iFi Audio - Official Brand Thread

I have the Zen Blue at work. Now that you have a Go Blu, maybe I’ll have to call it a Stay Blu.

If my preferred carry-along headphones - the Grado RS1e had a lightweight detachable cable, this would be an ideal pairing. How long do I have to wait for an e-stat version?

If anyone is in the market for one, I purchased through the website host.

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I’m slowly starting to think I’m a real fan of this brand:

They have an incredibly high hit rate in terms of sound quality and features :wink:

and now this:

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I know I like the original xDSD. This new one looks to be a significant upgrade. The Bluetooth 5.1 is important to me, although I suspect the Zen Blue V2 with it’s add-on antenna will provide a more stable BT connection. I don’t want to sound like a testimonial generator, but I’ve been very pleased with iFi’s niche and mid-range products. Being a niche and mid-range person, I have less of a use case for TOTL…

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A few weeks ago I had an old friend as a guest and we talked about my “excessive” headphone collection, all the accessories that are lying around in my household.

And he asked me if I had to make a decision, to opt for only one stationary and one mobile solution, which in view of all the relevant factors (convenience, sound quality, cross-genre tonal balance, rocking foot factor …)
would satisfy.

Which, in view of the changed situation in the context of energy policy measures in Germany, I might even only be able to use.

I was even able to make my decision relatively quickly.

Ist might be a surprise for many, but it‘s all about synergie:

Zen Stream, Zen Dac, Zen Can :man_shrugging:

simplicity

—————————————————————————

The headphone brands differed, but the amp solution was both from ifi-Audio.

I’m actually really excited about the Zen Stream, which is an essential factor in the chain’s synergy.
The spatial “opening” is simply hard to believe for this price. This literally “extracts” the music as if you were removing the curtain from a window.
At least in comparison with the Bluenode N130 or playing directly from the PC.

And the HD600 reacts very sensitively to these properties.

Potato soup with sausages, over suschi, so to speak :wink: :grinning:

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Yikes! That looks like my wife’s collection of shoes. I am just a bit surprised at the choices.

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I looked at @Lothar_Wolf’s collection and tried to identify all of the cans. I think I accurately named about 75 percent of that impressive collection.

Fun!

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Did you guess the third one from the back (brown headband)?

fotor_1637700923665

(I am seriously curious as to what it is!)

pretty sure that’s a beyerdynamic Aventho.

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Good eye (and memory)!

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Not a single clue, mate!

Crazy good eye there indeed!

So, @SebastienChiu, I’m thinking about my transportable situation. I’ve got the old xDSD, and if I use it wired, it’s pretty darn good with my usual chains. My usual chains up until now. I like the Burr Brown DAC implementation. Power is fine for the Grado RS1e that I usually run it with. Fine for the Sennheiser HD-580 that I sometimes use when I’m away. Not bad with the Sennheiser HD-6xx that I sometimes listen to in the easy chair. It’s OK with the Hifiman HE-560s that don’t get so much ear time.

But now I’ve got the RAD-0. And there is just too much distance between the xDSD capability with them and my desktop setup, the Schiit Lyr 3 and Bifrost 2 combo.

So @Lothar_Wolf likes the Micro iDSD Signature. Apparently better than the Diablo, because I think he likes xSpace and xBass. I kind of like them too, they are convenient.

I know the Gryphon is pretty new. And iFi seems to come out with new stuff on a regular basis. While battery use is a consideration, I don’t mind something that plugs in. I think that $1K is the limit that I’d want to spend - maybe I can sell the xDSD. What’s in the pipeline? What are your thoughts?

I was thinking the Diablo would probably have the best sound, but reviews show both concerns with battery life and the fact that it doesn’t have the xBass/xSpace. Bluetooth isn’t a real factor as I prefer wired, but if there is BT, I would want BT5 like in my Zen Blue v2.

My feeling about the Micro iDSD Signature is that it’s been around long enough that I’m expecting to see something new to replace it in the lineup. Or was that already done by the Gryphon?

I’m not looking to spend more than the Diablo. Unless you have something really really tempting coming up.

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So, I have been working on a small meet here in Pittsburgh and iFi are very kindly sending the iDSD Pro.

Details can be found here:

iFi Audio recently lent me their “PowerStation” power bar/power distribution system. I was curious about it as I had no previous experience with power products beyond a simple power bar/wall outlet. It is a somewhat murky area, with a lot of audiophile “voodoo” type products in the space, some costing tens of thousands of dollars. iFi’s PowerStation seemed to be more inline with the simple idea of using an active (powered) system to clean up the incoming power from the wall, provide surge protection, at a fairly real world price of $799CAD (Amazon price.) There does seem to be a discrepancy in the pricing as some stores have it listed $1099CAD. I’m not sure what the current price is. EDIT: MSRP is $749USD

The PowerStation has 8 outlets (6 in the UK and EU) as well as a ground cable input if you are having troubles with grounding.

In terms of sonic changes that I heard, there wasn’t a huge difference vs. directly from the wall. Perhaps a slightly blacker background, which allowed for slightly more detail to be heard. It is possible that the power I get from my wall isn’t incredibly noisy in the first place. I think that if you have problems with noise from your wall power, this product makes more sense, as it will certainly make a difference. Also, if you continually have problems with ground loops on multiple devices, the PowerStation could be a very simple, and convenient way of dealing with those in one go, vs using multiple ground loop solutions on individual devices.

The build quality of the PowerStation is great, and feels substantial and well built. Its chassis is made with a nice grey powder coated finish, and the outlets are black.

For a beginner or intermediate in the hobby, who is still figuring out what they like, which headphones or speakers they prefer, their amp and DAC situation etc…I wouldn’t recommend the PowerStation, especially if you aren’t hearing any noise from your power from the wall. I think it begins to make much more sense for someone who has figured out what they like, and they are fairly set with headphones and source gear decisions. Adding the PowerStation in that situation may very well bring about a blacker background, and slightly more perceived detail from your set up. Don’t forgo a better pair of headphones or better piece of source gear to budget for the PowerStation, but if you are at the tweaking your set up for the best possible results, I would certainly recommend giving it a try, especially if you can hear noise from your power source, or have ground loop issues.

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How practical do you think it would be with wall warts or power cables with large plugs?

It looks like all the outlets are aligned to point down the PowerStation, which would result in a wall wart potentially covering one of the other outlets. I wonder why they didn’t turn the outlets 90 degrees, so that wall warts would then be pointing away from the PowerStation.

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Thats a good question. I guess it would depend on the wall wart or power supply being used. I think the ELITE power supply from iFi has a lot of the same filtering tech in it as the powerstation so with those perhaps theres no point. With a cheap SMPS it would be more likely to help. That’s a really good point about the direction of the sockets…

Large plugs weren’t a problem, but I didn’t try it with angled wall warts, which may actually be a problem in terms of covering two outlets depending on their length.

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We appreciate the review! To clarify, the price of the PowerStation is $749.

Is that USD? So it’s $1099CAD?

Yes, correct all around. USD to your correct price estimation in CAD.

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