The midbass area sounds pretty tight and impactful, while listen to instruments such like an electro guitar and to percussions. The overall bass response of the Meze RAI Penta remains pretty natural and musical, when paired with the GO Pod’s without to sound overwhelming.
The Meze RAI Penta + iFi Audio GO Pod combination shows a mildly warm midrange tonality with a fairly soft, full bodied and highly musical presentation. The sense of clarity and airiness is pretty good while listen to complex passages with lots of instruments. Male voices do have a tad more body/fullness that is created in the lower midrange of the iFi Audio GO Pod’s. Female vocals on the other hand do sound pretty lively and transparent, without to show any additional sibilance and sharpness.
The treble rang of the Meze RAI Penta remains mostly loyal to the original tuning when connected with the iFi Audio GO Pod’s. Percussions are reproduced with an efficient grade of brightness and extension. The level of airiness and sparkle produced in the upper treble register is decent. The Go Pod’s do offer a quite successful performance in terms of attack, presence and extensions when paired with the RAI Penta.
The iFi Audio GO Pod doesn’t cut much of the excellent soundstage performance of the Meze RAI Penta. The soundstage remains spacious and the separation of instruments and vocals is decent for a TWS BT DAC/AMP module.
Meze Audio ADVAR + iFi Audio GO Pod:
The Meze Audio ADVAR is one of my favorite IEM’s with its nicely balanced sound and impressive sense of clarity and airiness, along with an excellent level of resolution, which pairs pretty well with the iFi Audio GO Pod’s.
The Meze Audio ADVAR is known with its pretty entertaining yet controlled subbass response, which shows a decent grade of depth and rumble when paired with the iFi Audio GO Pod’s. The midbass area is produced in a nicely textured, clean and balanced manner by the GO Pod’s, which was one of the highlights that the ADVAR offers. The ADVAR + GO Pod combo shows a pretty controlled and extended presentation when I do listen to instruments such like an electro guitar, cross or snare drum in metal music.
The Meze Audio ADVAR has a pretty natural and balanced midrange tuning that remains quite unchanged, with exception of a slightly boost in the upper midrange area. The sense of transparency and airiness is reflected by the GO Pod in a quite successful manner. You can hear the decent grade of detail retrieval while listen to the AVDVAR + GO Pod combo while listen to both vocals and instruments. I have enjoyed the pretty lush and musical presentation of the ADVAR paired with the GO Pod’s.
The treble range of the iFi GO Pod shows a very low amount of coloration that doesn’t affects the decent presentation and character of the Meze Audio ADVAR. The sense of clarity and definition of the ADVAR + GO Pod combo is quite successful, while the extension is on an adequate level. Transition from the upper midrange towards the treble region does sound in general relative controlled. Instruments from percussions to soprano voices are reproduced with a decent grade of clarity, brightness and resolution, which proofs how capable the iFi GO Pod’s are.
When it comes to the performance in terms of soundstage and imaging, I can say that it remains quite decent when paired with the iFi GO Pod, which was one of the main highlights of the Meze Audio ADVAR that
The iFi Audio GO Pod is a truly impressive wearable TWS DAC/Amplifier that offers lots of excellent features and a solid sonic performance. Great to see that Meze Audio is one of the companies that has partnered up with iFi Audio in order to offer a True Wireless wearable audio experience for both the RAI Penta and the ADVAR that do show a great synergy with the GO Pod’s. Moreover, the price of the bundles is more affordable than to buy the products separately, which makes it even more worth the buy.
Pros & Cons:
- + Excellent Sonic Performance for a True Wireless wearable DAC/Amplifier
- + Great Synergy with Meze ADVAR and RAI Penta
- + Good Battery Life
- + IPX5 Water Resistant
- + Battery Box looks stunning (LED lights that do illuminate the GO Pod’s)
- + LDAC Codec
- – No dedicated APP
- – A bit pricy if you want to buy it separately
- – Slightly amount of sonic coloration in the lows and the upper midrange
Thank you for the Read!