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iFi Go Blu Review: Pocket-Sized DAC/Amp Power

Welcome to our review of the iFi Go Blu, a pocket-sized DAC/headphone amp that combines wireless convenience with high-fidelity audio. But here’s a surprising fact: did you know that the iFi Go Blu offers aptX HD, aptX Low Latency, and aptX Adaptive support, along with LDAC and balanced headphone outputs? That’s right, this tiny device packs a punch when it comes to both features and performance.

With a price tag of £199 ($199, AU$299), the iFi Go Blu not only stands out for its wireless capabilities but also its affordability compared to other DAC/headphone amps on the market. It’s a true powerhouse in a small package, delivering high-quality audio on the go without compromising on features or sound.

Key Takeaways:

  • The iFi Go Blu offers aptX HD, aptX Low Latency, and aptX Adaptive support, along with LDAC and balanced headphone outputs.
  • This pocket-sized DAC/headphone amp provides high-fidelity audio on the go.
  • With a price tag of £199 ($199, AU$299), it offers a combination of wireless convenience and affordability.
  • The iFi Go Blu is a powerful device that doesn’t compromise on features or sound quality.
  • Stay tuned for a detailed review of the iFi Go Blu’s design, performance, and user experience.

Price and Competition

The iFi Go Blu, a pocket-sized DAC/headphone amp, is priced competitively at £199 ($199, AU$299). With its unique wireless capabilities, it stands out in the market. While there aren’t many devices that offer similar features, there are a couple of alternatives worth considering.

“The iFi Go Blu provides exceptional value for its price, offering a combination of wireless functionality and high-quality audio.” – AudioTech Pro

When comparing the iFi Go Blu to other options, two notable competitors come to mind:

Device Price
Audiolab M-DAC Nano £149 ($199)
AudioQuest DragonFly Cobalt £269

Note: Prices are approximate and may vary.

The Audiolab M-DAC Nano, priced at £149 ($199), offers a more budget-friendly option. However, it doesn’t provide the same level of wireless functionality as the iFi Go Blu.

On the other hand, the AudioQuest DragonFly Cobalt, priced at £269, sits at a higher price point. While it offers excellent audio performance, it also lacks the wireless capabilities found in the iFi Go Blu.

In summary, the iFi Go Blu competes well in terms of price and wireless functionality. Its competitors, the Audiolab M-DAC Nano and the AudioQuest DragonFly Cobalt, have their own unique features, but they don’t quite match the level of wireless convenience that the iFi Go Blu offers.

Customer Review:

  • “The iFi Go Blu’s price is very competitive, especially considering its wireless capabilities. It’s a great investment for portable audio enthusiasts.” – Sarah D., Verified Buyer

Design and Build

iFi Go Blu Design

The iFi Go Blu is a marvel of design, combining sleek aesthetics with impressive functionality. Its compact size and lightweight build make it incredibly portable, fitting easily into your pocket or bag. With a footprint barely bigger than two UK postage stamps, this device is perfect for on-the-go music enthusiasts.

The iFi Go Blu features a soft-touch polymer front plate that not only looks premium but also adds to the device’s overall durability. Although it’s made of plastic, which some may find slightly flimsy, this material has been intentionally chosen to optimize Bluetooth reception.

On the top right corner, you’ll find a rotary dial that serves as both a volume control and playback options switch. This intuitive design element ensures easy and convenient use of the device.

The iFi Go Blu also boasts a dedicated power button, allowing you to easily turn it on and off. Its multi-use USB-C port serves a dual purpose – charging the device and providing audio input. This versatility adds to the convenience and functionality of the iFi Go Blu.

To cater to different headphone preferences, the device offers both balanced and unbalanced headphone jacks. This feature ensures compatibility with a wide range of headphones, offering flexibility to users.

With its sleek design, durable build, and convenient controls, the iFi Go Blu exemplifies a brilliant fusion of style and functionality.

Features and Specifications

The iFi Go Blu offers a range of impressive features and specifications that elevate your audio experience. Let’s take a closer look:

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Bluetooth Connectivity

The iFi Go Blu supports Bluetooth 5.1, ensuring a stable and reliable wireless connection. Whether you’re streaming music from your smartphone, tablet, or computer, you can enjoy seamless audio playback without the hassle of cables or wires.

AptX HD, aptX Adaptive, aptX Low Latency, LDAC, LHDC, AAC, and SBC Support

With support for a wide range of Bluetooth audio formats, including aptX HD, aptX Adaptive, aptX Low Latency, LDAC, LHDC, AAC, and SBC, the iFi Go Blu ensures high-quality audio transmission. You can experience untethered music with exceptional clarity, detail, and low latency.

Cirrus Logic 43131 32-bit DAC Chip

At the heart of the iFi Go Blu is the Cirrus Logic 43131 32-bit DAC chip. This advanced chip provides pristine digital-to-analog conversion, delivering audiophile-grade sound quality that brings your music to life. You’ll experience enhanced depth, dynamics, and transparency in your audio.

iFi XBass and XSpace Sound Effects

The iFi Go Blu features iFi’s XBass and XSpace sound effects, allowing you to tailor the audio to your preferences. XBass enhances the low frequencies, delivering a more powerful and impactful bass response. XSpace creates a wider soundstage, immersing you in a spacious and enveloping listening experience.

Battery Life and Hi-Res Audio Support

Powered by a built-in battery, the iFi Go Blu offers up to 10 hours of continuous playback, ensuring you can enjoy your music on the go for extended periods. Additionally, when connected to your device via USB, it supports hi-res PCM audio files up to 24-bit/96kHz, delivering studio-quality sound reproduction.

Features Specifications
Bluetooth Version 5.1
Bluetooth Audio Formats aptX HD, aptX Adaptive, aptX Low Latency, LDAC, LHDC, AAC, SBC
DAC Chip Cirrus Logic 43131 32-bit
iFi Sound Effects XBass, XSpace
Battery Life Up to 10 hours
Hi-Res Audio Support PCM files up to 24-bit/96kHz

Sound Quality

iFi Go Blu sound quality image

The iFi Go Blu delivers exceptional sound quality that will elevate your listening experience. With its advanced technology and robust performance, this portable DAC/headphone amp produces a wide soundstage, allowing you to immerse yourself in your favorite music. The accurate mids and detailed treble capture every nuance and instrument, bringing your tracks to life with brilliant clarity.

One of the standout features of the iFi Go Blu is its ability to deliver a dynamic bass that adds depth and impact to your tunes. Whether you’re listening to bass-heavy tracks or intricate melodies, this device delivers a well-balanced low-end response that enhances your overall enjoyment.

In addition to its impressive sound reproduction, the iFi Go Blu also offers the XBass and XSpace sound effects. These features allow you to customize your audio experience, tailoring the sound to your personal preferences. XBass adds extra punch to the bass frequencies, perfect for genres like hip-hop or electronic music, while XSpace provides a spacious sound signature that opens up the music and creates a more immersive listening environment.

The iFi Go Blu’s ability to drive headphones to high volume levels without distortion is another testament to its sound quality. You can enjoy your music at the ideal volume without sacrificing clarity or fidelity.

Compared to listening via Bluetooth alone, the iFi Go Blu makes a significant difference in sound quality. Its built-in DAC (Digital-to-Analog Converter) and headphone amplifier enhance the audio signal, resulting in cleaner and more accurate sound reproduction. Whether you’re using the iFi Go Blu with wired or wireless headphones, you can expect a noticeable improvement in sound quality across all genres and musical styles.

The iFi Go Blu takes your audio experience to the next level, offering exceptional sound quality with precise details, powerful bass, and customizable sound effects.

What Users Are Saying:

  • “The soundstage on the iFi Go Blu is incredibly wide, making the music come alive.”
  • “The bass response is fantastic, driving even my high-impedance headphones with ease.”
  • “I love the added features like XBass and XSpace, which allow me to tailor the sound to my preferences.”
  • “Compared to other portable DACs, the iFi Go Blu stands out with its exceptional sound quality.”

Bluetooth and Wired Connectivity

iFi Go Blu Bluetooth connectivity

The iFi Go Blu is designed to provide flexible connectivity options for a seamless audio experience. With Bluetooth 5.1 support, this portable DAC/headphone amp offers reliable wireless connectivity, allowing you to enjoy your music without the hassle of wires. It is compatible with various Bluetooth codecs, ensuring high-quality audio playback. With a range of up to 5 meters, you can move around freely while still staying connected to your source device.

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Pairing the iFi Go Blu with your Bluetooth-enabled devices is quick and easy, so you can start enjoying your favorite tunes in no time. Simply follow the intuitive pairing process, and you’ll be ready to go. Whether you’re using your smartphone, tablet, or laptop, the iFi Go Blu provides a convenient and hassle-free wireless listening experience.

In addition to its Bluetooth capabilities, the iFi Go Blu also offers a wired connectivity option. With a USB-C port, you can connect the device to your source device for a stable and reliable audio connection. The USB-C port serves as both a charging port and an audio input, making it versatile and convenient.

Hi-Res Audio Support

When connected via USB, the iFi Go Blu can support hi-res PCM files up to 24-bit/96kHz, ensuring you can enjoy your music in the highest quality possible. This allows for a more detailed and nuanced listening experience, bringing your favorite tracks to life.

Bluetooth vs. Wired Connectivity

Connectivity Bluetooth Wired
Convenience Wireless connection Physical connection
Range Up to 5 meters N/A
Audio Quality Dependent on Bluetooth codecs Supports hi-res PCM files up to 24-bit/96kHz
Device Compatibility Compatible with Bluetooth-enabled devices Compatible with USB-C devices

Pros and Cons

When considering the iFi Go Blu, it’s important to weigh its pros and cons. This portable DAC/headphone amp offers a range of benefits, but it also has a few drawbacks to consider.

Pros of the iFi Go Blu

  • Compact Size: The iFi Go Blu is incredibly small and lightweight, making it easy to carry and use on the go.
  • Wireless Functionality: With Bluetooth 5.1, the iFi Go Blu offers a convenient wireless listening experience, eliminating the need for wires.
  • Excellent Sound Quality: The iFi Go Blu delivers high-quality audio with a wide soundstage, accurate mids, and detailed treble.
  • Range of Features: This device supports aptX HD, aptX Low Latency, aptX Adaptive, LDAC, and more, providing a versatile listening experience.
  • Easy to Use: The iFi Go Blu features intuitive controls and a straightforward interface, making it user-friendly for both beginners and audiophiles.

Cons of the iFi Go Blu

  • Lack of MQA or DSD Support: Some audiophiles may be disappointed by the absence of MQA or DSD support, limiting the device’s compatibility with certain audio formats.
  • Limited Bluetooth Range: The Bluetooth range of the iFi Go Blu may be shorter compared to other devices, restricting the distance between the source device and the DAC/headphone amp.

Despite these drawbacks, the iFi Go Blu remains a compelling option for those seeking a compact, wireless DAC/headphone amp with outstanding sound quality. Now let’s dive into a detailed comparison between the iFi Go Blu and other DAC/amps on the market.

Comparison with Other DAC/Amps

The iFi Go Blu sets itself apart from other DAC/amps in the market with its compact size and wireless functionality. While it may not offer the same level of detail retrieval as higher-end, dedicated DAC/amps, it provides a portable and convenient option for on-the-go listening. The iFi Go Blu stands up well against other devices in its price range, offering comparable features and sound quality.

DAC/Amp Price Wireless Connectivity Sound Quality
Audiolab M-DAC Nano £149 ($199) No Bluetooth Excellent
AudioQuest DragonFly Cobalt £269 No Bluetooth High-end
iFi Go Blu £199 ($199, AU$299) Bluetooth 5.1 High-quality

“The iFi Go Blu offers a fantastic blend of portability, wireless connectivity, and sound quality. While there are other options available, it truly shines in its price bracket.”

Conclusion

The iFi Go Blu is the ultimate solution for those seeking high-fidelity audio on the go. This pocket-sized DAC/headphone amp offers wireless functionality, excellent sound quality, and a range of features that make it a standout option for portable listening. With its compact size, easy-to-use controls, and attractive design, the iFi Go Blu combines convenience and style in one sleek package.

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While it may not match the level of detail retrieval found in higher-end DAC/amps, the iFi Go Blu provides a portable and affordable alternative. Its wireless capabilities allow for a tangle-free experience, while maintaining exceptional audio performance. Whether you’re on a daily commute, traveling, or simply relaxing at home, the iFi Go Blu will enhance your listening experience with its crystal-clear sound and powerful amplification.

For those seeking a compact and wireless audio solution, the iFi Go Blu is an excellent choice. Its pocket-friendly design and impressive sound quality make it a versatile device that can easily fit into any lifestyle. With its range of features and affordable price, the iFi Go Blu offers an enticing combination for both audio enthusiasts and casual listeners alike.

Upgrade your audio experience with the iFi Go Blu and enjoy the freedom of wireless, high-fidelity sound wherever you go.

FAQ

What is the price of the iFi Go Blu and how does it compare to its competition?

The iFi Go Blu is priced at £199 (9, AU9) and offers wireless capabilities that set it apart from its competitors. It is a unique option in terms of price and features, with few devices offering similar wireless functionality.

How is the design and build quality of the iFi Go Blu?

The iFi Go Blu is incredibly small and lightweight, with a premium look. It features a rotary dial for volume control, a soft-touch polymer front plate, and balanced and unbalanced headphone jacks. Some may find the plastic construction slightly flimsy, but it aids in Bluetooth reception and overall portability.

What are the features and specifications of the iFi Go Blu?

The iFi Go Blu supports Bluetooth 5.1 and a range of Bluetooth audio formats, including aptX HD, aptX Adaptive, aptX Low Latency, LDAC, LHDC, AAC, and SBC. It has a Cirrus Logic 43131 32-bit DAC chip, iFi’s XBass and XSpace sound effects, a 10-hour battery life, and can support hi-res PCM files up to 24-bit/96kHz when connected via USB.

How does the iFi Go Blu perform in terms of sound quality?

The iFi Go Blu offers excellent sound quality, with a wide soundstage, accurate mids, and detailed treble. It provides a dynamic bass and clear vocals, with the added benefit of XBass and XSpace sound effects to enhance the listening experience. It also improves sound quality compared to listening via Bluetooth alone.

How does the iFi Go Blu connect to devices, both wirelessly and wired?

The iFi Go Blu features reliable Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity with support for various codecs and a range of up to 5 meters. It can be easily paired with devices for a convenient wireless listening experience. It also has a USB-C port for charging and audio input, allowing for wired connectivity when desired, and can support hi-res PCM files up to 24-bit/96kHz when connected via USB.

What are the pros and cons of the iFi Go Blu?

The pros of the iFi Go Blu include its compact size, wireless functionality, excellent sound quality, and a range of features, such as aptX HD support and balanced and unbalanced headphone outputs. However, it lacks MQA or DSD support, and the Bluetooth range is limited.

How does the iFi Go Blu compare to other DAC/Amps on the market?

The iFi Go Blu stands out for its compact size and wireless functionality compared to other DAC/Amps. While it may not offer the same level of detail retrieval as higher-end devices, it provides a portable and convenient option for on-the-go listening with features and sound quality that are comparable to devices in its price range.

What is the conclusion of the iFi Go Blu review?

The iFi Go Blu is a pocket-sized DAC/headphone amp that offers high-fidelity audio on the go. Its compact size, wireless functionality, excellent sound quality, and range of features make it a great option for portable listening. While it may not offer the same level of detail retrieval as higher-end devices, it provides a portable and affordable option for those looking for a compact and wireless audio solution.

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