This Pocket-Sized Bluetooth Headphone Amplifier Is Perfect For Wired And Wireless Listening

The tiny ifi go blu is no bigger than a zippo lighter and offers an advanced dac and amplifier for… [+] using wired headphones with smartphones and computers.

If you love listening to hi-res music on the go, this little gadget from ifi is sure to tickle your fancy. This delightfully small dac and headphone amp is no bigger than a zippo lighter and weighs less than a single aa battery.

Reading: Headphone amplifier bluetooth

The iFi Go Blu pairs wirelessly with a smartphone, tablet, or computer via Bluetooth. you don’t need any cables. just pair…and go. but while the go blu is very convenient and produces flawless sound for any pair of headphones.

Most pocket-size bluetooth headphone/dac amplifiers use an all-in-one “system on a chip” to handle input, digital-to-analog conversion, and amplification. these devices are easy to implement and are inexpensive, but they are not expertly designed with optimized circuit stages.

for a device of this type and size, the go blu is unusual in that it has a clever design that includes separate bluetooth, dac, and amplifier stages, each stage designed in distinct blocks to deliver better quality sound than a standard design. .

according to ifi, the way bluetooth is implemented on the go blu is anything but “normal”. Taking full advantage of Qualcomm’s latest QCC5100 quad-core Bluetooth processing chip, all current high-definition Bluetooth audio codecs are supported, including APTX Adaptive and APTX HD, LDAC, and HWA/LHDC Plus AAC Use by Apple on iOS devices and the basic sbc bluetooth codec.

the ifi go blu is tiny and can run for up to eight hours on a single charge of its … [+] built-in battery.

Supporting such a wide range of codecs, the go blu can connect at the highest quality supported by the device streaming the audio. I can’t think of any other pocket amp/dac that will work with many codecs. The Go Blu is based on Bluetooth v5.1 to ensure the best possible range, stability and performance. better yet, its ‘bluetooth engine’ can be updated over the air.

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The go blu’s bluetooth circuitry powers the dac stage, which uses a 32-bit cirrus logic dac chip. this is combined with a custom digital filter that minimizes pre-echoes and ringing artifacts. There is also a precision clock system to ensure ultra-low jitter, reducing errors and distortion in the digital audio signal.

The analog circuitry in many of ifi’s audio devices focuses on a balanced design, traditionally a high-end concept. the go blu uses the same high-end design despite its small size. The amplifier circuitry has symmetrical mono-twin signal paths utilizing IFI’s direct drive design concept: direct coupling to ensure the signal path is clean and free of distortion-inducing output coupling capacitors.

In true ifi style, the go blu incorporates high-quality components not normally found in devices at this price point, including tdk c0g multilayer ceramic capacitors and inductors from taiyo yuden and murata. the net result is ultra-low distortion across the entire signal bandwidth and a sound that it claims is pure, clear and naturally expressive. The amp stage delivers up to 5.6v, more power than other small amps/dacs, capable of driving headphones that are difficult to drive. To ensure that the signal strength is matched to the sensitivity of the connected headphones or earphones, there is an auto gain feature that adjusts the output up or down by around 6dB.

the little ifi go blu has two headphone jacks. one is for a 3.5mm unbalanced plug while the other is a 4.4mm balanced pentacon plug.

To shape the sound of this little device, there’s something called xbass, a sophisticated form of “bass boost” that enhances the lower frequencies without affecting the midrange. this is particularly useful with headphones and open-back headphones that can be a bit light on bass. the second sound shaping feature is called xspace, a setting designed to compensate for the “head localization” effect that can occur when using headphones to listen to music that has been mixed with a pair of speakers. xspace widens the soundstage to create a more spacious sound that is more like listening to a pair of speakers. these two optional settings are applied to the analog signal instead of altering the digital signal through digital signal processing.

the ifi go blu has two headphone outputs. one is a 3.5mm headphone jack with a single-ended connector. The second output is the relatively new 4.4mm pentaconn jack which allows balanced headphones to take full advantage of the Go Blu’s balanced amp design. In addition, the 3.5mm output benefits from IFI’s balanced S circuitry, which reduces crosstalk and related distortion by half when used with regular single-ended headphone connections.

With its watch crown volume control and soft-touch polymer case, the iFi Go Blu is a stylish and convenient way to listen to wired headphones via Bluetooth.

go blu may seem counterintuitive when using bluetooth to connect to wired headsets. why not connect the headphones directly to a smartphone or use a pair of wireless bluetooth headphones instead? Well, in the first instance, many smartphones don’t even have a headphone jack and using a standard pair of Bluetooth headphones can’t match the high audio quality that the Go Blu can deliver. it all comes down to the sound quality of wireless headphones that integrate bluetooth processing, d/a conversion and amplification into a single tiny chip and there is a limit to the sound quality they can achieve.

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Pick up a good pair of wired headphones or in-ear monitors and pair them with a high-quality stand-alone portable dac/headphone amp, and the sound quality you can get will beat any pair of wireless headphones or earphones, plus you can use High-quality wired headphones with devices that do not have a headphone output. go blu offers a powerful dac/pocket headphone amplifier with bluetooth connectivity, backed by enhanced sound quality that can deliver the kind of sound you’d normally expect to hear from an adult hifi system.

Use the iFi Go Blue to wirelessly stream music from a smartphone to wired headphones…[+] It’s an ideal solution for people who want better quality sound than many can provide. pairs of wireless headphones.

The iFi Go Blu is housed in a lightweight, soft-touch polymer case with a copper-colored rim and a watch-crown-style control. The device even has a high-quality chip-based microphone (CMOS-MEMS) for hands-free phone calls, voice chat for gaming, and access to voice assistants like Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant.

Power for the Go Blu comes from an 8-hour rechargeable battery that can be recharged via the USB-C charging port. that usb-c port works as an audio input so devices without bluetooth can connect via usb. The Go Blu supports PCM audio data up to 24bit/96khz when using a wired connection.

I haven’t had a chance to listen to the new iFi Go Blu, but if it does half of what it says it will be a brilliant little gadget for those of us who refuse to compromise when listening to music on the go. For someone like me who loves using wired headphones but has a smartphone that doesn’t have a headphone jack, it’s the answer to a prayer. finally, the price is reasonable for what is offered. I can see the go blu proving to be a popular travel companion with audiophiles everywhere.

price and availability: the ifi go blu bluetooth dac/amp for headphones is available from September 10 and costs £199 / $199.

more information:


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  • advanced bluetooth module with qcc5100 handles all hd formats
  • supported codecs: aptx, aptxhd, aptxll, aptx adaptive, ldac, hwa/lhdc, aac, sbc
  • hi-res dac stage with ultra-low jitter and custom digital filter
  • amp stage with dual mono signal paths and direct drive technology for ultra-low distortion
  • rotary volume control precision auto-gain
  • up to 5.6v power to drive “difficult” headphones
  • two fully balanced 4.4mm and 3.5mm pentaconn headphone outputs s-balanced
  • s-balanced output reduces distortion by 50% with single-ended headphone connections
  • xbass and xspace
  • built-in microphone for hands-free calling when paired with a smartphone
  • can be used as a bluetooth receiver in a speaker-based audio system
  • duration n battery life: about 8 hours

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